Sweden celebrates National Day. Gustavus I became the king of Sweden in 1523. Today Sweden still has a constitutional monarchy; the reigning monarch is King Carl XVI Gustaf. According to the CIA World Factbook, Sweden is about the size of California. This long, thin Scandinavian country is bordered by the Baltic Sea, and the climate ranges from sub-arctic in the north to temperate in the south. Over nine million people live in Sweden, and most of the population live in the southern portion. Iron ore, timber, and hydropower contribute greatly to the economy. Stockholm is the capital. Children can learn more at: Sweden.
Cherokees started on the “Trail of Tears” in 1838. Over 16,000 Native Americans were forcibly removed from their long-held homelands in Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama. They had to move to what is today Oklahoma. Many died from starvation and exposure to the elements. Children could read The Trail of Tears by Dennis Brindel Fradin. They could also learn more at: Trail of Tears.
Susan B. Anthony was fined for voting in an 1872 election in Rochester, New York. She and a group of women tried to vote. They were arrested and sentenced to pay a fine. She would not pay the fine, but the judge freed her. He was afraid she might appeal the verdict to a higher court and thus begin a series of court battles regarding women’s rights to vote and women’s suffrage. Children could learn more at: Susan B. Anthony.
D-Day happened in 1944 when almost two million Allied soldiers and two thousand ships landed on the shores of Normandy. Operation Overlord was very successful. Children could learn more at: D-Day.
David Stein in 1988 in New York City created a bubble fifty feet long. A bubble has three layers: soap, water, and soap. Children could make their own bubble solution by combining 1/3 part dishwashing liquid with 2/3 part water. If possible, they should let the bubble solution rest for a while before they use it. They could conduct experiments to see who could make the biggest bubble (outside of course).
American Pharoah earned the Triple Crown by winning the Belmont Stakes in 2015. The horse placed first at the Kentucky Derby on May 2, 2015. He also won the Preakness Stakes on May 16, 2015. The last horse to win the Triple Crown was Affirmed in 1978.
Verna Aardema (born New Era, Michigan, 1911; died Fort Myers, Florida, August 15, 2000) wrote at least 32 books for children. She specialized in folk tales and stories from different cultures. Her works include Tales from the Third Ear and The Sky-God Stories. She wrote Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale. The illustrators of that story, Leo and Diane Dillon, received the 1976 Caldecott Medal. Children could learn more at: Verna Aardema.
Sarah Dessen (born Evanston, Illinois, 1970) has written at least fifteen novels and novellas for young adults. Her books include The Summer and The Moon and More. Young adults can visit her website at: Sarah Dessen.
Nathan Hale (born Coventry, Connecticut, 1755; hanged by the British in Manhattan, New York, September 22, 1776) was an American patriot. Nathan and his five brothers had joined the American army in 1775. He quickly rose to the office of captain. George Washington asked for a volunteer to go behind enemy lines to gather information about British General William Howe’s military plans. Nathan stepped forward. Disguised as a Dutch teacher, he gathered information. However, he was caught in New York City before he could return to the general’s headquarters. He is famous for saying, ” I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Children could learn more at: Nathan Hale.
Will James (born Joseph Ernest Nephtali Dufault in Quebec Province, Canada, 1892; died Hollywood, California, September 3, 1942) was a cowboy, artist, and writer. He wrote and illustrated approximately 23 books. He received the 1927 Newbery Medal for Smoky the Cowhorse.
Geraldine McCaughrean (born London, England, 1951) has written over 170 books for children and young adults. She received the 2008 Michael L. Printz Award for The White Darkness. Children can visit her website at: Geraldine McCaughrean.
Cynthia Rylant (born Hopewell, Virginia, 1954) has written more than 100 books for children. She is known for her excellent Henry and Mudge books. A Fine White Dust received a 1987 Newbery Honor Award, and Missing May was the 1993 Newbery Medal winner. Children can learn more at: Cynthia Rylant.
Peter Spier (born Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1927; died Port Jefferson, New York, April 27, 2017) was an author and illustrator of at least 46 children’s books. One of his best known works is Noah’s Ark, which won the 1977 Caldecott Medal.
Homer Plessy in 1892 was arrested for refusing to give up his seat in a whites only train car. His arrest became the foundation for Plessy v Ferguson, which went to the Supreme Court. The justices basically condoned separate but equal facilities. Children can watch an excellent video about Plessy v Ferguson at: https://www.nps.gov/people/homer-plessy.htm.
Carrie Nation in 1899 in Kiowa, Kansas. attacked the first of many saloons, destroying the saloon’s liquor supply. She was promoting the temperance movement. Eventually the six-foot woman smashed, sometimes using a hatchet, about 30 taverns. She became famous for her exploits and her beliefs. Children could learn more at: Carrie Nation.
The $64,000 Question television game show premiered in 1955. Contestants answered questions about an area where they felt they were experts. If a contestant answered a question correctly, he/she could double the money won and move on to a more difficult question. The last episode of the show aired on November 2, 1958. Idea: Children could design and play a variation of The $64,000 Question.