Posted in History, Student Posts

Alexander Hamilton

 

Alexander Hamilton Statue in Central Park (New York City) - February 18, 2017 Corey Seeman via Compfight

by Ellie

How would you feel if feel your father ran away and your mother died? Do you think you would grow up to be a famous American founding father? Well, that is exactly what Hamilton did.

Alexander Hamilton had a very hard early life. He was born in Nevis. His father ran away because he was married to two girls. Then his mother died from an illness so he had to live with his cousin. But his cousin committed suicide. Then a hurricane destroyed his land so he had to move to New York.  

Hamilton played an important role in founding our country. For example, he was in the army and he led the soldiers to victory in Yorktown. He helped write our country’s constitution. He was also the first treasury secretary of the United States.

Alexander did not live a long life. For many years he was in a feud with Aaron Burr. They disagreed about many things. Then after a long time, Aaron Burr decided to have a duel. A duel is where two people bring guns and walk 10 paces away and fire. Alexander got hit and died the next day.

Hamilton’s life was short but very important.  He lived 49 years.  You can see his face on the ten dollar bill.  Also, there is now a very famous musical about his life.  It is called “Alexander Hamilton.”  

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Posted in Animals, Community, History, Student Posts

Bum the Dog: San Diego’s Famous First (and only) Town Dog

By Jake

Bum, San Diego’s Town Dog.

Did you know that one of San Diego’s MOST famous “celebrities” had four legs and a tail?! I had no idea that San Diego even had a town dog until my Grandma and my Mom told me about “Bum the Dog”!

When I heard that San Diego had a famous town dog, I wanted to find out more about “Bum” and what made this Half-St. Bernard/Half-Spaniel dog an important historical figure in San Diego’s history!

I wondered…

How did Bum get to San Diego? How did he get the name “Bum” & what made him become so famous? Is there a memorial to Bum in San Diego? I had SO many questions that I decided I needed to do some investigative research to find out all the answers… and share them with… Y-o-u!

I was surprised to discover that Bum arrived in San Diego as a…stowaway! Bum was a stowaway aboard a steamship called the Santa Rosa. He traveled on this steamship all the way from San Francisco to San Diego way back in 1886! I couldn’t believe it! This was proof that Bum was a very adventurous, independent, and brave dog.

I also found out that Bum even had a couple books written about him! In the book: The Dog That Belonged to No One, the author Gerald A. Schiller wrote about how Bum got his name. I read about how Bum liked to hang out with the local “newsboys” (the town boys who sold newspapers on the streets of downtown San Diego).

In this story about Bum, the author wrote that one of these newsboys said:

“Well, I’ll be darned. You don’t seem to need my help in bummin’ some food – or maybe stealin’ it. Hey, there’s a name I can call ya. Bum. You’re just a bum, with no home or owner. But ya sure can bum food if ya need it, I guess. Then I think I’ll call you Bum!”

Also according to the journalist Richard Schulte, “His name suited him because he arrived as a town stowaway, befriended everyone and “bummed” quality food from the local eateries.” (Can you believe that some restaurants even put up signs in their windows that said: “Bum Eats Here”!?)

So, that was how Bum got his name, and it stuck with him his whole life! From that moment, he was forever “Bum”.

The townspeople of San Diego adopted Bum and he became San Diego’s first (and only!) town dog!  Bum enjoyed many adventures during his life in San Diego. Some of his adventures included racing along with the horse drawn fire engines on the way to a fire, traveling by himself to Los Angeles and back to San Diego by train, officiating at town parades, and even greeting visiting dignitaries, such as U.S. President Benjamin Harrison! Bum even survived being hit by a train while he was fighting another dog on the train tracks! (Sadly though, Bum lost his right forepaw and part of his tail in this fight.)

Bum also survived a serious injury, after he was kicked by a horse!

When I visited the Gaslamp Museum at the Davis-Horton House, I found the special memorial to Bum, and also a lot of interesting facts about Bum!

I found out that Bum was so beloved by the citizens of San Diego that the city gave him a lifetime dog tag…Bum didn’t ever have to pay a dog license tax!

Bum was also declared “San Diego’s Official Town Dog”, and they even put his picture on “Dog Tax Receipts” of 1891.

When I was reading the plaque about Bum that is located next to the statue of Bum in the pocket park next to the museum, I noticed that pennies were left on the plaque and I wondered why. The lady at the museum told me that the pennies were symbolic of when Bum died on November 10, 1898, and the children of San Diego collected pennies for a proper funeral for Bum.

(I also left my own pennies for Bum on the lower left corner of the plaque!)

She told me that although Bum’s actual grave is not really known, this memorial statue of him is the first memorial to a historic animal in the State of California!

Bum was a remarkable street dog who won the heart of San Diego. Bum’s personality, survival skills, and independence brought San Diego together.

It’s no wonder that Bum the dog became San Diego’s famous first (and only!) town dog!  Make sure to visit the memorial to “Bum the Dog” the next time you visit the Gaslamp District in downtown San Diego…and remember to leave a penny for Bum!

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Posted in History, Student Posts

The History of The Olympics

 The Olympic motto is “Citius, Altius, Fortius”—“Faster, Higher, Stronger.” The Olympics is the biggest sporting competition in the world and its history is rich with many great details.  The Olympic ‘Torch Relay’ has traveled hundreds of thousands of miles by countless people on different modes of transportation and continues to be the opening act for the Olympics.  The Olympics also has a fun side with its silly categories which most people have never heard about.

The first recorded Olympic Games was in 776 B.C. and had a great foot race of about 200 yards held on a plain by the River Alpheus (now the Ruphia) just outside the little town of Olympia in Greece. It was from that day the Greeks began to keep their calendar by “Olympiads,” four-years between the celebrations of the famous games. The modern Olympic Games, which started in Athens in 1896, are the result of a French educator, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, “Because young people and athletics have gone together through the ages, education and athletics might go hand-in-hand toward a better international understanding.”  The Olympic symbol is five interlocking circles colored blue, yellow, black, green, and red, on a white background, representing the five continents. At least one of those colors appears in the national flag of every country.  The US flag is represented by two colors on the Olympic flag, red and blue.

Olympic torch "Kiss"
Kieran Clarke via Compfight

 The Olympic flame is a symbol of the Olympic Games. The fire was introduced at the 1928 Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, and it has been part of the modern Olympic Games ever since.  In the ancient story, the Greek God Zeus, also known as ‘the thief of fire’, kept the fire burning throughout the celebration of the ancient Olympics.  This symbol has turned into the ‘Torch Relay’ of modern times, which transports the flame from Greece to the place of the games.  Over the last 80 years, the Olympic torch has been carried by hundreds of thousands of people and traveled on every imaginable form of transport.  Continuing the historic tradition, the flame is still lit in Olympia, Greece, in the same way as it was in ancient times – with the aid of a parabolic mirror reflecting the sun’s rays.  The flame went airborne for the first time on the Helsinki 1952 Torch Relay.  What made the Sydney 2000 Torch Relay unique was the fact that it took place mostly at sea, with the torch being transported on water from one Pacific island or nation to the next on its way to Australia.  The Olympic torch has even been underwater!

The Olympics is not always as its motto suggests of ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’.  There are some fun, more relaxed categories of sports.  Some funny “sports ” in the Olympics are 1. Club Swinging; athlete stands holding clubs that are like bowling pins in each hand. He then twirls and whirls them around. The more complicated the routine, the more points he wins. 2. Pigeon Shooting; athletes aim to bring down as many pigeons as possible. 3. Tug Of War; teams that struggle and strain to pull a rope past a certain point. Great Britain has won the most medals in this event. 4. Roller Hockey; the game follows the rules of ice hockey, but with roller skates. 5.  La Canne; ok, think fencing. Now take away the saber and replace it with a cane. You know, the walking stick type of thing? Then it’s La Canne. 6. Rope Climbing; just like in PE, climbers are timed to see how quickly they can shimmy up a braided rope. 7. Trampolining; which seems like an activity you do in your backyard, trampoline was an Olympic sport that started in 2000. Gymnasts performed on trampolines, somersaulting and flipping as stern-faced judges keep score. 8. Race Walking; competitors try to outrace one another without actually running. Even though it seems a little goofy, race walking has actually been an Olympic sport since 1904. To ensure that athletes do not run, race walkers must have one foot on the ground at all times or could be disqualification.  Which is your favorite, funny sport?

The Olympics is a world wide tradition that has as long, rich history filled with traditions still carried on.  One of these traditions is the Torch Relay, with the torch still being lit in Greece and then carried – by whatever means necessary – to its ultimate location. Don’t be fooled by the serious motto of “Citius, Altius, Fortius”, as the Olympics also has a lighter side. The silly categories may not be as well known as some of the other categories but are just as important. Next time it’s the year of the Olympics pick a silly sport to watch, enjoy and yell a new motto “Funny, Funnier, Funniest!”

https://www.olympic.org/ancient-olympic-games/history

https://www.infoplease.com/history-olympic-torch-flame-and-relay

http://dailyhive.com/vancouver/weird-olympic-sports-rio-2016

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_symbols

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Posted in Art, Community, Current Events & News, Games, History, Movies, Science & Tech, Special Events, Student Posts

Supersonic Transit System

Not long ago, billionaire Elon Musk had a vision of the future. He dreamed of a supersonic transit system. Soon after, he released a 57-page document on a concept called Hyperloop. Hyperloop is a huge supersonic transit system that travels in between cities filled with traffic. The sponsor of Tesla motors and SpaceX dreamed of a friction-less, low-pressure, vacuum-sealed pod. Powered with energy from solar panels, it should be able to withstand major natural disasters. Elon believed this pod would shorten travel times drastically. For example, the distance from San Francisco to Los Angeles takes 6 hours. This pod could get there in 35 minutes.

Continue reading “Supersonic Transit System”

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Posted in Current Events & News, History

Trick or Treat! It’s Halloween

Halloween Vintage 05.JPG
Halloween Vintage 05“. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

I bet when you start thinking about Halloween you think CANDY or what should I be should I be a superhero. That is all okay but what is really behind that? That is why I am here today and ready to teach you what it is really all about.

First of all Halloween is short for hallows eve so Halloween is a synonym to hallows eve.  Anoka Minnesota people were the first people to celebrate Halloween. Around 2,000 years ago the Celtics had new years on November 1. They thought that the day before Halloween (October 31 which is when Halloween always takes place) was a when the living and the dead could meet again. This was also a special holiday to honor saints and all the other people who died that are in their religion. People believed that the dead might cause problems or hurt them. That is when they decided to dress up in ghost costumes and try to scare the dead that they thought would haunt them. They thought that if they thought they were dead they would not harm them. This was all in Europe. Wait how did Halloween get to America then? Halloween got to America because of migrating Europeans. Halloween changed a little. Since pumpkins are common at this time of year they carved them and used them as lanterns which people call jack-o-lanterns. Now children dress up and instead of scaring spirits they go door to door and ask for a yummy treat if they have no treats they might be in for a little trick. Now it is a saying.(trick-or-treat) So now you know what Halloween is really about. Next time in class on a Halloween party or if you are with friends tell them about Halloween. There is a lot of cool facts about Halloween. This is just something to think about when you say, “Trick or Treat”.

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