English Language Blog

Tag Archives: American history

The Hill We Climb Posted by on Jan 21, 2021

If you are studying the English language, you could not find a better example of its power than Amanda Gorman’s poem performed at the inauguration ceremony for President Joe Biden. The Hill We Climb is filled with rich imagery and figurative allusions from culture, history, and the Bible. Gorman was writing her poem for the…

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What is the White House Cabinet? Posted by on Jan 11, 2021

You’ve probably been reading about the White House Cabinet. But, what, exactly, is it? The President of the United States is the head of the Executive Branch of the government. He is therefore often referred to as the country’s Chief Executive. When a new president is elected, the search immediately begins for people to run…

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The Gadsden Flag Posted by on Oct 15, 2020

The United States is a country with many official flags on display across the land. But one flag, historically among the oldest, has had a fascinating and increasingly controversial history. This is the story of the Gadsden flag. Beyond the traditional American flag with its red and white stripes and the white stars on a…

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Sixteen Tons Posted by on Sep 3, 2020

Songs that tell the stories of workers and laborers seem to have always been a part of American culture. Popular hits include Dolly Parton’s Nine to Five and Billy Joel’s Allentown, to name just two. Bruce Springsteen has made a career out of songs of the American worker. But in the history of American music…

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The Curious Case of the Edible Heirloom Posted by on Aug 21, 2020

I ate an heirloom last night. Actually, I ate quite a few heirlooms, and I would have liked to have eaten more. No, I did not somehow eat some of my grandmother’s jewelry, or my father’s old watch. I ate some tomatoes. But they were unusual, somewhat rare, and not perfectly beautiful. We now have…

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Black, with a Capital B Posted by on Jun 11, 2020

We appear to be undergoing a significant cultural moment. For the first time in 50 years, real and fundamental changes in how people think about race relations are taking place. This isn’t just happening in the United States, although the moment most profoundly affects our nation. The worldwide reaction has also been significant and is…

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Arlington National Cemetery Posted by on May 21, 2020

Memorial Day is going to be very different this year. Parades are canceled. Those large community and family cookouts with horseshoe competitions and sack races are not going to happen. Baseball games and soccer matches are forbidden. Even the definition of national sacrifice has been forever altered. But the reason that we set aside the…

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