John Morton died in 1777. His date of birth is unknown. Active in politics, he was elected from Pennsylvania to serve in both the First Continental Congress and the Second Continental Congress. He signed the Declaration of Independence, and he was part of the committee that wrote the Articles of Confederation. He was the first Declaration of Independence signer to die.
Oliver Pollock created the dollar sign ($) in 1778.
International Children’s Book Day honors Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday. The International Board on Books for Young Readers (IBBY) sponsors the event. Children could learn more at: http://www.ibby.org/index.php?id=269.
Ponce de Leon discovered Florida in 1513. Juan Ponce de Leon had been on Columbus’s second voyage to the New World. Later he was commissioned by King Ferdinand to find Bimini, a legendary island that held the fountain of youth. At first Ponce de Leon thought Florida was an island. Because the area grew such lush vegetation, Ponce de Leon named it Florida, meaning full of flowers. He was killed by natives in 1521 when he tried to return to Florida to establish a colony. Children can learn more at: Ponce de Leon.
First United States mint was established in Philadelphia in 1792. It produced silver half-dismes and dismes (now spelled dimes). The mint is still active, and other mints are functioning in Denver and San Francisco. Children could visit the mint’s website, particularly the games section, at: http://www.usmint.gov/kids. Idea: Children could debate the idea of eliminating the production of the penny.