If your family is planning to hit the road this summer to see the sights and get a taste of American history, check out these educational and fun releases.
Fun Facts of American History. Just the Facts Learning Series. Goldhil Video, 50 minutes. $19.95. (800) 250-8760. This lighthearted family video is divided into sections--"Historic Episodes," "Curious Customs," "Symbol Origins" and "Back to the Drawing Board." It's chock-full of fascinating infobits about the one-day presidency, the 19th century entrepreneur who staged train collisions, the first, but soon-forgotten subway, the proposed state of Franklin, early airmail pilots, offbeat inventions and the origins of movie popcorn, earrings and throwing rice at weddings.
The Great American State Quiz. Just the Facts Learning Series, Goldhil Video. 50 minutes. $19.95. (800) 250-8760. Do you know where in the United States you'll find the shortest day, the largest volcano, the smallest city park (2 feet long)? How about the highest cliffs or the largest buffalo herds? Families can make a game out of the fun information in this quality video, following clues to state identities. The easiest clue--the state capital--comes last, following historical, social and geographical facts, all nicely illustrated by film footage, photographs, paintings and drawings. (Also available: "Our American Landscape," with more state facts and fun, $14.95.)