June 21st is the summer solstice! This is the longest day of the year for most places in the Northern hemisphere, and is when the sun reaches it’s highest point in the sky.
Celebrate by exploring the solar system with NASA’s Solar System Exploration game where you can learn more about the sun, stars, and planets. https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/kids/index.cfm
Photo Credit: NASA/European Space Agency. Published: 14 September 1999
On this day, June 20th in 1975 the movie Jaws was released in theaters!
“The story of a great white shark that terrorizes a New England resort town became an instant blockbuster and the highest-grossing film in movie history until it was bested by 1977’s Star Wars. Jaws was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Picture category and took home three Oscars, for Best Film Editing, Best Original Score and Best Sound. The film, a breakthrough for director Spielberg, then 27 years old, spawned three sequels.” http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/jaws-released-2
You can borrow Jaws from the library, or learn more about sharks with books from the Juvenile Nonfiction section at j597.3.
On June 16th, 1963 Soviet Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to travel into space. She spent 71 hours in space and completed 48 orbits before returning to earth. History.com notes that:
“The United States screened a group of female pilots in 1959 and 1960 for possible astronaut training but later decided to restrict astronaut qualification to men. The first American woman in space was astronaut and physicist Sally Ride, who served as mission specialist on a flight of the space shuttle Challenger in 1983.” http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-woman-in-space
You can learn more about the women who almost became astronauts in Almost Astronauts: the Story of the Mercury 13 Women by Tanya Lee Stone. You can find this book in the Juvenile Nonfiction section at j629.45 STO.
On this day in 1942, Anne Frank received a diary for her thirteenth birthday. Anne Frank was a young Jewish girl living in Amsterdam during World War II. One month later, she and her family would go into hiding. Unfortunately, Anne Frank and her family would be discovered by the Gestapo in 1944 and sent to concentration camps.
Anne’s father survived Auschwitz and published Anne’s diary in 1947 as The Diary of a Young Girl. The book has been translated into more than 60 languages. (http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/anne-frank-receives-a-diary)
You can learn more about Anne Frank as well as read her diary here at the library. You can find biographies in the Juvenile Nonfiction section at jBiog. Frank.
On June 8th in 1984 (33 years ago!) Ghostbusters was released in theaters! History.com reports that it was a huge hit:
Despite its hefty $30 million production budget–an unprecedented amount for a comedy–Ghostbusters was a box-office hit by any standards, beating out Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom to become the second-highest-grossing movie of the year with $229 million, behind only Beverly Hills Cop ($235 million). It was equally well-received by critics; Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times, for one,called it “an exception to the general rule that big special effects can wreck a comedy…one of those rare movies where the original, fragile comic vision has survived a multimillion-dollar production.” (http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/ghostbusters-released)
You can celebrate this accomplishment by borrowing the original Ghostbusters movie or the rebooted version from the library!
On May 18th in 1980 Mount St. Helens erupted in Washington. This eruption caused a huge avalanche, and ash from the eruption fell as far away as Minnesota.
Throughout April, scientists watched a bulge on the north side of Mount St. Helens grow larger and larger. Finally, on May 18 at 8:32 a.m., a sudden 5.1-magnitude earthquake and eruption rocked the mountain. The north side of the peak rippled and blasted out ash at 650 miles per hour. A cloud of ash, rocks, gas and glacial ice roared down the side of the mountain at 100 mph. Fourteen miles of the Toutle River were buried up to 150 feet deep in the debris. Magma, at 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit, flowed for miles. (http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/mount-st-helens-erupts)
On this day, May 14th, in 1973 the unmanned Skylab 1, America’s first space station, was launched from the Kennedy Space Center. Immediately there were problems with the launch as a meteor ripped off one of the solar panels and part of the shield. The next Skylab mission would be launched on May 25th with crew members who were trained to make the workshop safe for them to work in.
You can learn more about the Skylab missions at NASA’s website: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/history/skylab.html
Image Credit: NASA
On this day in 1869 the transcontinental railroad was completed. Two railroad companies, Union Pacific and Central Pacific, connected their railways in Promontory, Utah. This made it possible to travel by train across the United States!
You can learn more about the transcontinental railroad at http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/transcontinental-railroad-completed or by checking out books at the library such as:
Iron Rails, Iron Men, and the Race to Link the Nation by Martin W. Sandler: (Juvenile Nonfiction j385.097 SANDLER) In one great race between iron men with iron wills, tens of thousands of workers blasted the longest tunnels that had ever been constructed, built the highest bridges that had ever been created, and finally linked the nation by two bands of steel, changing America forever.
On May 2nd, 2008 Iron Man was released in theaters! It earned an estimated $32.5 million on opening day. Can you believe the movie is already 9 years old? You can borrow the movie and many other Iron Man related books, comics, and movies from the library!
Happy Earth Day! April 22nd is Earth Day, a day for raising awareness about the environment. The first Earth Day was in 1970, and History.com reports that the increased public support for protecting the environment led to the passing of ” the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. Another key development was the establishment in December 1970 of the Environmental Protection Agency, which was tasked with protecting human health and safeguarding the natural environment—air, water and land.”
You can learn more about the history of Earth at History.com, and you can celebrate by coming into the library and borrowing seeds from our Seed Library to grow at home!