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.
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.
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.
Bill of Rights was ratified by New Jersey in 1789. New Jersey was the first state to approve the amendments. The process was completed on December 15, 1791, when Virginia ratified the amendments. Children can learn more at: Bill of Rights.
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.
Lincoln Tunnel opened in 1937. It connects New Jersey with Manhattan and goes under the Hudson River. The tunnel is 1.5 miles long, and over 100,000 cars use it every day. Its original name was the Midtown Vehicular Tunnel, but officials named it after Abraham Lincoln.
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.
Battle of Princeton took place in 1777. George Washington and his troops defeated a British assault in Princeton, New Jersey. While the British considered the battle to be minor, the American victory raised the soldiers’ morale.
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.
Seeing Eye Guide Dog Organization was founded in 1929 by Dorothy Harrison Eustis of Morristown, New Jersey. Idea: Children could interview one of the dog trainers. Children could also learn more at: http://www.seeingeye.org/about-us/history.html.