Greece celebrates Independence Day. It became free from Turkey’s rule in 1821. The country, composed of a mainland and many small islands, according to the CIA World Factbook, is a bit less than the size of Alabama. Almost 11 million people live in Greece. Athens is the capital. About 15 percent of the economy comes from tourism.
Venezuela celebrates Independence Day. Spain gave up control of the country in 1821. Located in northern South America, Venezuela is about twice the size of California. It has a tropical climate, and petroleum provides a major portion of its economy. About 28.5 million people live in the country, and most of the cities are located along the Caribbean coastline. Caracas is the capital.
Florida was ceded to the United States by Spain in 1821. The Adams-Onis Treaty (also called the Transcontinental Treaty) had been signed in 1819 but took effect July 17, 1821. The United States agreed to give Spain $5 million and to renounce any claims on Texas in exchange for West Florida and East Florida.
Belgium celebrates National Day. King Leopold ascended to the throne in 1821. Brussels is the capital of this country, located in northwestern Europe. Belgium is about the size of the state of Maryland. Natural resources include silica sand and construction materials. Over ten million people live in Belgium, and Dutch, French, and German are official languages.
Peru celebrates Independence Day. It gained its freedom from Spain in 1821. Lima is the capital of this South American country. Its area is a bit smaller than the area of Alaska, and natural resources include silver, gold, copper, and petroleum. Almost 30 million people live and work there. Idea: The Incas once controlled portions of what is now Peru. Children could find out more about the Incas and the Spanish conquistadors.
Missouri became the twenty-fourth state of the United States in 1821. Its name comes from the Iliniwek word missouri, meaning owner of big canoes. The state’s nickname is the “Show-Me State,” and Jefferson City is the capital. It ranks nineteenth in area and sixteenth in population. St. Louis, a large Missouri city, was once the Gateway to the West. The Gateway Arch, a reminder of that role, was built in 1964 and stands 630 feet high. The Pony Express ran from Missouri to California. Children could visit an Internet site at: Missouri. They could find out why Missouri is called the “Show-Me State.”
The Central American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua declared their independence from Spain in 1821.
Costa Rica, about the size of West Virginia, has a population of about 4.7 million people. The country, which exports bananas, pineapples, and coffee, has four active volcanoes. San José is the capital.
El Salvador, slightly smaller than the state of Massachusetts, has a population of 6.1 million people. It exports coffee, sugar, and textiles. It is the only Central American country that does not have a coastline on the Caribbean Sea. San Salvador is the capital.
Guatemala, slightly smaller than the state of Tennessee, has a population of 14.3 million people. It exports sugar, coffee, and petroleum. Mountains cover most of the country, and Guatemala City is the capital.
Honduras, slightly larger than the state of Tennessee, is home to 8.5 million people. The country often experiences hurricanes along the Caribbean coast. It exports textiles, shrimp, and coffee. Tegucigalpa is the capital.
Nicaragua, a bit smaller than the state of New York, has a population of 5.8 million people. The largest country in Central America, Nicaragua exports beef, coffee, gold, and sugar. Managua is the capital.
Panama celebrates Independence Day. Originally settled by the Spanish, Panama in 1821 was part of the Republic of Gran Colombia. Today’s Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador were also included in the Republic. In 1831 the Republic of Gran Colombia disintegrated, and Panama remained part of Colombia. In 1903 Panama broke away from Colombia and formed its own government. Slightly smaller than the state of South Carolina, Panama has a tropical climate. Its population exceeds three million, and the country depends on revenue from the Panama Canal. Panama City is the capital. Farmers in Panama grow a number of crops, including bananas, cocoa, and coffee.