Iceland and the United States celebrate Leif Erikson Day. The Viking may have discovered North America in the year 1000. Idea: Children could research the evidence and decide which European found the Americas first. October 9 has no association to Erikson; the date was picked because the first ship filled with Norwegian immigrants landed on October 9, 1825. The day was first recognized by Lyndon Baines Johnson in 1964. Every president since then has honored the day. Some people believe we should honor Leif Erikson Day rather than Columbus Day. Children could learn more about the debate at: Leif Erikson Day.
Taiwan celebrates Republic Day, the 1911 anniversary of the Chinese Revolution. Located between the Taiwan Strait and the Philippine Sea, the main island and several smaller islands have an area of about 1.15 times the size of Maryland. Over 23 million people live in Taiwan, and Taipei is the capital.
Fiji celebrates Independence Day. The United Kingdom gave up custody of the three hundred islands in 1970. The islands, located in the South Pacific, depend on agriculture and tourism for income. The total area of Fiji is about the area of the state of New Jersey. Around 900,000 people live there. Suva is the capital.
United States Naval Academy opened in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1845. Fifty students were taught by seven professors. Today the academy has an enrollment around 4500, and the academic staff exceeds 500.
Synthetic detergent (Dreft, produced by Proctor and Gamble) was sold in 1933. Idea: Children can learn the differences between soap and detergent.
London Bridge was moved to Lake Havasu City, Arizona, in 1971. Spanning the River Thames, London Bridge was built in 1831. However, by around 1970 the bridge was not structurally sound for modern traffic. The government planned to dismantle it. Robert P. McCulloch, founder of Lake Havasu City, purchased the bridge. The pieces were dismantled, numbered, shipped to Arizona, and reassembled. The bridge, connecting portions of Lake Havasu City, also became a tourist attraction.
International Day of the Girl Child is today! The United Nations created the day in 2012, and this year’s theme is Empowering Girls for a Brighter Future. The United Nations states, “On 11 October, International Day of the Girl, we are working alongside all girls to expand existing learning opportunities, chart new pathways and calling on the global community to rethink how to prepare them for a successful transition into the world of work.” Children can learn more at: http://www.un.org/en/events/girlchild/.
General Pulaski Memorial Day is celebrated by Presidential Proclamation. The first proclamation was issued in 1929. Casimir Pulaski was a Polish hero who died in the Battle of Savannah in 1779. The day remembers his death and honors all Polish-Americans.
Comptometer, the first accurate adding machine, was patented by Dorr Eugene Felt in 1887. Made from a macaroni box and rubber bands, the prototype earned patent number 371,496. Felt and his partner became financially successful, and he held 46 other patents. The original macaroni box prototype is now part of the Smithsonian collection.
Apollo 7 lifted off in 1968. The first successful three-person team, the mission lasted eleven days. Walter Schirra, Donn F. Eisele, and R. Walter Cunningham were the crew.
Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan became the first American woman to walk in space. She was part of the 1984 Challenger crew. The mission was completed October 13, 1984.
Space Shuttle in 2000 was launched on its one hundredth mission, to help with the International Space Station.