Feb 012024
Hale Telescope

Hale Telescope

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.

Apr 042024
Truman and Diplomats Signing NATO Treaty

Truman and Diplomats Signing NATO Treaty

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 joined in 1982. Czechia, Hungary, and Poland became members in 1999. Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia joined in 2004. Albania and Croatia were admitted in 2009. Montenegro became a member in 2017, and North Macedonia joined in 2020. On this day in 2023 Finland became a member. Today NATO has 31 members. 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. Children can learn more at: NATO.

Jun 092024

Georgia Neese Clark

Georgia Neese Clark in 1949 became the first woman 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.

Sep 222024

Operation Little Vittles began in 1948. To understand Operation Little Vittles, we must understand Operation Vittles. After World War II ended. Germany was divided into four sectors, with the United States, France, United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union each in charge of one sector. The Soviet Union’s sector included Berlin. The Soviet Union on June 24, 1948, began blockading Berlin, allowing no food or fuel to enter the city. The other three nations responded by airlifting food and fuel, Operation Vittles, into the desperate city. Colonel Gail Halvorsen was one of the pilots bringing in supplies. He noticed that the children in Berlin got excited to even see a stick of gum. He decided to drop his rations of candy and gum attached to handkerchief parachutes to the children. Thus began Operation Little Vittles. Others heard of his kindness, and individuals and candy makers began donating goodies. Eventually over 23 tons of candy were dropped from about 250,000 small parachutes. On May 13, 1949, the Soviets lifted the blockade, and Operation Vittles and Operation Little Vittles were no longer needed.

Oct 012024

Flag of China

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. Children can learn more at: China.

Oct 282024

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.

Oct 312024

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/.