Oct 142020
Chuck Yeager and Glamorous Glennis

Chuck Yeager and the Glamorous Glennis

Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager in 1947 flew a BellX-1 airplane, the Glamorous Glennis, at Mach 1.07 over Muroc Dry Lake Bed in California. He successfully conducted the first faster than sound flying experiment.

Felix Baumgartner in 2012 jumped from a hot-air balloon at a height of 24 miles to freefall to earth. He reached a speed of 843.6 miles per hour (Mach 1.25), becoming the first person to break the sound barrier without a vehicle.

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Oct 232020

Cliff Swallow Courtesy of Marlin Harms

Swallows leave Capistrano, California, for the winter. They fly to Argentina, but they will return March 19th.

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Nov 022020

Spruce Goose flew its first and only flight in 1947. Howard Hughes designed and flew the twenty-five million dollar plane made of wood. Originally called Hercules, the plane flew for about one mile at an altitude of 70 feet over Long Beach Harbor, California. Today the Spruce Goose is an exhibit at the Evergreen Museum. Find more information and examine photographs at: Spruce Goose.

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Jan 242021
California Miners Photograph Ad Meskens

California Miners
Photograph Ad Meskens

Gold was discovered in California in 1848 by John Sutter and John Marshall. They were building a sawmill when they noticed flakes of gold in the water. Most of the forty-niners rushed to the Mother Lode country, part of the western foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Over 90,000 people had reached California by 1849, and the population topped 220,000 by 1852. The rush had declined by 1854, and most prospectors turned to other jobs. Idea: Children could find out how mine claims are made legal and how assays prove metal content of ore. Children could learn more at: California Gold. Children would really enjoy reading Sid Fleischman’s excellent historical fiction book   By the Great Horn Spoon!

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Feb 012021
Hale Telescope

Hale Telescope

Hale Telescope on Mount Palomar began operations in 1949. Named after George Ellery Hale, the 200-inch reflecting telescope was the largest of its kind. Located near San Diego, California, the telescope is still in use. Children can view a webcam at the telescope’s site at: Hale Telescope.

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Feb 022021

Map of Land Affected by the Treaty

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in 1848, ending the war between Mexico and the United States. In return for fifteen million dollars from the United States, Mexico gave up the land that became California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Texas also became part of the United States. Children can learn more at: Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

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Mar 172021

First glider flight in the United States occurred in 1893. John Joseph Montgomery flew his glider near Otay, California.

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Mar 192021

American Cliff Swallow

Swallows return to San Juan Capistrano, California. The American cliff swallows arrive after wintering in Argentina. They stay until October 23 when they fly 6,000 miles back to Goya, Argentina. Children could visit a website at: Swallows. They could read Leo Politi’s classic, Song of the Swallows.

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May 012021

First wagon train left Independence, Missouri, for California in 1841. The wagon train reached its destination November 4, 1841. Most wagon trains left in the spring, because it took four or five months to reach their destination. The trains did not want to be isolated in the mountains during winter. The trains, perhaps as much as one hundred wagons long, traveled about fifteen to twenty miles a day. The wagons were called prairie schooners because their white tops looked like billowing sails. Idea: Children could view copies of Russell Freedman’s Children of the Wild West.

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May 152021

Ellen Church became the first woman flight attendant in 1930. The United Airlines employee flew from San Francisco, California, to Chicago, Illinois. The 20-hour flight stopped at numerous cities. Female flight attendants became more common, but they often had to help pilots, process luggage, or push airplanes into hangars.

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