August 27, 2001:
Did you know the
preservation of the Gettysburg battlefield began
soon after the battle was fought?
Yes. The battle
of Gettysburg was fought from July 1 to July 3,
1863, and the preservation began immediately afterward
when David McConaughy bought tracts of land comprising
the Union line (East Cemetery Hill, Culp's Hill,
and Little Round Top). In September, 1863, the Gettysburg
Battlefield Memorial Association was formed. The
battleground was deeded to the Federal War Department
in the late 1890's. Read
more in Report #9.
and Robert E. on
a cannon on the Confederate lines on Seminary Ridge
in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The field behind them
is the site of the famous Picketts' Charge. The
two low hills in the background are Little Round
Top on the left and Big Round Top on the right.
August 20, 2001:
Did you know
was born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey?
Yes, Frederick was
born into slavery in 1818. When Frederick was about
20 years old, he escaped north to freedom. He then
changed his name to hide his identity. He wrote
his autobiography, The Narrative of the Life
of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, and
started an anti-slavery newspaper, The North Star.
Did you know
Frederick Douglass participated in the first women's
rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York, in
August 13, 2001:
you know Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed variations
of the nursery rhyme, Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star?
Yes. In fact
composed 12 variations of this popular nursery rhyme.
They are listed as K. 265. The first verse of Twinkle,
Twinkle, Little Star is:
twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
August 6, 2001:
you know the Sojourner Rover was named after
Yes, when the Mars
Pathfinder landed on Mars
on July 4, 1997, its rover was named the Sojourner
Rover after the abolitionist and champion of women's
Truth. NASA chose the
name Sojourner (which means "traveler") after a
year-long world-wide essay competition among 3,500
students. In their essays, the students explained
how the heroine's traits related to the exploration
of Mars. The winner was Valerie Ambroise, age 12.
The other names considered for the rover were: Marie
Curie (chemist), Judith
Resnik (astronaut), Sacagawea
(guide and interpreter), Harriet
Tubman (abolitionist and
Underground Railroad conductor), and Amelia
Earhart (aviator). Read
a book about Sojourner Truth
Page: May 14, 2001.
July 30, 2001:
Did you know
Thomas Alva Edison received his first patent for
the Electrical Vote Recorder?
Alva Edison invented the
Electrical Vote Recorder in 1868, and was granted
a patent for it. This was his first of over 1,000
patents Alva received. He thought the U.S. Congress
could use the machine to automate and speed up the
voting process. Although the machine worked, Congress
did not use it. The Electrical Vote Recorder was
later used in the New York State Legislature. Read
a book about Alva.
July 23, 2001:
you know there are different ways to spell Shakespeare?
has been written over eighty ways. The Shakespeare
family records show 44 different spellings of Shakespeare.
spelled it two ways in his will -- "Shakspere" and
"Shakspeare." Other spellings include "Shagspeare,"
"Shakestaffe," "Shagsbere," "Shaxpere," and "Shackspeare."
Throughout the years, it has been decided to spell
it Shakespeare. So if you are looking up William
Shakespeare in an encyclopedia, be sure to spell
his name S-h-a-k-e-s-p-e-a-r-e. Read
a book about William Shakespeare.
July 16, 2001:
you know it took 4 days for Apollo 11 to reach
11 was launched on July 16, 1969, from the Kennedy
Space Center in Florida, on a Saturn V rocket. Four
days later, on July 20, the Lunar Module, Eagle,
landed in the Sea of Tranquility on the lunar surface.
Apollo 11 returned safely to Earth on July 24 when
it splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. Did
you know the entire mission lasted 8
days, 3 hours, and 18 minutes? Read
a book about the Moon.
photograph of Earthrise over the Moon's horizon
taken from Apollo 8 during Christmas 1968.
July 9, 2001:
Did you know
Yosemite is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountain
National Park is located in the Sierra Nevadas in
central California. Yosemite's spectacular natural
beauty includes Half Dome, El Capitan, Glacier Point,
Tuolumne Meadows, Tenaya Lake, Merced River, Mirror
Lake, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil
Fall, Nevada Fall, Vernal Fall, Sentinel Rock, Royal
Arches, North Dome, Sentinel Dome, Clouds Rest,
and The Three Brothers. Have you seen any of these
just before sunset, looking at Half
Dome from Glacier Point
with the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in the background.
This is a perfect spot to watch sunrise, sunset,
full moon rise, and to look at the night sky.
July 2, 2001:
you know the American colonies had been fighting
the American Revolution for over a year when the
Declaration of Independence was signed?
Yes, the American
Revolution began on April
19, 1775, after "the shot heard around the world"
was fired at Lexington and Concord, Massachusetts.
In that same year, the Second Continental Congress
met in Philadelphia. The next year, in 1776, the
Declaration of Independence was drafted, adopted
by the colonies, and signed, thus making the American
colonies an independent nation, called the United
States of America.
a book about the American Revolution.
Continental Congress, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
June 25, 2001:
you know Henry VIII became the King of England
when he was 17 years old?
was born on June 28, 1491, and he was crowned King
of England on June 24, 1509, just 4 days before
his 18th birthday. Henry was born Henry Tudor. As
second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, Henry
was referred to as the Duke of York. Henry's older
brother, Arthur, was the heir to the throne until
his death in 1502. Henry became the heir and eventually
became King of England from 1509 to 1547. Read
a book about King Hal.
June 18, 2001:
you know Stonehenge is the largest constructed
megalith in Europe?
Yes. First of
all, let us define a megalith. Megalith literally
means huge stone. It is a term applied to prehistoric
stone monuments forming circles, half circles, or
rows in Northern Europe. Stonehenge, meaning "something
hanging," is a circular group of large standing
stones located on Salisbury Plain in southern England.
The outer circle of stones are almost 14 feet high.
Stonehenge was built c. 2200-1500 BC. Wow, that's
old! The remaining structure is a small part of
the original structure. The significance of Stonehenge
is unknown, and the positioning of the stones suggests
it could have been an observatory, a calendar of
the seasons, a place for ceremonial gatherings,
or even a palace. Did you
know some of the stones came from distances
up to 150 miles away? Read
a book about Stonehenge.
June 11, 2001:
you know Vasco da Gama was the first explorer
to discover a sea route from Europe to Asia?
Yes, when the
Ottoman Empire blocked the European trade route
by land to the Far East, many explorers set out
to find a new sea route. One of these explorers
was Bartholomew Diaz. In 1488, Diaz discovered Africa's
southern tip which is known as the Cape of Good
Hope. Another explorer was
Christopher Columbus. In 1492, Columbus sailed
west and discovered the Americas. And then there
was Vasco da Gama. In 1499, da Gama continued around
the Cape of Good Hope and discovered a sea route
to the Far East. Read
a book about Vasco da Gama.
June 4, 2001:
you know Sacagawea's name has been spelled many
Yes, in the
journals of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark,
name is pronounced "Sah-ca-gah-we-ah" and "Sah-kah-gar-we-a."
In 1814, the Lewis and Clark journals were first
printed, and the editor spelled her name "Sacajawea."
This is how her name was spelled for many years.
Recently, historians and official publications have
changed the spelling of her name to "Sacagawea."
"Sacagawea" is a Hidatsa name. Since the Hidatsa
Indians gave her the name, it is more likely they
spelled it with a "g." Also, Sacagawea's nickname
is Bird Women. "Sacagawea" means Bird Woman, and
"Sacajawea" means Boat Launcher.
a book about Sacagawea.