Boston Tea Party

Gay Lynn HillStudy Break

On Dec. 16, 1773, dozens of colonists dressed as Mohawk Indians boarded three ships in Boston Harbor and dumped 342 crates of tea overboard. Later known as the Boston Tea Party, this act of political protest has been retold many times, but how much do you really know? The Boston Tea Party protesters were railing about the 1773 Tea Act, ... Read More

Dec. 20 – It’s a Wonderful Life

Gay Lynn HillBell Ringers, Economics

On Dec. 20, 1946, “It’s a Wonderful Life” premiered in New York. A bank’s function is to take in savings from customers, and loan it out to individuals and businesses for a higher rate of interest than it pays to its savers. The difference pays its cost, and if the bank is prudent with its loans and rate setting, it ... Read More

Dec. 20 – National Underdog Day

Gay Lynn HillAmerican History, Bell Ringers

Dec. 20 is National Underdog Day. Hollywood is full of underdog stories, and it is one of the things (but not the only one) that distinguishes American films from those made elsewhere. A great example is “Hoosiers,” the 1986 Gene Hackman movie about a small-time high school basketball team in Indiana that competed (and won) at the highest level in ... Read More

Dec. 18 – Official End of Slavery

Gay Lynn HillBell Ringers, Government

While the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in rebel states in 1873, the ending of the Civil War did not automatically prohibit slavery. To do so required another act of government. The ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery, was officially announced on Dec. 18, 1865. The Thirteenth Amendment says that: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for ... Read More

The End of History

Gay Lynn HillGovernment, Mini Lessons

Read from Common Sense Government The presidencies of George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1993 and Bill Clinton from 1993 to 2001 were marked by increased international economic integration and a few brief military engagements. Both presidents worked to negotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which was signed during the Clinton administration and greatly increased trade between the three signatories: ... Read More

Low Tax Rates

Gay Lynn HillEconomics, Mini Lessons

Read from Common Sense Economics When high tax rates take a large share of income, the incentive to work and use resources productively declines. The marginal tax rate is particularly important. This is the share of additional income that is taxed away at any given income level. For example, in the United States in 2015, if a taxpayer with $60,000 in ... Read More

The Failure of Reconstruction

Gay Lynn HillAmerican History, Mini Lessons

Read from Common Sense American History Reconstruction continued to lurch forward, but an exhausted nation began to focus on other problems facing the nation. Industry switched from military to civil production, and union veterans returned to their farms, businesses, and crafts. Some joined in building the transcontinental railroad to California, completed in 1869.  Immigration, which had stopped for the most part during ... Read More

There Be Dragons

Gay Lynn HillStudy Break

There Be Dragons  Bigfoot. Abominable Snowman. Loch Ness. Real animals or mythical monsters? Do you believe in the existence of any of these creatures? Do you believe in something that you can’t prove? Learning Mind explores these questions with their “Top 10 Things We Believe in Without Proof” article. stating “empirical evidence gives us a choice of what to believe, ... Read More

Dec. 13 National Cocoa Day

Gay Lynn HillBell Ringers, Economics

Dec. 13 is National Cocoa Day Nothing means winter so much as hot chocolate with marshmallows! Cocoa is referred to as the fruit of gods by the South Americans who discovered it (in Greece, the gods were partial to nectar and ambrosia). Cocoa only grows in warm rainforests near the equator, and most of it is commercially produced in West ... Read More

Dec. 12 First Day of Hanukkah in 2017

Gay Lynn HillBell Ringers, Government

Dec. 12 is the first day of Hanukkah. To learn more about the meaning and history of Hanukkah, watch the video below: Hanukkah is a Jewish celebration lasting eight days, which commemorates events surrounding the reopening of the Temple in Jerusalem following its desecration by King Antiochus IV. You may have noticed that Jewish holidays change their dates every year, ... Read More