Panama gained possession of the Panama Canal Zone from the United States at noon in 1999. The United States had controlled the Panama Canal Zone as of February 26, 1904. The treaty allowed the United States to own the canal into perpetuity. However, from 1979 to 1999, the canal was controlled by both the United States and Panama. Children can learn more about the canal and its transfer at: Panama Canal.
Euro was introduced as the currency of many European nations in 1999. On January 1, 2002, the Euro became the official currency of these nations, and all national currencies were removed in February of 2002.
Stardust was launched by NASA in 1999. Scientists sent it into outer space to collect samples from comets. So how did Stardust collect those samples? It contained plates of aerogel, a type of sticky stuff that attracted and kept the comet materials. It traveled three billion miles before returning to earth January 15, 2006, with samples it took from comet Wild 2. Children can have a great time exploring the Stardust NASA site for kids at: Stardust.
Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones in 1999 became the first people to circle the earth in a hot air balloon. Their 26,000-mile trip took 19 days, 21 hours, and 55 minutes. Their trip started in Switzerland and ended in Egypt. The gondola looks like a gigantic red pill, and solar panels provided power for GPS and communication. Children can see a photo of the gondola and read more at: Hot Air Balloon.
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in 1999 had to be moved because the encroaching ocean was close to washing it away. The 2900-foot move was completed on July 9, 1999. Children could learn about the fascinating move at: Cape Hatteras.
Eileen Collins became the first female commander of a space vehicle, Columbia, in 1999. During the mission she and the crew deployed the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, which provides data on black holes and exploding stars. Older children could visit a website at: Eileen Collins.
Morocco celebrates Throne Day. King Mohammed VI became the country’s ruler in 1999. This north African country borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Morocco’s area compares to the area of California. Almost 33 million people live in Morocco, and many of the people depend on tourism for jobs. Rabat is the capital. Children could learn more at: Morocco.