History of Literacy in America

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Printing Press

1440

Johannes Gutenberg invented printing press. Made possible rapid creation of books.

Harvard College Established

1636

Now in Cambridge, Massachusetts. John Harvard donated books and money. Harvard has been the home to many successful people and is a prestigious and well-known school.

First Lending Libraries

1770

Started in order to improve America's education. This allowed books to be taken and ready on the person's own time with the understanding that it would come back when they were finished.

Braille's Code Created

1821

Louis Braille was a blind Frenchman who invented his code which is a raised dot system representing alphabet letters, numbers, punctuation, and whole words. This allows people who are blind to read.

Webster's Dictionary

1828

This dictionary took 18 years to complete and contained 70,000 entries. Contains spelling, pronunciation, and definitions.

Boston Public Library Opened

1848

This was the first public library to open to the public

Department of Education

1867

This was created to collect information on schools and teaching that would help the States establish effective school systems.

Creation of the Dewey Decimal System

1876

This is a hierarchical system of organizing materials in a library. It is designed with ten classes that are identified with three-digit numbers. This helped the educational world by providing a simple method to retrieve materials in a library and look up materials from specific subject areas.

The Library of Congress Classification System

1897

This is a system of library classification developed by the Library of Congress. It is used by most academic libraries in the US and several other countries.

First Digital Computer

1946

This was invented by J. Presper Eckert and John Mauchly. It occupied about 1800 square feet and weighed almost fifty tons. Its development was the birth of large computing systems that dominated the industry for years to come.

Brown vs Board of Education

1954

This ruled that "separate but equal" was unlawful. Schools did not integrate instantly, but it opened the door for education to accept all students, no matter their race.

Dr. Suess released "The Cat in the Hat"

1957

Dr. Suess wanted to write a book that children couldn't put down. He also composed the book based on a list of 225 words that kids should know; Dr. Suess used 223 words that appeared on that list plus 13 words that did not.

Head Start Program

1965

This began as part of President Lyndon Johnson's Great Society campaign, and it promotes healthy prenatal outcomes, healthy families, and infant and toddler development beginning as young as newborns.

Title I Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965

1965

First significant federal involvement in public education. Distributes funding to schools with a high percentage of students from low income families.

Title IX

1972

This protects individuals from being discriminated against based on their sex.

Children's Literature Association Conference

1973

This is a non-profit association whose members include scholars, critics, professors, students, librarians, teachers, and institutions that are dedicated to the academic student of literature for children. The focus of the conference is to encourage high standards of criticism, scholarship, research, and teaching in children's literature.

American Language Program Founded

1980

This is a private program for students ages 12-80 years old where the student stays in the home of their American teachers for intensive English language instruction. The live an "American Life" and are completely immersed in English.

No Child Left Behind Act

2001

This act is solely based on setting standards for the teacher and students to follow. These are the highest standards that every student should be able to achieve before moving to the next grade.

The Amazon Kindle

2007

This is an eBook reader but is different from the previoius because it incorporated a wireless service for purchasing and delivering electronic texts from amazon without a computer. It could store 200 books and there were over 90,000 titles to choose from.

The Race to the Top

2009

Schools who are leading the way in reform in the classrooms will be able to compete for grants to support reform and innovation in the classroom. The states will compete for 4.35 billion dollars. The 2009 budget and the American Recovery and Reinvestment has also funded more that ten billion dollars to districts and states who are leading in reform.