Today is Labor Day, a holiday and the unofficial end to summer. The holiday was probably first observed in 1882 in New York City by the Carpenters and Joiners Union. The holiday grew in popularity, and over half the states were celebrating Labor Day by 1893. President Grover Cleveland made it a legal holiday in 1894. Children can learn more at: Labor Day.
Rosh Hashanah, New Year in the Jewish calendar, begins today at sundown and concludes at sundown on September 8. The days are spent in worship and with family. Yom Kippur begins on September 15 at sundown and concludes on September 16 at sundown. Children could learn more by reading Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, by Howard Greenfield.
Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) celebrates Somhlolo, Independence Day. Although it has remained part of the British Commonwealth, it became free of direct British rule in 1968. This land-locked country has its own monarch, King Mswati III. Eswatini, home to 1.4 million people, is about the size of New Jersey. Mbabane is the capital. Older children can learn more at: Eswatini.
Captain Juan Sebastian de Elcano brought the only surviving ship, the Victoria, from Magellan’s expedition back to Spain in 1522. Magellan’s voyage started September 20, 1519, with five ships and about 265 men. Only eighteen of the men survived and returned on the Victoria. The ship was the first vessel to circumnavigate earth. Children could learn more at: Magellan.
Jane Addams (born Cedarville, Illinois, 1860; died Chicago, Illinois, May 32, 1935) was an activist for social welfare and women’s rights. She founded Hull House and was the co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931. Children could read The House that Jane Built, written by Tanya Lee Stone and illustrated by Kathryn Brown. The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award was created in her honor in 1953. The award recognizes books that promote peace, equality for minority groups, world issues, and equality for both men and women. Children could learn more about Jane Addams and the Jane Adams Children’s Book Award from Children’s Book Award Handbook, by Diana F. Marks.
John Dalton (born Eaglesfield, England, 1766; died Manchester, England, July 27, 1844) was a scientist. He is known for his work in atomic theory and in research regarding color blindness.
Tony DiTerlizzi (born Los Angeles, California, 1969) writes and illustrates books for children. He co-wrote the Spiderwick Chronicles with Holly Black. He earned a 2003 Caldecott Honor Award for The Spider and the Fly. Children can visit his website at: Tony DiTerilizzi.
Marquis de Lafayette (born Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier in Chavaniac, France, 1757; died Paris, France, May 20, 1834) was called “The Hero of Two Worlds.” He contributed to the American Revolution by convincing Louis XVI to send men to fight. He attained the rank of major-general and helped force Cornwallis to surrender at Yorktown. He returned to France and drafted “A Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.” Children could read Russell Freedman’s Lafayette and the American Revolution.
Felix Salten (born Budapest, Hungary, 1869; died Zurich, Switzerland, October 8, 1945) wrote children’s books. His most famous book is Bambi. Children could learn more at: Felix Salton.
Jessie Willcox Smith (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1863; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 3, 1935) was a prolific illustrator. Her illustrations appeared in over 250 periodicals, on 200 magazine covers, and in 60 books. Some of her most well-know children’s book illustrations include Heidi by Johanna Spyri and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.