Venezuela celebrates Independence Day. Spain gave up control of the country in 1821. Located in northern South America, Venezuela is about twice the size of California. It has a tropical climate, and petroleum provides a major portion of its economy. About 28.5 million people live in the country, and most of the cities are located along the Caribbean coastline. Caracas is the capital.
Isle of Man celebrates Tynwald Day. The island, located in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland, is about three times the size of Washington, DC. It is a British crown dependency but not part of the United Kingdom. Not quite 85,000 people live there, and Douglas is the capital. Its economy is based on tourism and small manufacturing.
Cape Verde celebrates Independence Day. Portugal relinquished all claims to the country in 1975. During the exploration period, the islands served as supply stations. During the last century, whaling became an important source of income. The country is actually composed of fifteen islands, and the combined area is about the size of Rhode Island. The climate is temperate, but water is scarce and droughts are common. About a half million people live in this country west of Africa. Praia is the capital.
Staffordshire Hoard was discovered in a field near Litchfield, England, in 2009. Over 3,500 items (mostly gold and silver) were found buried, and most of the items were made around the 7th century AD. The items are mostly military; no household items or women’s jewelry were found. Children can learn more at: http://www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk/.
Phineas Taylor Barnum (born Bethel, Connecticut, 1810; died Bridgeport, Connecticut, April 7, 1891) created Barnum’s American Museum in 1842. It featured unusual acts. He went on to highlight the talents of the singer, Jenny Lind. He opened “The Greatest Show on Earth” in 1871. Later he merged his business interests with J. A. Bailey and formed the Barnum and Bailey Circus. Idea: Children could create their own “Greatest Show on Earth.”
Sylvester Graham (born West Suffield, Connecticut, 1794; died Northampton, Massachusetts, September 11, 1851) was a minister and physician who invented the graham cracker. Does his birthday inspire S’Mores?
Meredith Ann Pierce (born Seattle, Washington, 1958) writes fantasy books for young adults. Her work includes the Darkangel trilogy and the Firebringer trilogy. Children could visit her website at: http://www.moonandunicorn.com/.
John Schoenherr (born New York, New York, 1935; died Easton, Pennsylvania, April 8, 2010) was an illustrator. He illustrated 40 books for children, and he received the 1968 Caldecott Medal for Owl Moon. He also illustrated Sterling North’s Rascal.