British Museum opened in 1759. The original museum was based on the 37,000-piece collection of Sir Hans Sloane, a scientist and physician. The museum grew quickly as Great Britain entered its colonial period. Today the museum’s collection exceeds eight million objects, and over six million visitors enter its doors each year. Some of its acquisitions, for example the Rosetta Stone, have caused controversy. Children can visit the museum website at: British Museum.
Democratic Party used the donkey as its party emblem for the first time in 1870. Harper’s Weekly printed an article which included Thomas Nast’s caricature of a donkey. Children can see the cartoon and learn more at: Donkey.
Swan Lake, Tchaikovsky’s ballet, opened in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in 1895. Idea: Children could listen to a portion of the music and perhaps transfer what they hear to art. Children could read Swan Lake, written by Mark Helprin and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg.
Boston Molasses Disaster occurred in 1919. No, this is not a hoax; this was a terrible disaster. On this day in 1919 a huge tank holding about 2,300,000 gallons of molasses ruptured, sending a tsunami of molasses into the streets of the North End part of Boston. Moving at 35 miles per hour, the molasses wave leveled buildings, trapped people, and even hurled a truck into Boston Harbor. About 21 people died, and 150 more were injured. Children could read The Great Molasses Flood by Deborah Kops. They could also watch a very interesting video at: Boston Molasses Disaster.
Super Bowl I was played in 1967. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs. Idea: Sports fans could compile statistics on the various Super Bowl Games. Which team holds the most championships? Which person played in the most games?
Wikipedia was started by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger in 2001. It is supported by a non-profit group, Wikimedia. Today the online encyclopedia has 18 billion articles in 287 languages. Over 70,000 volunteers work to make the articles accurate and current. Children can check out Wikijunior at: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikijunior.
Stardust was launched by NASA in 1999. Scientists sent it into outer space to collect samples from comets. So how did Stardust collect those samples? It contained plates of aerogel, a type of sticky stuff that attracted and kept the comet materials. It traveled three billion miles before returning to earth January 15, 2006, with samples it took from comet Wild 2. Children can have a great time exploring the Stardust NASA site for kids at: Stardust.