Kentucky Derby Day is today. Also called “The Run for the Roses,” the Derby began in 1875. The track is 1.25 miles long, and the race lasts about two minutes. The race takes place at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, on the first Saturday in May. Children can learn more at: Kentucky Derby.
RMS Lusitania sank in 1915. It was torpedoed by Germany, and 1,198 people, including 128 Americans, died. The ship was traveling from New York to Liverpool, England. The United States protested the action, but Germany countered that the ship held munitions for England and was fair game. The sinking created anti-German feelings in the United States, and America declared war on Germany on April 4, 1917.
A pearl weighing fourteen pounds was removed from a Philippine clam (yes, a clam) in 1934. Known as the Pearl of Allah or the Pearl of Lao Tzu, the pearl measures almost ten inches in diameter and weighs about 14.1 pounds. The pearl’s ownership is now in dispute.
Johannes Brahms (born Hamburg, Germany, 1833; died Vienna, Austria, April 3, 1897) was a great classical composer of concertos, symphonies and chamber music. Experts believe his strength was his ability to produce a theme and then to modify it as the music went on.
Nonny Hogrogian (born New York, New York, 1932) is an author and illustrator. She has won two Caldecott Medals, for Always Room for One More in 1966 and for One Fine Day in 1972.
Edwin Herbert Land (born Bridgeport, Connecticut, 1909; died Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 1, 1991) was an inventor and a scientist. He created the Polaroid Land camera, and he held more than 500 patents. Children can learn more at: Edwin Herbert Land.
Peter Tchaikovsky (born Votinsk, Russia, 1840; died Saint Petersburg, Russia, November 6, 1893) was a composer. He created six symphonies, three ballets, and eleven operas. Two of his ballets were Swan Lake and The Nutcracker.
Deborah Wiles (born Mobile, Alabama, 1953) writes books for children. Her books include the Aurora County Trilogy and The Sixties Project. Children can learn more at: Deborah Wiles.