Henry VIII married the first of his six wives, Catherine of Aragon, in 1509. A Spanish princess, she was the widow of his brother, Prince Arthur. Children can learn more about all of his wives at: Wives.
Continental Congress in 1776 organized the Committee of Five to write the Declaration of Independence. The committee was comprised of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman, John Adams, and Robert Livingston. The group met and decided that Thomas Jefferson would write the first draft. He worked on the document over the next few days, and then the group edited his work. The committee presented their work to the full Continental Congress on June 28, 1776. Children could view a bas relief of the five at: Committee of Five.
Comstock Lode was discovered in Nevada in 1859. This time the metal was silver, and a “silver rush” took place similar to the gold rush ten years earlier. By 1882 the mines had produced $397,000,000 worth of silver. However, by 1898 the mines were pretty much played out.
Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991 in the Philippines. The volcano, dormant for some time, disgorged ash and gas 60 miles into the air. Sulfuric acid droplets formed a layer in the earth’s atmosphere. It actually lowered the earth’s temperature by about one degree for several years. Children could learn about volcanoes in general at: Volcanoes.
Samantha Cristoforetti in 2015 set a new record for the longest space flight for a woman (199 days 16 hours). On November 23, 2014, she and two other astronauts were launched from Kazakhstan and reached the International Space Station. The Italian astronaut was to return to earth in May 2015, but setbacks occurred in the rockets meant to bring them back. Interesting tidbit: she became the first person to brew an espresso coffee in space. Another interesting tidbit: American astronaut Peggy Whitson broke Cristoforetti’s record in April 2017.
David Brearley (born near Trenton, New Jersey, 1745; died Trenton, New Jersey, August 17, 1790) represented New Jersey at the Constitutional Convention. He suggested that the boundaries of the original 13 states should be re-drawn so that the states were about the same size, Obviously, his idea was not popular. Children could learn more at: David Brearley.
Jacques-Ives Cousteau (born Saint-Andre-de-Cubzac, France, 1910; died Paris, France, June 25, 1997) was a famous oceanographer. He became interested in the ocean when he was a gunnery officer for the French navy. He, along with Emile Gagnan, made the aqualung practical. He wrote more than fifty books and produced many films and documentaries about the ocean. He earned three Academy Awards for his work in films. Idea: Children could find out how the aqualung works.
Satoshi Kitamura (born Tokyo, Japan, 1956) has written and/or illustrated at least 66 children’s books. He moved to London in 1979 and began illustrating books. Ultimately he returned to Tokyo. His works include Stone Age Boy and Millie’s Marvelous Hat. Children can see and hear Elijah Wood read Kitamura’s Me and My Cat at: http://www.storylineonline.net/me-and-my-cat/.
Robert Munsch (born Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1945) is a children’s author who is now a Canadian citizen and one of Canada’s most prolific authors. He wrote among other works Moose and Too Much Stuff! Children can visit his website at: Robert Munsch.
Jeannette Rankin (born Missoula, Montana, 1880; died May 18, 1973) was the first woman elected to the House of Representatives. A Republican from Montana, she served two different times, from 1917 to 1919 and from 1941 to 1943. She stated, “I want to be remembered as the only woman who ever voted to give women the right to vote.” A pacifist, she voted against the United States entering both World War I and World War II. Children could read a good biography, Jeannette Rankin: Political Pioneer by Gretchen Woelfle. Children could also learn more at: Jeannette Rankin.
Richard Georg Strauss (born Munich, Germany, 1864; died Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, September 8, 1949) was a composer. One of his works is Also Sprach Zarathustra, composed in 1896.