Ptolemy in AD 72 made the first recorded reference to a lunar eclipse. A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth passes between the sun and the moon. At that time the earth’s shadow falls on the moon, causing the eclipse. Children can learn more about lunar eclipses at: Lunar Eclipse.
Swallows return to San Juan Capistrano, California. The American cliff swallows arrive after wintering in Argentina. They stay until October 23 when they fly 6,000 miles back to Goya, Argentina. Children could visit a website at: Swallows. They could read Leo Politi’s classic, Song of the Swallows.
William Bradford (born Yorkshire, England, 1589; died Plymouth, Massachusetts, May 9, 1657) was the second governor of Plymouth Colony, serving from 1621 to 1657. He organized the first Thanksgiving. Much of what we know of Pilgrim life comes from his book Of Plimmoth Plantation. Children can read the book at: Project Gutenberg.
William Jennings Bryan (born Salem, Illinois, 1860; died Dayton, Tennessee, July 26, 1925) was known as the “Silver-Tongued Orator.” He championed causes such as the women’s right to vote and the plight of farmers. Children could learn more at: William Jennings Bryan.
Wyatt Earp (born Monmouth, Illinois, 1848; died Los Angeles, California, January 13, 1929) was a frontiersman and a deputy sheriff. At one time he was a buffalo hunter. He and his two brothers were responsible for the fight at the O. K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, in 1881.
David Livingstone (born Blantyre, Scotland, 1813; died in Africa, May 1, 1873) was a physician, missionary, and the famous missing adventurer. A search party, headed by Henry Stanley, found him near Lake Tanganyika, Africa.
Thomas McKean (born New London, Pennsylvania, 1734; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 24, 1817) signed the Declaration of Independence. A lawyer, McKean attended the Continental Congress. However, he immediately joined the army and battled the British before he returned around 1777 to sign the Declaration of Independence. After the war, he was chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Governor of Delaware, President of the Constitutional Convention, and Governor of Pennsylvania.
Charles M. Russell (born St. Louis, Missouri, 1864; died Great Falls, Montana, October 26, 1926) was an artist. He was a shepherd and cowboy before he began to paint. His art reflects his interest in the West. Children can learn more at: Charles M. Russell.
First Day of Spring occurs today. It marks the vernal equinox in the Northern Hemisphere. The length of the day equals the length of the night. In the Southern Hemisphere, today marks the first day of fall. Children could also read The Spring Equinox: Celebrating the Greening of the Earth, by Ellen Jackson.
Tunisia celebrates Independence Day. France gave up control of Tunisia in 1956. Slightly smaller than the state of Wisconsin, Tunisia is located on the northern coast of Africa. Approximately 10.7 million people live in Tunisia. In the north, this country has a temperate climate with rainy winter. In the south, most of the country is in a desert. Tunis is the capital. One source of income for the country is petroleum.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin, written by Harriet Beecher Stowe, was published in 1852. Over 300,000 copies of the book were sold in the first year of publication. Some experts believe the book was a catalyst for the Civil War. Children can read Uncle Tom’s Cabin at: Project Gutenberg.
Ellen Conford (born New York, New York, 1942; died Great Neck, New York, March 20, 2015) wrote at least 35 books for children and young adults. Her books include the Annabelle series and the Jennie Archer series.
Mitsumasa Anno (born Tsuwano, Japan, 1926) is a picture book author and illustrator. He wrote among other works Anno’s Journey, published in 1977. He received the 1984 Hans Christian Andersen Award for his body of work.
Henrik Ibsen (born Skien, Norway, 1828; died Oslo, Norway, May 23, 1906) was a playwright. One of his most famous plays is Peer Gynt. Children can read some of his works at: Project Gutenberg.
Lois Lowry (born Honolulu, Hawaii, 1937) is a children’s author. She wrote among other works Number the Stars, which earned her the 1990 Newbery Medal, and The Giver, which received the 1994 Newbery Medal. She is also the author of the Anastasia series and the Gooney Bird series.
Bill Martin, Jr. (born Hiawatha, Kansas, 1916; died Commerce, Texas, August 11, 2004) wrote over 300 books for children. His books include Knots on a Counting Rope and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Children can go to: http://www.storylineonline.net/ to see and hear Bonnie Bartlett and William Daniels read Knots on a Counting Rope.
Fred Rogers (born Latrobe, Pennsylvania, 1928; died Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, February 27, 2003) was the producer and host of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” The television show, produced in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, debuted February 19, 1968, and it closed on August 29, 2008. Children can learn more at: Fred Rogers.
Louis Sachar (born East Meadow, New York, 1954) is a children’s author. His book Holes won the 1999 Newbery Medal. He also wrote the Wayside School series. Children could visit his website at: Louis Sachar.
Namibia celebrates Independence Day. It declared itself free from South Africa in 1990. The Kalahari Desert is one of the geographic features of this fairly large (about half the size of Alaska) country. Windhoek is the capital. About 2.2 million people live in Namibia, and many of them depend on mining for jobs. The country is the world’s fourth largest producer of uranium, and diamonds and zinc also contribute to the economy.
Pocahontas died in Gravesend, Kent, England, in 1617. She was probably born in 1595. She had accompanied her husband, John Rolfe, on a trip to England to meet his family and friends. Children could visit a website at: Pocahontas.
Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones in 1999 became the first people to circle the earth in a hot air balloon. Their 26,000-mile trip took 19 days, 21 hours, and 55 minutes. Their trip, around the world in 20 days, started in Switzerland and ended in Egypt. The gondola looks like a gigantic red pill, and solar panels provided power for GPS and communication. Children can see a photo of the gondola and read more at: Hot Air Balloon.