Archive for April, 2009

Immigration Script by Cunningham’s class

America has always been a nation of Immigrants. An immigrant is someone who was not born in a country. In our case America, an immigrant is a person not born in America.
When the first thirteen colonies were formed most of the Immigrants were from England.
But by the end of the 1800’s people came from all over the world.
Over 40 percent of all Americans can trace their roots to Ellis Island. More than 12 million immigrants passed through these doors. Among laborers , servants, peasants, and artisan. And each came to Ellis Island with the same home to become Americans .
Not everyone arriving in New York had to go to Ellis Island. Immigrants in first- and second-class were processed aboard their ships soon after docking on the mainland. Onboard exams were shorter than those on the island, since inspectors were more accepting of anyone who could afford the higher fare.

Why Did people leave their countries?

Some people left their countries because they did not want to go into military service. Some countries like Italy demanded 6 years of service of it’s citizens. People did not want to fight in different wars so they left.

In some countries like Russia people were not being treated fairly. In Russia the Jewish people were persecuted by the government. They were not allowed to get good jobs and sometimes were beaten up badly. This made many Russian Jewish people want to leave their country.

People left their countries because of famine. A famine is when a country does not have enough food to feed it’s people. In Ireland in 1847 we had a potato famine. The main food that the Irish ate were potatoes. The potato crop rotted and 2 million people starved to death. This is called Black 47. As a result another 2 million people left Ireland and came to America.

Another reason that people came here was the promise of getting rich. People were told “go to America and become a Millionaire.

A Woman’s Write to Vote Script (so far) by Mr. Mac’s Class.

The right to Vote is something we as Americans take for granted. We live under the protection of the Constitution so when our founding fathers got together in Philadelphia and brainstormed those beautiful words that define America.” We hold these truths to be self – evident that all men are created equal and have the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness” They did not mean poor white men, They did not mean black men and they did not mean women.
African Americans got the vote with the end of slavery in 1870 and the 15th amendment but it would take another 50 years for women in America to get the vote.

To understand how important women getting the vote was you have to look at life at the time. Women could not legally own property, if she worked and made money she had to give it to her husband. In some states it was legal to beat your wife. Because women could not own property, if their husband died or left them the women and her children could be left to starve.  Children worked long hours in factories instead of going to school. And worst of all women had no right to vote and change the laws.
Lucretia Mott:
Lucretia Mott like so many suffragists was a Quaker and an abolitionist. She belonged to the Quaker religion. The Quakers called the Society of Friends believed in  non-violence and equality for all people regardless if they were black or white, male or female Lucretia  was an active abolitionist and fought to end slavery in the United states.

In 1840 Mott was one of a band of women who went to  London for a world antislavery convention. The orthodox Quakers and English abolitionists who dominated the meeting refused to seat the women, fearing the convention would seem ridiculous if females participated.

At the convention Mott met the young Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who attended it with her husband. Their friendship developed, although both were busy wives and mothers, and Mott was involved in promoting peace,  and abolition along with woman’s rights. Mott inspired her young protégé, who in time grew more radical than her mentor. This became apparent at the Woman’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y called by Stanton – the first such convention. Mott thought its resolution asking for woman’s suffrage to be too far in advance of public opinion But Stanton stood strong and insisted that the right for women to vote be included.
At the meeting Frederick Douglas spoke passionately about his belief that women should have the right to vote. His speech that day effected the people and all at the convention signed the petition in favor of women getting the right to vote.
Next on the Scene came Susan B. Anthony. She and Elizabeth cady Stanton would work tirelessly to get women the vote for almost 50 years.
Susan was one of the seven children in her family, five girls and two boys. Her father manufactured cotton. Susan was even able to work for a short time in the cotton mill as a young girl. Susan had
a strong Quaker background and therefore supported equality for everyone regardless of color or sex.  Her father believed it was just as important for his daughters to receive a good education as it was for his sons. At an early age Susan was sent away to school to study. At that time one of the few jobs a woman could hold was a teacher. She began teaching school in New York, at the early age of 14. As a teacher, she earned $2.50 a week compared to the $10.00 a week her male colleagues earned. She felt equal pay should be received for equal work.
In 1851, Susan was introduced to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a women’s right advocate. The two women became great friends and worked side by side for many years in support of women’s suffrage. Susan B. Anthony felt very strongly about women’s right to public speech and gave many powerful speeches throughout the country. Often she would use the Constitution as a resource in her persuasive speeches. She was known for saying “the constitution says, We the people…’, not We the male citizens…’.”

In 1869 the Fifteenth amendment was ratified. This stated that black men were now allowed to vote. Women’s suffrage advocates were outraged that black men could now vote, yet women still could not. Following the ratification of the fifteenth amendment, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA). The NWSA was open to all who wanted to join, both men and women. The NWSA published a newspaper, The Revolution, with its motto, “Men, their rights, and nothing more: women their rights, and nothing less”.

The fifteenth amendment stated that “all citizens” could vote. Susan B. Anthony along with other women felt they too should be classified as “citizens.” In 1872 Susan B. Anthony and 15 other women registered and voted in the 1872 presidential election in Rochester, New York. was set for June. Susan felt her voting was justified since she was a “citizen.” During the time prior to the trial, Susan was busy giving speeches and trying to persuade any potential juror. The trial was held in a small town outside of Rochester. Susan was not allowed to speak for herself and fined $100, which she vowed she would never pay. She never went to jail. However, no appeal was ever made to the Supreme Court. If an appeal had been made and had turned in Susan’s favor, women would have been given the right to vote then.

Susan B. Anthony became the president of the National American Women’s Suffrage Association (NWSA) in 1892 and served until 1900. Susan continued to keep the issue of women’s right to vote alive by touring nearly every state and giving public speeches wherever she went. During her 60 years of service for women’s suffrage, she gave approximately 75-100 speeches a year.
Eventually this hard work paid off but not before both ladies were gone.
In 1920 After a 70 year fight that began in Senaca Falls women got the right to vote. Finally all citizens of America Black or White, Male or female had the right to vote

Anne Frank Script continued By Ms. Caputo/Losey’s Class

Otto Frank took his family to Holland to Escape the Nazis, the year was 1933. The Frank family starts their life in Holland, they buy an apartment and Mr. Frank gets a job. The Frank”s life returns to normal.

At this time In Nazi Germany Hitler’s extermination of the Jews continues.

The Franks were happy in Holland. But on May 10 th 1940 The Franks worst nightmare is realized.

Hitler invades Holland. Otto frank was afraid with the Nazi’s in Holland that it would be just as bad for the Jews in Holland as it was in Germany.  So he decided to  plan to go into hiding.

After Hitler invaded Holland it turns out that Mr. Frank was right it was just as bad for the Jewish citizens in Holland  it was in Nazi Germany. They had to register as jews.They had to wear a yellow star so they would be recognizable as Jews to everyone. Then the Germans started to attack Jewish Businesses, they broke and finally confiscated the businesses. Jewish Children had to go to separate and then the deportation started. The Nazi then sent the Jew to Death Camps.

In June 1942 2 things happened 1s Anne got her diary which she named Kitty. The second her sister was called up for deportation.

From Today’s Percussion Assembly! Good stuff!

Mr. K’s Class continuing Underground Railroad Film Script

The underground railroad started at the end of the 18th century. In 1786 George Washington complained about how one of his runaway slaves was helped by a “society of Quakers, To run away

The system grew, and around 1831 it was dubbed “The Underground Railroad,” At this time  Railroads were just starting out. The Job of railroad is to transport people from one place to another. The job of the Underground railroad was to transport runaway slaves from the South to the North and Freedom.

The underground railroad used the same terms as they did for a railroad.  the homes and businesses where fugitives slave would rest and hide  were called “stations” and “depots”. The people who lived in these in these houses were called  “stationmasters,” , The people who gave or  contributed money or goods were “stockholders,” and the “conductor” was responsible for moving fugitives slave from one station to the next.

Harriet Tubman Script Continued.

The North Star

Slaves that were ran away at night so that their owners could not find them. This made it very difficult to find their way. They used the North Star, the brightest star in the sky, to navigate their way to the north. It was very frightening for slaves to run away.

Harriet finally reached  the Pennsylvania and the Anti -Slavery Society.

Here she met a free black man named William Still. Still was doing a very special job on the Underground Railroad he was keeping track of every runaway slave that came through his office. Still kept great records and is one of the reasons we know so much about the secret underground railroad.

Now that Harriet was free she wanted freedom for her people. She knew how hard it was to be a slave, to be whipped she did not want this for her family.

Harriet hears her sister is going to be  sold south from the plantation where she lives. Being sold south was a death sentence, the work was very hard in the deep southern states, and to runaway was almost impossible it was just too far from the northern free states.

Harriet decides she is going to become a conductor on the Underground railroad. This was unheard of. When slaves ran away to freedom they never went back. It was too dangerous.

But Harriet, was special. She was determined that her family and others would be free.

Now that Harriet was free she told William Still ” I am getting my family out” She planned on making sure her family was free in the North.

You have to understand how dangerous it was for a runaway slave. They could be put to death if they were caught. Harriet was very brave, The first person that Harriet brings to freedom was her sister. She traveled back down south to the plantation where she  had lived,  disguised as man, walks right past her master, and then helps her sister escape.

Wow.  Harriet was unselfish and brave. very brave.

Harriet does this 19 times going back down into slave country,  helping all her relatives and other people not in her family escape slavery. She becomes famous. They Call her Moses because she brings her people out of slavery just like Moses in the bible. She also because wanted by the law. She is now a fugitive with a 40 thousand dollar price on her head.


At this time in Frederick Douglas’ life he starts going to Anti slavery meetings with the famous abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison. Garrison encourages Douglas to speak about his life as a slave.

The audience loves him. He is a great speaker. It so powerful to hear a real ex slave tells this story. Douglas starts to give speeches with Garrison at all the anti-slavery meetings.

Finally he writes a book about his life as a slave. In the book he gives out details about his life and whom he belonged to. This puts him danger. People decide to arrest him and make him a slave again.

He has to run away to England. In England people love to hear him speak. He is a celebrity. He returns to the United States 2 years later when his friend have saved enough to purchase his freedom from his master.

When he returns to the United States he begins to work very hard to abolish slavery. Upon his return several things happen in Douglas’ Life he parts ways with Garrison and starts is own Anti slavery Newspaper the North Star.

The North Star is named after the North Star in the sky that so many slaves have used to navigate their way to freedom. His newspaper is a success and it makes him even more famous.
He also meets the radical abolitionist John Brown; Brown is a white man violently against slavery. He believes in fight with guns to end the evil of slavery.
Brown and his sons plan a raid on an Arsenal at Harper’s Ferry where the U.S. Government keeps many guns. His plan his to kill the soldiers, steel the guns and take them to slaves in the south so that they can runaway using the guns against their masters.

Mr. Mac’s Class 4/23

We will re-read our script and continue recording voices for our Movie. Film Festival Date is 6/11-6/12






First Abolition Society Founded 1775

April 14, 1775
First American abolition society founded in Philadelphia
The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage, the first American society dedicated to the cause of abolition, is founded in Philadelphia on this day in 1775. The society changes its name to the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage in 1784.

Leading Quaker educator and abolitionist Anthony Benezet called the society together two years after he persuaded the Quakers to create the Negro School at Philadelphia. Benezet was born in France to a Huguenot (French Protestant) family that had fled to London in order to avoid persecution at the hands of French Catholics. The family eventually migrated to Philadelphia when Benezet was 17. There, he joined the Society of Friends (Quakers) and began a career as an educator. In 1750, Benezet began teaching slave children in his home after regular school hours, and in 1754, established the first girls’ school in America. With the help of fellow Quaker John Woolman, Benezet persuaded the Philadelphia Quaker Yearly Meeting to take an official stance against slavery in 1758.

Benezet’s argument for abolition found a trans-Atlantic audience with the publication of his tract Some Historical Account of Guinea, written in 1772. Benezet counted Benjamin Franklin and John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, among his sympathetic correspondents. He died in 1784; his funeral was attended by 400 black Philadelphians. His society was renamed in that year, and in 1787, Benjamin Franklin lent his prestige to the organization, serving as its president.
From This Day In History

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On This day: Lincoln Shot! 1865

April 14: General Interest
1865 : Lincoln is shot

On this day in 1865, John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, fatally shoots President Abraham Lincoln at a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.  The attack came only five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War.

Booth, a Maryland native born in 1838, who remained in the North during the war despite his Confederate sympathies, initially plotted to capture President Lincoln and take him to Richmond, the
Confederate capital. However, on March 20, 1865, the day of the planned kidnapping, the president failed to appear at the spot where Booth and his six fellow conspirators lay in wait. Two weeks later, Richmond fell to Union forces. In April, with Confederate armies near collapse across the South, Booth hatched a desperate plan to save the Confederacy.

Learning that Lincoln was to attend a performance of “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater on April 14, Booth masterminded the simultaneous assassination of Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William H. Seward. By murdering the president and two of his possible successors, Booth and his conspirators hoped to throw the U.S. government into disarray.
On the evening of April 14, conspirator Lewis T. Powell burst into Secretary of State Seward’s home, seriously wounding him and three others, while George A. Atzerodt, assigned to Vice President Johnson, lost his nerve and fled. Meanwhile, just after 10 p.m., Booth entered Lincoln’s private theater box unnoticed and shot the president with a single bullet in the back of his head. Slashing an army officer who rushed at him, Booth leapt to the stage and shouted “Sic semper tyrannis! [Thus always to tyrants]–the South is avenged!” Although Booth broke his leg jumping from Lincoln’s box, he managed to escape Washington on horseback.

The president, mortally wounded, was carried to a lodging house opposite Ford’s Theater. About 7:22 a.m. the next morning, Lincoln, age 56, died–the first U.S. president to be assassinated. Booth, pursued by the army and other secret forces, was finally cornered in a barn near Bowling Green, Virginia, and died from a possibly self-inflicted bullet wound as the barn was burned to the ground. Of the eight other people eventually charged with the conspiracy, four were hanged and four were jailed.

Lincoln, the 16th U.S. president, was buried on May 4, 1865, in Springfield, Illinois.
Taken from History Channel

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Senaca Falls Convention

The Seneca Falls Convention

Elizabeth Cady StantonThe seed for the first Woman’s Rights Convention was planted in 1840, when Elizabeth Cady Stanton met Lucretia Mott at the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, the conference that refused to seat Mott and other women delegates from America because of their sex. Stanton, the young bride of an antislavery agent, and Mott, a Quaker preacher and veteran of reform, talked then of calling a convention to address the condition of women. Eight years later, it came about as a spontaneous event.

In July 1848, Mott was visiting her sister, Martha C. Wright, in Waterloo, New York. Stanton, now the restless mother of three small sons, was living in nearby Seneca Falls. A social visit brought together Mott, Stanton, Wright, Mary Ann McClintock, and Jane Hunt. All except Stanton were Quakers, a sect that afforded women some measure of equality, and all five were well acquainted with antislavery and temperance meetings. Lucretia Mott Fresh in their minds was the April passage of the long-deliberated New York Married Woman’s Property Rights Act, a significant but far from comprehensive piece of legislation. The time had come, Stanton argued, for women’s wrongs to be laid before the public, and women themselves must shoulder the responsibility. Before the afternoon was out, the women decided on a call for a convention “to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman.”

To Stanton fell the task of drawing up the Declaration of Sentiments that would define the meeting. Taking the Declaration of Independence as her guide, Stanton submitted that “all men and women had been created equal” and went on to list eighteen “injuries and usurpations” -the same number of charges leveled against the King of England-“on the part of man toward woman.”

Stanton also drafted eleven resolutions, making the argument that women had a natural right to equality in all spheres. The ninth resolution held forth the radical assertion that it was the duty of women to secure for themselves the right to vote. Elizabeth Cady Stanton afterwards recalled that a shocked Lucretia Mott exclaimed, “Why, Lizzie, thee will make us ridiculous.” Stanton stood firm. “But I persisted, for I saw clearly that the power to make the laws was the right through which all other rights could be secured.”

The convention, to take place in five days’ time, on July 19 and 20 at the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Seneca Falls, was publicized only by a small, unsigned notice placed in the Seneca County Courier. “The convention will not be so large as it otherwise might be, owing to the busy time with the farmers,” Mott told Stanton, “but it will be a beginning.”

Frederick DouglassA crowd of about three hundred people, including forty men, came from five miles round. No woman felt capable of presiding; the task was undertaken by Lucretia’s husband, James Mott. All of the resolutions were passed unanimously except for woman suffrage, a strange idea and scarcely a concept designed to appeal to the predominantly Quaker audience, whose male contingent commonly declined to vote. The eloquent Frederick Douglass, a former slave and now editor of the Rochester North Star, however, swayed the gathering into agreeing to the resolution. At the closing session, Lucretia Mott won approval of a final resolve “for the overthrowing of the monopoly of the pulpit, and for the securing to woman equal participation with men in the various trades, professions and commerce.” One hundred women and men signed the Seneca Falls Declaration-although subsequent criticism caused some of them to remove their names.

The proceedings in Seneca Falls, followed a few days later by a meeting in Rochester, brought forth a torrent of sarcasm and ridicule from the press and pulpit. Noted Frederick Douglass in the North Star: “A discussion of the rights of animals would be regarded with far more complacency by many of what are called the wise and the good of our land, than would be a discussion of the rights of woman.”

Susan B. AnthonyBut Elizabeth Cady Stanton, although somewhat discomforted by the widespread misrepresentation, understood the value of attention in the press. “Just what I wanted,” Stanton exclaimed when she saw that James Gordon Bennett, motivated by derision, printed the entire Declaration of Sentiments in the New York Herald. “Imagine the publicity given to our ideas by thus appearing in a widely circulated sheet like the Herald. It will start women thinking, and men too; and when men and women think about a new question, the first step in progress is taken.”

Stanton, thirty-two years old at the time of the Seneca Falls Convention, grew gray in the cause. In 1851 she met temperance worker Susan B. Anthony, and shortly the two would be joined in the long struggle to secure the vote for women. When national victory came in 1920, seventy-two years after the first organized demand in 1848, only one signer of the Seneca Falls Declaration-Charlotte Woodward, a young worker in a glove manufactory -had lived long enough to cast her ballot.

Taken from the National Portrait Gallery.

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