Kansas became the thirty-fourth state of the United States in 1861. Kansas is known chiefly for its agricultural products, including wheat and cattle. The state capital is Topeka. The geographic center of the United States is located near Lebanon, Kansas. The state animal is the buffalo. Children could visit Kansas. Idea: The sunflower is the state’s official wild flower. Children could toast and eat sunflower seeds.
Amendment Eighteen to the Constitution was adopted in 1919. It brought on Prohibition. Experts feel that alcohol-related deaths declined during Prohibition. However, the black market and organized crime became more powerful. Amendment Twenty-one repealed this amendment on December 5, 1933. Amendment Eighteen is our only amendment to be repealed.
Seeing Eye Guide Dog Organization was founded in 1929 by Dorothy Harrison Eustis of Morristown, New Jersey. Idea: Children could interview one of the dog trainers. Children could also learn more at: http://www.seeingeye.org/about-us/history.html.
Disney’s Sleeping Beauty was released in 1959. Work began in 1951, and it incorporated music from Tchaikovsky’s ballet Sleeping Beauty. Originally it was not a successful movie, but it is now a classic.
American League of Baseball was formed in 1900.
National Baseball Hall of Fame elected its first baseball players in 1936. The people were Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner. Children could study the biographies of these men. What accomplishments brought them to the Hall of Fame? Children could learn about all the inductees at: http://baseballhall.org/explorer.
Sylvia Cassedy (born Brooklyn, New York, 1930; died Manhasset, New York, April 6, 1989) wrote books for children. Her books include Behind the Attic Wall, Lucie Babbage’s House, and M. E. and Morton.
Christopher Collier (born New York, New York, 1930) is a historian and writer of children’s books. He and his brother James wrote My Brother Sam is Dead. The book was a 1975 Newbery Honor Award winner.
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov (born Taganrog, Russia, 1860; died Badenweiler, Germany, July 15, 1904) was a playwright and short story writer. Two of his plays were The Sea Gull and The Cherry Orchard. Children can read his works at: Project Gutenberg.
Christina Koch (born Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1979) is an astronaut and an engineer. She participated in the first all-woman space walk on October 18, 2019, when she and Jessica Meir repaired a broken pwer controller, a seven-hour mission, on the International Space Station. The two followed with two more space walks, one on January 15, 2020, and another on January 20, 2020. She also holds the record for most days in space (328 days) for a woman, surpassing the record of Peggy Whitson. Children can learn more at: Christina Koch.
William McKinley (born Niles, Ohio, 1843; died Buffalo, New York, September 14, 1901) was the twenty-fifth president (1897-1901) of the United States. He enlisted as a private in the Civil War. When the war ended, he was 22 years old and a major. One of the planks of his presidential platform was that every person should have a “full dinner pail.” He was shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz; McKinley died two weeks later. Children could visit a website at: William McKinley.
Thomas Paine (born Thetford, England, 1737; died New York, New York, June 8, 1809) was a patriot and an author. His Common Sense influenced people’s opinions regarding their right to freedom. Many experts believe it was a major catalyst for the American Revolution. Children can read his works at: Project Gutenberg. Older children could read The Elementary Common Sense of Thomas Paine by Mark Wilensky.
Bill Peet (born Grandview, Indiana, 1915; died Studio City, California, May 11, 2002) was an author and illustrator for Disney Studios. He was one of the directors for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, released January 28, 1959. He was also the author of several children’s books, including Farewell to Shady Glade. He received a 1990 Caldecott Honor Award for Bill Peet: An Autobiography. Children could visit a website, particularly the unfinished stories portion, at: http://www.billpeet.net/. Students could learn more at: Bill Peet.
Rosemary Wells (born New York, New York, 1943) is a children’s author. One of her books is Noisy Nora. She has also written the Max and Ruby series and the McDuff series. Children can visit her site filled with activities at: Rosemary Wells.
Library of Congress was burned in 1815 by the British during the War of 1812. The library was located in the Capitol Building. After the War of 1812 Thomas Jefferson helped reorganize the Library of Congress with a contribution of 6,500 books. The Library of Congress remained in the rebuilt Capitol Building until 1897 when the library building opened. The library now houses 144 million items. The first Library of Congress Building is the Thomas Jefferson Building. Other portions of the Library of Congress are housed in the John Adams Building and the James Madison Memorial Building. Children could investigate the Library of Congress website for children at: http://www.loc.gov/families/.
Lone Ranger was broadcast over radio for the first time in 1933. About 2,956 radio episodes aired, with the last original episode occurring on September 3, 1954. The television show lasted from 1949 to 1957. At least six movies were made, and nineteen novels were written. Several animated series and comic books followed. Idea: The theme music for the Lone Ranger is a famous piece of classical music, the finale of The William Tell Overture by Gioachino Rossini. Children could listen to the music and find out more about its composer.
Péter Lékó became the world’s youngest Chess Grand Master in 1994. Born in Yugoslavia, he was fourteen (a record at the time) when he won the title.
Lloyd Alexander (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1924; died Drexel Hills, Pennsylvania, May 17, 2007) was a children’s author. His book The Black Cauldron received a 1966 Newbery Honor Award. His The High King earned the 1969 Newbery Medal. Children can learn more at: Lloyd Alexander.
Tony Johnston (born Los Angeles, California, 1942) has written over 100 books for children. One of her books is The Cowboy and the Blackeyed Pea, published in 1992.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (born Hyde Park, New York, 1882; died Warm Springs, Georgia, April 12, 1945) was the thirty-second president (1933-1945) of the United States. Before he was president, he had been a state senator for New York. He was assistant secretary of the navy, and he was governor of New York. He took over the presidency during the Great Depression. He was the only president to serve more than two terms. He died in office during his fourth term. After his death, an amendment to the Constitution limited the number of presidential terms to two. Children could visit a website at: Franklin Roosevelt. They could also read Franklin Delano Roosevelt for Kids: His Life and Times with 21 Activities, by Richard Panchyk. Idea: Should the president’s number of terms be limited when the senators’ and representatives’ numbers of terms are not limited?