Francis Drake and his ship the Golden Hind circumnavigated the world in 1580. He had left England on December 13, 1577, with numerous ships and many men. The Golden Hind, the only ship to return, was loaded with treasure, and Queen Elizabeth’s half of the cargo was greater than all her other income that year. He was knighted for his efforts. Children could read You Wouldn’t Want to Explore with Sir Francis Drake, by David Stewart and David Salariya.
George Washington established his first cabinet in 1789.
- Thomas Jefferson became Secretary of State.
- John Jay was appointed the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
- Samuel Osgood was the first Postmaster.
- Edmund J. Randolph was made Attorney General.
- Henry Knox had become Secretary of War on September 12, 1789. The position was renamed many years later Secretary of Defense.
Today the President’s cabinet is comprised of the Vice President and fifteen heads of departments. Children can learn more at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/cabinet.
Cement was patented in 1871. David Oliver Saylor, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, received patent number 119,413. Children can take some virtual tours of cement being made at: Cement.
Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, presidential candidates, held the first of four televised debates in 1960. Experts believe Kennedy fared better in the first debate, but Nixon improved as time went on.
Gilligan’s Island appeared for the first time in 1964. The show ran for 98 episodes, but the series has become famous through re-runs.
Shannon Lucid, astronaut, returned to earth in 1996 after being in space 188 days. At the time she set the US record for longest time in space and the world record for the longest time for a woman in space. She conducted experiments aboard the Mir space station. She had previously flown on four other missions. Older children could learn more at: Shannon Lucid.
NASA’s DART intentionally smashed into Dimorphos in 2022. DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test) was developed to test whether a craft could deflect the path of near-Earth objects. Dimorphos, a minor planet moon of the asteroid Didymos, was not close to Earth and was seven million miles away from Earth. It was launched November 24, 2021. Astronomers, training multiple telescopes on the impact, are trying to judge the impact on the orbit of Dimorphos. Children can learn more at: DART.
Johnny Appleseed (born John Chapman in Leominster, Massachusetts, 1774; died Allen County, Indiana, March 18, 1845) is believed to have planted many orchards of apple trees. He was well regarded by both the Indians and the settlers. His death is remembered as Johnny Appleseed Day. Children can learn more at: Johnny Appleseed.
T. S. Eliot (born Saint Louis, Missouri, 1888; died London, United Kingdom, January 4, 1965) was a poet, essayist, and playwright. His works include The Waste Land and The Hollow Men. He received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948. Children can learn more about him at: T. S. Eliot. Children can read some of his works (including The Waste Land) at: Project Gutenberg.
George Gershwin (born Brooklyn, New York, 1898; died Beverly Hills, California, July 11, 1937) was a composer. He often teamed with his brother, Ira. Two of his most famous works are I Got Rhythm and Rhapsody in Blue.
Alicia D. Williams (born 1970) writes books for children. Her book Genesis Begins Again received a 2020 Newbery Honor Award. Another of her works is Shirley Chisholm: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress. Children can learn more at: Alicia D. Williams.