William the Conqueror arrived in England in 1066. The Duke of Normandy was expanding his realm.
Guy Fawkes Day is remembered in England. In 1605 at least eleven people plotted to blow up Parliament and kill political leaders, including King James I. They hid twenty barrels of gunpowder in the cellar of the Parliament building. However, the explosives were discovered the night before the intended detonation. The conspirators were tried, convicted, and beheaded. Guy Fawkes is the name most remembered among the guilty. During the evening of November 5, bonfires and fireworks light up the skies. Children can check out the BBC site and play a Guy Fawkes game at: Guy Fawkes Day.
First International Football Match was held in 1872 in Patrick, Scotland. The national team of Scotland played the national team of England. The game ended in a 0-0 tie before 4,000 spectators. This game more resembled what Americans call soccer than what we call football.
The Flying Scotsman in 1934 became the first locomotive to exceed 100 miles per hour. The train connected London, England, and Edinburgh, Scotland. Today the locomotive is on exhibit at the National Railway Museum in the United Kingdom. Today’s fastest train is the Shanghai Maglev, which travels at more than 267 miles per hour. Children could conduct research to find the speeds of other trains.
Guglielmo Marconi sent the first transoceanic radio signal from England to Newfoundland (2,200 miles) in 1901. He flew a kite 500 feet in the air to keep his antenna up and used Morse Code to transmit “s,” which is “- – -.” He, along with Ferdinand Braun, received the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics.
Sir Francis Drake, an English explorer, began his trip in 1577 that would eventually circumnavigate the world. He left England with five ships and picked up another near the Cape Verde Islands. Actually Drake did not plan to sail around the world. He was a privateer intent on plundering Spanish ships. He returned to England September 26, 1780, with one ship loaded with treasure. Children could check out his course and find out more about his “sea dog” years by visiting: Sir Francis Drake. They could also experience a readers’ theater play at: Readers’ Theater.
Pocahontas died in Gravesend, Kent, England, in 1617. She was probably born in 1595. She had accompanied her husband, John Rolfe, on a trip to England to meet his family and friends. Children could visit a website at: Pocahontas.
Pocahontas married John Rolfe in 1614. She and her husband sailed to England in 1616 where she was extremely popular. She died of smallpox in England in 1617.
Harriet Quimby in 1912 became the first woman to fly solo over the English Channel. She flew from Dover, England, to Harclat, France. She was welcomed as a hero in France, Great Britain, and the United States. Children could read more at: Harriet Quimby.
Saint George Feast Day remembers the death of the English martyr Saint George in the year 303. He killed the famous dragon that required daily sacrifice. The story of St. George and the Dragon was been written by several different authors. One excellent version is Saint George and the Dragon, written by Margaret Hodges and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman. The book received the 1985 Caldecott Medal.