Saturday, May 17, 2008

Homeschoolers on Vacation

One thing homeschooling has done for me is that I am always looking for educational types of things to do when we travel. This past week wasn't any different. Near where we stayed is a small town which has some really neat shops, one being a nice toy store. Having all of Tuesday afternoon free, David and I took the kids who had saved their money and dreamed of new Playmobil. After obtaining some of their desires and lightening their pocketbooks, we walked next door to a small store which sells Jerry Raedeke prints. We own three of his prints. One very similar to this, was a wedding gift from David's brothers and sister (a family tradition), and the other two are a matching set, hand water-colored drawings of a male and female cardinal which we purchased three years ago from this same store when only David and I attended this annual Pastor's conference. This is Mr. Raedeke's home base and sometimes he is in the store, and lo and behold the day we stopped he was there and we were able to visit with him.

He knew of our small town as some relatives settled this area. We had told the children that this store was where we had purchased the cardinal prints and that our Loon print was also painted by this man. They thought it was neat that they were able to meet him and see much more of his work. Nathan really wanted us to purchase another hand water-colored bird print - a goldfinch, but sorry buddy, not this time around.

Wednesday on the way home from the conference we made a stop at the history museum which is not far from our state capital (a neat place we've toured twice already).

This week is the sesquicentennial of our state and one of the original 25 copies of the Declaration of Independence was on display. Perfect - we are in the middle of the American Revolution in history and read about the Declaration last week. We stopped and saw it and had a photo-op by the display outside where the real copy was being looked over by many.

On the night of July 4th, 1776 after the Declaration had been approved by 12 of 13 colonies, the Philadelphia printer, John Dunlap was ordered by Mr. John Hancock, the Continental Congress President, to print broadside copies of the document which he and Charles Thomson, the Secretary, had signed. It is thought that about 200 broadsides were printed and distributed and today only 25 remain.

The copy we saw (pictured above - yes this is it, we could take non-flash pictures) was discovered in 1989 by a man who purchased a $4 painting at a flea market because he liked the frame. In the back of the frame was this copy and it auctioned for $8 million in 2000. This is the only copy of the Declaration of Independence that travels for display.

In another nearby case there was a copy of the 1774 Quebec Act enacted by King George III which affected land in our state, (You can read more about it here.) and was part of the acts called the Intolerable Acts by colonists which lead up to the Revolution.

We then spent the rest of the afternoon until closing visiting the various other displays in the history museum. One exhibit was all about various weather, one was on travel, one on the years before statehood, and there were others we didn't have time to see. But that is okay, we bought a family pass this year so that we can go back again and again. Plus the pass allows us free or discounted admission to 26 other historical places throughout the state plus some in other parts of the country. Our goal is to see as many as we can in our own state in the coming year.

No comments: