May 062019
 

Chunnel, the tunnel between the United Kingdom and France, opened in 1994. It is 31 miles long, 23 of those miles under water. Digging beneath the English Channel began in 1988. Today about 18 million people travel on trains through the Chunnel each year. Children could learn more at a very interesting site: http://www.eurotunnel.com/build/.

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May 092019
 
Flag of Guernsey

Flag of Guernsey

Guernsey celebrates Liberation Day, the day in 1945 that the populace was freed from Nazi Germany. The islands, located in the English Channel, are a British Crown Dependency but not part of the United Kingdom. Home to 65,000 people, the islands are about half the size of Washington, DC. Saint Peter Port is the capital, and the economy depends on tourism and banking.

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Jun 122019
 
Gossamer Albatross

Gossamer Albatross

Bryan Allen became the first person to pedal an aircraft across the English Channel. He pedaled the Gossamer Albatross from Folkestone, England, to Cape Gris-Nez, France, in 1979. The trip took almost three hours. His average altitude was only five feet! The Gossamer Albatross is now housed within the Smithsonian Museums.

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Jul 252019
 
Louis Bleriot before take-off

Louis Bleriot before take-off

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.

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Aug 062019
 
Gertrude Ederle

Gertrude Ederle

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.

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Aug 252019
 

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.

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