Sir Humphrey Gilbert landed on Newfoundland in 1583 and claimed the land around St. John’s harbor for England. His ship, the HMS Squirrel, sank in a storm near the Azores while he was trying to return to England. Idea: Children could figure out how historians know what he did if his ship sank before he reached England.
United States levied the first income tax in 1862. Any income over $800 was taxed at 3 percent. Idea: Children could translate $800 back then into today’s dollars. They could learn more about the history of the United States income tax at: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005921.html
First traffic light in the country was installed in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1914. James Hoge received patent #1,251,666 for his “Municipal Traffic Control System.” Four pairs of red and green lights were wired to a manually controlled system.
Copiapo mining accident happened in Chile in 2010. A mine cave-in in the Atacama Desert trapped 33 men underground. They were all successfully rescued on October 13, 2010.
Neil Alden Armstrong (born Wapakoneta, Ohio, 1930; died Cincinnati, Ohio, August 25, 2012) was an astronaut and the first person to walk on the moon. Children can learn more at: http://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/nasa-knows/who-was-neil-armstrong-k4.html
Robert Bright (born Sandwich, Massachusetts, 1902; died San Francisco, California, November 21, 1988) wrote and illustrated children’s books. He is best known for his Georgie the Ghost series.
Thomas Lynch, Jr. (born Prince George’s Parish, South Carolina, 1749; died 1779) signed the Declaration of Independence. He represented South Carolina. His father was supposed to also sign the Declaration of Independence, but he became too ill. After the younger Lynch left Philadelphia, he became sick. He and his wife decided to take an ocean voyage to improve his health. They were lost at sea in late 1779.
Guy de Maupassant (born Normandy, France, 1850; died Paris, France, July 6, 1893) was a famous short story writer. He wrote at least 250 stories, including The Diamond Necklace, and several novels. Children can read many of his works at: http://www.gutenberg.org/.
Maud Petersham (born Kingston, New York, 1890; died November 29, 1971) was, with her husband Miska, an early pioneer in children’s literature. They illustrated more than 60 books written by other authors. Then they began writing and illustrating their own works (about 100 books). They received a 1942 Caldecott Honor Award for An American ABC and then the 1946 Caldecott Medal for The Rooster Crows. Children could learn more at: http://www.bookologymagazine.com/resources/authors-emeritus/petersham-maud/
Ruth Sawyer (born Boston, Massachusetts, 1880; died Maine, June 3, 1970) wrote children’s books. She received the 1937 Newbery Medal for Roller Skates. She earned the 1965 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her body of works. Children can learn more at: http://www.bookologymagazine.com/resources/authors-emeritus/sawyer-ruth/
Bolivia celebrates Independence Day. A landlocked country in South America, Bolivia gained its freedom from Spain in 1825. La Paz is the capital, and at one time the country was under Inca control. Although the country is presently bigger than the state of Texas, it was once much larger. Parts of the country were sold, and parts were given away as spoils of war. Its natural resources include silver, tin, oil, and natural gas.
Jamaica celebrates Independence Day. It became free from Great Britain in 1962, but Jamaica remains a part of the British Commonwealth. Located in the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica is about the size of Connecticut. This mountainous island has a tropical climate. Almost three million people live there, and tourism is an important industry. Kingston is the capital. Children could learn more at: http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/places/find/jamaica/.
Sandwich was invented in 1762 by John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich. Stories conflict as to why he invented the sandwich. One tale states he loved to gamble, and he did not want to miss the gambling when he got hungry. The other version indicates he was a very dedicated man, and he did not want to turn away from his work when he got hungry.
Gertrude Ederle in 1926 became the first woman to swim the English Channel. She swam for fourteen hours and thirty-one minutes from England to France. She returned to a ticker tape parade in New York City. Younger children could read America’s Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle, by David A. Adler