Piano was invented in 1796 by James S. McLean. Two types of pianos exist: uprights and grands. Children can learn more at: http://www.ducksters.com/musicforkids/piano.php.
Masking tape was patented by Richard Gurley Drew in 1930. He responded to the needs of automobile painters who wanted a tape that would not removed new paint. He combined crepe paper with an adhesive. He was working for 3M and ultimately received over 30 patents.
RMS Queen Mary made her first voyage in 1936. She traveled from Southampton, England, to New York, New York. She shuttled passengers between North America and Europe for many years. During World War II she was refitted to transport troops. After the war she again became a luxury liner until 1967 when she was retired to Long Beach, California. Today she is a tourist attraction.
Golden Gate Bridge opened to pedestrian traffic in 1937, and vehicles could cross the bridge on May 28. Construction began on January 5, 1933. About 4,200 feet long, the Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge until 1964 when the Verrazano Narrows Bridge opened. Children can learn more at: http://goldengatebridge.org/research/facts.php. They could also learn more at America’s Library: http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/wwii/jb_wwii_ggbridge_1.html.
Francis Beaufort (born Ireland, 1774; died England, December 17, 1857) was a scientist and naval officer. He created the Beaufort Wind Force Scale. Children can view the scale at: http://www.spc.noaa.gov/faq/tornado/beaufort.html.
Amelia Jenks Bloomer (born Homer, New York, 1818; died Council Bluffs, Iowa, April 14, 1964) was a women’s rights activist. Her name is associated with “bloomers.”
Rachel Louise Carson (born Springdale, Pennsylvania, 1907; died Silver Springs, Maryland, April 14, 1964) was an environmentalist and an author. Her book Silent Spring sparked discussion over the use of pesticides. Children could read Rachel Carson, Caring for the Earth by Elizabeth Ring. They can also learn more at: http://www.bookologymagazine.com/resources/authors-emeritus/carson-rachel/
Nathaniel Gorham (born Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1738; died Charlestown, Massachusetts, June 11, 1796) represented Massachusetts at the Constitutional Convention. During the convention, he was president of the Committee of the Whole. When representatives wanted to speak more informally, the Committee of the Whole took over the session.
Wild Bill Hickok (born James Butler Hickok in Troy Grove, Illinois, 1837; died Deadwood, South Dakota, August 2, 1876) was a frontiersman and a lawman. He was killed while playing poker in a saloon.
Julia Ward Howe (born New York, New York, 1819; died Newport, Rhode Island, October 17, 1910) was a fervent abolitionist and women’s suffragist. She wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Children could learn more at: http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/progress/jb_progress_howe_1.html.
M. E. Kerr (born Auburn, New York, 1927) is one of Marijane Meaker’s pen names. M. E. Kerr writes books for young adults, and she received the 1993 Margaret A. Edwards Award for her body of work.
Lynn Sweat (born Alexandria, Louisiana, 1934) writes and illustrates books for children. He illustrates Peggy Parish’s Amelia Bedelia series.
Azerbaijan celebrates the 1918 founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan. According to the CIA World Factbook, Azerbaijan is a bit smaller than the state of Maine. This landlocked country is composed of semiarid steppes. Almost 10 million people live in the country, and oil and natural gas provide a fairly solid economy. Baku is the capital.
Solar eclipse ended a battle in 585 BC. The Medes were battling the Lydians in the Battle of Halys in what is now Turkey. The two sides decided the eclipse was a sign from the gods that battle had to stop. A truce was hastily arranged, and the daughter of the king of Lydia married the son of the king of Medea.
Sierra Club was organized in 1892 in San Francisco, California. John Muir was the first president. Children could visit the group’s website at: http://www.sierraclub.org.
First color and talking film was produced in 1929. “On with the Show” premiered in New York, New York.
Debby Atwell (born Providence, Rhode Island, 1953) writes and illustrates books for children. Her books include Barn and Pearl.
Ian Lancaster Fleming (born London, England, 1909; died Canterbury, England, August 12, 1964) was an author. In addition to his James Bond books, he wrote for children. One of his children’s books is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, published in 1964.
James Francis Thorpe (born Prague, Oklahoma, 1888; died Lomita, California, March 28, 1953) was an Olympic athlete, a baseball player, and a football player. Part-Native American, he was raised on the Sac and Fox Nation in Oklahoma. Controversy surrounded his career as to when he became a professional athlete. Children could read Jim Thorpe, Original All-American by Joseph Bruchac.
Johann David Wyss ( born Bern, Switzerland, 1743; died Bern, Switzerland, January 11, 1818) and his family wrote Swiss Family Robinson. Children can learn more at: http://www.bookologymagazine.com/resources/authors-emeritus/wyss-johann-david/. Children can read Swiss Family Robinson at: https://www.gutenberg.org/