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It’s National Quilting Day!

It’s National Quilting Day! ✂️🏵🧵🪡 Quilting dates back to at least medieval times, taking hold in America as colonial settlers arrived. Quilting bees were a popular form of socialization for women in early America. Quilts were particularly prized as wedding gifts for young women about to marry. 👰‍♀️👰‍♀️👰‍♀️ Aside from being beautiful, quilts are a […]

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Happy Spring!

Happy Spring! 🌸🌷🌱 Today marks the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and is one of two days within the year during which the sun is directly above the equator and day and night are of equal length. Did you know? Spring was a season of new beginnings in more than one way for colonial […]

Recurring

Happy April Fools’ Day!

Happy April Fools’ Day! 👻🤡🙉💥 Here are some wacky presidential facts to help celebrate the day: - Teddy Roosevelt's children greatly enjoyed walking around the White House on stilts. Cabinet meetings were even canceled thanks to the disruption of banging stilts on the floor above. 💥💥💥 - James Garfield was ambidextrous and could purportedly simultaneously […]

Recurring

Today is International Children’s Book Day!

Today is International Children’s Book Day! ✨📖✨📚✨ Did you know? Children’s books are a fairly new innovation – prior to the 1700s or so, books for children tended to be strictly educational in nature. And, as printing became more economical, children’s books began booming in the 1800s. Some of the all-time best-selling American children’s books […]

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On April 4, 1887, the first woman mayor was elected in the United States as Susanna M. Salter won the election in Argonia, Kansas

On April 4, 1887, the first woman mayor was elected in the United States as Susanna M. Salter won the election in Argonia, Kansas. Salter was passionate about the temperance movement and when local men nominated her for  mayoral candidacy as a joke, the 27-year-old mother of four staggered them by winning 2/3 of the vote. Scrutinized nationally […]

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It’s National Librarian Day!

April 16 is National Librarian Day!  🔖📚📖📚🔖 What better way to celebrate than visiting your local library? Did you know? The precursor to the public library was the membership library - members of this type of private library paid a subscription fee to cover the cost of members-only book access. The first membership library in the […]

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On April 19, 1721, statesman and founding father Roger Sherman was born in Newton, Massachusetts

On April 19, 1721, statesman and founding father Roger Sherman was born in Newton, Massachusetts. A representative from Connecticut, Sherman is the only person to have signed all four of the major Founding era documents: the Articles of Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the U.S. Constitution. 📜📃📜📃 During the Constitutional Convention, […]

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On April 24, 1800, the Library of Congress was established in Washington, D.C. It is our nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world

On April 24, 1800, the Library of Congress was established in Washington, D.C. It is our nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world (!) Since 1801, the collection has grown from an initial 740 volumes “necessary for the use of congress” to over 170 million items. 📚📚📚 Since its inception, the Library […]

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On this day – Maryland becomes our Seventh State

On April 28, 1788, 7th state Maryland was ratified into the United States. Did you know? The Maryland State House is the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use. It also served as the national Capitol when Annapolis was our nation’s capitol – Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the army here. What’s in […]

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On this day – Louisiana becomes our 18th State

On April 30, 1812, Louisiana was admitted to the United States as our 18th state. Did you know? Perhaps unsurprisingly, Louisiana is the birthplace of jazz. The port city of New Orleans was the perfect melting pot for jazz’s development, as the genre borrows elements of both African and European musical traditions. Jazz developed in […]

It’s May Day!

It’s May Day! 🌼🌷🌸 So what is May Day exactly? Traditionally, the day marks the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. Germanic pagan tribes and their descendants celebrated new spring flowers and the sprouting of crops with bonfires and dancing around the maypole. 🌱🌷🔥 Though the Puritans disavowed these traditions, other groups […]

May 4 is National Orange Juice Day!

May 4 is National Orange Juice Day! 🍊🍊🍊Orange juice was enjoyed seasonally as early as 1600s. For most of its history however, it was a rare luxury, freshly squeezed when oranges were in season. Orange trees were first brought to Florida in the mid-1500s, likely by Ponce de Leon, where they flourished in the state’s mild […]

Today marks the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby

Today marks the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby! The Derby dates to 1875 and of the three races in the Triple Crown, it is the first and the most popular, attracting millions of viewers every year. 🐎🐎🐎 Over the years, the race has collected a variety of traditions, including mint juleps, enormous rose garlands, […]

On May 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress was first convened in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall

On May 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress was first convened in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. 🇺🇸🏫🔔 The Congress would serve through 1781, during this period signing and approving the Declaration of Independence, guiding the fledgling nation through much of the American Revolution, and establishing the Articles of Confederation. Did you know? The Second Continental Congress was […]

On this day – Minnesota became our 32nd State

On May 11, 1858, Minnesota was admitted into the United States as our 32nd state. Did you know? Minnesota was the first Union state to volunteer troops to fight in the Civil War. Roughly half of Minnesota’s eligible men fought in the war. Minnesota’s nickname, “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” is no exaggeration. In actuality, the […]

On May 11, 1910, Glacier National Park was established in Montana

On May 11, 1910, Glacier National Park was established in Montana. As its name suggests, Glacier is one of the northernmost parks in the continental U.S. and contains roughly 25 glaciers.  Aside from its glaciers, visitors to the park enjoy beautiful mountain views, Lake McDonald and its multicolored rocks, and local wildlife, including hardy, sure-footed mountain goats. […]

May 13 is National Apple Pie Day!

May 13 is National Apple Pie Day! So, is apple pie as “American as apple pie”? Well, not exactly. 🍎🥧🍎🥧🍎 Apples aren’t native to North America and apple pie traces its roots back to 1300s England. The first recorded recipe included not just apples, but pears, figs, and raisins as well. So how did apple […]

On this day – Rhode Island became the 13th State

On May 29, 1790, our 13th state, Rhode Island, was ratified into the United States. Though it was the first colony to renounce allegiance to Great Britain, it was the last of the Thirteen Colonies to ratify the Constitution, and the only state to boycott the Constitutional Convention. Though it is tiny (the smallest state […]

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October is National Seafood Month!

October is National Seafood Month! The American seafood industry has been honored by Congress with this distinction for the past 30 years. It has operated for much longer of course, with both Native Americans and early settlers taking advantage of abundant fishing along the East Coast. 🦀🐟🦪🍤 Did you know? Though we view lobster as a […]

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On October 2, 1968, Redwood National and State Parks were established

On October 2, 1968, Redwood National and State Parks were established in California. Coast redwoods are the tallest trees on earth, reaching heights of over 350 feet! These protected areas are home to the tallest tree in the world, the Hyperion, which is nearly 380 feet tall. 🌲🌲🌲 Did you know? Despite their enormous size, […]

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October 12 is National Farmer’s Day!

October 12 is National Farmer’s Day! On this day, we honor all the hard work done by America’s farmers to bring food to our tables. 🍞🌽🍎🥚 According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, 98% of the 2 million farms in the country are family businesses. 🐄🏡🐖🐓 Did you know? Less than 2% of America’s workforce […]

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Happy Birthday to the U.S. Navy!

Happy Birthday to the U.S. Navy! On October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress voted to send two armed sailing vessels out to intercept ships carrying munitions and supplies to the British. From this tiny force of 160 patriots, the U.S. Navy eventually expanded to a mighty force of 300,000+ active duty members today. The Navy’s […]

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On October 27, 1787, the first of the Federalist Papers (Federalist 1) was published in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet

On October 27, 1787, the first of the Federalist Papers (Federalist 1) was published in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet. 🗞📰📝 Written by Alexander Hamilton under the pseudonym Publius, it was the first of a series of seventy-seven articles written along with James Madison and John Jay to address concerns about the […]

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Tonight is known as Mischief Night!

For roughly a quarter of Americans (particularly in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest), tonight is known as Mischief Night! (Or Cabbage Night, Devil’s Night, or Goosey Night depending on the region one lives in.) The night before Halloween is seen as a time of mischief for young people, with common pranks including toilet […]

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On November 1, 1938, famed American racehorse Seabiscuit outran Triple Crown winner War Admiral in a “match of the century”

On November 1, 1938, famed American racehorse Seabiscuit outran Triple Crown winner War Admiral in a “match of the century.” 🐎🐎🐎 Small, scrawny, and uncooperative in training, Seabiscuit was an unlikely champion racehorse. The little underdog served as an inspiration to Americans caught up in the Great Depression and an impending world war. The race […]

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On this day – North Dakota became our 39th State

On November 2, 1889, North Dakota entered the Union as our 39th state. A beautiful and largely rural state, North Dakota contains both the most wildlife refuges and the largest grassland in the United States. Did you know? North Dakota is home to the Enchanted Highway, a 32-mile passage of highway dotted by some of […]

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Today is Election Day!

Today is Election Day ! 🗳🗳🗳 Did you know? Election Day always falls on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. Why this day? For one, farming schedules once dictated much of American life - most Americans had to travel to their local polls and spring through early fall was busy with planting […]

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On November 10, 1978, Badlands National Park was established in South Dakota

On November 10, 1978, Badlands National Park was established in South Dakota. The Badlands (so-called for its uninhabitability) is a swath of striking geological formations including pinnacles, buttes, and gorges mixed with prairie land. Did you know? The park is a prime location for fossils and has more Eocene and Oligocene mammal fossils than any […]

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On the night of November 12-13, 1833, thousands of meteors formed a meteor storm visible over North America east of the Rockies

On the night of November 12-13, 1833, thousands of meteors formed a meteor storm visible over North America east of the Rockies. The impressive sight lasted for hours, entrancing Americans, and leading many to believe that it was the end of the world. Leading figures of the 19th century took note, including Frederick Douglass, Abraham […]

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On November 14, 1896, First Lady Mamie Eisenhower was born in Boone, Iowa

On November 14, 1896, First Lady Mamie Eisenhower was born in Boone, Iowa. Despite the demands of being a military wife, and then, the wife of a prominent figure, she always had a cheerful, outgoing demeanor that endeared her to the public. She publicly shunned political involvement, but her actions often spoke louder than words. […]

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On this day – Oklahoma became our 46th State

On November 16, 1907, Oklahoma entered the Union as our 46th state. Located in Tornado Alley, it is one of the most tornado prone regions of the country. Did you know? Oklahoma is distinguished by a large Native American population. There are over 40 distinct Native languages spoken there and roughly half of the state […]

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On November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address

On November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address as part of a dedication ceremony for the national cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. 🇺🇸🪦🇺🇸🪦🇺🇸 Despite his remark that “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here” his brief speech went down in history as one of his most famous. The […]

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On this day – North Carolina became our 12th State

On November 21, 1789, North Carolina ratified the Constitution, becoming our 12th state. The state offers a variety of landscapes, encompassing sub ranges of the Appalachian Mountains, swampland, and Atlantic coastline. Did you know? The first successful airplane flight took place in North Carolina at the windy dunes of Kitty Hawk. There, the Wright Brothers […]

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Today is Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year!

Today is Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year! Did you know? It’s believed that the term “Black Friday” was first used in reference to the day after Thanksgiving by Philadelphia police officers in the 1950s to describe the mayhem of tourists visiting the city each year to shop and attend […]

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from JMC! Thanksgiving, one of our country's oldest holidays, has roots in both the Native American and European traditions. The Wampanoags and other Native American tribes traditionally held ceremonies of thanksgiving for successful harvests and instances of good fortune. Long before coming to North America, Europeans too gave thanks for good harvests with […]

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On this day – Illinois became our 21st State

On December 3, 1818, Illinois was admitted to the Union as our 21st state. The most populated state in the Midwest, Illinois boasts the famous city of Chicago, as well as flat, fertile farmland. Did you know? Illinois proudly sports the nickname, “Land of Lincoln” because the 16th president called the state home for over […]

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It’s National Cookie Day!

It’s National Cookie Day! The first cookies in America were made from simple ingredients like sugar and butter. These butter cookies were close relatives of teacakes and shortbread of the Old World. With progress in shipping and transportation, cookie varieties eventually exploded – in modern times we enjoy cookies made with coconut, cinnamon, and (of […]

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On this day – Delaware became “The First State”

On December 7, 1787, Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution, earning it the title of “The First State.” Did you know? Delaware has no sales tax and is well-known in the business world for its clear and up-to-date approach to corporate law. Over 60% (!) of Fortune 500 companies are incorporated in […]

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On this day – Mississippi became our 20th state

On December 10, 1817, Mississippi was admitted to the Union as our 20th state. Did you know? Blues music has a prominent place in Mississippi history – many of the most prominent blues musicians were from Mississippi, including John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, and Muddy Waters. What’s in a name? What a name! Notoriously difficult […]

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On this day – Pennsylvania became our Second State

On December 12, 1787, Pennsylvania ratified the Constitution, making it our second state. The state has hosted many historical events, perhaps most notably the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutional Convention. Philadelphia (home of the Jack Miller Center!) also served as the meeting place for the First Continental Congress in 1774. Pennsylvania’s […]

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Happy Bill of Rights Day!

Happy Bill of Rights Day! On this day in 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified, consisting of the first ten amendments in our Constitution. Inspired by such documents as the Magna Carta and Virginia Declaration of Rights, the Bill of Rights explicitly protected such basic American rights as freedom of speech, religion, and assembly, […]

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On December 20, 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was completed as France officially transferred the Louisiana Territory to the United States

On December 20, 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was completed as France officially transferred the Louisiana Territory to the United States. The Louisiana Purchase was one of the largest land transfers in history. Consisting of roughly 827,000 square miles west of the Mississippi River, the new U.S. territory nearly doubled the size of our young country. […]

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It’s Christmas Day!

Although the holiday is believed to date back to 336 A.D., Christmas did not catch on across the United States until the latter half of the 1700s. During colonial times, celebrations (or lack thereof) greatly depended on the predominant sect of each region. In Puritan New England, Christmas celebrations were often banned as non-Biblical and […]

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On December 26, 1935, Shenandoah National Park was established in Virginia

On December 26, 1935, Shenandoah National Park was established in Virginia. Extending along the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Appalachian Range, the park contains 100+ miles of the Appalachian Trail, as well as Skyline Drive, a particularly picturesque road running along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Did you know? As it was created […]

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On this day – Texas became our 28th state

On December 29, 1845, Texas entered the Union as our 28th state. It is the largest state in the continental U.S. and the second largest state by population in the country. Reflecting its huge size, the state contains the largest ranch in the nation, King Ranch, which is bigger than the state of Rhode Island! […]

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Happy New Year!

In colonial America, it was customary to exchange small gifts on New Year’s Day and visit with friends and neighbors. One common (and fragrant!) gift was an orange with cloves stuck into it, which often formed designs.  Southern Americans traditionally ate black-eyed peas for New Year’s. The peas were thought to resemble coins and represented […]

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On this day – Georgia became our 4th State

On January 2, 1788, Georgia ratified the Constitution, making it our 4th state. It’s the largest state east of the Mississippi River and is famous for its peaches, pecans, and peanuts. Did you know? Georgia was originally chartered as a felon colony – the colony’s founder, James Oglethorpe, wanted English debtors to find a fresh […]

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On January 3, 1879, First Lady Grace Coolidge was born in Burlington, Vermont

On January 3, 1879, First Lady Grace Coolidge was born in Burlington, Vermont. A balancing presence to her reserved husband (“Silent Cal”) she was friendly, outgoing, and popular (the Secret Service even nicknamed her “Sunshine.”) During her time at the White House, she worked to restore its historic furnishings, many of which had been sold […]

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Happy National Hat Day!

Happy National Hat Day! Hats are nothing new, but the United States has produced some unique pieces of headgear throughout its history, including the cowboy hat (inspired by Mexican sombreros), the coonskin cap (made famous by Davey Crockett), and even the cheesehead (worn by Green Bay Packers fans). Did you know? During the colonial era, […]

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It’s National Popcorn Day!

It’s National Popcorn Day! 🍿🍿🍿 Popcorn originated in the Americas and was first cultivated thousands of years ago – some of the earliest kernels were found in Peru and date back 6,700 years (!) 🌽🌽🌽 Soon, European settlers loved popcorn just as much as their Native American neighbors. Mass consumption of popcorn didn’t begin until […]

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On January 24, 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill near Coloma, California, triggering the California Gold Rush

On January 24, 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill near Coloma, California, triggering the California Gold Rush. As news of the discovery spread, thousands of would-be gold miners poured into California looking to strike it rich. Though many were unlucky in mining, the population boom helped propel California to statehood. Did you know? The […]

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On this day – Michigan became our 26th state

On January 26, 1837, Michigan was admitted to the Union as our 26th state. The state has the most coastline on the Great Lakes and is bordered by Lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan, and Erie. The state (and more specifically, its largest city, Detroit) are well known as the capital of the American auto industry – […]

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On this day – Kansas became our 34th state

On January 29, 1861, Kansas was admitted to the Union as our 34th state. Kansas’s statehood came with much controversy – its statehood was proposed under the policy of “popular sovereignty” which meant that the territory’s residents were to vote on the legality of slavery in the new state. With tensions over slavery high nationwide, […]

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Happy National Hot Chocolate Day!

Happy National Hot Chocolate Day! Cocoa beans are native to South America and the first known hot chocolate was developed in Mexico by the Aztecs and Mayans. This hot chocolate was very different from what we enjoy today – early recipes included chili pepper and cornmeal and were often served cold, bitter, and frothy. In […]

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On this day – Massachusetts became our 6th state

On February 6, 1788, Massachusetts ratified the Constitution, establishing itself as our 6th state. The state has deep revolutionary roots – Boston was a hotbed of patriot activity leading up to the Revolution and the first battles of the war (those at Lexington and Concord) took place in Massachusetts. Did you know? Massachusetts’ state constitution […]

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On February 8, 1820, William Tecumseh Sherman was born in Lancaster, Ohio

On February 8, 1820, William Tecumseh Sherman was born in Lancaster, Ohio. A commanding general for the Union Army during the Civil War, Sherman was key to northern victory. His tactics, while effective, were bitterly remembered in the South long after the war – Sherman’s March, a military campaign of total destruction from Atlanta to Savannah, […]

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On October 14, 1994, Saguaro National Park was established in Arizona

On October 14, 1994, Saguaro National Park was established in Arizona. The park is home to the giant saguaro – the largest cactus in the United States and arguably the most recognizable symbol of the American West. Truly American, saguaros only grow in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, California, and Mexico, where they can exceed […]

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Though this holiday has origins in the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia and as a Christian feast day, it wasn’t until the 17th and 18th centuries that it became popular to mark it by exchanging notes and tokens of affection with friends and lovers. Did you know? The famous conversation heart candies […]

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Happy Presidents Day!

Happy Presidents Day! Presidents Day, as we now call it, began as an officially recognized celebration of George Washington’s birthday in 1885. During the 1960s, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which pushed several federal holiday observances to Mondays in order to allow for three-day weekends. This effectively moved Washington’s Birthday from the actual date […]

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On February 19, 1942, Executive Order 9066 was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, allowing the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II

On February 19, 1942, Executive Order 9066 was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, allowing the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The order disrupted the lives of tens of thousands of Japanese Americans, who were relocated to internment camps (most in remote areas of the West). Though many of the interned were U.S. […]

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On this day in 1732, founding father and our 1st president George Washington was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia

On this day in 1732, founding father and our 1st president George Washington was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Aside from serving two terms as our first president, Washington was Commander in Chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Uniquely, he was in a position of steering the emerging nation to success not only with […]

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It’s National Quilting Day!

It’s National Quilting Day! ✂️🏵🧵🪡 Quilting dates back to at least medieval times, taking hold in America as colonial settlers arrived. Quilting bees were a popular form of socialization for women in early America. Quilts were particularly prized as wedding gifts for young women about to marry. 👰‍♀️👰‍♀️👰‍♀️ Aside from being beautiful, quilts are a […]

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Happy Spring!

Happy Spring! 🌸🌷🌱 Today marks the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere and is one of two days within the year during which the sun is directly above the equator and day and night are of equal length. Did you know? Spring was a season of new beginnings in more than one way for colonial […]

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Happy April Fools’ Day!

Happy April Fools’ Day! 👻🤡🙉💥 Here are some wacky presidential facts to help celebrate the day: - Teddy Roosevelt's children greatly enjoyed walking around the White House on stilts. Cabinet meetings were even canceled thanks to the disruption of banging stilts on the floor above. 💥💥💥 - James Garfield was ambidextrous and could purportedly simultaneously […]

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Today is International Children’s Book Day!

Today is International Children’s Book Day! ✨📖✨📚✨ Did you know? Children’s books are a fairly new innovation – prior to the 1700s or so, books for children tended to be strictly educational in nature. And, as printing became more economical, children’s books began booming in the 1800s. Some of the all-time best-selling American children’s books […]

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On April 4, 1887, the first woman mayor was elected in the United States as Susanna M. Salter won the election in Argonia, Kansas

On April 4, 1887, the first woman mayor was elected in the United States as Susanna M. Salter won the election in Argonia, Kansas. Salter was passionate about the temperance movement and when local men nominated her for  mayoral candidacy as a joke, the 27-year-old mother of four staggered them by winning 2/3 of the vote. Scrutinized nationally […]

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It’s National Librarian Day!

April 16 is National Librarian Day!  🔖📚📖📚🔖 What better way to celebrate than visiting your local library? Did you know? The precursor to the public library was the membership library - members of this type of private library paid a subscription fee to cover the cost of members-only book access. The first membership library in the […]

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On April 19, 1721, statesman and founding father Roger Sherman was born in Newton, Massachusetts

On April 19, 1721, statesman and founding father Roger Sherman was born in Newton, Massachusetts. A representative from Connecticut, Sherman is the only person to have signed all four of the major Founding era documents: the Articles of Association, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the U.S. Constitution. 📜📃📜📃 During the Constitutional Convention, […]

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On April 24, 1800, the Library of Congress was established in Washington, D.C. It is our nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world

On April 24, 1800, the Library of Congress was established in Washington, D.C. It is our nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world (!) Since 1801, the collection has grown from an initial 740 volumes “necessary for the use of congress” to over 170 million items. 📚📚📚 Since its inception, the Library […]

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On this day – Maryland becomes our Seventh State

On April 28, 1788, 7th state Maryland was ratified into the United States. Did you know? The Maryland State House is the oldest state capitol in continuous legislative use. It also served as the national Capitol when Annapolis was our nation’s capitol – Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the army here. What’s in […]

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On this day – Louisiana becomes our 18th State

On April 30, 1812, Louisiana was admitted to the United States as our 18th state. Did you know? Perhaps unsurprisingly, Louisiana is the birthplace of jazz. The port city of New Orleans was the perfect melting pot for jazz’s development, as the genre borrows elements of both African and European musical traditions. Jazz developed in […]

Recurring

It’s May Day!

It’s May Day! 🌼🌷🌸 So what is May Day exactly? Traditionally, the day marks the halfway point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. Germanic pagan tribes and their descendants celebrated new spring flowers and the sprouting of crops with bonfires and dancing around the maypole. 🌱🌷🔥 Though the Puritans disavowed these traditions, other groups […]

Recurring

May 4 is National Orange Juice Day!

May 4 is National Orange Juice Day! 🍊🍊🍊Orange juice was enjoyed seasonally as early as 1600s. For most of its history however, it was a rare luxury, freshly squeezed when oranges were in season. Orange trees were first brought to Florida in the mid-1500s, likely by Ponce de Leon, where they flourished in the state’s mild […]

Recurring

Today marks the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby

Today marks the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby! The Derby dates to 1875 and of the three races in the Triple Crown, it is the first and the most popular, attracting millions of viewers every year. 🐎🐎🐎 Over the years, the race has collected a variety of traditions, including mint juleps, enormous rose garlands, […]

Recurring

On May 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress was first convened in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall

On May 10, 1775, the Second Continental Congress was first convened in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. 🇺🇸🏫🔔 The Congress would serve through 1781, during this period signing and approving the Declaration of Independence, guiding the fledgling nation through much of the American Revolution, and establishing the Articles of Confederation. Did you know? The Second Continental Congress was […]

Recurring

On this day – Minnesota became our 32nd State

On May 11, 1858, Minnesota was admitted into the United States as our 32nd state. Did you know? Minnesota was the first Union state to volunteer troops to fight in the Civil War. Roughly half of Minnesota’s eligible men fought in the war. Minnesota’s nickname, “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” is no exaggeration. In actuality, the […]

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On May 11, 1910, Glacier National Park was established in Montana

On May 11, 1910, Glacier National Park was established in Montana. As its name suggests, Glacier is one of the northernmost parks in the continental U.S. and contains roughly 25 glaciers.  Aside from its glaciers, visitors to the park enjoy beautiful mountain views, Lake McDonald and its multicolored rocks, and local wildlife, including hardy, sure-footed mountain goats. […]

Recurring

May 13 is National Apple Pie Day!

May 13 is National Apple Pie Day! So, is apple pie as “American as apple pie”? Well, not exactly. 🍎🥧🍎🥧🍎 Apples aren’t native to North America and apple pie traces its roots back to 1300s England. The first recorded recipe included not just apples, but pears, figs, and raisins as well. So how did apple […]

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On this day – Rhode Island became the 13th State

On May 29, 1790, our 13th state, Rhode Island, was ratified into the United States. Though it was the first colony to renounce allegiance to Great Britain, it was the last of the Thirteen Colonies to ratify the Constitution, and the only state to boycott the Constitutional Convention. Though it is tiny (the smallest state […]

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October is National Seafood Month!

October is National Seafood Month! The American seafood industry has been honored by Congress with this distinction for the past 30 years. It has operated for much longer of course, with both Native Americans and early settlers taking advantage of abundant fishing along the East Coast. 🦀🐟🦪🍤 Did you know? Though we view lobster as a […]

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On October 2, 1968, Redwood National and State Parks were established

On October 2, 1968, Redwood National and State Parks were established in California. Coast redwoods are the tallest trees on earth, reaching heights of over 350 feet! These protected areas are home to the tallest tree in the world, the Hyperion, which is nearly 380 feet tall. 🌲🌲🌲 Did you know? Despite their enormous size, […]

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October 12 is National Farmer’s Day!

October 12 is National Farmer’s Day! On this day, we honor all the hard work done by America’s farmers to bring food to our tables. 🍞🌽🍎🥚 According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, 98% of the 2 million farms in the country are family businesses. 🐄🏡🐖🐓 Did you know? Less than 2% of America’s workforce […]

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Happy Birthday to the U.S. Navy!

Happy Birthday to the U.S. Navy! On October 13, 1775, the Continental Congress voted to send two armed sailing vessels out to intercept ships carrying munitions and supplies to the British. From this tiny force of 160 patriots, the U.S. Navy eventually expanded to a mighty force of 300,000+ active duty members today. The Navy’s […]

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On October 27, 1787, the first of the Federalist Papers (Federalist 1) was published in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet

On October 27, 1787, the first of the Federalist Papers (Federalist 1) was published in The Independent Journal and The New York Packet. 🗞📰📝 Written by Alexander Hamilton under the pseudonym Publius, it was the first of a series of seventy-seven articles written along with James Madison and John Jay to address concerns about the […]

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Tonight is known as Mischief Night!

For roughly a quarter of Americans (particularly in the Northeast and parts of the Midwest), tonight is known as Mischief Night! (Or Cabbage Night, Devil’s Night, or Goosey Night depending on the region one lives in.) The night before Halloween is seen as a time of mischief for young people, with common pranks including toilet […]

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On November 1, 1938, famed American racehorse Seabiscuit outran Triple Crown winner War Admiral in a “match of the century”

On November 1, 1938, famed American racehorse Seabiscuit outran Triple Crown winner War Admiral in a “match of the century.” 🐎🐎🐎 Small, scrawny, and uncooperative in training, Seabiscuit was an unlikely champion racehorse. The little underdog served as an inspiration to Americans caught up in the Great Depression and an impending world war. The race […]

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On this day – North Dakota became our 39th State

On November 2, 1889, North Dakota entered the Union as our 39th state. A beautiful and largely rural state, North Dakota contains both the most wildlife refuges and the largest grassland in the United States. Did you know? North Dakota is home to the Enchanted Highway, a 32-mile passage of highway dotted by some of […]

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Today is Election Day!

Today is Election Day ! 🗳🗳🗳 Did you know? Election Day always falls on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November. Why this day? For one, farming schedules once dictated much of American life - most Americans had to travel to their local polls and spring through early fall was busy with planting […]

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On November 10, 1978, Badlands National Park was established in South Dakota

On November 10, 1978, Badlands National Park was established in South Dakota. The Badlands (so-called for its uninhabitability) is a swath of striking geological formations including pinnacles, buttes, and gorges mixed with prairie land. Did you know? The park is a prime location for fossils and has more Eocene and Oligocene mammal fossils than any […]

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On the night of November 12-13, 1833, thousands of meteors formed a meteor storm visible over North America east of the Rockies

On the night of November 12-13, 1833, thousands of meteors formed a meteor storm visible over North America east of the Rockies. The impressive sight lasted for hours, entrancing Americans, and leading many to believe that it was the end of the world. Leading figures of the 19th century took note, including Frederick Douglass, Abraham […]

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On November 14, 1896, First Lady Mamie Eisenhower was born in Boone, Iowa

On November 14, 1896, First Lady Mamie Eisenhower was born in Boone, Iowa. Despite the demands of being a military wife, and then, the wife of a prominent figure, she always had a cheerful, outgoing demeanor that endeared her to the public. She publicly shunned political involvement, but her actions often spoke louder than words. […]

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On this day – Oklahoma became our 46th State

On November 16, 1907, Oklahoma entered the Union as our 46th state. Located in Tornado Alley, it is one of the most tornado prone regions of the country. Did you know? Oklahoma is distinguished by a large Native American population. There are over 40 distinct Native languages spoken there and roughly half of the state […]

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On November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address

On November 19, 1863, Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address as part of a dedication ceremony for the national cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. 🇺🇸🪦🇺🇸🪦🇺🇸 Despite his remark that “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here” his brief speech went down in history as one of his most famous. The […]

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On this day – North Carolina became our 12th State

On November 21, 1789, North Carolina ratified the Constitution, becoming our 12th state. The state offers a variety of landscapes, encompassing sub ranges of the Appalachian Mountains, swampland, and Atlantic coastline. Did you know? The first successful airplane flight took place in North Carolina at the windy dunes of Kitty Hawk. There, the Wright Brothers […]

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from JMC! Thanksgiving, one of our country's oldest holidays, has roots in both the Native American and European traditions. The Wampanoags and other Native American tribes traditionally held ceremonies of thanksgiving for successful harvests and instances of good fortune. Long before coming to North America, Europeans too gave thanks for good harvests with […]

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Today is Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year!

Today is Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year! Did you know? It’s believed that the term “Black Friday” was first used in reference to the day after Thanksgiving by Philadelphia police officers in the 1950s to describe the mayhem of tourists visiting the city each year to shop and attend […]

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On this day – Illinois became our 21st State

On December 3, 1818, Illinois was admitted to the Union as our 21st state. The most populated state in the Midwest, Illinois boasts the famous city of Chicago, as well as flat, fertile farmland. Did you know? Illinois proudly sports the nickname, “Land of Lincoln” because the 16th president called the state home for over […]

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It’s National Cookie Day!

It’s National Cookie Day! The first cookies in America were made from simple ingredients like sugar and butter. These butter cookies were close relatives of teacakes and shortbread of the Old World. With progress in shipping and transportation, cookie varieties eventually exploded – in modern times we enjoy cookies made with coconut, cinnamon, and (of […]

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On this day – Delaware became “The First State”

On December 7, 1787, Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution, earning it the title of “The First State.” Did you know? Delaware has no sales tax and is well-known in the business world for its clear and up-to-date approach to corporate law. Over 60% (!) of Fortune 500 companies are incorporated in […]

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On this day – Mississippi became our 20th state

On December 10, 1817, Mississippi was admitted to the Union as our 20th state. Did you know? Blues music has a prominent place in Mississippi history – many of the most prominent blues musicians were from Mississippi, including John Lee Hooker, B.B. King, and Muddy Waters. What’s in a name? What a name! Notoriously difficult […]

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On this day – Pennsylvania became our Second State

On December 12, 1787, Pennsylvania ratified the Constitution, making it our second state. The state has hosted many historical events, perhaps most notably the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitutional Convention. Philadelphia (home of the Jack Miller Center!) also served as the meeting place for the First Continental Congress in 1774. Pennsylvania’s […]

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Happy Bill of Rights Day!

Happy Bill of Rights Day! On this day in 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified, consisting of the first ten amendments in our Constitution. Inspired by such documents as the Magna Carta and Virginia Declaration of Rights, the Bill of Rights explicitly protected such basic American rights as freedom of speech, religion, and assembly, […]

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On December 20, 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was completed as France officially transferred the Louisiana Territory to the United States

On December 20, 1803, the Louisiana Purchase was completed as France officially transferred the Louisiana Territory to the United States. The Louisiana Purchase was one of the largest land transfers in history. Consisting of roughly 827,000 square miles west of the Mississippi River, the new U.S. territory nearly doubled the size of our young country. […]

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On December 24, 1745, American patriot, founding father, and physician Benjamin Rush was born in Byberry, Pennsylvania

On December 24, 1745, American patriot, founding father, and physician Benjamin Rush was born in Byberry, Pennsylvania. Rush put his medical knowledge to use during the Revolution, treating injured and sick soldiers on the field. He went on to represent Pennsylvania as a signer of the Declaration of Independence and a proponent of the Constitution. […]

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It’s Christmas Day!

Although the holiday is believed to date back to 336 A.D., Christmas did not catch on across the United States until the latter half of the 1700s. During colonial times, celebrations (or lack thereof) greatly depended on the predominant sect of each region. In Puritan New England, Christmas celebrations were often banned as non-Biblical and […]

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On December 26, 1935, Shenandoah National Park was established in Virginia

On December 26, 1935, Shenandoah National Park was established in Virginia. Extending along the Blue Ridge Mountains of the Appalachian Range, the park contains 100+ miles of the Appalachian Trail, as well as Skyline Drive, a particularly picturesque road running along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Did you know? As it was created […]

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On this day – Texas became our 28th state

On December 29, 1845, Texas entered the Union as our 28th state. It is the largest state in the continental U.S. and the second largest state by population in the country. Reflecting its huge size, the state contains the largest ranch in the nation, King Ranch, which is bigger than the state of Rhode Island! […]

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Happy New Year!

In colonial America, it was customary to exchange small gifts on New Year’s Day and visit with friends and neighbors. One common (and fragrant!) gift was an orange with cloves stuck into it, which often formed designs.  Southern Americans traditionally ate black-eyed peas for New Year’s. The peas were thought to resemble coins and represented […]

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On this day – Georgia became our 4th State

On January 2, 1788, Georgia ratified the Constitution, making it our 4th state. It’s the largest state east of the Mississippi River and is famous for its peaches, pecans, and peanuts. Did you know? Georgia was originally chartered as a felon colony – the colony’s founder, James Oglethorpe, wanted English debtors to find a fresh […]

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On January 3, 1879, First Lady Grace Coolidge was born in Burlington, Vermont

On January 3, 1879, First Lady Grace Coolidge was born in Burlington, Vermont. A balancing presence to her reserved husband (“Silent Cal”) she was friendly, outgoing, and popular (the Secret Service even nicknamed her “Sunshine.”) During her time at the White House, she worked to restore its historic furnishings, many of which had been sold […]

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Happy National Hat Day!

Happy National Hat Day! Hats are nothing new, but the United States has produced some unique pieces of headgear throughout its history, including the cowboy hat (inspired by Mexican sombreros), the coonskin cap (made famous by Davey Crockett), and even the cheesehead (worn by Green Bay Packers fans). Did you know? During the colonial era, […]

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It’s National Popcorn Day!

It’s National Popcorn Day! 🍿🍿🍿 Popcorn originated in the Americas and was first cultivated thousands of years ago – some of the earliest kernels were found in Peru and date back 6,700 years (!) 🌽🌽🌽 Soon, European settlers loved popcorn just as much as their Native American neighbors. Mass consumption of popcorn didn’t begin until […]

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On January 24, 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill near Coloma, California, triggering the California Gold Rush

On January 24, 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill near Coloma, California, triggering the California Gold Rush. As news of the discovery spread, thousands of would-be gold miners poured into California looking to strike it rich. Though many were unlucky in mining, the population boom helped propel California to statehood. Did you know? The […]

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On this day – Michigan became our 26th state

On January 26, 1837, Michigan was admitted to the Union as our 26th state. The state has the most coastline on the Great Lakes and is bordered by Lakes Superior, Huron, Michigan, and Erie. The state (and more specifically, its largest city, Detroit) are well known as the capital of the American auto industry – […]

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On this day – Kansas became our 34th state

On January 29, 1861, Kansas was admitted to the Union as our 34th state. Kansas’s statehood came with much controversy – its statehood was proposed under the policy of “popular sovereignty” which meant that the territory’s residents were to vote on the legality of slavery in the new state. With tensions over slavery high nationwide, […]

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Happy National Hot Chocolate Day!

Happy National Hot Chocolate Day! Cocoa beans are native to South America and the first known hot chocolate was developed in Mexico by the Aztecs and Mayans. This hot chocolate was very different from what we enjoy today – early recipes included chili pepper and cornmeal and were often served cold, bitter, and frothy. In […]

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On this day – Massachusetts became our 6th state

On February 6, 1788, Massachusetts ratified the Constitution, establishing itself as our 6th state. The state has deep revolutionary roots – Boston was a hotbed of patriot activity leading up to the Revolution and the first battles of the war (those at Lexington and Concord) took place in Massachusetts. Did you know? Massachusetts’ state constitution […]

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On February 8, 1820, William Tecumseh Sherman was born in Lancaster, Ohio

On February 8, 1820, William Tecumseh Sherman was born in Lancaster, Ohio. A commanding general for the Union Army during the Civil War, Sherman was key to northern victory. His tactics, while effective, were bitterly remembered in the South long after the war – Sherman’s March, a military campaign of total destruction from Atlanta to Savannah, […]

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On October 14, 1994, Saguaro National Park was established in Arizona

On October 14, 1994, Saguaro National Park was established in Arizona. The park is home to the giant saguaro – the largest cactus in the United States and arguably the most recognizable symbol of the American West. Truly American, saguaros only grow in the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, California, and Mexico, where they can exceed […]

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Though this holiday has origins in the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia and as a Christian feast day, it wasn’t until the 17th and 18th centuries that it became popular to mark it by exchanging notes and tokens of affection with friends and lovers. Did you know? The famous conversation heart candies […]

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Happy Presidents Day!

Happy Presidents Day! Presidents Day, as we now call it, began as an officially recognized celebration of George Washington’s birthday in 1885. During the 1960s, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which pushed several federal holiday observances to Mondays in order to allow for three-day weekends. This effectively moved Washington’s Birthday from the actual date […]

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On February 19, 1942, Executive Order 9066 was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, allowing the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II

On February 19, 1942, Executive Order 9066 was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, allowing the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The order disrupted the lives of tens of thousands of Japanese Americans, who were relocated to internment camps (most in remote areas of the West). Though many of the interned were U.S. […]

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On this day in 1732, founding father and our 1st president George Washington was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia

On this day in 1732, founding father and our 1st president George Washington was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Aside from serving two terms as our first president, Washington was Commander in Chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Uniquely, he was in a position of steering the emerging nation to success not only with […]