Native Americans


When Columbus “discovered” America, little did he know that he had encountered a vast continent that was home to hundreds of indigenous nations with their own distinct cultures. As more Europeans arrived, these native peoples, who lived in harmony with the land, were systematically herded to designated areas to live in confinement and abject poverty. Native communities were destroyed and others were forcefully assimilated.

Centuries later, Native Americans work to reestablish and maintain their heritage through educational programs and advancement. In 1990, in an effort to honor and recognize Native Americans, the U.S. government designated the first National American Indian Heritage Month. The National Museum of the American Indian, which houses a vast collection of artifacts, was established as part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. in 2004.

The rich history and myriad achievements of Native Americans are highlighted in such SIRS Renaissance articles as:

SIRS® Renaissance is part of the library’s SIRS Knowledge Source database.

National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month


The month of November is celebrated as National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. Efforts to gain a day of recognition for the significant contributions that Native Americans made to the establishment and growth of the United States first began at the turn of the century.

SIRS Knowledge Source has many articles in its database detailing various issues concerning American Indian and Alaska Native people, including tribal culture, history, and relations with the American government. Articles include:

Read more articles from the SIRS Knowledge Source

Nourishing Young Minds


Historical newspapers give plenty of advice on what to feed school children—and you’ll note that the food pyramid has definitely changed over the decades! They also deliver plenty of handy lunch and after-school snack recipes, and cover the ongoing—and emotional—debate about the nutritional value and effectiveness of school lunch programs.

Click on the images below for more food for thought.

Correct Diet for a 10-Year-Old Child
We think this is going to be one strapping lad!

After-School Snacks
“Slangy” teenage reporter Jane Murdock is on the scene, describing all the tasty concoctions the high school “pupilation” craves after school.

Peanut Butter: Versatile After-School Treat
If it were still 1994, we would request a copy of “Dang Crunchy. Plumb Good Texas Peanut Recipes for Kids” from the Texas peanut growers referenced in this article!

Workhouse Meals Being Served in Schools
When the issue involves the school lunch program and budgets, politicians always have plenty to chew on.

The School Lunch
And now, a word from our sponsor…

Use the Virtual Library’s historical newspapers – The New York Times 18851-2006 and The Los Angeles Times 1881-1986 to find your own articles on nutrition.

Fly away with us


During the month of November, not only is it acceptable to have your head stuck in the clouds, it’s actually encouraged! Stop by the Virtual  Library and celebrate National Aviation History month by checking out some online books and articles on flight. Whether it’s brushing up on your mythology (Daedalus and Icarus attempted to fly using wax wings), learning more about the two American brothers who pioneered the first powered airplane or where the sky had no limits for a young woman, your reading this month is sure to transport you up, up and away.

The Flyers
In Search of Wilbur & Orville Wright
Noah Adams, former host of NPR’s ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, is a passionately curious and captivating raconteur. His latest foray follows the footsteps of Wilbur and Orville Wright across the U.S. and France, and finds the brothers surprisingly complex. Adams traces Wilbur’s first trip to North Carolina’s remote Outer Banks and visits the dirt horse-racing track in France where the Wright Flyer smashed records and amazed the European aviation community. He visits Wilbur’s takeoff point for a daring twenty-mile roundtrip up the Hudson River as a million people watched below. Adams’s wonder and delight fuel our own, as he invites us into the brothers’ bicycle shop, shows us their first experiments and inventions, and makes us instinctively understand the dynamics of wind and the physics of flight.
1902glidder1902 Glidder How the Problem of Control was Solved
Includes a WebQuest from NASA
Amelia Earhart The Sky’s No LimitAs a tomboy growing up in Kansas, Amelia Earhart delighted in trying new and risky things, once she even built a roller-coaster in her grandparent’s backyard. In her 20s she fell in love with flight while watching an aerobatics exhibition and grew even more enthralled when she took her first airplane ride. At age 24 she earned her pilot’s wings and in 1928 took part in the transatlantic “Friendship” flight. In 1937 she married publisher George Putnam who managed her career and promoted her zealously, ensuring her status as the world’s best-known aviatrix. The next year she soloed the Atlantic, afterward receiving the Distinguished Flying Cross and began championing the efforts of women to explore careers traditionally held by men. Tragically, just days before her 40th birthday her plane vanished en route to a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean as she neared the end of her round-the-world journey. After an exhaustive search, no trace of the plane or Amelia was ever found.
icarusMASUltra – School Edition

Credo Reference

Today’s Science

Picture from: Daedalus Attaching Icarus’ Wings, c.1754 In The Bridgeman Art Library Archive

November Holidays


You Are the Historian: Investigating the First Thanksgiving
Learn about being a historian by investigating the cultures of the Wampanoag Indians and the pilgrim colonists at the first Thanksgiving feast. Macromedia Flash is required. Includes a teacher’s guide. Source: Plmoth Plantation Museum

Thanksgiving in American Memory
Learn about Thanksgiving through the original Thanksgiving proclamation, views of Thanksgiving from many perspectives and a graphical Thanksgiving timeline.(LOC) Learn more about Columbus Day on this page. Source: Library of Congress (LOC)

The Origins of Veterans Day
“In 1921, an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. This site, on a hillside overlooking the Potomac River and the city of Washington, D.C., became the focal point of reverence for America’s veterans.” (VA) Read about the history of the national commemoration to honor veterans in the United States. Source: Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)