National Inventors’ Day is today! In 1983 President Ronald Reagan declared February 11 to be National Inventors’ Day, honoring Thomas Edison who was born on this day in 1847. The day recognizes all inventors and encourages everyone to try out new ideas. Children could learn more about creating an invention by reading Kids Inventing! A Handbook for Young Inventors by Susan Casey.
San Antonio Missions National Historical Park was established in 1983. Five Spanish missions were created around 1690 to 1720 in what is now San Antonio, Texas. Today four of the missions are part of the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. The sites include Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan Capistrano, and Mission Espada. The fifth mission is the Alamo, administered by the Texas General Land Office. On July 25, 1915, the five missions became a UNESCO World Heritage site. Children can learn more at: http://www.nps.gov/saan/index.htm.
Sally Ride in 1983 became the first American woman and the third woman in space. She and four other crew members were in the Challenger for six days. Since then, at least 60 women, including females from France, India, United Kingdom, South Korea, Italy, Japan, Canada, and China, have flown in space. Children can learn more at: Sally Ride.
Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) became available to schools in 1983. Today about 75 percent of all United States schools use D.A.R.E., and 44 other countries are also trying it. Adults can visit the website at: http://www.dare.org/.
Saint Kitts and Nevis celebrate Independence Day. The two islands, located in the eastern portion of the Caribbean Sea, became free of British rule in 1983, but they remain a part of the British Commonwealth. They are about 1.5 times the size of Washington, DC. Sugar was a large part of the economy, but the country has now shifted to tourism and diversified farming. About 51,000 people live on the islands, and Basseterre is the capital.