Online History Club

Welcome to Online History Club!

This summer we are going around the world. You will create your very own History Club passport and learn about different travel adventures. Register on Beanstack for the Online History Club Challenge to earn virtual badges and electronic tickets for a chance to win a prize drawing. When you have completed all the activities, come by the library to get your History Club Passport stamped!

Activity 1 – Passport to Adventure!

Passports open up your ability to see the world. Did you know that the first American passports were designed by Benjamin Franklin during the Revolutionary War? The first passport was essentially a letter introducing the traveler and asking that he (or she) be allowed to move freely in a foreign country. 

Passports stayed the same for more than 100 years. Look at the passport from Cobb Memorial Archives’ collection here. It follows the design originally created by Benjamin Franklin. It was issued to Charles D. DeFord who the passport noted was “accompanied by his wife.” Charles DeFord was from New York. He married Amanda Creagh of Alabama in Paris on March 18, 1869. 

Modern passport books look very different from this 1870 passport. Today, you can make your very own History Club passport! You can pick up the passport template at the library or use this link to print the template at home.

Activity: Use Charles DeFord’s passport to answer this question: How tall was Charles DeFord?

Send in your answer by following this link. Complete the contact form with your History Club answer, and we will email you the secret code to enter into Beanstack. You can also write your answer in the first Adventures Completed page in your passport! 

Activity 2 – Adventures in Reading!

The world’s first known travel book was created in 1486. German politician Bernhard von Breydenbach journeyed to the Holy Land, stopping in Venice, Corfu, and other places along the way. After returning home, he wrote and illustrated a book about his travels. His travelogue fascinated people. It was printed in multiple editions and even in 6 different languages! 

It’s your turn to become inspired by far-flung places! Check out and read a travel-related book. 

Activity: Share the title of the book you read and something you learned. Send in your answers by following this link. Complete the contact form with your History Club answers, and we will email you the secret code to enter into Beanstack. You can also write the title in the second Adventures Completed page in your passport! 

Activity 3 – Going Places!

What good is a passport if you don’t use it? Use your passport to go places at the library this summer!

Activity: Bring your passport to the Chambers County Library and view the archives’ travel exhibit Going Places: Tales of Travel and Adventure Both Near and Far. Find two countries that local people visited by crossing an ocean (either by ship or by plane).

Send in your answers by following this link. Complete the contact form with your History Club answers, and we will email you the secret code to enter into Beanstack. You can also write your answers in the third Adventures Completed page in your passport!

Activity 4 – Adventures at the Top of the World!

Fewer than 5,000 people have successfully climbed the earth’s highest point. Did you know that someone from Chambers County, Alabama is one of them? On May 15,1992, Hugh Morton and his sherpa guide Lapka Rita scaled Mount Everest. You can see Hugh’s view from the top in the reflection in his sunglasses in the photo below. You’re looking at the tallest peak in the world! Visit the archives’ travel exhibit to see mountain climbing gear and more photos from Hugh’s epic journey.

Activity: Use this link to find the HeritageHub database. Search for an obituary for Sir Edmund Hillary. Who climbed Mount Everest with Hillary? When did they reach the top?

Send in your answers by following this link. Complete the contact form with your History Club answers, and we will email you the secret code to enter into Beanstack. You can also write your answers in the fourth Adventures Completed page in your passport! 

Activity 5 – Adventures on the Road and in the Sky!

From horse and buggy, to railroads, cars, airplanes and spaceships, technology has changed how people travel. Automobiles were a major revolution in travel.  Suddenly people could travel where they wanted to and when they wanted to. The first cars did not look like today’s cars, and they weren’t as comfortable either. Click through the slideshow below of images of early automobiles from Cobb Memorial Archives’ collections. Can you imagine traveling more than 700 miles round trip in one of those cars? 

Henry Ford changed the world when his company managed to produce a car that regular people could afford – he did that with the Model T. In 1919, West Point native Joe Barrow set off on an extended road trip with his parents, grandmother, and uncle in the family’s Model T Ford.  They left from West Point, Georgia and headed towards Jackson, Mississippi. Roads weren’t as nice as they are now, and Joe remembered that there was only 3 miles of concrete. The rest of the way it was dirt roads, unless it rained, then the dirt became mud!

Technology keeps advancing. What do you think the next innovation in travel will be? Do you think people might travel to space as casually as we hop on a plane now? 

Activity: Write what you think future travel innovations will look like. Then, use this link to navigate to the Encyclopedia of Alabama to find out which two Alabamians were in space together in 1992. 

Hint: Search Alabamians in Space

Send in your answers by following this link. Complete the contact form with your History Club answers, and we will email you the secret code to enter into Beanstack. You can also write your answers in the fifth Adventures Completed page in your passport! 

Bring your completed History Club passport to the library to get it stamped! 

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Locations & Hours

H. Grady Bradshaw Library | (334) 768-2161
20th Avenue, Valley, AL 36854
Mon - Tue 10-7 | Wed - Fri 10 - 6 | Sat 10 - 1 (Eastern Time)

Cobb Memorial Archives | (334) 768-2050
3419 20th Ave, Valley, AL 36854
Mon 10-6, Tue – Wed 1-6, Thurs 10-6, Fri 1-6 (Eastern Time)

LaFayette Library | (334) 864-0012
198 1st St SE, LaFayette, AL 36862
Mon - Fri 12-5 (Central Time)

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