Robert Gray became the first United States citizen to circumnavigate the world. He sailed from Boston in September 1787 and traded with the Northwest Coast Indians. He traveled to China before returning to the United States.
First United States patent law was formalized in 1790. Last year alone the United States Patent Office issued almost 187,000 patents. Children could visit the very interesting Patent Office website at: http://www.uspto.gov/kids/.
Speaking of patents…the safety pin was patented by Walter Hunt in 1849. He received patent number 6,281. Children can examine his patent at: http://www.google.com/patents/US6281.
David A. Adler (born New York, New York, 1947) is an award-winning children’s author. He has written over 265 books. One of his books is Lou Gehrig, the Luckiest Man. He also writes the Cam Jansen series. Children can visit his website at: David A. Adler.
Button Guinnett (born Gloustershire, England, 1735; died Savannah, Georgia, May 19, 1777) signed the Declaration of Independence. After he moved to Georgia in 1765, he prospered at farming. He became active in politics. However, he was killed in a duel. The British seized his plantation, and his wife and daughter died soon after.
Eric Oswald Mowbray Knight (born England, 1897; died in airplane crash while in the military during World War II, January 15, 1943) was an author. He and his wife moved to Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where he wrote Lassie Come-Home. Children can learn more at: Knight.
Clare Turlay Newberry (born Enterprise, Oregon, 1903; died San Diego, California, February 12, 1970) wrote and illustrated books for children. She earned four Caldecott Honor Awards: in 1939 for Barkis, in 1941 for April’s Kittens, in 1943 for Marshmallow. and in 1951 for T-Bone the Babysitter. Almost all her books were about cats. Children can learn more at: Cats. Children can also learn more at: Clare Turlay Newberry.
Richard Peck (born Decatur, Illinois, 1934; died New York, New York, May 23, 2018) wrote more than 30 books for children. A Long Way from Chicago was a 1999 Newbery Honor Book. A Year Down Under won the 2001 Newbery Medal.
Frances Perkins (born Boston, Massachusetts, 1880; died New York, New York, May 14, 1965) was the first woman cabinet member, serving as Secretary of Labor for Franklin Delano Roosevelt from 1933 to 1945.
Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry (born Newport, Rhode Island, 1794; died New York, New York, March 4, 1858) was the American officer who peacefully negotiated with the Japanese to open its harbors to world trade. He sailed into Tokyo Bay in July 1853. By combining diplomacy with a show of military power, he gained the trust of the Japanese. This agreement made Japan a world power by 1900.
Joseph Pulitzer (born Budapest, Hungary, 1847; died Charleston, South Carolina, October 29, 1911) was a journalist and newspaper owner. He came to the United States to fight in the Civil War. After the war he was a reporter for a Saint Louis newspaper. Later he became a part owner in the newspaper. For a while he served in the House of Representatives. He bought several newspapers and continued to be active in politics. His will provided money for the Pulitzer Prizes, including the areas of journalism, literature, drama, music, and public service. Idea: The Pulitzer Prizes have no special category for juvenile literature. Children could create their own prizes for their favorite books.
Martin Waddell (born Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1941) writes books for children. He received the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2004 for his body of works. His works include the Little Bear books and the Mimi Mouse books.
Easter is tomorrow! Today may be the day to dye Easter eggs, make spring placemats, or make signs welcoming the Easter bunny. Children could read The Night Before Easter by Natasha Wing.
Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated as Emperor of France in 1814. Born in 1769 on the island of Corsica, Bonaparte early showed a talent for the military. During the French Revolution he was a hero and became a major general. In 1804 the people voted him to be emperor. He expanded his kingdom to include most of Europe. However, he was unable to keep the kingdom intact. He was defeated in Russia and at Leipzig in the Battle of Nations. He abdicated in 1814 and was exiled to Elbe in the same year. He briefly returned to power before he was defeated at Waterloo. In 1815 he was exiled to St. Helena and died there in 1821.
Apollo 13, the nearly fatal space mission to the moon, was launched in 1970. Astronauts John L. Swigert, Fred Haise, and James A. Lovell were on their way to the moon when an oxygen tank exploded. Their craft was severely damaged, and they had a great deal of difficulty returning home. The world held its breath until the craft fell safely into the Pacific Ocean on April 17, 1970.
Halley’s Comet made its closest approach to earth yet in 1986. Edmond Halley discovered that certain similar comets had been seen in 1531, 1607, and 1682. He concluded the sightings were of the same comet. It was named in honor of him. The comet appears roughly every 77 years, approaching earth again mid-2061. Children can learn more about Halley’s Comet and comets in general at: http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/sciencefacts/space/comets.html.
Edward Everett (born Dorcester, Massachusetts, 1794; died Boston Massachusetts, January 15, 1865) was a famous politician and orator. He gave the main address at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery on November 19, 1863. His speech was very long. President Lincoln’s now famous speech took less than two minutes. Afterward, Everett realized the greatness of Lincoln’s speech and stated it would last for generations.
Graham Salisbury (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1944) is a musician and writer of children’s books. His books include the Calvin Coconut series and Under the Blood Red Sun. Children could visit his website at: Graham Salisbury.
Easter is today. Children might want to read The Story of the Easter Bunny, written by Katherine Tegen and wonderfully illustrated by Sally Anne Lambert. Children can find some great puzzles and activities at: http://www.dltk-holidays.com/easter/index.html.