William Herschel discovered Titania and Oberon, the two largest moons of Uranus, in 1787. Herschel, a German-born astronomer who had moved to England, discovered Uranus in 1781. Today we know Uranus has 27 moons and a ring! Herschel named the two moons after characters in Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Children can learn more about the moons of Uranus at: Moons of Uranus.
Milk was delivered in glass bottles for the first time in 1878. Alexander Campbell of New York brought milk to his customers in sealed bottles. Previously, a milkman ladled milk from his container into the purchaser’s container. Children can learn how milk goes from farm to family at: milk. They could find out why today milk is stored in white containers and not clear bottles.
United States Surgeon General Luther Terry issued the first report, published in 1964, that cigarettes and smoking were health hazards. Idea: Children could make anti-smoking posters and display their works around school. They could visit the D.A.R.E. site at: DARE.
Alexander Hamilton (born British West Indies, 1757; died Weehawken, New Jersey, July 12, 1804) was an early American leader. He rallied for the causes of the Revolutionary War and served for a while as George Washington’s aide-de-camp. He represented New York at the Constitutional Convention. He was secretary of the treasury while Washington was president and helped the new country become financially sound. Hamilton believed in a strong central government, and he wrote a large portion of The Federalist Papers. He was mortally wounded after a duel with Aaron Burr. Children can read The Federalist Papers at: Project Gutenberg.
Robert C. O’Brien (born Robert Conly in Brooklyn, New York, 1918; died Washington, DC, March 3, 1973) was an editor for National Geographic and a children’s author. He won the 1972 Newbery Medal for Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. He started Z for Zachariah, but he died before it was finished. His wife and daughter, following his notes, completed and published the book in 1974. Z for Zachariah received the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award and the Edgar Award in the juvenile division.
Alice Paul (born Mount Laurel Township, New Jersey, 1885; died Moorestown, New Jersey, July 9, 1977) was a proponent of women’s rights, especially the right to vote. She picketed the White House, much to President Wilson’s chagrin. She was jailed for peacefully protesting, and she went on hunger strikes to bring attention to her cause. After the Nineteenth Amendment (voting rights for women) passed, she turned her attention to including women in the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Children can learn more at: Alice Paul.
Mary Rodgers (born New York, New York, 1931; died New York, New York, June 25, 2014) was a composer of musicals and a writer of children’s books. Her works include Freaky Friday and The Rotten Book.
Ann Tompert (born near Detroit, Michigan, 1918) has written over 20 books. A fine example of her books is Grandfather Tang’s Story.