Mardi Gras is today! Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday in French) is the last day before the start of Lent, the forty days before Easter. Today is a day of feasting and partying because Lent is not a time of feasting and partying. Special foods include doughnuts and a King Cake. Mardi Gras colors are purple, green, and gold. Many cities, including New Orleans, host Mardi Gras parades and other activities. Children can find Mardi Gras activities at: Mardi Gras.
Crispus Attucks Day harkens back to the Revolutionary War in 1770. The Boston Massacre occurred in 1770 between colonists and British soldiers. Crispus Attucks, possibly a fugitive slave, was the first person killed in the fight. Several other men died, and others were wounded. Children can learn more about the Boston Massacre and Crispus Attucks at: America’s Library.
Hula Hoop was patented by Arthur “Spud” Melin, co-founder of Wham-O, in 1963. About 25 million hula hoops were sold in the first four months of production. Hula Hoops are still popular today. Children could check this website for great games/exercises to play with Hula Hoops.
Mem Fox (born Melbourne, Australia, 1946) is an author. Her books include Yoo Hoo, Ladybug! and Goodnight, Sleep Tight. Children could visit a website at: Mem Fox.
James Merritt Ives (born New York, New York, 1824; died 1895) was part of the lithographic team of Currier and Ives. They published more than four thousand different scenes of events ranging from the commonplace to historic. At the time, the prints were used for decoration or book illustration. Now originals are rare and expensive. Children can view many of the works of Currier and Ives at: Currier and Ives.
Gerhardus Mercator (born Rupelmonde, Flanders, 1512; died Duisburg, Germany, December 2, 1594) invented the Mercator projection for maps. He was able to portray more accurately the earth on a flat piece of paper. He also used the term atlas for the first time to refer to a compilation of maps. Because the Mercator Projection distorts the size of land masses at the poles, it is seldom used today. What kind of projection is most used today?
Howard Pyle (born Wilmington, Delaware, 1853; died Florence, Italy, November 9, 1911) was an illustrator. Children can read more about Pyle and then see many of his illustrations at: Illustrations. They can also learn more at: Howard Pyle.