Suriname celebrates Independence Day. It became autonomous in 1975 from the Netherlands. It had been under Dutch control for the most part since 1667. Located on the northeastern coast of South America, the country exports bauxite and wood. According to the CIA World Factbook, Suriname is slightly larger than the state of Georgia. Half a million people live in the country, and half of the population lives in the capital, Paramaribo. Most of the rest of the population lives along the coast. The interior is covered by tropical rainforest.
Evaporated milk was patented in 1884 by John B. Meyenberg of Saint Louis, Missouri. In 1884 refrigerators had not been invented. Meyenberg’s process removed about 60 percent of the water in milk. The remainder was homogenized, canned, and sterilized. The evaporated milk, which occupied far less space than fresh milk, could remain in cans for over a year. People could open the can, pour the evaporated milk into a big container, and add water to reconstitute it. Today most people use evaporated milk in desserts. Children can view the patent application at: Evaporated Milk Patent.
Thanksgiving Day was celebrated nationally for the first time in 1789. President Washington issued a proclamation declaring that the day should be one of prayer and thanksgiving. Children could research what the first Thanksgiving meal was. How does it compare to what they eat on the holiday today? In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that Thanksgiving would be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. In 1941 Congress passed a resolution changing Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday in November. Children can read about “The Year We Had Two Thanksgivings” at: Two Thanksgivings.
Sojourner Truth died in 1883 in Battle Creek, Michigan. She was born a slave in Alster County, New York, possibly in the year 1797. She became a free woman after the New York Emancipation Act of 1827. She became an itinerant preacher, speaking for the cause of abolition. She became famous for her speaking, and she met Abraham Lincoln in the White House in 1864. After the Civil War, she campaigned for women’s rights. Idea: Children could read portions of the book Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman? by Patricia McKissack. They could read a transcript of her “Ain’t I a Woman?” speech at: Sojourner Truth.
Alice in Wonderland was published in 1865. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson wrote the book under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. The book spawned plays, ballets, movies, cartoons, and comic books. Children can read various versions of the book at: Project Gutenberg.
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument was created from Custer Battlefield National Monument in 1991. A monument to the Native Americans who fought at Custer’s Last Stand was also approved. Children can visit the National Park Service website, which provides some great photos, at: http://www.nps.gov/libi.
Williamsburg, Virginia, began restoration processes in 1926. Colonial Williamsburg, along with Jamestown and Yorktown, form the Historic Triangle. About four million people visit the region each year. Colonial Williamsburg has a great website for children at: Williamsburg.
Albania celebrates Liberation Day. The Ottoman Empire gave up control of Albania in 1912. Located in southeastern Europe, the country is a bit smaller than the state of Maryland (according to the CIA World Factbook). Almost three million people live in this mountainous and hilly country. Tirana is the capital. Albania’s major industries are food processing and textiles.
Mauritania celebrates Independence Day. It gained its freedom from France in 1960. The country, located in northwestern Africa, is larger than the state of Texas. Over three million people live in Mauritania, and the capital is Nouakchott. Located in the Sahara Desert, the country derives most of its income from livestock, iron ore and gypsum.
First automobile race in the United States took place in 1895. This is an interesting story. Cars had been invented only two year earlier. The Chicago Times-Herald wanted to promote cars and boost newspaper circulation, so the newspaper sponsored the race. Approximately 83 cars were entered, but only six cars participated in the 54-mile race from Chicago to Evanston and back. The cars and drivers had to battle cold weather, snow, and local laws to finish. The winner, Charles Duryea in his motorized wagon, averaged seven miles per hour. He won $5000 (over $100,000 in today’s money). Children could learn more at: First Automobile Race.