Boston Molasses Disaster occurred in 1919. No, this is not a hoax; this was a terrible disaster. On this day in 1919 a huge tank holding about 2,300,000 gallons of molasses ruptured, sending a tsunami of molasses into the streets of the North End part of Boston. Moving at 35 miles per hour, the molasses wave leveled buildings, trapped people, and even hurled a truck into Boston Harbor. About 21 people died, and 150 more were injured. Children could read The Great Molasses Flood by Deborah Kops. They could also watch a very interesting video at: Boston Molasses Disaster.
Amendment Eighteen to the Constitution was adopted in 1919. It brought on Prohibition. Experts feel that alcohol-related deaths declined during Prohibition. However, the black market and organized crime became more powerful. Amendment Twenty-One repealed this amendment on December 5, 1933. Amendment Eighteen is our only amendment to be repealed.
Grand Canyon National Park was created in 1919. Over millions of years the Colorado River has cut a deep gorge through Arizona. The park occupies over one million acres of land. Children can visit a website at: http://www.nps.gov/grca . They can also read more at: Grand Canyon.
John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown in 1919 became the first people to fly across the Atlantic Ocean nonstop. These two British pilots flew a modified World War I bomber from Newfoundland to Ireland. They earned the Daily Mail prize of £10,000 and a hero’s welcome. Older children can read more, including Alcock’s remembrances, at: Alcock and Brown.
Afghanistan celebrates Independence Day. In 1919 Afghanistan gained its freedom from the United Kingdom. Slightly smaller than the state of Texas, land-locked Afghanistan has an arid to semi-arid climate. Its natural resources include metals and petroleum. Over 31 million people live there, and Kabul is the capital. Children could learn more at: Afghanistan.
First Transcontinental Air Race began in 1919. The race was also called the Transcontinental Reliability and Endurance Test. Fifteen airplanes took off from San Francisco, and 48 planes left Roosevelt Field in New York. The 5,400 mile round trip was sponsored by the American Flying Club of New York. “Flying Parson” Army Lieutenant Belvin Maynard won the race. He took three days six hours to fly from New York to California, and he needed three days 21 hours to fly back.
Zion National Park was created in Utah in 1919. Many bats live in niches along Zion Canyon. Children could research bats and Zion National Park. Then they could make an “I am batty about Zion National Park” commercial. The park website hosts some great images and an amazing ehike: Zion National Park.
Lady Astor became the first woman to be elected to the British Parliament. Born in the United States, Lady Astor was elected in 1919. She served until 1945. Children could find out if British Parliament elections differ from American elections by watching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qs-9B3FRXCA.