Have you ever heard of Stonewall Jackson? Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was a Confederate general during the American Civil War, who led his troops as they moved—all on foot. Jackson became known for his forces' incredible speed. Their speed is a unit rate that has people amazed to this very day.
Why It Matters
Because their rate of travel was so swift, Stonewall Jackson's men became known as the "foot cavalry." Usually, a cavalry refers to troops on horseback, but Jackson's men did not ride horses—their only means of travel were their feet! The term was coined as a nod to their rapid speed, which resulted from Jackson's strategic knowledge of the terrain and his men's determination.
The rate of speed at which the troops traveled can be expressed mathematically as a unit rate. Jackson's foot cavalry was known for traveling at a speed greater than 4 miles per hour—definitely faster than the average man, who walks at a unit rate of about 3 miles per hour. Today, there is a 100-mile trail run in Fort Valley, Virginia with a section of it named the "Stonewall Jackson Foot Cavalry Division" in honor of the men who used their feet to travel great distances at extraordinary speeds!
See for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4yhJ1aZgZc
Play the games at the following links to practice working with unit rates and equivalent ratios.