Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, starts today. For many Christians today means a day of religious introspection.
Ghana celebrates Independence Day. It became free from the rule of Great Britain in 1957. According to the CIA World Factbook, Ghana is a bit smaller than the state of Oregon. Located on the southern coast of West Africa, the country surrounds Lake Volta, the largest man-made lake in the world. About 25 million people live in Ghana. Accra is the capital, and farmers grow cocoa, rice, and coffee.
Ferdinand Magellan discovered Guam in 1521. Located in the western Pacific Ocean, the island became an important stopover for Spanish ships for 200 years. It became an American territory in 1898 as a result of the Spanish-American War.
Alamo fell to Mexico in 1836. The Texas mission-turned-fort had been under siege since February 23, 1836. The last of the soldiers died, and General Santa Anna was victorious for a short time. Children might want to read Sherry Garland’s A Line in the Sand: The Alamo Diary of Lucinda Lawrence. They could also check an excellent website at: Alamo
Dred Scott case decision was delivered by the Supreme Court in 1857. Dred Scott was a slave trying to gain his freedom. Since his owner had moved to states where there was no slavery, Scott felt he should be free. He took his case all the way to the Supreme Court. The court majority ruled against Scott in a way that caused major turmoil in the United States. Some scholars believe the decision was one cause of the Civil War.
Oreo went on sale in 1912. Today 2,000 Oreos are produced a minute, and more Oreos have been sold than any other type of cookie. Children can learn more about the famous cookie at: Oreo History.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning (born near Durham, England, 1806; died Florence, Italy, June 29, 1861) was a poet. One of her most famous works is Sonnets from the Portuguese. She was married to Robert Browning, also a famous poet. One of her most famous lines is “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” Children can read her works at: Project Gutenberg.
L. Gordon Cooper (born Shawnee, Oklahoma, 1927; died Ventura, California, October 4, 2004) was an astronaut. One of the original seven astronauts, he was launched into space on the last Mercury mission. He logged more hours in space than the other six astronauts combined. He was the first astronaut to sleep in space (the mission was 34 hours long). He also flew on the Gemini 5 mission with Pete Conrad. They were in space for eight days and circled the earth 120 times.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez (born Aracataca, Colombia, 1927; died Mexico City, Mexico, April 17, 2014) was a writer. His books include One Hundred Years of Solitude and Living to Tell the Tale. He received the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Anna Claypoole Peale (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1791; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 25, 1878) was an artist. She was a part of the famous Peale family of artists, and she specialized in painting miniatures and still life works. Children can see four of her works at: Anna Claypoole Peale.
Chris Raschka (born Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, 1959) writes and illustrates books for children. His book Yo! Yes? received a 1994 Caldecott Honor Award. His Hello, Goodbye Window received the 2006 Caldecott Medal, and A Ball for Daisy earned him the 2012 Caldecott Medal. Children can learn more about his illustrating process by viewing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8x5GYm-jHHM.
Michelangelo (born Caprese, Italy, 1475; died Rome, Italy, February 18, 1564) was an artist, an architect, and a poet. Among his accomplishments are the painting of the Sistine Chapel and the sculpture David. Visit a website at: Michelangelo. Idea: Children could learn about the rivalry between Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.