Memorial Day is today. Celebrated on the last Monday of May, the day honors all those who died in war. The day is marked with parades and picnics. The day also signifies the unofficial first day of summer. Children can learn about the history of Memorial Day at: Memorial Day.
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: Johann Wyss. Children can read Swiss Family Robinson at: Project Gutenberg.
Nepal celebrates Republic Day. It declared itself a republic in 2008. Located in the Himalayas between China and India, the country is about the size of Arkansas. Eight of the ten highest mountains, including Mount Everest, are within the country’s boundaries. Almost 31 million people live in Nepal, and Kathmandu is the capital.
Rhode Island became the thirteenth state in the United States by ratifying the Constitution in 1790. Its name relates back to the island of Rhodes. It was the last of the original thirteen colonies to join the Union. The smallest of all the states, it manufactures jewelry, silver and textiles. Providence is the state capital, and the state nicknames are the Ocean State and Little Rhody. Children could visit an Internet site at: Rhode Island.
Wisconsin became the thirtieth state of the United States in 1848. Its nicknames include the Badger State and the Dairy State. Madison is the state capital. Its name seems to date back to an Ojibwa word, “wishkonsing,” meaning “place of the bearer.” Children could visit an Internet site at: Wisconsin. They could sample some Wisconsin cheese.
Constantinople fell in 1453. The Ottomans conquered the city after a siege, and the Byzantine Empire came to an end.