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First Day Covers



At the beginning of the

World Series of 1947,

I experienced a

completely new

emotion when the

National Anthem was

played. This time,

I thought, it is being

played for me,

as much as for anyone else.

Jackie Robinson


On June 29, 1947 at

the Lincoln Memorial,

Harry Truman became

the first president to

speak to the NAACP.

To view photos and

read his hand-edited

speech, go to the




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lesson ideas to use in your classroomon on Facebook.


First Day Cover Lessons.




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FDC Lessons at


FDC Image Stamp




When citizens talk about history, they tend to remember events more than specific days or years, though the vast majority of adults know that the tax-filing deadline is April 15. They probably don't know that Congress set that date in 1954. This spring's bombing in Boston will always be connected to the Marathon, but most people will not remember the exact day or year, April 15, 2013. Other examples include, people recalling the citizen/soldiers fighting at Lexington & Concord that started the Revolutionary War, but maybe not, April 19, 1775; or that the Continental Congress ratified a preliminary peace treaty with Great Britain, but not April 15, 1783; or that President Lincoln was assassinated, but not April 14, 1865; or that the unsinkable Titanic sank, but maybe not April 15, 1912; and finally people will connect Jackie Robinson with baseball, but maybe not that he was the first African-American to play in the National Baseball League beginning on April 15, 1947.

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(click to enlarge)


As a history teacher, how do you help students remember events? How do you teach sequencing or cause and effect? One of the most compelling strategies is allowing students to analyze images. Isn't that what the citizens and security forces of Boston did to identify those involved in the Boston bombing? They analyzed images. Social Studies Skills are the "common core" to learning. When presented with an image, whether a photograph, painting, video, envelope or stamp, students can start with the basic who, what, where, when, why and how questions. Then with practice and teacher guidance, move up to the more challenging skills of comparing, inferring, and drawing conclusions. For example, why did the Revolutionary War patriots in 1783 settle for the Mississippi River as the western border of the United States? Or did the integration of baseball influence President Truman to integrate the military by issuing Executive Order 9981? Finally, to help seal an event into memory, assign students to create their own image.

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)



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