Saint Nicholas Day is celebrated by children in Central and Northern Europe. Dutch children fill their shoes with hay the night before. Treats can be found in shoes the next day.
Finland celebrates Independence Day. It became free from Russia in 1917. For centuries Sweden and Russia have fought over Finland. Russia took over the country in 1809. According to the CIA World Factbook, Finland is slightly smaller than the state of Montana. Today Helsinki is the northernmost capital of any country in Europe. More than five million people live in Finland, and most live in a small coastal plain. Over three-fourths of the land is covered with forests. It exports timber and wood pulp.
Washington Monument was completed in 1884. The monument’s cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848, and building began. However, lack of funding and the Civil War stopped work. Then President Ulysses Grant started construction again. It was completed on this day in 1884 and dedicated in 1885. Children can learn more at: Washington Monument.
Everglades National Park was founded in 1947. The park contains over 1,500,000 acres of land. It is the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles coexist. The park provides an amazing array of photos, audio programs, and videos. Children could visit the park’s website at: http://www.nps.gov/ever. They could use a Venn diagram to show the differences between alligators (left) and crocodiles (right).