Our Awesome America: Historic Symbols
by Amy M. O’Quinn/Originally posted at the National Writing For Children Center website
Picnics, parades, patriotism and fireworks are on everyone’s mind as the Fourth of July approaches, and Americans everywhere will proudly fly the Stars and Stripes to commemorate our country’s quest for independence and freedom!
Yes, Old Glory will definitely be the star of the show in July since it is America’s most well-known icon, but there are many more symbols that represent this great country of ours as well—the Statue of Liberty, the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Liberty Bell, Mount Rushmore, the Great Seal of the United States, the Bald Eagle, etc. We can also include the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Pledge of Allegiance, our National Anthem, the Supreme Court, and of course, Uncle Sam. The list goes on and on, but how many historic American symbols, landmarks, documents, songs, or organizations can your children name? How many can YOU name?
Do You Know. . .
How much do you really know about the Great Seal of the United States? According to information on the Great Seal website, America needed an official symbol of sovereignty to seal and authenticate her international treaties and transactions. The new nation needed a symbolic signature others would recognize and honor. Thus, the Great Seal was created in 1792, the mid-way point between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Here is a bit of Mount Rushmore trivia from the Mount Rushmore National Park website. Did you know that the monument designer originally put Thomas Jefferson on George Washington’s right, but after eighteen months of work, he changed plans, dynamited Jefferson off the mountain, and placed him on the left? Did you know that Teddy Roosevelt, the most controversial choice on Mount Rushmore, had died only eight years before work on the monument began?
For a fun family project, why not explore and research American’s symbols and landmarks to learn more about these famous icons and why they are so important in our country’s history?
To get started, check out Capstone’s Picture Window Books series on American symbols. A few of the titles include:
Mount Rushmore by Thomas Kingsley Troupe
Our American Flag by Mary Lynn Firestone
The Great Seal of the United States by Norman Pearl
The U.S. Supreme Court by Anastasia Suen
The Declaration of Independence by Lori Ann Mortensen
Dig into America’s past, and you might just be surprised to discover many fascinating facts you never knew!