Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has been honored with this year’s Grateful American Book Prize for her memoir, ‘The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor’

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct 18 — Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, received the 2019 Grateful American Book Prize for her memoir, “The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor [Delacorte Books for Young Readers]. She accepted it Thursday evening at a reception held at Washington DC’s Corcoran School of the Arts And Design.

Honorable Mentions for the 2019 Grateful American Book Prize were also presented to Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Tonya Bolden, co-authors of “Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction And The Dawn Of Jim Crow [Scholastic Focus], and to Mike Winchell, for “The Electric War: Edison, Tesla, Westinghouse, And The Race To Light The World” [Henry Holt].

The Prize was established to encourage writers and publishers to produce more inspiring, historically accurate books about the personalities and events of America’s past, according to David Bruce Smith who co-founded the award with the late Dr. Bruce Cole. “Our aim is to provide children with a more exciting view of history at a time when much of nation’s youth is bored with it.”

Smith is an education advocate, author and publisher. Dr. Cole was the longest-serving chairman of National Endowment for the Humanities. His tenure lasted from 2001 to 2009.

About the Grateful American Book Prize
The Prize is awarded each year to authors of engaging works of historically accurate fiction and nonfiction offering a way to overcome the history deficit among America’s young learners. The winner receives $13,000, a lifetime pass to the New-York Historical Society, and a medallion created by the American artist, Clarice Smith. Two authors receive an Honorable Mention award that comes with the medallion, and $500. The award’s panel of judges will begin accepting submissions for the 2020 Prize after January 1, 2020. Books published between August 1, 2019 and July 31, 2020 are eligible.

Movie of the Month: Nuts

When Claudia, a call girl, is accused of murdering a client, her parents rush to have her declared insane to avoid a prison sentence; with an all-star cast that includes Barbra Streisand, Richard Dreyfuss, Maureen Stapleton, Eli Wallach, and James Whitmore.

History MattersOctober 15 to October 31, 2019

The American Revolution essentially ended on October 19, 1781 when British General Charles Cornwallis surrendered his 8,000 British and Hessian troops to General George Washington in Yorktown, VA. Washington enveloped the general in Yorktown using American and French armies, and a large French fleet of warships to force the British to quit. Two years later, the Treaty of Paris was signed, and the hostilities in America were ended.

For more information, the Grateful American Book Prize recommends Washington and Cornwallis: The Battle for America: 1775-1783 by Benton Rain Patterson.


Thomas Edison lit the world when he invented the lightbulb October 21, 1879. On that day, he successfully tested History MattersOctober 15 to October 31, 2019his “electric incandescent lamp”—composed—in part—of a never-tested carbonized filament that remained aglow more than 14 hours. Inventors from around the world since 1835 had tried to successfully develop an electric light.

For more information, the Grateful American Book Prize recommends The Light Bulb by John Mathews.


History MattersOctober 15 to October 31, 2019Panic selling overwhelmed the New York Stock Exchange on October 24, 1929, when traders dumped 13 million shares as stock prices began to tumble. Five days later—on “Black Tuesday” an additional 16 million shares were sold as prices continued to drop. These events were part of the reason for The Great Depression, which lasted until 1939.

For more information, read Black Tuesday by Nomi Prins.





The Wild West lived up to its reputation in Tombstone, Arizona, on History MattersOctober 15 to October 31, 2019October 26, 1881, when the Earp Brothers — Wyatt, Virgil and Morgan — and Doc Holliday– confronted the outlaw Clanton clan in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral—a near legendary, but true tale–about a critical time in the American history.

Tombstone became a boomtown in 1877 after silver was discovered nearby; suddenly, miners seeking their fortunes were lured to the small community. Farmers and ranchers also saw an opening—and a market–for their produce and livestock, while criminals like the Clanton clan were on the lookout for Lady Luck to go their way. They rustled cattle, held up stagecoaches; maimed and murdered their victims. Tombstone had turned into one of the country’s richest mining towns, but the people finally had their fill of the bad guys and hired the Earps to keep the peace. The gunfight at the O.K. Corral was an example of America’s growing “pains.”

For further reading, the Grateful American Book Prize recommends The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral – And How It Changed the American West by Jeff Guinn.


History MattersOctober 15 to October 31, 2019The Mount Rushmore National Memorial, located in the Black Hills of Keystone, South Dakota, is one of the most ambitious public works ever undertaken. It was the masterpiece of American artist and sculptor, Gutzon Borglum: 14 years in the making to complete the sixty-foot granite faces of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Lincoln, Borglum died just before the end of the project, but his son, Lincoln, finished it on October 31, 1941.

The Carving of Mount Rushmore by Rex Alan Smith is all about a truly “monumental” accomplishment that is a lesson in patriotism.



History Matters is a biweekly feature courtesy of The Grateful American Book Prize.



November 2019 Book Recommendations

Benjamin Franklin’s POOR RICHARD’S ALMANACK; the best of wit and wisdom from America’s Leonardo; first published in 1732.

Olive Ann Burns’s COLD SASSY TREE; a Southern widower of three weeks suddenly elopes with a woman half his age,
and rattles the town.

Jim Murphy’s BREAKTHROUGH! HOW THREE PEOPLE SAVED “BLUE BABIES” AND CHANGED MEDICINE FOREVER; the little known story of Vivien Thomas, an African American research assistant at Johns Hopkins, who, in 1944, saves the first infant with an up-to-then untreatable cardiac problem.

Carrie Dalby’s FORTITUDE; while two girlfriends nurse the wounded from the Spanish American War, they encounter Jim Crow.






November 2019 Book Recommendations

“Abigail & John”: American History Profoundly Portrayed in a Children’s Book

The loving partnership of Abigail and John Adams had a remarkable impact in shaping America’s founding and history. ACTA’s Michael Poliakoff joins David Bruce Smith of the Grateful American Foundation and Martha Meehan Cohen of the Supreme Court Historical Society to explore the narrative of our nation’s most influential early couple.

Listen to the interview about Abigail & John, the new children’s book written by David Bruce Smith and illustrated by Clarice Smith.

“Abigail & John”: American History Profoundly Portrayed in a Children’s Book