Lynne Cox in 1987 became the first person to swim from the United States to the Soviet Union across the Bering Strait. She took only 2 hours 5 minutes to complete the swim. The water temperature averaged about 43 degrees Fahrenheit. Both United States President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev congratulated her on her success. She has also had swimming adventures in Antarctica, the English Channel, and the Straits of Magellan. Older children can learn more by clicking here.
H. L. Hunley was raised from the ocean floor in 2000. The Confederate submarine was launched in July 1863. It sank soon after it sank the USS Housatonic on February 17, 1864, in Charleston Harbor. All eight members of the crew died. Experts are still trying to decide how and why the Hunley sank. Young adults could learn a great deal more at: H. L. Hunley.
Genesis was launched in 2001. The space vehicle traveled to the sun and gathered particles of the sun on its way. A capsule then turned around and returned to earth. It crash landed (the drogue parachute failed to deploy) in Utah on September 8, 2004. Some of the samples were contaminated by earth soil on impact, but many collectors were intact. Scientists used the data to learn more about the sun’s composition and history. Children could learn more by clicking Genesis Spacecraft.
Matthew A. Henson (born Charles County, Maryland, 1866; died New York, New York, March 9, 1955) was an African-American explorer. He was hired to be Robert E. Peary’s valet. The two explored the Arctic region. He described his adventures in A Negro Explorer at the North Pole. Children can read the book at: Project Gutenberg.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (born Washington, DC, 1896; died Saint Augustine, Florida, December 14, 1953) wrote books for children. Her book The Yearling received the 1939 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and The Secret River earned a 1956 Newbery Honor Award. Children can learn more at: America’s Library.