Mauritania celebrates Independence Day. It gained its freedom from France in 1960. The country, located in northwestern Africa, is larger than the state of Texas. Over three million people live in Mauritania, and the capital is Nouakchott. Located in the Sahara Desert, the country derives most of its income from livestock, iron ore, and gypsum. Older children could learn more at: Mauritania.
Howdy Doody appeared on television for the first time in 1947. The extremely popular children’s show featured a combination of people and puppets. Cartoons were also shown. It last aired September 24, 1960. Idea: Children could create a puppet show relating to the upcoming New Year’s Eve.
LASER (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) was patented in 1960 by Charles Townes and Arthur Schawlow. Today we do not capitalize all the letters in the word laser. Children can learn how lasers work at: LASER.
Senegal celebrates Independence Day. France gave up custody of the country in 1960. According to the CIA World Factbook, Senegal is a bit smaller than the state of South Dakota. Located in western Africa, it borders the Atlantic Ocean. Plains cover most of the country, but some jungle grows in the southwestern portions. About thirteen million people live in the country. Dakar is the capital. Older children can learn more at: Senegal.
Madagascar celebrates Independence Day. It became free from French rule in 1960. It is an island, the fourth largest island in the world, off the southeastern coast of Africa. It is slightly smaller than Texas. It exports coffee, vanilla, and cloves, and about 23 million people live there. Antananarivo is the capital. Children can learn more at: Madagascar.
Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire, celebrates Independence Day. Belgium relinquished control of this African country in 1960. It is about one and a half times the size of Alaska. The country is famous for its minerals and forest products. Over 75 million people live in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The capital is Kinshasa. Children could learn more at: Democratic Republic of Congo.
Somalia celebrates Foundation Day. In 1960 British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland united to form Somalia. The African country borders the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. Slightly smaller than the area of Texas, Somalia is covered mostly by deserts. Over ten million people live in Somalia, and Mogadishu is the capital. Children can learn more at: Somalia.
Benin celebrates National Day. The country announced its independence from France in 1960. Located on the western coast of Africa, Benin is about the size of the state of Pennsylvania. The geography is mostly flat with few low mountains. Many people survive on subsistence farming, and cotton is one the the country’s major exports. Almost ten million people live in Benin, and Porto-Novo is the capital. Children can learn more at: Benin.
Cote D’Ivoire celebrates Independence Day. The west African country gained its independence in 1960 from France. Bordering the Atlantic Ocean, Cote D’Ivoire has an area about the same as the area of New Mexico. The mostly flat country has a tropical climate along the coast. The country exports cocoa beans and coffee beans. Over 22 million people live there, and Yamoussoukro is the capital. Older children can learn more at: Cote D’Ivoire.
Echo 1A, the first passive communications satellite, was successfully launched in 1960. The 100-foot diameter balloon reflected communications signals to desired locations. Only one other passive communications satellite was launched until NASA decided to use active satellites. Experts predicted Echo 1A would last only until 1964. However, Echo 1A remained intact and reentered earth’s atmosphere on May 24, 1968. The satellite was destroyed by friction and heat. Children could learn more at: Echo 1A.