National Pie Day is celebrated through tastings and competitions. Children could celebrate the day by first listing all the types of pies that they can think of (flavors of fruit pies, cream pies, pot pies, pizza pies). Then they could make a simple “pie” by filling a pie pan with chunky applesauce and covering with a mixture of 1 stick melted butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup flour, 1 cup uncooked oatmeal, and 1 tablespoon cinnamon. The “pie” can be baked or microwaved.
National Handwriting Day stresses the importance of legibility. The day honors John Hancock’s birthday. John Hancock clearly and prominently signed the Declaration of Independence. Idea: Children could write, using their best penmanship, a thank you note to someone.
Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman to receive a medical doctor’s degree in the United States in 1849. Children could learn more about Blackwell at: Elizabeth Blackwell. They could also interview an expert to find out how someone becomes a doctor.
Amendment Twenty-Four of the Constitution was adopted in 1964. It eliminated poll taxes and other taxes designed to prevent people from voting. Children can learn more about the background of the amendment at: Amendment Twenty-Four.
John Hancock (born Braintree, Massachusetts, 1737; died Quincy, Massachusetts, October 8, 1793) was an American patriot. He deliberately made his signature on the Declaration of Independence very prominent. His political activities irritated the British, and they started the famous march to Concord. After the war, he served as governor of Massachusetts for a number of years. Children could learn more at: John Hancock. Idea: Show the children a copy of the Declaration of Independence and his famous signature. Have a signature writing event where they try to copy his style. Jean Fritz wrote Will You Sign Here, John Hancock? Children would enjoy reading the book.
Joseph Hewes (born Kingston, New Jersey, 1730; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 10, 1779) signed the Declaration of Independence. He represented North Carolina. The son of Quakers, he started his career as an apprentice to a merchant. Soon he moved to North Carolina and became a very successful merchant using many ships. At first he opposed a break with England, but he changed his mind. He worked tirelessly to establish a navy for the colonies. However, he died before the Revolutionary War ended. Children could learn more at: Joseph Hewes.
Edouard Manet (born Paris, France, 1832; died Paris, France, April 30, 1883) was an impressionist painter. Born into a wealthy family, he counted Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Pissarro as friends. His brother married the painter Berthe Morisot. His paintings shocked the art community at the time. Children could visit a website at: Manet.