Dr. John Jeffries and Jean-Pierre Blanchard made the first balloon flight across the English Channel in 1785. Jeffries, an American physician and meteorologist, and Blanchard, a French aviation inventor, flew from Dover, England, to Calais, France. They almost dropped into the English Channel and had to jettison almost everything to keep themselves in the air. Legend indicates that Blanchard even threw his trousers overboard!
Presidential elections occurred in the United States for the first time in 1789. Basically George Washington ran unopposed. He received 69 electoral votes. John Adams won 34 electoral votes. Therefore, according to the Constitution at that time, Washington became president, and Adams became vice president. Children can check out an absolutely amazing website and see ANY presidential election result at: http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/.
Fountain pen improvement was patented by William B. Purvis in 1890. His improvement provided an ink reservoir inside the pen so that writers did not have to carry a bottle of ink around. Children can check out his design at: William Purvis.
Kay Chorao (born Ann McKay Sproat in Elkhart, Indiana, 1936) writes and illustrates books for children. In addition to writing and illustrating her own books, she has illustrated books for other authors, including Jane Yolen, Judith Viorst, and Marjorie Weinman Sharmat. Chorao’s books include Cathedral Mouse and Here Comes Kate.
Eleanor Clymer (born New York, New York, 1906; died Haverford, Pennsylvania, March 31, 2001) wrote at least 58 children’s books. She is best known for The Trolley Car Family and The Tiny Little House. Children can learn more at: Eleanor Clymer.
Millard Fillmore (born Cayuga County, New York, 1800; died Buffalo, New York, March 8, 1874) was the thirteenth president (1850-1853) of the United States. He succeeded Zachary Taylor in 1850 when the latter died. Prior to being president, he had been a congressman for four terms. His party did not nominate him for the 1852 presidential contest. He campaigned during the 1856 race for the “Know-Nothing Party,” but he lost. Children could visit a website at: Millard Fillmore.
Minfong Ho (born Yangon, Myanmar, 1951) writes books, usually about life in Asia, for children. Her book Hush! A Thai Lullaby, illustrated by Holly Meade, received a 1997 Caldecott Honor Award.
Zora Neale Hurston (born Notasulga, Alabama, 1891; died Fort Pierce, Florida, January 28, 1960) was a writer. Perhaps her most famous work is Their Eyes Were Watching God. Older readers could visit a website devoted to her at: Zora Neale Hurston.
Jacques Etienne Montgolfier (born Vidalon-lez Annonay, Ardeche, France, 1745; died Serrieres, France, August 2, 1799) was an inventor and balloonist. He and his brother, Joseph Michael, experimented with fabric balloons and smoke. Eventually they conducted the first hot air balloon flight. Idea: children could conduct experiments with balloons. Consider having balloon races.