Myanmar, also known as Burma, celebrates Independence Day. It became free from British rule in 1948. According to the CIA World Factbook, Myanmar is a bit smaller than Texas. About 55 million people live in this southeast Asian country, and about 4.25 million people live in the capital of Rangoon. Monsoons plague this resource-rich, including natural gas, timber, and mining, country. Older children could learn more at: Burma.
Utah became the forty-fifth state of the United States in 1896. The state capital is Salt Lake City, and its state nickname is the “Beehive State.” Its Great Salt Lake, located in the northern part of the state, is really the remnant of an inland sea. Because its waters do not drain into another body of water, the lake is becoming saltier and saltier. Children can visit an Internet site at: Utah. Idea: Items float with more ease in salt water than in fresh water. Fill one container with fresh water, and fill another container with salt water. Try floating various objects. Record the results.
First appendectomy was performed in 1885 in Davenport, Iowa. Dr. William West removed Mary Gartside’s appendix; she lived for at least another 30 years.
Louis Braille (born Coupvray, France, 1809; died Paris, France, March 28, 1852) invented a raised type of writing that can felt and read by the blind. He was accidentally blinded at age three. When he was ten, he attended the National Institute for the Blind in Paris. He became an accomplished musician and served as a church organist. He also became a teacher at the Institute. He modified a military code system to develop Braille. Children can learn all about Louis Braille and the Braille system by visiting a site designed for children: http://www.braillebug.org/.
Jacob Grimm (born Hanau, Germany, 1785; died Berlin, Germany, September 20, 1863) wrote, with his brother, Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Children can read and listen to versions of their fairy tales at: Project Gutenberg.
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (born Anderson, Indiana, 1933) is a children’s author. She has written over 130 books and at least 2000 articles. One of her most famous books is Shiloh, which received the 1991 Newbery Award. She is also famous for her Alice series. Children can learn more about the Alice series at: http://alicemckinley.wordpress.com/.
Tom Thumb (born Charles Sherwood Stratton in Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1838; died Middleborough, Massachusetts, July 15, 1883) grew to a height of 40 inches. He weighed 70 pounds. P. T. Barnum hired him to be a part of his museum and circus.