August 1: New Discoveries and a New State

2014-08-01Every day new things happen or are discovered.  That is why it is up to us to learn about them and relate to what’s happened in our past.  It’s my job to capture what happened on August 1 relate it to our lives today.

Starting in the Americas, we can set our imagination on a ship.  The crew knows little of where they are going, but they know of the kind of place they want to find.  As land appears in the horizon, the crew waits in anticipation as they imagine stepping off the boat onto the sandy beach.  This would be the crew of Christopher Columbus stepping onto Venezuela in 1498.  Today, we might not be able to have an experience like Columbus had but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more to be discovered.  Just ask another person pushing for knowledge from England, Joseph Priestly.

Priestly was the first scientist to isolate the element Oxygen in 1774.  He did this by heating up a dangerous and rare mercury oxide sample and found it released a gas.  He then captured the gas and found it to be pure oxygen. Over time, other scientists then went on to fill in the remainder of the periodic table; something they still work on today.

Although many wonderful things happened on August 1, there is only one more I want to bring attention to; the addition of a new state.  As our country grew bigger, the need for more states became apparent and, in 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a law amking Colorado the 38th state of the United States.  The addition of the states shaped the America we know today; just like Columbus, Priestly, and the other pioneers that that shaped our world.  That is why we look back and learn from everything good and bad to know the right choices to make today, for tomorrow.

–Allan Teague

Photo Caption:  Ellen Sharples’ portrait of Joseph Priestly.  c. 1794-1797.