Delaware became the first state of the United States by ratifying the Constitution in 1787. The state was named after Thomas West, Lord De La Ware. The Dutch arrived in 1631. The Swedes followed in 1638 and established the first permanent settlement, Wilmington, in the colony. Dover is the capital of this smallest but one state. Its nicknames are the First State and the Diamond State. The ladybug is Delaware’s official state insect. Children could visit an Internet site at: Delaware. They could research why Delaware is called the Diamond State. Are diamonds mined there?
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was attacked by the Japanese in 1941. President Roosevelt called the day “a date that will live in infamy.” The Japanese airplanes attacked early in the morning. They destroyed almost the entire Pacific Fleet and approximately 200 airplanes. Almost 3,000 people were killed in the hour-long attack. This event brought about America’s entrance into World War II. Children can learn more about the bombing of Pearl Harbor at: Pearl Harbor.
Apollo 17 was launched into space in 1972. Commander Eugene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt landed on the moon December 11, 1972. They used the Lunar Roving Vehicle on their three moon walks. Other studies included photography, and one photo, The Blue Marble, is especially famous. The astronauts returned to earth December 19th. The mission was the last manned trip to the moon. Children can visit NASA’s site for junior scientists at: http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/.
Kelly Barnhill (born Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1973) writes books for children. She received the 2017 Newbery Medal for The Girl Who Drank the Moon. Other works include The Witch’s Boy and The Unlicensed Magician. Children can visit her website at: Kelly Barnhill.
Willa Cather (born Winchester, Virginia, 1873; died New York, New York, April 24, 1947) is an author. One of her most famous works, published in 1913, is O Pioneers! She won the 1922 Pulitzer Prize for One of Ours. You can read many of her works at: Project Gutenberg.
Harry Chapin (born Greenwich Village, New York, 1942; died in an automobile crash, Long Island, New York, July 1981) was a folk singer and composer. Idea: Harry Chapin received the Special Congressional Medal of Honor for his concerns about world hunger. See if you can find recordings of his work. Play them. See if students would like to collect canned food for one of the nearby food banks.
Richard Warren Sears (born Stewartville, Minnesota, 1863; died Waukesha, Wisconsin, September 28, 1914) was working as a railroad station agent. He then began to sell watches via the mail. He formed a partnership with Alvah C. Roebuck, who repaired the watches. They created Sears, Roebuck and Company. At first it was strictly a mail order company. However, later they opened their first retail store. Sears and Roebuck formed a team. Children could list other famous teams (for example, Laurel and Hardy, or peanut butter and jelly).
John Tunis (born Boston, Massachusetts, 1889; died Essex, Connecticut, February 4, 1975) was a writer and sportscaster. He was also the author of at least 24 sports books, including The Kid from Tomkinville. Children can learn more at: John Tunis.