Mardi Gras is today! Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday in French) is the last day before the start of Lent, the forty days before Easter. Today is a day of feasting and partying because Lent is not a time of feasting and partying. Special foods include doughnuts and a King Cake. Mardi Gras colors are purple, green, and gold. Many cities, including New Orleans, host Mardi Gras parades and other activities. Children can find Mardi Gras activities at: Mardi Gras.
Salem witch trials commenced in 1692. The mania concluded in the fall. Nineteen people were hanged. One man was pressed to death. Over 50 more people awaited execution, and 150 were in jail, waiting to be tried. All the living were pardoned by late 1692. Older children could read Beyond the Burning Time by Kathryn Lasky.
Articles of Confederation were ratified in 1781. This document consolidated the thirteen colonies into one country and was the early nation’s frame of government until the Constitution was written in 1789. Children could learn more at: Articles of Confederation.
Ohio became the seventeenth state of the United States in 1803. The state’s nickname is the Buckeye State and the state tree is the buckeye. Columbus is the capital. The official state beverage is tomato juice. Children could visit an Internet site at: Ohio. Children could also make and drink some tomato juice.
Nebraska became the thirty-seventh state of the United States in 1867. The word Nebraska means “flat water.” Its nickname is the Cornhusker State, and it is a leading producer of corn and cattle. Lincoln is the state capital. Nebraska ranks fifteenth in area and thirty-seventh in population. Children could visit an Internet site at: Nebraska. Idea: Children could brainstorm a list of what to do with all those cornhusks.
Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872. It was the country’s first national park. It is mostly in Wyoming, but portions of the park extend into Idaho and Montana. It is known for beautiful vistas, plentiful wildlife, and interesting geothermal features. Children could visit an Internet site, especially the portions for children and teachers, at: http://www.nps.gov/yell.
Buffalo National River was established in 1972. Located in northern Arkansas, a lower stretch of 135 miles of the Buffalo River is a national river. An upper stretch of eighteen miles is part of the Ozark National Forest. Children could learn more at: Buffalo National River.
Glenn Miller (born Clarinda, Iowa, 1904; disappeared over the English Channel, December 15, 1944) was a bandleader and a composer. His big band sound was especially popular before and during World War II. He was on a flight to Paris to perform for troops when his plane vanished.
Donald “Deke” Slayton (born Sparta, Wisconsin, 1924; died League City, Texas, June 13, 1993) was one of the original seven astronauts. A heart condition kept him from traveling in space for some time, and he became chief of flight operations. In 1971 the heart condition disappeared, and he flew on the last Apollo mission. His crew docked for the first time with a Soviet Soyuz vessel. Children can learn more at: Deke Slayton.
Read Across America happens today! Read Across America takes place on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March 2nd. This activity is a great opportunity to get adults reading with children. Check out this site for many ideas: http://www.nea.org/grants/886.htm.
Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, starts today. For many Christians today means a day of religious introspection.