The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage was formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1775. This group was America’s first abolition society. Some of the early members were Thomas Paine, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, and John Greenleaf Whittier. Renamed the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, the group still exists, working for racial justice.
Noah Webster’s dictionary was copyrighted in 1828. Children could play some word games at the Merriam-Webster site: http://www.wordcentral.com/games.html. Idea: Children can create their own picture dictionaries regarding a certain topic. For example, a child could make a picture dictionary of Spanish words, or another student could make a picture dictionary of computer terms.
Abraham Lincoln was shot in 1865. He was at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC, to see a performance of “Our American Cousin.” He died the next day. Children could learn more at: Lincoln. They could also read Chasing Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson. Children could decide how the future of America would have been different if Lincoln had not been assassinated.
Christiaan Huygens (born The Hague, Dutch Republic, 1629; died The Hague, Dutch Republic, July 8, 1695) was a mathematician, physicist, and astronomer. He discovered that Saturn had a ring around it and that Saturn had at least one moon, Titan. He wrote a book about probability theory, and he quantified several physics concepts.
Gary D. Schmidt (born Hicksville, New York, 1957) writes books for children. His Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy earned both a Newbery Honor Award and a Printz Award in 2005. The Wednesday Wars received a 2008 Newbery Honor Award.
Anne Mansfield Sullivan (born Feeding Hills, Massachusetts, 1866; died Forest Hills, New York, October 20, 1936) was Helen Keller’s teacher from 1887 until her death in 1936. Older children can learn a great deal about Sullivan from the American Foundation for the Blind website: http://www.afb.org/asm/.