Washington National Cathedral cornerstone was laid in 1907. Construction was completed on this day in 1990. The building was damaged by the August 23, 2011, earthquake; repairs are still being made. The cathedral boasts 288 angels, 112 gargoyles, and 215 stained glass windows. At least 220 people are interred there, including Helen Keller, Ann Sullivan, and President Woodrow Wilson and his wife Edith. Children can learn more at: National Cathedral.
Ulysses, a space probe sponsored by NASA and the European Space Agency, completed its second trip around the sun in 1995. Launched from Space Shuttle Discovery on October 6, 1990, Ulysses conducted three series of experiments regarding the sun. It also investigated three comets. Communications with Ulysses stopped on June 30, 2009. Children could learn more at: Ulysses.
Stan Berenstain (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1923; died Bucks County, Pennsylvania, November 26, 2005) was a children’s author. He and his wife created the Berenstain Bears series. Over 300 books were published in at least 23 languages. Children could learn more at: Stan Berenstain.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (born Alcala de Henares, Spain, 1547; died Madrid, Spain, April 23, 1616) was a writer. One of his most famous works is Don Quixote. Children can read many of his works at: Project Gutenberg.
Enrico Fermi (born Rome, Italy, 1901; died Chicago, Illinois, November 28, 1954) was a physicist. He immigrated to the United States in 1938. He developed the first nuclear chain reaction, and he was part of the team that developed the atomic bomb. He received the 1938 Nobel Prize in physics.
Matthew Gollub (born Culver City, California, 1960) has written at least 25 books for children. His works include The Moon Was at a Fiesta and Gobble, Quack, Moon. Children can learn more at: Matthew Gollub.
Dorothy Kunhardt (born New York, New York, 1901; died Beverly, Massachusetts, December 23, 1979) was the author of Pat the Bunny and about 50 other books. Approximately seven million copies of Pat the Bunny, first published in 1940, have been purchased.
Marissa Moss (born Jeannette, Pennsylvania, 1959) writes and illustrates books for children. Her works include the Amelia series and Rachel’s Journal: The Story of a Pioneer Girl. Children can visit her website at: Marissa Moss.
Botswana celebrates Botswana Day, the day in 1966 when the United Kingdom gave up control of the country. This landlocked country in southern Africa is fairly prosperous. It is a leading producer of diamonds. Gold has also been found in the country. Because large herds of game still roam the country, tourism also brings in a great deal of revenue. Botswana, home to two million people, is a bit smaller than Texas. Gaborone is the capital. Children can learn more at: Botswana.
Robert Gray became the first United States citizen to circumnavigate the world. He sailed from Boston on September 30, 1787 and traded with the Northwest Coast Indians. He traveled to China before returning to Boston on August 9, 1790.
Babe Ruth hit his sixtieth home run for the season in 1927. That record stood until Roger Maris hit his sixty-first home run of the season on October 1, 1961.
Hoover Dam (originally Boulder Dam) was dedicated in 1936. The dam, located at the border of Nevada and Arizona, captures water from the Colorado River. Constructed between 1931 and 1936, it was a marvel at the time and remains an amazing structure. The dam created Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the United States. The dam controls flood waters and provides hydroelectric power to Nevada, Arizona, and California. It is also quite a tourist attraction. Children can learn some SUPER facts at: Hoover Dam.
Frisbee was patented in 1958 by Walter “Fred” Morrison. He received patent number 183,626 for his “Flying Toy.” For a time he called the toy the Pluto Platter. Older children could experiment with the physics of a Frisbee at: Frisbee. They could create a Frisbee course in the backyard or on the playground.
James Meredith enrolled as the first African-American at the then all-white University of Mississippi in 1962. President Kennedy sent federal troops to quell the riots. Three people died, and 50 more were hurt. Older children could learn more at: James Meredith.
Guadalupe Mountains National Park was established in 1972. Located in the Guadalupe Mountains in west Texas, the park encompasses over 86,000 acres. Interesting fact – the park contains a marine fossil reef that is 265 million years old! Children could visit the park’s website at: http://www.nps.gov/gumo.