Posts Tagged ‘anniversaries’
“National parks are America’s largest classrooms.”–National Park Service
A visit to a national park, actual or virtual, is a valuable learning experience. The state of Utah offers abundant learning opportunities as home to five national parks: Arches, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef. This week marks the 45th anniversary of Capitol Reef being established as a national park. On Aug. 2, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Capitol Reef a national monument. President Richard M. Nixon signed legislation establishing Capitol Reef as a national park on Dec. 18, 1971. I would like to commemorate Capitol Reef’s anniversary by sharing some interesting facts about this beautiful park.
Capitol Reef National Park is a hidden treasure located in south-central Utah. Capitol Reef received its name because early settlers observed that the white domes of Navajo Sandstone resembled the dome of the U.S. Capitol building. Prospectors in the area called Waterpocket Fold, a ridge in the earth’s crust, a reef because it was a difficult barrier to transportation. The park encompasses 241,904 acres. It is the state’s newest and least-visited national park, attracting almost 750,000 visitors every year.
I recently got to explore this often overlooked park, and I can tell you that if you take the time to visit this wondrous place, you won’t be disappointed. The park contains colorful canyons, red sandstone cliffs, ancient Fremont petroglyphs, diverse wildlife, the historic Fruita orchards, and amazing geological features. Capitol Reef National Park is defined by the Waterpocket Fold. The classic monocline extends for nearly 100 miles. The majestic park’s prominent landmarks include Cassidy Arch, Chimney Rock, Hickman Bridge, Temple of the Sun, Temple of the Moon, and my personal favorite, the Castle.
I was impressed by Capitol Reef’s geologic features, but I was equally impressed with the park’s unique history. People have lived in the area of Capitol Reef for thousands of years. The earliest inhabitants of the Capitol Reef area were archaic hunters and gatherers, the Fremont people, and Mormon pioneers who settled in the area that is now known as the Fruita Rural Historic District.
As much as I enjoyed learning about the park’s history and seeing the spectacular scenery, because I am an animal lover, the highlight of my visit was spotting mule deer. Capitol Reef is home to 71 mammal species, 239 bird species, 15 reptiles, 13 native fish species, and 5 amphibians.
I am so grateful that 45 years ago, Capitol Reef was reclassified as a national park. Since there are so many gorgeous destinations to visit in Utah, I have a feeling that if Capitol Reef had remained a monument, there is a chance I would have missed out on this remarkable place.
Ten years ago this month, Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. Nearly 93,000 square miles were impacted by Katrina. 138 counties and parishes were affected by the storm. New Orleans, Louisiana, Gulfport, Mississippi, and Mobile, Alabama were among the devastated cities that bore the brunt of Katrina’s destruction. The 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is a great opportunity for educators to help students learn about one of the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States.
To commemorate the anniversary, here are 10 facts about Hurricane Katrina:
1. Hurricane Katrina struck Florida first.
On August 23, 2005, a tropical depression developed in the Bahamas. The tropical depression intensified into Tropical Storm Katrina the next day. On August 25th, Katrina made landfall in South Florida between North Miami Beach and Hallandale Beach as a Category 1 hurricane, with wind speeds of approximately 80 mph.
2. Hurricane Katrina became a Category 5 storm on August 28, 2005.
After crossing over Florida, Katrina moved into the Gulf of Mexico and strengthened into a Category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of approximately 175 mph.
3. The first-ever mandatory evacuation for New Orleans was issued on August 28, 2005.
The day before Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin ordered the first-ever mandatory evacuation of the city. It is estimated that about 80% of the city’s residents evacuated. Residents who lacked transportation were urged to go to the Superdome, a domed sports venue and home of the New Orleans Saints. The stadium was to be used as a “shelter of last resort” for people unable to evacuate the city. Approximately 26,000 people sought refuge in the Superdome. Unfortunately, the stadium, which became synonymous with the misery of Hurricane Katrina, was undersupplied and understaffed–demonstrating how woefully unprepared local, state, and federal government officials were for the catastrophic event.
4. Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005.
On Monday, August 29, 2005, Katrina made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane near Buras, Louisiana, with winds estimated at 125 mph. Katrina continued northward and made its final landfall as a Category 3 hurricane near the Louisiana/Mississippi border with winds estimated at 120 mph.
5. Approximately 80% of New Orleans was underwater.
Much of the damage and devastation from Hurricane Katrina was due to the storm surge. Hurricane Katrina’s storm surge overwhelmed the levee system built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to protect the city from flooding. The flooding was so extensive in low-lying areas like the Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish that people climbed to rooftops for safety.
6. Hurricane Katrina was the costliest and the third deadliest hurricane in U.S. history.
The storm caused an estimated $108 billion in damage and resulted in 1,833 fatalities, according to CNN. The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency has described Hurricane Katrina as the “single most catastrophic natural disaster in U.S. history.”
7. Hurricane Katrina displaced more than one million people in the Gulf Coast region.
Hurricane evacuee shelters accommodated 273,000 people at their peak. FEMA trailers were used to house approximately 114,000 households. Up to 600,000 households remained displaced a month after the storm.
8. New Orleans lost more than half of its population.
The population of New Orleans decreased from 484,674 in April 2000 to approximately 230,172 in July 2006, almost a year after Hurricane Katrina. By 2013, the city’s population was at 78% of what it was before Katrina in 2000.
9. Hurricane Katrina damaged over one million housing units across the Gulf Coast.
Approximately half of the damaged housing units were in Louisiana. 134,000 housing units in New Orleans were damaged as a result of Hurricane Katrina and the ensuing flooding.
10. Post-Katrina, the federal government has spent $120.5 billion on the Gulf Coast region.
$75 billion of that money was used for emergency relief operations.
To learn more about Hurricane Katrina, explore this month’s SKS Spotlight of the Month. For more information on Hurricane Katrina, check out these related resources available through ProQuest eLibrary and ProQuest SIRS WebSelect.
“To all who come to this happy place: Welcome! Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past, and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future. Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams and the hard facts that have created America…with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world.”—Walt Disney, July 17, 1955
If you’re a huge Disney fan like me, then you probably already know that Disneyland is celebrating its 60th anniversary. I visited Disneyland for the first time this year and was captivated by Walt Disney’s original theme park. Disneyland has a certain nostalgic charm that in my opinion makes it the most magical of all the Disney theme parks in the United States. In honor of Disneyland’s 60th anniversary, I want to share some fun facts about the beloved park’s history and changes over the years, as well as its anniversary celebration.
Walt Disney transformed 160 acres of orange groves into Disneyland. He opened the $17 million amusement park in Anaheim, California on Sunday, July 17, 1955, to the media and invitees only. The grand opening was broadcast live on ABC and hosted by Bob Cummings, Art Linkletter, and Ronald Reagan. 6,000 guests were invited to Disneyland’s “International Press Preview” event, but thousands of additional guests showed up with counterfeit tickets. Total attendance for the day was 28,000. Attractions were unfinished, rides broke down, lines were long, and food and beverages ran out. Walt Disney referred to Disneyland’s opening day as “Black Sunday.” The park opened to the public on Monday, July 18, 1955. Over 700 million guests have visited Disneyland since it opened its doors.
In 1955, Disneyland charged an entrance fee of $1.00. Tickets for rides and attractions were sold separately. Tickets for individual rides cost 10 to 35 cents. Ticket books containing eight “A” through “C” ride tickets were also sold. Attractions were designated “A,” “B,” or “C” based on their level of popularity and the lettered tickets corresponded to the attractions. “C” tickets were required for the best rides. Disneyland’s admission price is now $99.00 for one day and that entitles guests to unlimited use of all rides and attractions.
“The Happiest Place on Earth” has grown into a world-class tourist destination. The Disneyland Resort has expanded to approximately 500 acres. It now includes two theme parks, the iconic Disneyland Park and its sister park Disney California Adventure Park, three hotels, and the Downtown Disney District.
The year-long Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration began on May 22, 2015 and features three new nighttime spectaculars. Disneyland Park unveiled the new “Paint the Night” electrical parade and the new “Disneyland Forever” fireworks show. A new version of the popular and elaborate “World of Color” water and light show called “World of Color—Celebrate! The Wonderful World of Walt Disney” debuted at Disney California Adventure Park. Disneyland is also marking the 60th anniversary with decorations, special snacks, and new souvenirs. Walt Disney said, “Disneyland will never be complete as long as there is imagination left in the world.” 60 years later, his words still ring true.
To learn more about Disneyland, explore these resources available in ProQuest eLibrary.
Today marks exactly one year since we lost Maya Angelou on May 28, 2014. Her literary and educational contributions go beyond books and wisdom. She was an activist, actress, composer, dancer, director, editor, essayist, playwright, poet, singer, storyteller and writer. In the 86 years she spent on Earth sharing her art, voice and many gifts, it is her strength and poise we will remember most. To honor the full life she led, I thought it would be befitting to list 10 facts you may not know about Maya Angelou and reflect on the woman who published more than just poetry. She imprinted our hearts with empathy and adoration so that we always seek to understand instead of to judge.
Maya Angelou loved country music.
She was born Marguerite Annie Johnson.
Maya Angelou received over 30 honorary doctorates from universities spanning the world during her life, but never attended college.
Aside from being a poet, she was a calypso singer and dancer. She also immersed herself in other artistic areas including acting, directing, editing, and playwriting.
April 4, 1928 was Maya Angelou’s birthday and April 4, 1968 was the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. She didn’t celebrate her own birthday for years after his death because of the shared date.
She mastered French, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, Fanti and English of course.
In 1993, Maya Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” during Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration and was the first black female poet to do so.
Though Maya Angelou had one son, she thought of Oprah Winfrey as the daughter she never had.
NASA sent Maya Angelou’s poem “A Brave and Startling Truth” into space aboard the Orion spacecraft in December 2014.
Maya Angelou was a strong supporter of civil rights and marriage equality.
The 1960s were successful years for NASA and space exploration in general. With the exciting notion of sending humans into the vast unknown and sharing live broadcasts via television, space became a wondrous and tangible reality. Americans welcomed space travel and the endless possibilities, but Americans were not the only ones interested in leading the “Space Race.” On March 18, 1965, Russian cosmonaut Alexei Leonov did something groundbreaking. He became the first person ever to spacewalk. This milestone paved the way for others to exit their capsules once in space and roam without the confines of a spacecraft. Kathryn Sullivan, the first woman to walk in space, likened spacewalking to swimming. Underwater training thus proved helpful to astronauts before traveling to space. During the height of the space program, astronauts achieved many feats with Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon being a major accomplishment. Nonetheless, spacewalking opened the door 50 years ago and transformed the way space is explored.
Take some time this month to appreciate the 50th anniversary of the first spacewalk with a lesson centered on space exploration. ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher has got you covered with three main Leading Issues on Space Exploration & Travel, Space Missions and Space Vehicles. With SIRS Leading Issues, you can rest assured that important features including Topic Overviews and Essential Questions, Terms to Know and the accompanying Critical Thinking & Analysis questions are all editorially crafted to your needs as well as your students. Our Common Core guide for Understanding Primary Sources would also be a helpful supplement to any lesson, especially one focused on space.
How will you explore space? Let us know in the comments below or Tweet us at #ProQuest.
On this day in 1911, Tennessee Williams (born Thomas Lanier Williams III), one of America’s preeminent playwrights, was born. Best known for his Broadway hits The Glass Menagerie and A Streetcar Named Desire, Williams once said: “I have only one major theme for my work, which is the destructive impact of society on the non-conformist individual.” This theme, many critics have noted, emerged from Williams’s own childhood, which was marked by tragedy and family dysfunction.
His mother, a fading Southern belle, was an overbearing parent trapped in an unhappy marriage. His father, a violently alcoholic traveling shoe salesman who was rarely home, denigrated Williams for being too effeminate. Williams, who eventually lived as an openly gay man, was raised Episcopalian (his grandfather was a minister) and struggled with his sexuality throughout his youth. His sister Rose, who suffered from mental illness, was subjected to a botched lobotomy as an adult, and Williams felt guilty for not protecting her more. All of this added up to a painful, difficult life, but it provided Williams with the material that would inspire his greatest works, most notably The Glass Menagerie.
Williams’s plays, typically set in the deep U.S. south, never shy away from tough topics, such as sex, violence, mental illness and addiction. But it is Williams’s empathy for his characters that make his plays truly compelling. To learn more about the life of this great American playwright and how it informed his plays, visit the Literary Corner in SIRS Renaissance.
On this day in 1845, Edgar Allan Poe’s narrative poem, “The Raven,” was published in the New York Evening Mirror. Although the poem earned him a mere nine dollars upon its publication, it immediately captured readers’ imaginations and made Poe a household name. More than a century and a half later, our continued fascination with Poe and his mythical bird are evident throughout popular culture. What other poem can be said to have inspired an NFL football team (the Baltimore Ravens), a rock album (Lou Reed’s “The Raven”), a Hollywood film (“The Raven,” starring John Cusack as Poe) and an episode of “The Simpsons” (“Treehouse of Horror”)? Even those who’ve never read the poem are likely to recognize its most famous line: Quoth the raven, “Nevermore.”
Poe considered the death of a beautiful woman the “most poetical topic in the world,” and he believed that bereaved lovers made great narrators. Thus “The Raven” follows an unnamed narrator who is beset with grief over the death of his beloved Lenore. Late one dreary December night while reading a book in an effort to distract himself from his sorrow, the narrator is visited by a mysterious guest—the raven, who answers the narrator’s every inquiry with a single, maddening word: Nevermore. The poem’s supernatural atmosphere and gothic setting give “The Raven” its spooky appeal. But the narrator’s mental anguish gives the poem its emotional power. By the end of the poem, the bereaved narrator, so distraught at the prospect of never seeing his love again, has lost his sanity. If you’ve never gotten around to reading this most famous of American poems, give it a shot! Find out why “The Raven” continues to haunt and enthrall readers. After you’ve read it, visit the Literary Corner in SIRS Renaissance to learn more about the poem and its legendary author.