Apollo 13, the nearly fatal space mission to the moon, was launched in 1970. Astronauts John L. Swigert, Fred Haise, and James A. Lovell were on their way to the moon when an oxygen tank exploded. Their craft was severely damaged, and they had a great deal of difficulty returning home. The world held its breath until the craft fell safely into the Pacific Ocean on April 17, 1970.
Earth Day is today! This year’s theme is “Climate Action.” Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970. The original theme was “Give Earth a Chance.” Today is a good day to plant some trees or clean up some trash or build a compost pile or make a bird house or…Children could learn more at: Earth Day. Children could also read Earth Day – Hooray! by Stuart J. Murphy. The book incorporates some great math concepts with an emphasis on the environment.
Diane Crump in 1970 became the first woman to ride in the Kentucky Derby. Five other women (Patti Cooksey, Andrea Seefeldt, Julie Krone, Rosemary Homeister, and Rosie Napravnik) have been jockeys in the Kentucky Derby. Children can read a short biography of Crump at: Diane Crump.
Fiji celebrates Independence Day. The United Kingdom gave up custody of the three hundred islands in 1970. The islands, located in the South Pacific, depend on agriculture and tourism for income. The total area of Fiji is about the area of the state of New Jersey. Around 900,000 people live there. Suva is the capital.
Tonga celebrates Independence Day. It became independent from the United Kingdom in 1970. A constitutional monarchy, Tonga still remains part of the British Commonwealth. The country, located in the South Pacific, is composed of 172 islands. Its total area is about four times the size of Washington, DC. Slightly over 100,000 people live on the islands. Its capital is Nuku’alofa. Captain James Cook explored the area in 1773. Today Tonga exports copra, bananas, and vanilla.
Great Wall of China was opened to tourists in 1970. The wall is about 5,500 miles long and separates China from its historical northern enemies. Begun by Qin Shi Huang Di around 220 BC, the wall welcomes about ten million visitors a year. Children could view photos and video at the UNESCO site: Great Wall of China.