It’s not often that the name of a month can also be used as another part of speech. In fact, I think only three months qualify—May (verb), March (verb), and August (adjective). So here’s my wish for you: may your month of May be filled with wonderful possibilities! Here are a few celebrations for your family to add to your list.
Alan Shepard entered space in 1961. He was the first American astronaut to do so. His space flight on a Mercury spacecraft lasted less than sixteen minutes, but it proved to be a successful step toward our country’s future voyages to the moon. Learn more about Alan Shepard and his contribution to our space program.
It’s mothers’ special day! Mothers everywhere deserve recognition for giving the gift of life. And having a godly mother is a special blessing from the Lord. Have you been blessed by having a “Titus 2 woman” in your life? Thank (or remember) her on this day with your words and actions.
Completion of the transcontinental railroad took place this day in 1869. Civil War veterans, Irish immigrants, and Chinese immigrants built a railroad track that would connect our nation. One team (Union Pacific) worked its way west while the other team (Central Pacific) pushed east. They met in Promontory Point near Ogden, Utah. The transcontinental railroad brought change to the Great Plains as people and agricultural products moved easily across the grasslands, but the vast herds of buffalo the nomadic Indians depended on declined after that. Use this video to show your kids how the transcontinental railroad changed America.
Celebrate Limerick Day by creating a rhyme. Usually humorous in tone, a limerick consists of five lines and has a defined meter (often anapestic) and rhyming scheme (AABBA). The first line introduces a person and place and establishes the poem’s main rhyming scheme. Ask your kids to write their own limericks—just copy this example (by Eileen Berry and Dawn Watkins) from BJU Press Reading 4:
There was an old man from Pompeii
Who gave talks on volcanoes each day.
When the mountain erupted,
He got interrupted
And forgot what he wanted to say.
The Lewis and Clark expedition began on this date in 1804. Sent by President Jefferson, Meriweather Lewis and William Clark and their Discovery Corps set out to explore the regions of the Louisiana Territory, which our nation had purchased from the French. Beginning at the Mississippi River, the expedition traveled west and documented geography, peoples, and vegetation. See what date they reached the Pacific Ocean, and use this interactive lesson to teach your kids about this important expedition.
On this date Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross in 1881. During the American Civil War, Clara Barton saw a need to provide supplies and medical aid to people. Known as the “Angel of the Battlefield,” she used her skills to fulfill God’s command that we love our neighbors (Matthew 22:36–40). After the war, Clara traveled to Europe and learned about the International Red Cross organization that provided relief to the sick and wounded. An inspiring role model, Barton’s service to others reached global proportions when she was given presidential approval for the United States to join the Red Cross network. Learn more about her achievements and take a virtual tour of her home, which served as the headquarters of the American Red Cross.
May 24 & 27
Ever since studying Physics in high school, I have found bridges fascinating. Their history, beautiful designs, and construction amaze me. On May 24, 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge opened to connect Brooklyn and Manhattan. A little over fifty years later, California’s Golden Gate Bridge opened on May 27, 1937, spanning San Francisco Bay.
- Learn about John A. Roebling and how he and his family influenced the construction of both bridges.
- See how the Brooklyn Bridge influenced America in this video.
- Find tips for visiting the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Learn about the history of the Golden Gate Bridge with these FAQs.
Today we honor those in the armed services who gave their lives for us so that we could be free. Taking time to reflect on their sacrifice as well as the sacrifice of their families should make us grateful. Use this blog post to teach about the history of Memorial Day and find ways your kids can participate in this holiday.
What observances are you adding to this list? Let me know in a comment below!