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James Madison (1751-1836) was the fourth President of the United States of America. He was President from 1809 until 1817. Madison belonged to the Democratic-Republican Party.
Madison helped write the Virginia Constitution (1776), was a leader in the Virginia legislature (from 1776, where he worked diligently for religious freedom), and was elected to the Continental Congress (1779-1783). Madison and Thomas Jefferson became close friends, probably meeting in 1776 at the Virginia House of Delegates.
In 1787, Madison was the youngest member of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania(this was the meeting at which the US Constitution was written). Madison was an advocate for a stronger central government (years later, he later changed his position, calling for states' rights). Madison participated in editing the final draft of the US Constitution. He was the only person who kept extensive notes on this secret convention, and they are now the main record of this historic event.
Madison was elected President of the USA in 1808 and in 1812; he served from 1809 until 1817. George Clinton and Elbridge Gerry were his Vice-Presidents.
Late in life, he worked in the Virginia Constitutional Convention, helped Jefferson found the University of Virginia, and worked against slavery. Madison died on June 28, 1836 - he was 85 years old.
The parking meter is a device for generating money from a parking spot. When you put money in the meter, you are allowed to park for a given amount of time - after that, you can be given a parking ticket.
The parking meter was invented by Carl C. Magee of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. The first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City. Magee holds a patent (#2,118,318) for a "coin controlled parking meter," filed on May 13, 1935 and issued on May 24, 1938.
Maine is a state in the northeastern United States of America. Its capital is Augusta.
Maine was the 23rd state in the USA; it became a state on March 15, 1820.
|Marquette, Father Jacques
Father Jacques Marquette (1637-1675) was a French Jesuit priest and explorer. He sailed to Quebec in 1666 and in 1671 started a Chippewa mission at Chequamegon Bay (at the western end of Lake Superior). Louis Joliet and Father Jacques Marquette (and five others) found the Mississippi River in 1673; they were the first Caucasians to see the Mississippi River. They travelled along Lake Michigan to Green Bay, canoed up the Fox River, and went downstream on the Wisconsin River to the Mississippi River. They travelled almost to the mouth of the Arkansas, and then stopped because they were warned of hostile Indians and Spanish explorers. They returned via the Illinois River, then the Chicago River to Lake Michigan. Marquette died of dysentery on his way to the Kaskaskian Indians, to whom he had planned on preaching.
Othniel C. Marsh (1831-1899) was a US paleontologist from Yale University who named the dinosaur suborder Theropoda (1881), Sauropoda (1878). He named named roughly 500 new species of fossil animals (they were found by Marsh and his many fossil hunters). Marsh named the following dinosaur genera: Allosaurus (1877), Ammosaurus (1890), Anchisaurus (1885), Apatosaurus (1877), Atlantosaurus (1877), Barosaurus (1890), Camptosaurus (1885), Ceratops (1888), Ceratosaurus (1884), Claosaurus (1890), Coelurus (1879), Creosaurus (1878), Diplodocus (1878), Diracodon (1881), Dryosaurus (1894), Dryptosaurus (1877), Labrosaurus (1896), Laosaurus (1878), Nanosaurus (1877), Nodosaurus (1889), Ornithomimus (1890), Pleurocoelus (1891), Priconodon (1888), Stegosaurus (1877), Torosaurus (1891), Triceratops (1889), Tripriodon (1889). He named the suborders Ceratopsia (1890), Ceratosauria (1884), Ornithopoda (1881), Stegosauria (1877), and Theropoda. He named the families Allosauridae (1878), Anchisauridae (1885), Camptosauridae (1885), Ceratopsidae (1890), Ceratosauridae, Coeluridae, Diplodocidae (1884), Dryptosauridae, Nodosauridae (1890), Ornithomimidae (1890), Plateosauridae (1895), and Stegosauridae (1880). He also named many individual species of dinosaurs. The dinosaur Othnielia was named in 1977 by P. Galton as a tribute to Marsh, as was Marshosaurus bicentesmus (Madsen, 1976).
Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908 - Jan. 24, 1993) was the first African-American justice of the US Supreme Court. Marshall was on the team of lawyers in the historic Supreme Court trial concerning school desegregation, Brown v. Board of Education (1954). As a result of this trial, the "separate but equal" doctrine in public education was overthrown. After a successful career as a lawyer and judge fighting for civil rights and women's rights, Marshall was appointed to the high court in 1967 (by President Lyndon Baines Johnson). On the high court, Marshall continued his fight for human rights until he retired on June 27, 1991.
Larry D. Martin is a paleontologist, author, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and curator of vertebrate paleontology at the University of Kansas. Martin has theorized that birds evolved not from dinosaurs, but from another group of reptiles - this theory has been rejected by most paleontologists.
Maryland is a state in the northeastern United States of America. Its capital is Annapolis.
Maryland was the 7th state in the USA; it became a state on April 28,1788.
Ruth Mason ( -1990) found a huge dinosaur fossils bone bed (a collection of thousands of fossils) on her family's Harding County, South Dakota, USA, ranch when she was 7 years old. Since then, tens of thousands of dinosaur fossils have been found at the "Ruth Mason Quarry," near Faith, SD. The dinosaurs include huge numbers of Edmontosaurus annectens ( duck-billed, plant-eating dinosaurs), T. rex teeth, and others.
Massachusetts is a state in the northeastern United States of America. Its capital is Boston. In 1620, the Pilgrims landed in what is now Massachusetts.
Massachusetts was the 6th state in the USA; it became a state on February 6, 1788.
|Mauchley, John William
ENIAC stands for "Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer." It was one of the first all-purpose, all-electronic digital computers. This room-sized computer was built by the physicist John William Mauchly (Aug. 30, 1907 - Jan. 8, 1980) and the electrical engineer John Presper Eckert, Jr. (April 9, 1919 - June 3, 1995) at the University of Pennsylvania. They completed the machine in November, 1945.
The Mayflower was the name of the ship in which the 102 Pilgrims sailed from England to what is now Massachusetts, on the northeastern coast of the USA. The Pilgrims landed on December 11, 1620.
Sharon Christa Corrigan McAuliffe (1948-1986) was an American schoolteacher who was chosen to be the first teacher in space.
McAuliffe was killed, along with her six fellow astronauts (Francis R. Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Judith A. Resnik, Ellison S. Onizuka, Ronald E. McNair, and Gregory B. Jarvis), when the NASA's Space Shuttle Challenger Mission 51-L exploded only 73 seconds after its launch on the morning of January 28, 1986.
McAuliffe was born on September 2, 1948, in Boston, Massachusetts. She taught at Concord High School in Concord, New Hampshire, before being chosen for the Space Shuttle mission (she was chosen from over 11,000 applicants). McAuliffe was married and had two children.
|McCormick, Cyrus Hall
Cyrus Hall McCormick (February 15, 1809 - May 13, 1884) was an American inventor (of Irish descent) who developed the mechanical reaper. His new machine combined many of the steps involved in harvesting crops, greatly increased crop yields, decreased the number of field hands needed for the harvest, lowered costs, and revolutionized farming.
Elijah McCoy (1843 or 1844-1929) was a mechanical engineer and inventor. McCoy's high-quality industrial inventions (especially his steam engine lubricator) were the basis for the expression "the real McCoy," meaning the real, authentic, or high-quality thing.
William McKinley (1843-1901) was the 25th president of the United States. McKinley was born on January 28, 1843, in Niles, Ohio. McKinley was elected for two terms as president, but only served from 1897 to 1901. During his presidency, the U.S. started and quickly won the Spanish-American War in 1898; the US fought Spain in Cuba, resulting in the independence of Cuba from Spain. Also as a result of this war, the US took possession of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. Later, the Hawaiian Islands were later. For the first time in history the United States became a world power. In 1900 McKinley easily won his second presidential election, but on September 6, 1901, he was shot by an anarchist (a person who hates all governments). McKinley died eight days later, on Sept. 14, 1901, in Buffalo, New York.
|McVicker, Noah and Joseph
Play-Doh, a popular children's modeling clay, was invented by Noah W. McVicker and Joseph S. McVicker. They patented Play-Doh in 1956 (patent # 3,167,440). The original Play-Doh was sold in only one color, off- white. Eventually, many colors were marketed. Over 700 million pounds of Play-Doh have been sold, but the formula is still a secret.
Memorial Day honors US soldiers who died fighting for their country. Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May.
Michigan is a state in the northern United States of America. Its capital is Lansing.
Michigan was the 26th state in the USA; it became a state on January 26, 1837.
Minnesota is a state in the northern United States of America. Its capital is St. Paul.
Minnesota was the 32nd state in the USA; it became a state on May 11, 1858.
Peter Minuit (1580-1638) was the first director general of New Amsterdam, a Dutch colony in America. Minuit was sent to the area by the Dutch West India Company. Minuit is famous for buying the island of Manhattan (in what is now New York, USA) from Native Americans in 1626. He bought the island with trinkets valued at about $24. He founded New Amsterdam on the southern tip of Manhattan. In 1631, Minuit was dismissed from the Dutch West India Company, and in 1638 headed a Swedish group that founded New Sweden (the first European settlement on the Delaware River). Minuit bought land from the Native Americans and founded Fort Christina (near what is now Wilmington, Delaware, USA). Minuit died in a hurricane in the West Indies while on a trading mission in 1638.
Mississippi is a state in the southern United States of America. Its capital is Jackson.
Mississippi was the 20th state in the USA; it became a state on December 10, 1817.
The Mississippi River is the biggest river in the USA in terms of water volume. The Mississippi River flows 2,340 miles from Minnesota to Louisiana, where it empties into Gulf of Mexico.
Missouri is a state in the United States of America. Its capital is Jefferson City.
Missouri was the 24th state in the USA; it became a state on August 10, 1821.
Maria Mitchell (August 1, 1818 -June 28, 1889 ) was the first woman Professor of Astronomy of the United States. In 1865, Maria Mitchell became a professor of astronomy at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York (she had previously been a librarian) . She discovered a comet (in 1847), studied the planets Jupiter and Saturn, and photographed many stars. Despite her accomplishments, when she visited the Vatican Observatory in Italy, she was only allowed to enter the observatory during the day. Maria Mitchell was the first woman accepted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1848), the Association for the Advancement of Science (1850), and the American Philosophical Society (1869). Mitchell was one of the founders of the American Association for the Advancement of Women (1873).
US money includes many coins (the cent 1¢, the nickel 5¢, the dime 10¢, the quarter 25¢, fifty cents 50¢, the dollar coin 100¢) and paper bills ($1.00, $2.00, $10.00, $20.00, $50.00, $100.00). One dollar is worth one hundred US cents.
The Monroe Doctrine was issued by President James Monroe in his annual message to Congress on December 2, 1823, stating that the USA should be closed to European colonization, free from European influence, and neutral in any European wars.
James Monroe (1758-1831). The fifth president of the United States, James Monroe was born on April 28, 1758, in Westmoreland County, Virginia, to Spence and Elizabeth Jones Monroe. He was one of ten children. Madison fought in the Continental Army and practiced law in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Monroe, an anti-Federalist, participated in the Virginia Convention that approved the Constitution of the United States. In 1817, his first term as president began. In 1819, the USA purchased Florida from Spain for $5,000,000. Monroe was re-elected in 1820, serving until 1825. In 1823, he established the Monroe Doctrine, limiting European power and influence in the Americas. Monroe died on July 4, 1831, in New York City, New York.
Montana is a state in the northern United States of America. Its capital is Helena.
Montana was the 41st state in the USA; it became a state on November 8,1889.
The push pin ("a thumbtack with an elongated handle that makes it easier to put in and remove") was invented by the Pennsylvanian inventor Edwin Moore in 1900. Moore started a company producing these useful pins in 1900. After years of growing, his company incorporated on July 19, 1904, and was called the "Moore Push-Pin Company." The company 1912 through 1977, the Company was located in Germantown, Pennsylvania.
Garrett Augustus Morgan (March 4, 1877 - August 27, 1963), was an African-American inventor and businessman. He was the first person to patent a traffic signal. He also developed the gas mask (and many other inventions). Morgan used his gas mask (patent No. 1,090,936, 1914) to rescue miners who were trapped underground in a noxious mine. Soon after, Morgan was asked to produce gas masks for the US Army.
For more information on Morgan, click here.
|Morse, Samuel F. B.
Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791-1872) was an American inventor and painter. After a successful career painting in oils (first painting historical scenes and then portraits), Morse built the first American telegraph around 1835 (the telegraph was also being developed independently in Europe).
A telegraph sends electrical signals over a long distance, through wires. In 1830, Joseph Henry (1797-1878) made the first long-distance telegraphic device - he sent an electric current for over a mile on wire that activated an electromagnet, causing a bell to ring.
Morse patented a working telegraph machine in 1837, with help from his business partners Leonard Gale and Alfred Vail. Morse used a dots-and-spaces code for the letters of the alphabet and the numbers (Morse Code was later improved to use dots, dashes and spaces: for example E is dot, T is dash, A is dot-dash, N is dash-dot, O is dash-dash-dash, I is dot-dot, S is dot-dot-dot, etc.). By 1838, Morse could send 10 words per minute. Congress provided funds for building a telegraph line between Washington D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, in 1843. Morse sent the first telegraphic message (from Washington D.C. to Baltimore) on May 24, 1844; the message was: "What hath God wrought?" The telegraph revolutionized long-distance communications.
|Mt. Rushmore National Memorial
Mt. Rushmore National Memorial is a huge mountain sculpture of four US Presidents, located near Keystone, in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The Presidents depicted are: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. These four Presidents were chosen to represent the founding, growth and preservation of the United States. The work was designed by the sculptor John Gutzon Borglum (March 25, 1871- March 6, 1941). Read about this huge statue or go to a printout on Mt. Rushmore.
The medicine ball is a weighed ball used in strength training; medicine balls range from 2 to 60 pounds in weight. The medicine ball was invented by William "Iron Duke" Muldoon, a nineteenth-century wrestling champion and boxing trainer.
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