Monday, May 28, 2012

Marie Curie: Later Life

1895-1906: Golden years
In 1896, Henri Becquerel discovered that strange rays come out of uranium. Marie decided she wanted to learn more about how this was possible.

In 1897 Marie gave birth to her first child, a daughter she named Irene.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Marie Curie: Early Years (1867-1895)

1867-1883: Childhood and youth
Marie Curie was born on November 7, 1867. At birth she was given the name Maria Skłodowska.

She was born in the city of Warsaw. At that time Warsaw was part of the Kingdom of Poland. That kingdom, in turn, was part of the Russian Empire.

Both of her parents were educators. Her father, Władysław, was a teacher of math and physics. Her mother, Bronisława, was the director of an important boarding school for girls.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

His life
William Shakespeare was born in April 1564 in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon in England. Stratford is about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of London. In Shakespeare’s time, travel between the two took about four days.

Like other boys in England at the time, Shakespeare learned reading and writing in the local elementary school. He also got to enjoy lots of Latin grammar by studying lots of ancient Roman literature.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Joan of Arc (1412-1431)

Fight for Control of France
English kings fought with French kings over control of much of what is now France starting in 1337. By 1412, when Joan of Arc was born, the English controlled most of northern France with the help of their friends the Burgundians.

Joan’s Birth and Childhood
Joan was born in the rural village of Domremy about 190 km (120 mi) southeast of Reims. Her parents were farmers.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Prayer of St. Francis

There is a prayer which tradition tells us was written by Francis of Assisi himself. But it was first published only in 1912 in a small French magazine called The Little Bell.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Francis of Assisi

1181-1205 Conventional Life
Francis was born around 1181 in the city of Assisi in what is now Italy. He was named Giovanni but his father always called him Francis (“Frenchie”). His father was a rich seller of cloth, so Francis grew up having everything he wanted.

As a teenager, Francis loved the songs of troubadours. These were singers who traveled from one place to another and sang about love. He also liked wearing fancy clothes and eating, drinking, and having fun with his friends.

Monday, May 21, 2012


Montmartre is the name of the highest hill in ParisFrance. It is also the name of one of the city’s most famous neighborhoods. Its summit is 420 feet (130 meters) above the rest of the city. The name means “Martyr’s Mountain.” It is called this because Denis, a bishop of Paris and Roman Catholic saint, was murdered on the hill in the year 250.