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/.
Jim Arnosky (born New York, New York, 1946) is a children’s book author and illustrator. He stresses animals, plants, and nature. His works include Big Jim and the Whitelegged Moose and Turtle in the Sea. Visit his website, particularly the coloring pages, at: Jim Arnosky.
Engelbert Humperdinck (born Sieburg, Germany, 1854; died September 21, 1921) was a composer. He is famous for his opera Hansel and Gretel. He also wrote incidental music for plays, including several works by Shakespeare.
Edgar Rice Burroughs (born Chicago, Illinois, 1875; died Encino, California, March 19, 1950) was, at various times, a soldier, gold miner, cowboy, and policeman. He is famous for writing the Tarzan books. He wrote twenty novels. They have been translated into fifty languages, and over twenty million copies have been sold. The character was also featured in movies, comic strips, and television. Children can read many of his works at: Project Gutenberg. Children can learn more at: Edgar Rice Burroughs.