Author of The Federalist Papers, Hamilton Died in a Historic Duel

by Callan Bird Bear, age 13

Born in the late 1750’s, Alexander Hamilton was an American Founding Father and is now portrayed on the 10 dollar bill. He grew up on the Caribbean island of St. Croix. His father left when he was only 10-years old and two years later, his mother died of an illness.

Despite--or perhaps because of--the adversity he faced at a young age, Hamilton developed powerful communication skills. After writing a letter about the devastating hurricane that hit St. Croix in 1772, he caught the attention of a St. Croix newspaper editor named Hugh Knox. Knox sent the then 16-year-old Hamilton to New York City. Here he attended King’s College but soon dropped out to help the Patriots protest British impositions. [Read More]

Disaster in California!

by Isair Medina, age 11

In March 12, 1928, at 11:57 p.m. the St. Francis Dam broke, freeing 12.6 billion gallons of water into the San Francisquito Canyon, destroying lots of homes, and claiming innocent lives.

Fifteen years earlier, in 1913, a 233-mile long aqueduct was opened in California by William Mulholland, Chief Engineer and General Manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water. The aqueduct brought much needed water to the Los Angeles area, but was destroyed in 1924 by angry farmers and landowners, an incident that set the stage for future disaster. [Read More]

Despite Dangerously Hot Temperatures,
Death Valley Is Home to Life

by Kara Nichols, age 13

Death Valley is a desert located between California and Nevada. It is the hottest place on planet Earth, the highest temperatures in Death Valley can reach up to 134 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thousands of years ago, Death Valley was covered in three feet of ice. It has been a glacial landscape twice, and it has also had four volcanic periods. [Read More]

Unheard Calls for Political Reform
Led to the French Revolution

by Amanda Welch, age 13

From 1789 to 1799, the people of France led their country in a revolution that marked a huge turning point in European history and led to the end of the French Monarchy. The period included the Reign of Terror which lasted for from 1793 to 1794.

By 1789, many French people were upset with their government. The rich and powerful aristocracy and churchmen had an unfair advantage in society. The middle class had to pay high taxes, while the poor starved. King Louis XVI rose to the throne in 1774, but he failed to solve his country’s problems. [Read More]

The Deadly Flu Pandemic of 1918

by Yoanna Hoskins, age 12

The flu pandemic of 1918 was one of the largest and deadliest in history. The influenza, or flu, pandemic infected about 500 million people—about one third of the planet’s population at that time. The flu infected more than 25 percent of the U.S. population, and more than 675,000 Americans died. The disease was first seen in Europe, the U.S., and parts of Asia. Then it spread around the world. The first flu vaccine was decades away; there was no effective treatment available in 1918.

The first wave of influenza infections happened in the spring of 1918. The deadly outbreak grew into a pandemic by the fall of that year. The disease was called Spanish Influenza because most of the early deaths occurred in Spain. The Spanish king Alfonso XIII contracted the flu, but did not die from it. U.S. president Woodrow Wilson also contracted the flu while in France negotiating the Treaty of Versailles to end World War I. [Read More]

If You Visit France, Be Careful Where you Point that Camera. You Might Get Sued!

by Valeria Vayserberg, age 12

Have you ever taken a photo of the Eiffel Tower at night? If you have and posted it online, you may have committed a misdemeanor.

The European Union, of which France is a part, has a law stating, that any painting, song, video, photo, or building is covered by copyright while the creator is alive and an additional 70 years after their death. This just means that any copy made without permission, even just a photo, is illegal. The creator of the Eiffel Tower died in 1923, so in 1993, 70 years after his death, people could begin to legally take photos of the Eiffel Tower during daytime but not at night. [Read More]

Ice Giant of the Outer Solar System

by Destany Jackson, age 13

The ice giant, better known as Neptune, was the first planet located through mathematical predictions rather than from observing the sky.

The predicted existence of Neptune was first introduced by the French mathematician, Urbain Joseph Le Verrier. After being ignored by French astronomers he sent his theory to Johann Gottfried Galle, who later found Neptune, as predicted, in 1846. [Read More]