Tin can processing of food was patented by Ezra Daggett and Thomas Kensett in 1825. Tin cans preserve food for long periods of time. Children can learn more about different ways of preserving food at: Food Preservation.
Singapore celebrates its kite festival. Singapore is a country of one large island and fifty smaller islands. Located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, it sits between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. Colonized by the British, Singapore today is independent and an important commerce and transportation center. Idea: Children could make and fly their own kites.
New Horizons was launched in 2006 to fly by Pluto and its moons. The unmanned spacecraft flew closest to Pluto on July 14, 2015. The craft then studied Pluto’s five moons: Charon, Nix, Hydra, Styx, and Kerberos. After its work around Pluto was done, it was given a new mission, to study objects in the Kuiper Belt. It conducted a flyby of (486958) 2014 MU69 on January 1, 2019. After it has passed through the Kuiper Belt, it will study interstellar space. Children could learn a great deal more at: New Horizons.
Paul Cezanne (born Aix-en-Provence, France, 1839; died Aix-en-Provence, France, October 22, 1906) has been declared the “father of modern painting.” He did not become famous until after his death. He tended to convey the emotion of the object painted rather than its physical appearance. Children could visit a website at: http://www.paul-cezanne.org/.
Alice Eastwood (born Toronto, Canada, 1859; died San Francisco, California, October 30, 1953) was a botanist. She studied botany in Europe and in the United States. In 1890 she took a job at the herbarium of the California Academy of Sciences. From 1894 to 1943 (when she retired) she was head of the department of botany. She collected and traded specimens of numerous plants from the western United States. Children could learn more at: Alice Eastwood.
Lisa Campbell Ernst (born Bartlesville, Oklahoma, 1956) has written or illustrated at least 30 books for children. Her works include Sylvia Jean, Drama Queen and The Gingerbread Girl.
Pat Mora (born El Paso, Texas, 1942) writes books for children, young adults, and adults. She pays particular attention to the Latino community, the importance of literacy, and the value of multilingualism. She created El dia de los ninos/ el dia de los libros, a day to share books with children and improve literacy. The American Library Association cohosts this yearly event on April 30th. She has written about 39 books, many published in both English and Spanish. Her books include A Birthday Basket for Tia and The Night the Moon Fell. Children can visit her website: Pat Mora.
Edgar Allan Poe (born Boston, Massachusetts, 1809; died Baltimore, Maryland, October 7, 1849) was a poet and a writer. His most famous works include the poem The Raven and the tale The Gold Bug. Idea: Older children enjoy a choral reading of The Raven. Many of his works can be found at: Project Gutenberg. Children can learn more about Poe at: Edgar Allan Poe.
James Watt (born Greenock, Scotland, 1736; died Heathfield, England, August 19, 1819) was an inventor and a civil engineer. While he did not invent the steam engine, he did make it more practical. The electrical unit, the watt, is named in honor of him. Idea: Children could look at different types of light bulbs and find the wattage. They could then discover the relationships between watts and brightness.
First basketball game was played in 1892. James Naismith was working at the School for Christian Workers, now Springfield College, in Springfield, Massachusetts. He was told to develop a new game to keep athletes fit in the winter months. Using a soccer ball and two peach bushel baskets, he created the game of Basket Ball. Idea: Children could organize a basketball mini-tournament. Children can read more about the original rules of the game at: Basketball Rules. Children could also read John Coy’s Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball.
Tedd Arnold (born Elmira, New York, 1949) has written and/or illustrated over 100 books for children. His book Rat Life received the 2008 Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel. He is well-known for his Fly Guy series.
Buzz Aldrin (born Edwin Aldrin in Montclair, New Jersey, 1930) is an astronaut and the second person to walk on the moon. On July 20, 1969, he followed Neil Armstrong and walked on the moon’s surface. Older children can visit his website at: Buzz Aldrin.
Richard Henry Lee (born Virginia, 1732; died Virginia, June 19, 1794) signed Declaration of Independence. Born into a very wealthy family, he received some of his education in England. His family was steeped in politics, and Lee was elected to the House of Burgesses in 1758. He was one of the first leaders to advocate independence. On June 7, 1776, he spoke to the Continental Congress and proposed, “that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States.” That speech started the process of independence. During the Revolutionary War, he was president of Congress, making him the leader of the new country. After the Revolutionary War, he was one of Virginia’s senators. He resigned from the Senate in 1792 due to illness and an accident. Children can learn more at: Richard Henry Lee.
Pineapple was brought to Hawaii for cultivation in 1813. According to some sources, Don Francisco de Paula y Marin, Spanish adviser to King Kamehamaha I, brought the first pineapples to the islands. Pineapple plantations became common. However, the pineapple really became popular when canning processes allowed preserved pineapple to reach the mainland. By 1930 nine million cases of pineapple were exported. In 1955 pineapple production peaked at 76,700 acres. Today pineapple is not as important to the economy of Hawaii. Pineapples are grown in other countries, including the Philippines, Thailand, and Costa Rica. Idea: Children could prepare and eat fresh pineapple. They could also find out how pineapples are grown.
Concorde flew for the first time in 1976. A British company and a French company formed a joint cooperation to fund and build 20 Concorde planes. The planes mainly flew from London and Paris to New York and Washington, DC. Flights were expensive, but passengers arrived at their destinations in less than half the usual flight time. Due to less travel after September 11, 2001, and increased costs, the planes were retired on November 26, 2003.
John Fitch (born East Windsor, Connecticut, 1743; died Bardstown, Kentucky, July 2, 1798) was an inventor and clock maker. He actually invented the steamboat, and obtained American and French patents for it in 1791. Ships could then travel without concerns about sails and wind. Idea: Children could discover how steam could propel a ship and learn more about Fitch at: John Fitch.
Postal service between Boston and New York was started in 1673. The monthly service was the first of its kind in the colonies. Prior to that, some people boarding ships would act as couriers for packages and letters. Over land, people would ask ministers or merchants to transport important packages. Sometimes letters would move from tavern to tavern. There was no guarantee a letter would reach its recipient. The Postal Road followed Native American trails and ultimately became the major thoroughfares for the region. Mile posts were set up along the road. Children could participate in a wide variety of outstanding activities at: Postal Service.