International Jaguar Day is today! While the jaguar is considered near threatened by the IUCN, it is seldom seen in the United States today. Its current range is from Mexico through Central America and into South America. An apex predator, it hunts mostly at sunset and during the night. The jaguar, compared to other wild cats, is fairly solitary. Even the females, unless they are caring for young, seldom seek other jaguars.
Admiral Richard E. Byrd and three colleagues made the first ever flight over the South Pole in 1929. They traveled 1560 miles in over 18 hours. They had to dump empty gas tanks and emergency supplies to achieve necessary altitude. They mapped new mountain ranges and collected meteorological and geologic information.
Enos in 1961 became the first US chimpanzee to survive orbital flight. He was part of Mercury Atlas 5, which orbited twice around the world before it splashed into the ocean near Puerto Rico. The flight was a precursor to one where John Glenn orbited the earth. Children can read about animals in the space program at: Space Animals.
Dale Cummings, a high school senior, did 14,118 sit-ups in 1965.
Pong was released by Atari in 1972. Pong was the first video game that was financially successful. Initially created as an arcade game, it was later sold to home gamers. The game set off a huge amount of research and development. Today video games account for about $67 billion in revenue a year.
Louisa May Alcott (born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1832; died Boston, Massachusetts, March 6, 1888) was a novelist. One of her most famous works is Little Women. Children can read her works at Project Gutenberg. Children can learn more at: Louisa May Alcott.
Christian Johann Doppler (born Salzburg, Austria, 1803; died Venice, Italy, March 17, 1853) was an Austrian physicist. He proposed the Doppler Effect. Children could learn more about the Doppler Effect regarding sound and actually set up experiments to verify Doppler’s findings by viewing: Doppler Effect.
Jon Klassen (born Winnipeg, Canada, 1981) writes and illustrates books for children. He received the 2013 Caldecott Medal for This Is Not My Hat and a 2013 Caldecott Honor Award for Extra Yarn. He earned a 2015 Caldecott Honor Award for Sam and Dave Dig a Hole.
Madeleine L’Engle (born New York, New York, 1918; died Litchfield, Connecticut, September 6, 2007) was a children’s author. She wrote over 60 books, including A Wrinkle in Time, which received the 1963 Newbery Medal. A Ring of Endless Light was a 1981 Newbery Honor Award winner. Children could visit a website devoted to her at: Madeleine L’Engle.
C. S. Lewis (born Clive Staples Lewis in Belfast, Ireland, 1898; died Oxford, England, November 22, 1963) was a writer and a professor of medieval literature. He wrote for both adults and children. His most famous work in children’s literature is a series of seven books, The Chronicles of Narnia. Children can learn more at: C. S. Lewis.
Nellie Tayloe Ross (born Saint Joseph, Missouri, 1876; died Washington, DC, December 19, 1977) was the first woman governor of a state in the United States. After her husband, the governor of Wyoming, died, she completed his term. Then she campaigned and won her term. She was not reelected, but she became director of the United States Mint in 1933. She remained at that post for twenty years. Children could learn more at: Nellie Tayloe Ross.
Charles Thomson (born Machera, County Derry, Ireland, 1729; died Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, August 16, 1824) was secretary for the First Continental Congress. He was secretary as the colonial representatives drafted and voted on the Declaration of Independence. Many historians believe that only John Hancock and he signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. He recorded government proceedings for the next fifteen years and collected thousands of documents. He gave all the records to the government in 1789.