Colombia celebrates Independence Day. It declared its autonomy from Spain in 1810. Colombia is a bit less than twice the size of Texas. Bogota is the capital of this country, located on the northwest coast of South America. It exports coffee, bananas, and petroleum. Almost 46 million people live in Colombia.
Neil Armstrong and Edwin Eugene Aldrin landed the lunar module Eagle on the moon’s surface in 1969. Armstrong walked on the moon first. The first human to do so, he stated, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” The two men walked on the moon for over two hours. Michael Collins stayed aboard the Apollo XI’s service module, Columbia. The moon walk was televised live, and everyone watched the event! The sense of great scientific accomplishment, accompanied by a big dose of patriotism, was amazing! Children could learn more about the landing and video at: Moon Landing.
Viking I landed on Mars in 1976. Launched August 20, 1975, Viking I carried cameras, a seismometer, a magnet, and sensors for temperature, wind velocity, and pressure. The Lander began to send data 25 seconds after landing and continued to function until November 11, 1982.
Alexander the Great (born Pella, Greece, July 20/21, 356 BC; died Babylon, Iraq, June 10/11, 323 BC) established one of the largest kingdoms in ancient times. He was never defeated in battle, and he possessed great military skills. Children could read Alexander the Great by Demi.
Paulette Bourgois (born Toronto, Canada, 1951) writes books for children. She created Franklin the Turtle. Children can visit her website at: Paulette Bourgois.
Sir Edmund Percival Hillary (born Auckland, New Zealand, 1919; died Auckland, New Zealand, January 11, 2008) was an explorer. He and Tenzing Norgay on May 29, 1953, became the first people to climb Mount Everest. Idea: Children could determine what gear is necessary for such climbs.
Belgium celebrates National Day. King Leopold ascended to the throne in 1821. Brussels is the capital of this country, located in northwestern Europe. Belgium is about the size of the state of Maryland. Natural resources include silica sand and construction materials. Over ten million people live in Belgium, and Dutch, French, and German are official languages.
Virgil “Gus” Grissom became the second American to travel into space in 1961. Aboard Liberty Bell 7, he reached an altitude of 118 miles and flew about 300 miles away from Cape Canaveral.
National Women’s Hall of Fame opened in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1979. The site of the Women’s Rights Convention in 1848, the hall honors many women. Children could find out who has been inducted. They could list future possible inductees by visiting: http://www.greatwomen.org.
Frances Folsom Cleveland (born Buffalo, New York, 1864; died Baltimore, Maryland, October 29, 1947) was the wife of Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th president of the United States. She married him during his first term in office. Their daughter was named Ruth; the candy bar Baby Ruth was named after her. Cleveland died in 1908. The former First Lady married Thomas J. Preston, Jr., in 1913. Children can visit a website at: Frances Cleveland. Idea: Children could eat small Baby Ruth candy bars and learn more about Frances Cleveland’s life.
Ernest Hemingway (born Oak Park, Illinois, 1899; died Ketchum, Idaho, July 2, 1961) was a writer. Two of his most famous works are The Old Man and the Sea and A Farewell to Arms. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. Children could learn more at: Ernest Hemingway.
Isaac Stern (born Kreminiecz, USSR, 1920; died New York, New York, September 22, 2001) was a violinist.
Pied Piper of Hamelin, according to legend, piped the rats out of the town and into the river in 1376. When the townspeople refused to pay him, he piped the children out of town as well. The children were never seen again. Many versions of the legend exist, but children could read one of the best, written by Robert Browning and illustrated by Kate Greenaway, at: Pied Piper.
John White and 150 colonists arrived in Roanoke Colony in 1587. They were to join some men who had previously settled there. However, Roanoke was deserted. The group stayed, but John White returned to Great Britain later in the year for more people and supplies. War with Spain kept him in England, and White did not reach Roanoke until August 18, 1590. No colonists were there, and the area became known as the “Lost Colony.” Children could read more at: Lost Colony.