George Washington was well-acquainted with using animals to separate grain from stalk by treading, and he had very specific goals in mind that he wanted to achieve. “Beginning with a simple concept — to construct a circular wooden treading floor large enough to accommodate horses that were enclosed from the elements of weather — Washington sought to improve the efficiency of this basic treading process and simultaneously reduce opportunities for theft. The barn included a treading floor located on the second floor of a two-story structure that the horses could access via an earthen ramp,” explains Dennis J. Pogue, PhD, a historian at the University of Maryland. Don’t miss our video for an inside tour.
What were the lives of the great figures in American history really like, such as George Washington, Ben Franklin, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison? What role did the Founding Mothers play in the lives of these famous men — such as George Washington’s mother, Mary Ball Washington, who was known for being not particularly affectionate? You’ll find those answers and more in this interview with Thomas Fleming, author of “The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers.”
What did a busload of students from Illinois discover when they toured George Washington’s plantation, Mount Vernon — and the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington? Check out our video interview with the high-schoolers and their teachers. You’ll be inspired to take a trip to this historic home, too!
Don’t miss the Grateful American™ Foundation interview with Monticello’s Susan Stein, the Richard Gilder Senior Curator and Vice President for Museum Programs at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation. For more than 20 years, she has studied and written about Jefferson and Monticello. As the leader of the curatorial department, she and her staff manage the objects and lives of those associated with Monticello; determine the physical presentation of the house; study, acquire, and care for collections; and develop exhibitions. Stein is perhaps best known for the landmark work, “The Worlds of Thomas Jefferson at Monticello” exhibition and book (1993), and her work on the four shows/film at the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center (2009).
It is with great pleasure that we dedicate the April 2017 issue of the Grateful American™ Magazine to the fifth U.S. president — James Monroe, born April 28, 1758.
He won the election of 1816 — the eighth quadrennial presidential election — which stretched over more than a month, from Nov. 1 to Dec. 4, 1816. Monroe’s ascendance to the highest office of the land followed the two-term presidency of Democratic-Republican James Madison. Monroe, who had served as Madison’s Secretary of State, faced very weak opposition from the Federalist Party and won the Electoral College vote 183 to 34.
The previous four years of American politics had been dominated by the effects of the War of 1812. While the war had not ended in victory, the 1815 peace satisfied the American people, and the Democratic-Republicans received the credit for its conclusion. The Federalists discovered they were discredited by their opposition to the war, and the secessionist rhetoric from New England.
Madison had succeeded in achieving certain measures favored by the Federalists; for example, a national bank and protective tariffs. These successes gave the Federalists few issues to campaign on, which contributed to the overwhelming victory for the Democratic-Republicans. Learn more here.
Scroll down for historic insights on the inauguration of President Monroe by Dr. Cassandra Good, the associate editor of the The Papers of James Monroe at the University of Mary Washington, and author of “Founding Friendships.” — David Bruce Smith, founder, and Hope Katz Gibbs, executive producer, GratefulAmericanFoundation.com / GratefulAmericanKids.com
St. John’s Church in Richmond, VA, became famous when about 120 Virginia colonial leaders — including Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Richard Henry Lee, and Peyton Randolph — met there in March of 1775 for the Second Virginia Convention. Patrick Henry delivered his famous “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” speech on March 23, 1775; the American Revolution began in Massachusetts the following month when shots were first fired in Lexington and Concord.
Who was Charles Willson Peale? Watch this fun, interactive video starring 4th grade students from the private school, Sabot at Stony Point, in Richmond, VA. Filmed at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, it highlights the life, work, family, and legacy of one of the nation’s most prolific and important artists of the American Revolutionary Era. Check it out!
What does Thomas Jefferson have to teach us today? Historian and author Andrew O’Shaughnessy, who is the vice president of Jefferson’s Monticello, takes us inside the heart and mind of one of America’s favorite Founding Fathers.
The Hamilton Grange National Memorial is a National Park Service site in upper New York City. To talk about the home, Hamilton, and the impact he made on American history, Grateful American ™ TV Show hosts David Bruce Smith and Hope Katz Gibbs travelled to The Grange to talk to Liam Strain—the district ranger for a collection of individually legislated units of the National Park System that also include Grant’s Tomb (the General Grant National Memorial) and Theodore Roosevelt’s birthplace.
In this interview you’ll learn: About the life of Hamilton, how he came to own the Grange — and why it was moved twice before landing in its current location. What else makes this home so interesting — especially for kids? Don’t miss it!
What made George Washington the profoundly effective leader that he was? That’s the question we asked Dr. Doug Bradburn, the founding director of Mount Vernon’s Fred W. Smith National Library. In this episode of Grateful American™ TV, co-hosts David Bruce Smith and Hope Katz Gibbs interview the specialist on George Washington, and you’ll be fascinated by the insights that Bradburn provides about the man behind the myth.
For American history buffs, there’s nothing quite like visiting the home of a former president. And when that president is one of the nation’s most revered, like Abraham Lincoln is, it’s especially meaningful to meander through his summer home in Washington, DC.
David Bruce Smith and Hope Katz Gibbs, co-hosts of the Grateful American™ TV Show, were thrilled to sit down for an interview with Erin Carlson Mast, executive director of President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home, which is 3.5 miles from the White House. Join us as we explore the life of Lincoln.
And scroll down to learn more about another historical powerhouse — Robert Carter — who until recently was the unknown “First Emancipator.” Don’t miss our Q&A!
Get ready to rock out about American history with students from The Steward School in Richmond, VA.
The nominees have been announced. The invitations have been sent. So who will take home the prestigious George Washington Prize this year? The winner of the $50,000 award will be announced on May 25, so tune in next month for our Q&A with the author. Until then, be sure check out the award ceremony from the 2015 elegant black-tie event at George and Martha’s Virginia home, Mount Vernon, when Nick Bunker took home the prize for his book, “Empire on the Edge.”
Video courtesy of the Benjamin Franklin House, London