Mt. Vernon, Alexandria, and the departments devoted to the business of the State and Defense.
- Mark the following on a map of Maryland (see resources below):
- Mount Vernon.
- The Potomac.
- The Chesapeake.
- View a photo of The Old Tomb where Washington was first laid to rest.
- Also view a photo of The New Tomb built in 1831.
- Does it surprise you that George Washington had slaves? Why or why not?
- Learn more about Edmond Parker, the tomb guard mentioned in the text (scroll to bottom).
- Learn more about Washington’s views on slavery and how they changed over time.
- Define the words the author uses in association with Washington:
- Nobility of soul.
- Learn more about Washington’s Mount Vernon bedroom and his death there.
- Study the Bastille Key given to Washington by Lafayette.
- Learn more about Nellie Custis (and her harpsichord).
- Examine the cupola, sans wasps….
- Explore deer park.
- Learn more about Washington’s gardens.
- Visit Christ Church, Washington’s church in Alexandria, VA.
- Read an EyewitnessToHistory account of Elmer Ellsworth.
- Read about Long Bridge.
- Identify and describe the significance of:
- Read the history of the State, War, and Navy Building.
- And the New State Building, built since the book was written.
- View Jefferson’s rough draft.
- Most of the documents mentioned in the “state-paper case” can now be found at the Library of Congress.
- Make a list of the duties of the Secretary of State, summarizing using your own words.
- View the State Dining Room.
- Learn more about the National Archives, the nation’s record keeper.
- The War Department (Army) and the Navy Department are now part of the Department of Defense which also includes the Air Force Department established in 1947. The three branches are under the direct control of the Secretary of Defense.
- Make a list of the duties of the Secretary of Defense, summarizing using your own words.
- View a list of the Secretaries of War/Army, Secretaries of the Navy, and Secretaries of the Air Force.
- View General Jackson’s sword and Lincoln’s bullet.
- Compare and contrast George Washington’s uniform with the army uniform of today.
- Read the history of the Battleship Indiana.
- Read about the Presidential Succession Act of 1947.
- Create a chart showing Presidential Succession.
- Learn more about the The Great Seal of the United States.
- Copywork: “[The Great Seal of the United States] is a spread eagle with the shield of the United States on his breast, in his right talon an olive branch, in his left a bunch of arrows; above his head is a cloud-wreath encircling a sunburst in which are thirteen stars, and in his beak the eagle holds a scroll bearing our motto: E pluribus unum.”
- You can read Moretum, if you like.
- Read “In Response” by Oliver Wendall Holmes.
- How many bureaus does the State Department now have?
- The Department of War was established in 1789.
- The Department of Defense is housed in the Pentagon.
- The Department of Defense includes many components!
- Read about the people who have served as Secretary of Defense.
- Read about the history of West Point.
- If you are interested you, too, can read Cadet Days by Charles King.
- The Department of Defense includes the Army Corp of Engineers and the National Guard.
- Find out which state currently ranks the highest and lowest with regard to National Guard numbers, and compare to those figures mentioned in the book.
- Learn more about the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of the Army, the Secretary of the Air Force.
- Read about the history of Annapolis Naval Academy.
Learn more about the Department of Defense from The Book of Knowledge:
Congress is also given power to declare war and to raise and support and army. Here the fear the makers of the Constitution had of a standing army caused them to say that all money voted for an army must not cover more than two years. At the end of that time the necessary funds must be voted again. Congress may also build and keep a navy….
“How the United States is Governed” from The Book of Knowledge
State, War, and Navy Building History
Use the timeline on the right to find out more.
The Eisenhower Executive Office Building
Timeline of the old State, War, and Navy Building through today.
10 Facts About the Mansion
Interesting information about Mount Vernon.
Writing the Declaration of Independence
Explains why a draft copy exists.
A Short History of the Department of State
“Short” being relative….
Secretaries of State
U. S. Armed Forces Overview
Brief introduction to the branches of the military and what they are responsible for.
U. S. Department of Defense
More about each branch of service.
United States Military
(You may want to install an ad blocker before viewing.)
Mount Vernon Virtual Tour
From the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.
Flat George Washington
Cute activity for younger children where they color “George” and find landmarks and other locations named after him.
Interactive coloring page.
Journey to the Presidency Board Game
Follow Washington’s path for younger students.
George Washington Interactive Timeline
From the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.
Defense Department History
Video at C-span.org.
Secretaries of Defense Historical Series
Many free downloads detailing the history of the Department of Defense.
Secretaries of Defense
Smaller and more accessible book.
The Pentagon: The First 50 Years by Alfred Goldberg
Published in 1992.
Four American Naval Heroes by Mabel Borton Beebe
Recommended title that covers Paul Jones, Admiral Farragut, Oliver H. Perry, and Admiral Dewey.
Units & Lesson Plans
George Washington’s Views on Slavery
Open-ended lesson plan from the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.
Removing, Replacing, and Term-Limiting the President
Part 4 of this download deals with the line of succession.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: A Unit Study
Fun rabbit trail.
Notebooking Pages & Printables
Printable U.S. State Maps
Select the map of Maryland for marking at Owl & Mouse.