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Historical Happenings in October 2022


Cooler temperatures and even cooler autumn colors can only mean one thing — Fall Break is here! Grab your PSL (pumpkin spice latte), sit back, and relax as we take the guesswork out of lesson planning with these notable historical moments, free activities, and resources — so you can enjoy your break!


October 7-25, 1765 – Stamp Act Congress

“No taxation without representation” was the colonists’ rallying cry against the Stamp Act. The Stamp Act taxed paper, playing cards, and dice[1] and was Great Britain’s effort to generate revenue and recoup its loss from the Seven Years’ War (also called the French and Indian War).[2] This decision to implement the Stamp Act backfired on Great Britain — colonists boycotted paper. The colonists were frustrated that they were taxed without being represented in Parliament. They called for a meeting between representatives from all the colonies to discuss writing a petition to the king to revoke the Stamp Act.[3]


From October 7-25, 27 delegates from nine colonies met at the Federal Hall in New York City.[4] This meeting, called the Stamp Act Congress, resulted in the adoption of the Declaration of Rights and Grievances.[5] The Declaration of Rights and Grievances outlined the colonists’ arguments against taxation and petitioned for repealing the Stamp Act. The Declaration of Rights and Grievances was shipped across the pond and delivered to Parliament, who revoked the Stamp Act in 1766.


Here are a few primary sources from the Library of Congress that you can use in your instruction about the Stamp Act Congress. Check out our free teacher's guide for ideas and strategies on using primary sources with your students.

October 28, 1886 – Dedication of the Statue of Liberty

With her torch lifted high to illuminate the sky with the light of freedom, Lady Liberty is a beacon of hope and an American treasure. But this U.S. landmark actually had her origins in France.[6] The French government built the Statue of Liberty and gifted it to the United States as a sign of friendship. French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and engineer Gustave Eiffel (who also designed the Eiffel Tower) created a metal framework and then attached copper sheets to it. In fact, the Statue of Liberty hasn’t always been green — she was originally the color of copper! Over time, the copper oxidized, creating the beautiful shade of green she is today.


The Statue of Liberty was finished in June 1884 and then disassembled to be shipped to the U.S. Each piece — 350 to be exact — was carefully packed and loaded into crates. The shipment arrived in New York Harbor in June 1885, but the pieces could not be reassembled until the pedestal for the statue was made. The pedestal was completed in 1886, and then the Statue of Liberty was put together and placed on top.


On October 28, 1886, a million people gathered on Liberty Island in New York Harbor to watch the dedication ceremony of the Statue of Liberty.[7] President Grover Cleveland and Bartholdi were also in attendance for the festivities, which included a parade, music, and speeches.


Celebrate this national monument with your students using our free resources below, and check out our Statue of Liberty titles.

October 29, 1929 – U.S. Stock Market Crashed

Bleakly dubbed “Black Tuesday,” October 29, 1929, marked the beginning of the Great Depression. Stocks began plummeting just days before on October 24 (“Black Thursday”) before crashing on October 29.[8] The Dow Jones Industrial Average (a stock market index) decreased by 12 percent on Black Tuesday.[9] “Panic selling” and trading of over 16 million shares on October 29 led to the loss of billions of dollars.[10]


The decline in stock market values continued years after the crash. In 1932, the Dow dropped to 41.22 — the lowest it had been in the 20th century. The stock market crash had a domino effect on the economy, resulting in unemployment and bank failures. Banks across the country collapsed from large withdrawals that they could not pay. Approximately 9,000 banks failed between 1930 and 1933, leaving millions of people without their savings.[11]


Teach your students about the effects of the stock market crash of 1929 and how it was a catalyst for the Great Depression using these lesson plans from the Library of Congress.


October 31, 1941 – Completion of Mount Rushmore National Memorial

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln’s larger-than-life faces greet visitors to Mount Rushmore National Memorial. These former U.S. presidents were carved into the side of the mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota.[12] Historian Doane Robinson partnered with sculptor Gutzon Borglum to create a landmark the American people wouldn’t take for "granite."


The granite mountain was blasted by dynamite, which carved 90 percent of the monument. Workers then chiseled, hammered, and drilled the surface. This process was dangerous and long, and it took 14 years for Mount Rushmore to be completed. Finally, on October 31, 1941, the memorial was finished.


You don’t have to live near Mount Rushmore to explore it! Take your students on a virtual field trip using the National Park Service’s curriculum and our mountain’s-worth of Mount Rushmore resources.

For more historical tidbits, lesson plan ideas, and free activities, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also, check out our other blogs for even more resources!

 

Sources:

[1] “Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774 to 1789.” Library of Congress,https://www.loc.gov/collections/continental-congress-and-constitutional-convention-from-1774-to-1789/articles-and-essays/timeline/1764-to-1765/. Accessed 27 September 2022.

[2] McDonald, Robert M.S. “Resolutions of the Stamp Act Congress.” Teaching American History, https://teachingamericanhistory.org/document/resolutions-of-the-stamp-act-congress-2/. Accessed 27 September 2022.

[3] “On this day: ‘No taxation without representation!’” National Constitution Center, 7 October 2021, https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/no-taxation-without-representation. Accessed 28 September 2022.

[4] “Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor | No Taxation Without Representation.” Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/exhibits/magna-carta-muse-and-mentor/no-taxation-without-representation.html. Accessed 28 September 2022.

[5] Zielinski, Adam E. “What Was the Stamp Act Congress and Why Did it Matter.” American Battlefield Trust, 17 November 2020, https://www.battlefields.org/learn/articles/what-was-stamp-act-congress. Accessed 27 September 2022.

[6] Marsh, Carole. I’m Reading About the Statue of Liberty. Gallopade International, 2016.

[7] “Statue of Liberty: Opening Ceremony.” Museum Management Program, National Park Service, https://www.nps.gov/museum/exhibits/statue_liberty/opening_ceremony.html#:~:text=Over%20a%20million%20people%20attended,and%20French%20and%20American%20dignitaries. Accessed 29 September 2022.

[8] “Oct 29, 1929 CE: Black Tuesday.” National Geographic, 20 May 2022, https://education.nationalgeographic.org/resource/black-tuesday. Accessed 29 September 2022.

[9]Gou, Michael, Komai, Alejandro, Park, Daniel, and Richardson, Gary. “Stock Market Crash of 1929.” Federal Reserve History, https://www.federalreservehistory.org/essays/stock-market-crash-of-1929. Accessed 29 September 2022.

[10] “Stock Market Crash of 1929.” HISTORY, 22 August 12, https://www.history.com/topics/great-depression/1929-stock-market-crash. Accessed 29 September 2022.

[11] Marsh, Carole. “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” The Great Depression and the New Deal. Gallopade International, 2005.

[12] Marsh, Carole. I’m Reading About Mount Rushmore. Gallopade International, 2016. Photo Credits: Photo 1: "The Repeal, or the Funeral of Miss Ame-Stamp" political cartoon by Benjamin Wilson, 1766. (Photo courtesy of Library of Congress.)⁠ ⁠Photo 2: "La Statue de la Liberte" 1884, http://nozoma.typepad.com Photo 3: February 1931, Courtesy of National Archives & Records Administration Photo 4: National Park Service

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