North Dakota became the thirty-ninth state of the United States in 1889. The state ranks seventeenth in area and forty-seventh in population. Its nicknames include the Sioux State, the Peace Garden State, and the Flickertail State. Bismarck is the state capital. North Dakota is the nation’s leading producer of wheat, and it has large reserves of lignite coal and natural gas. Children can learn more at: North Dakota.
South Dakota became the fortieth state of the United States in 1889. The two states’ names stem from a Sioux word dakota, meaning allies. People first came to South Dakota in search of gold. Then raising cattle became a means of living. Its nickname is the Coyote State, and Pierre is the state capital. Two important attractions are the Badlands National Park and Mount Rushmore National Monument. Children can visit the America’s Library site at: South Dakota.
Cheerleading started in 1898. Johnny Campbell, a student at the University of Minnesota, became the college’s first cheerleader when he led the cheer, “Rah! Rah! Rah! Ski-u-mah! Hoo-rah! Hoo-rah! Varsity! Varsity! Varsity, Minn-e-So-Tah!” The idea of cheerleading spread, but women did not cheer until 1923. During World War II, as men were drafted into the military, more women became cheerleaders.
Spruce Goose flew its first and only flight in 1947. Howard Hughes designed and flew the twenty-five million dollar plane made of wood. Originally called Hercules, the plane flew for about one mile at an altitude of 70 feet over Long Beach Harbor, California. Today the Spruce Goose is an exhibit at the Evergreen Museum. Find more information and examine photographs at: Spruce Goose.
Marie Antoinette (born Vienna, Austria, 1755; died October 16, 1793) was queen of France during the French Revolution. Daughter of the Emperor of Austria, she married the French dauphin when she was fifteen years old. The dauphin became king in 1774. The country was close to bankruptcy, and the court’s extravagant life style turned the people against them. Legend says that when she heard that the poor had no bread to eat, she stated, “Let them eat cake.” The king and queen tried to escape the country, but they were discovered and imprisoned. He was beheaded in January of 1793. She died at the guillotine in October of 1793.
Daniel Boone (born Berks County, Pennsylvania, 1734; died St. Charles County, Missouri, September 26, 1820) was a pioneer, explorer and army officer. His life has inspired many stories. He was captured by the Indians, but he later escaped. The British also seized him, but he got away soon after. He spent his life in the rugged frontier. Children could learn more about him at: Daniel Boone.
Alyssa Satin Capucilli (born Brooklyn, New York, 1957) is a children’s author. Her books include the Biscuit series. Children can visit her amazing site and enjoy the free activities and reader’s theater at: Alyssa Satin Capucilli.
Margaret Bloy Graham (born Toronto, Canada, 1920; died Belmont, Massachusetts, January 22, 2015) wrote and illustrated books for children. She illustrated the Harry the Dirty Dog series, written by her then-husband, Gene Zion. She received a Caldecott Honor Award in 1952 for The Storm Book and another Caldecott Honor Award in 1955 for Really Spring. Children can see Betty White read Harry the Dirty Dog at: http://www.storylineonline.net/harry-the-dirty-dog/.
Warren Gamaliel Harding (born Corsica, Ohio, 1865; died San Francisco, California, August 2, 1923) was the twenty-ninth president (1921-1923) of the United States. Before he became president, he served as a state senator, a lieutenant governor, and a United States senator. He felt high tariffs and low taxes would help America. Unfortunately, some of his appointees were dishonest, and his administration was marred. He died of an embolism while in office. After his death, his wife destroyed many of his letters. Children can visit a website at: Warren Harding.
Natalie Kinsey-Warnock (born Newport, Vermont, 1956) is a children’s author. One of her books is Gifts from the Sea, published in 2005. Children can visit her website at: Natalie Kinsey-Warnock.
Barbara Knutson (born South Africa, 1959; died St. Paul, Minnesota, May, 2005) wrote and illustrated books for children. Her works include How the Guinea Fowl Got Her Spots and Love and Roast Chicken. Children can learn more at: Barbara Knutson.
James Knox Polk (born Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, 1795; died Nashville, Tennessee, June 15, 1849) was the eleventh president (1845-1849) of the United States. He served in the House of Representatives for seven terms. At one point he was Speaker of the House. He became Tennessee’s governor, and then he felt his political career was over. However, in 1844 he became the darkhorse candidate and won the election. During his administration over one million square miles of territory were added to the United States. He did not run for a second term, and he died three months after leaving the White House. Children can visit a website at: James Knox Polk.