January 10, 2010

Happy Above and Below Day

On this date in 1863, the world's first underground train opened to fare-paying passengers in London. It was called the Me
tropolitan Railway (and is now called the Underground or the Tube). In the U.S., an underground train is called a subway.

On this date in 1911, the first aerial photograph taken in the U.S. from an airplane was taken over San Diego, California.

On this date in 1935, Amelia Earhart began a flight from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Oakland, California. When she succeeded, landing the next day, she became the first person to have successfully solo such a flight. Thousands of cheering fans greeted her.

Did you know...?

  • Within a few months of opening, the London Underground was carrying more than 26,000 passengers a day. (An amazing 40,000 passengers traveled on it the very first day.)
  • The underground train that crosses the English Channel goes through a undersea tunnel about 50 kilometers (30 miles) long, and about 75 meters (250 feet) deep at the deepest point. The Channel tunnel is called the Chunnel.
  • Our “aerial photos” now come from satellites in space and cover every bit of the Earth. The resolution is down to 1.3 to 2 feet per pixel. That means you theoretically could spot even a bicycle or a doghouse on the latest aerial photos!
  • It took Amelia Earhart 17 hours and 7 minutes to fly the 2,408 miles from Hawaii to California. Now such a flight would take about 5 or 6 hours.

Explore some aerial photos.
  • Zoom in (wait a few seconds for the picture to focus) on this photo of New York City.
  • Here are some splendid aerial photos of London at night. (The Big Picture is an excellent place for all sorts of photos, by the way!)
  • This photo is of the Harbin ice festival in China. Isn't it wild???

Find your house in a satellite photo.

The map of the London Underground is considered a classic. It doesn't try to show things exactly where they are, since that isn't helpful. Instead, it shows the train lines and stations relative to each other, and they are clearly labeled and color coded. Many other transportation maps worldwide are based on this one.

Do a coloring page on Amelia Earhart.

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