Norfolk Island celebrates Bounty Day. This self-governing territory of Australia honors the day in 1856 when Pitcairn Islanders on the Bounty landed on its shores. This tiny island (about 0.2 the size of Washington, DC) supports about 2,200 people. Kingston is the capital.
Laki Volcano began erupting in 1783 in southern Iceland. The eruption, spewing 120 million tons of sulfur dioxide and lasting eight months, killed 10,000 people immediately, and caused weather changes all over the world. It caused droughts in Europe, Northern Africa, and parts of Asia. Experts estimate that probably five million people died of starvation or diseases related to the volcano over a period of seven years.
James Madison suggested the Bill of Rights in 1789. He realized that many people felt the new Constitution was not strong enough without some statements about individual rights. The Bill of Rights added the first ten amendments to the Constitution and became effective December 15, 1791. Children could read a kid-friendly version of the rights: http://constitutioncenter.org/media/files/CK130001_CivicsKids-2013-PAGES-FNL-Lesson3.pdf
George Wythe died in 1806 in Richmond, Virginia. He was born in Elizabeth City, Virginia, probably in the year 1726. The exact date of his birth is unknown. Representing Virginia, he was one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He also attended the Constitutional Convention. A lawyer, he was a mentor to Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe. Sadly, he was murdered by a nephew seeking Wythe’s fortune.
Rocket Mail took place in 1959. The United States Postal Service launched a missile, loaded with commemorative letters, from the USS Barbero. The missile safely parachuted down with its contents in Florida. There was thought that rockets could quickly deliver mail from continent to continent, but the rocket costs and numerous setbacks halted the plans.
Tim Berners-Lee (born London, England, 1955) is a computer scientist and is credited with creating the World Wide Web.
Barbara Bush (born Rye, New York, 1925) is the wife of George Bush, forty-first president of the United States. Because her husband’s occupations revolved around either the oil business or politics, they moved frequently. She counted 29 moves. While she was First Lady, she strove to improve literacy in America. Visit a website at: http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=42.
Francis Crick (born Northampton, England, 1916; died San Diego, California, July 28, 2004) discovered with James Watson the structure of DNA. He, along with Watson and Maurice Wilkins, received the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
William Few (born near Baltimore, Maryland, 1748; died Beacon, New York, July 16, 1828) represented Georgia at the Constitutional Convention. He was a U.S. senator, and then he and his family moved to New York, where he was active in politics and the economy.
Ida Saxton McKinley (born Canton, Ohio, 1847; died Canton, Ohio, May 26, 1907) was the wife of William McKinley, twenty-fifth president of the United States. Children can learn more at: http://www.firstladies.org/biographies/firstladies.aspx?biography=25.
Carolyn Meyer (born Lewistown, Pennsylvania, 1935) has written at least 50 books for children and young adults. She writes historical fiction and biographies. Her books include the Royals series and The True Adventures of Charley Darwin. Children can visit her website at: http://www.readcarolyn.com/index.htm.
Judy Sierra (born Falls Church, Virginia, 1945) writes books for children. Her books include Wild About Books and Tasty Baby Belly Buttons. Children can visit her website at: http://www.judysierra.net/
Frank Lloyd Wright (born Richland Center, Wisconsin, 1867; died Phoenix, Arizona, April 9, 1959) was a revolutionary architect. He believed a house and its surroundings should blend together. One of his most famous designs was Fallingwater in western Pennsylvania. A house was designed around a small stream and waterfall. Children could learn more by reading Frank Lloyd Wright for Kids: His Life and Ideas, 21 Activities by Kathleen Thorne Thomsen.