Cote D’Ivoire celebrates Independence Day. The west African country gained its independence in 1960 from France. Bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Cote D’Ivoire has an area about the same as the area of New Mexico. The mostly flat country has a tropical climate along the coast. The country exports cocoa beans and coffee beans. Over 22 million people live there, and Yamoussoukro is the capital. Older children can learn more at: Cote D’Ivoire.
Purple Heart was created by General George Washington in 1782 to be the Badge of Military Merit. Experts believe only three medals were awarded by Washington during the Revolutionary War. The medal was not given again after Word War I. Approximately two million Purple Heart Medals have been awarded to those wounded or killed during military action. The badge was made of purple cloth with silver braided trim.
United States War Department was created in 1789 by Congress. In 1949 it was renamed the Department of Defense. Retired General Henry Knox was the first Secretary of War and a member of President George Washington’s five-person cabinet. Children could visit the Defense Department’s website at: http://www.defense.gov/.
Alice Huyler Ramsey and three fellow female travelers in 1909 became the first women to drive across the country by automobile. They had left Manhattan on June 9, 1909, and finished in San Francisco, California. Only Ramsey could drive! She had to replace flat tires, fix brake pedals, and make other repairs. Only 152 miles of the 3,600 mile trip were paved. Ramsey wrote Veil, Duster, and Tire Iron to commemorate her trip. Older children could learn more at: Alice Huyler Ramsey.
Explorer VI was launched in 1959 and transmitted the first photographs of earth taken from space. The satellite also transmitted data about different types of energy. The satellite went into decay on July 1, 1961. Older children could learn more at: Explorer VI.
Ralph Johnson Bunche (born Detroit, Michigan, 1904; died New York, New York, December 9, 1971) was a diplomat and United Nations representative. The grandson of a former slave, he joined the United Nations in 1947. He became an undersecretary in 1955, and he received the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for his work with Arabs and Jews. Children could read Ralph J. Bunch: Peacemaker by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack.
Betsy Byars (born Charlotte, North Carolina, 1928; died Seneca, South Carolina, February 26, 2020) wrote over 60 books for children. She wrote among other works Cracker Jackson, 1985. Her book Summer of the Swans received the 1971 Newbery Medal, and Wanted…Mud Blossom earned the 1962 Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Literature. Children can learn more, especially about her unique house, at: Betsy Byars.
Nathanael Greene (born Patowomut, Rhode Island, 1742; died Savannah, Georgia, June 19, 1786) was a general during the Revolutionary War. Children could learn more at: Nathanael Greene.
Rudolf C. Ising (born Kansas City, Missouri, 1903; died Newport Beach, California, July 18, 1992) created, along with Hugh Harmon, Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. He won an Academy Award for Milky Way, a cartoon about three kittens, in 1948. Idea: Children could make flip books.
Louis Seymour Bazett Leakey (born Kabete, Kenya, 1903; died London, United Kingdom, October 1, 1972) was an anthropologist. He and his wife Mary devoted their lives to finding out more about early human life in eastern Africa.
Coleen Salley (born Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 1929; died September 16, 2008) wrote books for children. She published her first book when she was 72 years old! Her works include the Epossumondas series and Who’s That Tripping Over My Bridge? Children can visit a website devoted to her at: Coleen Salley.
Maia Wojciechowska (born Warsaw, Poland, 1927; died Long Branch, New Jersey, June 13, 2002) wrote books for children. She wrote Shadow of a Bull, the 1965 Newbery Medal winner. Children could learn more at: Maia Wojciechowska.