National Day of the People’s Republic of China is celebrated today. The present government came into being in 1949. Slightly smaller than the United States, China has a variety of habitats, from Mount Everest to deserts to tropics. About 1.349 billion people live in China, and the capital is Beijing.
Helen Eugenie Moore Anderson was the first woman to be appointed to an ambassadorship. Harry S. Truman swore her in as ambassador to Denmark in 1949. She served as the U. S. ambassador to Denmark until January 19, 1953. Later she served as the U. S. ambassador to Bulgaria from August 3, 1962, until December 6, 1964. Children could find out what ambassadors do and how one becomes an ambassador. They could find the names of current ambassadors at: List of Ambassadors.
UNICEF Day has been observed by Presidential Proclamation since 1967. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) began in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1949. The organization received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965. UNICEF helps children in over 190 countries, and the organization worked to eradicate polio in over 120 countries. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF has raised over $188 million since its inception. Children can learn more at: http://www.unicefusa.org/.
Hale Telescope on Mount Palomar began operations in 1949. Named after George Ellery Hale, the 200-inch reflecting telescope was the largest of its kind. Located near San Diego, California, the telescope is still in use. Children can view a webcam at the telescope’s site at: Hale Telescope.
North American Treaty was signed in 1949. Twelve nations formed the original North American Treaty Organization: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, and the United States. Greece and Turkey became members in 1951, and West Germany joined in 1954. Spain became the last member in 1982. The main purpose of NATO is protection; an attack against one member is an attack against all members. Idea: Children could locate these countries on a world map and decide whether all countries benefit equally from this treaty.
Georgia Neese Clark in 1949 became the first female treasurer of the United States. She served under President Harry Truman from 1949 to 1953. Every treasurer, an official in the department of the treasury, since then has been a woman. Children can view the list of US treasurers at: Treasurers.