National Grilled Cheese Day is today! This sandwich is probably one of the most popular comfort foods around. Everyone has their opinion as to what makes the perfect grilled cheese. Type of cheese? Type of bread? Anything other than cheese on the bread? Butter the bread or butter the griddle? How to celebrate? Make YOUR favorite!
Civil War began in 1861 when Confederate troops attacked Fort Sumter near Charleston, South Carolina. Children can view images of Fort Sumter today and the fort during the Civil War at: http://www.nps.gov/fosu/index.htm. Children could color on a map the states that became the Confederacy, the states that remained in the Union, and the areas that were not states then. The Civil War ended April 9, 1865.
Mount Washington, New Hampshire, recorded its strongest wind ever at 231 miles per hour in 1934. Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeast (6,288 feet). The weather at the peak is harsh and difficult to predict. The lowest wind chill of -108 degrees was recorded on Mount Washington on February 3, 2023. Experts believe it may be the lowest recorded temperature in the continental United States. Winds exceeded 100 miles per hour. Children can find current weather conditions atop Mount Washington at: https://www.mountwashington.org/. The weather will probably be very windy and very chilly!
Salk vaccine was allowed to be used for the first time in 1955. Dr. Jonas E. Salk produced the vaccine to prevent infantile paralysis, also known as poliomyelitis. Prior to the vaccination, polio was one of the worst diseases around. Salk started conducting research in 1947. He field-tested his vaccination in 1953, and it became available to the public in 1955. Today polio has almost been eradicated world-wide.
Yuri Gagarin in 1961 was the first human to travel in space. A Soviet cosmonaut, Gagarin was aboard Vostok I and spent 108 minutes in space.
Space Shuttle’s first flight occurred in 1981. Astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen guided the space shuttle Columbia around the earth 36 times before landing the craft at Edwards Air Force Base in California on April 14. Idea: Children could find out how the shuttle differed from the previous types of space exploration. Children could explore an index of the 135 Space Shuttle Missions at: Index.
Jake Garn became the first senator to travel in space. He was a payload specialist of a Discovery STS-51-D crew that was launched in 1985. The crew spent almost seven days in space. Children could learn more about his Space Shuttle mission at: Jake Garn.
These three important space travel events happened on this day. Children could make a timeline of significant space explorations.
Henry Clay (born Hanover County, Virginia, 1777; died Washington, DC, June 29, 1852) was a politician. He was elected to the House of Representatives for six terms, and most of that time he was Speaker of the House. He also served in the Senate for almost twenty years. Clay wanted to be president, but he was never elected. He is remembered as saying, “I would rather be right than be president.”
Beverly Cleary (born McMinnville, Oregon, 1916; died Carmel Valley, California, March 25, 2021) wrote more than 30 books for children and young adults. She wrote, among other works, Dear Mr. Henshaw, which received the 1984 Newbery Medal. She also wrote the Ramona series. Over 91 million of her books were sold! Children can visit her website at: Beverly Cleary.
Tammy Duckworth (born Bangkok, Thailand, 1968) is a US Senator from Illinois. She is the first female double amputee in the Senate, and the first Senator to give birth while in office. Before she entered politics, she had been a helicopter pilot in the Iraq War. Children can learn more at: Tammy Duckworth. They could also read A Life of Service: The Story of Senator Tammy Duckworth, by Dow Phumiruk.
Bernhard August “Hardie” Gramatky, Jr. (born Dallas, Texas, 1907; died Westport, Connecticut, April 29, 1979) was an artist. He also wrote and illustrated several children’s books, including Little Toot. Children can learn more at: Hardie Gramatky.
Lyman Hall (born Wallingford, Connecticut, 1724; died Burke County, Georgia, October 19, 1790) signed the Declaration of Independence. He represented Georgia. Born in Connecticut, he studied to become a doctor. He moved to Georgia and established a medical practice. During the Revolutionary War, the British destroyed his rice plantation; he fled with his family back to Connecticut. After the war he returned to Georgia, and ultimately he became governor of the state. Children could learn more at: Lyman Hall.
Paul Showers (born Sunnyside, Washington, 1910; died Orange, Massachusetts, January 17, 1999) wrote about 25 science-related books for children. His books include Sleep is for Everyone and How You Talk.
Gary Soto (born Fresno, California, 1952) writes poetry for adults and fiction for children. His poetry includes A Simple Plan, and his children’s books include Too Many Tamales and the Chato series. Children can visit his website at: Gary Soto.