Cory Hill Meets Vermont Governor Shumlin

Cory Hill and grandmother Margaret Hill meet Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont

Cory Hill talked with Governor Shumlin of Vermont on the 4th of July and discussed his Boy Scout badge, Citizenship in the Nation.  He received a congratulation from the Governor.

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Citizenship in the Nation

1. What Citizenship in the nation means:

It means that being a good citizens is to do the following:  follow the laws, pay taxes, report to 911 if there is a problem, report someone if breaking the law, vote, serve on a jury, learn about your history and follow the news, serve in the military if needed, be a good volunteer to help others.  The rights are to speak freely, assemble freely, not allow soldiers in your house, can marry freely, can obey the laws, right to bear arms and the other aspects of the 2 amendments.  The duties are to pay taxes, vote, follow the laws, follow the news learn about our country’s history.

2a. Visit a place listed as a national landmark: I visited Lexington where the Minute men assembled on April 18, 1775.  But the shot heard around the world was in Concord on the 19h of April.  In addition, Paul Revere and Dawes and Prescott who spread the alarm that the “regulars” were coming.  Revere was captured, and Dawes and Prescott got away to alarm the Americans and in the end 20,000 patriots showed up to defend the rights and surround the British when they returned to Boston without taking any ammunition.  After that the British were surrounded in Boston for the winter and finally left in the spring of 1776.  We rode the trail from Lexington to Concord and saw the North Bridge.

2d. Valley Forge was the monument that I visited where Washington held up for the 3rd winter of the Revolutionary war. It was the most brutal winter, the French alliance was made, and German Stuben was able to train the army.  The soldiers died because of disease and not the cold.  They actually wanted it to be colder so there would be more ice.  There was a lot of mud and that made it hard to bring in supplies and disease was also easy to spread with this close environment.

3. a  I read the newspaper five days in a row (actually more than 5 days) and I read about the space program and the launch of the  space shuttle Atlantis.  This is the final shuttle launch. The Russian Soyez will be the only conveyance to the space station.  I’ve covered this information in my blog.

4. Discuss the following and how American would be different without the following:

a. The Declaration of Independence was written mainly by Jefferson, but Franklin had a lot to do with it as well.  It was signed on July 4, 1776.  It declared that we had had enough of our rights taken away and that we should be freed from English tyranny.  I’ve covered this discussion in the blog.

b. The preamble of the Constitution.  It outlined the 6 aspects of our freedom: general welfare, tranquility (peace), liberty to us, justice for all men, common defense, and blessings of liberty. Without these rights we would still be a captive nation under tyranny.  However, it takes a lot of work to maintain these rights like paying taxes and voting.

c. Constitution is the rules of our country and tells how we need to balance the three branches of the government (executive, judicial and legislative).  Each branch has it’s own mandates, but each is to balance each other. Also the small and large states must have a balance in their power so that the large states don’t over power the small states.  It is about balance and who must do what.

d. Bill of Rights is the first 10 amendments of the constitutions which lay our our basic rights:  free speech, freedom to bear arms, freedom to worship etc.

e. The amendments to the Constitution are the other 17 rights that have been given to us such as women’s voting, equal rights for all men, gives 18 year olds rights etc.

5. 6 functions of government are as follows: justice, domestic tranquility, common defense, general welfare, and secure liberty to ourselves and those who life after us.  This means that our family is secure because we are protected by a national defense, a justice system that is fair, that we are protected with liberty and justice and our security is ensured.

6.  I choose the Gettysburg and Abraham Lincoln because I visited Gettysburg and studied the speech he gave at the cemetery after the battle between the North and South.  This speech brought the country a little closer together and Lincoln stated that he respected all who had given their lives.  It applies today because we are one nation and must stay strong as one nation and not separate states.  Today people need to understand that they can just not go off and do what they want to do, but rather we must thing about what is best for the whole–the country and the preservation of our country.  Men who fight for our country do not die in vain.  My favorite part is the last sentence which reads, ” …that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave that last full measure of devotion… that we resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom and that the government of the people, by the people and for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

7. The three branches of the federal government:

legislative: we vote for a representative from our area and hope they represent us at a local level.  I have gone to congress to meet my congressional representative. Laws dealing with money come from the house side.  The senate has two representatives from each state.  This was a balance because the house members are based on population and the senate has two members from each state no matter what is the size of the state.

judicial: The supreme court is appointed by the President and is approved by the Senate.  They are appointed for life and make sure that the laws that are passed are according to the constitution.

executive:  This is the branch that the President is head of and we vote for him based upon our electoral college.  His function is to make sure that the laws of congress are carried out.

There is an important checks and balance role with the three branches so that one is not more powerful than the other and there are legal ways to check on the outcome of each of the branches (vetoes, making laws, and checking on the constitutionality)

8. My two senators are as follows: Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.  My letter will be sent to counselor and Representative Jackie Speier.

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Mystic Seaport

Cory stands before the hull of the Charles Morgan

Cory learns about how the whaling long boats went after whales

Cory on the line to pull up the big square sale

Mystic Seaport is a recreated sea town with a bunch of old sailing ships from the 19th century.  The Amistad boat was there that the slaves revolted from and beat the crew and finally escaped. The Charles W. Morgan was the last of the whaling ships built in 1841.  It is an historical landmark and cost $52,000 to build.  After 37 voyages, she had 20 captains, and 1700 seamen.  She visited over 100 ports around the world, and only ran aground once in Japan. She earned $1, 400,000 worth of whale oil. She arrived in Mystic in 1942. She went around Cape Horn and survived the strong storms and shifting wind, many typhoons in the Chinese Sea, and dodged many icebergs in the Bering Sea.  We climbed all through the Morgan and could see where the sailors slept, where they ate and where the whale’s blubber was boiled into oil to import back to the US.

We watched as a team showed how they rescued wrecked ships off the shore of Cape Cod. They also gave a demonstration of how to steer a whaling boat right up to the whale to harpoon it.  Then, we watched as they rigged a square rigger and learned a lot of information about sailing a square rigger.

I loved watching the blacksmith who made iron pieces for the ships, the cooper who made the barrels for the ships hold and the printer.  It was cool to see the type setting for the printer. The steamship, Sabrinna, was one of the only historical steamships you can ride on.  We got to ride on her with coal power.  We watched the pistons turning in the engine room.

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American Heritage

1. Declaration of Independence: In the preamble it says that all men should have the right to liberty, life and to seek happiness.  But, King George III and the British government no longer allowed them:  they were taxed, they were forced to keep soldiers in their homes, and they were not allowed to manufacture their own goods.  The writers said that under these circumstances, they could “throw off ” their government and declare independence. The colonists believed they had the right to govern themselves, and not taxed or treated unfairly by a kingdom across the sea.  They should also be able to speak their mind without being punished.  They believed they could assemble without being shot like the Boston massacure.  Thus, on July 4, 1776 they declared independence from England and the Revolutionary War was fully underway.

2a Select two individuals from History.  I chose Paul Revere and George Washington and I’ve discussed in previous blog.

2c. I interviewed two veterans and the results of the interview are in previous blogs.

3a. I chose to cover the final  space shuttle launch and have a blog report on it.

3b. Describe the following:

National Anthem:  I visited Ft. McHenry and have discussed it in a blog.

Pledge of Allegience: The pledge has been discussed  in previous blog.

Seal: On the seal is the bald eagle.  It was adopted in 1783 after much discussion, debate.  It represents the country’s core, values and beliefs.  The arrows represent the 13 colonies. The olive branch symbolizes power, peace and war. In its mouth the Eagle holds the motto (out of many one) or E Pluribus Unum.  The reverse side of the seal has a 13 step unfinished pyramid representing the 13 colonies (but there will be more to build and change). The eye and the motto over it Annuit Coeptis which means God has favored our undertakings.  The Roman numerals (1776), and the motto, Novus Ordo Seclorum means a new order of the ages which means there is a new order of American influence.

Motto: In God We Trust means that we have freedom of religion and we can worship as we choose.

3c. I have researched a lot of my family history.  Jabez Perry is our patriot who was in the American Revolution and lived in Vermont.  Andre Lamoreux was a French protestant who came to American after the 1685 Edict of Nance where the protestants were thrown out of France or killed.  He settled in New Rochel.  We also had a lot of Irish relatives who came at the end of the Irish potato famine.  My Finish relatives came because there was land only for the oldest son. The rest had not land given to them, so they came to American in the late 1800’s to get their own farms.  They settled in Oregon.

4b. Historical importance.   I visited Ft. Ticonderoga in New York on Lake Champlain.  I watched the British Army doing their drills with drum and fife.  The fort was first held by the French during the French and Indian War.  Then the British took hold of it. Then the Americans and then it was back to the British.  In 1777 the Americans fought the British for control of the fort but lost. However, they were able to keep Burgoyne long enough so that he could not join the British forces to separate the Americans and giving Washington enough time to gather his forces.  There were no trees during the time of battle.  The fort was well protected and could block any foreign powers coming up or down Lake Champlain.   See blog posting

4e. I visited the historical trail of Gettysburg where they had the battle fields of the confederates and the union forces.  We climbed to each point and could see how their battle lines were drawn over the three days of fighting.  (See blog). Thus fits into the national register because it was one of the bloodiest battles of the of the Civil War and the only one to be fought in the North.  Lincoln consecrated this battlefield with his Gettysburg Address.

5b. Read a biography.  I read the biography of Ben Franklin by Jean Fritz.  He was an amazing man who was an inventor, writer, printer, and founded the fire department, hospitals, and libraries.  He invented  Franklin stoves, bifocals, furniture, and many other things.  He was very instrumental in gaining financial support from France to help us with the Revolutionary war and he also helped to write both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  (See Blog).

6. Career opportunities in American Heritage:  I could be a teacher, a park ranger, or a researcher.  I also learned about argument from Ben Franklin and might like to be a lawyer.  I would like to talk about being a teacher.  I would have to go to college and then graduate college with a master’s degree.  I would have to study history and some areas in depth.  I like to find out various events and I like facts.

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New London Submarine Station

Cory on deck of nuclear submarine in Groton, Connecticut

Cory in the main control room where three seamen steered the submarine.

Today we looked at a lot of boats and canals and bridges before we went to the Naval Submarine station.  We had fun at the Cape Code canal that was finished in 1914.  Along the jetty there were lots of starfish and crabs climbing on the jetty rocks.  These rocks were brought from Maine when the canal was dug.  Before the canal, there was a ship wreck a day.  Today the government has taken over the canal and maintains the canal for about 20,000 boats that make the passage each year.

In New London, we visited the Naval Submarine Station.  We went through the Nautilas which was the first nuclear powered submarine.  We learned how many submarines were lost during the Second World War.  In the Cold War we had the technology to launch missles from the submarines that went up to 4000 miles.  There was also 37,000 miles of wire that detected sound.  But the Americans had silent submarines so the Russians couldn’t hear us.  But Soviet spies gave away our submarine locations.  Then the Russians made silent submarines too and sunk two of our submarines.

Conditions on the submarine were very hot and cramped.  I would not have liked to have lived on a submarine.

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Plymouth and Pilgrims

Cory stands at the base of the mast of Mayflower II

Cory looks at “Plymouth Rock”

Today in Plymouth we boarded the Mayflower II.  We learned there were 102 pilgrims who were on this first ship to New England landing in 1620.  However, their first winter half of the died from diseases.  We climbed through the ship and I can’t imagine that many people living in such close quarters for two months (April to June) that it took to get to New England.  They first landed on Cape Cod but realized it was not a good place to be and so settled for Plymouth.

We also saw Plymouth Rock which is a small rock where their row boats probably tied up to and let the Pilgrims off onto land.  Because the Mayflower had such a deep draft, it could not come in close to the shore and had to anchor a mile off shore.  People got to shore by row boats.  Governor Bradford was their first leader.  We got to see the food they ate on the ship which was mostly grain.  They kept their supplies in large barrels in the hold of the ship.  The beds on the ship were very little and 1o2 people must have been very cramped.

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Paul Revere and the Shot Heard Around the World in Lexington, MA

Cory at the base of the Minuteman Statue at Lexington Green

Today we visited Lexington green where the shot was hear around the world, fired on April 19, 1775 to start the Revolutionary War.  I learned a lot about Paul Revere today.  He was a silver smith and also a “Son of Liberty.”  He was a messenger for the patriots getting information about the British taking that information to the patriots in Philadelphia and New York and Massachusetts.  The Stamp Act and the Quartering Act and the Tea Act had pushed the American patriots to the end. They were ready for revolution.  Sam Adams and John Hancock from Massachusetts were two of the strongest leaders and there was a bounty on their heads by the King George III of England.

Revere’s famous ride included Dawes who set up a system to find out if the Bristish regulars would come by land or by sea.  Revere and Dawes saw from the north church 2 lanterns (by sea) and rode to spread the word to every town between North Boston and Lexington and Concord. Also the ammunition was stored in Concord, so the militia needed to be prepared for the British.  Revere, Dawes and Prescott were the three main riders who said, “The regulars are coming, ” to warn the militia.

We also followed the trail of the British soldiers to Concord and the North Bridge where they were looking for the stored ammunition of the patriots.  However, the patriots learned the British were coming and so dispersed and hid their ammunitions in other places and buried some of it. The British never found it and were ambushed by the patriots on their way back to Boston.  The British were then surrounded for a winter while they were in Boston and finally left because they ran out of food and ammunition.

Revere was captured by British guards before he reached Concord, but Dawes and Prescott rode on.  Revere, to get freed, gave the small guard group information to go back and join their troops.  Once Revere was freed, he rode to warn Adams and Hancock and helped the Hancock family to escape before the British came.

George Washington was the other person I learned about.  He was am amazing first president of the United States, president of the constitutional congress, and general of our revolutionary army.  He was an amazing man because he was able to elicit the French aid in military experience and funding, the Germans to help with training, and multiple ways to get support for his troops.  The war was long lasting between 1775 and 1783, but Washington was able to provide support to get his troops together. He also had an elaborate information system with spies who obtained information about the British army.  The turning point of the revolutionary war was the battle of Saratoga which we lost, but it gained enough time for Washington to gather his troops and for the British not to split the revolutionary army.

During the constitutional congress Washington listened to both the small states and the large states. Many compromises were agreed upon by the end allowing states to balance states rights against some federalist policies.  He appointed Ben Franklin to set up the national postal system and Hamilton to set up the national treasury.  As president, Washington was able to negotiate many important issues and was also able to establish our first naval system.  He was a fair man who listened to many sides.   And, he was greatly respected among the Americans.

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Bob Sleds at Lake Placid and Fort Ticonderoga

Bobsled ride at Lake Placid Olympic Sports Center

Drum and fife corps at Ft. Ticonderoga

Mortars are set at higher elevation than cannons

Kai and I got up early and we were the first on the Olympic Bobsled ride.  It is kind of like a water slide.  We were in the four man Bobsled with operators in front and in back to brake the sled.  Our heads bobbed back and forth.  It was only 42 seconds, and we went a mile.  The announcer called our names and our times as we rode down.  Instead of on runners, it was on wheels for summer time travel on the cement track which made it more bumpy.

Fort Ticonderoga was a beautiful fort at the beginning of Lake Champlain.  It was first occupied by the French during the French and Indian War.  Then, the Americans took it, and then the British and then the Americans again.  The Champlain/Hudson valley was a regular transportation route between New York city and Montreal, Canada.

The Fort was in an octagon shape.  We got to go into the barracks and the fife and drum corps marched outside.  I saw the steep shoot to the kitchen.  The bread ovens were underground.  Canons were mounted on the high walls and there were several big mortars.  The canons were positioned to stop anyone coming down the lake. They had a big collection of swords, guns, pipes and javelins.  The guns for the Revolutionary War were sold by the French to the Americans and then the Americans assembled them and stamped U.S.  I held one musket and it was 10 pounds.  I learned that the curved swords are better than straight swords for chopping off heads and it doesn’t require so much strength to do damage to the enemy.

This was an important Fort because of its strategic position in the Hudson Valley.  And, the Americans held off the British long enough for Washington to gather his troops together.

In the 1700’s there was farm land around and the trees were cut down.  In the 1800’s it fell into ruin until the Pell family bought and reconstructed it back to how it looked in the 1750’s.  Today there are many more trees around the fort and there is not a lot of farming going on.

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5 days of news – America’s space program

I have been reading the newspaper (June 28-July 8) about our space shuttle program which will end on July 8th with the last shuttle mission for NASA. There were also pieces in the news regarding the space program and achievements. In the article on the 28th there was an extensive article talking about the great achievements of the space program like the day the space station was completed, the day we landed on the moon, the day the space shuttle took off. But the article on July 1st talked about the lay-offs and how many people (8000) would be losing their jobs at Cape Kennedy in Florida.  However, there are many space related jobs and businesses at the Cape as well and they will be losing tourists too because big cruise ships stop there.  So, the end of manned space in our country will impact many jobs.

There have been many good things from the manned space program. We’ve found  galaxies and stars and discovered how our own solar system was formed (Big Bang theory). We learned about gravity, about how to exist in space, and what kinds of metals were on the moon. We were able to repair the Hubble telescope.  We are able to study the movements of astroids that might hit the earth.  And, we’ve learned a lot about science that we couldn’t have done on Earth, things like the Global Positioning System

We watched eagerly as the shuttle Atlantis lifted off on the 8th of July.  It had only 4 astronauts on board.  There were nearly a million people watching. We watched from where we were in Connecticut at Mystic Seaport.

I went to Space Camp at NASA and learned about things that could be done in a weightless environment, what medicines were developed and products like velcro.

In the article on the 30th of June, the news talked about how they had to move the space station to avoid space junk so it wouldn’t put a hole in the station.  Also an asteroid just passed close to the earth.  The astronauts went into the soyuz space craft for safety.  There are 500,000 pieces of space junk.

John Glenn, in the news on July 6th was very sad that our transportation to the space station would now only rely on the Russians.  He felt that this would be very dangerous to the US not having another type of transportation here in the US to work on the space station.

The space program has impacted me and my family because it has provided information to help us understand how earth was formed, it has developed medicine for us and products for us and the GPS.  This week, my Dad is rafting the Grand Canyon and sending us  GPS “spots”  telling us that he is o.k. and where he is.   When my grandparents crossed the Gulf of Mexico in their boat, they sent us spots every 4 hours so that we knew where they were.  This is a good safety device.  They also have an EPIRB which has a GPS incase their boat sinks and they have to abandon ship so we can send help.

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Declaration of Independence

The Americans had a bunch of grievances as colonies of Britain:  they were unfairly taxed, they were not treated fairly, they could not manufacture goods, they had to house British soldiers in their homes, they had extra stamps on goods for further taxes.  So finally they had reached their last straw and 56 men got together and wrote a declaration freeing themselves from England.

The Declaration said that we would not live under a “depot” king who took all their rights away.  God gave us our life and it is our right to live happily and with freedom, not tyranny from a despotic king who pulled all their rights away.  The writers of the Declaration knew that if they lost, they would all be sentenced to death.  What followed was a war that lasted 8 years between 1775 and 1783 when the peace was formed in France.

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