Sri Lanka celebrates Independence Day. The United Kingdom relinquished control of the island in 1948. The country, located southeast of India, exports tea, coconuts, and rubber. According to The CIA World Factbook, Sri Lanka is slightly larger than the state of West Virginia. Colombo is the capital. Over 21 million people live on this country that has a tropical monsoon climate. Idea: Children could open up coconuts and enjoy the milk. They could toast the coconut flesh and enjoy it.
Confederate States of America came into being in 1861. Representatives from seven states (Texas, South Carolina, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, and Georgia) met in Montgomery, Alabama, to start the formation of the Confederacy.
Barbara Shook Hazen (born Dayton, Ohio, 1930) writes books for children. Her books include Katie’s Wish and The Knight Who Was Afraid of the Dark. Children can visit her website at: Barbara Shook Hazen
Russell Hoban (born Lansdale, Pennsylvania, 1925; died London, England, December 13, 2011) was an author and an artist. He wrote over 60 books for children and over 15 books for adults. He also wrote poetry and plays. One of his books is Bedtime for Frances. Children could learn more at: Russell Hoban.
Charles A. Lindbergh (born Detroit, Michigan, 1902; died Kipahula, Maui, Hawaii, August 27, 1974) was the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. He made the trip May 20-21, 1927. Called “Lucky Lindy,” he immediately became a hero. Children can read more about him at: Charles Lindbergh
Thaddeus Kosciuszko (born Lithuania, 1746; died Solothurn, Switzerland, October 15, 1817) is often called the “Hero of Two Wars” because he fought for freedom in both America and Poland. He came to America in 1776 and presented himself to the Continental Congress. He had excellent engineering skills and built fortifications near Saratoga, West Point, and other locations. After the war, he received the rank of brigadier general. In 1784 he returned to Poland and became embroiled in a fight for freedom there. While his side won for a time, ultimately he was imprisoned. Children can visit a website at: Kosciuszko
Rosa Louise Parks (born Tuskegee, Alabama, 1913; died Detroit, Michigan, October 24, 2005) was a civil rights leader. She refused to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama, and was arrested on December 1, 1955. Children can learn more at: Rosa Parks.
Roger Williams landed in America in 1631. He came for religious freedom, but he found the Massachusetts colony restrictive. Banished by Massachusetts leaders in early 1636, he founded the colony of Rhode Island and the city of Providence. Children can learn more at: Roger Williams
Hermitage Museum opened to the public in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 1852. Catherine the Great created the museum in 1764. One of the oldest museums in the world, the Hermitage houses nearly three million artifacts. Children can participate in a virtual tour or see virtual exhibits at the museum’s very interesting website at: Hermitage Museum.
Welcome Stranger Gold Nugget was discovered at Moliagul, Victoria, Australia, in 1869. The largest alluvial gold nugget ever found, the Welcome Stranger weighed almost 2,284 ounces. It measured 24 inches by 12 inches. The nugget was melted down and formed into ingots that were sent to the Bank of England.
National Wildlife Federation was established in 1936. The group’s mission statement is: Inspiring Americans to Protect Wildlife for Our Children’s Future.
The four-million-member group has three powerful goals:
• Finding solutions to the climate crisis
• Turning inside kids out
• Safeguarding America’s wildlife and wild places.
Children could visit the group’s website for children at: http://www.nwf.org/kids.aspx
National Weatherperson’s Day honors the birthday of John Jeffries, one of America’s first meteorologists. An avid balloonist, he recorded weather daily weather observations from 1774 until 1816. He was born in 1744 and died on September 16, 1819. Children could read Weather Words and What They Mean by Gail Gibbons.
Henry Louis “Hank” Aaron (born Mobile, Alabama, 1932) is a Baseball Hall of Famer. He broke Babe Ruth’s home run record, hitting 755 home runs.
Patricia Lauber (born New York, New York, 1924; died New Canaan, Connecticut, March 12, 2010) wrote over 125 books for children. She received a Newbery Honor Award in 1986 for Volcano: Eruption and Healing of Mount Saint Helens. Children can learn more about her at: Patricia Lauber.
David Wiesner (born Bridgewater, New Jersey, 1957) is a children’s book author and illustrator. He has received three Caldecott Medals: Tuesday in 1992, The Three Pigs in 2002, and Flotsam in 2007. He has also earned three Caldecott Honor Awards: Free Fall in 1989, Sector 7 in 2000, and Mr. Wuffles! in 2014. Children can visit his AMAZING site and experience the interactive portion at: David Wiesner
John Witherspoon (born near Edinburgh, Scotland, 1723; died Princeton, New Jersey, November 15, 1794) signed the Declaration of Independence. During the Revolutionary War, he served on over 100 committees. Representing New Jersey, he attended the second Continental Congress. He signed the Articles of Confederation and favored the Constitution. A clergyman, he was president of the College of New Jersey, known today as Princeton University. His students included James Madison and Aaron Burr.
Massachusetts became the sixth state in the United States by ratifying the Constitution in 1788. The word Massachusetts means, “at or about the great hill.” The state ranks forty-fifth in size and thirteenth in population. Its state beverage is cranberry juice. Children could visit an internet site at: Massachusetts. They could toast Massachusetts’s birthday with cranberry juice.