Nov 282021
 

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, the eight-day “Festival of Lights” that commemorates the success of the Maccabees when they fought the Seleucids 2100 years ago. When the Maccabees knew they were victorious, they realized they had enough oil to light the menorah for only one night. However, the oil lasted for eight nights. Jews eat latkes, play games with dreidels, and light candles on the menorah every night. Tonight the shamash (the middle candle) and one more candle will be lit. Hanukkah will end the night of December 6. Children could read Alexandra’s Scroll: The Story of the First Hanukkah, written by Miriam Chaikin. Children could also visit a great website, loaded with activities, at: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/hanukkah_for_kids.htm.

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Nov 282021
 

Albania celebrates Liberation Day. The Ottoman Empire gave up control of Albania in 1912. Located in southeastern Europe, the country is a bit smaller than the state of Maryland (according to the CIA World Factbook). Almost three million people live in this mountainous and hilly country. Tirana is the capital. Albania’s major industries are food processing and textiles. Older children can learn more at: Albania.

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Nov 282021
 

Mauritania celebrates Independence Day. It gained its freedom from France in 1960. The country, located in northwestern Africa, is larger than the state of Texas. Over three million people live in Mauritania, and the capital is Nouakchott. Located in the Sahara Desert, the country derives most of its income from livestock, iron ore, and gypsum. Older children could learn more at: Mauritania.

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Nov 282021
 
Duryea and His Auto

Duryea and His Motorized Wagon

First automobile race in the United States took place in 1895. This is an interesting story. Cars had been invented only two year earlier. The Chicago Times-Herald wanted to promote cars and boost newspaper circulation, so the newspaper sponsored the race. Approximately 83 cars were entered, but only six cars participated in the 54-mile race from Chicago to Evanston and back. The cars and drivers had to battle cold weather, snow, and local laws to finish. The winner, Charles Duryea in his motorized wagon, averaged seven miles per hour. He won $5000 (over $100,000 in today’s money). Children could learn more at: First Automobile Race.

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Nov 282021
 
Lady Astor

Lady Astor

Lady Astor became the first woman to be elected to the British Parliament. Born in the United States, Lady Astor was elected in 1919. She served until 1945. Children could find out if British Parliament elections differ from American elections by watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qs-9B3FRXCA.

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Nov 282021
 

Stephanie Calmenson (born Brooklyn, New York, 1952) writes books for children. Her works include The Principal’s New Clothes and Dinner at the Panda Palace. Children can learn more at: Stephanie Calmenson.

Ed Young (born Tientsin, China, 1931) is a children’s author and illustrator. He has written/illustrated 17 books and illustrated more than 60 other books. He wrote among other works Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding-Hood Story from China (Caldecott Medal), published in 1989. Two other books, the Emperor and the Kite (1967) and Seven Blind Mice (1992), were Caldecott Honor Books. In 1992 and 2000 he was the United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal. His website has a very interesting home page: Ed Young.

Tomi Ungerer (born Strasbourg, France, 1931; died Cork, Ireland, February 9, 2019) published over 140 children’s books. His books have been translated into many different languages. He illustrated Jeff Brown’s Flat Stanley in 1964. Children can visit Ungerer’s website at: Tomi Ungerer.

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