Nov 222020

Sieur de La Salle (born Rouen, France, 1643; died in Texas, March 19, 1687) was an explorer. He traveled down the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico. He claimed all the lands that emptied into the Mississippi  River for France.

Abraham Baldwin (born North Guilford, Connecticut, 1754; died Washington. DC, March 4, 1807) represented Georgia at the Constitutional Convention. He was a chaplain during the Revolutionary War. After the war, he became an attorney and moved to Georgia. He decided to be a politician, and during the Constitutional Convention he kept the discussion going regarding Congress. He served in the House of Representatives for ten years and the Senate for eight years when he died during his second term.

Guion S. Bluford, Jr. (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1942) is the first African American astronaut to travel in space. Children could visit a website at: Guion Bluford.

George Eliot (born Mary Ann Evans in Chilvers Coton, Warwickshire, England, 1819; died Chelsea, England, December 22, 1880) was a writer. One of her most famous works is Silas Marner. You can read many of her books at: Project Gutenberg.

Jerrie Mock (born Newark Ohio, 1925; died Quincy, Florida, September 30, 2014) was an aviator, most known as the first woman to fly solo around the world. She took off from Columbus, Ohio, on March 19, 1964. Over 29 days later, she returned to Columbus on April 17, 1964. She also accomplished a number of other aviation records. Children could learn more at: Jerrie Mock. They could also read The Jerrie Mock Story: The First Woman to Fly Solo around the World by Nancy Roe Pimm.

Wiley Post (born Grand Plain, Texas, 1898; died near Port Barrow, Alaska, August 15, 1935) was an early aviator and stunt parachutist. The self-taught pilot flew the Winnie Mae. He co-authored, along with his navigator Harold Gatty, Around the World in Eight Days. He and Will Rogers were traveling from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Point Barrow, Alaska, when their plane crashed.

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Nov 232020
Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce

Franklin Pierce (born Hillsboro, New Hampshire, 1804; died Concord, New Hampshire, October 8, 1869) was the fourteenth president (1853-1857) of the United States. He was a darkhorse candidate, facing General Winfield Scott. One of his accomplishments was the Gadsden Purchase. Children can visit a website at: Franklin Pierce.

Edward Rutledge (born Charleston, South Carolina, 1749; died Charleston, South Carolina, January 23, 1800) signed the Declaration of Independence. He had studied law in England before he returned to South Carolina. He was the youngest signer of the document (26 years old). Other members of his family also became ardent patriots. He was defending South Carolina when he was captured and placed in a prison in Florida for over a year. The British were so outraged at his family’s activities that they imprisoned his mother, Sarah Hext Rutledge, in Charleston. After the war, he served as governor of South Carolina from 1798 to 1800.

Marc Simont (born Paris, France, 1915; died Cornwall, Connecticut, July 13, 2013) was a political cartoonist, artist, and illustrator of children’s books. In 1950 he received a Caldecott Honor Award for The Happy Day by Ruth Kraus. He won a Caldecott Award in 1957 for A Tree is Nice, written by Janice May Udry, and he won another Caldecott Award in 2002 for his book, The Stray Dog. Children can learn more at: Marc Simont.

Gloria Whelan (born Detroit, Michigan, 1923) has written at least 50 books for children and adults. Her children’s books include A Clearing in the Forest and Bringing the Farmhouse Home. Children could explore her website: Gloria Whelan.

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Nov 242020

Frances Hodgson Burnett (born Cheetham Hill, Manchester, England, 1849; died Plandome, Long Island, New York, October 29, 1924) was a writer. Two of her most famous works are Little Lord Fauntleroy, published in 1886, and The Secret Garden, printed in 1910. The Secret Garden is truly a classic. Carolyn Strom Collins and Christina Wyss Eriksson wrote a wonderful book, Inside the Secret Garden: A Treasury of Crafts, Recipes, and Activities, to accompany the original book. Children can access many of Burnett’s writings at: Project Gutenberg. They can learn more at: Frances Hodgson Burnett.

Carlo Collodi (born Carlo Lorenzini in Florence, Italy, 1826; died Florence, Italy, October 26, 1890) wrote The Adventures of Pinocchio in 1883. Children can read his works at: Project Gutenberg.

Mordicai Gerstein (born Los Angeles, California, 1935; died Westhampton, Massachusetts, September 24, 2019 ) wrote and/or illustrated at least 50 books for children. He illustrated the Something Queer Is Going On series by Elizabeth Levy. He received the 2004 Caldecott Medal for The Man Who Walked Between the Towers.

Scott Joplin (born Texarkana, Texas, 1868; died New York, New York, April 1, 1917) was a musician and composer. He was known for his ragtime music.

Statue of Saint Junipero Serra

Statue of Saint Junipero Serra

Saint Junipero Serra (born Majorca, Spain, 1713; died Mission San Carlos Borromeo, California, August 28, 1784) was a Franciscan priest who established the first mission, San Diego de Alcala, in California in 1769. He also created eight other missions in California. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on September 25, 1988, and canonized by Pope Francis on September 23, 2015.

Zachary Taylor

Zachary Taylor (born Montebello, Virginia, 1784; died Washington, DC, July 9, 1850) was the twelfth president (1849-1850) of the United States. The son of a Revolutionary War hero, he was proud of being a professional soldier. He served in the military for forty years. He was elected to the presidency, although he had no political experience. Nicknamed “Old Rough and Ready,” he died in office after serving sixteen months. He was the last of the presidents to own slaves. Children can visit a website at: Zachary Taylor.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (born Albi, France, 1864; died Malrome, France, September 9, 1901) was an impressionist painter. He often painted scenes about Paris’s circuses, cabarets and nightclubs. Toulouse-Lautrec also made lithographs. Children could view some of his work at: Toulouse-Lautrec.

Yoshiko Uchida (born Alameda, California, 1921; died Berkeley, California, June 21, 1992) wrote 34 books. Placed in internment camps during World War II, Uchida often explored the topics of ethnicity and racism. Her works include A Jar of Dreams and Journey to Topaz: A Story of the Japanese American Evacuation.

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Nov 252020

Marc Brown (born Erie, Pennsylvania, 1946) is a children’s author and illustrator. He is known for his Arthur books. Children could visit his amazing website to check out some of his activities: Marc Brown.

Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie (born Dunfermline, Scotland, 1835; died Shadowbrook, Massachusetts, August 11, 1919) was an industrialist and a philanthropist. He came to America when he was twelve years old. He made a fortune in the steel industry. He donated about 350 million dollars to charity, including money to 2,500 libraries. He also built Carnegie Hall in New York City. Children could brainstorm what causes they would support if they had lots of extra money.

Shirley Climo (born Cleveland, Ohio, 1928; died Los Altos, California, August 25, 2012) was a children’s author. She published approximately 24 books, and one of her most famous books is The Egyptian Cinderella.

P. D. Eastman (born Amherst, Massachusetts, 1909; died Cresskill, New Jersey, January 7, 1986) was a children’s author and illustrator. Under Theodore Geisel’s guidance, Eastman wrote or illustrated at least fifteen books. Children could visit a website at: P. D. Eastman.

Stephen Krensky (born Lexington, Massachusetts, 1953) is a children’s author. He has written over 100 books, including My Teacher’s Secret Life and Perfect Pigs. Children should check out his humorous website at: Stephen Krensky.

Carrie Nation and Her Hatchet

Carrie Nation

Carrie Amelia Moore Nation (born Garrard County, Kentucky, 1846; died Leavenworth, Kansas, June 9, 1911) was a temperance leader. She felt that saloons were violating the law. Therefore, she and a few followers conceived of hatchetation. She would enter and destroy saloons with her hatchet.

Margie Palatini (born Edison, New Jersey) is a writer and illustrator for children. Her works include Hogg, Hogg, and Hog and Geek Chic. Kids could visit her outstanding website to find all kinds of activities and even readers’ theater scripts: Margie Palatini.

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Nov 262020

Doris Gates (born Mountain View, California, 1901; died Carmel, California, September 3, 1987) wrote books for children. She received a Newbery Honor Award for Blue Willow in 1941. Her works also include The Cat and Mrs. Cary and The Elderberry Bush. Children can learn more at: Doris Gates.

Bat Masterson (born Henryville, Quebec, Canada, 1853; died New York, New York, October 25, 1921) was a gambler and a lawman of the Old West.

Laurence Pringle (born Rochester, New York, Rochester, New York, 1935) has written at least 100 books, mostly about nature, for children. His works include Owls! Strange and Wonderful and Scorpions! Children can visit his website at: Laurence Pringle.

Charles Schulz (born Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1922; died Santa Rosa, California, February 12, 2000) was a cartoonist and the creator of Peanuts. Students could read and discuss some of the Peanuts cartoons. They could try to draw their own cartoons. Children can learn more at:


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Nov 272020

Anders Celsius (born Uppsala, Sweden, 1701; died Uppsala, Sweden, April 25, 1744) was an astronomer. However, he is most famous for his Celsius temperature scale. In the Celsius (centigrade) Scale, water freezes at 0 degress, and water boils at 100 degrees. Children could compare and contrast the Fahrenheit Scale with the Celsius Scale. They could also research where these scales are used. Children could learn more at: Celsius.

Kevin Henkes (born Racine, Wisconsin, 1960) is a children’s author and illustrator. One of his books is Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse. His Circle Dogs received the 1999 Charlotte Zolotow Award: Highly Commended. Henkes received a 2004 Caldecott Honor Award for Owen. Kitten’s First Full Moon was awarded the 2005 Caldecott Medal, and Olive’s Ocean received the 2004 Newbery Honor Award. He earned a 2014 Newbery Honor Award for The Year of Billy Miller. He received a 2016 Caldecott Honor Award for Waiting. His amazing website is absolutely loaded with activities: Kevin Henkes.

Robert R. Livingston

Robert R. Livingston (born New York, New York, 1746; died Clermont, New York, February 26, 1813) was a patriot, a member of the Continental Congress, and a diplomat. Representing New York, he was one of the Committee of Five, the representatives who drafted the Declaration of Independence. A fervent believer in independence, he was recalled to New York and did not sign the Declaration. He delivered the presidential oath to George Washington at the inauguration in 1789. He was Minister to France from 1801 to 1804 and therefore he negotiated the Louisiana Purchase.

The Egg TreeKatherine Milhous (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1894; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 5, 1977) was a writer and an illustrator. She wrote and/or illustrated over 15 books. One of her books, The Egg Tree, received the 1951 Caldecott Medal.

Bill Nye (born Washington, DC, 1955) is an educator, writer, scientist, and TV personality. He hosted “Bill Nye the Science Guy” on television from 1993 to 1998. He continues to be active in the combined fields of science and education. Children could spend days at his amazing website: Bill Nye.

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Nov 282020

Stephanie Calmenson (born Brooklyn, New York, 1952) writes books for children. Her works include The Principal’s New Clothes and Dinner at the Panda Palace. Children can learn more at: Stephanie Calmenson.

Ed Young (born Tientsin, China, 1931) is a children’s author and illustrator. He has written/illustrated 17 books and illustrated more than 60 Lon Po Poother books. He wrote among other works Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding-Hood Story from China (Caldecott Medal), published in 1989. Two other books, the Emperor and the Kite (1967) and Seven Blind Mice (1992), were Caldecott Honor Books. In 1992 and 2000 he was the United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal. His website has a very interesting home page: Ed Young.

Tomi Ungerer (born Strasbourg, France, 1931; died Cork, Ireland, February 9, 2019) published over 140 children’s books. His books have been translated into many different languages. He illustrated Jeff Brown’s Flat Stanley in 1964. Children can visit Ungerer’s website at: Tomi Ungerer.

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Nov 292020
File:Louisa May Alcott headshot.jpg

Louisa May Alcott

Louisa May Alcott (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1832; died Boston, Massachusetts, March 6, 1888) was a novelist. One of her most famous works is Little Women. Children can read her works at Project Gutenberg. Children can learn more at: Louisa May Alcott.

Christian Johann Doppler (born Salzburg, Austria, 1803; died Venice, Italy, March 17, 1853) was an Austrian physicist. He proposed the Doppler Effect. Children could read more about the Doppler Effect regarding sound and actually set up experiments to verify Doppler’s findings by viewing: Doppler Effect.

Jon Klassen (born Winnipeg, Canada, 1981) writes and illustrates books for children. He received the 2013 Caldecott Medal for This Is Not My Hat and a 2013 Caldecott Honor Award for Extra Yarn. He earned a 2015 Caldecott Honor Award for Sam and Dave Dig a Hole.

Madeleine L’Engle (born New York, New York, 1918; died Litchfield, Connecticut, September 6, 2007) was a children’s author. She wrote over 60 books, including A Wrinkle in Time, which received the 1963 Newbery Medal. A Ring of Endless Light was a 1981 Newbery Honor Award winner. Children could visit a website devoted to her at: Madeleine L’Engle.

C. S. Lewis (born Clive Staples Lewis in Belfast, Ireland, 1898; died Oxford, England, November 22, 1963) was a writer and a professor of medieval literature. He wrote for both adults and children. His most famous work in children’s literature is a series of seven books, The Chronicles of Narnia. Children can learn more at: C. S. Lewis.

Nellie Tayloe Ross (born Saint Joseph, Missouri, 1876; died Washington, DC, December 19, 1977) was the first woman governor of a state in the United States. After her husband, the governor of Wyoming, died, she completed his term. Then she campaigned and won her term. She was not reelected, but she became director of the United States Mint in 1933. She remained at that post for twenty years.

Charles Thomson (born Machera, County Derry, Ireland, 1729; died Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, August 16, 1824) was secretary for the First File:CharlesThomson.jpegContinental Congress. He was secretary as the colonial representatives drafted and voted on the Declaration of Independence. Many historians believe that only John Hancock and he signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.  He recorded government proceedings for the next fifteen years and collected thousands of documents. He gave all the records to the government in 1789.

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Nov 302020

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill (born Oxfordshire, England, 1874; died London, England, January 24, 1965) was the Prime Minister of England during World War II. Children could read more about Churchill. How did he keep England functioning during the war?

Dick Clark (born Mt. Vernon, New York, 1924; died Santa Monica, California, April 12, 2012) was a television personality. He hosted American Bandstand.

William Livingston (born Albany, New York, 1723: died Elizabeth, New Jersey, July 25, 1790) represented New Jersey at the Constitutional Convention. A wealthy lawyer, he served in the Continental Congress and headed New Jersey’s militiamen during the Revolutionary War. He was also elected New Jersey’s governor in 1776. The British placed a bounty on him, and for about six years he was constantly on the move. Following the war, he tried to eliminate slavery.

Lucy Maud Montgomery (born New London, Prince Edward Island, Canada, 1874; died Toronto, Canada, April 24, 1952) was an author. She wrote Anne of Green Gables. Children can read her works at: Project Gutenberg. Children can learn more at: Lucy Maud Montgomery.

Roland Smith (born Portland, Oregon, 1951) writes books for children. His works include In the Forest with the Elephants and Eruptions. Children can learn more at: Roland Smith.

Jonathan Swift (born Dublin, Ireland, 1667; died Dublin, Ireland, October 19, 1745) was an author and a satirist. One of his most famous works is Gulliver’s Travels, published in 1726. Children can read his works at: Project Gutenberg.

Mark Twain

Mark Twain

Mark Twain (born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri, 1835; died Redding, Connecticut, April 21, 1910) was a writer. His works include The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Prince and the Pauper. His birth and death coincide with an astronomical event. Students could see if they can find the event. Children can also read his works at: Project Gutenberg. Children can learn more at: Mark Twain.

Margot Zemach (born Los Angeles, California, 1931; died Berkeley, California, May 21, 1989) was an illustrator. She won the 1974 Caldecott Medal for Duffy and the Devil and a 1978 Caldecott Honor Award for It Could Always Be Worse.

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Dec 012020

Hedgie's SurpriseJan Brett (born Norwell, Massachusetts, 1949) is an author and illustrator. She wrote Hedgie’s Surprise, one of her 37 books. Children can visit her amazing website, filled with activities and coloring sheets, at: Jan Brett.

Mary Martin (born Weatherford, Texas, 1913; died Rancho Mirage, California, November 3, 1990) was a stage and television star. She was known for her roles in Peter Pan and South Pacific. Peter Pan includes the Lost Boys. Children could draw house plans for the Lost Boys’ residence.

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