Montenegro celebrates National Day. In 1878 it was recognized as an independent country. Since then it has been a part of several countries. However, it became independent again in 2006. Slightly smaller than Connecticut, Montenegro borders the Adriatic Sea. Over 650,000 people live in Montenegro, and Podgorica is the capital.
Northwest Ordinance was created in 1787. It provided for the government of the territory north of the Ohio River. However, it was the foundation for all other American territorial governments. It established how the territory could eventually become a state, and it guaranteed basic freedoms for its inhabitants. States carved from the Northwest Territory include Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and Minnesota. Idea: Older children could read a transcript of the document at: Northwest Ordinance. Children could find out how a territory became a state.
Source of Mississippi River Was Found by Henry Schoolcraft in 1832. He named the Minnesota body of water Lake Itasca. The Mississippi River flows south 2,350 miles from Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico. It is the world’s fourth longest river system (after the Nile River, the Amazon River, and the Yangtze River). Children could find some VERY INTERESTING FACTS at: http://www.nps.gov/miss/riverfacts.htm.
World Cup Soccer opened in 1930. The first such event, the championship concluded on July 30. Thirteen teams competed in Montevideo, Uruguay. Uruguay won the final game. The World Cup has been held every four years since then, except during World War II.
Walter Poenisch completed his swim from Cuba to Florida, a distance of 128.8 miles, in 1978. He had started several days earlier. The first man to successfully swim that distance, he was observing his 65th birthday!
France celebrates Fête de la Fédération, also known as Bastille Day. In 1789 the Bastille fell to the rioting people, marking the beginning of the French Revolution. France is a bit smaller than Texas, and the Mediterranean Sea, the Bay of Biscay, and the English Channel all border the country. Almost 66 million people live in France. Paris is the capital. Idea: Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities gives great insight into the French Revolution.
Matterhorn was conquered for the first time by Edward Whymper and a group of climbers in 1865. Seven climbers reached the top, but four were killed on descent. The Matterhorn is one of the highest peaks located in the Pennine Alps between Switzerland and Italy. Currently around 3,000 people climb the Matterhorn per year.
Harry Atwood in 1911 landed his plane on the south lawn of the White House. President Taft presented him with a medal for his accomplishment. Later in the day Atwood turned his plane around and took off from the White House grounds.
George Washington Carver Monument was dedicated in 1943. The first national monument for an African-American and the first monument for a non-president, the site is Washington’s childhood home in Diamond, Missouri. Children could visit: http://www.nps.gov/gwca/index.htm.
New Horizons spacecraft was closest to Pluto in 2015. Launched on January 18, 2006, the spacecraft traveled three billion miles to achieve one of its goals, taking images of Pluto and Pluto’s five moons. When New Horizons was launched, George W. Bush was President, Pluto was still a planet, and Apple had not yet released its first iPhone. New Horizons, traveling at a rate of over 30,000 miles per hour, continues on its journey and will hopefully help us learn more about the Kuiper Belt. Children can learn more at: New Horizons.