Iditarod sled dog race begins today. The sixteen-dog teams race from Anchorage to Nome, a distance of 1,049 miles. Children could view an excellent website at: Iditerod.
Bulgaria celebrates Liberation Day. The country became an autonomous body under the Ottoman Empire in 1878. About the size of the state of Tennessee, Bulgaria borders the Black Sea, Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, and Turkey. The country exports textiles and footwear. Almost seven million people live in Bulgaria, and Sofia is the capital.
Hinamatsuri is celebrated in Japan. During this festival, girls cover a stairstep arrangement with red cloth and display their dolls. These dolls have been passed down from mother to daughter for generations. Blessings are placed on girls, and special foods are served. This website provides a great photo of a display and gives other good facts: http://japanese.about.com/library/weekly/aa022501a.htm.
Florida became the twenty-seventh state of the United States in 1845. Juan Ponce de Leon named the state Pasqua Florida, Easter festival of the flowers. The state capital is Tallahassee, and the state’s nickname is the Sunshine State. Most of the state is just above sea level. It is home to the Kennedy Space Center and Lake Okeechobee. Children could visit an Internet site at: Florida. They could also design a brochure regarding tourism in the state.
Alexander Graham Bell (born Edinburgh, Scotland, 1847; died Baddeck, Nova Scotia, Scotland, August 2, 1922) invented the telephone. He also investigated causes of deafness. Children can learn more at: Alexander Graham Bell.
Jacqueline Joyner-Kersee (born East St. Louis, 1962) is an Olympic gold medalist in the heptathlon. She received the gold medal in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics. Sports Illustrated named her female athlete of the century.
Suse MacDonald (born Evanston, Illinois, 1940) writes and illustrates books for children. Her wonderful book Alphabatics received a 1987 Caldecott Honor Award. Children can visit her website, especially her Just for Kids page, at: Suse MacDonald
Patricia MacLachlan (born Cheyenne, Wyoming, 1938) is a children’s author of at least 23 books. She wrote among other works Sarah, Plain and Tall, which received the 1986 Newbery Medal, the 1986 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and the 1986 Golden Kite Award.
George Pullman (born Brocton, New York, 1831; died Chicago, Illinois, October 19, 1897) invented the Pullman sleeping car for the railroad.