Phillis Wheatley gained her freedom in 1775. Born probably in Gambia or Senegal, she was sold into slavery when she was seven years old. Purchased by the Wheatley family, she was well-educated. She began writing poetry in 1767. She was emancipated in 1775 when her master died. Children can read some of her works at: Project Gutenberg.
Transistor radio was sold for the first time in 1954. Texas Instruments created the small and portable radio. These radios allowed people to hear music wherever and whenever. Billions of transistor radios were sold during the 1960’s and 1970’s.
James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology for theorizing the double-helix structure of DNA.
James Brooks (born St. Louis, Missouri, 1906; died Brookhaven, New York, March 8, 1992) was an artist. He began his artistic career painting murals for the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration. Later his works became more abstract.
Joyce Hansen (born New York, New York, 1942) writes books for children. She has received four Coretta Scott King Honor Awards: in 1987 for Which Way Freedom, in 1995 for The Captive, in 1998 for I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl, and in 1999 (with Gary McGowen) for Breaking Ground, Breaking Silence: The Story of New York’s African Burial Ground. Children can visit her website at: Joyce Hansen.
Ntozake Shange (born Trenton, New Jersey, 1948; died Bowie, Maryland, October 27, 2018) was a playwright, a poet, and an author. She wrote several books for children, including Ellington Was Not a Street and Coretta Scott.
Colin Thompson (born London, England, 1942) writes and illustrates fantasy books for children. His works include The Floods series and Looking for Atlantis. Children can visit his very interesting website, including some great illustrations, at: Colin Thompson.
Ferdinand II of Aragon married Isabella I of Castile in 1469. Their alliance united Aragon and Castile, starting the formation of Spain.
Yorktown Day marks the surrender of General Lord Cornwallis and his troops to George Washington in 1781. This surrender virtually ended the Revolutionary War. No other major battles occurred after this date, and the official peace agreement, the Treaty of Paris, was signed September 3, 1783. Children can learn more at: Yorktown Day.
Ed Emberley (born Malden, Massachusetts, 1931) is a children’s author and illustrator. He received the 1968 Caldecott Medal for his illustrations of Drummer Hoff. He is also known for his books about drawing, including his Thumbprint series. Idea: Children could make some thumbprint pictures after looking at his books. They could also visit his very interesting website at: Ed Emberley.
Dan Gutman (born New York, New York, 1955) writes books for children. His works include The Homework Machine and Honus and Me. Children can visit his website at: Dan Gutman.
Annie Smith Peck (born Providence, Rhode Island, 1850; died New York, New York, July 18, 1935) was a famous mountain climber. In 1895 she scaled the Matterhorn. Later she climbed the Peruvian mountain Huascaran, setting a record for the highest peak ever climbed by man or woman in the western hemisphere. When she was 61, she climbed Mt. Coropuna in Peru. At the top of the 21,250 feet summit, she planted a banner stating “Votes for Women.” Idea: Children could find out when women did get the right to vote.
Philip Pullman (born Norwich, England, 1946) is a children’s author. He wrote The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass. He received the very prestigious Astrid Lindgren Award in 2005. Children could visit his website at: Philip Pullman.
Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson (born Charles City County, Virginia, 1748; died Monticello, Virginia, September 6, 1782) was the wife of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States. She died before Jefferson was elected president. They had six children, but only two lived to adulthood. These two daughters often filled the role of hostess at the White House. Children could visit a website at: Martha Jefferson.
Treaty of 1818 was signed by the United States and the United Kingdom. Among other decisions, the treaty stated that the 49th Parallel would define most of the border between Canada and the United States. Older children can peruse the treaty at: Treaty of 1818.
Sydney Opera House opened in Sydney, Australia, in 1973. Despite its name, it hosts many types of artistic endeavors. About 1,500 concerts occur yearly, and over 1.2 million visitors enter its doors every year.
BepiColombo was launched in 2018. The European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency worked together to launch the space explorer. BepiColombo will travel for seven years to reach Mercury during December 2025. It will release two probes, Bepi and Mio, to research the land formation and magnetic field of the planet.