Nat Turner in 1831 led a short-lived slave rebellion in Virginia. A slave, Turner believed he had visions from God to lead the insurrection. Around 56 free people were killed, but up to 200 slaves died. Within two days the battle was over, but Nat Turner himself was not caught until October 30, 1831. He was tried, found guilty, and hanged on November 5, 1831. Older children could read a concise account of the rebellion at: Nat Turner. Nat Turner’s Slave Rebellion was not the only uprising. Children can read more about other slave uprisings at: Slave Rebellions.
National Candy Corn Day is today! George Renninger of the Wunderlee Candy Company invented the treat in the late 1800’s. Candy corn is made from corn syrup, sugar, confectioner’s wax, and food coloring. About twenty million pounds of candy corn are sold each year. Today the top two manufacturers of candy corn are Brach’s and Jelly Belly.
Ballpoint pen was patented in 1888 by John J. Loud of Weymouth, Massachusetts. He received patent number 392,046. A lawyer, inventor, and tanner, he developed the instrument so that he could write on his leather products. Fountain pens, then the most used type of pen, could not write on leather. Loud’s ballpoint pen, however, was not successful when used on paper. Laszlo Biro created a commercially successful ballpoint pen in 1943. Children can view Loud’s patent at: Ballpoint Pen Patent.
Orson Welles presented a radio broadcast of H. G. Wells’s War of the Worlds in 1938. Many people had not tuned in at the beginning, so they believed there was a real Martian invasion. Children can listen to the radio broadcast (55 minutes) at: Youtube War of the Worlds.
Bosphorus Bridge was opened in 1973. The bridge spans the Bosphorus Strait and connects Asia and Europe. Almost a mile long, the suspension bridge was the scene of a brief tennis match between Venus Williams and Ipeko, a Turkish tennis player.