The Second World War is over, but injustice still reigns in the homeland. See the sites of the Civil Rights movement, then watch as technology takes us in a whole new direction. Finally, we arrive in the years of our recent memories, where we teach our children about events that shook our childhoods:
88. Kennedy Space Center – Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida – As the base of NASA launch operations, experimental flights, and the home of the Space Shuttles, Kennedy Space Center has been at the forefront of the Space Race in the US. The first rocket launched on July 24, 1950, and rockets continue to be launched from Cape Canaveral on a regular basis. Today, you can visit the on-site museum and watch rocket launches from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. If you can’t make it all the way to Florida, there are NASA sites you can visit in Houston, Texas, and Huntsville, Alabama.
89. Central Park – New York, New York – Created in 1857, Central Park is the most visited urban park in the US. The park was established on 778 acres and designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. After slipping into decline, the park was revitalized in 1934 and by the 1960s and 1970s was the site of many rallies and cultural events. The park has been renovated again, and now stands as a major tourist attraction in the city.
90. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site– Atlanta, Georgia – The site consists of several buildings important in the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. You can visit the Visitor Center, a gift shop, his boyhood home, the original Ebenezer Baptist Church where he and his father both pastored, the “I Have a Dream” rose garden, and more.
91. National Civil Rights Museum – Memphis, Tennessee – The Museum is a complex of museums and buildings in Memphis. The museum is built around the Lorraine Motel, the site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, and chronicles the history of slavery in the US, Student Sit-Ins, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Freedom Rides of 1961, the Jim Crow laws and more.
92. Space Needle – Seattle, Washington – The Space Needle is an observation tower built for the 1962 World’s Fair. It was once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River. From the top, you can see downtown Seattle, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainer, Mount Baker, Elliot Bay, and more. Elevators take visitors to the top.
93. Walt Disney World – Lake Buena Vista, Florida – As the US moved out of World War II and into a time of peace and prosperity in the homeland, history began to be made by commercial interests, instead of battlefields or monuments. Disney World opened its doors as a vacation resort in 1971, and remains in operation to the present time. Te original park has become multiple parks, hotels, and now become surrounded by even more commerce.
94. The Willis Tower – Chicago, Illinois – Built in 1973, the tower was known as the Sears Tower and was the tallest building in the world for almost 25 years. The building is iconic in the Chicago skyline, and home of the Skydeck, one of Chicago’s most popular tourist destinations.
95. Mount St. Helens Visitor Center – Silver Lake, Washington – Mt. St. Helen was the site of the deadliest and most disruptive volcano in American history on May 18, 1980. Today, a visitor center sits about 30 miles from the mountain and includes a step-in model of the volcano, life size mannequins, a live feed of current Mount St. Helens volcano seismicity, and more.
96. Computer History Museum – Mountain View, California – The museum was established in 1996 to preserve and present the stories and artifacts of the information age. Located in Silicon Valley, the Computer History Museum is the best location to visit and learn about the information age. We have entered into an age where history is made across state and location lines, due to the nature of the internet. The Computer History Museum is a great place to get a good look at this modern history. Other related technology places to visit include the Tech(Good hands on kid’s technology museum), the Google or Facebook(1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, CA 94025) Campus(You can only visit the outside, unless you know someone who works there for both campuses), the HP Garage, you can drive by Steve Jobs’ garage(2066 Crist Dr, Los Altos, CA 94024), and the Apple Campus Store.
97. Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum – Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – On April 19, 1995, two men carried out an attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. 168 people died, and the Memorial Museum tells their stories.
98. Centennial Olympic Park – Atlanta, Georgia – In 1996 Atlanta hosted the world for the 100th anniversary of the Olympic Games. The city pulled out all the stops, and redesigned a portion of the downtown area into a large park dedicated to the Centennial of the games. Though many of the Olympic structures are gone or repurposed, the park is still alive and well. Kids can splash in the Olympic Rings water fountain in the summer, you can see sculptures dedicated to Olympians, and there are several playgrounds on site. The park is also surrounded by attractions like the CNN Center, the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coke, and the College Football Hall of Fame.
99. 9/11 Memorial and Museum – New York, New York – As the landmark event of the twenty first century for Americans, the events of September 11, 2001 are firmly lodged in the memories of most of the parents in our country. The 9/11 Museum lives on in memory of the lives lost that day and resides in the footprint of the destroyed South and North towers. While there, you can also visit the new Freedom Tower and Observation Deck built to the north of the memorial.
100. Flight 93 National Memorial – Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania – On September 11, 2001 during the hijackings, Flight 93 passengers were alerted to the happenings around the country. Fighting back, they kept the plane from crashing into a landmark, and instead crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. The site of the crash is now National Memorial in honor of the passengers and their struggle.
Did you know the National Parks Service has lesson plans you can use on your journeys? Visit this link for the Teaching with Historic Places site.
To return to the main 100 United States Historic Sites to See While Homeschooling, click here.
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This post is a part of the iHomeschool Network 100 Things post.
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