Petrified Forest National Park was founded in 1962. In addition to the magnificent Petrified Forest, visitors can find Indian ruins and parts of the Painted Desert. Children can visit the Arizona park’s website to examine amazing photographs, great interactive activities, story hour, and even coloring sheets at: http://www.nps.gov/pefo.
Douglas Engelbart invented the computer mouse in 1967 and demonstrated it for the first time on December 9, 1968. However, it was not really used until 1984. He received no money for his invention. Children can view Engelbart’s timeline of inventions and see some other interesting ideas, including a knee operating system, at: http://www.dougengelbart.org/history/pix.html
Joan Blos (born New York, New York, 1928) writes books for children. A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl’s Journal, 1830-32 won the Newbery Medal in 1979.
Jean De Brunhoff (born Paris, France, 1899; died Switzerland, October 16, 1937) was a children’s author. He is known for his books about Babar the Elephant. When Jean died in 1937, his son Laurent continued his father’s legacy by creating 30 more Babar books. Children could see if they see a difference between Jean’s Babar and Laurent’s Babar. They could learn more at: Jean De Brunhoff.
Joel Chandler Harris (born Eatonton, Georgia, 1848; died Atlanta, Georgia, July 3, 1908) was an author. Among other works, he wrote the Uncle Remus stories. Children can read many of his works at: Project Gutenberg. They can also learn more at: Joel Chandler Harris
Grace Murray Hopper (born New York, New York, 1906; died Arlington, Virginia, January 1, 1992) was a computer scientist and mathematician. She was employed by the military for a good part of her life. She worked on the Mark I computer team. She coined the word bug for computer foul-ups when she found an insect in the Mark I’s circuitry. She helped create COBOL, and she standardized the navy’s computer languages. She retired from the military in 1986 as the oldest officer on active duty, and she was buried in Arlington Cemetery. Computers have created all kinds of new terms, such as RAM and Internet. Children could generate a list of new computer terms. She was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 22, 2016. Children could learn more at: Grace Murray Hopper
Mary Downing Hahn (born College Park, Maryland, 1937) writes for children. Author of around 30 books, she is most known for Wait till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story. Stepping on the Cracks won the 1992 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. Closed for the Season received the 2010 Edgar Award. Children could visit her site and hear her read portions of one of her books at: Mary Downing Hahn
Thomas Paine published the first of a series of pamphlets called The American Crisis in 1776. His goal was to improve morale of both citizens and soldiers. His words were and still are very effective. His first words were:
THESE are the times that try men’s souls.
The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph…”
The last of the pamphlets was printed December 9, 1783. Children can view the entire work at: The American Crisis