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Today in History: William Heard Kilpatrick Is Born 

William Heard Kilpatrick, major figure in the progressive education movement of the early 20th century, was born on November 20, 1871 in White Plains, Georgia. He was Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he taught from 1912-1937, and he is considered one of the most popular professors ever at …

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Today in History: Founders Day at Teachers College 

Writes Dean William F. Russell, in "The Re-education of the Americans" (Teachers College Record, Volume 46 Number 2, 1944, p. 75-92), "The dedication ceremonies were difficult to attend. One either had to take the steam cars on the elevated to 110th Street and Central Park, the cable and horse cars on Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue, …

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Today in History: Sesame Street Debuts 

On November 10, 1969 Sesame Street debuted on public broadcasting stations. Conceived by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett, this educational and entertaining television show, complete with puppets (known as Muppets designed by Jm Henson) living in a fictional New York City neighborhood, sought to prepare young children for school, by presenting the alphabet and …

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Today in History: Mary Swartz Rose Is Born 

In an article entitled, "Belief in Magic", Mary Swartz Rose opens with a description of the mystical Vale of Avalon, ancient abbeys, and wonder-working relics. She ponders a recently-built cathedral (Riverside, 1930) overlooking the Hudson, as she references Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick's assertion of "law-abiding world," despite our common belief in "magical faith", and then …

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Today in History: Barrel Ride Down Niagara 

Can you imagine riding down Niagara Falls... in a wooden barrel ... with a total height of 167 feet and three drops, and water flowing at the rate of 85,000 cubic feet to the second?! For thrill, fame, theatrics, beautiful views, sheer madness, or fascination with the morbid -- begging the question as to why …

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Today in History: Happy Birthday, John Dewey! 

Entering Zankel (formerly Main Hall) of Teachers College, we are greeted by the famous quote, "I believe that education is the fundamental method of social progress and reform." (from My Pedagogic Creed). And soon to our left, as we take a few steps up, we note Jacob Epstein's bust of John Dewey, presented to him by his …

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Today in History: Pledge of Allegiance is First Used in Public Schools 

Composed by Baptist minister and Christian socialist Francis Bellamy, the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag and the United States of America was first used on Columbus Day, October 12, 1892, in public schools as a way to express national solidarity and patriotism. It was designed to be quick and to the point. Congress …

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Today in History: Sputnik Is Launched 

Why has man always been fascinated with outer space, our solar system, and possibilities beyond Earth? What does exploration into planets other than our own tell us about ourselves, and how we choose to lead our lives? How can we best apply the lessons learned from space exploration to other significant contexts --  home, classroom, …

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Today in History: Integration at Central High, Little Rock 

On September 25, 1957, nine black students under escort by the U.S. Army entered Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was but three weeks earlier that then Governor Orval Faubus commanded the National Guard to prevent federal court-ordered racial integration in the schools-- only to have been overruled by Dwight Eisenhower who federalized …

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Today in History: Hull House Opens 

With the recent government decision to rescind Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and other acts impacting immigration, it is important to look at historical efforts in our nation, the melting pot, that sought to ease the transition of immigrants. As we acknowledge the good work of pioneers in the field of education and social …

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Today in History: Violence over School Busing in Boston 

On September 12, 1974, violence erupted in Boston over racial busing. Angry white protestors hurled eggs, bricks, bottles, and other objects at buses carrying Afro-American children to recently de-segregated schools, following a court ruling in Morgan v. Hennigan, a class action lawsuit against the Boston School Committee on behalf of fourteen black parents and forty-four …

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Today in History: International Literacy Day 

Do you remember learning to read and write? Or perhaps using your first computer, laptop, or mobile device? Across the United States, the percentage of citizens who are able to read and write ranges from 65-85% (World Atlas, Average Educational Levels in the U.S. by State), while, according to the Pew Research Center, an estimated …

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Today in History: Christopher Robin’s Birthday 

“Then, suddenly again, Christopher Robin, who was still looking at the world, with his chin in his hand, called out "Pooh!" "Yes?" said Pooh. "When I'm--when--Pooh!" "Yes, Christopher Robin?" "I'm not going to do Nothing any more." "Never again?" "Well, not so much. They don't let you." Pooh waited for him to go on, but …

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Today in History: Percy Bysshe Shelley Is Born 

I met a traveller from an antique land, Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand, Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, …

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Today in History: U.S. Senate Approves U.N. Charter 

July 28, 1945 marks the day when the U.S. Senate approved the charter that established the United Nations, a global organization whose name was coined in 1944 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt when 26 nations pledged to continue fighting against the Axis Powers led by Nazi Germany. While the official charter was signed on June …

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Today in History: Obama Publishes Dreams from My Father 

Did you know that Barack Obama, son of a black African father, and white American mother -- and 44th president of the United States -- originally published Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance on July 18, 1995? A memoir that became a number one bestseller when it was reissued in 2004, …

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Today in History: Burr Slays Hamilton in Duel 

Hamilton is all the rage, and if you are lucky enough to get tickets then let us know! While some win lottery tickets, others are fortunate to get them another way -- through a business or personal connection, or outright purchase at hundreds of dollars per seat. With music, lyrics, and book authored by Lin-Manual Miranda, this …

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Today in History: The Salvation Army Is Founded 

Especially during the Winter holidays you'll notice the Salvation Army around town. A ringing bell on the corner of Lexington and 42nd street heralds donors -- festive windows, snowflakes falling with the scurry of shoppers, as workers shuffle their feet, braving the cold for hours on end. It's all about giving, and what better time of year? …

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Today in History: Blondin Crosses Niagara 

When we think of high wire artists, Philippe Petit comes vividly to mind, for he gained fame when he walked between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on August 7, 1974. But did you know that Petit re-enacted in 1986 the amazing crossing of the Niagara River by Charles Blondin? On June 30, 1859, …

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Today in History: Summer Solstice 

The sun hangs at meridian in a cloudless lake of sky And there is shimmering stillness everywhere; The hushed secrecy of leaves beneath this summer noon, The shining silence of white steeples in blue air. Nothing moves except a monster butterfly that floats Above the clumps of white and purple phlox, And one small humming-bird …

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