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MiniStories

MiniStories

 

While researching and writing the major Stories, we find related stories, important in their own right-- so we create a "MiniStory."  That "MiniStory" is linked to the related major story, but the MiniStory can also be found, and assigned to students, directly.

 

Here is a partial list of MiniStories.  Check back next week for more!

 

Penicillin - Story Behind the "Wonder Drug"

 

Had it not been for the discovery of penicillin by Alexander Fleming (in 1928), and further research and testing by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain (in the late 30s and early 40s) - proving that penicillin could successfully treat infections - the death tolls on "D-Day" (in Normandy) would have been far greater.

Insulin:  A Life-Saving Discovery 

   

Learn how a young Canadian medical doctor, with not much of a medical practice and hardly any experience, wondered about an issue and changed the world for diabetics.  And ... meet one of the first people whose life was saved by that discovery. 

 

Hoover Dam:  How It Was Built

   

Known for its beauty, the Colorado River has another feature.  It drops - sometimes very steeply - through its various gorges.  That fact contributed to the location of the Hoover Dam.  See the historical footage where workers performed very dangerous feats building the dam.  

 

In late February, 1910, days of endless snow in the High Cascades prevented two trains from traveling further on the "Great Northern Route through Stevens Pass" in the state of Washington.  A passenger train and a mail train were both stopped on the tracks at a Great Northern Railway town called Wellington.  Each was positioned close to the edge of the mountainside. The trains had been stopped on the tracks for days - since February 23rd.  Then the weather changed, dramatically, and disaster struck.   

     

Preventing Polio with Salk's Vaccine

   

Polio, a disease which also existed in ancient times, is incurable.  Even today, despite all our technological and medical advances, the illness cannot be cured.  It can, however, be prevented.  Need for prevention was never more acute than in the early 1950s when people throughout America - especially children - were getting the disease.  Go back in time to meet some of those children and the people who helped them. 

   

Mutiny on the Bounty - A True Story

   

HMS Bounty was a real ship captained by a real man named Bligh.  Fletcher Christian led an actual mutiny and set the captain and loyal crew members adrift.  Traveling 3,618 nautical miles, Bligh and his men reached East Timor after being at sea 47 days.  Learn the real story and hear a radio play featuring Orson Welles. 

 

 

Do you know what was going-on in Charles Dickens' life when he wrote his famous Tale of Two Cities?  Do you know the meaning of some of the references to actual events (like the first chapter's ghost)?  Would you like to see the original manuscript?  Would you like to hear a few chapters from the story?  If so ... check it out! 

 

"In Flanders Fields" - Story Behind the Famous Poem

   

Who wrote the most-famous poem of World War I?  What did this Canadian doctor see which caused him to pen "In Flanders Fields?"  What happened to the doctor himself? 

 

Manhattan - The Deal and the Language

   

Before one of the world's most-famous cities was called "New York," it was called "New Amsterdam."  Who were those early settlers?  Have you ever heard the language they spoke?  Who bought Manhattan Island?  What was the purchase price? 

 

Behind the Scenes on Brown v Board of Education

    

Having first ordered that America's schools could no-longer be segregated, the U.S. Supreme Court next identified the process which would lead to integration.  How quickly would that take place?  You might be surprised to see the original manuscript as Justice Felix Frankfurter struggled to find the right words:  "...with all deliberate speed." 

 

Miracle of Dunkirk - Why was it Called "Operation Dynamo?"

   

After the Dunkirk evacuation, Churchill famously said that wars aren't won by evacuating military personnel.  True ... but the story of everyone pulling together to rescue hundreds of thousands of stranded troops is quite amazing in its own right.  By the way ... whatever caused the Brits to name the rescue "Operation Dynamo?" 

 

 
About 600 civil-rights marchers made their way across Route 80, in Selma, on the 7th of March, 1965.  It was a Sunday and the non-violent demonstrators were planning to march about 50 miles to Montgomery - Alabama's capital city - to protest the shooting of a young black man by a white state trooper.  Then, law-enforcement officials did the unthinkable and "Bloody Sunday" became a stain on America's history.

 


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