Paraguay recognizes its Independence Day of May 14 and celebrates that day on May 15. Paraguay became free of Spanish rule in 1811. The country, about the size of the state of California, is located in South America. About 6.6 million people live in this land-locked country. It exports cotton and soybeans, and Asuncion is the capital.
Jamestown, Virginia, became the first permanent English colony in America in 1607. Three ships, the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery brought Captain John Smith and others to American shores. The ill-prepared colonists had left England on December 20, 1606. Children could learn more at: http://www.nps.gov/jame/index.htm.
Thirty-four camels landed in Indianola, Texas, in 1856! After the United States won the Mexican-American War in 1846, the country acquired large land holdings in what is now Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. The American army wanted to map the region and establish forts in the new lands. Horses and mules could not easily withstand the high temperatures, lack of consistent water, and rough terrain. The army decided to try camels as beasts of burden. The camels marched from Indianola to base camp at Camp Verde, Texas. Eventually another 41 camels arrived. The camels were well-suited to the terrain and climate; the Camel Corps trekked all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Unfortunately, the Civil War disrupted the region, and the camel experiment ended.
Israel celebrated Yom Ha’atzmaut, the day it became a nation, in 1948. However, because the Jewish calendar is lunar, the day Israel celebrates its founding varies from year to year.
National Endangered Species Day is today. The United States Senate in 2006 declared the day to occur on the third Friday in May. Children could learn more at: Species.
North Cape, Norway, receives twenty-four hours of sun a day from this day until July 30. Idea: Children could brainstorm a list of advantages and disadvantages of so much sunlight.
Eoin Colfer (born Wexford, Ireland, 1965) writes books for children. His books include the Artemis Fowl series and The Legend of Spud Murphy. Children could visit his website at: Eoin Colfer.
Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (born Danzig, Germany, 1686; died Amsterdam, Holland, September 16, 1736) was a scientist. The Fahrenheit temperature scale is named in honor of him. He was the first person to use mercury in thermometers. Today we do not use mercury in thermometers.
Thomas Gainsborough (born Sudbury, Suffolk, England, 1727; died London, England, August 2, 1788) was an artist specializing in portraits and landscapes. One of his most famous works is The Blue Boy. Children could view some of his works at: Gainsborough.
George Selden (born Hartford, Connecticut, 1929; died New York, New York, December 5, 1989) wrote at least 16 books for children. Perhaps his most well-known work is The Cricket in Times Square, which received a 1961 Newbery Honor Award. Children could learn more at: George Selden.