Georgia celebrates Independence Day. The country declared its freedom from Russia on this day in 1918. However, in 1921 the Soviet Union conquered Georgia. On April 9, 1991, it broke away from the Soviet Union. Located on the eastern coast of the Black Sea and possessing a Mediterranean climate, Georgia, according to the CIA World Factbook, is about the size of South Carolina. About 4.6 million people live in Georgia. Industries include steel, machines and tools, and timber products. Tbilisi is the capital.
Julia DeVillers and Jennifer Roy (born Colonie, New York, 1981) are twins who write books for children and young adults. DeVillers’s works include Lynnvisible and How My Private, Personal Journal Became a Best Seller. Roy’s works include the Math All Around series and Yellow Star.
Sheila Greenwald (born New York, New York, 1934) writes and illustrates books for children. Her works include the Rosy series and The Secret Museum. Children could visit her website at: Sheila Greenwald.
Sally Kristen Ride (born Encino, California, 1951; died La Jolla, California, July 23, 2012) was the first American woman to travel in space. Dr. Ride flew on a six-day Challenger mission that was launched June 24, 1983. She co-wrote five books for children regarding space and science. Children could learn more at: Sally Ride.
Lisbeth Zwerger (born Vienna, Austria, 1954) illustrates children’s books. She received the 1990 Hans Christian Andersen Award for her lifetime achievements.
Memorial Day is today. Celebrated on the last Monday of May, the day honors all those who died in war. The day is marked with parades and picnics. The day also signifies the unofficial first day of summer. Children can learn about the history of Memorial Day at: Memorial Day.
Piano was invented in 1796 by James S. McLean. Two types of pianos exist: uprights and grands. Children can learn more at: Piano.
Masking tape was patented by Richard Gurley Drew in 1930. He responded to the needs of automobile painters who wanted a tape that would not remove new paint. He combined crepe paper with an adhesive. He was working for 3M and ultimately received over 30 patents.
RMS Queen Mary made her first voyage in 1936. She traveled from Southampton, England, to New York, New York. She shuttled passengers between North America and Europe for many years. During World War II the ship was refitted to transport troops. After the war she again became a luxury liner until 1967 when she was retired to Long Beach, California. Today the RMS Queen Mary is a tourist attraction.
Golden Gate Bridge opened to pedestrian traffic in 1937, and vehicles could cross the bridge on May 28. Construction began on January 5, 1933. About 4,200 feet long, the Golden Gate Bridge was the longest suspension bridge until 1964 when the Verrazano Narrows Bridge opened. Children can learn more at: Research. They could also learn more at America’s Library: Golden Gate.
Francis Beaufort (born Ireland, 1774; died England, December 17, 1857) was a scientist and naval officer. He created the Beaufort Wind Force Scale. Children can view the scale at: Beaufort Scale.
Amelia Jenks Bloomer (born Homer, New York, 1818; died Council Bluffs, Iowa, April 14, 1964) was a women’s rights activist. Her name is associated with “bloomers.”
Rachel Louise Carson (born Springdale, Pennsylvania, 1907; died Silver Springs, Maryland, April 14, 1964) was an environmentalist and an author. Her book Silent Spring sparked discussion over the use of pesticides. Children could read Rachel Carson, Caring for the Earth by Elizabeth Ring. They can also learn more at: Rachel Carson.
Nathaniel Gorham (born Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1738; died Charlestown, Massachusetts, June 11, 1796) represented Massachusetts at the Constitutional Convention. During the convention, he was president of the Committee of the Whole. When representatives wanted to speak more informally, the Committee of the Whole took over the session.
Wild Bill Hickok (born James Butler Hickok in Troy Grove, Illinois, 1837; died Deadwood, South Dakota, August 2, 1876) was a frontiersman and a lawman. He was killed while playing poker in a saloon.
Julia Ward Howe (born New York, New York, 1819; died Newport, Rhode Island, October 17, 1910) was a fervent abolitionist and women’s suffragist. She wrote The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Children could learn more at: Julia Ward Howe.
M. E. Kerr (born Auburn, New York, 1927) is one of Marijane Meaker’s pen names. M. E. Kerr writes books for young adults, and she received the 1993 Margaret A. Edwards Award for her body of work.
Lynn Sweat (born Alexandria, Louisiana, 1934) writes and illustrates books for children. He illustrates Peggy Parish’s Amelia Bedelia series.
Azerbaijan celebrates the 1918 founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan. According to the CIA World Factbook, Azerbaijan is a bit smaller than the state of Maine. This landlocked country is composed of semiarid steppes. Almost 10 million people live in the country, and oil and natural gas provide a fairly solid economy. Baku is the capital.