Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World in 1492. He had left Spain on August 3, 1492, with three ships and 90 men. His journey, filled with dangers, marked the beginning of the age of exploration. Children can read a well-written summary of his explorations at: Columbus.
Spain, recognizing Columbus’s 1492 accomplishment, celebrates National Day. At one time Spain controlled most of South America and Central America and portions of North America. Spain, home to over 47 million citizens, is about twice the size of Oregon, and Madrid is the capital.
Equatorial Guinea celebrates Independence Day. It gained its independence from Spain in 1968. The country consists of a mainland portion of Africa and five islands. The country, slightly larger than the state of Maryland, exports cocoa beans and coffee. About 700,000 people live in Equatorial Guinea, and Malabo is the capital.
Pledge of Allegiance was recited in schools for the first time in 1892. Francis Bellamy wrote the oath in two hours, but previously he had devoted years to developing the concept. The pledge has been modified, and four states, Vermont, Wyoming, Hawaii, and Iowa, do not require the oath in schools.
Iron lung was used for the first time in 1928 in a Boston hospital. During the 1940’s and 1950’s, when polio outbreaks were at their worst, some children with polio could not breathe on their own. They were put into iron lungs, and the apparatus used negative pressure to help them breathe. Over 1,200 people needed to use an iron lung. In 1954 mass polio inoculations began to take place. Fewer and fewer people contracted polio, and the need for iron lungs decreased. Today the United States is just about polio free. Also, newer inventions help people breathe easier and with more mobility. The iron lung is seldom used today.
Edward Bloor (born Trenton, New Jersey, 1950) writes books for young adults. His works include Tangerine and Crusader. Young adults can visit his website at: Edward Bloor.
Luciano Pavarotti (born Modena, Italy, 1935; died Modena, Italy, September 6, 2007) was an opera singer. Idea: Children could listen to a recording of his music.