Bolivia celebrates Independence Day. A landlocked country in South America, Bolivia gained its freedom from Spain in 1825. La Paz is the capital, and at one time the region was under Inca control. Although the country is presently bigger than the state of Texas, it was once much larger. Parts of the country were sold, and parts were given away as spoils of war. Its natural resources include silver, tin, oil, and natural gas. About 11.7 million people live in the country. Children can learn more at: Bolivia.
Jamaica celebrates Independence Day. It became free from Great Britain in 1962, but Jamaica remains a part of the British Commonwealth. Located in the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica is about the size of Connecticut. This mountainous island has a tropical climate. Almost three million people live there, and tourism is an important industry. Kingston is the capital. Children could learn more at: Jamaica.
Sandwich was invented in 1762 by John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich. Stories conflict as to why he invented the sandwich. One tale states he loved to gamble, and he did not want to miss the gambling when he got hungry. The other version indicates he was a very dedicated man, and he did not want to turn away from his work when he got hungry. Experts believe the most popular sandwich in the United States is grilled cheese. Children could poll their friends regarding their favorit sandwiches.
Constitutional Convention met from August 6 to September 10, 1787. This Philadelphia meeting was called the “Great Debate,” and the purpose was to draft a constitution. Idea: Children could read Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution, written by Jean Fritz. Older children could learn about the members at an EXCELLENT site: Framers.
Gertrude Ederle in 1926 became the first woman to swim the English Channel. She swam for 14 hours 31 minutes from England to France. She returned to a ticker tape parade in New York City. Younger children could read America’s Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle, by David A. Adler. At least 45 other people have successfully swum the English Channel.
Atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. The Enola Gay, a B-29 bomber, dropped the bomb that immediately killed 70,000 to 80,000 people. Within four months another 90,000 to 140,000 people died from radiation sickness and other complications of the atomic bomb. The United States dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki on August 15, 1945. The Japanese informally surrendered on August 15, 1945 and formally surrendered on September 2, 1945. Older students could read Hiroshima by John Hersey. The book follows several Japanese citizens after the bomb drop and then about 40 years later.
World Wide Web became available to the public in 1991. Sir Tim Berners-Lee developed a system of sharing files between computers. Within five years 40 million people were using the Web. Today almost 2.5 billion people use the Web. Berners-Lee could have become wealthy from his invention, but he wanted the Web to remain free and open. Children would find the following timeline interesting: Timeline.