Give Thanks for Thanksgiving!

There is one day every year where many American people get together with their family, friends, and maybe even someone that they just met.  They make a big turkey (or a ham for some families) and many other food items.  After the food is all made they sit together at the table and enjoy their feast.  This special day is called Thanksgiving.  Today, families still eat many of those various types of food that have been enjoyed for many years. The average American person eats 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day!  On a regular day people eat much less, 2,000-2,500 calories a day which is only half of what people eat on Thanksgiving Day.

The first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621. That was 396 years ago!  The first Thanksgiving consisted of ham, lobster, clams, berries, etc. Considering the time when they made those things, it sounds like it would take a while to make. To prepare that food you couldn’t just go to the store and buy what you wanted.  Instead, they had to go hunting, gathering, and have a fire to be able to cook their food. There was so much work that was put into that day. In the end, I bet they had no regret for starting a tradition that has lasted for such a long time.

Have you ever thought what life would be like if we did not have Thanksgiving Day?  I think it would be bad. First of all, we would not have a day off school or work.  I would still be sitting in a chair rather than being at home with my family.  I also wouldn’t get together with my family near the beginning of winter to make a lot of food.  Finally, I wouldn’t be allowed to be lazy all day and instead would be yelled at to get up or go outside.  I am  very thankful for Thanksgiving Day.


It’s October 31,  houses have spooky ghosts,  cobwebs,  and skeletons.  You know what time of years it is… Halloween!  In modern times,  Halloween means walking up to someone’s door in a spooky costume with a bag,  and saying “trick-or-treat!”  then getting candy.  But has it always been this fun holiday?   Keep reading to find out.  

Halloween began as an ancient celtic festival known as Samhain.  People would light giant bonfires and dress up to ward off ghosts.  Eventually,  people changed it and began doing stuff like trick or treat and carving jack-o-lanterns.  Halloween marks the end of summer (the growing season)  and the beginning of fall (the harvesting season).  The celtics believed that on October 31,  the ghosts of the dead would come to life and ruin their crops.  They also believed that on Halloween their priest’s could predict the future.  

Thanks to modern conveniences,  we can order our costumes online for very cheap.  Back then,  people had to make their costumes from their own stuff. They would use things like straw and bark.  In case you were wondering,  the celtics are what make up modern day Ireland.  

Unless you live in a neighborhood,  it can be hard to find somewhere to trick or treat.  You can always ask a friend if you can go anywhere with them.  In lots of kids cartoons,  you see that lame adult that hands out toothpaste or something,  but oral health on halloween is important.  Be sure to brush your teeth for at least two minutes.  Enough of that,  though.  Way back in the day,  you were supposed to dress up like something scary,  like a ghost,  a ghoul,  a zombie,  or a skeleton or something.  Now, some people still do that,  but mostly you will see superheros,  princesses,  or  a bumble bee.  I’m shivering in fear just thinking about that  bumblebee.  Before you read this, when you heard “Halloween”,  you probably thought trick or treating,  but I hope that I have teached you a bit more about Halloween.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. day is celebrated on January 16th during 2017, which is around the time of his birthday. The special holiday honors and celebrates the life of Martin Luther King Jr. who was the main leader of the Civil Rights Movement that ended racial segregation in America. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a wonderful and supportive family. He also had a few medals that awarded his accomplishments, many other awards and one of his many speeches became well known.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr was a very important man in America during the 1950s and 1960s. Being the leader of the Civil Rights Movement, he also played a very important role in the history of America. He fought to make rights equal between all Americans, which meant ending the segregation between the people. The Civil Rights Movement served to make all Americans equal and not separate. Before 1954, which was when segregation in public schools was outlawed, there was a saying “separate but equal” which was later struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1964, the Civil Rights Act outlawed all segregation in every state across America.

Martin Luther King Jr. had a wonderful and supportive family. He had a wife named Coretta Scott King, and four children. Coretta and Martin’s children’s names were, Martin Luther King III, Dexter Scott King, Yolanda Denise King, and Bernice Albertine King. Finally, King had two siblings named Christine and Alfred. His parents were Alberta and Martin Luther King Sr.

In his lifetime, which was cut short in 1968, King achieved many accomplishments for his work. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 at 35 years old. Martin Luther King Jr. was also Time magazine’s “Man of The Year” in 1963. King also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004. Because he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, his wife, Coretta King, received the awards on behalf of her husband.

In short, Martin Luther King Jr. day serves to honor and celebrate a man who helped shape America into what it has become today. He was the main leader in the Civil Rights Movement and helped end segregation among Americans. Because of his hard work, he earned many awards for his accomplishments, including an entire day to honor and celebrate his life and accomplishments.

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Veterans Day

veterans-day-imageVeterans Day is a day dedicated to remembering and celebrating the memory of the veterans who sacrificed themselves for our country.  Veterans Day hasn’t always been known as Veterans Day.  The day used to be called Armistice Day but that was changed in 1938 because the word Armistice only referred to those that fought in World War One.  By 1938 World War Two had already happened so the 83rd U.S. Congress removed the word Armistice and replaced it with the word Veterans.

Veterans Day was set as a legal holiday on November 11, 1918 right after World War One ended, that is when it was called Armistice Day.  The reason that Veterans Day used to be called Armistice Day is because on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 an armistice, or a truce, was called between Germany and the Allied nations. 

In 1968, a Uniforms Holiday Bill guaranteed a three day weekend for four national holidays on Mondays for federal employees.  The four national holidays were: Veterans Day, Columbus Day, Memorial Day, and Washington’s Birthday.  Many states did not agree with the decision to get Mondays off for these holidays and would celebrate them on their original dates. On September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed A law  to make Veterans Day always on November 11th beginning in 1978.

On August 4, 2001, a law was passed making November 11 through November 17 National Veterans Awareness Week.  During this week, schools must educate their students about the contributions made by the veterans.

Many people get Veterans Day and Memorial Day confused but there are actually quite a few differences between them.  The main difference between the two holidays is Memorial Day is remembering those who died in war, whereas Veterans Day is honoring those who have fought for our country whether they are dead or alive.

Hopefully you have learned something about Veterans Day in this post, to learn more click here.  Also, if there is anything that you know about Veterans Day that you would like to share please comment it below!

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History of Columbus Day


Columbus Day isn’t just an American holiday, many other countries like Spain, Italy and Costa Rica also celebrate on this day. Columbus Day usually take place between October 10 and October 15. The history of Columbus Day is very simple but confusing at the same time. Christopher Columbus set sail in 1492 in his three ships, The Pinta’, The Nina’ and The Santa Maria. Columbus wasn’t out for the Americas when he set sail he wanted to go after North West Asia where there were thought to be spices and materials of high value. Although Christopher was a wealthy explorer he wasn’t the best person out there, often after he met new islanders he would enslave them and sell them on the Italian market. By the 1500’s it is said that he and his brothers sold over 1,500 slaves!

Although Columbus is said to have three ships he actually had four but one sank on the way to the bahamas when a sailor didn’t spot a sharp, jagged rock fast enough. The Santa Maria also sank in 1492 after hitting a reef in Haiti. The ship had many crew members(see below)


  • Cristobal Colon (Christopher Columbus), captain-general[20]
  • Juan de la Cosa, owner and master
  • Pedro Alonso Niño, pilot
  • Diego de Arana, master-at-arms
  • Pedro de Gutierrez, royal steward
  • Rodrigo de Escobedo, secretary of the fleet
  • Rodrigo Sanchez, comptroller
  • Luis de Torres, interpreter
  • Bartolome Garcia, boatswain
  • Chachu, boatswain
  • Cristobal Caro, goldsmith
  • Juan Sanchez, physician
  • Antonio de Cuéllar, carpenter
  • Diego Perez, painter
  • Lope, joiner
  • Maestre Juan
  • Rodrigo de Jerez
  • Alonso Chocero
  • Alonso Clavijo
  • Andres de Yruenes
  • Bartolome Biues
  • Bartolome de Torres
  • Diego Bermudez
  • Domingo de Lequeitio
  • Gonzalo Franco
  • Jacomel Rico
  • Juan (Horacio Crassocius from La Rabida Friary)
  • Juan de Jerez
  • Juan de la Placa
  • Juan Martines de Acoque
  • Juan de Medina
    • Jacomel Rico
    • Juan (Horacio Crassocius from La Rabida Friary)
    • Juan de Jerez
    • Juan de la Placa
    • Juan Martines de Acoque
    • Juan de Medina
    • edro de Salcedo, servant of Columbus and ship’s boy
    • Rodrigo de Gallego
    • Pedro de Terreros, cabin boy

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Why and How America Declared Independence

Revolutionary WarThe Revolutionary War or American War represents America’s independence.  This war started in June 1775 and ended in 1783 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.  The starting of the war happened 10 years before the violence of the war actually started.  What lead up to the war started when members of the thirteen original colonies wanted to be represented as part of the British parliament.  The British parliament which was their government by force, raised taxes (this was also known as the Stamp Act).  The Tea Act also took place during this time as well.  The resistance to the British parliament brought up violence to a band of colonists.  This was known as the Boston Massacre of 1770.  Five colonial men had died during the Boston Massacre.  After this happened in 1773 colonial men dressed up as Mohawk  Indians and dumped 342 tea chests into the Boston Harbor (this act is known as the Boston Tea Party).  The parliament was angry and brought British authority into Massachusetts known as the Coercive Acts.

After this a group of colonial men (George Washington, Patrick Henry, John Jay, John and Samuel Adams) joined together against the parliament to give their speeches in 1774.  This was the First Continental Congress, but the First Congress didn’t go to well.  They managed to lower taxation among the parliament and make speeches but that’s all they did.  When they decided to meet again, war and violence had already started.  The date in which they met again was in May 1775.  The first of the violence had started when shots were fired in Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts.  Younger men that were fifteen or maybe even twelve had fought.  Women, Indians, and African Americans fought in the war also.  They helped out the thirteen colonies that wanted to declare their independence as the United States of America.

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Teacher Appreciation Week

May 2 through the 6th is Teacher Appreciation Week. Everyday teachers do so much for us, from coming in early to help other students to taking time on the weekends to plan, for school can be fun for students. Teachers can also change your life. Lots of people remember those special teachers that make a big impact on their life.

Many countries around the world celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week. Different countries celebrate this week on different days. Chipotle is offering a deal for teachers. Any teacher can buy one burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos and get a second one free.

At McDowell we have some amazing teachers that take time to make learning fun. They plan fun activities and allow us to do group projects. They also get to know everyone of their students. This week take time to thank your teachers for all of their hard work!

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Since Veteran’s Day is coming up I am interviewing a my dad (a veteran) in this post.

Q: What branch did you serve in?

A: “I served in the United States Air Force.”

Q: What years did you serve?

A: “1989-1995”

Q: What was your primary job duty?

A: “I was a flightline special purpose equipment technician.”

Q: Were you stationed overseas?  If so where?

A: “Yes.  Rhein Mein Air Force base in Frankfurt, Germany.”

Q: Did you serve in any active warzones?

A: “Yes, in the Gulf War and Mogadishu, Somalia.

Q: Did you serve anywhere else overseas?  If so where?

A: “Yes, I served on a presidential support detail to Moscow, Russia for President Clinton.  Also I served in Ukraine on training missions.”

Q: Where else has your military career taken you?

A: “I’ve been to Kismayo, Kenya, England, Egypt, Bahrain, and some undisclosed locations.” (he’s not allowed to share)

Q: What, if any special training have you had?

A: “I’ve been trained in hand to hand combat, weapons training, survival training, leadership training, and many other items critical to the mission.”

Q: What kind of security clearances did you have?

A: “I had secret security clearances.”

Q: What kind of weapons did you specialize in?

A: “I specialized in the M16.”

Q: Have you ever been shot at?

A: “Yes, but only one time.”

Q: Have you ever seen any historic landmarks?

A: Yes, I saw the Great Pyramids of Giza.”

Q: How do you think your experience in the military has made you into the person you are today?

A: “ It has made me into a stronger person and has taught me the true meaning of respect.”

Important Dates in History: Halloween

Halloween:  We’ve heard of it, and usually celebrated it. But do you know where this tradition of dressing up and carving pumpkins? Well, most of you will say no. So, I am here to talk about Halloween’s origins. Here we go.

Some say Halloween has pagan origins. “The Celtic Festival of Samhain (Sow-in)”, which we think is directed to Halloween, and it marked the end of August and the harvest season. The Samhain people held feasts to commemorate the departed souls of our world. Along with the deceased, it was believed that “supernatural beings” came into our realm. But not all of them were good…

Because of that, people started to wear costumes (Not a costume that you get from Party City), and carve turnips in an attempt to scare away evil spirits. Other Customs of Samhain show that people went to other houses for fuel, water, and food for the festival. This tradition came here through Scottish and Irish immigration in the 19th Century. Then, this is where the Pumpkin replaced the Turnip, and the scarecrow and corn husks were added to the tradition.

Since Halloween is linked to paranormal things and the dead, and when people started to get involved in Halloween, the costumes were mostly themed with the dead or ghosts. But these days, costumes have expanded to famous people, and pop culture characters, and more. Instead of asking for offering for the festival, most kids are looking for sweets ( I happen to do so). Playing pranks, telling ghost stories, watching horror films, and going to parties are some of the things we celebrate Halloween with.

That’s how Halloween started, and what we do to celebrate it with. Make sure to check back for more posts on McDowell Media.

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Important Dates In History; The First Thanksgiving


  Living in England in the 1600’s was not easy. With little to no religious opinion, you were most likely Catholic. But there was a group of people who wanted more religious opinion and didn’t want to live under the rules of a king. These people were what we now call “pilgrims”, but back then they called themselves “separatists”. The separatists, or “saints”, left Nottinghamshire, England because they didn’t like the way the Catholic Church of England and it’s religious beliefs were set up. The “saints” moved to Holland to get more religious freedom. Luckily, they found that religious freedom, but they also found low-paying Dutch Migrant jobs. That was the last straw. The “saints” moved again, but this time to a better land with more freedom. North America.

  On August 5, 1620, two ships named the Speedwell and the Mayflower set sail for America. About 7 days after leaving from Delfshaven in the Netherlands, the Speedwell began leaking and the ships made an emergency stop in a town called Dartmouth in Nova Scotia, Canada. After the Speedwell was fixed they continued their journey to America on August 21. A few hundred miles into the trip, the Speedwell began leaking again. Frustrated and exhausted, the “saints” sailed all the way back to Plymouth, England and left the Speedwell behind. The “saints” weren’t giving up though, instead they piled anyone who still wanted to come on the trip, into the Mayflower. With 102 passengers, boxes of supplies and an estimated crew of 30, the Mayflower set sail again on September 6.

  After 66 long days on the ship, American land was finally spotted on November 9. Before finding somewhere nice to settle down and build homes, the “saints” or now called Pilgrims had to live on their ship all through winter. Most people on the ship died from malnutrition, disease and exposure to the cold weather, only 53 passengers and about half of the crew survived. Luckily, a local Native-American named Samoset helped the Pilgrims get food and other important things to survive. During the summer the Native-American tribe called Wampanoags showed the Pilgrims how to hunt local animals and plant and harvest crops. At the end of summer of 1621, the two groups celebrated their success by having a three day feast called “Thanksgiving”, which we still celebrate today.

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