Washington Monument reopened in 2014. Repairs to the monument due to the 5.8 magnitude earthquake that happened in August 2011 were completed. About 150 cracks had to be repaired. The scaffolding that was necessary to repair the monument has been removed. Children can learn more at: http://www.nps.gov/wamo/index.htm.
Odometer was invented by William Clayton in 1847 while he was crossing the country in a wagon train. He called his invention the Roadometer. Idea: Children could research the different “-ometers,” for example, the speedometer, tachometer and odometer.
Jennifer Armstrong (born Waltham, Massachusetts, 1961) has written at least 44 books for children. Her books include Once Upon a Banana and Becoming Mary Mehan.
Yogi Berra (born St. Louis, Missouri, 1925; died Montclair, New Jersey, September 22, 2015) was a baseball player and manager. He is well-known for his witty sayings, including “It’s de ja vu all over again.” Children can read more “yogi-isms” at: Yogi-isms.
Dorothy Hodgkin (born Cairo, Egypt, 1910; died England, July 29, 1994) was a British chemist. She used X-Ray crystallography to observe the structure of molecules. She received the 1964 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Edward Lear (born Highgate, England, 1812; died San Remo, Italy, January 29, 1888) was a writer, artist, and ornithologist. He is famous for his limericks. Two of his works are A Book of Nonsense, printed in 1846) and Nonsense Songs, published in 1871. Children can read many of his poems at: Lear Poems . Idea: The children could write limericks. A limerick is a poem with five lines. The first, second and fifth lines rhyme and have three metrical feet. The third and fourth lines rhyme and have two metrical feet. Children can learn more at: Edward Lear.
Betsy Lewin (born Clearfield, Pennsylvania, 1937) illustrates books for children. She has written and illustrated at least 11 books, some co-authored with her husband, Ted Lewin. She has illustrated at least 50 books written by other authors. She received a 2001 Caldecott Honor Award for Click Clack Moo: Cows that Type. Children can visit her website at: Betsy Lewin.
Mildred McAfee (Parkville, Missouri, 1900; died Berlin, New Hampshire, September 2, 1994) was the first director of the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). She was appointed by President Roosevelt in 1942. Within three years her group had trained over 85,000 women. She was also president of Wellesley College.
Farley Mowat (born Belleville, Ontario, Canada, 1921; died Port Hope, Canada, May 6, 2014) wrote about 45 books. One of his books is Owls in the Family, and another famous work is Never Cry Wolf. He sold around 17 million books.
Florence Nightingale (born Florence, Italy, 1820; died London, England, August 13, 1910) elevated the status of nurses. During the Crimean War, she worked tirelessly for the wounded. She was known as the “Lady with the Lamp.” She was the first woman to receive the British Order of Merit. Children could read Heart and Soul: The Story of Florence Nightingale, by Gina K. Gorrell. Young adults could also read books written by Nightingale at: Project Gutenberg.
United States declared war on Mexico in 1846. However, General Zachary Taylor had crossed the border and established a fort several months before. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed on February 2, 1848, ended the war. Lands gained by the United States included California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming. The Gadsden Purchase, finalized on December 30, 1853, bought more land from Mexico that is today Arizona and New Mexico.
Ben Carlin in 1958 became the one and only person to circumnavigate the world in an amphibious vehicle. He and his wife Elinor started the trip in the last part of 1947 aboard the Half-Safe, a former military amphibious vehicle. After several tries, they reached Morocco in 1951. Elinor flew to the United States, and Carlin found other mates to continue his voyage. Pausing to earn funds and repair the vehicle, he returned to Montreal in 1958. After Carlin’s death, the Half-Safe was deeded to his school in Australia, the Guildford Grammar School.
Francine Pascal (born New York, New York, 1938) writes young adult novels and has worked on many television and Broadway projects. Her books include the Sweet Valley High series and The Ruling Class.
Georges Braque (born Argenteuil, France, 1882; died Paris, France, August 31, 1963) was an artist. He and Picasso developed cubism. He also worked with collages. Idea: Children could look at some of his work. They could gather different fabrics, papers, yarn, etc. Then they could make their own collages. Children could learn more at: Georges Braque.
Sir Arthur Sullivan (born London, United Kingdom, 1842; died London, United Kingdom, November 22, 1900) was half of the Gilbert and Sullivan team. They wrote light operas. He also composed other songs, including Onward, Christian Soldiers. Idea: Children could listen to one of the team’s operettas or read their works at: Project Gutenberg.
Paraguay recognizes its Independence Day of May 14 and celebrates that day on May 15. Paraguay became free of Spanish rule in 1811. The country, about the size of the state of California, is located in South America. About 6.6 million people live in this land-locked country. It exports cotton and soybeans, and Asuncion is the capital.
Jamestown, Virginia, became the first permanent English colony in America in 1607. Three ships, the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery brought Captain John Smith and others to American shores. The ill-prepared colonists had left England on December 20, 1606. Children could learn more at: http://www.nps.gov/jame/index.htm.
Thirty-four camels landed in Indianola, Texas, in 1856! After the United States won the Mexican-American War in 1846, the country acquired large land holdings in what is now Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. The American army wanted to map the region and establish forts in the new lands. Horses and mules could not easily withstand the high temperatures, lack of consistent water, and rough terrain. The army decided to try camels as beasts of burden. The camels marched from Indianola to base camp at Camp Verde, Texas. Eventually another 41 camels arrived. The camels were well-suited to the terrain and climate; the Camel Corps trekked all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, the Civil War disrupted the region, and the camel experiment ended.