Austria celebrates a national day; in 1955 the country adopted a stance of permanent neutrality. A landlocked country in Europe, Austria is slightly smaller than the state of Maine, and Vienna is the capital. Machinery production and tourism are major sources of income. Over eight million people live in Austria.
Erie Canal started operating in 1825. Construction began on July 4, 1817. It joined the Atlantic Ocean (via the Hudson River) and Lake Erie. Approximately 363 miles long, it had 36 locks. Previously goods had to be shipped by wagon and pack animals. The canal cut transportation costs by 95 percent. Children can view an excellent video at: http://www.history.com/shows/america-the-story-of-us/videos/building-the-erie-canal.
Four new moons of Saturn were reported by astronomers in 2000. That made a total of 22 moons at the time. Since then the number has risen to 62. Children can participate in some great activities regarding Saturn at: http://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov/kids/.
Hillary Rodham Clinton (born Park Ridge, Illinois, 1947) is a lawyer, politician, and former First Lady. She was Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. Before that she was a US senator from New York from 2001 to 2009. She is the wife of William Clinton, forty-second president of the United States. She graduated from Wellesley College and Yale Law School. Older children could visit a website at: http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=43.
Mahalia Jackson (born New Orleans, Louisiana, 1911; died Evergreen Park, Illinois, January 27, 1972) was a gospel singer. Eight of her records sold more than one million copies each. She never sang where liquor was served.
Steven Kellogg (born Norwalk, Connecticut, 1941) writes and illustrates books for children. He illustrated among other works The Day Jimmy’s Boa Ate the Wash, published in 1980. He has written and illustrated over 40 books, including the Pinkerton series. Children could visit his website at: http://www.stevenkellogg.com/.
Charles Pinckney (born Charleston, South Carolina, 1757; died Charleston, South Carolina, October 29, 1824) represented South Carolina at the Constitutional Convention. During the Revolutionary War, he was captured and detained on a British prison ship. He was South Carolina’s governor from 1789 to 1792 and from 1796 to 1798. He served in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
Eric Rohmann (born Riverside, Illinois, 1957) writes and illustrates books for children. He received a 1995 Caldecott Honor Award for Time Flies and the 2003 Caldecott Medal for My Friend Rabbit. Children can visit his website at: http://www.ericrohmann.com/.
Halloween is four days away! Are costumes ready? Is candy purchased? Children might want to read Room on the Broom, written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler. They could also visit the PBS website at: http://pbskids.org/halloween/.
Children could answer this Halloween riddle: What is a witch’s favorite subject in school? Check back tomorrow for the answer!
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines celebrate Independence Day. Located in the Caribbean, the one large island of St. Vincent and the fifty smaller islands gained their freedom from the United Kingdom in 1979. However, they are still part of the British Commonwealth. The total area of the country is about twice the size of Washington, DC. Banana production and tourism provide many of the local jobs. About 103,000 people live there, and Kingstown is the capital.
Turkmenistan celebrates Independence Day. It separated from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1991. Slightly larger than the state of California, Turkmenistan borders the Caspian Sea. Two important agricultural products are cotton and wheat. Over five million people live in Turkmenistan, and Ashgabat is the capital.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1682 by William Penn. The City of Brotherly Love was originally laid out in a grid system with many parks. Today Philadelphia is the fifth largest city in the United States. Children can learn some “Philadelphia Firsts” at: http://www.ushistory.org/philadelphia/philadelphiafirsts.html.
First essay of the Federalist Papers was published in 1787 in a New York City newspaper. John Jay, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton wrote the essays to persuade people to adopt the new Constitution. The last of the 85 essays was published April 4, 1788. Children can read or listen to someone else read the Federalist Papers at: http://www.gutenberg.org/.
New York City subway began operating in 1904. The mass transit system was the first in the world to be built underground. Today about 5.4 million rides occur on the subway every workday.