Passover begins at sundown tonight and ends at sundown on April 18. Passover (Pesach) celebrates the freedom of Jews from Egyptian slavery. During Passover, Jews cannot eat any leavened bread, but they can eat unleavened bread called matzah. Children could read the chapter about Passover from Celebrate! Stories of the Jewish Holidays, written by Gilda Berger and illustrated by Peter Catalanotto.
Anesthesia was used for the first time in surgery in 1842. Dr. Crawford Long operated on a tumor on the neck of James Venable. The patient had been given ether. Long did not report the results of the surgery until 1849.
Egg Incubator was patented in 1843 by Napoleon E. Guerin of New York, New York. He received patent 3,019. Incubators circulate warm air around fertilized eggs until the chicks are ready to hatch. Children can learn more at: Egg Incubator.
Pencil with eraser was patented in 1858 by Hymen Lipman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He received patent number 19,783. Children can see the patent at: pencil with easer patent.
Alaska was bought by the United States from Russia in 1867. The purchase was often originally called Seward’s Folly. William Seward, secretary of state, bought Alaska for $1,200,000. That averaged out to about two cents an acre. The 1898 Alaska gold rush was one of the first indicators that the United States had made a good bargain. Children could learn more at: Alaska.
Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution was adopted in 1870. A person’s right to vote could not be denied on the basis of “race, color, or previous servitude.”
Vincent van Gogh (born Groot Zundert, Holland, 1853; died Auvers-sur-Oise, France, July 29, 1890) was an artist. He never received formal training. He often applied the paint with a palette knife. Children can visit the Metropolitan Museum website at: Vincent van Gogh. Idea: Children could compare and contrast the works of Goya and van Gogh.
Francisco Jose de Goya (born Aragon, Spain, 1746; died Bordeaux, France, April 16, 1828) was a Spanish artist. He produced more than 1,800 artworks. Children can visit the Metropolitan Museum website at: Francisco Jose de Goya
Anna Sewell (born Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, Old 1820; died Catton, Norfolk, England, April 25, 1878) wrote Black Beauty. Children can read Black Beauty at: Project Gutenberg. They could also learn more at: Anna Sewell.
Easter is tomorrow! Today may be the day to dye Easter eggs, make spring placemats, or make signs welcoming the Easter bunny. Children could read The Night Before Easter by Natasha Wing.
Virgin Islands celebrate Transfer Day. The United States bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark in 1917 for $25 million. Located in the Caribbean Sea, the islands are about twice the size of Washington, DC. Many of the 100,000 inhabitants depend on tourism for income. Charlotte Amalie is the capital.
Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889. It was constructed for the 1889 Paris Exhibition. Alexandre Gustave Eiffel designed the structure. Children can learn some interesting facts about the Eiffel Tower at: Eiffel Tower.