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How well do you know American history?

As much as I love this country, when I embarked on this project I was somewhat surprised by how much I had either forgotten from my high school history classes or perhaps never learned. When I was in school, I wanted a sports car and a girl friend, and I don’t think I thought much about history. Now I realize more than ever that it is not possible to think about the greatness of this country without understanding all I can about the road that got us here… the myriad of roads.

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His father died when he was a boy of 11. He married a very wealthy 28-year-old widow. He owned 100 slaves. He became America’s biggest producer of whiskey. Click on your choice below.
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Andrew Jackson
President 1829-1837
Led troops in the War of 1812
Never owned slaves
Adopted two orphanned Native American children
Did not brew whiskey.
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George Washington
President 1789-97
Married the very wealthy Martha Dandridge
Was a good businessman with a sizable plantation where he brewed whiskey after he left office.
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Born in North Carolina in 1795 in logo cabin, Polk went on to become governor of Tennessee before winning the presidential election in 1844. During his presidency, the U.S. secured the Oregon Territory in a negotiated settlement with Britain, annexed the Republic of Texas, and won the Mexican War, securing much of the Southwest. He served one term, and died at the age of 53 months after leaving office.
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Born in Quincy, Massachusetts, the son of John Adams, who would become the nation’s second president, JQ Adams was educated by private tutors and accompanied his father on diplomatic missions to France and the Netherlands before entering politics. He went on to serve one term as President from 1825-1829
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The Growth of a 50-State Nation

The graphic at left shows how the lines were drawn and states formed. Long before each state joined the union as a state, it had been explored, fought over, negotiated, and sometimes purchased, then occupied as a territory.

Our founding fathers did not know what the United States would ultimately become. Gradual expansion toward the west was not pre-ordained, though it certainly seems that way looking back. Large sections of what is now the U.S. had been claimed by the French and the Spanish. And of course many different tribal nations of Native Americans had made their lives all across North America for centuries, and did not believe the land belonged to the French, the Spanish, or the English.

West Virginia is shown in light green during the period when it was a part of Virginia. It split from Virginia during the Civil War and gained statehood in 1863.
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The map below that shows the make up of our country in 1834 speaks for itself:
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How well do you know your Great American Cars? ––––Click on the 1943 Ford.
(click again to see the photo return.)
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1941 Ford Deluxe Coupe

Photo by Corpmods, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution.
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1955 Ford Fairlane Sunliner

Photo by GTHO, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.
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The B-24 Heavy Bomber

Ford Motor Co. built 8,000 of these in the mid 1940’s in their Willow Run plant. The whole country had gone to work supporting the War effort. The car companies were all building military hardware during the war — not cars. The 1943 Ford was a B-24 bomber.
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1947 Ford Business Coup

Note that the only real design change since the earlier models was the grill.
Photo by Dave 7 from Lethbridge, Canada. licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.
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© 2019 Phil Dickinson
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