We at NationsClassroom want to wish all the awesome dads out there a Happy Father's Day! Whether you're a brand-new dad, or all your children are out of the nest, we appreciate you.
In honor of Father's Day, we did some research on America's Founding Fathers. Not only were most of these men fathers themselves, they also helped create and support the foundation of our country. Here are a few of our favorite historic sites that honor one (or more) of our Founding Fathers.
It's no surprise that Mount Vernon is at the top of our list. The historic home of George Washington, Mount Vernon is a favorite stop for many student tours to Washington, D.C. George Washington was arguable the most significant Founding Father as the first President of the United States, and he spent his final years living at Mount Vernon with his wife.
George Washington fathered no biological children, but he did spend a lot of time parenting. He helped to raise two of Martha's children from a previous marriage, as well as Martha's grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
Located a few hours from Washington, D.C., Monticello is the historic home of Thomas Jefferson. Writer of the Declaration of Independence, arch-nemesis of Alexander Hamilton, and third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson's home in Virginia is a beautiful historic site for students to visit. Jefferson actually designed the house and gardens himself.
Thomas Jefferson had six children with his wife Martha Wayles Skelton, although only two survived to adulthood. He also had children with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings. Historians identify at least six of Sally's children whom Jefferson fathered, and note that Sally herself negotiated for their freedom.
If we're going by Historian Richard B. Morris's list of seven founding fathers, Patrick Henry does not make the cut. However, he was an incredibly influential figure during the American Revolutionary War and the first governor of Virginia. He was an incredibly gifted orator, and his famous "Give me liberty, or give me death" speech was given in St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia. Students can still visit the historic church to watch a live reenactment of the speech (image of actors from St. John's Church).
Patrick Henry was married twice and had seventeen children in total, six with his first wife and eleven with his second.
If visiting several historic sites is too much for your group, you can always learn about every Founding Father by visiting the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. One of these main exhibits is Signer's Hall which has 42 life-sized bronze statues - one for each person who signed the Declaration of Independence.
The National Constitution Center also offers online biographies for all the signers, so students can learn more about the fathers who shaped our Nation.
What are some other historic sites you would recommend visiting to learn more about our Founding Fathers? If you're interested in seeing some itineraries with these stops listed, please browse our Washington, D.C., Colonial Virginia, and Philadelphia tours!