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Here's an article that appeared in The Bucks County Courier Times and the Doylestown Intelligencer, both Bucks County, PA, USA newspapers:

Making a Living: Bucks musician combines history, music in children's 'edu-tainment'
By Amanda Cregan, correspondent | Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2016 3:30 am
 
Grammy-nominated musician and children's educator Jonathan Sprout holds his guitar at his home Friday, April 1, 2016, in Upper Southampton. He brings his "edu-tainment" to elementary schools in the region using his American Heroes series of CDs, concerts and study guides. 

 

Bucks County musician Jonathan Sprout combines music and storytelling to put kids in tune with America’s historical heroes.

 

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April 2016: Amelia, Eleanor, and their April Night Flight

             A year after Amelia Earhart became an international celebrity as the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, she and her husband, George Putnam, experienced an unforgettable evening in Washington, DC. They’d been invited to a formal dinner party at the White House with Eleanor Roosevelt and her brother, Hall, while President/husband Franklin was away. It was April 20, 1933.
            Amelia and Eleanor were birds of a feather. Amelia was “First Lady of the Air.” Eleanor was “First Lady” of America. Each was determined, outspoken, passionate, and strong-minded. They were becoming two of the most famous and adventurous women in the world. And they were friends, having met in 1932 when Eleanor helped introduce the pilot before one of her speeches. Amelia agreed to help teach Eleanor how to fly. Eleanor earned a student’s pilot license. Although Eleanor wouldn’t become a pilot (she and Franklin couldn’t afford a plane and Franklin considered her piloting too risky), she flew more passenger miles than any other woman in the 1920s and 1930s.
            That clear and starry night, after dinner and before desert, Amelia and Eleanor spontaneously stole away for a special flight together over Washington, DC. Regulations required that two Eastern Air pilots fly the twin-engine plane, but both Amelia and Eleanor took turns at the controls above the lights of the city below.
            After they landed and were driven by the Secret Service back to the White House, it’s believed Eleanor may then have piloted Amelia out on the town in her beloved and much-used automobile.
            When the two finally returned to the White House, dessert was served. It may well have been Eleanor’s favorite, fitting for their recent uplifting adventure—angel food cake.
 
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), shy and insecure as a child, emerged as a public figure when her husband Franklin was elected president of the United States in 1932. She brought her great compassion and concern to the world’s neediest people. As United States representative to the United Nations, she helped create the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and became a champion of equal rights for minorities. The most active and influential — and sometimes controversial — of all United States presidents’ wives, she became so respected and admired, she was often called “First Lady of the World.”
            The night Amelia and Eleanor flew over Washington, Eleanor has been First Lady for only a month and a half. She was just beginning to leave her mark on the world. A quarter of a century later, Eleanor was a major figure. In 1959, after a Gallup Poll indicated she was “most admired woman in the world” for the 11th consecutive year, Frank Sinatra asked her, “if you had one minute to leave one word with the world, what would that word be?”
            “That one word would be ‘hope,’” replied Eleanor Roosevelt. “It’s the most neglected word in our language.”
 
You can watch this conversation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0-IaIWwHCk
 
Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), American Aviator, is famous for her flights across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and her attempt to fly around the world. She often used her fame to speak out against war and for women's rights. One of the most intriguing mysteries of the twentieth century is: What happened to Amelia Earhart? In June 1937, she left Miami, Florida, on an around-the-world flight attempt. On July 2, her plane vanished over the South Pacific. The world waited with fascination as search teams from the United States and Japan converged on the scene. But neither she, nor her navigator Fred Noonan, or the plane was ever found.
 
            I’m indebted to author Pam Munoz Ryan (author) and Brian Selznick (illustrator) for their book Amelia and Eleanor go for a Ride published by Scholastic in 1999.

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 March 2016: Juliette Gordon Low and the Little Stars 

            It’s March—Women’s History Month, and Juliette Gordon Low (1860-1927) comes to mind. She founded Girl Scouts of the USA. Daisy, as she was known to her friends, was an artistic, courageous, and energetic world traveler who thrived on instilling in “her girls” a sense of responsible citizenship. Her charming eccentricities made her the center of attention at every party. Unstoppable in her enthusiasm for scouting and generous to a fault, she was loved and admired by countless people the world over for the ways she helped people help themselves.

             But there was a time before the Girl Scouts when Daisy thought herself a failure, ashamed of the way her life was unraveling.

 

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February 2016: Martin Luther King, Jr. & Mahatma Gandhi -- A Journey to India

             The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of America’s greatest African American leaders, and February is Black History Month. But there two additional significant reasons for honoring King this month. On February 25, 1948, he was ordained as a Baptist minister at the young age of 19.
            And then there was his life-changing spiritual journey to India…
           
            While studying to become a minister, King attended a Sunday sermon in Philadelphia by Dr. Mordecai Johnson. “Dr. Johnson had just returned from a trip to India,” wrote King, “and, to my great interest, he spoke of the life and teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. His message was so profound and electrifying that I left the meeting and bought a half-dozen books on Gandhi’s life and works.”
            On February 3, 1959, the 30-year old and his wife Coretta embarked on a month-long mission to India to walk in the footsteps of his hero, Mahatma Gandhi. The American Friends Service Committee helped arrange the tour.
            In India, King travelled to institutions associated with the life and work of Gandhi, saw some of the leading centers of academic learning, and met with Gandhi’s spiritual successor, Acharya Vinoba Bhave. He also met with India’s Prime Minister, Nehru.
            King returned to the United States more determined than ever to preach nonviolence, believing it is “one of the most potent weapons available to oppressed people in their quest for social justice.”
            It was the writings of Gandhi that inspired King to believe it is possible to resist evil without resorting to violence. King learned how he could be most effective by nonviolently working to end racial discrimination and war. He wrote, “My study of Gandhi convinced me that true pacifism is not nonresistance to evil, but nonviolent (my italics) resistance to evil. Between the two positions, there is a world of difference. Gandhi resisted evil with as much vigor and power as the violent resister, but he resisted with love instead of hate.”
            After arriving home, in his first sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, he noted that Abraham Lincoln and Gandhi had each been assassinated attempting “to heal the wounds of a divided nation.” He concluded, “God grant that we shall choose the high way. Even if it will mean assassination, even if it will mean crucifixion, for by going this way we will discover that death will be only the beginning of our influence.”
            Could Martin Luther King, Jr. have known that day that his own life’s work would someday be compared to both men?

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January 2016: Elizabeth Blackwell 

             Today, more than one-third of the doctors in the United States and nearly one-half of recent medical school graduates are women. Yet 167 years ago, there were no women doctors in the United States. 

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