Lesotho celebrates Independence Day. It became free from British rule in 1966. The country, about the size of Maryland, is entirely surrounded by South Africa. Almost two million people live in Lesotho, and Maseru is the capital. Tourism is a major industry. Older children can learn more at: Lesotho.
Gregorian calendar adjustment was made in 1582. Earlier that year Pope Gregory XIII had announced that the day following October 4 would be October 15. The adjustment took place in most Catholic countries. Great Britain and the colonies did not change until 1752.
World Space Week, sponsored by the United Nations, is from October 4 through October 10. Created in 1999, the week commemorates events in space. This year’s theme is “Satellites Improve Life.” Two events sparked the choice of these days:
- Sputnik I, a Soviet spacecraft, was launched on October 4, 1957. It was the first successful man-made satellite, weighing 184 pounds and remaining in space for 21 days. Sputnik marked the beginning of the space race.
- Members of the United Nations signed on October 10, 1967, the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies.
Other events related to space and air travel on this date are:
- Jet passenger service began in 1958. The British airliner Comet flew from London to New York.
- Luna 3 was launched in 1959 by the Soviets. It was the first spacecraft to photograph the moon’s far side.
- SpaceShipOne became in 2004 the first private, successful, manned venture into space. Its owners received the $10 million Ansari X Ten Prize for their efforts. SpaceShipOne is now in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
Julia Cunningham (born Spokane, Washington, 1916; died Santa Barbara, California, February 27, 2008) wrote books for children. Her books include Dorp Dead and The Treasure Is the Rose. Children can learn more at: Julia Cunningham.
Karen Cushman (born Chicago, Illinois, 1941) is a children’s author. Catherine, Called Birdie was a 1995 Newbery Honor book. The Midwife’s Apprentice was the 1996 Newbery Award winner. Children can visit her website at: Karen Cushman.
Rutherford Birchard Hayes (born Delaware, Ohio, 1822; died Fremont, Ohio, January 17, 1893) was the nineteenth president (1877-1881) of the United States. He attended Harvard Law School. During the Civil War he was wounded five times. At the end of the war, he found himself with the rank of general. He returned to Ohio and eventually became its governor. He ran for president. He lost the popular vote, but he won the Electoral College vote. He concerned himself with improving civil service, and he ended a major railroad strike. He chose to run for only one term. Children could visit a website at: Rutherford B. Hayes.
Robert Lawson (born New York, New York, 1862; died Rabbit Hill, Westport, Connecticut, May 26, 1957) wrote and/or illustrated at least 45 books for children. He is the only person to earn both a Newbery Medal (in 1945 for Rabbit Hill) and a Caldecott Medal (in 1941 for They Were Strong and Good). He also received a 1958 Newbery Honor Award for The Great Wheel. Children can learn more at: Robert Lawson.
Eliza McCardle Johnson (born Leesburg, Tennessee, 1810; died Carter’s Station, Tennessee, January 15, 1876) was the wife of Andrew Johnson, seventeenth president of the United States. She was frail and did not serve as hostess in the White House. Her daughter, Martha Johnson Patterson, took over the role for her. Children could visit a website at: Eliza McCardle Johnson.
Frederic Remington (born Canton, New York, 1861; died Ridgefield, Connecticut, December 26, 1909) was an artist. He was particularly interested in the Old West. His paintings are filled with action and adventure. He is also famous for his bronze works. Children could view many of his works at: Frederic Remington.
Damon Runyon (born Manhattan, Kansas 1884; died New York, New York, December 10, 1946) was an author and a reporter. He is famous for his witty stories, including Guys and Dolls and Butch Minds the Baby.
Donald Sobol (born New York, New York, 1924; died Miami, Florida, July 11, 2012) wrote more than 65 books for children. He was best known for his Encyclopedia Brown series. Children can learn more at: Donald Sobol.
Edward Stratemeyer (born Elizabeth, New Jersey, 1862; died Newark, New Jersey, May 10, 1930) developed the Stratemeyer Syndicate that published more than 800 books for children and young adults. His Stratemeyer Syndicate produced such series as The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, The Bobbsey Twins, and Tom Swift. Idea: The Tom Swift series generated puns called Tom Swifties. Children could visit a website at: Tom Swifties. Students could enjoy the puns and then create some of their own.