Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day!

We would like to share a nice song about Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Although the video title says the song is for kids, it is actually good for everybody because it teaches history with many new or old names and vocabulary through its lyrics. Enjoy the video!

Do you want to know why we celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day?

“There was nothing to discover,” said Heather Bruegl, cultural affairs director for the Stockbridge-Munsee Community of Mohican Indians, a nation with Hudson Valley roots that was pushed into Wisconsin.

“It’s not like they were lost,” she said. “There were people already here. In our community, we like to joke and say that we discovered Henry Hudson off our shores.”

Columbus landed in the Caribbean and never made it to what is now the United States, but that didn’t necessarily matter for his significance to this country, Feinman said. 

“He was always recognized as being the one who opened the Western hemisphere to all the people who came afterward,” he said. “That was a historically significant act.”

But it wasn’t an act that people with indigenous heritage typically celebrate, Bruegl said. Treating it as one, especially in schools, can have a detrimental effect on students who aren’t of European descent.

“Settler colonialism definitely plagues our history that is taught in schools, unfortunately,” she said. “It’s a Eurocentric history that we’re taught, so if you’re an indigenous student, if you are a student of color, you don’t see yourself in that history. I think it hinders the learning process.”

from Columbus Day still rules across New York, where Indigenous Peoples Day has been slow to catch on

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Why The Bronx?

There are five boroughs in New York City: Manhattan (New York County), Brooklyn (Kings County), Queens (Queens County), Staten Island (Richmond County), and The Bronx (Bronx County). Have you ever wondered why The Bronx has “The” in the name while the other boroughs don’t?

Photo credit Matthew Morales, courtesy of the Bronx River Alliance

It all started in 1639 when a Scandinavian, Jonas Bronck, settled in a Dutch colonial province in New Netherland.

“When he dies in 1643 at the age of 43, the only thing that remained that was named after him through the ages was Bronck’s River,” says Bronx borough historian Lloyd Ultan.

Like with many names that can be difficult to say or write, the ‘ck’ was changed to an ‘x’—and the stream of water that ran next to Jonas Bronck’s farm became the Bronx River.

But the present day borough went without a name for more than 200 years until New York City got the land from Westchester County.

“They looked right smack in the middle of a map and there is the Bronx River, so they named it after the river, the borough of the Bronx, and that’s why it’s always called The Bronx and not just plain Bronx,” Ultan says.

The borough is named after the river. That’s named after the man that came from a foreign land in the 17th century.

from Spectrum News NY1

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Today is Memorial Day

American War Cemetery in Italy
Many veterans are buried abroad, near where they died during battle. Pictured is an American cemetery in Impruneta, Italy. – Atlantide Phototravel/Corbis

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2020 occurs on Monday, May 25. 

Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

from History.com

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The Origins of Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day in the U.S. Did you call your mother? Do you wonder when and by whom the Mother’s Day celebrations started?

Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world. In the United States, Mother’s Day 2020 occurs on Sunday, May 10. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Jarvis would later denounce the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar. While dates and celebrations vary, Mother’s Day traditionally involves presenting moms with flowers, cards and other gifts.

from History.com

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