Sequoia National Park was created in 1890. Located in central-southern California, the park encompasses over 400,000 acres. Known for its magnificent sequoia trees, the park is also home to Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States. Children can visit the park’s website at: Sequoia. Children could compare the sequoia to other types of trees.
Sandra Day O’Connor became the first female Supreme Court Justice when she was sworn in in 1981. She retired January 31, 2006. She founded a website to help students better understand government: https://www.icivics.org/.
William Cuthbert Faulkner (born New Albany, Mississippi, 1897; died Byhalia, Mississippi, July 6, 1962) was an author. Two of his most famous works were The Sound and the Fury and The Portable Faulkner. He won the Nobel Prize in 1949.
Jim Murphy (born Newark, New Jersey, 1947) has written at least 35 fiction and non-fiction books for children and young adults. He earned a Newbery Honor Award in 1996 for The Great Fire and another Newbery Honor Award in 2004 for An American Plague (which also received the 2004 Robert F. Sibert Medal). He received a 2001 Robert F. Sibert Honor Award for Blizzard! The Storm that Changed America. In 2010 he was presented the Margaret A. Edwards Award for his lifelong contributions to young adult literature. Young adults can visit his website at: Jim Murphy.
Andrea Davis Pinkney (born Washington, DC, 1963) writes books for children. She and her husband, Brian Pinkney, often work together. Her Let It Shine! Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters received the 2001 Coretta Scott King Medal. Her works also include Sit-in: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down. Children can learn more at: Andrea Davis Pinkney.
James E. Ransome (born Rich Square, North Carolina, 1961) has written and/or illustrated at least 50 books for children. He illustrated Baby Blessings and Sky Boys. Children can visit his website at: James Ransome.
Mark Rothko (born Marcus Rothkowitz in Dvinsk, Russia, 1903; died New York, New York, February 25, 1970) was an abstract expressionist. Children can view a number of his works and participate in a timeline of his life at: Mark Rothko.
Dmitri Shostakovich (born St. Petersburg, Russia, 1906; died Moscow, Russia, August 9, 1975) was a composer.
Shel Silverstein (born Chicago, Illinois, 1932; died Key West, Florida, May 10, 1999) was an author, illustrator, and songwriter. He wrote and illustrated a number of poetry books for children, including Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Giving Tree. Children can visit an amazing website dedicated to him at: Shel Silverstein.
Francis Drake and his ship the Golden Hind circumnavigated the world in 1580. He left England December 13, 1577, with numerous ships and many men. The Golden Hind, the only ship to return, was loaded with treasure, and Queen Elizabeth’s half of the cargo was greater than all her other income that year. He was knighted for his efforts. Children could read You Wouldn’t Want to Explore with Sir Francis Drake, by David Stewart and David Salariya.
George Washington established his first cabinet in 1789.
- Thomas Jefferson became Secretary of State.
- John Jay was appointed the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
- Samuel Osgood was the first Postmaster.
- Edmund J. Randolph was made Attorney General
- Henry Knox had become Secretary of War on September 12, 1789. The position was renamed years later Secretary of Defense.
Today the President’s cabinet is comprised of the Vice President and fifteen heads of departments. Children can learn more at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/cabinet
Cement was patented in 1871. David Oliver Saylor, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, received patent number 119,413. Children can take some virtual tours of cement being made at: Cement.
Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, presidential candidates, held the first of four televised debates in 1960. Experts believe Kennedy fared better in the first debate, but Nixon improved as time went on.
Shannon Lucid, astronaut, returned to earth in 1996 after being in space 188 days. At the time she set the US record for longest time in space and the world record for the longest time for a woman in space. She conducted experiments aboard the Mir space station. She had previously flown on four other missions. Older children could learn more at: Shannon Lucid.
Gilligan’s Island appeared for the first time in 1964. The show ran for 98 episodes, but the series became famous through re-runs.
Johnny Appleseed (born John Chapman in Leominster, Massachusetts, 1774; died Allen County, Indiana, March 18, 1845) is believed to have planted many orchards of apple trees. He was well regarded by both the Indians and the settlers. His death is remembered as Johnny Appleseed Day. Children can learn more at: Johnny Appleseed.
T. S. Eliot (born Saint Louis, Missouri, 1888; died London, United Kingdom, January 4, 1965) was a poet, essayist, and playwright. His works include The Waste Land and The Hollow Men. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. Children can read some of his works (including The Waste Land) at: Project Gutenberg.
George Gershwin (born Brooklyn, New York, 1898; died Beverly Hills, California, July 11, 1937) was a composer. He often teamed with his brother, Ira. Two of his most famous works are I Got Rhythm and Rhapsody in Blue.