"That's where we met," Gramps pointed to the steps of the English building. He was picking me up from college to bring me home for the weekend.
"Tell me all about it." I smiled. I had heard that story many times before, but I loved hearing it again. It involved dance cards which I thought was so romantic.
I attended the same college that my grandparents, mother, aunt, and sister attended. Not only did I get my nursing degree, I learned so much about history from all the spontaneous stories that were shared throughout my four years of college.
One of my favorite stories from my father is how he rode his pony down First Street on V-E Day. There was an impromptu parade and so much joy. My mother's parents grew victory gardens and bought war bonds.
My roommate's father help to conquer Okinawa in World War II. My father-in-law was part of the occupying force in Japan. Both had many stories to tell.
We have an amazing heritage as Americans.
Our nation's history is filled with heroes, many who loved Jesus Christ with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength.
I love history! As an American, it is fun to go back in time and learn about Colonial America and the American Revolution and discover the people who made history.
If I were to create a Hallmark of Fame for the heroes of the American Revolution, I would start with my Favorite Founding Fathers.
Let me introduce you to them.
Fiery speaker, governor of Virginia, US representative, father of 17 children, devout follower of Jesus Christ, and Father of the Bill of Rights, Patrick Henry stirred up the hearts of Virginians with his famous "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech.
Patrick was a delegate to the First Continental Congress and the Second Continental Congress, but he opposed the Constitution because he felt that it would create a huge monstrosity that would trample on state and individual rights. He penned many of the Anti-Federalist Papers, letters to newspaper editors, that warned of the dangers to come. Once the Constitution was ratified, he championed the Bill of Rights, or first ten amendments to the Constitution that protect individual and states' rights.
Henry served as a US Representative and as governor of Virginia for five terms. Offered positions in both President Washington's and President Adams' cabinet, he declined for health reasons.
His famous "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech is filled with quotes from the Old and New Testament. He read his Bible for hours at a time and urged Americans to flee from the deism and atheism. He loved America and gave his life to her service.
We love to snuggle up and read books in our house. So, when we decided to study the 20th Century for a year, the first thing we did was look for books.
There are so many good books to choose from. It was hard to narrow it down.
We looked at HIS Story of the 20th Century to choose books that would dovetail nicely with the material covered in each decade.
Here are the books we chose.
Kim by Rudyard Kipling is set in Colonial India when it was under British control. Kim gives us a great look at what is was like to be in the British Empire generally and India specifically. The story is an engaging one, though frustrating at times as Kim makes choices that will keep him from knowing the Lord. An Irish subject in the British Empire, Mr. Kipling shows us his roots in several ways--maybe you can find them. One of the things that impacted me was an up-close look at how the culture in British colonies influenced the English as much as they spread their culture to the lands they ruled over. It was said that "The Sun Never Set on the British Empire." Kim will give a taste of that empire, as well as an exciting story.
The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy is supposedly for younger children and my kids were teens. But who can resist this story that takes you into the heart of a industrious, loving Hungarian family who is drawn into World War I? I love the opportunity to see the war from the other side. Of course, there is All is Quiet On the Western Front, but I find that book dull and preachy. So, we dove into The Singing Tree. Yes, it was an easy read, but a great story set in Hungary.
Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreath, Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreath Carey is a delightful zany adventure set in the Roaring Twenties into a family with 12 children. Written by two of the children, it is refreshing to read about a large family whose parents planned to have so many children. Of course, the changes of the 1920s affect this family much to father's consternation. The book is a lighthearted and fun trip back to the 1920s.
Automobile Racing became popular in the 1920s.
France is the home of the first car races. A Paris newspaper actually organized the first race in 1894, the Paris-Rouen Rally. The race started in Paris and ended in Rouen.
In 1903, there was a race from Paris, France to Madrid, Spain. I am sorry to tell you that several people were killed and the race was stopped before the cars left France.
After the terrible deaths, plans were made to race on a circuit, or track. The Grand Prix started in France.
The United States, in 1908, was the second country to host a car race. At first, French cars always won the race, but by the end of the 1920s, Italian cars started winning (Alfa Romeo and Maserati).
It became quite trendy to join the spectators at a big race. Race car drivers were larger-than-life heroes.
As we're learning about car racing, let's have some hands-on-fun!
Every time we study the Middle Ages we build a castle of cardboard boxes, practice archery, and host a Medieval Feast for all our friends. This year, our homeschool co-op celebrated our studies of the Middle Ages with a Feast.
Here are the highlights of our 2017 Medieval Banquet.
The King of the Medieval Feast was the oldest guy in the co-op and his queen was the youngest girl.
We invited the whole church and everyone signed up for the event. Part of the sign-up process included what each family would bring to eat and how each family member would dress. There were several choices for everyone: peasant, monk, nun, friar, hunchback, lord, lady, duke, duchess, knight, troubadour, and town crier. We had a wide variety.
We enjoyed a jousting demonstration followed by jousting with pool noodles.
The wee ones enjoyed finding dragons (we hid toy dinosaurs).
"I can't wait to see Dunkirk!" Jimmy exclaimed, looking up from his laptop.
"I love Christopher Nolan's movies," Zack agreed.
"Oh, is that about the Miracles at Dunkirk during World War II?" I asked. I don't know who Christopher Nolan is. "I hope they honor Christ--He certainly intervened in Dunkirk!"
The young men both looked at me.
"I'm not sure they will, Mom," Jimmy admitted.
We had studied the Miracle of Dunkirk in our HIS Story of the 20th Century course, learning decisively that God still intervenes in the lives of men. He is the God of Miracles! Let me tell you the real story of the Miracle of Dunkirk. (This is taken directly from HIS Story of the 20th Century).
In May 1940, Hitler launched his blitzkrieg, or lightening attacks, against Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands who surrendered to Germany. German occupation forces moved in to make life miserable for the Belgians, Dutch, and Luxembourgers.
Now, British troops were already in France to help defend France and Belgium. British troops quickly moved to France to defend France. However, the unthinkable occurred with German forces moving rapidly through France, trapping British, French, and Belgian troops on the shores of the English Channel by May 21, 1940.
The war was not looking good for the British.
The German High Command was gleeful. They had the British encircled. Would the war be over so quickly with a decisive German victory?
The only option for the British was to evacuate at Dunkirk. Can you find Dunkirk on the map? It is on the French coast. For some unknown reason, the German troops were ordered to halt on May 22. This halt order gave the trapped soldiers time to build defensive works and get many troops to Dunkirk. This was the first miracle.
By the 24th, German troops were close, surrounding Calais. Hitler planned to have Luftwaffe, German Air Force, fly over the Allies, drop bombs, and destroy them.
King George VI called for a National Day of Prayer on May 26. He attended the service at Westminster Abbey with his family. All over Great Britain, people went to church to pray for a miracle. So many people came out to church that there were long lines of people outside Westminster Abbey who could not get in.[i]
On the first day of the evacuation (May 26), there were less than 4,000 men evacuated. On May 28, two days after the National Day of Prayer, a huge storm blew over the entire land area, preventing planes from taking off. The Luftwaffe would not be able to wipe out the British troops. This was the second miracle.
"Can we do a duet?" two girls in the 20th Century History Co-op asked. We were planning our own Vaudeville Show.
"Is the song from the Turn-of-the-Century?" I replied.
Before they could answer, Jimmy interjected, "Can I do card tricks?"
"Yes, but maybe you want to do an animal act," I giggled.
"Like lion training," Josh teased.
We had as much fun planning our acts as we did on the day of the actual performance.
Would you like to put on your own Vaudeville Show? Here's how we did it!