This Month in History ~ August

I thought it might be fun to compile historical events for the months. I may not get every month in but I am relieved of some pressure knowing there is a plethora of resources for this. I won’t let that tempt me to laziness however!

One site I really love to *start* with is Wikipedia. Being a college student I have even been known to use this as my starting point to find information I can use in my assignments. I track down ‘credible’ sources via the references at the bottom. While it sometimes has articles or phraseology that is questionably credible, for the most part, it is good to get you going*.

This Month in History: August

August, where’d it get its name? Originally it was called Sextilis, or sixth month. Perhaps you didn’t realize it hasn’t always been the eighth month. At one time there were no months of February or March. The month was renamed in honor of Augustus Caesar. So now we have August, the eighth month.

I’ll just put right at the start an occurrence here in the state of Ohio: Twins Days in Twinsburg. This takes place the first full weekend in August. That falls on the 8th and 9th this year. What is this Twins Days thing anyway? It is the largest annual gathering of twins (& other multiples) in the world. It started in 1976, with only 36 sets of twins attending. In 2012, there were over 2000 sets registered to attend! The city was named after twins Moses and Aaron Wilcox around 1819.

Here are some, but not too many, things that happened this month:

  • Continental Congress signed the parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence {August 2, 1776}.
  • 44th US President Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii {August 4, 1961}.
  • The US credit rating is downgraded from AAA to AA+ because of massive federal debt {August 5, 2011}.
  • Annie Oakley, a star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, was born in Darke County, Ohio {August 13, 1860}.
  • Gold was found in a tributary of the Klondike River in Alaska, setting off the Great Klondike Gold Rush {August 16, 1896}.
  • Orville Wright, one of the first to achieve successful flight of a motor-driven aircraft, was born in Dayton, Ohio {August 19, 1871}.
  • Hawaii admitted to the United States of America as the 50th state {August 21, 1959}.
  • Composer Claude Debussy was born in St. Germain-en-Laye, France {August 22, 1862}.
  • Lee De Forest, an inventor important to the creation of wireless radio and television, was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa {August 26, 1873}.
  • Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, better known as Mother Teresa, was born in Skopje, Yugoslavia {August 27, 1910}.
  • John Locke, British philosopher and author very influential to early American colonists, was born in Wrington, England {August 29, 1632}.
  • Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, was born in London, England {August 30, 1797}.

Need some more history? Here at the Post, there are plenty of history posts to keep you occupied.

Here are some links outside of the Post {not just for fact-finding; also learn how/why to teach}:

Embracing Destiny’s 31 Days of Women in History & Bringing History to Life

Afterthoughts’ To Study History in a Person & How Geography is History’s Secret Weapon

Archipelago’s Notes of Lessons from the Parents’ Review: Joseph Chamberlain and the Last Crusade & On Young Children and Ancient History (quote from Parents’ Review)

Do you have any August history you’d like to share?

*Always check with your teacher/instructor/professor if they accept Wikipedia as a citable reference before relying on that one source. Don’t say I told you to use it!



A Charlotte Mason Writing Curriculum

North Laurel (24 Posts)

Blossom- "North Laurel" to the online world- lives in Ohio with her husband and two teens, homeschooling the Charlotte Mason way with Ambleside Online. She is graciously allowed to be a moderator for the Ambleside Online Forum. North Laurel loves to read, be on the computer, and learn. You can read her blogging about homeschooling, book reviews and life in general at North Laurel Home & School.

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Our Homeschool “Home” History Lesson


We often talk about hands-on history and learning through living books, but how often are the history lessons right in our own backyard? Or our own house? Such is the case with JoAnn, whose home is the homeschool history lesson!

Our Homeschool "Home" History Lesson ~ life in a historic home

Guest Post by JoAnn of Grover’s Manse.

Being a baptist, I didn’t have a clue what a manse was. We’ve always called the preacher’s home a parsonage. The Presbyterian church, however, refers to their minister’s home as a “manse,” and as a matter of fact, I never thought I’d ever live in one, either.  Seven and half years ago, we became dwellers and owners of the former First Presbyterian Church’s manse. The real estate agent did tell us the home had been moved, but was not sure about when and where it was moved from.  Thus, began our research…and even better,  it could also serve as a history lesson for our daughter, Morgan.

As I mentioned from my first post, my daughter and I have been investigating the history of our house or former manse.

Over the course of the last 7 1/2 years, we’ve visited our county courthouse and library digging in to the past. We’ve also got an archives building at the old county seat we’ve visited and met people who’ve been very helpful.

From these visits, or field trips, we’ve traced our house back to the year 1924. That was the year it was built, less than a block away from The First Presbyterian Church. Reverend Grover Cleveland Currie and his family were the first family to reside here. From my ancestry research, I discovered Reverend Currie came from North Carolina to here in little ol’ Northeast Arkansas. Anything historical or genealogy related is right up my alley!

Pictured below is a copy of the city’s plat in June 1929. A plat map is a map drawn to scale, marking the division of property. The manse and a small building on the property is drawn on the plat, running alongside to W. Gum Street. We are guessing the small building could be storage, or possibly an outhouse. We do have two bathrooms in our home. I’m not sure if they were in the original house plans.

This picture below is a copy of property taxes paid on the manse in 1927. Wow! A whopping $3.60. Our property taxes now are about 300 times that amount.


One of the men I met at the archives building happens to attend The First Presbyterian Church and was gracious enough to send this photo of our house below circa 1940’s. You probably recognize this photo from the top of my blog. I have blown the picture up to an 8×10 and framed it. It’s sitting on a table in my living room for all to see. It’s also without the garage, that would be later added after the manse was moved. If you look toward the back of the house, it looks like there is a back porch, which is now my laundry room.



Do you have any nearby history lessons to explore?



About the author:

JoAnn Greer is a wife to a small business owner and a mom to one teenaged daughter, who competes in archery tournaments. They began their homeschooling journey back in 2010, when they removed their daughter from public school. JoAnn enjoys crocheting, soap making, vintage movies, and tracing her family’s ancestry. In the fall and winter, she’s cheering on her favorite football team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. She blogs at Grover’s Manse.


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Presidents’ Day {Internet} Scavenger Hunt

Editor’s note: Since today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and the Presidents’ Day holiday is coming up on Monday, I thought it would be fun to share this presidential facts internet scavenger hunt again. I have also gathered a list of free and frugal Presidents’ Day homeschool resources, which you might want to check out after you complete this Washington and Lincoln trivia. Have fun! ~ Sara


Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt? Just for today, toss those history textbooks under the bed, grab some pencils and paper, fire up the laptop (or mobile device or desktop computer) and challenge your kids to find the answers to the following questions. There are some fun (and silly) little known facts along with the more serious. How about taking the challenge with them or offering a small prize (cherry pie, anyone?) to the contestant who finds the most correct answers in the shortest amount of time.


Presidents' Day Facts Internet Scavenger Hunt @hsbapost


Spoiler alert: answers are provided below — be sure to obscure them before giving the questions to your history hunters!

Come back here after you’re done; let us know how you did and what other cool facts you may have discovered that you didn’t know before.

George Washington


  • Where did George Washington live during his presidency?
  • Did George Washington introduce the mule to America?
  • What was his favorite subject in school?
  • How did President Washington view political parties?
  • How many children did George Washington have?
  • What was George Washington’s middle name?
  • In 1775, Washington was appointed commander of what army?
  • Did George Washington wear a wig?
  • What provision did George Washington make in his will for his slaves?
  • What did Martha Washington do with all the letters George sent her?
  • What branch of the US military did Washington’s presidency found?
  • Washington left money in his will for Liberty Hall Academy which later became which university?
  • In 1754, Washington led an attack that started which world war?
  • How much did Washington pay a Dr.Watson to have one of his teeth pulled?
  • How many times was George Washington wounded in battle?

Sources: Key Facts About George Washington and President’s Day Scavenger Hunt

Abraham Lincoln

  • To which political party did Abraham Lincoln originally belong?
  • What were Lincoln’s two nicknames?
  • When Abraham Lincoln was seven years old he did something he felt really bad about. What was it?
  • Abraham Lincoln was essentially homeschooled, receiving less than a year of formal education. He cleaned his math problems off his board with what tool?
  • What plant killed Lincoln’s mother?
  • in 1830, Abraham Lincoln’s family moved from a farm in Indiana to what state?
  • Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd had four sons. One died while they were in the White House. What was his name and how old was he when he died?
  • With what politician did Lincoln engage in debates concerning the question of slavery?
  • Lincoln ran for the Senate against Stephen A. Douglas. The vote was 54 to 46 — who won?
  • Where did Lincoln store his important papers?
  • What famous speech did Lincoln make in Pennsylvania in 1863?
  • After receiving a letter from Sarah Hale, what national holiday did President Lincoln establish?
  • Where did General Robert E. Lee surrender to General Ulysses S. Grant?
  • What play was Lincoln watching when he was shot?
  • Does Abraham Lincoln have any direct descendants?

Sources: Timeline of Abraham Lincoln for Kids, Abraham Lincoln for Young Readers, Abraham Lincoln Web-quest, Lincoln Fast Facts and  President’s Day Scavenger Hunt



{George Washington}

  • Not in the White House; in New York and then Philadelphia
  • Yes
  • Math
  • He disapproved of them, feeling they were divisive
  • None of his own; he had two step-children
  • He didn’t have one
  • The Continental Army
  • No
  • He arranged to free those slaves belonging to him upon his wife’s death
  • She burned them
  • The Navy
  • Washington & Lee University
  • The Seven Years’ War
  • 5 Shillings
  • He was never {seriously} wounded in battle

{Abraham Lincoln}

  • Whigs
  • “Honest Abe” and “Illinois Rail-Splitter”
  • He shot a turkey; he never hunted again
  • A knife
  • White Snakeroot
  • Illinois
  • “Willie” died from typhoid fever when he was 11
  • Stephen A. Douglas
  • Stephen A. Douglas
  • He tucked them into his tall black hat
  • The Gettysburg Address
  • Thanksgiving
  • Appomattox Court House in Virginia
  • Our American Cousin
  • No, in fact he only had one son live to reach adulthood and marry
Angela (30 Posts)

Angela is co-founder of Mosaic Freeschool and a homeschooling mom to two never-been-to school kids. Born in Southern California and raised on the East Coast, Angela had a bit of an unconventional education, but did not consider homeschooling seriously until her first child was born. Believing that young children learn best from those that love them most, Angela and her husband John chose homeschooling for their two boys. She is dedicated to the advancement of alternative education choices, creating the web-site Raising Autodidacts in 2011 to further explore the idea of fostering the self-taught individual. In June of 2013, she started an instructional writing service called Gathering Ink .

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