December 19

Thomas Paine publishes “American Crisis”

December 19, 1776

Related Lessons

  • Common Sense: The Rhetoric of Popular Democracy
    Lesson Plan / History & Social Studies
    Common Sense: The Rhetoric of Popular Democracy

    This lesson looks at Thomas Paine and at some of the ideas presented in his pamphlet Common Sense, such as national unity, natural rights, the illegitimacy of the monarchy and of hereditary aristocracy, and the necessity for independence and the revolutionary struggle.

Washington’s Continental Army marches into Valley Forge

December 19, 1777

Related Lessons

  • Lesson 1: The War in the North, 1775–1778
    Lesson Plan / History & Social Studies
    Lesson 1: The War in the North, 1775–1778

    Lacking any organized army before 1775 (aside from local colonial militias), the Continental Congress had to assemble a more or less improvised fighting force that would be expected to take on the army of the world's largest empire. This lesson will trace events in the North from 1775 to 1778. By looking at documents of the time, and using an interactive map, students will see how an army was created and understand the challenges that Washington and his men faced during this critical early stage of the war.

  • Lesson 2: Powers and Problems
    Lesson Plan / History & Social Studies
    Lesson 2: Powers and Problems

    Students examine Washington's ability to handle a wide range of problems during his time as Commander-in-chief.

  • Lesson 3: Leadership in Victory and Defeat
    Lesson Plan / History & Social Studies
    Lesson 3: Leadership in Victory and Defeat

    In this lesson, students examine Washington as a military leader and explore some of the difficulties he faced during the Revolutionary War.

Related Student Resources

  • American War for Independence: Interactive Map
    Student Resource / History & Social Studies
    American War for Independence: Interactive Map

    Interactive map of the campaigns of the American Revolution in the northern colonies. Accompanies curriculum unit: The American War for Independence

  • Student Resource / Art & Culture
    Emmanuel Leutze's Washington Crossing the Delaware

    Roll over the image to explore the areas of the painting, clicking to bring up the descriptive pop-ups. Make notes in the pop-up's tabs to prepare you for the follow-on multiple-choice questions (under "Test Your Knowledge"), and answer the essay questions on the pop-up tabs. After completing these tasks, follow the instructions for printing out your answers and notes, and you can also print the image istself.

Benjamin Franklin begins publishing “Poor Richard’s Almanac”

December 19, 1732

Related Lessons

  • Benjamin Franklin's Many "Hats"
    Lesson Plan / Art & Culture
    Benjamin Franklin's Many "Hats"

    Ben Franklin, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and of the Constitution was also a philanthropist, a community leader, patriot, and Founding Father. This lesson plan exemplifies all our new country fought for in the Revolutionary War: individualism, democracy, community, patriotism, scientific inquiry and invention, and the rights of “We the People.”

Builder of the world's largest coke and steel operation, Henry Clay Frick, born

December 19, 1849

Related Lessons

  • The Industrial Age in America: Sweatshops, Steel Mills, and Factories
    Lesson Plan / History & Social Studies
    The Industrial Age in America: Sweatshops, Steel Mills, and Factories

    About a century has passed since the events at the center of this lesson-the Haymarket Affair, the Homestead Strike, and the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. In this lesson, students use primary historical sources to explore some of the questions raised by these events, questions that continue to be relevant in debates about American society: Where do we draw the line between acceptable business practices and unacceptable working conditions? Can an industrial-and indeed a post-industrial-economy succeed without taking advantage of those who do the work?