Day In History: September 8-15 Free Resources

Ford Pardons Nixon, Elvis Presley, History of the Rickshaw, 9/11, Lascaux Caves,Walter Reed, the Star Spangled Banner, Sandra Day O’Connor

If you are not familiar with the idea behind the Day In History resource, please check out my earlier blog post. Today’s post features the 7 topics listed above. Each is based upon an event which occurred in history between September 8-15, but could be used at any time. With each event, free online resources are suggested for you to use in your classroom, with a brief description. As always, check the resource yourself to be certain it is appropriate for your students.

September 8: Ford Pardons Nixon

After the Watergate Scandal, President Ford pardoned former President Nixon for his role in the scandal on September 8, 1974.

The History Place has an archive of great speeches. A brief history, copies of the pardon, and an audio excerpt of the pardon may be found on this site.

September 9: Elvis Presley

54 million people watched as Elvis Presley made his first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on September 9, 1956.

Fun Music Company has resources for teachers teaching a course on the history of rock and roll. It includes the first performance of Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show, a video of Love Me Tender, Jailhouse Rock, Heartbreak Hotel, and a promo video, professionally completed, of a documentary which will show some of Elvis’ performances during his lifetime.

September 10: History of the Rickshaw

The rickshaw is credited to the Japanese who are thought to have started using the rickshaw September 10, 1846.

The History of Cycle Rickshaw: Virtual Rickshaw Museum gives a brief history of the rickshaw. The evolution tab brings pictures of various rickshaws throughout history and a timeline. The video tab includes 9 videos including a video of rickshaw art and a rickshaw artist. The artwork tab shows various decorated rickshaws

September 11: 9/11

September 11, 2001, almost 3,000 Americans were killed in a series of attacks by Islamic terrorists.

Teach Hub provides numerous resources for teachers at all levels for commemorating the 9/11 tragedy. There are lessons from PBS, New York Times, Pearson Online Exchange, and many others. Some of the lessons are for a class period or others may last a week or more. There are many different activities covering many different aspects including teaching tolerance, terrorism, and heroes from the tragedy. There is also a 9/11 Student Book List which begins with books appropriate for elementary students and continues through high school titles.

September 12: Lascaux Caves

September 12, 1940, a cave was discovered in southwestern France which contained Paleolitic cave drawings. 

A virtual tour of the Lascaux caves may be found by clicking here. Slide down from the list of languages at the top of the screen to hear the tour in English.

September 13: Walter Reed

Walter Reed, US Army physician and researcher, was born September 13, 1841.

For additional resources on Walter Reed, I am suggesting a great source for primary resources–TPS Barat. This resource was funded by a grant from the Library of Congress and is an amazing online resource. The site has much to offer including teaching strategies, tech tips, resources by theme, connections to the common core and more. A simple search of Walter Reed brings more than 10 related primary sources. This website is invaluable. Click here for the Walter Reed search or check the home screen of this really great resource from the Library of Congress–Primary Source Nexus.

September 14: The Star Spangled Banner

The Star Spangled Banner was composed by Francis Scott Key on September 14, 1814. gives a line by line explanation of the song, making the lyrics understandable by students. It also includes the-not-so-well-known second verse.

September 15: Sandra Day O’Connor

Sandra Day O’Connor was confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee as the first female Supreme Court Justice on September 15, 1981.

The Sandra Day O’Connor Digital Library and Policy Archives is maintained by the O’Connor Institute and includes biographical information, videos of her interviews, audios of her speeches, bills she sponsored as part of the Arizona State Senate, Supreme Court opinions, and more.

Want additional resource for any of these topics?

Differentiated Passages on each of these topics are available from Reading Specialty. For each topic there are three passages with the same basic content. Passage one is written at a 9-10 grade level, passage two at an 8 grade level, and passage 3 at a 6-7 grade level. Each passage contains a multiple choice quiz to check understanding with the following types of questions: main idea, vocabulary, organizational pattern, inferences, and summarizing. A chart is provided for easy progress monitoring. Click on the title below the covers to be taken to the TPT Store for purchase or more information.

Ford Pardons Nixon

Elvis Presley

History of the Rickshaw


Lascaux Caves

Walter Reed

Star Spangled Banner

Sandra Day O’Connor