French and Indian War officially ended in 1763. The French and the British signed the Treaty of Paris. The war meant that the British greatly expanded their territory in North America. However, the war was a tremendous financial burden to Great Britain. That financial burden was passed on to the American colonists in the form of various taxes. The French and Indian War eventually led to the Revolutionary War. Did you know George Washington was an officer on the British side? Children could read Struggle for a Continent: The French and Indian Wars 1689-1763 by Betsy Maestro and Giulio Maestro.
Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the Constitution was adopted in 1967. It delineated presidential succession requirements under four conditions and clarified Article II of the Constitution.
1. Should the President die, the Vice President becomes President.
2. Should there be no Vice President, the President can nominate someone and both portions of Congress must confirm the candidate with a majority of votes.
3. Should the President be unavailable (for example, a medical operation), the Vice President can take over.
4. Should the President be unable to discharge powers, the Vice President, with the support of Congress, can take over the responsibilities (this has never happened).
National Inventors’ Day is today! In 1983 President Ronald Reagan declared February 11 to be National Inventors’ Day, honoring Thomas Edison who was born on this day in 1847. The day recognizes all inventors and encourages everyone to try out new ideas. Children could learn more about creating an invention by reading Kids Inventing! A Handbook for Young Inventors by Susan Casey.
Philadelphia established the first hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, in the United States in 1751. Aided by Benjamin Franklin, Dr. Thomas Bond created the hospital where people received free medical care. Children can take a virtual tour of the old buildings at: Pennsylvania Hospital.
Vatican achieved its independence from Italy in 1929. While Vatican City had been separate from Rome for centuries, documents signed this day in 1929 made the Vatican a distinct government. According to the CIA World Factbook, the Vatican is about 0.7 times the size of the National Mall in Washington, DC. The smallest country in the world, the Vatican is home to around 850 people. More than four million people visit the Vatican each year.
Nelson Mandela was freed from prison in South Africa in 1990. He had been in prison for 27 years due to his anti-apartheid activities. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He was elected president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He died on December 5, 2013.
Oglethorpe Day is celebrated in Georgia. In 1733 General James Oglethorpe and one hundred other men set foot on what became Georgia. The colony was named after King George II. Eventually Oglethorpe became governor of Georgia.
NEAR-Shoemaker in 2001 became the first spacecraft to land on a meteor. Launched in 1996, NEAR-Shoemaker landed on near-earth asteroid Eros and sent back data until February 28, 2001. The extreme cold on the asteroid probably prevented the return of more data. Older children can learn more at: http://science.nasa.gov/missions/near/.
Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill met in 2016 in Cuba. This meeting marked the first time in a thousand years that the Pope and the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church had met. The Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox split in the Great Schism in 1054. The two leaders met for three hours.