Concorde flew for the first time in 1976. A British company and a French company formed a joint cooperation to fund and build 20 Concorde planes. The planes mainly flew from London and Paris to New York and Washington, DC. Flights were expensive, but passengers arrived at their destinations in less than half the usual flight time. Due to less travel after September 11, 2001, and increased costs, the planes were retired on November 26, 2003.
Polaroid camera was patented in 1947 in New York, New York, by Edwin H. Land. Older children can read an interesting article about Land and the Polaroid at: Polaroid Camera.
Harriet Tubman died in Auburn, New York, in 1913. Her exact date of birth is unknown. She was born around 1820 in Dorchester County, Maryland. A slave, she escaped to Philadelphia in 1849. She then became the most famous conductor for the Underground Railroad, probably saving about 900 people. During the Civil War, she acted as a spy and a scout. After the war, she cared for orphans and the aged. Children may want to read Ann McGovern’s Wanted Dead or Alive: The Story of Harriet Tubman. Children could also learn more about her life at: Harriet Tubman.
First synagogue in United States was built. The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue (Shearith Israel) opened its doors in 1654 in New York, New York. The synagogue continues to thrive today.
Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its doors for the first time in 1870. It contains over 200 galleries and possesses over three million pieces of art. Idea: Consider reading From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Two siblings run away to the museum. They solve a mystery, and readers learn a great deal about the museum. Children can visit the museum website at: http://www.metmuseum.org/.
Chicago began constructing the first skyscraper in 1884. It rose to a height of ten stories! The Home Insurance Company of New York owned the steel-framed building. It was finished by the fall of 1885, but two more floors were added at a later date. It was razed in 1931 so that another building could be built.
Empire State Building was dedicated in 1931. For quite a long time it was the tallest building in the world. However, other buildings are now taller than it. Children can learn more at: Empire State Building.
New York State in 1904 became the first state to institute automobile speed limits. Cars could travel ten miles per hour in cities and twenty miles per hour in rural areas.
RMS Lusitania sank in 1915. It was torpedoed by Germany, and 1,198 people, including 128 Americans, died. The ship was traveling from New York to Liverpool, England. The United States protested the action, but Germany countered that the ship held munitions for England and was fair game. The sinking created anti-German feelings in the United States, and America declared war on Germany on April 4, 1917.
New York Stock Exchange was created in 1792. Approximately 20 businessmen would meet under a buttonwood tree on Wall Street in New York City and trade stock. If the weather was bad, they met in a coffeehouse.
Charles Lindbergh started his solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927. He left Long Island, New York, in the Spirit of St. Louis at 7:52 AM. He arrived at Paris, France, at 10:24 PM on May 21. “Lucky Lindbergh” won a $25,000 prize for his efforts. He instantly became a national hero. Idea: Children could read more about his life and the fame he faced.