Greece celebrates Independence Day. It became free from Turkey’s rule in 1821. The country, composed of a mainland and many small islands, according to the CIA World Factbook, is a bit less than the size of Alabama. Almost 11 million people live in Greece. Athens is the capital. About 15 percent of the economy comes from tourism.
Maryland was colonized by Lord Baltimore’s group in 1634. Catholics and protestants arrived on two ships, the Ark and the Dove. Lord Baltimore wanted to establish a colony where Catholics would not be persecuted.
Pecan Day marks the day in 1775 when Thomas Jefferson gave George Washington several pecan trees from his own plantings. Some of Washington’s pecan trees are still alive. The only nut native to North America is the pecan.
Civil Rights March started in Selma, Alabama, reached the destination of Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965. Civil Rights marchers, led by Martin Luther King, Jr. began their journey on March 21. They camped overnight on three occasions, and the number of marchers swelled to 25,000. Two unsuccessful marches predated this march. President Johnson had to bring in soldiers and the National Guard to protect the marchers. Outcomes of the march included the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the voting registration of blacks in unprecedented numbers. The road that the marchers used is now a National Historic Trail. Children could view a map of the march and learn more at: March.
John de la Mothe Gutzon Borglum (born Bear Lake, Idaho, 1867; died Chicago, Illinois, March 6, 1941) was an artist. In 1916 he sculpted Stone Mountain in Georgia, a memorial to the Confederate Army. He began to sculpt Mount Rushmore in 1927, but he died before it was completed. Children could learn more at: Gutzon Borglun.
Kate DiCamillo (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1964) writes books for children. Her books include Because of Winn-Dixie (a 2001 Newbery Award winner) and The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread (2004 Newbery Medal book). She also writes the Mercy Watson series. Children can visit her website at: Kate DiCamillo.
Richard Dobbs Spaight (born New Bern, North Carolina, 1758; died in a duel near New Bern, North Carolina, September 5, 1802) represented North Carolina at the Constitutional Convention. Following the convention, he served as the state’s governor and then one of its U.S. representatives. He also served as a state senator.
Linda Sue Park (born Urbana, Illinois, 1960) writes books for children. Her books include A Single Shard (2002 Newbery Medal book) and A Long Walk to Water (2011 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award. Children can view her website, including the fun (quizzes) section, at: Linda Sue Park.
Interesting fact…both Kate DiCamillo and Linda Sue Park wrote stories for The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tales, based on Chris Van Allsburg’s book, The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.
Arturo Toscanini (born Parma, Italy, 1867; died New York, New York, January 16, 1957) was a conductor.
Bangladesh celebrates Independence Day. In 1971 Bangladesh declared its freedom from Pakistan. According to the CIA World Factbook, Bangladesh is about the size of the state of Iowa. About 161 million people live in the country, making it the eighth most populous country in the world. Dhaka is the capital. Farmers grow rice, jute, and tea in one of the rainiest climates in the world.
Lifeboat patented by Joseph Francis of New York New York, in 1845. He invented a lifeboat made from corrugated sheet iron in 1845. He received Patent Number 3,974. His invention saved 200 of 201 lives at danger when the ship Ayreshire ran aground in 1850. Children could see his patent at: Lifeboat.
Fire extinguisher patented by Thomas J. Martin in 1872. Patent Number 125,063 called for a system of pipes and valves for a building. He did not patent the portable, wall-mounted fire extinguishers of today. Children can see his patent at: Fire Extinguisher.
Spinach farmers in Crystal City, Texas, built a statue of Popeye in 1937. About half the spinach consumed in the United States is grown in Texas. China is the world’s leading producer of spinach. Children can learn about spinach and its nutritional values at: Spinach.
T. A. Barron (born Boston, Massachusetts, 1952) writes fantasy books for children and young adults. His books include The Adventures of Kate trilogy and The Lost Years of Merlin epic. Children can view his website at: T. A. Barron.
Nathaniel Bowditch (born Salem, Massachusetts, 1773; died Boston, Massachusetts, March 16, 1838) was an astronomer and author. He wrote The New American Practical Navigator in 1802, and many of his ideas still apply. Children could read Jean Lee Latham’s Carry On, Mr. Bowditch, published in 1955. The book won the 1956 Newbery Award.
Robert Frost (born San Francisco, California, 1875; died Boston, Massachusetts, January 29, 1963) was a poet. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1924, 1931, 1937, and 1943. Students might enjoy reading and hearing some of his poetry. One of his most famous poems is “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Children can read many of his works at: Project Gutenberg.
Betty MacDonald (born Boulder, Colorado, 1908; died Seattle, Washington, February 7, 1958) wrote books for children and adults. Her children’s books include the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series and Nancy and Plum. Children could learn more at: Betty MacDonald.
Sandra Day O’Conner (born El Paso, Texas, 1930) is a retired Supreme Court Associate Justice. She is the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court, serving from September 21, 1981 to January 31, 2006. She has also written several children’s books, including Chico and Finding Susie.
Jerry Pallotta (born Boston, Massachusetts, 1953) writes books for children. His books include the Who Would Win series and The Skull Alphabet Book. Children can visit his website, particularly the hidden secrets section, at: Jerry Pallotta.
Tennessee Williams (born Columbus, Mississippi, 1911; died New York, New York, February 25, 1983) was a playwright. One of his plays was The Glass Menagerie.