Sunday, February 6, 2011

This Day in History...

This past week has been chock full of historical events: The start of Black History Month & Birthday of Langston Hughes (Feb. 1), Groundhog Day & the day Mexico gave New Mexico & California to the U.S. (Feb. 2), The day the music died (Feb. 3), and tons of Civil War history.  So much has been going on in my life, it was hard to get the time to write about the things I wanted.  Work has swallowed me whole and spit me out in little pieces.  You would think with a snow day last week I'd have time to write, but I didn't. 

Langston Hughes is my favorite poet.  One of my favorite poems he has written, which ties into black history month, is My People.  It's short and sweet, and explains the beauty of ALL people.  It basically says we are all the same, regardless of our outward differences.  It's a belief we should all carry, but sadly racism and prejudice still exists.  Remember my post about segregating homerooms?  Surprisingly (*note my sarcasm), that was a failed experiment.  This poem contains powerful words that can be used as a reminder to those who have forgotten that we are ALL the same.

The next day in February brought about Groundhog day.  Supposedly, the groundhog predicted early spring, but with all this ice outside...I just don't see it.  I kind of blew that to the side to impart some history to my kids about the Treaty of Guadalupe.  When that was signed, it ended the Mexican-American War.  The treaty added additional territory to United States, including what is now the states of Texas, California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona, as well as parts of Colorado and Wyoming.  Win for the U.S. part of my kiddos, loss for their Mexican side.

The day the music died.  A day that the music world mourns.  This is my musical era, so even though I wasn't alive when it happened, it's still a loss when you think of all the music they could have created.  On February 3, 1959, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, J.P. "Big Bopper" Richardson and the pilot, Roger Peterson, died when their plane crashed. Three of Rock and Roll's most promising performers were gone.  American Pie by Don McLean explains about the crash.  It's a great song on it's own, but when you know the words behind it, it gives the song more meaning.

The rest of February has so much more on it's other days.  We still have plenty of birthdays to celebrate: Babe Ruth, Charles Lindbergh, Charles Dickens, Jules Verne, Thomas Edison, Victor Hugo, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and all the presidents...who new such a short month would have so much to offer?  Let's not forget Valentine's Day either.  Phew!  I'm going to be a busy mom this month!