Dec 222020

William Ellery (born Newport, Rhode Island, 1727; died Newport, Rhode Island, February 15, 1820) signed the Declaration of Independence, representing Rhode Island. He wanted to be a lawyer, but he had 16 children to support. Therefore, for many years he was a merchant. Finally he became wealthy enough to study law and then become a lawyer. During the Revolutionary War, the British destroyed Ellery’s home and most of Newport. After the war, he served in Congress and tried to abolish slavery.

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Lady Bird Johnson

Claudia Alta Taylor (Lady Bird) Johnson (born Karnack, Texas, 1912; died Austin, Texas, July 11, 2007) was the wife of Lyndon Baines Johnson, thirty-sixth president of the United States. She helped establish the Head Start program for preschool children, and she advocated for the environment. Children can visit a website at: Lady Bird Johnson. Mrs. Johnson wanted to eliminate many of the billboards along the highways. She felt the billboards detracted from nature’s beauty. Children could decide whether the billboards are unsightly or whether they help consumers make decisions.

James Edward Oglethorpe (born London, England, 1696; died Cranham Hall, Essex, England, June 30, 1785) was one of the leading organizers of the Georgia colony. In England at that time debtors were imprisoned. His goal was to bring the debtors to Georgia and give them a fresh start. Colonists were able to obtain farms of 50 acres. He encouraged the farmers to seek indentured servants from England, thus giving more poor people a chance of a decent life. Because Georgia was situated between British South Carolina and Spanish Florida, the colony became quite important.

Jerry Pinkney (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1939; died Sleepy Hollow, New York, October 20, 2021) wrote and/or illustrated at least 200 books for children. He won an amazing amount of awards, including five Caldecott Honor Awards, five Coretta Scott King Awards, a Sydney Taylor Honor Award, and hosts of other medals and distinctions. He received the Caldecott Medal in 2010 for The Lion and the Mouse. Children could visit his website at: Jerry Pinkney and then have a Jerry Pinkney morning to read several of his works.

Giacomo Puccini (born Lucca, Italy, 1858; died Brussels, Belgium, November 29, 1924) was an opera composer. Two of his most famous operas are Tosca, written in 1900, and Madame Butterfly, completed in 1904.

The Perilous RoadWilliam O. Steele (born Franklin, Tennessee, 1917; died 1979) wrote 39 children’s books. His The Perilous Road received both the Jane Addams Award and a Newbery Honor Award in 1959.

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Dec 232020
Map of Nation's Capital (Residence Act)

Map of Nation’s Capital (Residence Act)

Maryland in 1788 donated ten square miles of land to the United States. This land became part of the District of Columbia. Our Founding Fathers wanted to establish a new capital, rather than use an existing city such as New York or Philadelphia. The Residence Act gave George Washington the authority to decide where to locate the new nation’s capital. The Maryland land was in about the middle of the country at that time. Children can view the documents that made the District of Columbia possible at: District of Columbia.

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Dec 232020

Jacquard loom was patented in 1801 by Joseph Marie Jacquard. This loom could easily weave very complex patterns. Jacquard used a series of punched cards to tell the loom what to do. This idea was adapted to instructions for early computers. Children could view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwozgRPLVC8 to see how the Jacquard loom worked and to view some early computer punch cards.

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Dec 232020
File:Bardeen Shockley Brattain 1948.JPG

Bardeen, Shockley, and Brattain

Transistor was invented in 1947 by John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattain at Bell Laboratories. They received the 1956 physics Nobel Prize for their creation. Children could go to: Transistor to read LOTS of information and view photos of transistors. Transistors made everything from radios to computers to factory equipment smaller, smarter, and more powerful.

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Dec 232020

Voyager Completing its Flight

Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager in 1986 made the first flight around the world without refueling. For 216 hours the Voyager flew, traveling over 26,000 miles. The plane lifted off from Edwards Air Force Base on December 14th. Because it was carrying so much fuel, it barely lifted off before it reached the end of the runway. Cramped quarters and frequent weather problems, including a typhoon, made piloting difficult. The plane and pilots returned to Edwards Air Force Base to thousands of spectators and reporters. The plane is now in the Air and Space Museum.

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Dec 232020

Avi (born Edward Irving Wortis in New York, New York, 1937) has written over 70 books for children and teenagers. An extremely versatile writer, he can engage younger children as well as young adults, and his works include historical fiction, fantasy, and mysteries. He received a 1991 Newbery Honor Award for The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and a 1992 Newbery Honor Award for Nothing but the Truth. His Crispin: The Cross of Lead received the 2003 Newbery Medal. Children can visit his excellent website at: Avi.

Rosetta Stone

Jean-Francois Champollion (born Figeac, France, 1790; died Paris, France, March 4, 1832) solved the mystery of Egyptian hieroglyphics. He and Thomas Young were both trying to be the first person to use the Rosetta Stone to decode hieroglyphics. Champollion won. Children can read Seeker of Knowledge: The Man Who Deciphered Egyptian Hieroglyphics, by James Rumford. They can also visit: Rosetta Stone to learn more about Champollion and the Rosetta Stone.

Keiko Kasza (born on a small island in the Sea of Japan, 1951) is a writer and illustrator. One of her books is A Mother for Choco. Children can visit her website at: Keiko Kasza.

Sarah Breedlove Walker (born Delta, Louisiana, 1867; died Irvington, New York, May 25, 1919) was one of the first female African American millionaires. Also known as Madame C. J. Walker, she was a philanthropist and an activist. Children could read Vision of Beauty: The Story of Sarah Breedlove Walker, written by Kathryn Lasky and illustrated by Nneka Bennett.

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Dec 242020

Creation by Sandie

“Silent Night” was performed for the first time in a small Austrian town in 1818. Franz Xavier Gruber developed the melody, and Joseph Mohr wrote the lyrics. The original lyrics are in German, but it has been translated and performed in many other languages. The following site gives more information, as well as the lyrics in both German and English: Silent Night.

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Dec 242020

War of 1812 ended in 1814 when a peace treaty, the Treaty of Ghent, was signed in Ghent, Belgium. Representatives from the United States and Great Britain started negotiations in August and completed the details December 24th. The Senate ratified the treaty on February 16, 1815. Children can view the detailed transcript of the treaty and other documents at: Treaty of Ghent.

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Dec 242020

Christopher “Kit” Carson (born Madison County, Kentucky, 1809; died Fort Lyon, Colorado, May 23, 1868) was a frontiersman and Indian agent. Children can learn more about him at: Kit Carson. They can also visit the Kit Carson Museum at: Kit Carson Museum.

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Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy Meet for the First Time

Johnny Gruelle (born Arcola, Illinois,1880; died Miami Beach, Florida, January 8, 1938) was a children’s author and illustrator. He created the Raggedy Ann doll and the Raggedy Ann stories. He patented the doll in 1915, and children can see the patent at: Patent. Children can learn more at: Johnny Gruelle.

James Prescott Joule (born Salford, Lancashire, England, 1818; died Cheshire, England, October 11, 1889) was a scientist. He formulated Joule’s Law in 1840. An electrical conductor produces heat. The unit of energy is called a joule. Children can set up an experiment with a toaster to show how an electrical conductor carries heat. The children could enjoy the toast after the experiment.

William Paterson (born Northern Ireland, 1745; died Albany, New York, September 9, 1806) represented New Jersey at the Constitutional Convention. A lawyer, he was part of New Jersey’s law making system during the Revolutionary War. After the war, he served in the Senate. Then he became governor of New Jersey. Then George Washington asked him to serve on the Supreme Court, a role he held for thirteen years until his death.

Benjamin Rush (born Byberry, Pennsylvania, 1745; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 19, 1813) was an early American hero. He signed the Declaration of Independence. A physician, he was also called the “Father of Psychiatry.” He was the first doctor to label alcoholism as a disease.

John Langstaff (born Brooklyn, New York, 1920; died Switzerland, December 13, 2005) was a musician, music educator, and writer of children’s books. He wrote 25 children’s books, including Frog Went A-Courtin’. The book’s illustrator, Feodor Rojankovsky, received the 1956 Caldecott Medal.

Stephenie Meyer (born Hartford, Connecticut, 1973) writes books for young adults and produces movies. She wrote the Twilight series, The Host, and The Chemist. Older children can visit her website at: Stephenie Meyer.

Feodor Rojankovsky (born Mitava, Russia, 1891; died Bronxville, New York, October 12, 1970) wrote and illustrated books for children. His illustrations in John Langstaff’s Frog Went A-Courtin’ earned him the 1956 Caldecott Medal. Children can learn more at: Feodor Rojankovsky.

Noel Streatfeild (born Sussex, United Kingdom, 1895; died London, United Kingdom, September 11, 1986) wrote books for children. She is most famous for her “Shoes” books, including Ballet Shoes and Party Shoes. Children can learn more at: Noel Streatfeild.

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Dec 252020

Creation by Sandie

Christmas is today! Perhaps children would like to say “Merry Christmas” in other languages?

Joyeux Noël – French

God Jul – Norwegian

Froehlich Weihnachten  – German

Feliz Navidad – Spanish

Buon Natale – Italian

Nadolig LLawen – Welsh

Gajan Kristnaskon – Esperanto

Feliz Natal – Portuguese

Весела Коледа – Bulgarian

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