Category Archives: HISTORICAL

Washington Monument

Written on February 20, 2018 at 11:51 am, by

The Washington Monument was formally dedicated in Washington, D.C. on February 21, 1885. The monument was first proposed by the Continental Congress in 1783 to honor George Washington, hero of the American Revolution. After Washington became the nation’s first President, he cancelled the plans for the memorial because he did not believe scarce federal funds […]

Washington’s Birthday

Written on February 13, 2018 at 10:01 am, by

After the death of President George Washington in 1799, his birthday of February 22 became a perennial day of remembrance. Washington’s birthday remained an unofficial observance until 1879, when President Rutherford B. Hayes signed a law making February 22 a federal holiday. At the time the law only applied to the District of Columbia, but […]

Dawes Act

Written on February 6, 2018 at 10:41 am, by

On February 8, 1887, President Grover Cleveland signed into law the Dawes Severalty Act, also known as the Dawes General Allotment Act, named for its chief author, Senator Henry Dawes of Massachusetts. The law ended the Native American tribal control of reservations and divided their land into individual holdings. The Dawes Act gave the President […]

Supreme Court

Written on January 30, 2018 at 1:39 pm, by

The first session of the United States Supreme Court met on February 1, 1790. The Court met in the Royal Exchange Building on Broad Street in New York City, with Chief Justice John Jay presiding. Article Three of the Constitution established the Supreme Court but left it to Congress to spell out the details with […]

California Gold Rush

Written on January 23, 2018 at 10:58 am, by

A discovery on January 24, 1848 forever changed the course of history in the American West. On that day, a millwright named James Marshall discovered gold along the banks of Sutter’s Creek in California. Marshall was employed by California pioneer, Captain John A. Sutter, to build a saw mill along the South Fork of the […]

Louisiana Purchase

Written on January 16, 2018 at 2:30 pm, by

Even before the Louisiana Purchase was completed in May, 1803, President Thomas Jefferson was curious about the region west of the Mississippi River. On January 18, 1803, Jefferson sent a secret message to Congress requesting $2,500 to fund an expedition to the Pacific. Jefferson hoped the expedition would find a water route linking the Columbia […]

Common Sense

Written on January 9, 2018 at 12:07 pm, by

During the winter of 1775-1776 more and more Americans came to believe that cutting all ties with Great Britain was the wisest course of action. A small pamphlet called Common Sense sparked enthusiasm for independence. The author was Thomas Paine, an English tradesman who had been in America for only a year. Common Sense challenged […]

Washburn Flour

Written on January 2, 2018 at 2:04 pm, by

The Minneapolis Milling Company was incorporated in 1856. It was founded by Illinois Congressman Robert Smith, who leased power rights to mills operating along the west side of Saint Anthony Falls along the Mississippi River, near Minneapolis, Minnesota. Shortly after the company was founded, it was acquired by Cadwallader C. Washburn. He hired his brother, […]

Colonial Christmas

Written on December 19, 2017 at 11:27 am, by

A colonial American Christmas was very different from today’s commercialized holiday. In 1607, the surviving settlers at Jamestown, Virginia huddled together to observe Christmas Day with an Anglican worship service. The attitude of colonial Americans toward Christmas depended largely on their religious affiliation or country of birth. The Puritans attempted to ignore a Christmas celebration […]

Tea Time

Written on December 12, 2017 at 11:26 am, by

The American colonists in the late 1700s certainly loved their cup of tea. Estimates indicate that colonial tea-drinkers consumed more than a million pounds of tea each year. The tax on tea imported from England was continued after other taxes levied by the Townshend Act were repealed in 1770. The colonists believed Britain was unfairly […]