The Powhatan Confederation

By Jane Kosa and Virginia Johnson Pocahontas, the Powhatan princess who befriended the Jamestown colonists, married the Englishman John Rolfe in 1614, and is believed by many to have saved John Smith's life—that is what the world knows about the Powhatan Confederacy. Her father, Powhatan, almost alone, united the small, scattered Algonquian tribes of present-day…
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Excerpts from The Monroe Doctrine

James Monroe expressed his thoughts on how foreign policy should be conducted at his seventh annual message to Congress on December 2, 1823. His words are considered an essential part of America's political history and became known as "the Monroe Doctrine." .... The political system of the allied powers is essentially different in this respect…
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Make a Terrarium

Whether it's filled with mossy rocks and ferns or sands and cactus, a terrarium is an amazingly fun way to learn more about nature. With a terrarium in your room, something of the outdoors can always be inside. Terrariums that feature plants (not animals!) lock water inside to keep the soil moist. When the plants…
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The Louisiana Purchase

In 1800, all the land held by the new United States was about the same as what was then called Louisiana. Louisiana was named for King Louis XIV of France. It was part of a large claimed area in the New World called New France. It stretched from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico…
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Happy Hibernations!

Slow, sleepy winter days find many animals curled up in their dens. They sleep warmly through winter, awakening in spring ready to enjoy the renewed Earth. This unusual, deep sleep is called hibernation. What Is Hibernation? True hibernation is a very deep sleep. The animal's body temperature drops, its breathing slows, and it is very…
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Native American Folktales

The tribes who lived in the Western Hemisphere before the coming of the Europeans were as different from each other as the countries that came to claim their lands. The many stories of the people who farmed, hunted, and herded in the plains, forests, deserts, and hills of what we call North America tell how…
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A Day of Knights

What is a knight? The simple answer would be a soldier who fights on horseback while wearing armor, but there’s much more to being a knight. Who were the first knights? There have been soldiers on horseback for thousands of years, but what we think of as medieval knights first came into being during the…
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Homework Help: Virginia Civil War Battles

More than 150 years ago, life was turned upside-down for residents in our communities. Stafford County was occupied by Union troops. Fredericksburg changed hands many times between Union and Confederate and was the scene of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Spotsylvania County had the battles of Spotsylvania Courthouse, the Wilderness, and Chancellorsville…
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