Alaska became the forty-ninth state of the United States in 1959. Alaska is by far the biggest state, but only two states have less population. The state has experienced booms in furs, fishing, whaling, gold, and oil. Juneau is the state capital. Children can visit an Internet site at: Alaska. Idea: Children could research Alaska more and try to predict its next economic focus.
Battle of Princeton took place in 1777. George Washington and his troops defeated a British assault in Princeton, New Jersey. While the British considered the battle to be minor, the American victory raised the soldiers’ morale.
Alma Flor Ada (born Camaguey, Cuba, 1938) has written over 200 books for children. Many of her works are bilingual. One of her books is Three Golden Oranges. She received the 2000 Pura Belpré Award for Under the Royal Palms. Children can visit her website at: Alma Flor Ada.
Cicero (born Rome, 106 BC; died Rome 43 BC) was a writer, politician, and philosopher. Children can read many of his works at: Project Gutenberg.
Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge (born Burlington, Vermont, 1879; died Northampton, Massachusetts, died July 8, 1957) was the wife of Calvin Coolidge, thirtieth president of the United States. The outgoing Grace Goodhue taught at the Clarke School for the Deaf, located in Massachusetts before she married the shy Coolidge. Children could visit a website at: Grace Coolidge.
Carolyn Haywood (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1898; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, January 11, 1990) wrote and/or illustrated at least 47 children’s books. She is best known for her Betsy and Eddie books. Children can learn more at: Carolyn Haywood.
Lucretia Coffin Mott (born Nantucket, Massachusetts, 1793; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 11, 1880) was an abolitionist and leader of the women’s rights movement. Children could read more about her at: Lucretia Coffin Mott.
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (born Bloemfontein, South Africa, 1892; died Bournemouth, England, September 2, 1973) wrote The Hobbitt and The Lord of the Rings. Idea: Read to the children a passage from one of Tolkien’s books. Children can learn more at: Tolkien.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, celebrates Independence Day. It became free from British rule in 1948. According to the CIA World Factbook, Myanmar is a bit smaller than Texas. About 55 million people live in this southeast Asian country, and about 4.25 million people live in the capital of Rangoon. Monsoons plague this resource-rich, including natural gas, timber, and mining, country.
Utah became the forty-fifth state of the United States in 1896. The state capital is Salt Lake City, and its state nickname is the “Beehive State.” Its Great Salt Lake, located in the northern part of the state, is really the remnant of an inland sea. Because its waters do not drain into another body of water, the lake is becoming saltier and saltier. Children can visit an Internet site at: Utah. Idea: Items float with more ease in salt water than in fresh water. Fill one container with fresh water, and fill another container with salt water. Try floating various objects. Record the results.
First appendectomy was performed in 1885 in Davenport, Iowa. Dr. William West removed Mary Gartside’s appendix; she lived for at least another 30 years.
Louis Braille (born Coupvray, France, 1809; died Paris, France, March 28, 1852) invented a raised type of writing that can felt and read by the blind. He was accidentally blinded at age three. When he was ten, he attended the National Institute for the Blind in Paris. He became an accomplished musician and served as a church organist. He also became a teacher at the Institute. He modified a military code system to develop Braille. Children can learn all about Louis Braille and the Braille system by visiting a site designed for children: http://www.braillebug.org/.
Jacob Grimm (born Hanau, Germany, 1785; died Berlin, Germany, September 20, 1863) wrote, with his brother, Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Children can read and listen to versions of their fairy tales at: Project Gutenberg.
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (born Anderson, Indiana, 1933) is a children’s author. She has written over 130 books and at least 2000 articles. One of her most famous books is Shiloh, which received the 1991 Newbery Award. She is also famous for her Alice series. Children can learn more about the Alice series at: http://alicemckinley.wordpress.com/.
Tom Thumb (born Charles Sherwood Stratton in Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1838; died Middleborough, Massachusetts, July 15, 1883) grew to a height of 40 inches. He weighed 70 pounds. P. T. Barnum hired him to be a part of his museum and circus.
Nellie Tayloe Ross became the first woman governor. She became Wyoming’s top executive in 1925. Her husband was governor, but he died of complications from an appendectomy. She then ran for the governorship and won. The National Governors Association provides a great database regarding governors at: http://www.nga.org/cms/home.html. Children could find out how many of today’s governors are women.
National Audubon Society incorporated in 1905. Named after the naturalist and ornithologist, John James Audubon, the society now has 500 local chapters. The group continues to focus on birds, as evidenced by its annual Christmas bird count that this year occurs between December 14th and January 5th. The Audubon Society works to protect other animals as well and lobbies for conservation. It also provides education. Children can visit the group’s website at: http://www.audubon.org.
George Washington Carver Recognition Day remembers his death in 1943 in Tuskegee, Alabama. Carver’s exact birthday is unknown, but he was probably born a slave in 1864. He worked hard to earn an education. Booker T. Washington brought him to Tuskegee University in 1896, and Carver stayed there for 47 years. There he taught farmers to rotate crops and to grow crops other than cotton. He is famous for devising many uses for peanuts and sweet potatoes. Children could read more at: George Washington Carver.