Minnesota became the thirty-second state of the United States in 1858. Its name is derived from the Sioux word minisota, meaning sky-tinted waters. It was settled by the French looking for furs. Its nicknames are the North Star State and the Gopher State. Minnesota has over ten thousand lakes, and the Mesabi Range produces about 60 percent of the country’s iron ore. Children could learn more at: Minnesota.
Peter Stuyvesant became governor of New Amsterdam in 1647. A strongly opinionated individual, he served as governor until 1664 when England took over the colony and renamed it New York.
John Hart, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, died in 1779 in Hopewell, New Jersey. He was born around 1711 in Stonington, Connecticut, but his exact date of birth is unknown. He represented New Jersey at the signing. When the British attacked New Jersey, they placed a bounty on Hart. He was forced to hide. When he was finally able to return to his farm, he found that his wife had died and that his children had moved.
Merrimack was destroyed by the Confederate Navy in 1862. Southern military leaders thought advancing Union troops might capture the ironclad, so Confederate officials sank the ship.
Irving Berlin (born Israel Isidore Baline in Tyumen, Russia, 1888; died New York, New York, September 22, 1989) wrote approximately 1,250 songs. Two of his most famous works are God Bless America and White Christmas.
Sheila Burnford (born Scotland, 1918; died England, April 20, 1984) was an author. She is best remembered for her book The Incredible Journey.
Salvador Dali (born Figueras, Spain, 1904; died Figueras, Spain, January 23, 1989) was a surrealist painter.
Martha Graham (born Allegheny, Pennsylvania, 1894; died New York, New York, April 1, 1991) was a dancer and a choreographer.
Juanita Havill (born Evansville, Indiana, 1949) writes books for children. Her books include Jamaica’s Find and Eyes Like Willy’s.
Mike Lupica (born Oneida, New York, 1952) is a sports columnist and writer. His books for children include Heat and Travel Team. Young adults can learn more at: Mike Lupica.
Harriet Quimby (born Arcadia Michigan, 1875; died Quincy, Massachusetts, July 1, 1912) was an early female aviator. She was the first American woman to obtain a pilot’s license. In 1912 she was the first woman to fly across the English Channel. She died in an airplane-related accident later that year.
Peter Sis (born Brno, Moravia, Czechoslovakia, 1949) writes and illustrates books for children. He has received many awards for his books. He has received three Caldecott Honor Awards: Starry Messenger: Galileo Galilee in 1997, Tibet Through the Red Box in 1999, and The Wall: Growing Up behind the Iron Curtain in 2008. The last book also earned the Robert F. Sibert Medal for Informational Books. Sis has also earned the very prestigious Han Christian Andersen Award for Illustration in 2012. Children can visit his very interesting website, including activities, at: Peter Sis.
Zilpha Keatley Snyder (born Lemoore, California, 1927; died San Francisco, California, October 8, 2014) wrote at least 46 books for children. She received three Newbery Honor Awards: The Egypt Game in 1968, The Headless Cupid in 1972, and The Witches of Worm in 1973.