Mary Hays in 1778 carried pitchers of water to American soldiers during the Battle of Monmouth. When her husband, an artilleryman, could no longer load the cannon, Mary took over and swabbed and loaded the cannons. She later became known as Molly Pitcher. Children could learn more at: http://www.americaslibrary.gov/es/nj/es_nj_pitcher_1.html.
Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his wife were assassinated in Bosnia in 1914. This event ignited the flames that would eventually become World War I.
Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919, concluding World War I. Idea: Children could gather statistics on the war. They could also learn how the war changed military tactics.
Children could learn more at: http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/jazz/jb_jazz_wwi_1.html
Early Bird satellite in 1965 made telephone calls from the United States to Europe more practical. Idea: Children could find out how calls were made before the satellite and how the satellite worked.
Esther Forbes (born Westborough, Massachusetts, 1891; died Worcester, Massachusetts, August 12, 1967) wrote books for both children and adults. She won the 1943 Pulitzer for Paul Revere and the World He Lived In. In 1944 she won the Newbery Award for Johnny Tremain. Children can learn more at: http://www.bookologymagazine.com/resources/authors-emeritus/forbes-esther/.
Bette Greene (born Parkin, Arkansas, 1934) is a children’s author. She wrote Summer of My German Soldier, published in 1973. Philip Hall Likes Me, I Reckon Maybe received a 1975 Newbery Honor Award.
Dennis Haseley (born Cleveland, Ohio, 1950) writes books for children and young adults. His works include The Sky Writer and Shadows.
Maria Goeppert Mayer (born Kattowitz, Germany, 1906; died San Diego, California, February 20, 1972) was part of the Manhattan Project team. She experimented with the separation of uranium isotopes. She became the first American woman to receive the Nobel Prize in physics when she shared it with J. Hans Daniel Jensen and Eugene Wigner in 1963.
Peter Paul Rubens (born Siegen, Westphalia, 1577; died Antwerp, Belgium, May 30, 1640) was an artist and a diplomat. By age twenty-one he had earned the status of master painter. He was also prolific in several languages. He became so busy that his shop was similar to a production line. He made the original sketches. His apprentices filled in the work. He came along and completed the details. Children could view some of his works at: http://www.nga.gov/collection/gallery/gg45/gg45-main1.html. Idea: Students could look at some of his works. They could try his assembly line approach.
Republic of Seychelles celebrates Independence Day. It gained its freedom from the United Kingdom in 1976, but it remains a member of the British Commonwealth. The collection of about eighty islands lies in the western Indian Ocean. The area is slightly greater than twice the size of Washington, DC. Victoria is the capital. Its leading exports are coconuts and spices. Idea: Children could learn about the spices it exports.
Mesa Verde National Park was created in 1906. It is famous for its ancient Anasazi cliff dwellings. These farmers struggled constantly to cultivate their crops of corn and beans. Children could visit a website at: http://www.nps.gov/meve.
Olympic National Park was created in 1938. The Washington park has 57 miles of coastline and a temperate rain forest. It averages 145 inches of rain per year. Visit a website at: http://www.nps.gov/olym. Idea: Children could research Mesa Verde National Park and Olympic National Park. They could compare and contrast the two parks. Which would they rather visit?
George Washington Goethals (born Brooklyn, New York, 1858; died New York, New York, January 21, 1928) was the chief engineer and the first governor of the Panama Canal. Idea: Children could learn about the problems he faced as he built the Panama Canal.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery (born Lyons, France, 1900; died in a military plane crash, July 31, 1944) was an author. He wrote The Little Prince.
Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire, celebrates Independence Day. Belgium relinquished control in 1960. It is about one and a half times the size of Alaska. The country is famous for its minerals and forest products. Over 75 million people live in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The capital is Kinshasa.
Charles Blondin walked across Niagara Falls on a tightrope in 1859. Approximately 25,000 people watched the five-minute walk. On other occasions he walked across the falls on a tightrope pushing a wheelbarrow or on stilts. Idea: Children could draw a line on the playground. They could pretend the line was a tightrope. They could see if they could walk the line on stilts. Older children could read more at: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-daredevil-of-niagara-falls-110492884/.