Resources for Teachers and Students
For the week of Sep. 26, 2021
George Gershwin (1898-1937): Jewish American. Composer. Gershwin won international fame in the 1920s as a composer of scores for Broadway musical comedies, collaboration with his brother, the lyricist Ira Gershwin; their songs include iI Got Rhythm,i iThe Man I Love,i and iSiWonderful.i Gershwin also wrote successful concert music using blues and jazz themes, notably the Rhapsody in Blue, and the African American ifolk operai Porgy and Bess.
Bessie Smith (1894-1937) : African American. Blues singer. Bessie Smithis authentic country blues style was first recorded in 1923. During her first year as a recording artist, she sold over two million records. Known as the iEmpress of the Blues,i she achieved her greatest fame between 1924 and 1927, when she was accompanied by some of the great jazz artists of the time.
Confuciusi Birthday (551-479 B. C. E.): Republic of China (Taiwan). Celebrated as Teacheris Day in Taiwan, this date is the anniversary of the birth of Confucius, the founder of the main doctrines of Chinese philosophy, and is one of the eight national holidays observed in the Republic of China. iConfuciusi is a Latin version of his title Kiung fu-tzu, meaning iMaster Kiung.i Confucius is revered by all Chinese as the iTeacher of All Generations.i Colorful rites are performed at all Confucian temples on this day.
Enrico Fermi (1901-1954): Italian American. Scientist. Fermi was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 1938 for his research on radioactivity. In 1942 he created the first self-sustaining chain reaction in uranium, an achievement that made possible the development of the atomic bomb and other devices using nuclear energy.
Jose Morelos (1765-1815): Mexican. Political and military leader. A village priest, Morelos joined the uprising led by Father Miguel Hidalgo in 1810 to fight for Mexicois independence from Spain. Appointed a lieutenant, Morelos became the most successful commander of the rebel forces, rising to the position of supreme commander. His victories culminated in the capture of Acapulco in 1813. He then led the effort to convene a congress, which issued a declaration of independence and a constitution for Mexico. Factional conflicts among the leaders weakened the insurgent movement, however, and Morelos lost his command. In 1815 he was defeated, captured, tried, and executed by the Spanish.
National Farm Workers Association (1962): Mexican American. On this date Cesar Chavez founded a union of agricultural laborers, most of them Mexican and Mexican American migrant workers. The event was one of the signs of a rising activism among Latinos and a new resolve to press for economic and social justice.
Ronald H. Brown (1941-1996): African American. Lawyer, civil rights activist, politician. Appointed by President Clinton on January 21, 1993, Ron Brown became the first African American to hold the office of secretary of commerce. He was born in Washington D.C., and later graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont. After serving four years in the army in both Germany and Korea, he earned a law degree from St. John's University. He served as chief counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee under the chairmanship of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and became a leader in the civil rights movement as deputy executive director, general counsel, and vice president for Washington operations for the National Urban League. In 1988, he became chairman of the Democratic Party. He died in a plane crash while on a trade mission to Bosnia and Croatia.
Independence Day: Nigeria. This national holiday commemorates the nation's achieving independence from Britain in 1960.
National Day: People's Republic of China. This marks the anniversary of the victory of the Communist Party led by Mao Zedong over the Nationalist. Forces led by Chiang Kai-shek and the declaration of the People's Republic of China in 1949. This holiday is celebrated on October 1 and October 2.
Nat Turner (1800-1831): African American. Leader of a slave revolt. In August 1831 Turner led a bloody uprising in Southampton County, Virginia, in which 57 whites were killed. Nearly 100 Blacks died in the manhunt that led to his capture. Turner was eventually tried and hanged.
Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948): India. Political leader. This is a national holiday in India honoring Gandhi's leadership of the Indian resistance to British rule that culminated in the establishment of an independent Indian state in 1947. Honored all over the world as one of the moral heroes and most influential figures of the century, Gandhi articulated and lived a doctrine of nonviolence, insisting that those who struggle for justice must respect the sanctity of life. This is the day of his birth.
John Ross (1790-1866): American Indian (Cherokee). Political leader. Ross served as chief of the Cherokee nation from 1827, when the tribe established a constitutional government, to his death. After trying unsuccessfully to prevent the forced removal of his people from their land in the Southeast, he led the Cherokee on their journey over the Trail if Tears to Oklahoma and devoted himself to maintaining the unity of the resettled people.
German Unity Day: Germany. After World War II, Germany was divided between West Germany, under a democratic government, and East Germany, under a communist government. With the collapse of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, the final reunification of Germany under a democratic government took place on this day in 1990.
National Foundation Day (Kaech'on-jol) Korea. This commemorates the founding of the first Korean state in 2333 B.C.E. by Tan'gun.
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