Read Across America Day

Happy Read Across America Day!

Launched in 1998 by the National Education Association (NEA), Read Across America is the nation’s largest celebration of reading.

Share with your littles and enjoy Author Kelly Starling Lyons read her book, Tiara’s Hat Parade, aloud by clicking here for the video.

Happy reading today!

149 Years!

Happy 149th birthday to America’s first national park, Yellowstone National Park!

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Check out some of my previous posts about Yellowstone by clicking here and here.  There are more blog posts about Yellowstone on here that you can find by just searching my blog by Yellowstone if you’re looking for more!

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Cheers to 149 years to this first and amazing national park!

Grand Canyon

Happy 102 years to the Grand Canyon National Park!

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President Teddy Roosevelt urged Americans to protect this great canyon, “What you can do is keep it for your children, your children’s children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American should see.”

For more information on this amazing park, check out a previous blog by clicking here.

If you visit Las Vegas or Arizona, take the time and check out this grand national park! Definitely worth the time and journey!

Cheers to 102 years!

“Twenty & Odd”

Explore 400 years of African American experience through this short National Park Service (NPS) video, “Twenty & Odd”.

According to the NPS, this video serves as a visual tool to inform and highlight and to educate the nation as a whole about the trauma, resilience, and beauty of the African American experience in our country developed by the NPS staff and interns. This NPS film provides an opportunity to motivate, educate, inspire, and empower people.

Take about five minutes of your time and enjoy this important video.

Black History National Parks

Today’s post will highlight five national parks that honor black history during this month of Black History Month. Click on the links below to learn more about these important sites within our national park system and history.

Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site – This national historic site was the home to the “Father of Black History” located in Washington DC. Dr. Carter G. Woodson lived here from 1922 until his death in 1950. Before Dr. Woodson, very little accurate was written about the history about the lives and experiences of Americans of African descent. According to NPS, Dr. Woodson established Negro History Week here in 1926, which we celebrate today as Black History Month.

Medgar and Myrlie Evers Home National Monument – This national monument in Mississippi is one of the newer national park sites. Their home commemorates the legacies of two civil rights activists who devoted their lives to ending racial injustice against Black Americans through local and national activism.  According to NPS, the assassination of Medgar Evers in 1963 for his efforts to promote racial equality and social justice was one of the key catalysts for passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park – Located in Maryland, this national park honors Harriet Tubman’s bravery and leadership saving and guiding nearly 70 enslaved people to freedom. “When I found that I had crossed that line, I looked at my hands to see if I was the same person. There was such a glory over everything.”~ Harriet Tubman

Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site – This national site in Virginia honors Maggie Lena Walker who devoted her life to civil rights advancement, economic empowerment, and educational opportunities for Jim Crow-era African Americans and women. As a bank president, newspaper editor, and fraternal leader, Walker served as an inspiration of pride and progress.

Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument – Located in Ohio, this national monument honors the legendary all-Black U.S. Army units and their leader, Charles Young. Col. Young was a distinguished officer in the U.S. Army, the third African American to graduate from West Point, and the first to achieve the rank of colonel. In addition, he was the first African American to serve as a superintendent of a national park. Buffalo Soldiers were pretty much the first park rangers.

These are just a few national park sites honoring African Americans in the national park system. Check out these cool and important places!

Stories

Twenty years ago, I had my very first date with my man. ❤️

For this date, he took me out for coffee at Borders in Chicago near our apartments at the time.

Corner of Broadway, Clark, and Diversey in Chicago many years ago

It seems fitting now that our relationship started surrounded by tons of others stories. Stories filled with adventures, plot twists, characters, and love. Stories of inspiration, history, and magic.

I have loved each moment of our story over these years and I can’t wait for our future chapters.

Cheers to starting our special story 20 years ago! ❤️

Lincoln Memorial

Happy 110th anniversary to the Lincoln Memorial!  The Lincoln Memorial is a national monument built to honor our 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. You can find this grand structure in the National Mall opposite the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.

This towering monument stands 190 feet long, 120 feet wide, 99 feet tall and constructed with a Colorado-Yule marble. The Lincoln Memorial interior is divided into three chambers (north, south, and central).  The north and south side chambers contain carved inscriptions of President Lincoln’s two most famous speeches, Second Inaugural Address and his Gettysburg Address.

Between the north and south chambers contains the statute of President Lincoln sitting in contemplation. The statue, originally intended to be only 10 feet tall, was on further consideration enlarged so that it finally stood 19 feet tall from head to foot.  The scale being such that if President Lincoln were standing he would be 28 feet tall. Above him, you can see another inscription.

If you visit D.C., I highly recommend checking out this majestic national monument. The size, history, and symbolism will stay with you long after your visit here.

Enjoy a couple of photos below from a visit to the Lincoln Memorial several years ago with my sister.

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“The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” ~ President Abraham Lincoln

Super Bowl Pirates

This Sunday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will face the Kansas City Chiefs in the 55th Super Bowl game. As you probably already know, this year’s game will be held in Tampa Bay, Florida. For the first time in Super Bowl history, one of the two teams will host the game.

The Buccaneers name was said to be nostalgic of José Gaspar and the Buccaneers of the Caribbean Sea. José Gaspar (or better known as Gasparilla) was a Spanish pirate captain. His name literally means “Last of the Buccaneers.” According to legends, he traveled and terrorized the western coasts of Florida.

To celebrate the Super Bowl and the pirates of Florida, you can create a pirate treasure hunt for your little ones in your house and backyard. This activity can entertainment them while you watch the game. Create a simple treasure map and hide some goodies with a bigger treasure at the end of the map. Use an old box for your loot. You could also create an online treasure hunt for the kids with a map of clues having them visit certain websites and answer questions.

As legend has it, Gasparilla left a massive treasure hidden somewhere on Gasparilla Island (highly recommend checking out this part of Florida sometime – it’s gorgeous!). Be like a pirate and create a pirate treasure hunt!

Cheers Matey! Will the Tampa Bay Buccaneers win on their home turf or will the invading Kansas City Chiefs win?

Technology and Innovations

When you think about our national parks, you probably picture a grand canyon, geysers, mountains, tall trees, coral reefs, or vast open pieces of land. Did you know that the national park service also has a number of sites dedicated to technology and innovations? There’s about 15 of them.

The name of the Wright Brothers equates to an airplane not the national parks. But, they have a national memorial! You can find the Wright Brothers National Memorial in North Carolina.

On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made history and achieved their first successful flight after four years of scientific experimentation. They chose this part of North Carolina for the wind, sand, and isolation – all needed to safely and secretly learn how to fly.

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At this national park site, you can check out their flight lines, see reconstructed 1903 camps, visit a monument and visitor’s center.

Be an inventor like the Wright Brothers and check out this video by Ranger Amiee to build a simple sled kite. Orville and Wilbur did their early scientific experiments with kites. Click here for the video.

Do your research like the Wright Brothers and check out books about them, click here or here for a children’s book.

Can’t wait to go and check out the Wright Brothers National Memorial sometime soon!

Let’s Go Again

I’m still dreaming about travel. We usually travel to Florida around this time of year. So, I decided to go there today. Come with me! I’m traveling to the Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida. Virtually!

Did you know that this national park sits about 70 miles west of Key West? You can only access it by boat or seaplane. This 100-square-mile national park contains Fort Jefferson (one of the largest 19th century forts), coral reefs, an assortment of bird life and marine life, and two light houses here.

Did you know that 99% of this national park is underwater?

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Click on this link and let’s check it out on this virtual tour! Enjoy your journey with me to the Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida. Hope it gave you a moment of escape, wonder, and travel for a few minutes!