First United States patent was approved in 1790. Inventor Samuel Hopkins received patent X000001 for his potash process. The patent office had not even been created yet, so President George Washington, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, and Attorney General Edmund Randolph signed the document. Children can visit a GREAT website, filled with activities, about the patent process at: Patents.
Ranger 7 reached the moon in 1964. Ranger 7 was launched on July 28, 1964. It was designed to send back images of the moon’s surface. The first success after thirteen failed missions, it sent back over 4,000 images of the moon during its last fifteen minutes of travel. Then it crashed into the moon’s surface. Those photographs identified safe landing areas for manned moon missions. Children could learn more at: Ranger 7.
Astronauts David R. Scott and James B. Irwin drove the Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) for six hours on the moon in 1971. The two men, plus Command Module Pilot Alfred M. Worden, lifted off aboard Apollo 15 on July 26, 1971. They spent close to three days on the moon and made two more trips aboard the LRV. The LRV could travel at rates between six and eight miles per hour. The crew successfully returned to earth on August 7, 1971. Children could learn more at: Apollo 15.
Lynne Reid Banks (born London, England, 1929) is a children’s author. She wrote The Indian in the Cupboard series and Bad Cat Good Cat. Children can visit her website at: Lynne Reid Banks.
Muriel Feelings (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1938; died Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 30, 2011) wrote books for children. She and her former husband Tom produced two still-popular books. Moja Means One: Swahili Counting Book earned a 1972 Caldecott Honor Award. Jambo Means Hello: Swahili Alphabet Book received a 1975 Caldecott Honor Award as well.
Stephanie Kwolek (born New Kensington, Pennsylvania, 1923; died Wilmington, Delaware, June 18, 2014) was a chemist. She is best known for inventing Kevlar, an extremely strong material. One use for Kevlar is in bullet-proof vests. She received seventeen patents. Children could learn more at: Stephanie Kwolek.
Lynne Rae Perkins (born Cheswick, Pennsylvania, 1956) writes and illustrates books for children. Her book Criss Cross received the 2006 Newbery Medal. She also wrote All Alone in the Universe. Children could visit her website at: Lynn Rae Perkins.
J. K. Rowling (born Joanne Kathleen Rowling in Bristol, England, 1965) is the author of the Harry Potter series. Harry Potter was also born on this day. Children could visit her website at: J. K. Rowling.
Robert Kimmel Smith (born Brooklyn, New York, 1930; died Manhattan, New York, April 20, 2020) wrote books for children. His books include Chocolate Fever and The War with Grandpa. Children could learn more at a website devoted to him: Robert Kimmel Smith.