Saturday, February 16, 2008

Virtual Book Tour: Day 16

For today’s special treat on my Virtual Book Tour, let’s take a look back in history to the late 1800s—the years just after the Civil War.

Times were hard for everyone, so people joined together to help each other. Fundraisers were held to raise money to build new schools or churches, or to help people such as a family whose barn burned down.

Not only were fundraisers a time to raise money, but they were also a time for socializing with neighbors and having fun. At a fundraiser, the Cakewalk dance contest was often held, and the best dancer won a cake. Beautiful quilts were displayed and auctioned off for the cause. Delicious food was sold. Other contests were held and games were played.

One game that helped raise money was the egg-cracking game. Dozens of hard-boiled eggs were available in large washtubs for players to buy. Players paid a quarter for each egg they used in the game.

To play the game, each player chooses about three hard-boiled eggs. The game is played with two eggs at a time, between two players. Each of the two players holds out the small, pointed end of their hard-boiled eggs. They tap the end of their egg against the other’s. One of the eggs will crack. The owner of this egg is the loser. The loser hands the cracked egg over to the person whose egg didn’t crack. The cracked egg belongs to this person for the rest of the contest.

Now the players are ready to play the game again. They may choose a new partner to play with or may play against each other again if they’d like. The winner may use the same egg over and over again until it cracks. Each time the game is played, the cracked egg is handed over to the winner of that round.

When the contest is over, it’s fun to see who has won the most cracked eggs. The cracked eggs can be taken home and eaten plain or made into deviled eggs or egg salad. (Be careful to keep eggs refrigerated as much as possible for health reasons.) Since spring is almost here and there will be Easter egg hunts going on, it might also be fun to play this historic game and have an egg-cracking party with your eggs, too!

-text and illustration from A Kid’s Guide to African American History

Yesterday’s Trivia Q and A:
Yesterday’s question was:
Where did Charlotte Forten teach?
a. the South Carolina Sea Islands
b. California
c. Texas
The answer is a. the South Carolina Sea Islands. Charlotte Forten was the granddaughter of the famous and wealthy black abolitionist, James Forten. She was also the niece of Robert and Harriet Purvis, whose work with the anti-slavery societies and Underground Railroad in Philadelphia helped bring slavery to an end. During the Civil War, Charlotte Forten volunteered to teach newly freed slaves from the plantations on the South Carolina Sea Islands. Her famous journal, or personal diary, can still be read today and tells of many interesting events that took place during this important time of our nation’s history.

Today’s Trivia Question:
Which woman was appointed as Secretary of State in 2005 for the United States?
a. Mary McLeod Bethune
b. Carol Moseley Braun
c. Condoleezza Rice
Submit your answer by posting it as a comment to today’s blog. It won’t be published on the blog, but your name will be put in a hat to be drawn for 5 prizes to give away at the end of the tour. Check back in Monday for the answer!

Coming tomorrow:
On Day 17 of my Virtual Book Tour, I’ll post photos of Monticello from my trip when I visited this historic site last June. This was the home of Sally Hemings, who lived most of her life as the slave of Thomas Jefferson.

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