France celebrates Fête de la Fédération, also known as Bastille Day. In 1789 the Bastille fell to the rioting people, marking the beginning of the French Revolution. France is a bit smaller than Texas, and the Mediterranean Sea, the Bay of Biscay, and the English Channel all border the country. Almost 66 million people live in France. Paris is the capital. Idea: Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities gives great insight into the French Revolution.
Matterhorn was conquered for the first time by Edward Whymper and a group of climbers in 1865. Seven climbers reached the top, but four were killed on descent. The Matterhorn is one of the highest peaks located in the Pennine Alps between Switzerland and Italy. Currently around 3,000 people climb the Matterhorn per year.
Harry Atwood in 1911 landed his plane on the south lawn of the White House. President Taft presented him with a medal for his accomplishment. Later in the day Atwood turned his plane around and took off from the White House grounds.
George Washington Carver Monument was dedicated in 1943. The first national monument for an African-American and the first monument for a non-president, the site is Washington’s childhood home in Diamond, Missouri. Children could visit: http://www.nps.gov/gwca/index.htm.
New Horizons spacecraft was closest to Pluto in 2015. Launched on January 18, 2006, the spacecraft traveled three billion miles to achieve one of its goals, taking images of Pluto and Pluto’s five moons. When New Horizons was launched, George W. Bush was President, Pluto was still a planet, and Apple had not yet released its first iPhone. New Horizons, traveling at a rate of over 30,000 miles per hour, continues on its journey and will hopefully help us learn more about the Kuiper Belt. Children can learn more at: New Horizons.
Gerald Rudolph Ford (born Leslie Lynch King, Jr., in Omaha, Nebraska, 1913; died Rancho Mirage, California, December 26, 2006) was the 38th president (1974-1977) of the United States. Ford was in the navy during World War II and was awarded ten battle stars. He was a congressman for thirteen terms. He was the only president not elected to either the presidency or the vice presidency. He was Speaker of the House when Nixon resigned from office. Because the vice president had resigned earlier, Ford became president. Children could visit a website at: Gerald Ford. Idea: Children could research the presidential line of succession.
Woody Guthrie (born Woodrow Wilson Guthrie in Okemah, Oklahoma, 1912; died New York, New York, October 3, 1967) was a singer and a songwriter. One of his most famous works is “This Land Is Your Land.”
Laura Joffe Numeroff (born Brooklyn, New York, 1953) is an author and illustrator. She wrote If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and its many variations.
Peggy Parish (born Manning, South Carolina, 1927; died Manning, South Carolina, November 19, 1988) was an author. She is known for her Amelia Bedelia series. Her nephew Herman Parish continues to write Amelia Bedelia books. Children could learn more at: http://www.ameliabedeliabooks.com/.
Brian Selznick (born East Brunswick Township, New Jersey, 1966) writes and illustrates books for children. He earned the 2008 Caldecott Medal for The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Other books include Wonderstruck and The Houdini Box. Children can visit his website at: Brian Selznick.
Isaac Bashevis Singer (born Radymin, Poland, 1904; died Surfside, Florida, July 24, 1991) was a writer. He immigrated to the United States in 1935. He wrote in Yiddish, and he received the 1978 Nobel Prize for literature. Idea: Children could read some of the parts of Stories for Children, published in 1934.