Utah became the forty-fifth state of the United States in 1896. The state capital is Salt Lake City, and its state nickname is the “Beehive State.” Its Great Salt Lake, located in the northern part of the state, is really the remnant of an inland sea. Because its waters do not drain into another body of water, the lake is becoming saltier and saltier. Children can visit an Internet site at: Utah. Idea: Items float with more ease in salt water than in fresh water. Fill one container with fresh water, and fill another container with salt water. Try floating various objects. Record the results.
First modern Olympics opened in Athens, Greece, in 1896. It concluded April 15, 1896. Fourteen countries sent athletes, and events included athletics (some track and field events), gymnastics, wrestling, weightlifting, swimming, tennis, cycling, shooting, and fencing. Women did not compete until 1900, and the first winter Olympics occurred in 1924. Idea: Hold a class-wide Olympics. Include such events as reading and walking at the same time, spelling words associated with the Olympics, and conducting math problems related to sports statistics. Children could visit a website at: Olympics.
Henry Ford test drove his first car in 1896. The hand-made Quadricycle was quite expensive and could travel up to 20 miles per hour.
Bonanza Creek, Alaska, experienced a gold rush in 1896. When Skookum Jim, Dawson Charlie and others discovered gold in Rabbit Creek, they started the Klondike Gold Rush. Around 100,000 people tried to travel to the area, but only about 30,000 actually completed the trip. Of that number only 4,000 prospectors found gold. In 1903 production started to decline, and about 1,250,000 pounds of gold were mined in the area. Idea: Children could read about the Klondike Gold Rush. What problems did the prospectors face? Children could learn more at the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park at: http://www.nps.gov/klgo/index.htm.
Dow Jones Industrial Average was created in 1896 to give a snapshot of the overall trends of the stock market. The original average contained twelve stocks. The stocks were: American Cotton Oil Company, American Sugar Company, American Tobacco Company, Chicago Gas Company, Distilling and Cattle Feeding Company, General Electric, Laclede Gas Company, National Lead Company, North American Company, Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railroad Company, U.S. Leather Company, and United States Rubber Company. Today thirty stocks comprise the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and none of the original companies are part of the Dow. General Electric was part of the Dow until June 2018. Children can view an interesting interactive graphic at: https://www.cnbc.com/2014/07/02/history-of-dow-30.html.