The Declaration of Independence, which defines the meaning of being an American, was adopted by the Continental Congress on August 2, 1776. It was a bold statement affirming the right of our fledgling nation to form an independent government, created during the early days of the American Revolution.
For more information The Grateful American Book Prize recommends Dorothy Canfield Fisher’s Our Independence and the Constitution, an engrossing read for students, that explains how the United States was begun.
On August 9, 1974, President Richard M. Nixon was the first U.S. president to resign from office. The events which caused it tell a sad story, but they provide an important lesson in responsibility and morality.
For more information, read Jules Archer’s Watergate: A Story of Richard Nixon and the Shocking 1972 Scandal.
Frederick Douglass was a slave who escaped from his owners, eventually got his freedom, and became an eloquent spokesperson for slaves still held captive in the south. On August 11, 1841, at the age of 23, Douglass addressed an anti-slavery convention in Massachusetts. His description of his previous existence was so powerful that he became a full-time lecturer who traveled all over the country.
The Grateful American Book Prize recommends Elisabeth P. Myers’s Frederick Douglass: Young Defender of Human Rights for teens and pre-teens.
History Matters is a biweekly feature courtesy of The Grateful American Book Prize.