May 212024
 

Sue, the skeleton of a T Rex

Dinosaur Day is today! Celebrated on the third Tuesday in May and on June 1, the day can be filled with all things dinosaurs: facts about dinosaurs, songs about dinosaurs, posters about dinosaurs. Children could make plaster of Paris dinosaur eggs or footprints. Foodies could make dinosaur-shaped cookies. Children could learn more at: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/prehistoric.

May 212024
 

Michelangelo’s Pieta

Michelangelo’s Pietá was damaged in 1972 in Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City when Lazlo Toth, a geologist, attacked the sculpture. Using a hammer, Toth shattered Mary’s left arm, her nose, her left eye, and her veil. The damage was repaired. Michelangelo had completed the sculpture around 1498 to 1499, and it is the only sculpture that bears his signature.

May 212024
 

Mary Anning

Mary Anning (born Lyme Regis, Dorset, England, 1799; died Lyme Regis, Dorset, England, March 9, 1847) was a paleontologist who changed the scientific community’s views of dinosaurs. Because she was a woman, she was given little recognition for her scientific work. She always struggled with poverty, even though she risked her life to collect her fossils. Children could read Jurassic Mary: Mary Anning and the Primeval Monsters by Patricia Pierce.

Bonnie Bryant (born Barbara B. Hiller in New York, New York, 1946) writes books for children. She has written at least 100 Saddle Club books, six Pony Tails books, and two Pine Hollow books.

Albrecht Durer (born Nuremberg, Germany, 1471; died Nuremberg, Germany, April 6, 1528) was a Renaissance artist. Children could visit the Met website at: Albrecht Durer. Idea: Durer did a great deal of engraving. Children could research the process. They could make potato prints to get the feel of engraving.

Beverley Naidoo (born Johannesburg, South Africa, 1943) has written at least twelve books for middle schoolers and at least nine picture books. Her books often focus on apartheid and South Africa. She has twice received the Jane Addams Award, in 2002 for The Other Side of Truth and in 2004 for Out of Bounds: Seven Stories of Conflict and Hope. Children can visit her website at: Beverly Naidoo.

Rousseau Self-Portrait

Henri Julien Felix Rousseau (born Laval, Mayenne, France, 1844; died Paris, France, September 10, 1910) was an artist. Children could learn more at: Rousseau. Idea: Rousseau was deemed a primitive painter because he had no formal training. Students could view some of his work and compare him to other painters.

Andrei Sakharov (born Moscow, Russia, 1921; died Moscow, Russia, December 14, 1989) was a Soviet physicist and dissident. He developed the atomic bomb for the Soviets, but he later spoke out against the government. He was exiled to Gorky, Russia, for a number of years. He was appointed to the Soviet Congress of Peoples Deputies a few months before he died. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975. Older children could read a short autobiography at: Autobiography.

Erica Silverman (born Brooklyn, New York, 1955) has written at least 20 books for children. Her books include On Grandma’s Roof and Big Pumpkin. Children can visit her website at: Erica Silverman.

May 222024
 

Flag of Yemen

Yemen celebrates Unification Day. In 1990 the Republic of Yemen and North Yemen united to form Yemen. This Middle Eastern country is about 1.4 times the size of California, and the geography is mostly desert. About 25.4 million people live there, mostly along the coasts and western portion. The country depends on petroleum reserves, and Sanaa is the capital. Children could learn more at: Yemen.

May 222024
 

Aaron Burr was tried for treason starting this day in 1807. The Vice President was accused of trying to establish an independent nation in middle United States or parts of Mexico. He was acquitted of the charges on September 1, 1807, but his political career was ruined.

May 222024
 

The steamship SS Savannah departed this day in 1819 from Savannah, Georgia. When it arrived in Liverpool, England, on June 20, it was the first steamship to successfully cross the Atlantic Ocean. The hybrid ship, fitted with both sails and a sidewheel steamer engine, proved that steam could power ships across oceans, However, it was not economic at the time. Another thirty years would pass before steamships would try again. Children might want to view https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFz9ZUoZflg

May 222024
 

Lincoln’s Patent

Abraham Lincoln in 1849 received patent #6469 for “A Device for Buoying Vessels Over Shoals.” After working with boats that were stuck on sand bars, he invented the device that would inflate and move ships to water. However, the device was heavy enough that it caused problems. The model, whittled by Lincoln, is on display at the Smithsonian. Children can see the model and read more at: Lincoln Model. They can view the actual patent at: Lincoln Patent. Lincoln is the only president to hold a patent.

May 222024
 
Crater Lake

Crater Lake

Crater Lake National Park became America’s fifth national park in 1902. Located in southern Oregon, the national park included Crater Lake, the caldera of volcanic Mount Mazama. The lake is 1,943 feet deep, making it the deepest lake in the United States. No streams enter or leave the lake. Children can visit the national park’s website at: http://www.nps.gov/crla/index.htm