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Oil – American science

By | 2017-08-15T23:44:58+00:00 August 15th, 2017|North America, Science|

A homemade oil lamp Oil is a kind of liquid made out of hydrocarbon molecules. It is mostly fat. Lots of plants and animals make oil. In North America, people got most of their oil from salmon, bison, and sunflowers. In Central America, it was avocados and nuts. In Europe, it was butter and lard from cows and pigs. In North Africa and West Asia, it was olives, and [...]

Valentine’s Day – American holidays

By | 2017-08-14T23:53:45+00:00 August 14th, 2017|North America, Religion|

The fashion for people singing Valentines verses to each other may have started earlier in the Middle Ages. But the first written record we have of Valentines comes from the 1300s AD. That's when various medieval poets, including Chaucer, wrote poems about birds mating on Valentine's Day. Chaucer's poem may be the earliest of these. Nobody knows what [...]

Thanksgiving – American holidays

By | 2017-08-14T23:41:41+00:00 August 14th, 2017|North America, Religion|

Map of Wampanoag village at Plymouth Bay in 1613 AD,just before the Puritans arrived. See the growing crops around each house? Beginning about 100 AD, when they started farming their food, all throughout the middle and eastern parts of North America, people celebrated the Green Corn Ceremony every fall when the corn got ripe. This was a harvest [...]

Quakers – Society of Friends – Religion

By | 2017-08-14T23:37:27+00:00 August 14th, 2017|Modern Europe, North America, Religion|

A Quaker wedding (1800s in England) In 1648 AD, some people in England felt unhappy with the way Puritan Christians were praying to God. So they started to do things their own way. One early Quaker was a man named George Fox. But generally the Quakers (who call themselves the Friends) had no leaders, priests, or ministers. [...]

Puritans – American religion

By | 2017-08-14T15:33:52+00:00 August 14th, 2017|Modern Europe, North America, Religion|

A Puritan family about 1563 About 1563 AD, some people in England decided that they wanted to follow a way of life that they thought would be more according to what the Christian God wanted. They called themselves "the godly", but other people called them "Puritans." Puritan people, like Calvinists, thought only God decided whether you got into Heaven. [...]

Brigham Young – Mormon religion

By | 2017-08-14T15:29:54+00:00 August 14th, 2017|History|

Brigham Young in the 1840s After a mob killed Joseph Smith, the Mormons chose a new leader, Brigham Young (BRIG-am yung) and wisely left Illinois. In 1847, Brigham Young decided that the Mormons should move way out west to Utah, where the Ute and Paiute people lived. Utah was part of Mexico at this time. In the next year, though, [...]

Mormons – religion and history

By | 2017-08-14T15:21:17+00:00 August 14th, 2017|North America, Religion|

Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormons In 1820 AD,  Joseph Smith was fourteen years old. The teenager lived in a small town in New York State. He was upset when he realized that different Protestant ministers in his town had different ideas about God and how to worship God. The Presbyterians thought one [...]

Anne Hutchinson – A Puritan leader

By | 2017-08-14T14:47:35+00:00 August 14th, 2017|North America, Religion|

Boston in the time of Anne Hutchinson Anne Hutchinson was born in 1603, the same year that Queen Elizabeth died. Her father was a Puritan minister in England. Like Mary Cavendish about the same time, Hutchinson was home-schooled with her brothers and sisters. She became a Puritan too. Hutchinson liked the Puritan idea that faith – believing in Jesus – [...]

Halloween – American holidays

By | 2017-08-14T14:38:55+00:00 August 14th, 2017|North America, Religion|

(Photo credit: Halloween Express) Halloween is a pretty new holiday - American children didn't start trick-or-treating on Halloween until about eighty years ago. Halloween is a combination of several different holiday traditions: Native American ones, Irish ones, and old Roman ones. By about 500 AD, Mayan and Aztec people in Central America were celebrating the Day of [...]