U.N. Chief Sets Tone for Climate Conference with Dire Warning
December 2, 2019
The COP25 environmental awareness conference has begun in Madrid, with the Secretary-General of the United Nations once again issuing a dire warning for the leading nations of the world to get with the program. Antonio Guterres, the top U.N. official, had this to say, among other things, in the COP25 logo address that began the 11-day conference: "By the end of the coming decade we will be on one of two paths, one of which is sleepwalking past the point of no return." Guterres has been particularly critical of the G20 and other leading nations in recent days and weeks, charging them with ignoring their responsibilities to adhere the international agreement to which they agreed four years ago in the Paris Agreement. He said that the youth of the world, organizing ClimateStrike events in nearly every continent for many months, were showing more leadership than their adult counterparts.

Montgomery Statue Honors Civil Rights Pioneer Rosa Parks
December 1, 2019
Rosa Parks statueOn Rosa Parks Day, the city of Montgomery, Ala., unveiled a statue to the civil rights pioneer. It was on Dec. 1, 1955 that the courageous and admittedly "very tired" Parks refused to give up her seat on a public bus to a white man. She was sitting the section designated for nonwhite people, but an overflow of white passengers prompted the bus driver to increase the size of the "whites only" section. According to the laws in Alabama at the time, the white man who wanted the seat that Parks was occupying was within his rights to have it and she was supposed to move. She refused, the driver called police, and she was arrested and jailed and paid a $14 fine. The statue is near the Rosa Parks Library and Museum and about 30 feet from the very spot where Parks boarded the bus on that day all those years ago. The city of Montgomery also unveiled four historic markers to commemorate the four plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court decision Browder v. Gayle, which ruled the Montgomery bus segregation laws unconstitutional. Mary Louise Smith, one of the plaintiffs, was on hand for the ceremony, as was Fred Gray, the attorney who argued the Browder case and also defended Parks.

Long-lost Manuscript Has Corrections by Queen Elizabeth I
December 1, 2019
Queen Elizabeth I manuscriptQueen Elizabeth I is the author of a newly discovered 16th-Century manuscript, a researcher has asserted. John-Mark Philo of the University of East Anglia was looking for manuscript translations of Tacitus, the well-known Roman historian, when he found what he says is such a translation written by Queen Elizabeth herself. Philo's evidence is twofold: The queen was the only known translator of Tacitus at that time, and the manuscript was of the same paper stock and features some of the hallmark's of the queen's writing.


The Attack on Pearl Harbor
Get the basic facts and figures in this easy-to-read article.

Pearl Harbor: An Eyewitness Account
See the attack and the events leading up to it through the eyes of young Army Private Joseph McDonald.

A Personal Journey to the USS Arizona Memorial
Join the Author on a recent trip to the memorial of the battleship that sunk in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, killing 1,178 on board.

Lincoln Announces Reconstruction
Reconstruction was Lincoln's plan to restore the Union. He announced it on Dec. 8, 1863, with the outcome of the war still very much in doubt. Among Lincoln's proposals were a pardon for every Southerner who took an oath to support the Union and the allowance of a state to re-enter if 10 percent of a state's voters took that oath. Congress, on the other hand, wanted to force a state to get 50 percent. Lincoln died before his plan was put into action. Andrew Johnson, who took over as President, had a slightly different plan.

A History of Federal Impeachment in the United States

Impeachment is a process that can result in the removal from office of a high-ranking government official. The concept has its roots in England, where the first recorded impeachment took place in 1376. The impeachment of English officials was sporadic and ended in the 19th Century. America's Founding Fathers included the concept in the U.S. Constitution. Article II, Section 4 reads thus:

"The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors."

The House has begun impeachment proceedings more than 60 times, but only 19 have resulted in full impeachments. Two U.S. Presidents, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, have been impeached; both were acquitted by the Senate, Johnson in 1868 and Clinton in 1998. A third President, Richard Nixon, resigned in the face of impeachment proceedings. Another President, John Tyler, was the target of impeachment proceedings with regard to the fiery debate over states' rights, but the full House did not approve the measure.

December: 31 Days of Fun and Celebration

It's Christmas and Hanukkah and Advent and Boxing Day and Santa and the reindeer and carols and much more, all rolled up into one.


Farming in Ancient Egypt One of history's oldest civilizations is that of Ancient Egypt. Start here for a basic overview.

The Nile River and its famous floods gave rise to much prime farmland and many prime settlements. The Ancient Egyptians had various ways to deal with the annual river flooding, such as creating irrigation canals and drainage ditches. They used a water-raising device called a shadoof, one of many innovations in agriculture.

Find out more about the ancient Egyptians:

  • Ramses II at Abu Simbel
    Ramses II


    Trace the development of this ancient powerhouse civilization, from the first pharaoh, Narmer, through the glory days of the empire and the famous warriors Ramses II and Thutmose III, who was so successful that he was known in later times as the "Napoleon of Ancient Egypt," to the very last pharaoh, the exotic Cleopatra.
  • Read the story of Djoser, the pharaoh who behind the construction of the first Pyramid, the Step Pyramid, and of the more famous Pyramids, at Giza, and the ingenious methods that the Ancient Egyptians used to transport those massive blocks of stone from quarry to building site and then put them into place with precision.
  • Who were the Hyksos? Was it an invasion or more of an ancient corporate takeover?
  • It wasn't all kings and wars and big building projects. People lived out their daily lives doing what was needed to survive as well. Find out more about daily life in Ancient Egypt.
  • Isis Religion informed nearly every part of life for the Egyptians in ancient times. Find out more about their gods and how they were worshiped and just how important your daily conduct was to your chances in the afterlife.
  • Egyptians worshiped many gods. At times, they had a chief god. In one monumental interlude in the long polytheistic history of the civilization, they worshiped just one god, Aten. This was the monotheistic revolution of Akhenaten, who built his own royal capital at Amarna.
  • Of a similar ambition was Hatshepsut, the famous female pharaoh who ruled with an iron grip for more than two decades.
  • The Egyptians wrote in pictures. Find out more about the symbol characters known as hieroglyphs and how, because of the patience of later archaeologists, the Rosetta Stone revealed the secrets of that language.


Jamestown: First English Colony in America
Explorers had been landing in America for some time before English settlers arrived in what is now Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. But it was in that spot on the James River that English colonization began and with it, the history of America.

The Pilgrims: Voyage to Freedom
Follow the Pilgrims as they sail across the Atlantic Ocean, from England to America, in search of religious freedom. See who they meet when they land in New England. Find out about the first Thanksgiving.

The 13 American Colonies
This fun, illustrated article describes the 13 American Colonies in detail, from economics to religion to agriculture to revolution. Also includes a clickable map with links to individual descriptions of each colony and a list of the first European settlements in North America. Outstanding resource!

Farming in the 13 American Colonies
The focus is on agriculture in this look at how the colonists farmed and what they grew. See wheat turn into flour!

Religion in the 13 American Colonies
In colonial America, how you worshipped depended on where you lived. See how each colony taught religion and where they gathered for worship.

Education in the 13 American Colonies
Did colonial schools really keep girls out? Find out this and more in this entertaining look at education in colonial times.

Food in the 13 American Colonies
What did the colonists eat and how did they get it? This fun, illustrated article tells you.

Parks and Fun in the 13 American Colonies
Did colonial kids play? If so, what games did they play? This article has the answers for you. Some things haven't changed.

Significant Sevens are the highest, the lowest, the deepest, the farthest, the oldest, the youngest, and a host of other lists in economics, geography, history, and much more.

Cultural Icons are the instantly recognizable monuments, landforms, buildings, and many other kinds of landmarks that define a people, place, or culture.



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Social Studies for Kids
copyright 2002–2019
David White