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Today in History: Remembering Benjamin Franklin 

How exciting to see that the Benjamin Franklin Papers via the National Archives, Library of Congress are now online! The Library announced the digitization today in remembrance of the anniversary of Franklin’s death on April 17th, 1790. The Franklin collections endured a "turbulent history", having been dispersed, damaged, lost, even cut up by a tailor before being …

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Today in History: Elementary-Secondary Education Act 

The Elementary-Secondary Education Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on April 11th, 1965 as part of his efforts to address "The War on Poverty." This legislation funded elementary and secondary education, encouraging equal access to education and measures for accountability exercised more at the local, rather than federal level. ESEA was …

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Today in History: Engel v Vitale 

"Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen." April 3rd, 1962 marks the date when the landmark case of Engel versus Vitale was argued on the basis that it was unconstitutional for state officials to compose a school prayer and …

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Today in History: Patty Smith Hill Is Born 

Happy Birthday to You Happy Birthday to You Happy Birthday Dear Patty Happy Birthday to You. Born March 27, 1876, Patty Smith Hill was an American nursery school, kindergarten teacher, and key founder of the National Association Nursery Education (NANE) which now exists as the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). She …

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Today in History: Academy Awards Airs on NBC 

"And the envelope, please." These words are familiar to millions of viewers who await with baited breath the announcement of the Oscar winner for best actor, best actress, best picture, and a host of other prestigious awards presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Hollywood at its finest, honoring outstanding achievement, fanfare of fashion …

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Today in History: Remembering Margarethe Schurz 

Margarethe Schurz, also known as Molly Meyer Schurz (August, 27, 1833 - March 15, 1876), the wife of Carl Schurz, German revolutionary and American statesman, journalist, and reformer (1929-1906), is credited for opening for the first German-language kindergarten in the United States. Bringing Friedrich Froebel's ideas into practice, she incorporated games, song, and group activities …

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Today in History: Dial-a-President Radio Program 

For better or for worse, different medias allow for communication at varying levels -- encouraging us to ask why a president would choose to tweet, participate in a televised interview, speak over the radio, utilize a combination of mediums, or focus on one. Which medium is the most effective may depend on the purpose and depth of the message …

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Today in History: Watson and Crick Decipher DNA 

Can you imagine the significance of unlocking the secret of creation? If so, you'd appreciate the fervent race to determine the structure of DNA, the hereditary material found in humans and almost all living organisms. Maybe you did not realize that behind two great men, American molecular biologist James Watson and British biophysicist and neuroscientist Francis Crick, …

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Today in History: Children Receive First Polio Vaccine 

I recall my mother saying that the only thing she ever regretted being unable to do was ride a bike, a simple pleasure I well know in life -- and one that I take advantage of in commuting. Shortly after I was born, the doctors fused her kneecap, for muscles were deteriorating to a bad …

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Today in History: Gershwin Plays Rhapsody in Blue 

February 12, 1924 marks the debut of Rhapsody in Blue, played masterfully by the composer and pianist George Gershwin, largely known for his work on Broadway songs. With a packed audience at Aeolian Hall in New York City, Gershwin performed his brand new piece as part of an educational event called "Experiment in Modern Music" …

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Today in History: First Free Flight 

You might have noticed that the Everett Cafe has been featuring news displays about space travel since the launch of the Mars Mission, An Out-of-This-World Introduction to the Smith Learning Theater? We have SputnikApollo 8; and, today in history, First Free Flight -- events commemorating major American scientific achievements, with educational applications. Did you know that Navy …

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Today in History: Gandhi Is Assassinated 

Known as the "Father of the Nation", Mahatma Gandhi, the political and spiritual leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule, was shot three times at 5:17pm on January 30, 1948 at point blank range by Hindu extremist, Nathuram Vinayak Godse, during evening prayer at Birla House in Delhi. A world leader and human …

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Today in History: Roe v Wade 

On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court passed a landmark ruling in the case of Roe versus Wade that recognized a woman’s right to make her own personal medical decisions — including the decision to have an abortion without political interference. The court held that a set of Texas statutes criminalizing abortion in most instances …

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Today in History: Prohibition Becomes Law 

Ratified on January 16, 1919, the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, prohibited the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors for beverage purposes”. This law was influenced by the Temperance Movement, which began in the early 19th century -- a movement that started with the conservative use of alcohol but led to the campaign …

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Today in History: No Child Left Behind 

Highly controversial and consequential it proved over its lifetime, No Child Left Behind was signed into law by President George W. Bush on January 8, 2002. This landmark legislation was co-authored by Representatives John Boehner (R-OH), George Miller (D-CA), and Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Judd Gregg (R-NH), supporting standards-based education reform, where high standards and measurable …

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Today in History: The Euro Debuts 

Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, a decentralized, worldwide payment system, has been topping the news, but looking a little further back to milestones in economic and political history.... did you know that on January 4, 1999 the euro debuted as the new financial unit of eleven European nations (Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, …

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Today in History: Apollo 8 Launches to the Moon 

This Fall the Gottesman Libraries took Teachers College members to Mars via the exciting launch of The Smith Learning Theater, the newly renovated fourth floor, whose funding was made possible by the generous gift of Camilla and George Smith. An immersive 70 minute experience, the Mars Mission introduced dynamic, highly collaborative learning and problem solving, with engaging connections to space, design, and …

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Today in History: The 10th Amendment Is Ratified 

December 15, 1791 marks the day when the Bill of Rights became law, for Virginia became the last state to ratify and make the first ten amendments part of the U.S. Constitution. The 10th amendment, in particular, stipulated, "Rights not given to the federal government or prohibited the state governments by the Constitution, are reserved …

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Today in History: The Great Smog 

On December 4, 1952, a high pressure mass descended on Thames River Valley, causing residents to burn extra fuel to offset sudden cold temperatures. Air pollution, namely smoke, soot, and carbon dioxide from industries, cars,and consumers, then caused extremely heavy smog to spread over hundreds of miles. Within a few days, it was so thick …

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Today in History: Education for All Handicapped Children’s Act 

The Education for All Handicapped Children's Act was signed into law by President Gerald Ford on November 30, 1975. This important legislation required all public schools accepting federal funds to provide equal access to education and one free meal a day for children with physical and mental disabilities. In addition public schools were required to …

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