National Inventors’ Day is today! In 1983 President Ronald Reagan declared February 11 to be National Inventors’ Day, honoring Thomas Edison who was born on this day in 1847. The day recognizes all inventors and encourages everyone to try out new ideas. Children could learn more about creating an invention by reading Kids Inventing! A Handbook for Young Inventors by Susan Casey.
Philadelphia established the first hospital, Pennsylvania Hospital, in the United States in 1751. Aided by Benjamin Franklin, Dr. Thomas Bond created the hospital where people received free medical care. Children can take a virtual tour of the old buildings at: Pennsylvania Hospital.
Vatican achieved its independence from Italy in 1929. While Vatican City had been separate from Rome for centuries, documents signed this day in 1929 made the Vatican a distinct government. According to the CIA World Factbook, the Vatican is about 0.7 times the size of the National Mall in Washington, DC. The smallest country in the world, the Vatican is home to around 850 people. More than four million people visit the Vatican each year.
Nelson Mandela was freed from prison in South Africa in 1990. He had been in prison for 27 years due to his anti-apartheid activities. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He was elected president of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He died on December 5, 2013.