Uzbekistan celebrates Independence Day. This doubly landlocked country withdrew from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1991. Steppes and deserts are major land features of this country, with an area about the same as the area of California. Over 28 million people live in Uzbekistan, and Tashkent is the capital.
Slovakia celebrates Constitution Day. Its constitution was ratified in 1992 and took effect January 1, 1993. This landlocked country’s area is about twice the size of the area of New Hampshire. About 5.5 million people live in Slovakia, and Bratislava is the capital.
Martha, the last passenger pigeon, died in 1914. Named after Martha Washington, this bird lived for about 29 years in the Cincinnati Zoo. Some experts believe that between three and five billion passenger pigeons once lived in North America. However, destruction of its environment and large-scale hunting brought an end to the species.
Titanic was found by Dr. Robert Ballard in 1985. The “Unsinkable Titanic” sank on April 15, 1912. The wreck was 500 miles off the coast of Newfoundland. Children can view an interesting video of the ship and its discovery at: http://oceantoday.noaa.gov/titanicwrecksite/.
Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) became available to schools in 1983. Today about 75 percent of all United States schools use D.A.R.E., and 44 other countries are also trying it. Adults can visit the website at: http://www.dare.org/.
Great Britain and the American colonies conducted a “Gregorian Correction” to the calendar in 1752. The day after September 2 became September 14. Angry mobs protested in the streets because they felt they lost eleven days. The country also changed New Year’s Day from March 25 to January 1. Most of Europe had adopted the Gregorian calendar almost two centuries earlier on October 4, 1582.
Treasury Department was created by Congress in 1789. Alexander Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury. Most historians feel he expertly guided the department through its infancy into a well-established part of the government. The Treasury Department is responsible for:
- Making currency
- Collecting taxes, duties, and money owed to the government
- Paying US government bills
- Monitoring national banks
- Publishing reports on state of treasury
Over 100,000 people work in the Treasury Department. Children could visit the department’s website at: Treasury Department. Who is the current secretary of the treasury?
Japan formally surrendered in 1945 aboard the USS Missouri, ending World War II. The ceremony, broadcast around the world via radio, lasted about 23 minutes. The Allied copy of the surrender is located in the National Archives: World War II.
San Marino celebrates Founding of the Republic Day. Saint Marinus, a stonemason, founded the country in AD 301. About a third of the size of Washington, DC, San Marino is a country within the country of Italy. Over 32,000 people live there, and the capital is the city of San Marino.
Qatar celebrates Independence Day. It declared its freedom from Great Britain in 1971. About the size of Connecticut, Qatar is now ruled by Sheik Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. The country obtains most of its income from oil and banking. Over two million people live in Qatar, and Doha is the capital.