Virgin Islands celebrate Transfer Day. The United States bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark in 1917 for $25 million. Located in the Caribbean Sea, the islands are about twice the size of Washington, DC. Many of the 100,000 inhabitants depend on tourism for income. Charlotte Amalie is the capital.
United States declared war on Germany in 1917, bringing America into World War I. The Allies (United States, Great Britain, France, and Russia) fought the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. The war informally ended on Armistice Day (now Veterans Day) on November 11, 1918. The Treaty of Versailles formally ended the war on June 28, 1919. Children can learn more from the resources at: http://www.neok12.com/World-War-I.htm
Pulitzer Prizes were awarded for the first time in 1917. Laura E. Richards and Maude H. Elliott, assisted by Florence H. Hall, won the biography award for Julia Ward Howe. Older children could visit the website at: http://www.pulitzer.org/.
Ten women’s rights campaigners were arrested in 1917 while picketing outside the White House. The suffragists had started picketing in January. One of the leaders, Alice Paul, began a hunger strike in jail. President Woodrow Wilson was so concerned for his administration that he finally supported a Constitutional Amendment so that women could vote. Children could learn more at: Women’s Suffrage.
Finland celebrates Independence Day. It became free from Russia in 1917. For centuries Sweden and Russia have fought over Finland. Russia took over the country in 1809. According to the CIA World Factbook, Finland is slightly smaller than the state of Montana. Today Helsinki is the northernmost capital of any country in Europe. More than five million people live in Finland, and most live in a small coastal plain. Over three-fourths of the land is covered with forests. It exports timber and wood pulp.