In 1750, the Spanish missionary, Father Junipero Serra, started a historic trek through Mexico, and north into what is now California, eventually establishing missions that became settlements, then towns, and–ultimately cities. On July 16, 1769, Serra and his party of explorers arrived in what is now San Diego. In all, the missionary founded nine cities in California stretching from San Diego to San Francisco.
For more information, the Grateful American Book Prize recommends Stowaway to California! Adventures with Father Junipero Serra by Natalie Nelson Hernandez.
The story goes that abolitionists Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton attended the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London. Because they were women, they were barred from full participation. This is said to have prompted Mott and Stanton to birth America’s women’s rights movement. Eight years later, on July 19, 1848 they were joined by approximately 200 like-minded women at the first women’s rights conference in Seneca Falls, NY. Stanton opened the event with a Declaration of Sentiments and Grievances, which stated: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal…”
Recommended reading about the women’s right movement: Until We Win by Linda Newbery.
Where were you when America made history in outer space with the launch of Apollo 11, the first U.S. space ship to reach the moon? If you are a parent or grandparent, you probably stayed close by the television set, fascinated and can remember why this historical event aroused an educational curiosity. On board were Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, Michael Collins and mission commander Neil Armstrong, who was the first human to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969 and say: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Get kids hooked on the story of Apollo 11 with Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca.
July 13 to July 31 — History Matters is a biweekly feature courtesy of The Grateful American Book Prize.