Students of all ages are empowered as lifelong learners to acquire knowledge to meet the new realities of the 21st Century in a learning environment which promotes excellence and fosters mutual respect, and the realization of the utmost potential.Who is Charles A. Beard?Have you ever wondered who Charles A. Beard was? Maybe you've noticed his name on our school buses. Charles A. Beard is known across the U.S. as a great historian. In spite of this, many people in the Knightstown area know little about him.
Charles was born on November 27, 1874 on a farm near Grant City. Grant City is a small town north of Knightstown. His father had been raised in the Quaker faith and shared its abolishionist views. He had one brother, Clarence, who was five years older.
When Charles was six the family moved near Spiceland so the boys could go to school at the Spiceland Academy. Clarence was known to play tricks on Charles, and often got in trouble at school. According to some of their classmates, Charles left Spiceland Academy to avoid giving school officials information about one of his brother's pranks.
Charles finished school at Knightstown, where he was not always a model student. In fact, Charles was described as a wild young man who would come to a no good end. He and his friends had so many eraser fights they were told to stop or they couldn't be in the graduation ceremony! Charles A. Beard graduated from Knightstown High School in 1891.
Charles and Clarence went into the newspaper business, running the Knightstown Sun for four years. In 1895 Charles began attending DePauw University at Greencastle, Indiana. He graduated with high honors. At DePauw, he also met his future wife, Mary Ritter. Traveling and receiving further education at Oxford University in England, and Cornell University and Columbia University in the U.S., exposed Charles to many new ideas.
In 1904, at age 29, Charles earned his doctoral degree and began teaching history at Columbia University in New York City. He was very popular with the students, who called him "Uncle Charlie." He taught that history is not just names and dates, but the story of people living, fighting, starving, loving, hating, struggling.
However, some of his ideas were not popular. In 1913 Charles wrote a book about the U.S. Constitution, which is a set of laws for our country. He said that the men who wrote the Constitution were mostly interested in protecting their own land and wealth.
Many people who read the book were upset by it. They wanted Charles to leave his teaching job at Columbia University. Charles said, "As long as there is corn in Indiana and hogs to eat the corn, Charles Beard will bow to no man." When two of his friends were fired, he resigned in protest. He devoted the rest of his life to writing. One of his textbooks was used by many students across the country. Teachers only had to say "Get out your Beards" when it was time for a history lesson. When he died in 1948 at the age of 74, Time Magazine called Charles A. Beard the most influential American historian of his day.
Where is Charles A. Beard Memorial School Corporation?