Nellie Tayloe Ross became the first woman governor. She became Wyoming’s top executive in 1925. Her husband was governor, but he died of complications from an appendectomy. She then ran for the governorship and won. The National Governors Association provides a great database regarding governors at: http://www.nga.org/cms/home.html. Children could find out how many of today’s governors are women.
Battle of New Orleans took place in 1815. Great Britain and the United States were still fighting in the War of 1812. The battle began around December 12, 1814. The British wanted to seize New Orleans and control the Mississippi River region. Of course, the Americans wanted to retain ownership of the city and the river. General Andrew Jackson’s American troops crushed the British. However, both sides later found out that a peace treaty had been signed two weeks prior to the battle. Andrew Jackson became a real hero! Older children can read copies of original documents at: Archives. Children can also view the America’s Library site and listen to a rendition of “Eighth of January” at: Battle of New Orleans. Here is an interesting note about history. This battle was so popular in the United States, and Andrew Jackson became so popular in the United States, that January 8th was actually a national holiday as important as July 4th until around 1845!
Herman Hollerith patented his tabulating machine in 1889. This machine, instrumental in calculating census data, was a precursor to today’s computers. Children can view his patent at: http://www.google.com/patents/US395782. Idea: Children could make a timeline of inventions important to the development of the computer.
Lee J. Ames (born New York, New York, 1921; died Huntington, New York, June 3, 2011) was an artist and an illustrator. He illustrated and/or wrote about 180 books. Famous for his Draw 50…books, he also illustrated books written by many authors, including Isaac Asimov, Alvin Silverstein, and Herbert Spencer Zim.
Floyd Cooper (born Tulsa, Oklahoma, 1956) is an author and an illustrator. He received the 2009 Coretta Scott King Medal for illustrating The Blacker the Berry. He has also earned Coretta Scott King Honor Awards for illustrating Meet Danitra Brown by Nikki Grimes, Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea by Joyce Carol Thomas, and I Have Heard of a Land also by Joyce Carol Thomas.
Judith Bloom Fradin (born Chicago, Illinois, 1945) writes nonfiction books for children. Her books include The Power of One: Daisy Bates and the Little Rock Nine and Jane Addams: Champion of Democracy. She co-wrote many books with her husband, Dennis Brindel Fradin. He passed away not long ago. I hope she continues to write books that children so desperately need.
Stephen Hawking (born Oxford, United Kingdom, 1942; died Cambridge, United Kingdom, March 14, 2018) was a theoretical physicist studying concepts on relativity and black holes. One of his most famous books is A Brief History of Time. He wrote with his daughter, Lucy Hawking, three books for children, George and the Big Bang, George’s Secret Key to the Universe, and George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt. Children can read more about him at a website devoted to him: http://www.hawking.org.uk/.
Stephen Manes (born Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1949) writes books for children. A former writer on computers and technology, Manes has written over 30 books for children. His books include How to Be a Perfect Person in Three Days and Where Snowflakes Dance and Swear. Older children can read more about him at: Stephen Manes.
Elvis Presley (born Tupelo, Mississippi, 1935; died Memphis, Tennessee, August 16, 1977) was a rock and roll star and actor. His works include Jailhouse Rock and Heartbreak Hotel. He also acted in 27 movies. Idea: Have an Elvis impersonation event.
Elisabetta Sirani (born Bologna, Italy, 1638; died Bologna, Italy, August 28, 1665) was one of a handful of women painters of the time. She painted almost two hundred works of art and established a painting school for women. Children can view two of her works at: Elisabetta Sirani.
Connecticut became the fifth state in the United States by ratifying the Constitution in 1788. The state’s name means, “beside the long tidal river.” Connecticut is forty-eighth in size. Hartford is the state capital. Children could visit an Internet site at: Connecticut. Idea: The state’s song is Yankee Doodle. Children could play the song on kazoos.
Jean Pierre Blanchard made the first balloon flight in the United States in 1793. President George Washington and other officials watched the 46 minute flight, staged in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He landed in New Jersey. Children can read an extensive article on the flight at: Blanchard. Children could also read The First Air Voyage in the United States: The Story of Jean-Pierre Blanchard by Alexandra Wallner.
Fisk School opened in 1866. The school’s population was comprised of African Americans because at the time most of them were being denied access to education. General Clinton B. Fisk provided the building in Nashville, Tennessee. The first students ranged in age from 7 to 70. Fisk School became Fisk University in 1867. Children can learn more at: Fisk School.