Maryland in 1788 donated ten square miles of land to the United States. This land became part of the District of Columbia. Our Founding Fathers wanted to establish a new capital, rather than use an existing city such as New York or Philadelphia. The Residence Act gave George Washington the authority to decide where to locate the new nation’s capital. The Maryland land was in about the middle of the country at that time. Children can view the documents that made the District of Columbia possible at: District of Columbia.
Georgia became the fourth state in the United States by ratifying the Constitution in 1788. Although one of Georgia’s nicknames is “The Peach State,” the crops of peanuts and tobacco each bring in more revenue than peaches. Cotton, which was a very important source of revenue 100 years ago, now generates a little more than one percent of the state’s income. Atlanta is the state capital. Georgia ranks 24th in area and eighth in population. Children can visit an Internet site at: Georgia. Idea: Children could make and enjoy a simple peach cobbler.
Connecticut became the fifth state in the United States by ratifying the Constitution in 1788. The state’s name means, “beside the long tidal river.” Connecticut is forty-eighth in size, but it is the twenty-ninth most populous state. Hartford is the state capital, but Bridgeport is the state’s largest city. Children could visit an Internet site at: Connecticut. Idea: The state’s song is Yankee Doodle. Children could play the song on kazoos.
Australia was founded in 1788. It may be the smallest continent, but it is the sixth largest country. Aborigines settled in Australia at least 40,000 years ago. The Dutch were the first Europeans to explore the area, and they called the continent New Holland. However, Captain James Cook declared in 1770 that the land belonged to Great Britain. Australia became a penal colony when 700 prisoners were transported there in 1788. Gold was discovered in 1851. It became a commonwealth in 1901. Idea: Australia is home to many marsupials. Children could research some of these animals and then make a play where Captain Cook explores Australia and finds these animals. Children could also learn more at: Australia.
Massachusetts became the sixth state in the United States by ratifying the Constitution in 1788. The word Massachusetts means, “at or about the great hill.” The state ranks forty-fifth in size and thirteenth in population. Its state beverage is cranberry juice. Children could visit an internet site at: Massachusetts. They could toast Massachusetts’s birthday with cranberry juice.
Maryland became the seventh state in the United States by ratifying the Constitution in 1788. Maryland ranks 42nd in size and 19th in population. Annapolis is the state capital, and the state’s nicknames include Old Line State and Free State. It is famous for crab cakes and its Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Children could visit a website at: Maryland. They could find out how Maryland, Baltimore, and Annapolis got their names.
South Carolina became the eighth state of the United States by ratifying the Constitution in 1788. It was named in honor of King Charles II. “Carolus” is Latin for Charles. Columbia is the state capital. Its nickname is the palmetto state, and its leading sources of income are tobacco, rice, and textiles. Children could visit an internet site at: South Carolina. They could also find out what a palmetto is.
New Hampshire became the ninth state of the United States by ratifying the Constitution in 1788. It was named after the English county Hampshire. The capital is Concord, and its motto is “Live Free or Die.” It ranks forty-fourth in area and forty-second in population. Mt. Washington, located in New Hampshire, is the tallest peak in New England. Martin Pring traveled its coast in 1603, and Samuel de Champlain explored the area in 1604. Children could visit an Internet site at: New Hampshire.
Virginia became the tenth state of the United States by ratifying the Constitution in 1788. It was named after Queen Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen. Its nicknames include Old Dominion, Mother of Presidents, and Mother of States. The capital is Richmond. Virginia ranks thirty-sixth in area and twelfth in population. Jamestown was settled in 1607, and important landmarks include Arlington National Cemetery and Appomattox Courthouse National Park. Children could visit an Internet site at: Virginia. Idea: Students could find a list of birthplaces of Presidents. Is Virginia truly the Mother of Presidents?
United States Constitution became the law in 1788. New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify the Constitution, and plans were put into action to have the document become the law of the land. Children can learn more at: Constitution.