Today is Leap Day! Leap Day is added to the year every four years. Idea: Students could figure out a way to know whether any given year contained a leap day.
Christopher Columbus used his knowledge about an upcoming lunar eclipse in 1504 to frighten Jamaican natives into giving him supplies. Idea: Do tables exist to predict lunar and solar eclipses?
The Jay Treaty between the United States and Great Britain went into effect in 1796. The treaty was also called the Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation Between His Royal Majesty and the United States of America. It resolved some of the conflicts remaining from the Revolutionary War. One of the issues was the exact border between the United States and Canada. Part of the pact was about seal hunting in the Bering Sea.
Tokyo Skytree was completed in 2012. It is still the tallest tower, a broadcasting and observation tower, in the world.
John Phillip Holland (born County Clare, Ireland, 1844; died Newark, New Jersey, August 12, 1914) invented the submarine. Idea: Explain to the class how a submarine works.
Herman Hollerith (born Buffalo, New York, 1860; died Washington, DC, November 17, 1929) invented a tabulating machine, using punch cards, that became an early precursor of today’s computers.
Patricia A. McKillip (born Salem, Oregon, 1948) has written at least 37 children’s books and numerous short stories. She specializes in fantasy themes. Children can visit her website at: http://patriciamckillip.com/ .
Augusta Savage (born Green Cove Springs, Florida, 1892; died New York, New York, March 27, 1963) was a sculptor associated with the Harlem Renaissance. She had to fight racial discrimination to become a well-known artist in clay. Children could read In Her Hands: The Story of Sculptor Augusta Savage, by Alan Schroeder.