Polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon) was accidentally discovered in 1938 by Roy J. Plunkett, who worked for DuPont. Today Teflon is used in containers that might store corrosive materials. It can be used as a lubricant. Teflon is also popular in cookware, and it can be used as graft material for surgeries.
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?
Douglas (Wrong Way) Corrigan started a flight from New York in 1938. His destination was Los Angeles, California, but the next day he landed in Ireland. An instant hero, he frustrated aviation officials and returned to a ticker tape parade in New York City. Idea: Children could calculate how many miles off target he was.
Minimum wage was instituted in 1938 at 25 cents per hour, and the work week was defined as 40 hours of work per week. Children can see the interesting history of minimum wage at: minimum wage.
Orson Welles presented a radio broadcast of H. G. Wells’s War of the Worlds in 1938. Many people had not tuned in at the beginning, so they believed there was a real Martian invasion. Children can listen to the radio broadcast (55 minutes) at: Youtube War of the Worlds.
Kristallnacht transpired in Germany in 1938. Mobs of Germans demolished thousands of homes and businesses owned by Jews. Books and Torahs were burned. More than 30,000 Jews were arrested, and almost one hundred people died. Kristallnacht, “Crystal Night,” was given its name from the sound of window glass breaking. Older children could read Kristallnacht: The Nazi Terror That Began the Holocaust (The Holocaust through Primary Sources) by James M. Deem.
Coelacanth, a species of fish scientists thought had been extinct for 65 million years, was found off the shores of Africa in 1938. Children could learn more by reading Fossil Fish Found Alive: Discovering the Coelacanth by Sally M. Walker. They could also learn more at: Coelacanth.