Bahamas celebrate Independence Day. The islands became free of British rule in 1973, although it is still part of the British Commonwealth. Almost 700 islands make up the country, but the combined area is equal to the area of Connecticut. Over 300,000 people live there, and many of them earn livings from tourism. The country’s capital is Nassau. Children can learn more at: Bahama Islands.
Wyoming became the forty-fourth state of the United States in 1890. The state is ninth in size, but it is fiftieth in population. Even Alaska has more people than Wyoming. Its name is derived from a Delaware phrase maugh-wau-wa-ma, meaning great plains. Cheyenne is the state capital. Cattle ranching and uranium mining have provided considerable income to the state. Lately large reserves of petroleum and coal are helping the economy. Two tourist draws are Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Old Faithful Geyser is located in Yellowstone National Park and erupts on a fairly regular basis. Children can view a webcam of Old Faithful Geyser at: Old Faithful. Children can visit an Internet site about Wyoming at: Wyoming. Idea: Children could calculate the population density of various states. How does Wyoming compare to the other states?
Death Valley, California, noted a record-breaking temperature of 134 degrees Fahrenheit in 1913. The record still holds. Children can learn more about Death Valley National Park at: http://www.nps.gov/deva/index.htm. They can learn about the Park’s weather extremes at: Death Valley Weather Extremes.
Waco Mammoth National Monument was established in 2015 near Waco, Texas. The museum and site preserves the fossils of 24 Columbian mammoths and other mammals. The nursery of mother and young Columbian mammoths was probably caught in a flash flood about 67,000 years ago. The site was discovered in 1978 by two men looking for arrowheads. Children can learn more, including the differences between Columbian mammoths and woolly mammoths, at: http://www.nps.gov/waco/index.htm.
Mary O’Hara Alsop (born Cape May Point, 1885; died Chevy Chase, Maryland, October 14, 1980) was a screenwriter, composer, and author. She wrote My Friend Flicka and Wyoming Summer.
Judie Angell (born New York, New York, 1937) writes books for children. Her works include Dear Lola and Don’t Rent My Room!
Mildred Wirt Benson (born Ladora, Iowa, 1905; died Toledo, Ohio, May 28, 2002) wrote many children’s books under a variety of pen names. As Carolyn Keene, she wrote 23 of the 30 Nancy Drew mysteries for the Stratemeyer Syndicate. Under her own name, she wrote the Penny Parker series. Children could visit a website devoted to her at: Mildred Wirt Benson.
Mary McLeod Bethune (born Mayesville, South Carolina, 1875; died Daytona Beach, Florida, May 18, 1955) was born to a family of former slaves. She devoted her life to the improvement of conditions for African Americans. She served as an advisor to Franklin Roosevelt on minority rights. Children could learn more at: Mary McLeod Bethune.
Edmund Clerihew Bentley (born London, England, 1875; died London, England, March 30, 1956) created the clerihew. It is a poem composed of two rhymed couplets of different lengths. Children can read some of his clerihews at: Clerihews. Then they can write some of their own clerihews.
Dianne Ochiltree (born Warren, Ohio, 1953) writes books for children. Her works include Molly, by Golly, and It’s a Firefly Night. Children can visit her website: Dianne Ochiltree.
Martin Provensen (born Chicago, Illinois, 1916; died Staatsburg, New York, March 27, 1987) and his wife, Alice Provensen, wrote and illustrated children’s books. They earned a 1982 Caldecott Honor Award for A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers. They also received the 1984 Caldecott Medal for The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot, July 25, 1909.
Candice Ransom (born Washington, DC, 1952) has written at least 150 books for children and young adults. Her works include Rebel McKenzie and Tooth Fairy’s Night. Children could visit her website at: Candice Ransom.
James Abbott McNeill Whistler (born Lowell, Massachusetts, 1834; died London, England, July 17, 1903) was an artist. One of his best-known works is Arrangement in Grey and Black: Portrait of the Painter’s Mother. The work is commonly called Whistler’s Mother. Children can visit a website at: Whistler.