Spanish conquered Aztecs in 1521. The city of Tenochtitlan fell to Hernan Cortez and his allies. Cortez had arrived on the shores several months before. Montezuma, leader of the Aztecs, felt Cortez might be one of their gods, Quetzalcoatl. Montezuma made the fighters feel welcome, but ultimately the Spanish turned on the Aztecs. Children can read some great background information at: Aztecs.
Women joined the United States Marines for the first time in 1918. Opha Mae Johnson was the first of 305 women to enlist that day. They performed clerical duties in the United States so that males could fight in World War I. During World War II, female marines served overseas. Today women comprise about seven percent of the entire corps. Children can learn more at: Women Marines.
Berlin Wall was built in 1961. Before the wall was built, people from East Berlin were escaping to West Berlin. The wall was built to deter any more immigration. It was torn down starting November 9, 1989.
International Lefthanders Day honors lefties. It was first observed in 1976. About ten percent of the population is lefthanded. Famous lefthanders include Ben Franklin, Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Children could learn more at: http://www.lefthandersday.com/.
John Logie Baird (born Hellensburgh, Scotland, 1888; died Beyhill, England, June 14, 1946) was an early pioneer in television development.
William Caxton (born Kent, England, 1422; died London, England, 1491) was the first printer to publish a book in English. Older children could read some of his works at: Project Gutenberg.
Ruth Stiles Gannett (born New York, New York, 1923) writes books for children. Her book My Father’s Dragon received a 1949 Newbery Honor Award. Her other works include Katie and the Sad Noise. Children can read My Father’s Dragon at: Project Gutenberg.
Alfred Hitchcock (born London, England, 1899; died Beverly Hills, California, April 29, 1980) was a movie director. He specialized in movies providing high suspense. Two of his most famous movies were The Thirty-Nine Steps and The Birds.
Annie Oakley (born Phoebe Ann Moses in Darke County, Ohio, 1860; died Greenville, Ohio, November 3, 1926) was a sharpshooter. She joined Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show in 1885. She amazed audiences for years with her skills, including shooting the cigarette out of her husband’s mouth. Idea: Children could find out how she got the last name Oakley. They might want to read Robert Quackenbush’s Who’s That Girl with the Gun?
Lucy Stone (born West Brookfield, Massachusetts, 1818; died Boston, Massachusetts, October 18, 1893) campaigned for women’s rights. Her father did not believe women should have college educations. She had to work for nine years to earn the money to go to Oberlin College. She was the first woman from Massachusetts to earn a college degree. Children could learn more at: Lucy Stone.