About Jay Luna

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Jay Luna has created 44 blog entries.

On this day in 1810,

October 19th, 2015|

the abolitionist Cassius Marcellus Clay was born. Clay, son of Kentucky slave-owners, was inspired by abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison to launch a lifelong crusade to end slavery. After graduating from Yale University, Clay returned to central Kentucky—a slave state—and took up life as a politician, soldier and newspaper editor. His anti-slavery views were so controversial [...]

Fannie Lou Hamer risked her life to vote

October 6th, 2015|

On this day in 1917, the Mississippi civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer was born. Hamer was the granddaughter of a slave and the youngest of twenty children born to Mississippi sharecroppers. She began picking cotton at age six. On August 31, 1962, she and seventeen others decided it was time for a change. They [...]

Looking at 10 great speeches in American History

September 2nd, 2015|

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech certainly ranks highly in the pantheon of public speaking. Here is a look at the Dream speech and other addresses that moved people – and history. In 1999, a survey of 137 public speaking and political scholars ranked the 100 most-important political speeches of the [...]

Happy Birthday 19th Amendment

August 26th, 2015|

Today, we celebrate the anniversary of the 19th Amendment (ratified on August 18, 1920). Here’s what you need to know:   The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce [...]

Eight States Add Citizenship Test as Graduation Requirement

August 19th, 2015|

Eight states—Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin—passed laws in 2015 that require students to pass some version of the test given to immigrants applying to become naturalized U.S. citizens in order to graduate from high school, according to a recent article in The New Yorker. And the Joe Foss Institute, [...]

It was 250 years ago today: the Sons of Liberty take over Boston

August 14th, 2015|

There were a lot of events that led to American Independence, but it was 250 years ago today that the seeds of revolution were planted in an angry Boston, when protesters let their feelings known about unjust taxes. On August 14, 1765, outrage boiled over in the city. Protesters organized as the “Sons of Liberty” [...]

Eighth-graders have shown no improvement in four years….

August 11th, 2015|

U.S. eighth-graders have shown no improvement in four years in their knowledge of history, geography and civics, as evidenced by the results of a national test administered by the National Assessment of Educational Progress called the 2014 Nation’s Report Card. The NAEP test included a representative sample comprised of 29,000 eighth-graders across the country, in [...]

Civics education can increase participation

July 27th, 2015|

I applaud the goal of the Civics Education Initiative’s effort to be sure Iowa students have a basic understanding of government and civics prior to graduation [“Goup says Iowa students should pass civics test to get diploma,” July 16]. A good understanding of civics leads to better participation in our democracy and inspires a greater [...]

‪‎On This Day‬ in 1925, a verdict was reached in the famous Scopes Monkey Trial—an epic battle over the teaching of evolution.

July 21st, 2015|

On July 21, 1925, the famous Scopes Monkey trial over teaching evolution in public schools concluded. Mostly remembered today was the clash between two legendary public figures. But the legal fight didn’t end that day in Tennessee. Eventually, the Supreme Court settled many of the issues about the Scopes case in 1968, in a decision [...]

How Philadelphia lost the nation’s capital to Washington

July 20th, 2015|

July 16 is a sad day for some historically minded Philadelphians: It’s the 225th anniversary of the congressional act that moved the nation’s capital from their city to Washington, D.C. The Residence Act of July 16, 1790 put the nation’s capital in current-day Washington as part of plan to appease pro-slavery states who feared a [...]