Belize celebrates Independence Day. It left British rule in 1981, but it is still part of the British Commonwealth. This small country (slightly smaller than the state of Massachusetts) is located on the northeastern coast of Central America. Tourism is the most important contributor to the economy. Around 340,000 people live in Belize, and Belmopan is the capital.
Malta celebrates Independence Day. In 1964 it broke away from the United Kingdom. The islands, located in the Mediterranean Sea, are a bit less than twice the size of Washington, DC. Much of its economy is based on tourism and shipping. Over 400,000 people consider Malta home, and Valletta is the capital.
Armenia celebrates Independence Day. It broke away from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1991. Located in the Middle East, Armenia dates its history back to the sixth century BC. This landlocked country is a bit smaller than the state of Maryland. Almost three million people live in Armenia, and Yerevan is the capital.
International Day of Peace is sponsored by the United Nations. Created in 1981, the event calls on all factions to cease fire. This year’s theme is “Shaping Peace Together.” Children could learn more at: http://internationaldayofpeace.org/.
National Museum of the American Indian opened on the National Mall, Washington, DC, in 2004. Children can visit its website at: http://www.nmai.si.edu/.
Francis Hopkinson (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1737; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 9, 1791) signed the Declaration of Independence. Representing New Jersey, he was also a writer, lawyer and judge. Legend indicates he was instrumental in designing the flag of the United States.
Louis Jolliet (born near Quebec City, New France, 1645; died 1700) was an explorer. He and Jacques Marquette traveled extensively through the upper Mississippi River region. Idea: Children could trace some of the routes the two explorers traveled.
Stephen King (born Portland, Maine, 1947) is an author. Two of his most famous works are The Shining and The Stand.
Margaret MacKall Smith Taylor (born Calvert County, Maryland, 1788; died East Pascagoula, Mississippi, August 14, 1852) was the wife of Zachary Taylor, twelfth president of the United States. She lived in the White House for less than eighteen months because he died in office. Even while First Lady, however, she relegated social functions to her daughter. No photograph or painting of her that can be authenticated exists. Children could visit a website at: Margaret Taylor.
Herbert George Wells (born Bromley, Kent, England, 1866; died London, England, August 13, 1946) was a writer. Two of his most famous works are The War of the Worlds and The Invisible Man. Children can read many of his works at: Project Gutenberg.
Hans Wilhelm (born Bremen, Germany, 1945) has written and/or illustrated over 200 books for children. His books include The Big Boasting Battle and the Noodles series. Children can visit his website at: Hans Wilhelm.
Taro Yashima (born Japan, 1908; died Los Angeles, California, June 30, 1994) wrote and illustrated books for children. He received three Caldecott Honor Awards: one in 1956 for Crow Boy, one in 1959 for Umbrella, and one in 1968 for Seashore Story.