First Social Security check was issued in 1940. Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont, received check 00-000-001 for $22.54. She lived to the age of 100. Today over 64 million people receive Social Security checks. Children can learn more at: https://www.ssa.gov/history/imf.html.
Electron microscope was first demonstrated in 1940 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Idea: Children could compare the electron microscope with a traditional microscope.
Nylon stockings were first sold in 1940. Previously women had to wear wool stockings (hot and itchy) or silk stockings (expensive and easy to run). Nylon stockings, however, were tough and long-lasting. Women bought 64 million pairs of stockings in 1940. When World War II was declared, nylon was diverted to military needs. Nylon stockings became very rare. After the war, women could buy nylons again.
Fish and Wildlife Service was established in 1940. Its purpose is “working with others, to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.” Children can learn more at: http://www.fws.gov/.
Bugs Bunny appeared for the first time in a 1940 cartoon, “A Wild Hare.”
Caves of Lascaux were found in 1940. Located in southwestern France, the caves were discovered by a young man named Marcel Ravidat. The caves contain about 2,000 paintings, which can be organized into three groups: animals, humans, and abstract creations. The caves were opened to tourists in 1948, but light, changes in air temperature, and carbon dioxide exhaled by humans took a toll on the works of art. The real caves were closed in 1963, and a simulation of the caves was opened nearby. Mold continues to be a problem. Children can visit the official (and amazing) website at: Caves of Lascaux.