American Library Association was founded in 1876 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Today the nonprofit organization has 62,000 members and a staff of 300. It sponsors a number of awards, including the John Newbery Awards, Randolph Caldecott Awards, Pura Belpré Awards, and Coretta Scott King Awards. Adults can find a list of the award-winning books at: Book Lists.
National German-American Day is celebrated by Presidential Proclamation since 1987. This day was chosen because in 1683 German immigrants founded the community of Germantown, Pennsylvania.
51 Pegasi was discovered in 1995. It is the first sun-like star to have an exoplanet orbiting it. Swiss astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz first announced the discovery, and other scientists have confirmed the presence of a planet, now called Bellerophon.
Jason Lewis in 2007 completed the first human-powered circumnavigation of the earth. He began his odyssey in July 1994 when he and a friend left London. He pedaled a small boat across oceans, line-skated across North America, bicycled through Australia, and had other experiences. He traveled a total of 46,505 miles.
Betsy Hearne (born Wilsonville, Alabama, 1942) writes books for children. She received the 1998 Jane Addams Award for Seven Brave Women. Older children can learn more at: Betsy Hearne.
Thor Heyerdahl (born Larvik, Norway, 1914; died Colla Micheri, Italy, April 18, 2002) was an ethnologist and an adventurer. He built and sailed the Kon-Tiki. He and five others sailed from Peru to eastern Polynesia on the balsa raft to prove that natives of South America could have settled the islands.
Susan Meddaugh (Montclair, New, Jersey, 1944) writes and illustrates books for children. She created the popular Martha Speaks series and Lulu’s Hat. Children can learn more at: Susan Meddaugh.
Florence Seibert (born Easton, Pennsylvania, 1897; died St. Petersburg, Florida, August 23, 1991) was a doctor and biochemist. She isolated a form of tuberculin that could be used in TB tests. Idea: The school nurse could talk to the class about the importance of the tuberculosis test. Children could learn more at: Florence Seibert.
Elizabeth Gray Vining (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1902; died Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, November 27, 1999) was a children’s author, writing 60 books. Using the pseudonym of Elizabeth Gray, she wrote Adam of the Road, which received the 1943 Newbery Medal. Children can learn more at: Elizabeth Gray Vining.
George Westinghouse (born Central Bridge, New York, 1846; died New York, New York, March 12, 1914) was an inventor. He held over 400 patents, and he created Westinghouse Electric Company. At one time his company employed about fifty thousand people.