Philippines celebrate Independence Day. The country received its independence from Spain in 1898. An archipelago between the South China Sea and the Philippine Sea, the country’s combined area is about the size of Arizona. The islands are mostly mountainous, and the country experiences a tropical climate with monsoon seasons. Over 105 million people live in the country, and it exports clothing, electronic products, and fruits. Manila is the capital. Children can learn more at: Philippines.
Russia celebrates Russia Day. According to the CIA World Factbook, Russia is about 1.8 times the size of the United States. About 142 million Russians live there, mostly in southern locations. Lake Baikal, located in Russia, is the deepest lake in the world and retains about 20% of all our fresh water. Moscow is the capital.
Big Bend National Park was established in 1935. The Texas park, encompassing over 800,000 acres, is located in the northern portion of the Chihuahuan Desert. Temperatures can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. However, temperatures can be extremely low in winter. Children can visit a website at: http://www.nps.gov/bibe.
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was established in 1939 in Cooperstown, New York. The first players to be honored included Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth. Children can learn more at: http://baseballhall.org/.
Bryan Allen became the first person to pedal an aircraft across the English Channel. He pedaled the Gossamer Albatross from Folkestone, England, to Cape Gris-Nez, France, in 1979. The trip took almost three hours. His average altitude was only five feet! The Gossamer Albatross is now housed within the Smithsonian Museums.
George Herbert Walker Bush (born Milton, Massachusetts, 1924; died Houston, Texas, November 30, 2018) was the forty-first president (1989-1993) of the United States. During World War II he was a navy pilot. He was shot down during a flight over the Pacific Ocean. After the war, he went to Texas and found wealth in the oil fields. He was a Congressperson and a United Nations ambassador. During his presidency he approved Operation Desert Storm. Children could visit a website at: George H. W. Bush.
Anne Frank (born Frankfurt am Main, Germany, 1929; died in Belsen concentration camp, 1945) kept a diary during World War II. She and her family left Germany in 1933 because they were Jews. They sought sanctuary in Amsterdam. In July of 1942 they had to go into hiding. Anne began to record her thoughts and her activities in a diary. In August of 1944 they were found. She died the next year in a concentration camp. Her diary was found, and it was printed in 1947. In 1952 it was printed in the United States with the title The Diary of a Young Girl.
Kristiana Gregory (born Los Angeles, California, 1951) has written at least 30 historical novels for middle school children. She is best known for her Dear America series and the Royal Diary series. Children can visit her website at: Kristiana Gregory.
Helen Lester (born Evanston, Illinois, 1936) writes books for children. Her books include Tacky the Penguin and Batter Up Wombat. Children can visit her website at: Helen Lester.
Johanna Spyri (born Hirzel, Switzerland, 1827; died Zurich, Switzerland, July 7, 1901) wrote books for children and adults. She is most known for her novel Heidi. Children can read the book or listen to a recording at: Project Gutenberg. They can also learn more at: Johanna Spyri.
Marquis de Lafayette landed near Charleston, South Carolina, in 1777 to help train patriot forces. Nineteen years old, he became a major-general without pay. He worked closely with American soldiers, and he also helped America’s cause among the French. After the American Revolution he returned to France to help his own country establish a democracy. Children can learn more from the Liberty’s Kids series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCFnDuouqxM.
First roller coaster opened in 1884. The “Gravity Pleasure Switchback Railway” of Coney Island dropped 50 feet, and the mechanism traveled six miles per hour. It cost a nickel to ride.
Department of Labor was created by Congress in 1888. The department of Labor is in charge of labor wages and hours, worker safety, unemployment insurance, reemployment activities, and labor statistics. Children can visit the government’s website at: http://www.dol.gov/.
Hayabusa returned to earth in 2010 from its trip to collect samples of Near-Earth Asteroid 25143 Itokawa. The unmanned Hayabusa (Peregrine Falcon) launched from a Japanese space center on May 9, 2003, and it landed on the asteroid in November 2005. It collected samples of the asteroid and successfully brought those samples back. The samples reveal that the asteroid is more like a meteorite than an earth rock.