Berlin airlift began in 1948. After World War II, Germany was divided into four parts. The Soviet Union controlled the portion that held Berlin. Berlin itself had been divided into four parts. Hoping to create a blockade, the Soviet Union denied access to the city. The United States, France, and Great Britain responded by airlifting food and other supplies into Berlin. Over 2,300,000 tons of supplies were lifted in via 277,000 flights. The airlift lasted until May 12, 1949.
Malawi celebrates Republic Day. It received its independence from Great Britain in 1964. This landlocked country, slightly smaller than the state of Pennsylvania, is located in central Africa. Almost 17 million people live in the country. One of its major industries is the processing of foods, including tea, sugar, and tobacco. Lilongwe is the capital.
Solomon Islands celebrate Independence Day. These Pacific islands became free from Great Britain in 1978. The total area of the islands is a bit smaller than the area of Maryland. Natural resources include fish, bauxite, and forests. Almost 600,000 people live there, and Honiara is the capital.
Kiribati celebrates Independence Day. Formerly called the Gilbert Islands, this country became free of British rule in 1979. The 33 atolls, located in the Pacific Ocean, form a small country with an area about three times the size of Washington, DC. Over 100,000 people live on 21 inhabited atolls. Tarawa is the capital.
Rosetta Stone was found in 1799. Great Britain and France were at war, and one of their battle locations was in Egypt. The French found the stone when they were trying to improve their fortifications. The French lost the battle, and the British confiscated the Rosetta Stone. A pharaoh’s proclamation is written in three different languages on the stone. Jean Francois Champollion deciphered the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic text by working back through the other two languages. The British Museum now houses the Rosetta Stone. Children can learn more at: Rosetta Stone.
Maldives celebrate Independence Day. Great Britain gave up control of the coral islands in 1965. About 1,200 islands make up this country located in the Indian Ocean. In total the area of the islands is about 1.7 times the area of the Washington, DC. Almost 400,000 people live there, and many derive their income from the tourist industry. Male is the capital.
Vanuatu celebrates Independence Day. It gained its freedom from France and Great Britain in 1980. This group of twelve larger islands and sixty smaller islands changed its name from the New Hebrides to Vanuatu on this day as well. The country is located in the Pacific Ocean, and Port Vila is the capital. The area of Vanuatu is about the same as the area of Connecticut. Approximately two thirds of the 260,000 people living on the islands are farmers. Other industries include tourism and off-shore fishing.
Paperback books were sold for the first time in 1935. Penguin Books sold three million paperbacks in Great Britain alone that year.
Great Britain and the American colonies conducted a “Gregorian Correction” to the calendar in 1752. The day after September 2 became September 14. Angry mobs protested in the streets because they felt they lost eleven days. The country also changed New Year’s Day from March 25 to January 1. Most of Europe had adopted the Gregorian calendar almost two centuries earlier on October 4, 1582.
Qatar celebrates Independence Day. It declared its freedom from Great Britain in 1971. About the size of Connecticut, Qatar is now ruled by Sheik Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. The country obtains most of its income from oil and banking. Over two million people live in Qatar, and Doha is the capital.