Marquis de Lafayette landed near Charleston, South Carolina, in 1777 to help train patriot forces. Nineteen years old, he became a major-general without pay. He worked closely with American soldiers, and he also helped America’s cause among the French. After the American Revolution he returned to France to help his own country establish a democracy. Children can learn more from the Liberty’s Kids series: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCFnDuouqxM.
First roller coaster opened in 1884. The “Gravity Pleasure Switchback Railway” of Coney Island dropped 50 feet, and the mechanism traveled six miles per hour. It cost a nickel to ride.
Department of Labor was created by Congress in 1888. The department of Labor is in charge of labor wages and hours, worker safety, unemployment insurance, reemployment activities, and labor statistics. Children can visit the government’s website at: http://www.dol.gov/.
Hayabusa returned to earth in 2010 from its trip to collect samples of Near-Earth Asteroid 25143 Itokawa. The unmanned Hayabusa (Peregrine Falcon) launched from a Japanese space center on May 9, 2003, and it landed on the asteroid in November 2005. It collected samples of the asteroid and successfully brought those samples back. The samples reveal that the asteroid is more like a meteorite than an earth rock.