First United States lighthouse, located on Little Brewster Island in Boston Harbor, started operating in 1716. It was attacked by both the Americans and the British during the Revolutionary War. The “new” lighthouse was constructed on the same location in 1783. A National Historic Landmark, it continues to work today. Children can learn more at: First Lighthouse.
Joe W. Kittinger became the first person to cross the Atlantic in a hot-air balloon. He left Caribou, Maine, on September 14, 1984, and landed near Capbreton, France, on September 17, 1984. He broke his ankle when he was thrown from the gondola during the stormy landing. The 3,535-mile trip also established a new record for solo distance.
OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) was established in 1960. The goal of OPEC is to establish systems to stabilize oil prices and output of its members. The twelve members are: Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.
William H. Armstrong (born Lexington, Virginia, 1911; died Kent, Connecticut, April 11, 1999) was a children’s author. He wrote, among other works, Sounder, which received the 1970 Newbery Medal. Children could learn more about him at: William H. Armstrong.
Diane Goode (born Brooklyn, New York, 1949) has written and/or illustrated at least 57 books for children. She received a 1983 Caldecott Honor Award for her illustrations in When I Was Young in the Mountains. Children could visit her website at: Diane Goode.
Frederick Heinrich Alexander Von Humboldt (born Berlin, Germany, 1769; died Berlin, Germany, May 6, 1859) was a geographer and scientist. Idea: Children could learn how Humboldt used isothermal lines on his maps.
Edith Thacher Hurd (born Kansas City, Missouri, 1910; died Walnut Creek, California, January 25, 1997) wrote at least 75 books for children. She collaborated with her husband, illustrator Clement Hurd, on about 50 of those books. Her works include Under the Lemon Tree and I Dance in My Red Pajamas. Children could learn more at: Edith Thacher Hurd.
John Steptoe (born Brooklyn, New York, 1950; died New York, New York, August 28, 1989) was a picture book author and illustrator. He wrote among other works Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, which received a 1988 Caldecott Honor Award and a Coretta Scott King Medal. Steptoe received another Coretta Scott King Medal in 1982 for Mother Crocodile. He also earned another Caldecott Honor Award in 1985 for Story of Jumping Mouse – A Native American Legend. Children could learn more at: John Steptoe.
James Wilson (born Carskerdo, Scotland, 1742; died Edonton, North Carolina, August 21 or August 28, 1798) signed the Declaration of Independence. He represented Pennsylvania. A lawyer, he also signed the Constitution. He was one of the first Supreme Court Justices. Unfortunately, he made some poor business decisions and died in poverty.
Elizabeth Winthrop (born Washington, DC, 1948) has written more than 60 books. Her audience includes both children and adults. One of her books is The Castle in the Attic. Children could visit her website at: Elizabeth Winthrop.