In the News

Jane Kamensky Wins Historical Society Book Prize

March 14, 2017 — In today’s issue of The New York Times, reporter Jennifer Schuessler writes:

Jane Kamensky, a professor at Harvard University, will take on the unofficial title “American historian laureate” in April when the New-York Historical Society presents her with its annual book prize in American history, for “A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley.”

The book, published by W. W. Norton, used Copley — who is celebrated for his portraits of Paul Revere and other Revolutionary War-era patriots, despite the fact that he was a loyalist who spent the war years in London — as a window onto the complexities of Revolution-era America. Virginia DeJohn Anderson, writing in The New York Times Book Review in December, praised the book’s vivid depiction of a man who “remained conflicted to the end.”

The prize, which was recently renamed in honor of the philanthropists Barbara and David Zalaznick, carries a $50,000 cash award and an engraved medal, as well the unofficial laureate title. (The historical society is a private organization.) Past winners include Eric Foner, Drew Gilpin Faust, Gordon S. Wood and Jill Lepore.

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C-SPAN survey of 91 presidential historians ranks Barack Obama 12th best U.S. president in survey of historians — but Lincoln still holds the top spot

Time magazine, Feb. 17, 2017 — In today’s issue of Time, reporter David Von Drehle writes: “Barack Obama has been whisked to a very good table at the club of former presidents, according to a C-SPAN survey of 91 presidential historians. Obama’s 12th-place ranking only a month after leaving office is the best for any president since Ronald Reagan, who ranks ninth in the new survey. The list updates previous C-SPAN surveys compiled in 2009 and 2000.”

Von Drehle notes that history’s view of the best and worst presidents was unchanged since 2009, for the top spot once again went to Abraham Lincoln.

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Seven Books Named as Finalists for the 2017 George Washington Prize

February 16, 2017, Chestertown, MD — In celebration of George Washington’s 285th birthday, seven books published in 2016 by the country’s most prominent historians have been named finalists for the George Washington Prize. The annual award recognizes the past year’s best-written works on the nation’s founding era, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of early American history.

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Abraham Lincoln Birthday: 13 Interesting Facts About The President Who Was Also A Prolific Wrestler

February 12, 2017, International Business Times

Reporter  celebrates Abraham Lincoln’s birthday today as he reports: Abraham Lincoln was born 208 years ago today. A president who changed the United States forever, leading the country through the Civil War, he remains revered in the minds of Americans.

The 16th president, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared all slaves should be free. He was assassinated April 15, 1865 soon after the war ended, but Lincoln’s legacy has lived on. And while he is certainly one of the most well-known presidents, Lincoln led a fascinating life full of interesting twists and turns that many might not know.

Don’t miss 13 interesting facts about Lincoln.

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The Washington Post: “Trump’s gaffe on Frederick Douglass isn’t the problem. Relegating him to Black History Month is.”

February 6, 2017 — In today’s edition of The Washington Post, reporter Petula Dvorak writes:

All weekend, he flipped the pages of the reservations book to show how full it was and apologized to the folks trying to get into Cedar Hill, the Washington home of Frederick Douglass.

“Sorry, we’re really booked. Black History Month, you know? It books up fast,” the National Park Service volunteer kept saying over and over to the folks who flocked to one of the hottest places in town.

Douglass is on fire. Selling out the place. Really getting noticed. His ratings are through the roof.

Thanks, Trump.

Click here to read the entire article.

What were Benjamin Franklin’s Four Steps to Becoming a Great Writer?

January 18, 2017 — In today’s issue of intellectualtakeout.org, reporter Annie Holmqvist writes:

If Twitter or Facebook had existed during the colonial period, Benjamin Franklin likely would have been one of its wittiest contributors, as evidenced by his pithy words of wisdom in Poor Richard’s Almanac.

But Franklin wrote far more than witty slogans. In fact, his personal correspondence, policy proposals, and other writings take up a full 37 volumes in the online collection, The Papers of Benjamin Franklin.

So how did Franklin get to be such a prolific, proficient, and admirable author?

The answer is simple: He taught himself.

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Charles Willson Peale is in the News: “Our country’s first spin doctors: The painters of the American Revolution,” writes The Washington Post

The Washington Post, October 18, 2016 — In today’s issue of The Washington Post, reporter Michael Unchurch reviewed a new book featuring Revolutionary era artist Charles Willson Peale, among others.

Entitled “Of Arms and Artists,” the tome is by art historian Paul Staiti — an Alumnae Foundation Professor of Fine Arts at Mount Holyoke College, and the author of books and essays on John Singleton Copley, Gilbert Stuart, Samuel F. B. Morse, William Michael Harnett, and Winslow Homer. In 2009 he was honored with Mount Holyoke’s Distinguished Teacher award.

About the book, Unchurch writes: “Of Arms and Artists” brings those turbulent negotiations to volatile life, while delivering unexpected ironies as art historian Paul Staiti uncovers the stories of Trumbull and his fellow artists Charles Willson Peale, John Singleton Copley, Benjamin West and Gilbert Stuart.

Staiti addresses the wartime activities — or lack thereof — of artists who found themselves either on the battlefield or in awkward exile in London with their allegiances disguised or undeclared. And he drives home the point that the most talented iconmaker, Stuart, was as apolitical as they come. 

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David Bruce Smith’s Grateful American™ Foundation Launches New Video on Charles Willson Peale Starring Kids

Washington, DC, December 1, 2016 — Today, David Bruce Smith’s Grateful American™ Foundation released the newest video starring students, with the goal of having kids teach kids about American history.

“This video puts a spotlight on the life of Revolutionary Era painter Charles Willson Peale,” says Smith, who founded the Foundation in 2013 and GratefulAmericanKids.com in July. “Fourth graders from the Richmond, VA, school Sabot at Stony Point acted out the script written by our team, and Richmond-based re-enactor Chris Dunn took the lead as Peale. The video was shot at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which has several paintings by Peale and his son, Rembrandt, and Peale’s teacher, Benjamin West. Our editors had fun making the video come to life.”

Be sure to check out the new video at GratefulAmericanTV.com, then scroll down to take our History Challenge! 

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IntellectualTakeout Reports: What’s Wrong with Civics Education Today?

pledgeallegiance2October 20, 2016, Intellectual Takeout — “With Civics 101 unfolding before our eyes with the election, Education Secretary John King hit the campaign trail to advocate for more civics education in schools,” explains reporter Annie Holmqvist in today’s edition of Intellectual Takeout.

“His idea is a good one, particularly since only 1 in 4 high school seniors are proficient in that area,” Holmqvist believes, adding: “According to King, teachers should do more than simply teach the facts of civics education. They should also teach students to take those facts into society, apply them to current situations, and then advocate for liberty and justice for those around them.”

Consider this Washington Post report.

Click here to read more of Holmqvist’s article.

Image by: CherryPoint bit.ly/1iowB8m

In the News: Nation’s Report Card suggests “Americans are Embracing Bad Government Because They Don’t Know History”

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-8-17-03-amOctober 19, 2016, Intellectual Takeout — “Americans are Embracing Bad Government Because They Don’t Know History,” writes reporter Annie Holmqvist in today’s edition of IntellectualTakeout.org.

“Recent news has proudly informed us that U.S. graduation rates are rising. Unfortunately, rising grad rates don’t tell the whole story,” Holmqvist explains.

“If one truly wants to know how American students are doing in school, a look at the Nation’s Report Card might offer a better picture. Those numbers tell us that not even half of America’s high school seniors are proficient in any subject. The area they rank the worst in? U.S. History.”

Click here to read more. 

 

Beyond The Book: 10 Takes on Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan

October 19, 2016 — “Wait. Who just snagged literature’s highest honor?” asked the Washington Independent Review of Books today.

“The selection of legendary folk singer/songwriter Bob Dylan as this year’s Nobel Laureate in Literature inspired as many raised eyebrows as it did high-fives,” the editors explain.

In this article, writers and lit lovers weigh in on the unconventional choice.

David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American Book Prize and the Grateful American™ Foundation, said: “Bob Dylan’s winning of the Nobel Prize is great news. It opens up possibilities for other, more innovative/less staid forms of literature.”

Click here to read what other notable authors think.

Alexander Hamilton Is in the News

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 2.06.19 PMNewsweek: “‘HAMILTON,’ THE BIGGEST THING ON BROADWAY, IS BEING TAUGHT IN CLASSROOMS ALL OVER.”

Reporter Zach Schonfeld writes: “‘Hamilton’ is the Broadway success story of the year — maybe the decade. And it’s about to become the hottest item on your 11th grader’s US history syllabus. In classrooms from New York City, where the show packs the Richard Rodgers Theatre nightly, to the West Coast, ‘Hamilton’ is making educators rethink how they teach early US political history — and making students rethink how much they care.”

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In the News: Only 1 in 4 Can Name All 3 Branches of U.S. Government

screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-11-12-19-amSeptember 17, 2016, Annenberg Center for Public Policy — “Only a quarter of Americans can name all three branches of government, the poorest showing on that question in a half-dozen years,” according to a new survey on civic knowledge by the Annenberg Center for Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. “And nearly a third of Americans cannot name any of the three branches of government. “Americans’ lack of knowledge about their government isn’t limited to civics.”

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How did Ben Franklin steal the lightning? Children’s book author and illustrator Roz Schanzer explains

350 Dust jacket Ben 033“Ben Franklin was the most famous American in the entire world during colonial times,” explains children’s book author and illustrator Roz Schanzer in this enchanting book about one of the nation’s most inventive Founding Fathers.

“No wonder!” she adds in this book for kids ages 6-12. “After all, the man could do just about anything. Why, he was an author and an athlete and a patriot and a scientist and an inventor to boot. He even found a way to steal the lightning right out of the sky. Is such a thing possible? It is!”

Be sure to take a look at this insightful book where you’ll find Ben busy at work on every spread. Then find out how he used his discovery about lightning to make people’s lives safer.

In an inventive way, Rosalyn Schanzer brings us a brilliant and ever-curious American original.

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National Trust for Historic Preservation: “Where” Tells Your Story: A Hamilton Tour, Act One

Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 8.04.26 PMFebruary 15, 2016 — The Broadway hit “Hamilton” continues to inspire and educate audiences, as explained in today’s edition of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Reporter Sarah Heffern writes: “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?” may be the final line of the hit musical “Hamilton,” but preservationists know that sometimes who tells your story isn’t, in fact, a who, but a where.

It will come as no great shock when I say there are a lot of self-described history nerds working at the National Trust for Historic Preservation—but that there are also a substantial number of musical theater enthusiasts might be more of a surprise.

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Washington College Announces Seven Finalists for 2016 George Washington Prize

21186_bkprizemedalFebruary 11, 2016, Chestertown, MD —  Washington College has announced seven finalists for the prestigious George Washington Prize. The annual award recognizes the past year’s best written works on the nation’s founding era, especially those that have the potential to advance broad public understanding of early American history.

Created in 2005 by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and Washington College, the $50,000 George Washington Prize is one of the nation’s largest and most notable literary awards. Past recipients have included Pulitzer Prize-wining historian Annette Gordon-Reed and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda.

This year’s finalists represent both the depth of new scholarship and the broad expanse of inquiry into the diversity of people and the political, geographic, economic, and social forces that shaped the American Revolution and the early republic. The books, written to engage a wide public audience, provide a “go-to” reading list for anyone interested in learning more about George Washington and his times.

With superb narrative skill, the authors immerse readers into domestic life at Mount Vernon, a bloody battle on the banks of the Monongahela River, bustling multi-ethnic settlements along the Gulf Coast, onboard ships with revolutionaries crisscrossing the Atlantic world, a depleted encampment at Valley Forge, a contentious convention in Philadelphia in 1787, and the Weehawken dueling grounds at dawn. These were places where well and little known stories of our nation’s past unfolded, revolutionary leaders were forged, and the ideas of liberty, democracy, and republicanism were tested.

The 2016 George Washington Prize finalists are … 

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“Let’s Talk Live”: David Bruce Smith and Cassandra Good help us get to know James Monroe

James_Monroe-ABDec. 9, 2015 — A history lesson about President James Monroe was featured on today’s episode of News Channel 8’s “Let’s Talk Live” when host Kidd O’Shea interviewed Grateful American Foundation founder David Bruce Smith and Cassandra Good, the associate editor of the Papers of James Monroe at the University of Mary Washington.

O’Shea explained: “The last president who is considered a Founding Father is James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States (from 1817-1825). His image is depicted in many famous paintings from the Revolutionary War era — including the iconic image by German American artist Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze of George Washington crossing the Delaware. In fact, he said, Monroe was part of so many key activities in early America — he played significant roles in the American Revolution, the Continental Congress, the Louisiana Purchase, the War of 1812, and the Missouri Compromise — that historian Cassandra Good and others consider him “the Forrest Gump of the Revolutionary era.”

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“Let’s Talk Live:” Grateful American™ Foundation and the VMFA = Connecting American History + Art History

lets_talk_live_logoNov. 11, 2015— On today’s episode of News Channel 8’s “Let’s Talk Live,” reporter Kidd O’Shea helped viewers make the connection between American history and art history when he interviewed David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American™ Foundation — and Alex Nyerges, director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Kidd said: In January 1936, in the midst of the Great Depression, Virginia’s political and business leaders bravely demonstrated their faith in the future and their belief in the value of art by opening the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. This beautiful renovation houses the museum’s permanent collection, which currently has 33,000 works of art from almost every major world culture.

So we are thrilled to be here today with the museum’s director, who will share with us the link between art history and American history. And, of course David Bruce Smith, will share insights from his perspective of  helping to restore enthusiasm in American history for kids — and adults.

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Grateful American™ Book Prize names new panel of judges for 2016

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WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 3 — The co-founders of the Grateful American Book Prize — Dr. Bruce Cole, the former chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and author/publisher David Bruce Smith — today announced the appointment of three new judges for the 2016 Prize.

The new judges are:

  • Dr. Peter S. Carmichael, Robert C. Fluhrer Professor of Civil War Studies & Director of the Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College,
  • John Gray, the Elizabeth MacMillan Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and
  • Neme Alperstein, a teacher of Gifted and Talented students in the New York City Public School system since 1987.

The panel will begin accepting author/publisher submissions on January 1, 2016. The forms can be downloaded from the Great American Book Prize web site historybookprize.com. The deadline for submissions is July 31, 2016.

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Let’s Talk Live: Grateful American™ Foundation Shines a Light on National History Day

lets_talk_live_logoOctober 27, 2015 — Awards were presented for the 41st annual National History Day Contest in June at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. More than 600,000 students from around the world competed in five categories: documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances, and websites.

Why did nearly 3,000 middle and high school students present their work related to the 2015 theme, Leadership and Legacy in History? What inspires a passion in history in the contestants from 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and international schools in Central America, China, Korea, and South Asia?

That’s what Let’s Talk Live host Kidd O’Shea asked Cathy Gorn, director of National History Day — and David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American™ Foundation.

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Teachers engage students in history lessons with the use of historical novels and biographies

51Q7h+-qK8L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_WASHINGTON, Oct. 8, 2015 — Teachers are using historical fiction and nonfiction to enhance their classroom lessons.  “It illuminates time periods, helps me integrate the curriculum, and enriches social studies,” according to one teacher who has embraced the use of appropriate non-textbook reading materials to engage young learners.

The teacher’s comments were posted on the Web site of the Scholastic publishing company.  “I have students balance fiction with fact, validate historical hypotheses with research.  Historical fiction is the spice.”

David Bruce Smith, co-founder of the Grateful American Book Prize, says the teacher’s remarks underscore the purpose of the Prize, the first of which will be awarded to author Kathy Cannon Wiechman for her book, Like A River: A Civil War Novel, at a ceremony on October 22nd at President Lincoln’s Cottage in D.C.

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Grateful American™ Book Prize will be awarded to author Kathy Cannon Wiechman for “Like a River: A Civil War Novel”

Childrens-Fiction-Author-Kathy-Cannon-WiechmanWASHINGTON, DC, Sep 24, 2015 — “Like a River: A Civil War Novel,” a work of historical fiction by Kathy Cannon Wiechman, has been selected to receive the 2015 Grateful American Book Prize, it was announced here today.

David Bruce Smith, co-founder of the Prize, said that the Civil War novel was chosen by the award’s panel of judges because “it is an exemplar of what the Prize is all about — to encourage authors and publishers to produce fiction and nonfiction that accurately depict the past as a means of engaging young readers in American history. “Like a River” is a page-turner about the plights of a pair of teens — on the battlefield — caught up in the conflict between the states.  To call it riveting is a disservice.  The book rouses the emotions of its readers in a way that leaves them wanting to learn more about that critical era in the evolution of the country.  It goes beyond the dry retelling of the Civil War that often puts students to sleep at their desks during history class.”

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David Bruce Smith Featured on iHeart Radio

Pat RulloiHeart Radio host Pat Rullo has a passion for history. The author, radio show host, and health care / insurance industry expert knows that you have to understand the past to understand the future.

So Rullo asked David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American™ Foundation to take her back to the beginning of the creation of his organization, and share what he has learned.

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Let’s Talk Live: Why Did Jackie O Start the White House Historical Association?

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 1.12.46 PMSeptember 2, 2015 — The White House Historical Association was founded in 1961 through the efforts of First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy. This private, non-profit organization has a big mission — to enhance the public’s understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of the White House.

Working with the National Park Service, the Curator of the White House, and the First Family — the WHHA is charged with the care and conservation of the historic staterooms of the White House.

On the Sept. 2, 2015 episode of Let’s Talk Live, host Julie Wright interviewed historian William Bushong, the chief White House historian and VP of the WHHA — and David Bruce Smith, founder of the Grateful American™ Foundation.

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Movement seeks to engage students in history Kids tend to do a lot of yawning in history class; a good read can inspire them

220px-NatlAssessmentOfEduProgressWASHINGTON, DC, September 1, 2015 – A new movement to engage America’s students in the study of history is underway.  It’s led by a dedicated education advocate, David Bruce Smith, who admits that he and his team have a daunting task.

“Kids tend to do a lot of yawning in history class.  Just look at the findings of the Department of Education’s National Assessment of Educational Progress [NAEP].  Their newest study revealed that fewer than half of our twelfth-grade students have a basic proficiency in U.S. history.  Among fourth-graders, it’s less than a third,” said Smith, who is also an established author and publisher.

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Protests against ‘misleading’ history test revisions grow: History education advocate joins the academic protest

imagesWASHINGTON, DC, Aug 12 – The College Board, the company that sets the standards for college entry testing, has come under fire for a controversial new history exam framework that treats the subject as “a fungible description of America’s past.”

Teachers, professors, college presidents and other educators have voiced their objections by signing an open letter that severely criticizes the Board.  The letter states that the new “Advanced Placement Examination shortchanges students by imposing on them an arid, fragmentary, and misleading account of American history.”

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Monticello Launches New “Slavery at Monticello” App

app-handheldVisitors can now virtually meet the individuals who lived and worked on Mulberry Row and walk in their footsteps at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello thanks to “Slavery at Monticello: Life and Work on Mulberry Row,” a new app available for iOS and Android devices.

It introduces visitors to the individuals who lived and worked on Mulberry Row, once the industrial hub and “Main Street” of Thomas Jefferson’s 5,000-acre plantation.

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America’s ‘mathletes’ need a history lesson

DavidBruceSmith_photo_MtVernonWASHINGTON, DC, July 30, 2015 — The nation’s schools have been quick to adopt STEM focused education, “but the study of science, technology, engineering and math in a vacuum stymies innovation and invention.  It is the knowledge of history that puts America’s innovative and inventive spirit into context and encourages even greater achievements,” according to history advocate David Bruce Smith.

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Perfect Timing For Juneteenth Message of Freedom

JuneteenthhornsChesterton Spy, June 23, 2015 — Sweltering heat and threatening storms didn’t subdue the spirit of participants in the second Juneteenth celebration last Saturday, held in the field across from the Charles Sumner Post #25 on Queen Street.

Laced with conversations about the Charleston tragedy, the event, commemorating freedom from slavery, evoked an additional sense of poignancy. The 2015 Juneteenth celebration was sponsored by the Kent County Arts Council and co-hosted with Music in the Park.

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David Bruce Smith says it’s not surprising that Americans of all ages know little about the country’s history

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 2.23.58 PMWASHINGTON, DC, June 23, 2015 – David Bruce Smith, co-founder of the Grateful American Book Prize, says he is not surprised at how little adults know about the history of America.

In an interview with marketing editor Brian Feinblum, he said the problem is “multi-generational. Unfortunately, financial resources for education have been on the decline; teachers are often unqualified or uninterested in history–but told they must teach it–and big business has not absorbed the deficiencies–nor recognized that today’s students are their future employees.”

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Awards Announced for the Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 8.30.29 AMJune 18, 2015, Washington, D.C. — Today, awards were presented for the 41st annual National History Day Contest at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD. More than 600,000 students from around the world competed in five categories: documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances, and websites.

The top entries from 58 affiliate members were invited to the national contest held June 14th through 18th. Nearly 3,000 middle and high school students presented their work related to the 2015 theme, Leadership and Legacy in History. Contestants represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and international schools in Central America, China, Korea, and South Asia.

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The Grateful American Book Prize List of Good Summer Reads

WASHINGTON, DC, June 16, 2015 – The outdoor season is upon us.  The kids are on summer recess and top of mind for them is all the fun they will have engaging with friends and family in a boatload of activities.  Most likely their teachers gave them obligatory reading lists or sent notes home suggesting that parents help the children pick their own books.

There’s a lot to choose from but considering the history deficit of today’s schoolchildren, the founders of the Grateful American Book Prize are keen to suggest a few good reads that might go a long way toward reducing it.

“Ugh!  History books.  How boring.”  Not so says David Bruce Smith, co-founder of the Prize. “There are a wide variety of page-turners out there that tell fascinating, factual stories about America’s past.  They are not history texts; they are novels and biographies, many of which your kids will find hard to put down.  The thing about the genre is that whether they are non-fiction or fiction, they are good reads based on fact.  It’s the whole point of the Grateful American Book Prize to encourage authors to write such knowledgeable works in ways that make youngsters want to read them.”

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How Much U.S. History Do Americans Actually Know? Less Than You Think. The Smithsonian asks David Bruce Smith how we can fix this problem

May 28, 2015, Smithsonian — “Last year, PoliTech, a student group at Texas Tech University went around campus and asked three questions: “Who won the Civil War?”, “Who is our vice president?” and “Who did we gain our independence from?” Students’ answers ranged from “the South?” for the first question to “I have no idea” for all three of them. However, when asked about the show Snookie starred in (“Jersey Shore”) or Brad Pitt’s marriage history, they answered correctly.”

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Huffington Post Features the Grateful American™ Foundation

Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 10.50.31 AMMay 18, 2015, Huffington Post — In today’s Huffington Post, columnist Louise Mirrer offered “A Novel Solution to America’s History Deficit.”

The president of the New-York Historical Society wrote: The New-York Historical Society and its partners have created many programs to promote historical literacy among young readers and their families. Many of these programs are hosted on site at the Barbara K. Lipman Children’s History Library.

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Grateful American™ Book Prize Unveils Award Artwork

Washington DC, April 27, 2015 — The winner of the Grateful American™ Book Prize will receive a cash award and a first-of-its-kind work of art that was unveiled today — a medal created by one of America’s foremost contemporary artists, Clarice Smith.

The Prize is intended to be a singular honor, according to co-founder, author and publisher David Bruce Smith.

“It is the only book award that honors children’s books of fiction and nonfiction that portray the events and the people that shaped the history of the United States.  It also confers $13,000 in commemoration of the original 13 colonies.  And, it honors the creativity of the artist, whose acclaimed works have been widely exhibited in the United States and Europe.

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Let’s Talk Live: David Bruce Smith + John Gray of the Smithsonian’s American History Museum

April 29, 2015 — What grabs your interest in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History? Is it Dorothy’s ruby-red slippers, an actual 199-ton locomotive, Julia Child’s kitchen, or the first ladies’ gowns? John Gray presides over it all, and seeks even more ways to connect Americans with their history. On today’s episode of News Channel 8’s Let’s Talk Live, John is here today with David Bruce Smith, whose Grateful American Foundation is dedicated to restoring enthusiasm in American history for kids, and adults.

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Let’s Talk Live: David Bruce Smith + Historian Adam Goodheart Honor the 150th Anniversary of Lincoln’s Assassination

March 27, 2015 — When it comes to restoring enthusiasm in American history for kids, and adults, David Bruce Smith’s Grateful American Foundation is leading the way. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s assassination, Smith appeared on today’s episode of News Channel 8’s Let’s Talk Live with one of his advisors — historian and Civil War scholar Adam Goodheart, director of Washington College’s C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. Reporter Sonya Gavankar Smith and Goodheart the following:

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Grateful American™ Book Prize Attracts ‘Flood’ of Interest

small-grateful-american-book-prize-logoThe Grateful American™ Book Prize for historically accurate children’s books on American History fills an ‘award gap’

March 24, 2015, Washington, DC — A new book award, the Grateful American™ Book Prize attracted a flood of submissions when it was announced last week and continues to stir interest among authors and publishers, according to co-founder of the Prize, David Bruce Smith.

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Dolley’s Diplomacy: Inspiring Women’s Leadership – March 28-29, 2015

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Orange, VA — The Montpelier Foundation’s first-ever women’s leadership conference presents an exciting opportunity for young women to learn and enhance the dialogue on women’s leadership in media, education, government, law, and business environments with attention paid to the overlap and important similarities within these arenas.

Sponsored by the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier, Running Start, Network of enlightened Women (NeW), and the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia, the program’s esteemed speakers and panelists will provide high-quality educational and networking opportunities to the 100 female college leaders in attendance.

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American Booksellers Association features new Grateful American™ Book Prize

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 2.11.41 PMMarch 19, 2015 — Today, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) featured the announcement about the new Grateful American™ Book Prize, “Grateful American™ Book Prize Established for American History Books for Children.”

It said: A new award, the Grateful American™ Book Prize, has been established to honor children’s fiction and nonfiction books that feature events and people that shaped American history.

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Summer Camp 2015 at Mount Vernon: July 6-10 and July 20-24

Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 12.34.13 PMThis summer, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate will be holding two sessions of “Camp Washington.”

  • Session 1 is scheduled July 6–10
  • Session 2 will be held July 20-24

This is the first time the Estate will be offering this special opportunity for rising fourth through sixth grade students who want to learn about George Washington’s farm and estate while also having some summer fun.

Students will join staff for an exciting week long adventure where campers will discover George Washington’s legacy by exploring his estate through archaeology, farming, gardening, spinning, surveying, and other hands-on activities.  Participants also will visit the Mansion and Grist Mill and meet some of the heritage breed animals who live at Mount Vernon.  At the end of each week, families are invited to celebrate their campers’ achievements at an open house on the final afternoon of the camp.

Each session is limited to 14 students (rising fourth to sixth grade) and runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.  The registration fee is $400 and includes lunches, snacks, and a special Mount Vernon water bottle.

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Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall Arrive in Washington, DC Today

PrinceCharlesMarch 18, 2015, London, England — At the request of the British Government, Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will make a four day visit to the United States of America from 17th – 20th March, 2015. Their Royal Highnesses will undertake a broad range of engagements to promote the UK’s partnership with the United States in key areas such as sustainability and climate change, creating youth opportunities, encouraging corporate social responsibility and promoting historical and cultural links.

Today in Washington DC, The Prince of Wales and Global Ocean Commission Co-chairs, David Miliband and José María Figueres, will address a gathering of representatives from major companies, leading environmental organisations and government figures brought together to consider what action might be taken to address the growing threats posed by marine plastic waste. The event will take place at the Hay Adams hotel, Washington D.C.  The meeting, which is being convened by The Prince of Wales’s International Sustainability Unit and the Global Ocean Commission, aims to facilitate consensus and build momentum toward solutions on this growing challenge.

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Publisher’s Weekly Picks up on David Bruce Smith’s Grateful American™ Book Prize

logo-transMarch 17, 2015, Publisher’s Weekly — In today’s edition of Publisher’s Weekly, the editors report, “A new award, the first of its kind, aims to honor children’s books, both fiction and nonfiction that feature ‘events and people that shaped the history of the United States.’ ”

They explain that author and publisher David Bruce Smith, co-founder of the prize, said, “Of the more than five dozen literary awards for children’s books in the United States, the Grateful American Book Prize is the only one awarded for excellence in writing, storytelling, and illustration in the category of historically accurate works for children. Our aim is to restore the role of history in the education of America’s children at a time when the focus in the classroom is on math and science.”

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GA Book Prize Featured on Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators website

March 18, 2015 — The international professional organization for writers and illustrators of children’s literature featured today the announcement about the new Grateful American™ Book Prize.logo-scbwi

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New Award for Historical Middle-Grade Fiction or Nonfiction

A new book award, The Grateful American™ Book Prize, has been established to honor children’s books of fiction and nonfiction that feature the events and the people that shaped the history of the United States. The Prize was co-founded by author and publisher David Bruce Smith who said, “Of the more than five dozen literary awards for children’s books in the United States, the Grateful American™ Book Prize is the only one awarded for excellence in writing, storytelling, and illustration in the category of historically accurate works for children. Our aim is to restore the role of history in the education of America’s children at a time when the focus in the classroom is on math and science.” The Prize consists of a $13,000 cash award.

The Grateful American™ Book Prize Honors Children’s Books on American History

small-grateful-american-book-prize-logoApril 17, 2015, Washington DC — A new, one-of-a-kind book award, The Grateful American™ Book Prize, has been established to honor children’s books of fiction and nonfiction that feature the events and the people that shaped the history of the United States.

“Of the more than five dozen literary awards for children’s books in the United States, the Grateful American™ Book Prize is the only one awarded for excellence in writing, storytelling, and illustration in the category of historically accurate works for children. Our aim is to restore the role of history in the education of America’s children at a time when the focus in the classroom is on math and science,” according to author and publisher David Bruce Smith who co-founded the Prize.

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