July 5

Frederick Douglass asks, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

July 5, 1858

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  • Student Resource / History & Social Studies
    Launchpad: Frederick Douglass's “What To the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

    Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) was a former slave who became the greatest abolitionist orator of the antebellum period. During the Civil War he worked tirelessly for the emancipation of the four million enslaved African Americans. In the decades after the war, he was the most influential African American leader in the nation.

    He delivered this speech on July 5, 1852. It is generally considered his greatest and one of the greatest speeches of the 19th century. Before you read the speech you can follow these links to learn more about Douglass’s life and the evolution of his thought in this period.

Venezuela, 1st South American country to gain independence from Spain

July 5, 1811

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Japanese-American poet Mitsuye Yamada born

July 5, 1923

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  • Japanese Poetry: Tanka? You're Welcome!
    Lesson Plan / History & Social Studies
    Japanese Poetry: Tanka? You're Welcome!

    This unit on the Japanese poetic form tanka encourages students to explore the structure and content of the form and to arrive at a definition of the tanka’s structure in English. Students will read and analyze the tanka form and compare it to English structures of poetry, and will finally compose their own tankas.

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