Home>>Collection>>Your Page>>Archives>>Did You Know... (Sep-Dec, 2001)
 
 
December, 2001:
Did you know the General Sherman Tree is the World's Largest Living Thing?
Yes, the General Sherman is a sequoia located in Sequoia National Park in California. It is named after the Civil War General William T. Sherman. Although other trees are taller or have a greater circumference, the General Sherman has the largest volume of wood which makes it the World's Largest Living Thing. The General Sherman is 274.9' tall -- that's taller than a 27-story building. It is also very old -- it is between 1800 and 2700 years old.
Did you know Sequoia National Park was the second national park designated in the United States? Yes, it was established on September 25, 1890. Yellowstone National Park, established on March 1, 1872, was the first National Park.
Photo: General Sherman Tree

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November 26, 2001:
Did you know the Iroquois called corn, beans, and squash the Three Sisters?
Yes, corn, beans, and squash were important sources of food for the Iroquois. Corn is a source of carbohydrates, beans is a source of protein, and squash is a source of vitamins. The Iroquois also ate fruits, nuts, meat, and fish. Read more about the Iroquois.

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November 19, 2001:
Did you know President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving as an annual national holiday in 1863?
Yes, on October 3, 1863, in fact. This was during the American Civil War. In 1941, the United States Congress passed a law making Thanksgiving the fourth Thursday of November.
Photo: Abraham Lincoln
 

November 12, 2001:
Did you know William Howard Taft was the President of the United States and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?
Yes, William Howard Taft was the 27th President from 1909 to 1913, and he was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1921 to 1930.

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November 5, 2001:
Did you know the United States Congress is made up of two Houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives?
Yes, during the Constitutional Convention in 1787, there was a division between small states and large states regarding how representation in the federal government would be determined. The small states wanted the states to have equal representation. The large states wanted representation based on population. A compromise was reached which satisfied both sides. The Constitution set up the United States Congress as a bicameral system (a legislature made up of two chambers). The Senate is made up of two Senators from each state, and the House of Representatives is elected according to population. Read a book about the Congress.
Photo: United States Capitol

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October 29, 2001:
Did you know North and South Dakota were admitted to the Union on the same day?
Yes, on November 2, 1889, North and South Dakota became the 39th and 40th states admitted to the United States of America. Before becoming a state, they had been part of the Dakota Territory. The United States admitted four states to the Union in November, 1889. On November 8, Montana became the 41st state, and on November 11, Washington became the 42nd state. What year was your state admitted to the Union?

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October 22, 2001:
Did you know the White House requires 570 gallons of paint to cover its outside surface?
Yes, the White House is located in Washington, D.C., and it is the place where the President of the United States works and lives. The job of the President is very demanding at times. However, there are also plenty of ways the President can relax while at the White House. Did you know the White House has a tennis court, jogging track, swimming pool, movie theater, and bowling lane? Read a book about the Presidency.
Photo: White House.

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October 15, 2001:
Did you know there were celebrations in 1929 and 1979 for the 50th and 100th Anniversaries of Thomas Alva Edison's invention of the light bulb?
Yes,
in 1929, the Greenfield Village in Michigan, held a celebration called the Golden Jubilee of Light. Models were built of the homes where Alva had lived, laboratories where Alva had worked, and the Grand Trunk Railroad where Alva had worked as a boy. Alva participated in the festivities, displayed his ability to send high speed telegraphs, and recreated the experiment which tested the light bulb. In 1979, the Centennial of Light was a year long celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the electric light bulb. Read a book about Alva.
Photo:
Thomas Edison at the 1929 Golden Jubilee recreates his light bulb experiment.

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October 8, 2001:
Did you know Christopher Columbus landed in the New World on October 12, 1492?
Yes, and many regions recognize Christopher Columbus' accomplishments in different ways. The United States celebrates Columbus' first voyage to the Americas with a holiday on the second Monday in October. This holiday is called Columbus Day. It has also been called Discovery Day and Landing Day. Some cities, like New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, have parades. Did you know the city of Columbus, Ohio, is named after Christopher? Spain and South America celebrate Christopher's accomplishments on October 12. Spain calls it National Day. Some South American cities place flowers around statues of Christopher.
Photo: Christopher Columbus.
 

October 1, 2001:
Did you know
NASA was started on October 1, 1958?
Yes, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, was started for the purpose of human space flight, aeronautics, and space science. During the 1950's, the U.S. and the Soviet Union were in a "space race" to be the first country to successfully launch a man into space and return him safely to earth. In 1957, the Soviet Union successfully launched and landed Sputnik, the first artificial satellite. In 1961, Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first person in space. NASA followed with many accomplishes, including Project Mercury (1 manned space flights), Project Gemini (2 manned space flights), and Project Apollo (3 manned space flights). Neil Armstrong was the commander of Apollo 11, and he was the first person to walk on the surface of the moon. On July 20, 1969, at 9:56 pm (Houston time), Armstrong stepped out of the lunar module Eagle, saying, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
Photo:
Mercury Seven, the first seven U.S. Astronauts

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September 24, 2001:
Did you know the American Civil War began in Wilbur McLean's backyard and ended in his front parlor?
Yes, in a way. This is a popularly held fact about the American Civil War. Although, the Civil War began on April 12, 1861, at Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, the first main battle was the Battle of Manassas (or Bull Run) near Manassas, Virginia. This battle was fought on part of Wilbur McLean's backyard. After the battle, McLean moved his family to the small town of Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Appomattox remained quiet until April, 1865, during Lee's Retreat. On April 9, 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant in Wilbur McLean's front parlor. Read more about the Civil War.
Photo: Front Parlor of McLean House in Appomattox Court House, Virginia.

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September 10, 2001:
Did you know Galileo discovered the moon reflects light from the sun?
Yes, in December, 1609, Galileo looked at the earth's moon through his telescope. He observed many things regarding the moon that could not have been known by looking at the moon with the human eye. First, the moon does not create light itself. It shines because it reflects light from the sun. Second, the moon's surface is not smooth and perfect. It has mountains, craters, and valleys just like the earth. Read a book about Galileo.

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September 3, 2001:
Did you know Mark Twain published Ulysses S. Grant's autobiography?
Yes. Ulysses S. Grant wrote his autobiography called, Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant. Ulysses was diagnosed with throat cancer and was going to use the money from the sale of the book to provide for his family after he passed away. He finished the autobiography days before he died. It is one of the most famous autobiographies in American history. Read a book about Ulysses.
Photos: Ulysses S. Grant.

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