Lynne Cox in 1987 became the first person to swim from the United States to Russia across the Bering Strait. She took only 2 hours 5 minutes to complete the swim. The water temperature averaged about 43 degrees F. Both President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev congratulated her on her success. She has also had swimming adventures in Antarctica, the English Channel, and the Straits of Magellan. Older children can learn more by clicking here.
Martin Luther King Day is a national holiday. The holiday is the third Monday in January. Martin Luther King, Junior’s birthday is January 15, 1929. He was assassinated in 1968. A holiday in his honor was first proposed in 1968. It became law in 1983 when President Ronald Reagan signed the document. It was first observed January 20, 1986. Some states fought the idea, and it was first observed in all 50 states in 2000. Lately people have proposed that the day become a day of service and not just a holiday. Some organizations paint/repair community buildings. Others improve parks and highways. Others work with charity groups. Children could learn more about the Martin Luther King Day of Service at: http://mlkday.gov/.
Aaron Burr (born Newark, New Jersey, 1756; died Staten Island, New York, September 14, 1836) was a senator and the third vice president of the United States. He ran against Thomas Jefferson for the presidency in 1800. Each received the same number of electoral votes. According to the Constitution at that time, the House of Representatives decided who was to be president, and Jefferson won. He was not renominated in 1804, and he did not win the governorship of New York. Burr blamed Alexander Hamilton for these losses and challenged him to a duel. Burr killed Hamilton, but his career was ruined.
Betsy Duffey (born Atlanta, Georgia) writes books for children. Her books include Dog Diaries and How to Be Cool in Third Grade. Check her website at: Betsy Duffy.
Ronald Reagan (born Tampico, Illinois, 1911; died Bel Air, California, June 5, 2004) was the fortieth president (1981-1989) of the United States. One of his first jobs was being a radio sports announcer. He became an actor and appeared in over fifty movies. He was elected governor of California, although he had no political experience. He became president in 1980 and created the term “Reaganomics.” Children could visit a website at: Ronald Reagan. Idea: He was the country’s oldest president when he left office. Children could debate whether there should be an age limit to the office.
George Herman “Babe” Ruth (born Baltimore, Maryland, 1895; died New York, New York, August 16, 1948) was one of baseball’s greatest players. Nicknamed the “Great Bambino,” he was an outstanding pitcher with a record of 94 games won and 46 games lost. He was perhaps a greater batter, hitting 714 homeruns during his career. He also played in the outfield. He played for the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees, and the Boston Braves. Idea: Children could decide whether or not Babe Ruth was the greatest baseball player of all time.
National Inventors’ Day is today! In 1983 President Ronald Reagan declared February 11 to be National Inventors’ Day, honoring Thomas Edison who was born on this day in 1847. The day recognizes all inventors and encourages everyone to try out new ideas. Children could learn more about creating an invention by reading Kids Inventing! A Handbook for Young Inventors by Susan Casey.