Oct 132023

M&M Candies

National M&M Day is today! Also labeled as m&m candies, the candies were first produced in 1941. Today the candies are produced in two locations, Hackettstown, New Jersey, and Cleveland, Tennessee. The candies are now sold in over 100 countries. Idea: Children could make a list of the colors of the candies, and they could also list the variations that are produced today.

Nov 132023

Holland Tunnel began operating in 1927. Named after its designer, Clifford Milburn Holland, the tunnel connects New Jersey and Manhattan; it runs under the Hudson River. It was the first American underwater tunnel. The designers had to build gigantic fans that would remove carbon monoxide, generated by the cars, from the tunnel. Currently about 90,000 vehicles use the tunnel per day. The tunnel was designated a United States National Historic Landmark on November 4, 1993.

Nov 142023

Nellie Bly and the only luggage she would carry for 72 days

Nellie Bly began her trip in 1889 to go around the world in eighty days. She was trying to copy the trip Jules Verne created for his character Phileas Fogg in the book Around the World in Eighty Days. She completed the 24,899 mile trip in slightly over 72 days, returning to New Jersey on January 25, 1890. During her trip she met Jules Verne in France. She sailed through the Suez Canal and traveled through Hong Kong and Japan. Her record lasted only a few months; in 1890 George Francis Train went around the world in 67 days. Children can visit a website devoted to her at: Nellie Bly.

Dec 182023

New Jersey Flag

New Jersey became the third state by ratifying the Constitution in 1787. It was named after an island in the English Channel. The state’s nickname is the Garden State, and Trenton is the capital. During the American Revolution, at least one hundred battles were fought in New Jersey. It is one of the most densely populated states. While it contains large cities, it also boasts about its farms and shores. The honeybee is the state insect. Children could visit an Internet site at: New Jersey. They could locate on a map the sites of the Revolutionary War battles. They could find out why so many battles happened in New Jersey.

Dec 252023

General Washington and his army secretly crossed the Delaware River in 1776 and surprised the British troops in Trenton. The American victory was a milestone in the Revolutionary War. A number of children’s books have been written about the event. Lynne Cheyney’s When Washington Crossed the Delaware: A Wintertime Story for Young Patriots is an excellent book. They can visit the Washington Crossing State Park site at: Washington Crossing.

Jan 092024

Jean Pierre Blanchard made the first balloon flight in the United States in 1793. President George Washington and other officials watched the 46 minute flight, staged in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He landed in New Jersey. Children can read an extensive article on the flight at: Blanchard. Children could also read The First Air Voyage in the United States: The Story of Jean-Pierre Blanchard by Alexandra Wallner.