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August Learning Calendar with DVD Resources

by Diane Flynn Keith
Author of Carschooling

Happy Birthday Davy Crockett

There are historic and important events to commemorate nearly every day of the year. This Learning Calendar will help you note events and people that impact our lives with recommendations for DVDs, CDs, books, and websites to further learning and boost your student's knowledge of the world. All of the DVD, CD, and book recommendations are available through our affiliation with Amazon.com -- just click on the links to make a purchase that allows us to continue to provide this resource for free.

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Homefires' August Learning Calendar

  1. Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, born 1819. Read the book and then watch the DVD, Moby Dick, a spectacular retelling of the Herman Melville classic, masterfully directed by John Huston, and unsurpassed in entertainment, imagination and high adventure, starring Gregory Peck.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  2. U.S. President, Warren G. Harding, dies in office in 1923. Calvin Coolidge sworn in. Learn more about these presidents and others with the DVD collection, "The History Channel Presents The Presidents."

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  3. The U.S.S. Nautilus, an atomic powered submarine, cruised beneath the North Pole ice cap in 1958. The sub was named for the advanced submarine in Jules Verne's fictional tale, "20,0000 Leagues Under The Sea". Disney turned the tale into an award-winning movie in 1954 that is now available on DVD.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  4. U.S. buys Dutch West Indies (now the Virgin Islands) from Denmark in 1916. Take a trip to the Virgin Islands from the comfort of your armchair. Join the Roberts Family on their trip when you watch the DVD, "Travel With Kids Caribbean: Puerto Rico & The Virgin Islands."

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  5. The cornerstone was laid during construction of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor in 1884. Watch the DVD "Ken Burn's America: The Statue of Liberty" and learn all about the history of this American icon.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  6. The U.S. dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima during W.W.II in 1945. Watch the DVD Hiroshima: Why The Bomb Was Dropped. ABC's Peter Jennings goes behind the scenes of the Truman administration to uncover how the decision to drop the atomic bomb was reached. Did it shorten the war? Did it save lives? Was it necessary? This documentary supplements WWII studies for middle school, high school and college. Caution: Contains graphic scenes of war casualties.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  7. Mata Hari, Dutch dancer convicted and executed as a spy during W.W.I for passing Allied secrets to Germany, born 1876. Watch the A&E DVD, "Biography - Mata Hari" and learn about the life and times of this legendary spy.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  8. The Spanish Armada was defeated by England in 1588. Watch the History Channel DVD, "History's Mysteries: The Spanish Armada"

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  9. Richard M. Nixon, amid threats of impeachment, resigned the Presidency in 1974. Watch the DVD, All The President's Men, based on the best-selling book by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. The focus is on the 1972 investigation of the burglary of the Democratic Party headquarters, otherwise known as the "Watergate Break-In." Through a complicated web of intrigue and secrecy that eventually involves the highest levels of government, journalists Woodward (Robert Redford) and Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) of the Washington Post aggressively examine the incident, ultimately leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  10. Herbert Hoover, 31st President, born 1874. Learn more about this president and others with the DVD collection, "The History Channel Presents The Presidents."

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  11. Alex Haley, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Roots, born 1921. Read the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Alex Haley, then watch the DVD. Roots recounts the lineage of one family beginning with Kunta Kinte. Kidnapped from Africa and enslaved in America in 1767, he refused to accept his slave name of Toby. Heirs kept his heroic defiance alive, whispering his name from one generation to the next until it reached a young boy growing up in Tennessee. His name was Alex Haley. Roots is an unforgettable DVD journey.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  12. U.S. annexed Hawaii in 1848. Watch the DVD "American Experience: Hawaii's Last Queen." Learn about Liliu'okalani, who ruled Hawaii in the 1800s, and struggled with the powerful American business interests in Hawaii that moved to gain control of the island nation.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  13. Annie Oakley, the greatest rifle marksman of her time, born in Ohio in 1860. Rent the DVD, Annie Get Your Gun. The Academy Award-winning musical will have you grinning ear to ear while recounting a segment of American history. Howard Keel plays Frank Butler, the Buffalo Bill's Wild, Wild West Show sharpshooter. Betty Hutton plays the spunky backwoods girl named Annie Oakley who dares to challenge him to a match. Legendary Irving Berlin songs include "There's No Business Like Show Business" and "Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)."

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  14. Japan surrendered to the Allied forces, ending WWII in 1945. Watch the highly acclaimed movie on DVD, "Tora! Tora! Tora!" "Tora! Tora! Tora!" is the Japanese signal to attack - and the movie meticulously recreates the attack on Pearl Harbor and the events leading up to it. Opening scenes contrast the American and Japanese positions. The movie was a collaborative effort by American and Japanese filmmakers.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  15. Panama Canal officially opened to international sea commerce in 1914. Watch the Nova DVD, "A Man, A Plan, A Canal." NOVA offers historic film footage, rare archival photographs and insightful narration about this massive feat of engineering and ingenuity that cost millions of dollars and thousands of lives.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  16. Elvis Presley, arguably the most influential person in Rock 'N Roll, dies, 1977. Watch "Elvis '56 - In The Beginning" a 1987 biography on DVD about the beginning of Presley's career. Watch his early television performances, and an entire hour of rare footage and performances captured during the amazing breakthrough year when Elvis Presley became not only a star, but a phenomenon.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  17. Davy Crockett, American folk hero & statesman, was born in 1786 in Tennessee. Watch two movies on DVD based on the events at The Alamo where Crockett died. The Alamo (1960) features John Wayne who acts in, produces and directs this classic western. Davy Crockett (Wayne) leads 185 men against an army of 7,000 in a unforgettable battle. Or watch The Alamo (2004) with Dennis Quaid and Billy Bob Thornton based on the 1836 standoff between a group of Texan and Tejano men, led by Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie, and Mexican dictator Santa Anna's forces in San Antonio, Texas.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  18. Genghis Khan, who led Mongol tribes to conquer much of Asia and Europe, died on this day in 1227. Watch the A&E DVD, "Biography - Genghis Khan."

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  19. Orville Wright was born in 1871. Together with his brother, Wilbur, he pioneered the first powered, controlled, sustained airplane flight on December 17, 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Enhance your understanding of transportation and physics by watching the IMAX DVD The Magic of Flight. Relive the historical first flight of the Wright Brothers, then soar with the world-famous Blue Angels as they defy the laws of gravity with their breathtaking maneuvers.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  20. Benjamin Harrison, 23rd president of the U.S. born in 1833. Learn more about this president and others with the DVD collection, "The History Channel Presents The Presidents."

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  21. Hawaii became the 50th state in 1959. Take an armchair trip to Hawaii by watching the DVD "Hawaii: Oahu, Maui, Kauai, And the Big Island."

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  22. In 1911, the world's most famous work of art -- Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa -- was stolen from the Louvre museum in Paris. It was recovered 2 years later when the thief attempted to sell it to another art gallery. Learn more about the Mona Lisa and her creator. Watch the History Channel's "Da Vinci and the Code He Lived By" on DVD.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  23. Gene Kelly, actor/dancer/choreographer, born 1912. Watch the DVD Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer and learn all about the life and career of this innovator of American dance. Packed with marvelous movie clips, the DVD includes interviews with family and Hollywood colleagues. Then, enhance your study of Kelly's work by viewing the DVD Singin' In The Rain - great entertainment for the whole family!

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  24. Mount Vesuvius erupted in Italy, destroying Pompeii in 79 A.D. Watch the DVD Private Lives Of Pompeii. See the devastation caused by Mount Vesuvius in Pompeii. Meet the ancients, experience their daily customs, and visit the imperial cities of Rome and Pompeii as they appeared 2,000 years ago. This program makes it all possible through computer recreations and a renowned team of Italian archeologists and historians.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  25. Paris, France liberated from occupation by Nazi, Germany, 1944. Watch the highly acclaimed movie on DVD "Is Paris Burning?" (rated R). It depicts the struggles of various French resistance factions to regain control of Paris near the end of WWII. Hitler had ordered his general to burn the city if the Allies got too close.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  26. 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote ratified in 1920. Watch "Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Stanton & Anthony." Ken Burns directed this documentary about the lives of the 2 women who led the women's suffrage movement. Includes archival footage and photos, and commentary from historians. Then watch One Woman, One Vote.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  27. Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President of U.S., born 1908. Learn more about this president and others with the DVD collection, "The History Channel Presents The Presidents."

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  28. Leo Tolstoy, author of "War and Peace," born 1828. High school students will enjoy the 1968 movie "War And Peace" adapted from Leo Tolstoy's epic novel about the life of a Russian family during the War of 1812.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  29. Last Inca emperor dies at hands of Spanish conquistador, Pizarro in 1533. Watch "Nova: Secrets of Lost Empires - Inca" on DVD.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  30. Lord Ernest Rutherford was born in 1871. Rutherford's Nobel prize-winning work resulted in the theory that an atom is composed of a small, heavy nucleus surrounded by one or more electrons. For more information about atoms watch "Standard Deviants School - Chemistry, Program 6 - Inside the Atom" on DVD.

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

  31. National Trail Mix Day! Carschooling, camping, and hiking are popular summer activities that call for high energy, easy-to-pack foods like trail mix. This snack mix, sometimes called GORP (for Good Old Raisins and Peanuts), can be any combination of nuts, dried fruit, candy, mini-crackers, pretzels, and cereal you enjoy. Send me your favorite Trail Mix recipe by August 15th and we'll post it to the Carschooling blog!

    Further the Learning with These Resources:

Do you have young children?

Check out the Preschool Learning Calendar!

Going on a Road Trip?

Carschool on your next trip! If you like this calendar, you'll love the Carschooling Calendar for learning history on the go! You can get it delivered to your email inbox every month by subscribing to the Carschooling Ezine — it's free! Sign up now by clicking here.

More August DVD Selections