Nebraska became the thirty-seventh state of the United States in 1867. The word Nebraska means “flat water.” Its nickname is the Cornhusker State, and it is a leading producer of corn and cattle. Lincoln is the state capital. Nebraska ranks fifteenth in area and thirty-seventh in population. Children could visit an Internet site at: Nebraska. Idea: Children could brainstorm a list of what to do with all those cornhusks.
Alaska was bought by the United States from Russia in 1867. The purchase was often originally called Seward’s Folly. William Seward, secretary of state, bought Alaska for $1,200,000. That averaged out to about two cents an acre. The 1898 Alaska gold rush was one of the first indicators that the United States had made a good bargain. Children could learn more at: Alaska.
Zoetrope was patented by William Lincoln in 1867. He received Patent Number 64,117. A zoetrope produces the illusion of a moving picture by creating two cylinders, one inside the other. The outer cylinder contains paintings. The inner cylinder has slits in its side. When the inner cylinder turns, observers see the images on the outer cylinder move. Quite popular in the 1880’s, zoetropes have found new homes in long subway station platforms. Children could see an amazing Pixar video of a zoetrope at: Zoetrope.
Canada celebrates Canada Day. Formerly called Dominion Day, the national holiday marks the 1867 union of Upper and Lower Canada and some Maritime Provinces. Slightly larger than the United States, Canada borders three oceans: Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic. According to the CIA World Factbook, Canada is the largest country that borders only one country, in this case the United States. More than 34 million live in Canada, and most of those people live along its southern border. Ottawa is the capital.