Kentucky became the fifteenth state of the United States in 1792. It probably got its name from either the Iroquois word Kenta-ke, meaning meadowland, or the Wyandot word Kah-ten-tah-teh, meaning land of tomorrow. Its state song is “My Old Kentucky Home.” Tourist attractions include Mammoth Cave National Park. Children could visit an internet site at: Kentucky.
Tennessee became the sixteenth state of the United States in 1796. Its nickname is the Volunteer State. Tennessee’s name comes from tenase, meaning main village of Cherokees. The Grand Ole Opry, located in Nashville, attracts many country music fans. Children could visit an Internet site at: Tennessee.
First recorded American earthquake occurred in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1638. Since English citizens had rarely experienced earthquakes, the colonists did not even have a word to describe their experience. Scientists today believe the earthquake was between a 6.5 to 7 on the Richter Magnitude Scale, making the earthquake one of the strongest ever in New England. Children could visit a WONDERFUL interactive site about earthquakes at: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/kids/.
James Daugherty (born Asheville, North Carolina, 1889; died Boston, Massachusetts, February 21, 1974) was a painter, illustrator, and author. He is one of only a few people who have earned both Newbery Awards and Caldecott Awards. His Andy and the Lion received a 1939 Caldecott Honor Award, and he earned another Caldecott Honor Award in 1957 for Gillespie and the Guards. He was awarded the 1940 Newbery Medal for Daniel Boone.
Jacques Marquette (born Laon, France, 1637; died near Ludington, Michigan, May 18, 1675) was a priest and an explorer. He arrived in the New World in 1666. He founded several missions before he met Louis Jolliet. The two, with five other people, started to explore the Mississippi River in 1673. Idea: Children could speculate on why a priest would become such an active explorer.
Doris Buchanan Smith (born Washington, DC, 1934; died Jacksonville, Florida, August 28, 2002) wrote seventeen books for children. Her A Taste of Blackberries was published in 1973.
Italy celebrates Republic Day. It became a republic in 1946. Slightly larger than the state of Arizona, the country supports a population of 61 million people. Rome is the capital, and its mountainous interior supports olive groves and vineyards.
Bulgarians celebrate Hristo Botev Day. In 1876 Hristo Botev, writer and hero, died while fighting the Turks. Today Botev is a national hero in Bulgaria.
Grover Cleveland became the first and only President to wed in the White House when he married Frances Folsom, age 22, in 1886. Idea: Children might find out how Frances and Grover met.
Native Americans were given citizenship in 1924. President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act, granting between 125,000 and 300,000 Native Americans full rights. They did not have to apply for citizenship, and they could keep their tribal rights. Children could learn more at: Citizenship.
Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953. She is queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and other parts of her realm. She was born in 1926 and became queen when her father King George VI died. Her coronation was the first widely televised world event.
Charles “Pete” Conrad, Jr. (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1930; died near Ojai, California, July 8, 1999) was an astronaut. He participated in four space flights, and he was the third person to walk on the moon.
Michael Emberley (born Boston, Massachusetts, 1960) writes and illustrates books for children. The son of author/illustrator Ed Emberley, Michael has written at least 20 books, including Mail Harry to the Moon and Ruby and the Sniffs. Children can explore his website at: Michael Emberley.
Paul Galdone (born Budapest, Hungary, 1914; died Nyack, New York, November 7, 1986) was an author and illustrator of children’s books. He received a 1957 Caldecott Honor Award for Anatole and another Caldecott Honor Award in 1958 for Anatole and the Cat. Children can learn more at: Paul Galdone.
Norton Juster (born Brooklyn, New York, 1939; died Northampton, Massachusetts, March 8, 2021) was an architect and author. Perhaps his most famous book is The Phantom Tollbooth, published in 1961. He also wrote The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics, published in 1963.
Helen Oxenbury (born Suffolk, England, 1938) writes and illustrates books for children. She has written and illustrated at least 59 books and has illustrated at least 20 books by other authors. She has twice received the Kate Greenaway Medal, in 1969 for The Quangle Wangle’s Hat and in 2000 for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Martha Dandridge Washington (born near Williamsburg, Virginia, 1731; died Mount Vernon, Virginia, May 22, 1802) was the wife of George Washington, the first president of the United States. Her first husband was Daniel Parke Custis; he died in 1757. She had to raise their two children alone. In 1759 she married George Washington. She never lived in the White House. The nation’s capital moved from New York to Philadelphia while Washington was president. Children could visit a website at: Martha Washington.