top of page
  • gallopade

Historical Happenings in November 2023


‘Tis the season to give thanks, and we’re thankful for YOU! Thank you for the dedication that you show your students every day. To show our gratitude, we put together some “gourd” free activities and lesson plans for you to use so you can enjoy the last few weeks before Thanksgiving break.


History at a Glance:


  • November 1-30, 2023: Native American Heritage Month

  • November 11, 1918: Armistice Day

  • November 11, 2023: Veterans Day

  • November 15, 1805: Lewis & Clark’s Expedition Reached the Pacific Ocean


November 1-30, 2023: Native American Heritage Month


Every November, the history and heritage of America’s Indigenous people are celebrated. Native American Heritage Month was the brainchild of Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who asked the Boy Scouts of America to designate a day to celebrate the “First Americans,” which they did for three years. In 1914, Red Fox James, a Blackfoot Indian, traveled across the nation on horseback, gathering signatures from state legislators for a national day of celebration for Indigenous people. He submitted their endorsements to the federal government on December 14, 1915.


The Congress of the American Indian Association met in 1915 to approve American Indian Day. On September 28, 1915, Reverend Sherman Coolidge, a member of the Arapaho Tribe and the Congress of the American Indian Association, proclaimed the second Sunday of May as American Indian Day.



The following year in May 1916, the governor of New York declared the second Saturday of the month as American Indian Day. New York was the first state to officially celebrate the day, with other states following the example over the next few years, although some states celebrated on the fourth Friday in September.


President George H.W. Bush proclaimed November 1990 as “National American Indian Heritage Month.”[1] Beginning in 1995, this proclamation became annual for presidents to issue.[2]


To learn more about ways you can celebrate this month and teach your students about notable Indigenous people, read our “Happy Native American Heritage Month” blog and check out our Native American Heritage titles.


Teacher Resources:



November 11, 1918: Armistice Day


On the eleventh day of the eleventh month, during the eleventh hour, the combat of the most catastrophic war on a global scale ended.[3] At 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918, Germany signed an armistice with the Allied Powers in Compiégne, France, thereby agreeing to a ceasefire. While World War I (WWI) was not formally ended on this day, the fighting was over.


In 1919, the anniversary of this monumental moment was dubbed Armistice Day in the U.S. by President Woodrow Wilson.[4] It became an official holiday in 1938,[5] and in 1954, it was renamed Veterans Day.[6]

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…” - President Woodrow Wilson

WWI began in 1914 after Siberian nationalist Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand (heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne) and his wife, Sophie, on June 28, 1914. A month later, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. In the following days, Russia, Belgium, France, Great Britain, and Serbia (which comprised the Allied Powers at the beginning of the war) declared war on the Central Powers[7] (Austria-Hungary, Germany, and later the Ottoman Empire, which joined in November 1914, and Bulgaria, which joined in October 1915).[8] Over the years, Romania, Italy, China, Japan, and the United States[9] joined the Allied Powers and became participants in the “war to end all wars.”


British soldiers walk through a communication trench in the Middle East.

The war was fought on three European fronts: the Western Front (France and Belgium), the Italian Front (Alpines), and the Eastern Front (Russia and the Balkans). In other parts of the world, combat was seen in the Middle East as the Ottoman Empire (along with some German troops) battled various Allied armies. Battles were also fought in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.[10]


By the time the ceasefire was reached on November 11, 1918 — and the war officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919[11] — over nine million servicemen and approximately 10 million civilians had been killed.[12] With these staggering numbers, the first anniversary of Armistice Day (November 11) was solemn.


Parades, memorials, speeches, and moments of silence were held nationwide to remember all those who gave their lives. Over the next decade, Americans also traveled to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, to pay their respects.[13]


Following World War II and the Korean War, veterans of both wars advocated for Armistice Day to become a holiday to honor all veterans, not just those who had fought in WWI. In 1954, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day.[14]


Teacher Resources:



November 11, 2023: Veterans Day


The sacrifice and bravery displayed by veterans have been celebrated annually on November 11 since 1919, when it was known as Armistice Day to commemorate the signing of the ceasefire between Germany and the Allied Powers on November 11, 1918.[15] The name “Armistice Day” was made official through a resolution passed by Congress in 1926.[16] It later became a federally recognized holiday in 1938.[17]


For the almost two decades that followed, veterans of WWI were honored on Armistice Day. But it wasn’t until June 1, 1954, that the name was changed to Veterans Day to honor veterans from all past, present, and future wars. President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day presidential proclamation on October 8, 1954: “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.”[18]


November is a notable month for another military anniversary: the founding of the U.S. Marine Corps. The Marine Corps (then known as the Continental Marines) was established on November 10, 1775, by the Second Continental Congress.[19] Captain Samuel Nicholas was charged with recruiting men for the Continental Marines and set up his recruiting station headquarters in the Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[20] Nicholas is also considered the first Marine Commandant after leading his men in land and sea battles during the Revolutionary War.[21]


Following the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, the Continental Marines were disbanded. Congress re-established the Marines on July 11, 1798, renaming it the United States Marine Corps.[22] The Marine Corps has remained an integral branch of the U.S. Armed Forces ever since.


Teacher Resources:



November 15, 1805: Lewis and Clark reached the Pacific Ocean.


After traversing dangerous terrain, battling the elements, and fighting sickness[23] on-and-off for a year and a half, Captain Meriwether Lewis, Captain William Clark, and the Corps of Volunteers for Northwest Discovery finally reached their destination on November 15, 1805.[24] The Pacific Ocean in all its glory stretched out before them. Their mission completed, they turned around to head back to St. Louis, Missouri.


The expedition was the brainchild of President Thomas Jefferson. He envisioned finding the Northwest Passage, which was speculated to be a northwestern waterway connected to the Pacific Ocean. Spoiler alert — it doesn’t exist, which Lewis, Clark, and their team later discovered.[25] What they did discover, however, was new flora, fauna, and wildlife. Lewis, who had been told by Jefferson to log his coordinates and observations of the local plants and animals, recorded the 178 new plants and 122 animals he observed.[26]


"Lewis and Clark at the mouth of the Columbia River" by Frederic Remington

The expedition began on May 14, 1804. It was comprised of Lewis, Clark, and the Corps of Discovery, which was made up of about 48 men (including York, who is considered to be the first African American to travel across North America[27]) and one Lemhi Shoshone woman, Sacagawea.[28] In total, the Corps of Discovery covered almost 8,000 miles. Each day, they traveled 10-20 miles.[29]


In addition to exploring a potential water passage to the Pacific Ocean, the Corps of Discovery was tasked with establishing peaceful relationships with the various Indigenous tribes they met. Council meetings were held between the Corps and the tribal leaders, in which gifts were given to the Native people.[30]

Sacagawea was instrumental in helping these encounters with Native tribes go amicably, as her presence and that of her baby boy, Jean Baptiste, showed the Indigenous people that the Corps was non-threatening and had friendly motivations. She was even reunited with her brother Cameahwait, and their reunion helped the Corps peacefully negotiate with the Shoshones to trade for horses.[31]


After arriving at the Pacific Ocean in mid-November of 1805, the Corps spent the winter in present-day Astoria, Oregon, before heading east. They arrived in St. Louis, Missouri, on September 23, 1806, and were greeted with a celebration of their success. Lewis, Clark, and the members of the Corps of Discovery were then rewarded with land and money.[32]


Your students can learn more about the expedition with our Lewis and Clark titles and the resources below!


Teacher Resources:



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


 

Sources:


[1] “About Native American Heritage Month.” Native American Heritage Month, https://www.nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov/about.html. Accessed 1 November 2023.

[2] “Native American Heritage Month Resources: Start Here.” University of Nevada Las Vegas University Libraries, https://guides.library.unlv.edu/nativeamericans. Accessed 3 November 2023.

[3] “The Origins of Veterans Day.” U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, https://www.va.gov/opa/publications/celebrate/vetday.pdf. Accessed 2 November 2023.

[5] “Legacy of the Armistice.” The National WWI Museum and Memorial, https://www.theworldwar.org/learn/about-wwi/legacy-armistice. Accessed 2 November 2023.

[6] “Today in History - November 11: Veterans Day.” Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/today-in-history/november-11/. Accessed 2 November 2023.

[7] History.com Editors. “World War I.” HISTORY, 11 August 2023, https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/world-war-i-history. Accessed 3 November 2023.

[8] “Central Powers.” New Zealand History, https://nzhistory.govt.nz/war/central-powers. Accessed 3 November 2023.

[9] “11|11|18: The Centennial of the Armistice of WWI.” National WWI Museum and Memorial, https://artsandculture.google.com/story/rQWhedAG6GrFJA. Accessed 2 November 2023.

[10] “11|11|18: The Centennial of the Armistice of WWI.” National WWI Museum and Memorial, https://artsandculture.google.com/story/rQWhedAG6GrFJA. Accessed 2 November 2023.

[11] History.com Editors. “World War I.” HISTORY, 11 August 2023, https://www.history.com/topics/world-war-i/world-war-i-history. Accessed 3 November 2023.

[12] Mougel, Nadège. “World War I casualties.” Census.gov, 2011, https://www.census.gov/history/pdf/reperes112018.pdf. Accessed 6 November 2023.

[13] “11|11|18: The Centennial of the Armistice of WWI.” National WWI Museum and Memorial, https://artsandculture.google.com/story/rQWhedAG6GrFJA. Accessed 2 November 2023.

[14] “Today in History - November 11: Veterans Day.” Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/today-in-history/november-11/. Accessed 2 November 2023.

[15] “History of Veterans Day.” VA | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp. Accessed 28 October 2022.

[16] “The Origins of Veterans Day.” U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, https://www.va.gov/opa/publications/celebrate/vetday.pdf. Accessed 2 November 2023.

[17] “History of Veterans Day.” VA | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp. Accessed 28 October 2022.

[18] “History of Veterans Day.” VA | U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp. Accessed 28 October 2022.

[23] Andrews, Evan. “10 Little-Known Facts About the Lewis and Clark Expedition.” HISTORY, 14 August 2023, https://www.history.com/news/10-little-known-facts-about-the-lewis-and-clark-expedition. Accessed 7 November 2023.

[24] Tate, Cassandra. “Lewis and Clark Expedition reaches the Pacific Ocean on November 15, 1805.” HistoryLink.Org, 6 March 2003, https://www.historylink.org/File/5383#:~:text=On%20November%2015%2C%201805%2C%20Lewis,Northwest%20Passage%22%20to%20the%20sea. Accessed 3 November 2023.

[25] ​​Buckley, Jay H. "Lewis and Clark Expedition". Encyclopedia Britannica, 16 Oct. 2023, https://www.britannica.com/event/Lewis-and-Clark-Expedition. Accessed 3 November 2023.

[26] ​​Buckley, Jay H. "Lewis and Clark Expedition". Encyclopedia Britannica, 16 Oct. 2023, https://www.britannica.com/event/Lewis-and-Clark-Expedition. Accessed 3 November 2023.

[28] Buckley, Jay H.. "Sacagawea". Encyclopedia Britannica, 19 Oct. 2023, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Sacagawea. Accessed 7 November 2023.

[29] ​​Buckley, Jay H. "Lewis and Clark Expedition". Encyclopedia Britannica, 16 Oct. 2023, https://www.britannica.com/event/Lewis-and-Clark-Expedition. Accessed 3 November 2023.

[30] ​​Buckley, Jay H. "Lewis and Clark Expedition". Encyclopedia Britannica, 16 Oct. 2023, https://www.britannica.com/event/Lewis-and-Clark-Expedition. Accessed 3 November 2023.

[31] Buckley, Jay H.. "Sacagawea". Encyclopedia Britannica, 19 Oct. 2023, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Sacagawea. Accessed 7 November 2023.

[32] ​​Buckley, Jay H. "Lewis and Clark Expedition". Encyclopedia Britannica, 16 Oct. 2023, https://www.britannica.com/event/Lewis-and-Clark-Expedition. Accessed 3 November 2023.




Comments


bottom of page