Washington became the forty-second state of the United States in 1889. Mountains split the state into two distinctive parts. The western portion receives abundant rainfall, while the eastern part is very dry. Its nickname is the Evergreen State, and Olympia is the capital. Attractions include Mount St. Helens National Monument and Mount Rainier National Park. Children can learn more about Washington from America’s Library: Washington. Washington is known for its apples. Consider finding various types of apples. Slice them and serve. Children can compare texture, sweetness, and taste.
Congress met in session for the first time in the Capitol Building in 1800. Interesting fact – the Capitol Building on Sundays was used as a house of worship until the Civil War. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison attended services there. Children could visit the government website. The site offers some virtual tours and excellent links: Capitol Building.
Washington Monument was completed in 1884. The monument’s cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848, and building began. However, lack of funding and the Civil War stopped work. Then President Ulysses Grant started construction again. It was completed on this day in 1884 and dedicated in 1885. Children can learn more at: Washington Monument.
National Geographic Society was created in Washington, DC, in 1888. Around 33 founding members met at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC, to sign the charter. Visit a website at: National Geographic. Children enjoy perusing the National Geographic site for kids at: National Geographic Kids. Do you want an easy activity that combines geography and good, hard thinking? Create a geography ABC: write the letters of the alphabet down on paper. Next to each letter children can write down places that begin with that letter. For example, “A” could list Albania, Alabama, Andes Mountains, Arno River…
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.
Supreme Court opened its first session in 1790. In that year the capital was Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the Supreme Court met in what is now Independence Hall. When the capital moved to Washington, DC, no Supreme Court building existed. The Court met in various parts of the Capitol Building and even met in a private home during the War of 1812. Until 1935 the Supreme Court continued to meet in various places. The Supreme Court Building opened in 1935. Children can learn more about the Supreme Court at: Supreme Court.
Boy Scouts of America was started in 1910 by William Boyce in Washington, DC. The foundation was the work of Sir Robert Baden-Powell and the British Boy Scouts. Children can learn more about scouting at: http://www.scouting.org/
Mount Rainier National Park became the country’s fifth national park in 1899. Located in the state of Washington, the park is almost 370 square miles. Mount Rainier, an active volcano, is the jewel of the park. Children can visit a website at: http://www.nps.gov/mora.
World Standard Time was accomplished in 1884. The International Meridian Conference met in Washington, DC. The group established the Prime Meridian through Greenwich and established 24 time zones. Prior to that conference, different countries used different times. In the United States, different railroads used different time systems. It was all very confusing! Children can find the time in different cities world wide at: World Clock.
National Gallery of Art opened in 1941 in Washington, DC. President Franklin Roosevelt officiated at the opening. The museum was created in 1937 when a number of wealthy art collectors donated many of their acquisitions to become the core of the exhibits. It has a fine collection of artwork, ranging from the medieval period to the present. Children could visit the Internet site, especially the online tours, at: http://www.nga.gov. They could also pretend to be curators for the National Gallery of Art and decide which works of art to add to the collection. They could also view the amazing children’s portion of the website at: NGA Kids.