Double-decked steamboat arrived in New Orleans for the first time in 1816. The Washington traveled between New Orleans and Louisville. It traveled upstream at 16 miles per hour and downstream at 25 miles per hour. This first steamboat was so successful that many others followed. By 1850 about 740 steamboats, transporting three million people annually, traveled on the Mississippi River.
Washington became the forty-second state of the United States in 1889. Mountains split the state into two distinctive parts. The western portion receives abundant rainfall, while the eastern part is very dry. Its nickname is the Evergreen State, and Olympia is the capital. Attractions include Mount St. Helens National Monument and Mount Rainier National Park. Children can learn more about Washington from America’s Library: Washington.
Washington is known for its apples. Consider finding various types of apples. Slice them and serve. Children can compare texture, sweetness, and taste.
Vietnam Veterans War Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC, in 1982. Designed by Maya Lin, the wall (listing 58,195 names) attracts about three million visitors a year. Children can learn more at: http://www.nps.gov/vive/index.htm.
Congress met in session for the first time in the Capitol Building in 1800. Interesting fact – the Capitol Building on Sundays was used as a house of worship until the Civil War. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison attended services there. Children could visit the government website. The site offers some virtual tours and excellent links: Capitol Building
Washington, DC, became the capital of the United States in 1800. Parts of Virginia and Maryland were combined to make the new capital. Charles L’Enfant created the architectural plan for the city. The federal government is the largest employer, and printing is the biggest industry. Over seventeen million tourists visit the nation’s capital every year. Children could locate some of the many important buildings on a map of Washington, DC.
Washington Monument was completed in 1884. The monument’s cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848, and building began. However, lack of funding and the Civil War stopped work. Then President Ulysses Grant started construction again. It was completed on this day in 1884 and dedicated in 1885. Children can learn more at: Washington Monument.
National Geographic Society was created in Washington, DC, in 1888. Around 33 founding members met at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC, to sign the charter. Visit a website at: National Geographic. Children enjoy perusing the National Geographic site for kids at: National Geographic Kids. Do you want an easy activity that combines geography and good, hard thinking? Create a geography ABC: write the letters of the alphabet down on paper. Next to each letter children can write down places that begin with that letter. For example, “A” could list Albania, Alabama, Andes Mountains, Arno River…
Concorde flew for the first time in 1976. A British company and a French company formed a joint cooperation to fund and build 20 Concorde planes. The planes mainly flew from London and Paris to New York and Washington, DC. Flights were expensive, but passengers arrived at their destinations in less than half the usual flight time. Due to less travel after September 11, 2001, and increased costs, the planes were retired on November 26, 2003.
Supreme Court opened its first session in 1790. In that year the capital was Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the Supreme Court met in what is now Independence Hall. When the capital moved to Washington, DC, no Supreme Court building existed. The Court met in various parts of the Capitol Building and even met in a private home during the War of 1812. Until 1935 the Supreme Court continued to meet in various places. The Supreme Court Building opened in 1935. Children can learn more about the Supreme Court at: Supreme Court
Boy Scouts of America was started in 1910 by William Boyce in Washington, DC. The foundation was the work of Sir Robert Baden-Powell and the British Boy Scouts. Children can learn more about scouting at: http://www.scouting.org/