Sir Humphrey Gilbert landed on Newfoundland in 1583 and claimed the land around St. John’s harbor for England. His ship, the HMS Squirrel, sank in a storm near the Azores while he was trying to return to England. Idea: Children could figure out how historians know what he did if his ship sank before he reached England.
United States levied the first income tax in 1862. Any income over $800 was taxed at 3 percent. Idea: Children could translate $800 back then into today’s dollars. They could learn more about the history of the United States income tax at: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0005921.html.
First traffic light in the country was installed in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1914. James Hoge received patent #1,251,666 for his “Municipal Traffic Control System.” Four pairs of red and green lights were wired to a manually controlled system. Children could view the patent at: traffic light.
Copiapo mining accident happened in Chile in 2010. A mine cave-in in the Atacama Desert trapped 33 men underground. They were all successfully rescued on October 13, 2010.
Neil Alden Armstrong (born Wapakoneta, Ohio, 1930; died Cincinnati, Ohio, August 25, 2012) was an astronaut and the first person to walk on the moon. Children can learn more at: Neil Armstrong.
Robert Bright (born Sandwich, Massachusetts, 1902; died San Francisco, California, November 21, 1988) wrote and illustrated children’s books. He is best known for his Georgie the Ghost series.
Thomas Lynch, Jr. (born Prince George’s Parish, South Carolina, 1749; died 1779) signed the Declaration of Independence. He represented South Carolina. His father was supposed to also sign the Declaration of Independence, but he became too ill. After the younger Lynch left Philadelphia, he became sick. He and his wife decided to take an ocean voyage to improve his health. They were lost at sea in late 1779.
Guy de Maupassant (born Normandy, France, 1850; died Paris, France, July 6, 1893) was a famous short story writer. He wrote at least 250 stories, including The Diamond Necklace, and several novels. Children can read many of his works at: Project Gutenberg.
Maud Petersham (born Kingston, New York, 1890; died Ravenna, Ohio, November 29, 1971) was, with her husband Miska, an early pioneer in children’s literature. They illustrated more than 60 books written by other authors. Then they began writing and illustrating their own works (about 100 books). They received a 1942 Caldecott Honor Award for An American ABC and then the 1946 Caldecott Medal for The Rooster Crows. Children could learn more at: Maud Petersham.
Ruth Sawyer (born Boston, Massachusetts, 1880; died Maine, June 3, 1970) wrote children’s books. She received the 1937 Newbery Medal for Roller Skates. She earned the 1965 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her body of works. Children can learn more at: Ruth Sawyer.