Florida was ceded to the United States by Spain in 1821. The Adams-Onis Treaty (also called the Transcontinental Treaty) had been signed in 1819, but the treaty took effect on this day in 1821. The United States agreed to give Spain $5 million and to renounce any claims on Texas in exchange for West Florida and East Florida. Children could learn more about Florida’s history at: Florida.
Harvard Observatory in 1850 took the first photographs of a star. Mr. J. A. Whipple, under the direction of Professor W. C. Bond, chose Vega in the Lyra constellation for their subject. Vega is the second brightest star in the northern hemisphere.
Douglas (Wrong Way) Corrigan started a flight from New York in 1938. His destination was Los Angeles, California, but the next day he landed in Ireland. An instant hero, he frustrated aviation officials and returned to a ticker tape parade in New York City. Idea: Children could calculate how many miles off target he was.
Disneyland opened in 1955. Walt Disney bought 160 acres of California land that had been covered in orange groves and spent $17 million on the park. Today over fourteen million people visit the park annually and spend about $3 billion.
John Jacob Astor (born Waldorf, Germany, 1763; died New York, New York, March 29, 1848) moved to New York City when he was twenty years old. He made quite a bit of money from a fur trading business. He invested most of his money in real estate in Manhattan Island and became very wealthy.
Chris Crutcher (born Dayton, Ohio, 1946) writes books for young adults. His books include Ironman and Whale Talk. He received the Margaret Edwards Award in 2000 for his body of work. Children could visit his website at: Chris Crutcher.
Elbridge Gerry (born Marblehead, Massachusetts, 1744; died Washington, DC, November 23, 1814) signed the Declaration of Independence. He represented Massachusetts. He was also the fifth vice president of the United States when he died. His wife was the last surviving wife of a signer to die. Idea: The term gerrymandering relates to some of Gerry’s activities. Children could find out what the term means. Children could learn more at: Elbridge Gerry.
Karla Kuskin (born New York, New York, 1932; died Seattle, Washington, August 20, 2009) wrote and illustrated over 40 books for children. Her works include City Dog and Soap Soup. Children can visit a website about her at: Karla Kuskin.
Rosa Jackson Lumpkin (born Georgia, 1876; died 1991) lived to be 115 years old.
Jacqueline Rogers (born Westport, Connecticut, 1958) writes and illustrates books for children. Her works include Best Friends Sleep Over and Kindergarten ABC. She has illustrated books by many other authors, including Beverly Cleary, Jean Marzollo, and Betsy Byars. Children could visit her website at: Jacqueline Rogers.