The American Civil War remains one of the saddest chapters in U.S. history. It lasted for four years, divided a nation and some families, and forever shaped the American psyche. For many people, it was a war of horrible necessity – a last resort when political and cultural ideologies clashed, and all hopes for a peaceful resolution faded. While the vast majority of battles were fought in southern and mid-Atlantic states, it was also a war that saw conflicts around the country in places like Vermont, New Mexico, and Florida.
What do Bill Gates, Jay Z, and Martha Stewart all have in common? They’re all highly successful people who started with an idea, raised capital, and grew their own businesses and brands. In short, they’re entrepreneurs.
Millions of people around the globe have been thunderstruck and horrified by the devastating earthquake, tsunami, and resulting nuclear crisis that have unfolded in Japan in recent weeks. Stark images of the utter destruction left in the tsunami’s wake replay continuously on news reports, leaving viewers wondering how the affected communities can possibly rebuild after such a tragedy. Where does one start? The sheer scope of the destruction seems overwhelming.
A few weeks ago in Hungary, a reservoir ruptured, flooding several towns with 185 million gallons of toxic red sludge. The 12-foot high river of sludge killed nine people, with scores more hospitalized with chemical burns and other injuries. The effect on the environment and the people there is still unknown, and the scope of any lasting damage is likely to be unknown for many years. The sludge is a byproduct of refining bauxite into alumina, and is contained in numerous reservoirs in communities surrounding the aluminum plant.
Offshore oil drilling has long been a controversial topic, and the debate ratcheted up a notch when a BP offshore drilling rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico last month. At this writing, BP has installed a tube to siphon some of the 210,000 gallons of crude oil that had been spewing into the Gulf each day.
Do you love to spend money? Most Americans do. I recently read that about 43% of American families spend more money than they earn each year. That’s a horrifying statistic, and one that obviously deserves attention. The ability to understand money, and how to make informed decisions regarding money management, is the basis of financial literacy. The current economic recession has also spurred lawmakers to re-examine the importance of early intervention, and the need to beef up financial literacy courses in American schools. The following resources are a sampling of financial literacy lesson plans by Thirteen Ed Online, the educational Web component of WNET, PBS’s leading station in New York.