Botswana celebrates Botswana Day, the day in 1966 when the United Kingdom gave up control of the country. This landlocked country in southern Africa is fairly prosperous. It is a leading producer of diamonds. Gold has also been found in the country. Because large herds of game still roam the country, tourism also brings in a great deal of revenue. Botswana, home to two million people, is a bit smaller than Texas. Gaborone is the capital.
Babe Ruth hit his sixtieth home run for the season in 1927. That record stood until Roger Maris hit 61 home runs in 1961.
Hoover Dam (originally Boulder Dam) was dedicated in 1936. The dam, located at the border of Nevada and Arizona, captures water from the Colorado River. Constructed between 1931 and 1936, it was a marvel at the time and remains an amazing structure. The dam has created Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States. The dam controls flood waters and provides hydroelectric power to Nevada, Arizona, and California. It is also quite a tourist attraction. Children can learn some SUPER facts at: http://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/educate/kidfacts.html
James Meredith enrolled as the first African-American at the all-white University of Mississippi in 1962. President Kennedy sent federal troops to quell the riots. Three people died, and fifty more were hurt.
Frisbee was patented in 1958 by Walter “Fred” Morrison. He received patent number 183,626 for his “Flying Toy.” For a time he called the toy the Pluto Platter. Older children could experiment with the physics of a Frisbee at: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/bring-science-home-frisbee-aerodynamics/. They could create a Frisbee course on the playground.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park was established in 1972. Located in the Guadalupe Mountains in west Texas, the park encompasses over 86,000 acres. Interesting fact – the park contains a marine fossil reef that is 265 million years old! Children could visit the park’s website at: http://www.nps.gov/gumo.
Carol Fenner (born North Hornell, New York, 1929; died Battle Creek, Michigan, February 16, 2002) wrote books for children and young adults. She received a 1979 Coretta Scott King Honor Award for Skates of Uncle Richard and a 1996 Newbery Honor Award for Yolanda’s Genius.
Hans Wilhelm Geiger (born Neustadt, Germany, 1882; died Berlin, Germany, September 24, 1945) invented the Geiger counter. Idea: Children could find out how a Geiger counter works.
Edgar Parin D’Aulaire (born Munich, Germany, 1898; died May 1, 1986) wrote at least 27 books for children. He worked with his wife Ingri D’Aulaire on many books. One of their most famous books was D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths. They received the 1940 Caldecott Medal for Abraham Lincoln. Children can learn more at: http://www.bookologymagazine.com/resources/authors-emeritus/edgar-parin-daulaire/
Alvin Tresselt (born Passaic, New Jersey, 1916; died Burlington, Vermont, July 24, 2000) wrote books for children. His works include The Mitten and White Snow Bright Snow. Children can learn more at: http://www.bookologymagazine.com/resources/authors-emeritus/tresselt-alvin/
Elie Wiesel (born Sighet, Romania, 1928; died New York, New York, July 2, 2016) was an author and a survivor of the Holocaust. He was awarded the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize for helping Holocaust victims. One of his most famous books is Night.
Janet S. Wong (born Los Angeles, California, 1962) writes books and poetry for children. Her works include You Have to Write and This Next New Year. Children can visit her website at: http://www.janetwong.com/.
China celebrates its birthday; it came into being in 1949. Slightly smaller than the United States, China has a variety of habitats, from Mount Everest to deserts to tropics. About 1.349 billion people live in China, and the capital is Beijing. Children can learn more at: http://www.timeforkids.com/destination/china.
Nigeria celebrates Independence Day. In 1960 it became independent from the United Kingdom, and in 1963 it became a republic. The country, home to 175 million Nigerians, is a bit larger than twice the size of California, and Niamey is the capital. Children can learn more at: http://www.timeforkids.com/destination/nigeria.
Cyprus celebrates Independence Day. The country became free of British rule in 1960. An island in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus is a little bigger than half the size of Connecticut. About 1.2 million people live in Cyprus, and Nicosia is the capital.