Saint Kitts and Nevis celebrate Independence Day. The two islands, located in the eastern portion of the Caribbean Sea, became free of British rule in 1983, but they remain a part of the British Commonwealth. They are about 1.5 times the size of Washington, DC. Sugar was a large part of the economy, but the country has now shifted to tourism and diversified farming. About 51,000 people live on the islands, and Basseterre is the capital.
Jamestown was burned by Nathaniel Bacon and his men in 1676. This action later became known as part of Bacon’s Rebellion. They were rebelling against Governor Sir William Berkeley and his laws regarding control of Jamestown. Berkeley fled, and Bacon became the colony’s leader. He died shortly after taking control. Berkeley regained leadership. However, Berkeley was replaced a year later; and rebellion became unnecessary.
Hot air balloon with animal passengers was flown for the first time in 1783. Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier launched their globe aerostatique in France. The duck, sheep, and rooster all survived the ten-minute trip! Children could read the amazing Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride by Marjorie Priceman. The book earned a 2006 Caldecott Honor Award.
President George Washington gave his farewell address to the nation in 1796. First printed in the newspaper American Daily Advertiser, the speech was titled, “The Address of General Washington To The People of The United States on his declining of the Presidency of the United States.” It was reprinted almost immediately in many other newspapers and somewhat re-titled Washington’s Farewell Address. Children could read a transcript of his speech at: Farewell Address.
Charles Carroll of Carrollton (born Annapolis, Maryland, 1737; died Baltimore, Maryland, November 14, 1832) signed the Declaration of Independence. He was the last surviving signer of the document.
Rachel Field (born New York, New York, 1894; died Los Angeles, California, March 15, 1942) wrote works for both children and adults. Her books include Hitty, Her First Hundred Years, which earned the 1930 Newbery Medal. She wrote Prayer for a Child, published posthumously in 1944. The illustrator, Elizabeth Orton Jones, received the 1945 Caldecott Medal. Children could learn more at Rachel Field.
Sir William Golding (born Columb Minor, Cornwall, England, 1911; died near Truro, Cornwall, England, June 19, 1993) was a writer. One of his most famous works is Lord of the Flies. He received a Nobel Prize in literature in 1983.