Zimbabwe celebrates Independence Day. The country gained its independence from Great Britain in 1980. According to the CIA World Factbook, Zimbabwe is slightly bigger than Montana. Located in southern Africa, this landlocked country is home to about 13 million people. The country exports gold, platinum, and textiles. Harare is the capital.
Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980. The volcano, located in Washington, discharged debris and steam eleven miles into the air. The volcano had erupted previously in 1857. The eruption, even though expected, killed 57 people and caused billions of dollars in damages. Children can learn more at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/mountsthelens.
Vanuatu celebrates Independence Day. It gained its freedom from France and Great Britain in 1980. This group of twelve larger islands and sixty smaller islands changed its name from the New Hebrides to Vanuatu on this day as well. The country is located in the Pacific Ocean, and Port Vila is the capital. The area of Vanuatu is about the same as the area of Connecticut. Approximately two thirds of the 260,000 people living on the islands are farmers. Other industries include tourism and off-shore fishing.
Voyager I made its closest contact with Saturn in 1980. The spacecraft then began taking photos, especially of the rings, and scientific measurements. Launched on September 5, 1977, Voyager I traveled past Saturn and the rest of our solar system. It continues to travel through space and send back data. Children can learn more at: Voyager I.
Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve was formed in 1980. Visitors can view tidewater glaciers and both brown and black bears at this 3.3 million acre park in Alaska. Children could visit the National Park website that provides outstanding etours, children’s activities, and even coloring sheets at: http://www.nps.gov/glba.
Denali National Park and Preserve was created in 1980. The six million acre park contains Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America at 20,320 feet. Children could visit the National Park website to see amazing panoramas and interactive activities at: http://www.nps.gov/dena. Denali is home to many kinds of animals. Children could research Denali and its inhabitants. Each child could make a postcard, featuring an animal, from the national park.