Thursday, September 04, 2008
Wow, what an amazing week the USA has had, first with McCain's historical introduction of his nomination of Sarah Palin to the Republican presidential ticket and then to actually hear her address the RNC last night live. It was a powerful night and I think many Americans are energized by this fresh, grassroots governor from Alaska.
Our family has always, always been interested in America's government and elections, so this year will be no different than any other. We like to listen to the speeches of all candidates and watch the debates on TV. Oh sure, we have our picks already, but we want to know everything we can about the candidates to make an informed choice when Election Day rolls around. Our family is celebratinig another new voter this year too -- eighteen year old S. will be casting his first-ever-votes this November and we're excited for him. I can remember vividly the first presidential election I voted in. I helped elect President Ronald Reagan. That was thrilling! Do you remember casting your first vote?
We're a home schooling family and so when elections come around, we always make this season a part of our studies. It's one of those "real life" learning experiences that a textbook just can't bring home (pun intended). Yesterday J. had an excerpt from the book A Man Called Peter, by Catherine Marshall, that he was to take from dictation. The excerpt was about the inauguration of Harry Truman and Alben Barkley in January of 1949. I decided that this book would make a good read aloud, so I proceeded to read the first chapter of the book to the boys. A few hours later, I was looking at a magazine online, the American Heritage, and -- lo and behold -- there was a radio diary about Alben Barkley, "Remember Truman's VEEP." Well, I reconized right away that it was a God Thing that I would come upon this at the perfect time, so I clicked it up and gathered the kids around to listen. We really enjoyed this little snippet about a senator who was born in 1897 in a log cabin in Lowes, Kentucky, who grew up on a tenant farm with his family, was deeply religious, became a lawyer, a senator, and the Vice President of the USA. Reminds me of someone in today's history -- a woman from a small town in Alaska, daughter of teachers, a hockey mom, outdoorsman, Christian, mayor of her hometown, governor and now VEEP nomination for the 2008 election.
I plan to use this opportunity in our country's election process to find more inspiring stories to share with my kids about past elections, presidents, and vice presidents. If you have a good story to share or a link to an historical election or candidate, please share it with me here in the comments. Thanks!