Nowadays its easy to forget that the 4th of July is more than backyard barbecues and fireworks, but the holiday is celebrated in the United States to commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence in which the original thirteen colonies of the U.S. declared their secession from Great Britain. One of the founding fathers from that period of American history who has been getting a lot of press lately is Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton was an orphaned immigrant from the West Indies who arrived in New York City to attend university and quickly established his mark on American politics. While the Revolutionary War waged on, Hamilton joined a militia and rose through the ranks to become senior aide to General George Washington. After the war Hamilton became a member of the Continental Congress, an author of the Federalist Papers, a proponent of the U.S. Constitution and the first Secretary of the Treasury.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is an American born actor and writer who was inspired to write the award-winning “Hamilton the Musical” after reading Ron Chernow’s biography “Alexander Hamilton.” The buzz around the musical is well-deserved and whether or not you’re lucky enough to snag tickets to see the live performance, the soundtrack alone is a history lesson. Here at Le Petit Cotillion we are champions of exposing young minds to the arts; presenting history in the form of rap is a brilliant way to get kids interested. The diverse cast in Hamilton provides opportunities for all children to envision themselves as one of the founding fathers. Miranda recognizes the opportunity the musical has to inspire young minds so “Hamilton the Musical” has partnered with schools to provide opportunities for kids to see the play at discounted ticket prices supplemented by classroom studies that encourage deeper engagement with American history. The 4th of July is the perfect time to educate your children on the origins of our political system.
BOOKS TO FURTHER KNOWLEDGE
Aaron and Alexander – This illustrated tale of history’s famous duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton will keep young readers in suspense. Hamilton: The Revolution – This newly released companion book to the musical makes for a perfect gift – especially if you tuck a pair of tickets to the show into the jacket fold! The American Revolution for Kids – This collection includes information on the Revolution from the Stamp Act to the Boston Tea Party to the drafting of the U.S. Constitution. The book includes several learning resources and activities. History for Kids: The Illustrated Lives of the Founding Fathers – Readers learn about the legends and realities behind the Founding Fathers and how their upbringings shaped their political opinions. Alexander Hamilton: The Outsider – This biography reads like an adventure story. Revolutionary Friends: General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette – This illustrated tale introduces readers to 19 year old Marquis de Lafayette who traveled from his home in France to help Americans fight the British for independence.
SHOW YOUR HAMILTON FANDOM
Hamilton is my Jamilton iPhone case – According to a 2014 study, more than 60% of teens own an iPhone. This case will keep their precious cell phone protected and proclaim their jam. History Has Its Eyes On You print – This motivational printable would look appropriate hung in a nursery or a teen’s room. Alexander Hamilton plush – We love the details on this petit Hamilton. “I am inimitable, I am an original” onesie or t-shirt – This print is available as a onesie or youth t-shirt. Children are never too young to be introduced to history. There is also a “History has its eyes on you” option. “Young scrappy hungry” pendant – This quote from the song “My Shot” is fitting for the up and coming generation. Schuyler Sisters plushes – Get the Schuyler Sisters in formation and ready to shout “work!” The Etsy artist that created the sisters has a dozen different Hamilton character plushes and takes custom orders.