On this day in history, 1885, Mark Twain published his famous novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Learn more about Twain’s distinctively American sense of humor with a lesson plan for his short story, “The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg” (1899), regarded by many as his most successful fiction after his two celebrated novels, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. After working through the lesson plan, watch WSPWH editors Amy and Leon Kass … Read more »
November 14, 2013
Today, Herman Melville’s now classic American novel Moby-Dick was published in 1851 to poor reviews. While Melville was praised for his early works Typee and Omoo, Moby-Dick encountered scathing reviews upon first publication. The critical disdain for the novel contributed to Melville’s slide into obscurity, with his work being remembered only during the “Melville Revival” of the 20th century.
November 12, 2013
On November 12, 1954, Ellis Island, gateway to America for more than 12 million immigrants, closed permanently. An estimated 40 percent of American citizens can trace their ancestry through Ellis Island, the first federal immigration center.
October 9, 2013
On October 9, 1888, the Washington Monument officially opened to the public. The beloved monument to America’s first president attracts more than half a million visitors each year, and was briefly the world’s tallest structure.
October 7, 2013
In October 1780, during the the American Revolutionary War, British Army officer General Lord Cornwallis sought to invade North Carolina. Major Patrick Ferguson was sent to North Carolina to recruit loyalist militia, stopping in rural York Country, South Carolina. The newly organized Loyalist militia was met with strong opposition by frontiersmen under Colonel William Campbell of Virginia, who defeated the Loyalist forces on Kings Mountain.
October 3, 2013
October 3: Today in History: Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage is published in book form in 1895
On October 3, 1895, The Red Badge of Courage, the first American novel to portray the Civil War from the perspective of a soldier, was published in book form. The enormously popular short novel was originally published by a newspaper one section at a time.
October 1, 2013
Famed American composer and bandmaster John Philip Sousa was appointed director of the US Marine Band on October 1, 1880. Known as the “March King,” Sousa wrote more than 120 marches, including “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” which has served as the national march of the United States for 25 years.
September 25, 2013
On September 25, 1493, Christopher Columbus began the second of his three famous voyages of discovery. Almost one year after his trailblazing first voyage, Columbus sailed from Cádiz with 17 ships, bound for the Caribbean.
September 24, 2013
On September 24, 1789, President George Washington officially signed “An Act to Establish the Judicial Courts of the United States” into law, outlining the structure and jurisdiction of all federal courts, including the Supreme Court. Article III, Section 1 of the US Constitution called for the creation of “one supreme Court,” but left the composition of that court up to Congress to decide.
September 23, 2013
On September 23, 1863, the Union Army was reeling from a decisive defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga at the hands of Confederate General Braxton Bragg. Keenly aware of Union General Rosecrans’ depleted army, President Lincoln diverted General Joseph Hooker from Virginia to the area, setting in place a strategy that would reinvigorate the Army of the Cumberland, and place General Ulysses S. Grant in charge of the Union … Read more »