29th July

1907 the first Scouting camp: 8-day Brownsea Island camp. The boys were in four patrols: Wolves, Ravens, Bulls and Curlews, each with a different coloured knot on their shoulder.

They began the day at 6am with cocoa, exercises, prayers, then breakfast at 8am.

Activities were based on campaigning, observing, woodcraft, chivalry, saving lives, and patriotism.

The day ended with games, supper, campfire stories, prayers, 9pm bed.

They passed tests on knots, tracking, the national flag; Baden-Powell told campfire stories of his fighting in Africa.

1987 Thatcher and Mitterand agree to build the Channel tunnel – where can your kids build a tunnel?

International Tiger Day – so be tigers for the day:

extremefacepainting_tiger_06_p_updated

http://www.parenting.com/gallery/tiger-face-painting

If you can’t face hunting for your own dinner, you can always have tiger oranges.

Also today:

National Anthem Day (Romania – see 24th January)

National Thai Language Day – see 5th December – here’s how to say hello in Thai

St Olavs Day/Olsok (Norway and Faroe Islands)

5th December

St Nicholas Eve: make Stutenkerls and put your shoes out for St Nicholas (but watch out for Krampus).

California gold rush 1848 – try a gold panning game at home;

Thailand National Day:

Thailand used to be called Siam. From the 1st to the 13th centuries it was part of the Khmer Empire (Cambodia). The first Thai kingdom was the Sukhothai kingdom from 1238; this was overtaken by the Ayutthaya kingdom, which became the most wealthy city in the East because it was so welcoming to foreign traders, especially the French merchants from Louis XIV.

In 1765 a Burmese army popped in to destroy everything, like the libraries and art treasures and historical archives, so that’s a shame.

After that King Rama I the Great established the Thai capital at Bangkok and rebuilt the economy by turning almost a third of his own people into slaves.

In the 19th century Thailand managed to resist France and Britain, although Britain took its peninsula which is now part of Malaysia.

During World War II Japan invaded to get to the Malay frontier, so Thailand let them through after Japan promised to help them get their land back from Britain and France.

Thailand then declared war on the US and the UK (brave) but kept up a resistance movement against Japan. Japan made about 240,000 Asian labourers and Allied prisoners of war build a bridge from Thailand to Burma, during which 115,000 of them died from atrocious working conditions, so it is now called the Death Railway.

After the war and during the Cold War, Thailand was on America’s side.

Thailand’s national religion is Buddhism, and their date is 543 years ahead of ours because they count from Buddha’s era rather than Jesus’. In Wat Panang Choen is the world’s biggest solid gold statue, a 19-metre high Buddha.

Try making a 2D Buddha out of gold leaf or tinfoil. Popular sports in Thailand include Muay Thai boxing and Takraw. Try some Thai food.

Haiti and Dominican Republic Discovery Day

24th October

United Nations Day, Maldives Hajj Day

Zambia Independence Day: Originally inhabited by Khoisan people, then by Bantus, Zambia became the British colony of Northern Rhodesia (named after Cecil Rhodes who had acquired the mineral rights to the land) in the 18th century. On 24 October 1964 it declared independence and renamed itself Zambia after its Zambezi river. It was then a one-party state until 1991, when the price of its main export, copper, fell drastically and it found itself with one of the highest foreign debts in the world. The average life expectancy is still only 43 years.

It has the largest waterfall in the world, Victoria Falls – can you make a waterfall, in the shower or in the garden? Pretend to go on an African safari. We got in a washing basket, took along a plastic camera and made some cardboard binoculars, and hid stuffed and imaginary animals all round the living room. Then we ‘drove’ round the safari and saw elephants, giraffes, hippos, rhinos, crocodiless, buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, warthogs, antelopes, etc.

Wild About Gardens week starts: http://www.wildaboutgardensweek.org.uk/

24th September

neon_light
http://www.thebubble.org.uk/science/noble-neon

1870 Georges Claude born (inventor of neon lighting) – here’s how they are made.

1936 Jim Henson born  – so watch The Muppets or Labyrinth or Sesame Street or anything with Kermit and Miss Piggie.

Guinea Bissau National Day (independence from Portugal, 1973)

Guinea Bissau was part of the African Mali empire, then part of the Portuguese Empire, known as the Slave Coast, although the African chiefs (some of whom profited from the slave trade) kept the Portuguese in the coastal ports and didn’t let them inland.

An armed rebellion started in 1956 and quickly got support from the Soviet Union, Cuba, left-leaning African countries, etc. By 1973 they achieved independence. Afterwards the government killed all Guinean soldiers who’d fought on the side of the Portuguese and eventually managed democratic elections in 1994.

Also today:

  • S. Africa Heritage Day
  • New Caledonia Day
  • Cambodia Constitution Day – see 9th November
  • Trinidad and Tobago Republic Day – see 31st August
  • Thailand Mahidol Day (founder of modern Thai medicine) – see 5th December

29th July

1907 the first Scouting camp: 8-day Brownsea Island camp. The boys were in four patrols: Wolves, Ravens, Bulls and Curlews, each with a different coloured knot on their shoulder.

They began the day at 6am with cocoa, exercises, prayers, then breakfast at 8am.

Activities were based on campaigning, observing, woodcraft, chivalry, saving lives, and patriotism.

The day ended with games, supper, campfire stories, prayers, 9pm bed.

They passed tests on knots, tracking, the national flag; Baden-Powell told campfire stories of his fighting in Africa.

1987 Thatcher and Mitterand agree to build the Channel tunnel – where can your kids build a tunnel?

International Tiger Day – so be tigers for the day:

If you can’t face hunting for your own dinner, you can always have tiger oranges.

Also today:

National Anthem Day (Romania – see 24th January)

National Thai Language Day – see 5th December – here’s how to say hello in Thai

St Olavs Day/Olsok (Norway and Faroe Islands)

13th May

1880 Thomas Eddison tests his electric railway

1958 Velcro trademarked – you can engineer strange shapes with Velcro dots, craft sticks, corks, buttons, bottle lids, etc.

1958 Ben Carlin finishes a 10-year trip around the world in a car-boat – definitely something to build and test with the Lego!

Abbotsbury Garland Day (children traditionally have day off school to make flower garlands, which are blessed in church and were once put into the sea to bless the fishermen’s work but are now hung on the WWI memorial)

Rotuma Day (independence of Rotuma, an island off Fiji)