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From 1892 to 1954, Ellis Island was the gateway to a new life in the United States for millions of immigrants. In later years, the island was deserted, the buildings decaying. Ellis Island was not restored until the 1980s, when Americans from all over the country donated more than $150 million. It opened to the public once again in 1990 as a museum. Learn more about America's history, and perhaps even your own, through the story of one of the most popular landmarks in the country.
"Remember the Alamo!" is still a rallying cry more than 175 years after the siege in Texas, where a small band of men held off about two thousand soldiers of the Mexican Army for twelve days. The Alamo was a crucial turning point in the Texas Revolution, and led to the creation of the Republic of Texas. With 80 black-and-white illustrations throughout and a sixteen-page black-and-white photo insert, young readers will relive this famous moment in Texas history.
It was world-famous sculptor Gutzon Borglum's dream to carve sixty-foot-high likenesses of four presidents on a granite cliff in South Dakota. Does that sound like a wacky idea? Many at the time thought so. Borglum faced a lot of opposition and problems at every turn; the blasting and carving carried out through the years of the Great Depression when funding for anything was hard to come by. Yet Mount Rushmore now draws almost three million visitors to the Black Hills every year. This is an entertaining chronicle of one man's magnificent obsession, which even today sparks controversy.
There are canyons all over the planet, and the Grand Canyon in Arizona is not the biggest. Yet because of the spectacular colors in the rock layers and fascinating formations of boulders, buttes, and mesas, it is known as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. Starting with a brief overview of how national parks came into being, this book covers all aspects of the canyon--how it formed, which early native people lived there, and what varied wildlife can be found there now. A history of the canyon's end-to-end exploration in the late 1860s and how the Grand Canyon became such a popular vacation spot (5 million tourists visit every year) round out this informative, easy-to-read account.
More than two thousand years ago, with his land under constant attack from nomads, the First Emperor of China came up with a simple solution: build a wall to keep out enemies. It was a wall that kept growing and growing. But its construction came at a huge cost: it is believed that more than a million Chinese died building it, earning the wall its nickname--the longest cemetery on earth. Through the story of the wall, Patricia Brennan Demuth is able to tell the story of China itself, the rise and fall of dynasties, the greatness of its culture, and its present-day status as a Communist world power.
The history of the White House, first completed in 1799, reflects the history of America itself. It was the dream of George Washington to have an elegant "presidential mansion" in the capital city that was named after him. Yet he is the only president who never got to live there. All the rest have made their mark--for better or worse--on the house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Megan Stine explains how the White House came to be and offers young readers intriguing glimpses into the lives of the First Families--from John and Abigail Adams to Barack and Michelle Obama.
Did you know that Bell's amazing invention--the telephone--stemmed from his work on teaching the deaf? Both his mother and wife were deaf. Or, did you know that in later years he refused to have a telephone in his study? Bell's story will fascinate young readers interested in the early history of modern technology!
Who's Yer Daddy? offers readers of gay male literature a keen and engaging journey. In this anthology, thirty-nine gay authors discuss individuals who have influenced them--their inspirational "daddies." The essayists include fiction writers, poets, and performance artists, both honored masters of contemporary literature and those just beginning to blaze their own trails. They find their artistic ancestry among not only literary icons--Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde, André Gide, Frank O'Hara, James Baldwin, Edmund White--but also a roster of figures whose creative territories are startlingly wide and vital, from Botticelli to Bette Midler to Captain Kirk. Some writers chronicle an entire tribal council of mentors; others describe a transformative encounter with a particular individual, including teachers and friends whose guidance or example cracked open their artistic selves. Perhaps most moving are the handful of writers who answered the question literally, writing intimately of their own fathers and their literary inheritance. This rich volume presents intriguing insights into the contemporary gay literary aesthetic.
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