Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos) celebrates Republic Day when in 1975 the country ended its monarchy. This land-locked country in Southeast Asia is about the size of Utah. About 6.5 million people live in this mountainous, forested country. Vientiane is the capital. The country exports coffee and tin.
Illinois became the twenty-first state of the United States in 1818. Its name derives from the word iliniwek, meaning tribe of the superior men. The state’s nickname is the Prairie State. While Springfield is the state capital, Chicago is a very large transportation center for rail, air and water. Springfield was the site of the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates. Illinois still grows large amounts of corn and soybeans, but it also has deposits of coal and gas. The monarch butterfly is the state insect. Children could visit an Internet site at: Illinois. Monarch butterflies make annual migrations to winter in trees in Mexico, California and Florida. Children could find out more about the monarch butterfly and its migration patterns.
Frederick Douglass in 1847 printed the first issue of North Star, an abolitionist newspaper. Older children could read his words at: North Star.
Joseph Conrad (born Jozef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Kozeniowski in Poland, 1857; died Bishopsbourne, Kent, England, August 3, 1924) was a writer. He came to England when he was sixteen; he could not speak English. He worked for the British navy for sixteen years and perfected his English. Most of his works relate to the sea. One of his most famous works is Lord Jim, published in 1900. Older children can read his works at: Project Gutenberg.
Gilbert Charles Stuart (born Narragansett, Rhode Island, 1755; died Boston, Massachusetts, July 9, 1828) was an artist, known particularly for his portraits of over 1000 people, including the first six presidents. Stuart is known for a painting of George Washington that he never completed. He actually made copies of that portrait and sold them. Students could generate reasons why he never completed the project. Children can view a large selection of his art at the Google Art Project at: Gilbert Stuart.