Uranus was discovered by Sir William Herschel in 1781. The planet is actually a gas giant, composed of methane, helium and hydrogen. Its temperature hovers around -355 degrees Fahrenheit. Some scientists believe that despite the cold surface temperatures, a core about fifteen times the size of earth has a temperature of approximately 12,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It possesses at least five major moons, ten minor moons, and thirteen rings. Idea: Encourage children to try to develop some kind of transport that could land on the gas giant. They could learn more at: Uranus.
“Uncle Sam” cartoon was published for the first time in 1852. Frank Bellew developed the cartoon for The New York Lantern, a newspaper.
Earmuffs were patented by Chester Greenwood of Farmington, Maine, in 1877. He was fifteen years old when he invented the Champion Ear Protectors. He had his grandmother add some fur to the ends of a piece of wire. He received patent #188,292. His invention became a factory, employing community members. Children can view the patent at: Earmuff Patent.
World Standard Time was accomplished in 1884. The International Meridian Conference met in Washington, DC. The group established the Prime Meridian through Greenwich and established 24 time zones. Prior to that conference, different countries used different times. In the United States, different railroads used different time systems. It was all very confusing! Children can find the time in different cities world wide at: World Clock.
Diane Dillon (born Glendale, California, 1933) is a picture book illustrator. She and her husband Leo Dillon, who died in 2012, are the only people to have received two Caldecott Medals back to back. They illustrated, among other works, Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale (1976 Caldecott Medal) and Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions (1977 Caldecott Medal). They also received a 2005 Coretta Scott King Honor Award for The People Could Fly: A Picture Book.
Percival Lowell (born Boston, Massachusetts, 1855; died Flagstaff, Arizona, November 12, 1916) was an astronomer. Lowell instigated the research that ultimately found Pluto. The former planet was found fourteen years after he died. He created the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Abigail Powers Fillmore (born Stillwater, New York, 1798; died Washington, DC, March 30, 1853) was the first wife of Millard Fillmore, thirteenth president of the United States. A teacher, she was the first First Lady to work before and after she was married. After they moved into the White House, she created its first library. She also had the first bathtub installed, and the first kitchen stove was added. Prior to that, cooking had been accomplished by using an open fireplace. Children could visit a website at: Abigail Powers Fillmore.
Joseph Priestley (born Fieldhead, England, 1733; died Northumberland, Pennsylvania, February 6, 1804) was a scientist and a cleric. He discovered oxygen.
Ellen Raskin (born Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1928; died New York, New York, August 8, 1984) was a children’s author. She received a 1975 Newbery Honor Award for Figgs and Phantoms. One of her most well-known books is The Westing Game, which earned Raskin the 1979 Newbery Medal. Children could visit a website at: Ellen Raskin.
Thomas Rockwell (born New Rochelle, New York, 1933) writes books for children. The son of Norman Rockwell, he is known for his book How to Eat Fried Worms.