United Nations Day celebrates the founding of the organization in 1945. Membership has increased from 51 countries to 193 countries. António Guterres is the current Secretary General. Children could learn more at: United Nations.
Zambia celebrates Independence Day. It was declared free of British control in 1964. The country, larger than Texas, is located in southern, central Africa. One of Zambia’s major industries is copper mining and processing. Over fourteen million people live in Zambia, and Lusaka is the capital. Older children can learn more at: Zambia.
Transcontinental Telegraph was completed in 1861. It was constructed in units and then joined together. Ending the need for the Pony Express, the telegraph operated until 1869 when a multi-line telegraph was constructed parallel to the Transcontinental Railroad. Children could learn more at: America’s Library.
Annie Edson Taylor, celebrating her 63rd birthday, in 1901 became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel. The teacher from Michigan sustained only minor injuries.
Minimum wage was instituted in 1938 at 25 cents per hour, and the work week was defined as 40 hours of work per week. Children can see the interesting history of minimum wage at: minimum wage.
Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (born Newport, New Hampshire, 1788; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 30, 1879) was a writer and an editor. Her most famous poem is “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Children can read her very interesting The New Household Receipt-book at: Hale Cookbook.
Belva A. Bennett Lockwood (born Royalton, New York, 1830; died Washington, DC, May 19, 1917) was the first woman to argue before the Supreme Court. She championed women’s rights. In 1884 she became the first woman to be nominated for President of the United States. She served on many boards, including the Nobel Peace Prize nominating committee. Older children could learn more at: Lockwood.
Barbara Robinson (born Portsmouth, Ohio, 1927; died Berwyn, Pennsylvania, July 9, 2013) wrote books for children. Her works include The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and The Best School Year Ever. Children could learn more at: Barbara Robinson.
Anton Van Leeuwenhoek (born Delft, Netherlands, 1632; died Delft, Netherlands, August 26, 1723) invented the microscope. He invented the microscope to examine cloth quality. However, he went on to observe bacteria. He called the organisms animalcules. He also studied blood of various organisms. Idea: Children could place a drop of water on a slide and observe the drop under the microscopes. There they could look at some animalcules. Older children could learn more at: Van Leeuwenhoek.
George III became King of Great Britain in 1760. His actions probably contributed to the start of the Revolutionary War. At one point he almost abdicated. He experienced periods of dementia, and from 1811 until his death in 1820 the country was actually run by his son. Children could read Jean Fritz’s Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George?
Taiwan was returned to Chinese rule in 1945 after being controlled by the Japanese for fifty years. During its reign Japan had the Taiwanese adopt the Japanese language and customs. Many young Taiwanese males served in the Japanese army during World War II. The transition back to Chinese daily life was not smooth.
First female FBI field agents completed basic training. In 1972 Susan Lynn Roley and Joanne E. Pierce graduated from Quantico, Virginia. Today about 16 percent of FBI agents are women.
Carolyn Sherwin Bailey (born Hoosick Falls, New York, 1875; died Concord, Massachusetts, December 23, 1961) wrote books for children. She received the 1947 Newbery Medal for Miss Hickory. Children can read some of her works (but not Miss Hickory) at: Project Gutenberg.
Richard Evelyn Byrd (born Winchester, Virginia, 1888; died Boston, Massachusetts, March 11, 1957) was an explorer. He made five treks to the Antarctic, and he was the first person to fly over both the North Pole and the South Pole.
Pablo Picasso (born Malaga, Spain, 1881; died Mougins, France, April 8, 1973) was an artist. He was probably one of the most important influences on the arts. He developed cubism, and he was a very prolific artist. Children can view a number of his works at: Pablo Picasso.
Johann Strauss (born Vienna, Austria, 1825; died Vienna, Austria, June 3, 1899) was an Austrian composer. He was known as the “Waltz King” because he wrote almost 400 waltzes. He also composed marches, polkas and operettas.
Stephanie S. Tolan (born Canton, Ohio, 1942) has written at least 25 books for children. Surviving the Applewhites earned a 2003 Newbery Honor Award. She also wrote Save Halloween. Children can visit her website at: Stephanie Tolan.