Phillis Wheatley gained her freedom in 1775. Born probably in Gambia or Senegal, she was sold into slavery when she was seven years old. Purchased by the Wheatley family, she was well-educated. She began writing poetry in 1767. She was emancipated in 1775 when her master died. Children can read some of her works at: Project Gutenberg.
Transistor radio was sold for the first time in 1954. Texas Instruments created the small and portable radio. These radios allowed people to hear music wherever and whenever. Billions of transistor radios were sold during the 1960’s and 1970’s.
James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology for theorizing the double-helix structure of DNA.
Ferdinand II of Aragon married Isabella I of Castile in 1469. Their alliance united Aragon and Castile, starting the formation of Spain.
Yorktown Day marks the surrender of General Lord Cornwallis and his troops to George Washington in 1781. This surrender virtually ended the Revolutionary War. No other major battles occurred after this date, and the official peace agreement, the Treaty of Paris, was signed September 3, 1783. Children can learn more at: Yorktown Day.
Treaty of 1818 was signed by the United States and the United Kingdom. Among other decisions, the treaty stated that the 49th Parallel would define most of the border between Canada and the United States. Older children can peruse the treaty at: Treaty of 1818.
Sydney Opera House opened in Sydney, Australia, in 1973. Despite its name, it hosts many types of artistic endeavors. About 1,500 concerts occur yearly, and over 1.2 million visitors enter its doors every year.
BepiColombo was launched in 2018. The European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency worked together to launch the space explorer. BepiColombo will travel for seven years to reach Mercury during December 2025. It will release two probes, Bepi and Mio, to research the land formation and magnetic field of the planet.
Ferdinand Magellan and his ships entered the Straits of Magellan in 1520. He had begun his voyage that would take his ship around the world on September 20, 1519. He left with five ships and around 265 men. He died before the voyage was over, but the ship Vittoria and about eighteen men did complete the journey on September 6, 1522. Children could read Who Was Ferdinand Magellan? by S. A. Kramer.
Battle of Trafalgar occurred in 1805. The British navy defeated a combined French and Spanish navy off the coast of Spain. France’s naval strength diminished, and Britain’s navy became the strongest in the world.