Hundred Years’ War began in 1369 and ended in 1453. The English and the French actually fought a number of different battles over the control of France. Idea: Children could find out who won the Hundred Years’ War and what part Joan of Arc played in it.
The steamship Savannah departed this day in 1819 from Savannah, Georgia. When it arrived in Liverpool, England, on June 20, it was the first steamship to successfully cross the Atlantic Ocean.
RMS Queen Mary made her first voyage in 1936. She traveled from Southampton, England, to New York, New York. She shuttled passengers between North America and Europe for many years. During World War II she was refitted to transport troops. After the war she again became a luxury liner until 1967 when she was retired to Long Beach, California. Today she is a tourist attraction.
Henry VIII married the first of his six wives, Catherine of Aragon, in 1509. She was the widow of his brother, Prince Arthur.
Magna Carta was signed in 1215. King John I was forced to sign the document in Runnymede, England. Written in haste and in Latin, the Magna Carta was the first English document to outline human rights. Only four originals of the document still exist, and one copy resides in the National Archives in Washington, DC. Older children can read a translation at: Magna Carta.
Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon were crowned in England in 1509.
Staffordshire Hoard was discovered in a field near Litchfield, England, in 2009. Over 3,500 items (mostly gold and silver) were found buried, and most of the items were made around the 7th century AD. The items are mostly military; no household items or women’s jewelry were found. Children can learn more at: http://www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk/.
Louis Bleriot became the first person to fly a plane across the English Channel. He left Les Baraques, France, in 1909 and landed in Dover, England. The trip took 36 minutes 30 seconds. The Daily Mail, a British newspaper, had offered a reward of £1000 to the first successful aviator. Bleriot received the reward, and he instantly became famous. Children could read the 1984 Caldecott Medal book The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot, July 25, 1909 by Alice Provensen and Martin Provensen.
Gertrude Ederle in 1926 became the first woman to swim the English Channel. She swam for fourteen hours and thirty-one 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.
Matthew Webb in 1875 became the first person to swim the English Channel. He started in Dover, England, and finished near Calais, France, less than 22 hours later.