First Thanksgiving in North America was held in 1619 when 38 colonists from Berkeley Parish (England) reached the New World in Virginia and prayed, thanking God for a safe voyage.
George Washington said goodbye to his officers at the Fraunces Tavern in New York City in 1783. Fraunces Tavern is now part museum and part restaurant, and children can learn more about Washington’s speech at: http://www.frauncestavernmuseum.org/mus_farewell.html
Mary Celeste was found abandoned in 1872. The ship had left New York on November 5, 1872. Another ship, the Dei Gratia, boarded her on December 4 and found no people and no sign of violence. The captain and his family, the crew, and a lifeboat and navigation instruments were missing, but the ship and cargo were in excellent shape. The mystery of the Mary Celeste has yet to be solved. Children could read The Mary Celeste: An Unsolved Mystery from History by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple. Older children could watch a Smithsonian video clip at: Mary Celeste.
Munro Wilbur Leaf (born Hamilton, Maryland, 1905; died Garrett Park, Maryland, December 21, 1976) was a children’s author and illustrator. His credits include cartoons and around 40 books. One of his works is The Story of Ferdinand, published in 1936. Very interesting fact – Ferdinand was considered by some to be subversive and was banned in Nazi Germany. Older children could read the classic The Story of Ferdinand to younger children. Children can learn more at: Munro Wilbur Leaf.
George Ancona (born New York, 1929) is a photographer, author, and illustrator of about 100 children’s books. ¡Ole! Flamenco was a 2011 Pura Belpré Award Honor Book for Author, and Bario: José’s Neighborhood was a 2000 Pura Belpré Honor Book. Children can learn more at: George Ancona.
Bruce Hiscock (born San Diego, California, 1940) writes and illustrates books for children. He specializes in books about nature. His works include Ookpik – The Travels of a Snowy Owl and Coyote and Badger – Desert Hunters of the Southwest. Children can view his website at: Bruce Hiscock.