Gold was discovered in California in 1848 by John Sutter and John Marshall. They were building a sawmill when they noticed flakes of gold in the water. Most of the forty-niners rushed to the Mother Lode country, part of the western foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Over 90,000 people had reached California by 1849, and the population topped 220,000 by 1852. The rush had declined by 1854, and most prospectors turned to other jobs. Idea: Children could find out how mine claims are made legal and how assays prove metal content of ore. Children could learn more at: California Gold. Children would really enjoy reading Sid Fleischman’s excellent historical fiction book By the Great Horn Spoon!
Voyager 2 sailed past Uranus in 1986. It discovered eleven new moons and two new rings. Voyager 2 collected data on one of the moons, Miranda. Miranda, named after a character in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, is gouged by deep craters and sharp cliffs. Voyager 2 was launched on August 20, 1977, and it still sends back data about deep space! Idea: Children could find out how newly discovered objects in space are named. Children can learn more at: Voyager 2.
Charles Boardman Hawes (born Clifton Springs, New York, 1889; died Springfield, Massachusetts, 1923) wrote children’s books. His book The Great Quest received a 1922 Newbery Honor Award. The 1924 Newbery Medal was awarded posthumously to him for The Dark Frigate. Children can read The Great Quest at: http://www.gutenberg.org/.
Mary Lou Retton (born Fairmont, West Virginia, 1968) is an Olympic gold medal winner in gymnastics.
Maria Tallchief (born Elizabeth Marie Tall Chief in Fairfax, Oklahoma, 1925; died Chicago, Illinois, April 11, 2013) was a noted ballerina. A member of the Osage tribe, she originally studied to be a pianist. She established the Chicago City Ballet in 1979.