First United States mint was established in Philadelphia in 1792. It produced silver half-dismes and dismes (now spelled dimes). The mint is still active, and other mints are functioning in Denver and San Francisco. Children could visit the mint’s website, particularly the games section, at: http://www.usmint.gov/kids. Idea: Children could debate the idea of eliminating the production of the penny.
The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage was formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1775. This group was America’s first abolition society. Some of the early members were Thomas Paine, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, and John Greenleaf Whittier. Renamed the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, the group still exists, working for racial justice.
Electron microscope was first demonstrated in 1940 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Idea: Children could compare the electron microscope with a traditional microscope.
Mother’s Day is today. Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, first proposed the idea. She asked that her church hold a service in memory of all mothers. West Virginia was the first state to honor the day, and other states followed. In 1914 Congress voted to make the second Sunday in May Mother’s Day. A Presidential Proclamation has been made every year since 1914, honoring the day. Children can learn more at: http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/jazz/jb_jazz_mother_1.html. They can find some great Mother’s Day activities at: http://www.dltk-holidays.com/mom/games.htm.
First night baseball game was played in the major leagues. The Cincinnati Reds beat the Philadelphia Phillies in 1935. Over 20,000 baseball fans attended the game in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Constitutional Convention opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1787. While the delegates came with ideas of revising the Articles of Confederation, they realized they had to create a new type of government. The Constitutional Convention concluded on September 17, 1787. Idea: Children could read Jean Fritz’s Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution. They could learn more at: http://www.congressforkids.net/Constitution_delegates.htm.
The Pennsylvania Evening Post in 1775 became the first newspaper to be published in the United States. Benjamin Towne printed the newspaper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The newspaper closed in 1784.
Ice cream soda was invented in Philadelphia in 1874 by Robert M. Greene. It was created to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Franklin Institute. Idea: Children could make ice cream sodas.
Philadelphia Zoological Society became the first United States zoo when it opened in 1874. Over 3,000 people came that first day. Admission was a quarter for adults and a dime for children. Children could visit a website at: http://www.philadelphiazoo.org/. Idea: Children could list the animals found in zoos. They could also draw up plans for a new zoo.
Declaration of Independence was read publicly for the first time in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1776 by Colonel John Nixon. The Liberty Bell tolled to bring citizens to hear the reading. Children can read a copy of the Declaration of Independence at: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html.