Friday, April 27, 2012

Presidential Campaigns

In government right now we are discussing how the American President is elected, and Presidential Campaigns.  My favorite part is that this is a very teachable moment because we are in the middle of a Presidential Campaign right now.  I ask them all the time who they think is going to win?  I guess we know now it will be Romney against Obama.  It is funny half say Romney, and the other half say Obama.  I wonder if that is any indication of the country.

I love going over the Electoral College because the students react so strongly to it.  Every year the students think it is unfair, and denies our right to choose.  I guess the biggest issue is a candidate can win the popular vote, but lose the Electoral Vote.  That has only happened three times in the 44 Presidential Elections this country has had, but it can happen.

Below are famous moments in a Presidential Campaign, and video that makes it so memorable.  Also below is a link to an awesome website that shows you every outcome for every race.  It is awesome!  You have to win 270 Electoral Votes to become president.

270 To Win
A very cool website

Many candidates will go on SNL or late night TV to relate to the people.  Sarah Palin went on SNL during the 2008 Election.

The slogan that stuck with Obama was, "Yes We Can."  Here during the Election of 2008 Will I Am turned it into a song, and encouragement to vote!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

This Day In History

Just after 9 a.m., a massive truck bomb explodes outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The blast collapsed the north face of the nine-story building, instantly killing more than 100 people and trapping dozens more in the rubble. Emergency crews raced to Oklahoma City from across the country, and when the rescue effort finally ended two weeks later the death toll stood at 168 people killed, including 19 young children who were in the building's day-care center at the time of the blast.

On April 21, the massive manhunt for suspects in the worst terrorist attack ever committed on U.S. soil by an American resulted in the capture of Timothy McVeigh, a 27-year-old former U.S. Army soldier who matched an eyewitness description of a man seen at the scene of the crime. On the same day, Terry Nichols, an associate of McVeigh's, surrendered at Herington, Kansas, after learning that the police were looking for him. Both men were found to be members of a radical right-wing survivalist group based in Michigan, and on August 8 John Fortier, who knew of McVeigh's plan to bomb the federal building, agreed to testify against McVeigh and Nichols in exchange for a reduced sentence. Two days later, a grand jury indicted McVeigh and Nichols on murder and conspiracy charges.

While still in his teens, Timothy McVeigh acquired a penchant for guns and began honing survivalist skills he believed would be necessary in the event of a Cold War showdown with the Soviet Union. Lacking direction after high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and proved a disciplined and meticulous soldier. It was during this time that he befriended Terry Nichols, a fellow 13 years his senior, who shared his survivalist interests.

In early 1991, McVeigh served in the Persian Gulf War and was decorated with several medals for a brief combat mission. Despite these honors, he was discharged from the U.S. Army at the end of the year, one of many casualties of the U.S. military downsizing that came after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Another result of the Cold War's end was that McVeigh shifted his ideology from a hatred of foreign communist governments to a suspicion of the U.S. federal government, especially as its new elected leader, Democrat Bill Clinton, had successfully campaigned for the presidency on a platform of gun control.

The August 1992 shoot-out between federal agents and survivalist Randy Weaver at his cabin in Idaho, in which Weaver's wife and son were killed, followed by the April 19, 1993, inferno near Waco, Texas, that killed some 80 Branch Davidians, deeply radicalized McVeigh, Nichols, and their associates. In early 1995, Nichols and McVeigh planned an attack on the federal building in Oklahoma City, which housed, among other federal agencies, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)--the agency that had launched the initial raid on the Branch Davidian compound in 1993.

On April 19, 1995, the two-year anniversary of the disastrous end to the Waco standoff, McVeigh parked a Ryder rental truck loaded with a diesel-fuel-fertilizer bomb outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City and fled. Minutes later, the massive bomb exploded, killing 168 people.
On June 2, 1997, McVeigh was convicted on 15 counts of murder and conspiracy, and on August 14, under the unanimous recommendation of the jury, was sentenced to die by lethal injection. Michael Fortier was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined $200,000 for failing to warn authorities about McVeigh's bombing plans. Terry Nichols was found guilty on one count of conspiracy and eight counts of involuntary manslaughter, and was sentenced to life in prison.

In December 2000, McVeigh asked a federal judge to stop all appeals of his convictions and to set a date for his execution. Federal Judge Richard Matsch granted the request. On June 11, 2001, McVeigh, 33, died of lethal injection at the U.S. penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was the first federal prisoner to be put to death since 1963.

Most famous picture from that day

How America felt

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Sinking of the Titantic

It was April 12th when the Titantic hit the fateful iceberg, and sank.  Such a sad moment, and what makes it so sad was the fact that there were not enough life boats.  They thought they took up to much space on deck!  So the people who got off were the first class, women, and children.  Most of the third class in steerage died.  So sad!  We are still enthralled with the Titantic today.  A while ago James Cameron made the movie Titantic.  The story was made up for Hollywood, but it speaks to our hearts!  The nickname for the Titantic was "Unsinkable."  Such a great irony.

Titantic By Numbers - great website with interesting stats!

Titantic Sinking

Titantic now under the ocean

Trailer for Titantic.  Just released in 3D.

My Heart Will Go On Video