Christopher Columbus left Palos, Spain, in 1492 with his three ships, the Niña, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, in an attempt to reach Asia from a westerly direction. He commanded a crew of 90 men. They spotted land in the New World on October 12, 1492. Children could learn more at: Christopher Columbus.
Congress passed the first law limiting immigration in 1882. Children can learn about the history of immigration and view some great photographs at: Ellis Island.
VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Land) craft was demonstrated for the first time in 1954. Today’s helicopters are the most popular form of VTOL, but other forms do exist. Children can learn how helicopters work at: http://www.explainthatstuff.com/helicopter.html.
Mary Calhoun (born Keokuk, Iowa, 1926) has written more than 50 children’s books. Her works include Hot-Air Henry and Katie John.
Nicholas Gilman (born Exeter, New Hampshire, 1755; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 2, 1814) represented New Hampshire at the Constitutional Convention. During the Revolutionary War, he was with Washington at Valley Forge. After the Constitutional Convention, he served in the House of Representatives and then in the Senate.
Margaret (Maggie) Kuhn (born Buffalo, New York, 1905; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 22, 1995) created the Gray Panthers. She did not want to retire at the age of 65, but current laws then gave her no choice. She founded the group to fight age discrimination. Laws regarding mandatory retirement changed as a result of her activities.
Elisha Graves Otis (born Halifax, Vermont, 1811; died Yonkers, New York, April 8, 1861) was an inventor. He created the first elevator with an automatic safety device. He showed the safety of the elevator in 1854, but elevators were not used extensively until skyscrapers were built.
Ernie Pyle (born Dana, Indiana, 1900; died Ie Shima, April 18, 1945) was a journalist and war correspondent. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1944 for his reports on the bombings in London and other World War II stories. He was killed while reporting the Pacific battles.