With just a week before the next month, we wanted to treat you and your students to several clips that commemorate momentous occasions in history- all within the month of February! We found this calendar from The Teachers Corner and thought we would add our own touch to it.
February 1: American poet and social activist Langston Hughes was born. As a primary contributor to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, his work depicted racial issues among the urban, working-class black community. Mr. Tolson makes a reference to “I, Too” by Langston Hughes in The Great Debaters.
February 3: Sesame Street character, Elmo, celebrates his birthday on this day. In this clip, he teaches kids the Sesame Street Alphabet.
The Vietnam War officially ends. Thomas Fowler, an older British reporter, shares his perspective on the Vietnam War with a young U.S. doctor in The Quiet American.
February 4: Facebook first launched as thefacebook.com. As the company grew, it became tempting for co-founder Mark Zuckerberg to claim a disproportionate amount of recognition and ownership of the business. This struggle is depicted in The Social Network.
February 8: Chinese New Year, Year of the Monkey, begins. In this clip from The Joy Luck Club, Waverly brings her American boyfriend home to meet her Chinese family and realizes there are a few cultural disconnects.
February 11: National Inventors’ Day, in honor of Thomas Edison’s birthday. We’d like to recognize Louis Pasteur and his creation of vaccines, the Rocket Boys and their relentless pursuit of the perfect rocket design in October Sky, and all those like Tom Haverford from Parks and Recreation who can fathom out-of-this-world ideas.
February 15: President’s Day. The Warners, from the television show, Animaniacs, sing through all of the U.S. presidents up to Bill Clinton in “The President’s Song.”
American social reformer and feminist, Susan B. Anthony, was born. She was integral in leading the women’s suffrage movement. Alice Paul in Iron Jawed Angels takes the suffrage movement by storm and is part of a coalition who risk their lives to help American women win the right to vote.
February 21: Polaroid’s “Land” Camera was first introduced by Edwin Land. Jeannie Van Der Hooven from House of Lies uses Polaroid’s business as an example to explain how a company constantly needs to reinvent itself to stay lean and relevant.
Although February is the shortest month of the year, it does not fall short of amazing contributors from poets to inventors to entrepreneurs. Do you have anything to add to our February Finds list? If so, please let us know in the comments or share your ideas on our website.