National Pretzel Day is today! In 2003 then Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell proclaimed March 26 to be National Pretzel Day because the snack is an important source of revenue to the state. According to one source, Philadelphians eat twelve times the national average for pretzels!
Tanzania celebrates Union Day, a national holiday. In 1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar united into one country, Tanzania. According to the CIA World Factbook, Tanzania is about twice the size of California. Bordering the Indian Ocean, the country experiences a tropical climate. Mount Kilimanjaro brings tourists and mountain climbers to the country. It counts on mining gold, diamonds, and iron ore. About 48 million people live in the country, and Dar Es Salaam is the capital.
Richter Scale Day honors the birth of Charles Francis Richter. Born in 1900 near Hamilton, Ohio, Richter developed the scale named after him that measures earthquake magnitude. He died in Pasadena, California, on September 30, 1985. Idea: The Richter Scale registers from one to nine, with nine being the highest. However, each number is ten times stronger than the one before it. For example, an earthquake measuring five is ten times stronger than one measuring four. Students could calculate how much stronger an earthquake of nine is compared to an earthquake of one. They could also make a chart of famous earthquakes and their number on the Richter Scale. Children could learn more at: Earthquakes.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum opened in 1993. Older children can learn more at: http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/exhibit/.
John James Audubon (born Haiti, 1785; died New York, New York, January 27, 1851) was an ornithologist and artist. One of his most famous works is The Birds of America, sketches of 1065 birds. The National Audubon Society, a conservation group, was named in honor of him. Children can learn more at: Audubon.
Patricia Reilly Giff (born Brooklyn, New York, 1935) is a children’s author. She is known for her Polk Street School series. She has received two Newbery Honor Awards: Lily’s Crossing in 1998 and Pictures of Hollis Woods in 2003.
Marilyn Nelson (born Cleveland, Ohio, 1946) writes books for children and poetry. She also translates the works of others. Her books include Carver, a Life of Poems and Beautiful Ballerina. Children can learn more at: http://marilyn-nelson.com/.
Frederick Law Olmsted (born Hartford, Connecticut, 1822; died Waverly, Massachusetts, August 28, 1903) designed Central Park and other parks. He was also commissioner of Yosemite National Park.
I(eoh) M(ing) Pei (born Guangzhou, China, 1917) is a prominent architect. He came to the United States in 1935 and studied at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard. After becoming an American citizen in 1954, he started his own firm. Some of his designs include the John Hancock Tower, the East Building of the National Gallery of Art, and the famous pyramid entrance to the Louvre in Paris.