Teacher's Calendar of Events
July, 2011


July 4      Independence Day  
July 9      14th Amendment Ratified
July 11    To Kill a Mockingbird Published
July 20    First Man on the Moon 
All Month

National Hot Dog Month. Sponsored by the American Meat Institute. Go here for more information.

National Recreation and Parks Month.
For more information, visit the National Recreation and Parks Web site. For a lesson plan about leisure at the turn of the 20th century, visit EDSITEment. Appropriate for grades 6-8.

National Tennis Month. Sponsored by the United States Tennis Association. For more information, go here.

Read an Almanac Month. Visit The World Almanac for Kids to browse subjects online. Other almanacs online: Fact Monster and The Old Farmer's Almanac for Kids.



Battle of Gettysburg. Begun on July 1, 1863, Gettysburg was a turning point in the Civil War for the Union. It was fought in and around Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The battle lasted for three days and was one of the war's bloodiest, with 51,000 casualties. Visit the National Park Service's Gettysburg Web site. Be sure to visit the U.S. Army's Interactive Battle of Gettysburg Web site. Visit the Library of Congress to read the Gettysburg address.

The following are links to lesson plans:

Innovative Classroom: The Gettysburg Address. Grades: 3-5.
NPS: Choices and Commitments: The Soldiers at Gettysburg
. Grades: 5-12.
ThinkQuest: The Battle of Gettysburg. Grades: 5-12.
Utah Education Network: Commemoration of the Gettysburg Battlefield. Grades: 9-12.

Battles of the Somme. Beginning July 1, 1916, the two World War I battles were fought by the British and French against the Germans. They were some of the largest and bloodiest of World War I, with over one million reported casualties. Occurring around the River Somme in northern France, the battles saw the introduction of modern tank warfare by the British. For more information, go here. For a lesson plan appropriate for grades 6 and up, visit BBC's Schools Online.

Canadian Independence Day. The Canadian government established this holiday on July 1, 1879, under the name Dominion Day. It is celebrated annually. For more information, go here.

First Zoo Opens. The Philadelphia Zoo opened its gates on July 1, 1874. Visit the zoo's Web site.

George Sand. Anniversary of Birth. Born July 1, 1804; Died June 8, 1876. Born Amandine Aurore Lucile Dupin, she took the pen name George Sand. Sand was a prolific French novelist and playwright. To read her work, visit Project Gutenberg.

U.S. Post Office Issues First Stamps.
On July 1, 1847, the U.S. Post Office issued stamps with the images of Benjamin Franklin (the first U.S. Postmaster) and George Washington. Interesting fact: Portraits of living persons are prohibited from appearing on stamps. The image shown is a scanned copy of the first stamp issued. Courtesy: Stan Shebs.




Congress Votes for Independence. The Second Continental Congress (a convention of delegates from the original thirteen colonies) voted on July 2, 1776, to be independent from Britain. Visit Our Documents to see the original Lee Resolution. To read John Adams' letter to his wife concerning the resolution, visit the Adams Family Papers Archive. Interesting fact: While the resolution of independence was approved on July 2, the Declaration of Independence was not adopted until July 4, 1776.

Amelia Earhart Disappears. Earhart, an American aviator, disappeared on July 2, 1937, while en route from Lae, New Guinea, to Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean. She and her navigator, Frederick Noonan, were attempting to circumnavigate the globe.

Jean Craighead George. Birthday. Born July 2, 1919, George is an American young adult novelist. She is best known for My Side of the Mountain and Julie of the Wolves, which won the Newbery Medal in 1973. Visit the author's Web site. The following are lesson plans for two of her novels.

My Side of the Mountain
SCORE: Cyberguide. Grades: 5-8.

Julie of the Wolves
Glencoe: Study Guide. PDF. Grades: 5-8.
Illinois State University: A Novel Way to Study Geography: Julie of the Wolves. Grades: 5-8.

U.S. President James A. Garfield Assassinated.
On July 2, 1881, Charles J. Guiteau shot and fatally wounded Garfield. The shooting occurred in the lobby of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Depot in Washington, D.C. Guiteau, an office seeker who had been turned down for the position of U.S. Consulate in Paris, was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death by hanging.

U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson Signs Civil Right Act.
The act, which became law on July 2, 1964, is considered to be the most important civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. The act prohibits discrimination in voting, education, and the use of public facilities on account of race, color, religion, or national origin. To see a copy of the act, go here. To read the full transcript of the act, go here. To read Johnson's remarks upon signing the bill, visit the Johnson Library and Museum Web site. Be sure to visit the Civil Rights Digital Library as well as the Civil Rights Documentation Project.



Idaho Admitted to Union. On July 3, 1890, Idaho was admitted to the Union as the 43rd state. For more information, go here.

Leaves of Grass Published. The volume of poetry written by American author Walt Whitman was published on July 3, 1855. The book contained twelve poems, the most famous being "Song of Myself." For more information, visit the Walt Whitman Archive.



Big Brothers, Big Sisters Day. For more information, go here.

Independence Day. Anniversary. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence. Interesting fact: According to the Library of Congress, observing Independence Day only became commonplace after the War of 1812. Be sure to visit the National Archives: The Charters of Freedom as well as PBS Liberty. The following are links to lesson plans:

EDSITEment: Declare the Causes: The Declaration of Independence.
Grades: 3-5.
read-write-think: Myth and Truth: Independence Day. Grades: 3-5.
The Bill of Rights Institute: Heroism and the Declaration of Independence. PDF. Grades: 6-8.
EDSITEment: The Constitutional Convention.
Grades: 6-8.
EDSITEment: The Constitutional Convention: What the Founding Fathers Said. Grades: 6-8.
The New York Times: Creating "Quilts" Portraying American Independence.
Grades: 6-12.
EDSITEment: An Expression of the American Mind: Understanding the Declaration. Grades: 9-12.

Nathaniel Hawthorne. Anniversary of Birth. Born July 4, 1804; Died May 19, 1864. Hawthorne was an American novelist and short story writer perhaps best known for The Scarlet Letter. Go here for more information. For a lesson plan appropriate for grades 9-12, go here.



P.T. Barnum. Anniversary of Birth. Born: July 5, 1810; Died April 7, 1891. Born in Bethel, Connecticut, Phineas Taylor Barnum was an American businessman and entertainer. He did not enter the circus business until he was in his 60s. In 1871, he, along with William Coup, established P. T. Barnum's Grand Traveling Museum, Menagerie, Caravan & Hippodrome. Barnum coined the phrase, "The Greatest Show on Earth." Visit Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus Web site.

First Successful Cloning of a Mammal. On July 5, 1996, a genetically cloned domestic lamb named Dolly was born at the Roslin Institute in Scotland. For more information, visit the Science Museum. Go here for a National Geographic article. For an article on the scientific pitfalls of cloning, go here. Be sure to visit the University of Utah's Click and Clone Web site. The following are links to lesson plans:

New York Times: Replicating Controversy: Exploring the Human Cloning Debate. Grades: 6-12.
Yale-New Haven Teacher's Institute: Human Cloning, Genetic Engineering, and Privacy. Grades: 7-9.
Yale-New Haven Teacher's Institute: A Clone of Your Own. Grades: 10-12.



George W. Bush. Birthday. Born July 6, 1946, Bush served as the 43rd President of the United States. For more information, go here.

Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso). Birthday. Born July 6, 1935, Tenzin Gyatso is the 14th Dalai Lama and the spiritual leader of Tibet. Visit the official Web site for more information.

First African American Woman to Win Wimbledon. On July 6, 1957, Althea Gibson won the women's single title at Wimbledon. She is often referred to as the Jackie Robinson of tennis. For more information about Gibson, visit her Web site.

Cheryl Harness. Birthday. Born July 6, 1951, Harness is an American children's book writer and illustrator. Recommended books: They're Off! The Story of the Pony Express and The Revolutionary John Adams. Be sure to visit her Web site.   

John Paul Jones. Anniversary of Birth. Born: July 6, 1747; Died: July 18, 1792. Jones, born in Scotland, came to Virginia when he was 12. He was an American naval hero during the Revolutionary War, destroying many British ships. During one engagement, when asked whether or not he was ready to surrender, Jones is purported to have said, "I have not yet begun to fight," a quote that has become world famous. He was given a gold medal by Congress in 1787. Interesting fact: In 1788, he joined the Russian navy at the request of Catherine the Great.

The engraving above depicts the battle between the Serapis and Bonhomme Richard, the latter of which was commanded by Jones.

For more information, go here. The following are recommended biographies:

Hero of the High Seas: John Paul Jones and the American Revolution by Michael Cooper. Grades: 4-6.
John Paul Jones by Karen Price Hossell. Grades: 4-6.
John Paul Jones: Father of the American Navy by Alison Davis Tibbitts. Grades: 7 and up.



Building of Hoover Dam Begins. Work began on the dam July 7, 1930, and was completed in 1936. Considered to be one of America's Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders, it is also one of the largest dams in the world. Built in Black Canyon, on the border of Nevada and Arizona, the dam was named for U.S. President Herbert Hoover. For more information about the dam's construction, visit the official Web site.

Gustav Mahler. Anniversary of Birth. Born July 7, 1860; Died May 18, 1911. Mahler was an Austrian composer and conductor. For a biography, go here. You may also want to visit the Mahler Archives. Free downloadable scores may be found here.

Sandra Day O'Connor Nominated to U.S. Supreme Court. On July 7, 1981, U.S. President Ronald Reagan nominated the first woman to the court. For more information as well as a biography, go here.



James Cross Giblin. Birthday. Born July 8, 1933, Giblin is a children's book author. For a biography, go here.



14th Amendment Ratified. The amendment to the U.S. Constitution, adopted on July 9, 1868, and referred to as the "Reconstruction Amendment," forbids states to deny any person "life, liberty, or property, with due process of law," or to "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of its laws." Source: Library of Congress. Visit the Library of Congress's Web Guide for more information and links to resources. To read the amendment, visit Our Documents.

Enigma Key Broken.
The Enigma Key was a secret code used by the Germans during World War II to direct ground-to-air operations on the Eastern Front. Enigma machines, which looked like typewriters, were portable rotor cipher devices. British cryptologists broke the code on July 9, 1941. Go here for a photograph of the machine.

Nancy Farmer. Birthday. Born July 9, 1941, Farmer is a children's book author. Her book, The House of the Scorpion won a Newbery Honor award in 2003. Visit her Web site for more information.  

Elias Howe. Anniversary of Birth. Birth: July 9, 1819; Died: October 3, 1867. Howe was the inventor of the first practical sewing machine.

U.S. President Zachary Taylor Dies. Taylor, the 12th President of the United States, died on July 9, 1850, while in office. He fell ill after participating in ceremonies at the Washington Monument on July 4th. The cause of his death was listed as gastroenteritis. In 1991, his remains were exhumed and analyzed in an attempt to determine whether or not he had been poisoned. The analysis concluded that he had not been poisoned by arsenic. For a resource guide from the Library of Congress, go here.



Battle of Britain Begins.
The World War II battle, which lasted from July 10 until October 31, 1940, was an attempt by Germany to destroy Britain's Royal Airforce Command. The battle was fought entirely in the air by the opposing air forces—the German Lufftwaffe and Britain's Royal Air Force. Initially, the Germans bombed Britain's air fields, but eventually resorted to bombing targets in the capital of London.

The photograph above is of a Royal Air Force Hurricane, used during the war. Photograph by Adrian Pingstone.

For more information, visit the Battle of Britain Historical Society Web site. You may also want to read Battle of Britain in the Words of Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding. Dowding was the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Fighter Command, Royal Air Force.

Scopes Trial Begins. The famous American trial began on July 10, 1925. On May 25, 1925, John T. Scopes, a Dayton, Tennessee, high school biology teacher was charged with teaching evolution. The ensuing trial gained worldwide attention as William Jennings Bryan, head of the prosecution team, and Clarence Darrow, of the defense team, went head-to-head in the courtroom. Scopes was eventually found guilty.

For an introduction to the trial, go here. For more information, see Famous Trials in American History as well as PBS's Monkey Trial. For unpublished photographs of the trail visit the Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Wyoming Admitted to Union. On July 10, 1890, Wyoming was admitted to the Union as the 44th state. For more information, go here.



John Quincy Adams. Anniversary of Birth. Born: July 11, 1767; Died February 23, 1848. Adams served as the sixth President of the United States (1825-1829). For a brief biography, go here.

Hamilton—Burr Duel.  On July 11, 1804, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr engaged in a duel in Weehawken, New Jersey. Hamilton, the leader of the Federalist Party, and Burr, a Republican, were long-standing enemies. Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel after he [Burr] was defeated in the New York gubernatorial race, saying that Hamilton had defamed his character. Burr fatally shot Hamilton, who died the next day. (The photograph to the left is of the actual pistols used in the duel.)

According to the Library of Congress: "This tragically extreme incident reflected the depth of animosity aroused by the first emergence of the nation's political party system." For more information, visit PBS's The Duel. You may also want to visit the Weehawken Historical Commission's Web site.

Patricia Polacco. Birthday. Born on July 11, 1944, Polacco is an American children's book author. To view a video interview, go here. Go here for an author study. For more information, visit the author's Web site.

To Kill a Mockingbird Published. Considered an American classic, the 1960 novel by Harper Lee won the Pulitzer Prize. For more information, go here. For a Student Survival Guide, go here. For a comprehensive list of teaching resources, visit the Web English Teacher.

E.B. White. Anniversary of Birth. Born: July 11, 1899; Died: October 1, 1985. Elwyn Brooks White is the American author of Charlotte's Web and The Elements of Style. For a list of resources for Charlotte's Web, go here. The following is a list of lesson plans for the book:

Scholastic: Charlotte's Web. Grades: 3-5.
HotChalk: Predicting with Charlotte's Web.
Grades: 4-5.
HotChalk: Wilbur's First Day. Grades: 4-5.

World Population Day. Sponsored by the United Nations, World Population Day is commemorated on July 11 each year. For more information, visit the United Nations Population Fund. Your students may be interested in viewing the Worldometer. (Have them note the population at the beginning of a lesson, then again at the end.) For a map showing the relative size of an area based on its population, visit WorldMapper. For a unit on population growth, go here. Appropriate for grades 9-12. PBS's Nova offers World in the Balance with accompanying activities. Recommended book: Can Earth Support Our Growing Population? by Kate Shuster and Population by Paul Mason.



Joan Bauer. Birthday. Born July 12, 1951, Bauer is an American young adult novelist known for her humor and strong characters, many of whom serve as role models for her readers. Recommended books: Hope Was Here and Peeled. Be sure to visit her Web site.

George Washington Carver. Anniversary of Birth. Born: 1861; Died: Jan. 5, 1943. Born a slave near Diamond Grove, Missouri, Carver would go on to become an agricultural chemist, agronomist, and inventor. He discovered 300 new uses for the peanut. He also developed a system of crop rotation and taught farmers in the South how to replenish soil that had been stripped of its nutrients from tobacco and cotton farming. For more information, go here. The following are recommended books and links to lesson plans:

Recommended Books
George Washington Carver: Peanut Wizard by Laura Driscoll. Grades: K-3.
George Washington Carver by Tonya Bolden. Grades: 4-6.
George Washington Carver: Scientist and Educator
by Dennis Abrams. Grades 7 and up.

Lesson Plans
EconEdLink: Peanuts, Pecans, and Peas, Please. Grades: 3-5.
read-write-think: Using Nonfiction to Learn about Technology Inventions. Grades: 3-5.
TeacherLink: Famous Persons Mini-Unit. Grades: 3-5.

Henry David Thoreau. Anniversary of Birth. Born: July 12, 1817; Died: May 6, 1862. Born in Concord, Massachusetts, Thoreau was a poet, essayist, naturalist, and Transcendentalist. He is known for the essay "Civil Disobedience" and Walden, a series of 18 essays that describe his attempts to live simply in a small cabin by Walden Pond, near Concord. According to the Library of Congress: "Thoreau's advocacy of simple, principled living remains compelling, while his writings on the relationship between people and the environment helped define the nature essay."

Be sure to visit The Thoreau Reader for annotated works of the author. Science tie-in: Your students may enjoy reading "Teaming up with Thoreau," a Smithsonian article about how Thoreau is helping scientists monitor global warming. The following are links to lesson plans for Walden and "Civil Disobedience":

Discovery Education: Walden. Grades: 9-12.
The Walden Woods Project: Walden Seminar: Curriculum Units. Grades: 9-12.
Learn NC: "Civil Disobedience" Excerpt Seminar.
Grades: 11-12.



Marcia Brown. Birthday. Born: July 13, 1918, Brown is an American children's book author and illustrator. She is the first person to be awarded three Caldecott Medals. She is known for her books: Stone Soup, Once a Mouse, which won the Caldecott Medal in 1961, and Shadow, which won the medal in 1982. Go here for more information.

Julius Caesar. Anniversary of Birth. Born: either July 12 or 13, 100 B.C.; Died: March 15, 44 B.C. Gaius Julius Caesar was one of the most famous and powerful Roman leaders in history. Historians credit him with bringing stability to the Roman republic and transforming it into an empire. He was assassinated by a group of conspirators who considered him a tyrant. His friend, Marcus Brutus, participated in the assassination. Caesar is purported to say, "Et tu, Brute!" (And you, Brutus) as he lay dying. The month of July is named after Caesar. (The photograph to the left is of a bust of Caesar in the Naples National Archaeological Museum, Naples, Italy. )

Recommended book: Julius Caesar: The Boy Who Conquered an Empire by Ellen Galford. Grades: 4-6. For more information about Caesar, visit the BBC's History Web site and The History Guide.

Northwest Ordinance Enacted.
The Congress of the Confederation adopted this important piece of legislation July 13, 1787. (The Northwest Ordinances were actually a series of three ordinances, with the 1787 ordinance being the most important.) The ordinance created the Northwest Territory, established a government for the territory, and provided a process for admitting new states to the Union. It provided an impetus for the westward expansion of the United States. For a timeline, go here. To view the document, visit Our Documents.



Bastille Day. On July 14, 1789, a French mob stormed and captured the Bastille, a Paris prison fortress, and a symbol of the Bourbon monarchy. In many people's minds, this marked the real start of the French Revolution (1787-1799), and the beginning of the end of the aristocratic government in France. The country eventually became a republic (ruled by the people), like the United States had not long before. Bastille Day is celebrated in France as a national holiday. Recommended book for grades 10 and up: The Rights of Man, the Reign of Terror: The Story of the French Revolution by Susan Banfield. For an overview of the French Revolution, go here.

Gerald R. Ford. Birthday. Born July 14, 1913, Ford served as the 38th President of the United States. For more information, go here.



Rembrandt van Rijn. Anniversary of Birth. Born: July 15, 1606; Died: October 4, 1669. Rembrandt, a Dutch painter, is one of the world's most famous artists. Painting during the European Baroque era, he is known for painting biblical scenes as well as his masterful use of light and shadow. Recommended book: A Weekend with Rembrandt by Pascal Bonafoux. Grades: 4-6. Older readers may enjoy Claudio Pescio's Rembrandt and Seventeenth-Century Holland. For more information about the artist, visit the Web Museum. Students may view his work online at the National Gallery of Art.



Atomic Bomb Tested Successfully. On July 16, 1945, the first atomic bomb was successfully tested in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Go here to see a photograph of the explosion. To read eyewitness accounts of the explosion, go here. Robert J. Oppenheimer, the "Father of the Atomic Bomb," upon viewing the explosion is reported to have said (quoting the Bhagavad Gita): "Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds." For a list of documents, see the collection, The Decision to Drop the Bomb at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum.

Catcher in the Rye Published. Written by American J.D. Salinger, the novel, published on this day in 1951, has become a classic. Holden Caulfield, the teenage protagonist, is disaffected by society and the "phonies" in it. He narrates his experiences after he is expelled from school. Interesting fact: Catcher in the Rye is Salinger's only published novel. It sells close to 250,000 copies each year. Go here for an analysis and overview. The following are links to lesson plans for the book:

Curriki: Catcher in the Rye: A Literary Roadmap. Unit. Grades: 10-12.
Curriki: Catcher in the Rye Unit Plan.
Grade: 12.

Congress Declares Washington D.C. New Capital. According to the Library of Congress: "On July 16, 1790, the Residence Act , which stipulated that the president select a site on the Potomac River as the permanent capital of the United States following a ten-year temporary residence in Philadelphia, was signed into law. In a proclamation issued on January 24, 1791, President George Washington announced the permanent location of the new capital, an area of land at the confluence of the Potomac and Eastern Branch (Anacostia) rivers that would eventually become the District of Columbia. Soon after, Washington commissioned French engineer Pierre-Charles L' Enfant to create a plan for the city. "



Chris Crutcher. Birthday. Born July 17, 1946, Crutcher is an American young adult novelist. Known for his fast-paced, realistic fiction, he has written, among others: Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, Whale Talk, Deadline, and Angry Management. Visit his Web site.

Potsdam Conference Convenes. On this day in 1945, World War II Allied victors met in Potsdam, Germany, to negotiate the terms for the end of the war. They decided, among other things: how to militarily administer post-war Germany, the boundaries of Poland, and the role the Soviet Union would play in Eastern Europe. In attendance were U.S. President Harry Truman, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and the Soviet Union Premier Joseph Stalin. The conference ended on August 2, 1945. For more information, visit The History Guide and the U.S. Department of State. (The photograph to the left is of Stalin and Truman at the conference.)

POW-MIA Recognition Day. For more information, visit the National League of POW/MIA Families.

Spanish Civil War. On July 17th and 18th, 1936, General Francisco Franco led a military uprising in Spain. The Nationalists (right-wing fascists), under Franco, wanted to wrest control of Spain from the Republicans (left-wing conservatives). The civil war ensued. Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy aided the Nationalists. The Soviet Union sent aid to the Republicans. Franco eventually took control of the country and remained its dictator until 1975. According to the Library of Congress: "Because it was the first major military contest between left-wing forces and fascists, and attracted international involvement on both sides, the Spanish Civil War has sometimes been called the first chapter of World War II."

Ernest Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls is about a young American involved in the war. To see drawings by children of the war, visit Columbia University's Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library. For more information about the war, visit the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site.



Felicia Bond. Birthday. Born July 18, 1954, Bond is an American children's book illustrator. Books she has illustrated include: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If You Give a Moose a Muffin, and If You Give a Cat a Cupcake. Visit the Mouse Cookie Books Web site for more information.

Ty Cobb Hits 4,000. On this day in 1927, baseball player Ty Cobb made his 4,000th hit. Cobb's record stood until 1985 when Pete Rose surpassed it. Visit The Official Web Site of Ty Cobb for more information.

Mein Kampf Published. On July 18, 1925, the first of two volumes of Adolf Hitler's work was published. A racist, political manifesto, Mein Kampf (My Struggle) states that the Aryan race is the master race and the "mightiest counterpart to the Aryan is represented by the Jew." "Living space," he asserts, should be conquered for the master race. For an introduction to the work, visit The History Place.



National Ice Cream Day. On July 19, 1984, U.S. President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. He encouraged Americans to celebrate with "appropriate ceremonies and activities." Recommended books for grades K-3: Ice Cream: The Full Scoop by Gail Gibbons and Ice Cream Treats: The Inside Scoop by Paul Fleisher.

Rosetta Stone Discovered. The stone, discovered by Napoleon's army near the town of Rosetta, Egypt, on July 19, 1799, contains inscriptions in Greek, Egyptian, and hieroglyphics, enabling scientists and scholars to decipher previously untranslatable Egyptian hieroglyphic writing. Interesting fact: The stone weighs nearly 1700 pounds. To view a photograph of the stone and read more about it, visit the British Museum. To read a translation of the text, go here.

Seneca Falls Convention. On July 19, 1848, the First Woman's Rights Convention convened in Seneca Falls, N.Y. Organized by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and others, the convention marked the beginning of the women's suffrage movement. During the convention, Stanton read the "Declaration of Sentiments," modeled upon the U.S. Declaration of Independence. The document demanded for women "all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of the United States." To read the declaration, go here. For more information about the convention, go here.


First Man on the Moon. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong stepped from the lunar landing modual Eagle and onto the surface of the moon. Armstrong said, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Your K-3 students will enjoy reading The Moon over Star by Dianna Aston. For students in grades 4-6, we recommend Neil Armstrong: One Giant Leap for Mankind by Tara Dixon-Engel and Mike Jackson. For more information, visit the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Be sure to visit also Smithsonian's 40th Anniversary of Apollo 11.


Ernest Hemingway. Anniversary of Birth. Born: July 21, 1899; Died: July 2, 1961. Hemingway was an American novelist and short story writer. He is known for such titles as: The Sun Also Rises, Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea (winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1953). In 1954, he won the Nobel Prize in Literature. His writing style (terse, with short, simple sentences) influenced a generation of writers. For more information, visit the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park. For a brief biography and listing of his work, visit the Nobel Prize Web site.

First Battle of Bull Run. On this day in 1861, Union and Confederate troops engaged one another near Manassas, Virginia. It was the first major battle of the Civil War.



S.E. Hinton's Birthday. Born July 22, 1948, author Susan Eloise Hinton is best known for her young adult novel, The Outsiders. Visit her Web site.

23 Ice Cream Cone Day. According to the Library of Congress: "On July 23, 1904, according to some accounts, Charles E. Menches conceived the idea of filling a pastry cone with two scoops of ice-cream and thereby invented the ice-cream cone."


Machu Picchu "Discovered." Machu Picchu is an ancient Incan fortress city in Peru. On this day in 1911, Yale lecturer and American historian Hiram Bingham was led to the ancient ruins by an eleven year old Quechua boy. The site, which Bingham named "The Lost City of the Incas," is now designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Go here for more information.

(The photograph to the left is of Machu Picchu as seen today. Courtesy: Icelight, Boston, Massachusetts. Licensed under GNU Free Documentation License. Go here for a larger image.)



FBI Founded. On this day in 1908, the Federal Bureau of Investigation came into existence. Go here for more information about the history of the organization. You may download a 132-page book, The FBI: A Centennial History, 1908-2008. Your students may enjoy visiting the FBI Kids Page.

Carl Jung. Anniversary of Birth. Born: July 26, 1875; Died: June 6, 1961. Jung, a Swiss psychologist, was the founding father of analytical psychology.

New York Admitted to the Union. On July 26, 1788, New York was admitted to the Union as the 11th state. For more information, go here. You students will enjoy exploring PBS Kids Big Apple History.

U.S. Postal System Established. The Second Continental Congress appointed Benjamin Franklin as Postmaster General on July 26, 1775, thus establishing the Post Office Department. The Department later became the United States Postal Service. For more about the history of the Postal Service, visit the official Web site. You may download an 84-page, illustrated booklet (PDF).



Korean War Ends. In June of 1950, North Korea, with the help of the Soviet Union, invaded South Korea. The United States, fearing the spread of Communism, entered the conflict on the side of the South Koreans. The war ended on July 27, 1953. According to historians, as many as 2.5 million people lost their lives in the conflict. For more information, visit Korea + 50: No Longer Forgotten, a joint project of the Truman and Eisenhower Presidential Libraries. For photographs of the war, go here. To read about the war from the perspective of the United States military, visit the U.S. Army Center of Military History.

U.S. Presidential Impeachment Begins of Nixon. On this day in 1974, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to recommend that U.S. President Richard M. Nixon be impeached due to his illegal activities in the Watergate Scandal. Facing certain impeachment, Nixon resigned on August 8, 1974, the first president in the history of the United States to do so. His successor, Gerald Ford, pardoned the former president on September 8, 1974. To read more about the impeachment proceedings and to view video of Nixon's remarks upon his departure from the Whitehouse, visit the Miller Center of Public Affairs. To read a brief biography, as well as view a video of his decision to resign, go here. For more about the Watergate Scandal, visit The Washington Post.



Natalie Babbitt. Birthday. Born July 28, 1932, Babbitt is an American children's book author. She wrote the beloved classic, Tuck Everlasting. Visit Scholastic for a brief biography. For a study guide (PDF), visit Glencoe. For a Webcast visit the Library of Congress. The following are links to lesson plans for the book:

Making Connections: Reading/Writing for Tuck Everlasting. Grades: 6-7.
read-write-think: Literature as a Jumping off Point for Nonfiction Inquiry. Grades: 3-5.

Beatrix Potter. Anniversary of Birth. Born July 29, 1866; Died: December 22, 1943. Potter was a British naturalist and children's book author. She is best known for her book The Tale of Peter Rabbit.   Go here and here for biographies. For sideshows of her tales, go here. EDSITEment offers a lesson plan, Beatrix Potter's Naughty Animal Tales, appropriate for grades 3-5.



Sharon Creech. Birthday. Born July 29, 1945, Creech is a children's and young adult book author. She is known for Walk Two Moons, The Wanderer, and Granny Torrelli Makes Soup. Interesting fact: Some of the ideas for Walk Two Moons came from a fortune cookie message: "Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins." Visit her Web site.

Kathleen Krull. Birthday. Born July 29, 1952, Krull is a children's book author and a favorite of the teachers here at Education Oasis. We especially recommend "The Lives of . . ." biography series. For resources and ideas for using her books, go here. To view a video interview with Krull, go here. Be sure to visit her Web site.



Emily Brontë. Anniversary of Birth. Born: July 30, 1818; Died: December 19, 1848. Brontë was an English novelist and poet. She is best known for the classic, Wuthering Heights. For a reading guide to the book, go here. Visit Discovery Education for a lesson plan appropriate for grades 9-12. Visit Project Gutenberg to read works by Brontë.

Henry Ford. Anniversary of Birth. Born: July 30, 1863; Died: April 7, 1947. Ford was an American industrialist and the founder of Ford Motor Company. He is known as the father of the modern assembly line. You may read his autobiography at Project Gutenberg. Read The Ford Story for more information. Visit also The Henry Ford Museum Web site.



Lynne Reid Banks. Birthday. Born: July 31, 1929. Banks is a British children's book author known for the best-selling book, The Indian in the Cupboard. Visit her Web site.

Amelia Earhart. Birthday. Born: July 31, 1897; Declared dead: January 5, 1939. See July 2 on this calendar for more information.

First U.S. Patent Issued. On July 31, 1790, Samuel Hopkins was issued the first patent for a process of making potash. The patent was signed by U.S. President George Washington. For more information about patents, visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

J.K. Rowling. Birthday. Born July 31, 1965, Joanne Murray is a British author known for the Harry Potter series. She writes under the pen name J.K. Rowling. For an interview, visit Scholastic. Visit her Web site.

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