I was just starting my second year of teaching when Richard Nixon was elected president. So This book brought back a lot of memories of the War in Vietnam and Watergate. Reading this years later gave me a revised view of what took place during those years. Richard Nixon lied about the smallest things For example he would tell people he worked more hours than he did. He also felt everyone was out to get him. Combine the two and you have a very emotionally ill person.
The book doesn’t cover all of Nixon’s life, just his time as president.
Richard Reeves does an outstanding job telling this story. Well worth taking your time to read it.
I just finished reading Smithsonian Book of Presidential Trivia. Great book! It is fun, informative and great for grades 4-12. Great gift for your favorite student or teacher.
The Smithsonian Book of Presidential Trivia is full of fun facts about U.S. Presidents. Both adults and children will enjoy this easy to read book. It is a great addition for school and classroom libraries. The book is formatted in a series of questions and answers. For example: “Which battle-tested president was sickened by the sight of blood?”
There are over 300 questions that teachers could use for class warm-up activities or for those five minutes at the end of class when you want to keep your students thinking. You could also divide your students into teams to see which team could get five questions answered first.
One of the things that is unique about this book is that the questions also have a photo from the Smithsonian Collection. I think I know a lot of trivia about presidents, but I was stumped by some of the questions. This might help make your students curious about history.
Let’s get back to the question about blood. We know that it must be a president who was in battle. You know that the bloodiest war in U.S. History was the Civil War. So if you guessed President Grant you would be right.
While not as big as his first inauguration it was a very nice day. There were a few first.
He was the first two term president to take the oath of office four times. Once at his first inauguration that got goofed up by the Supreme Court Justice trying to say it from memory. So just to make sure everything was legal he said it a second time the next day. This year, January 20th was on a Sunday and he was sworn in on Sunday with just a few people present. Then he was sworn in during the ceremonies on Monday. You most likely can guess the only other president to take the oath four times.
Another first, was his mentioning guy rights. “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law,” He was the first president to mention gay rights in an inaugural address.
I think he was the seventh president to use two bibles. A few other small things. Mrs. Evers was the first woman and the first lay person to give the invocation. And the poet, Richard Blanco was named the inaugural poet for Barack Obama’s second inauguration. He is the first Latino and first gay inaugural poet.
It was a nice joyous occasion.
I just finished a book about Calvin Coolidge. (Coolidge, An American Enigma) It was a good book and for me a great book. I never learned much about Coolidge in school except that he was a very quite man. What little I heard was negative. After reading about him I think he was very intelligent. His biggest failure is that he had a hard time with social occasions when he met new people. If you set that aside he was a very smart, determined and hard working person. He was also very loyal to his family.
He served in numerous positions in the State of Massachusetts. He rose to the rank of Governor of the state and then was chosen to to be vice president. When Harding died he became president and then ran for another term and won easily. The only election he ever lost was for the School Board in Northamton. He most likely lost that because some people voted against him because he didn’t have children in the schools.
Coolidge’s opinion of being president, governor, or any administration was that the person should carry out and enact the laws. He didn’t think we always needed new laws, in fact he thought some should be taken off the books. He felt leaders need time to implement the laws that were already passed and suggest improvements if needed.
He had a strong position on the separation of the three branches of government. But most importantly he was loved by the American people. Even when he turn down running for a second full term, people wanted to draft him for the presidency. The economy was prosperous and we were at peace.
He wasn’t an inspirational president. But he was good at running the government and delegating responsibilities to his appointees.
Overall, I would rank him in the upper half of U.S. Presidents. You may wish to read his biography and form your own opinion.
I haven’t written on my blog for a long time. I hope to start posting on a regular basis. Wish me luck.
Currently, I am reading the biography of Woodrow Wilson by John Cooper, Jr.
The first thing I found interesting is that Woodrow Wilson was named Thomas Woodrow Wilson. He was calle Tommy as a boy. He started using Woodrow when he was studying the law at the University of Virginia. The second is that he was a poor reader. He didn’t learn his “letters” until he was nine and he learned to read at twelve. This problem might have been due to his eyesight or dyslexia.
In 1883, he paid $87 for a typewriter. That was a lot of money at that time. Typewriters did not have set keyboards at that time. Also, not all typewriters had the same keyboard. Wilson typed with two fingers using the popular hunt and peck method.
All of that is interesting. Reading this book and others books about U.S. Presidents has started me thinking about how do you rate a president. What or who is a good president and why. Who is a bad president and why.
The tough part is that some presidents came in to office during troubled times and solved the problems. Others had prosperous times that they didn’t create that hurt their term in office. Some had the support of the House and Senate and could pass legislation and others had the House and Senate controlled by the other party and couldn’t do anything.
My question is what do you think makes a good president? And who during your life time has been the best president?
I think educators may enjoy this:
“Banned are sheer and see-through clothing, ripped jeans, one-shouldered, strapless shirts or clothing exposing bare midriffs. Also listed are “excessively short” skirts, dresses or shorts cut more than 3-4 inches above the knee.”
No, Major League Baseball dress code for the press.
See http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=Ag18rjmSo.dja_NdXeQi0qU8R9MF?slug=ap-mlb-mediadressguidelines for the full story.
Tomorrow, I will be working with a group of teachers in grades 2 – 12. It is a challenge having such a large range of teachers. I have worked with them before and it went well. This will be our second day together. We are going to work on creating a new lesson. However, I’m not sure there is such a thing as a new lesson. It really is just teaching the topic in a new way. I’m looking forward to see what they create.
When your students turn in the assignment? When you return it with your comments and the grade? It doesn’t have to stop there. The Internet provides not only an audience for your students, but it provides on-going feedback on their writing. They continue learning from the numerous comments they can get from an audience from around the world.
Take a look at student work posted on the Internet. (http://www.studentnewsaction.net/ and the http://theclem.org are just two examples. I am sure you can find many more. Posting on the Internet is more than just moving from paper to digital work. It changes the focus of why you are writing. You are now writing for the world.
The learning isn’t done when your teacher comments. Every time someone comments on your writing, students are brought back to thinking about what you wrote and the reaction from people. The learning continues.
I encourage you to involve your students in publishing their stories, essays and opinions to the web. It is well worth the time and effort. Where else can you gain on going learning for free?
When I started my first blog several years ago, I called the blog “A New Adventure.” I choose that name because I was starting to share my thoughts via the Internet with friends and strangers and that was new for me. I started my blog before there was Facebook, Twitter and all of the other social media we have today. I am glad I called it “A New Adventure” because it has been an exciting part of my life. Since I started the blog, a lot of things have changed.
- I have changed jobs twice.
- Moved to a new house.
- Visited forty or more states.
- Learned a lot.
- And most importantly made a lot of new and very good friends.
The name still fits. I am about to begin another new adventure. It is exciting to not know exactly what will happen in the next year, but I know it will be good. Next month, I’ll share with you my new adventure. Wish me luck.
In my current job, I travel a bit. That means I frequently go through airport security check points. I think they are looking for the wrong thing. They are looking at what I and others carry on the plane. I think they should be looking at my identification. Usually, I buy my tickets about thirty days before my trip. means the airlines has a lot of time to check to see if I have anything in my past that looks odd. Also, when I board they can check my identification.
They really have little or no technology at the first stop where they look at my passport or drivers license. When I cross the border to go to Canada, customs scans my passport and knows some of my travel history. The TSA doesn’t do that. I don’t know why? I think we the TSA should upgrade the id check and cut back on full body scans and body searches.