Today is Labor Day, a holiday and the unofficial end to summer. The holiday was probably first observed in 1882 in New York City by the Carpenters and Joiners Union. The holiday grew in popularity, and over half the states were celebrating Labor Day by 1893. President Grover Cleveland made it a legal holiday in 1894. Children can learn more at: Labor Day.
Great Britain and the American colonies conducted a “Gregorian Correction” to the calendar in 1752. The day after September 2 became September 14. Angry mobs protested in the streets because they felt they lost eleven days. The country also changed New Year’s Day from March 25 to January 1. Most of Europe had adopted the Gregorian calendar almost two centuries earlier on October 4, 1582.
Treasury Department was created by Congress in 1789. Alexander Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury. Most historians feel he expertly guided the department through its infancy into a well-established part of the government. The Treasury Department is responsible for:
- Making currency
- Collecting taxes, duties, and money owed to the government
- Paying US government bills
- Monitoring national banks
- Publishing reports on state of treasury
Over 100,000 people work in the Treasury Department. Children could visit the department’s website at: Treasury Department. Who is the current secretary of the treasury?
Japan formally surrendered in 1945 aboard the USS Missouri, ending World War II. The ceremony, broadcast around the world via radio, lasted about 23 minutes. The Allied copy of the surrender is located in the National Archives: World War II.
Demi (born Charlotte Dumaresq Hunt in Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1942) has written and illustrated at least 300 books for children. Her books include Muhammad and Gandhi. Children can learn more at: Demi.
Eugene Field (born St. Louis, Missouri, 1850; died Chicago, Illinois, November 4, 1895) was a writer. He is most known for his poetry. Idea: Children might enjoy reading The Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat, published in 1894. Children can read many of his works at: Project Gutenberg.
James Forten (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1766; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 4, 1842) was the son of free African Americans. He was almost sold into slavery during the Revolutionary War. Later he became a successful businessman and was active in the abolition movement. Idea: Children could read biographies about Forten. How did he help the antislavery movement?
Christa McAuliffe (born Concord, Massachusetts, 1948; died in the Challenger explosion, January 28, 1986) was a high school teacher. She was picked to be the first ordinary person to travel in space. Six other crew members died with her.
Bernard Most (born New York, New York, 1937) writes books for children. His books include If the Dinosaurs Came Back and The Cow That Went Oink. Children can visit his website, particularly the coloring pages, at: Bernard Most.
Elizabeth De Trevino (born Bakersfield, California, 1904; died Cuernavaca, Mexico, December 2, 2001) was a children’s author. One of her most popular works is I, Juan de Pareja, which received the 1966 Newbery Medal.