An Independent Country

  • Castillo de San Marcos

    Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest stone fortress in the United States. Built in 1672, its name changed three times over the centuries.   Fun Facts Castillo de San Marcos was built to protect the city of St. Augustine, Florida, which was part of the Spanish Empire at the…


  • Palace of the Governors

    When you think of the oldest buildings in America, you might think of New England, but one of the oldest buildings in the country is actually in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Fun Facts The Palace of the Governors was built in 1610 by Pedro de Peralta, the governor of the…


  • Harper Lee

    Harper Lee

    Harper Lee published only two books, To Kill a Mockingbird and Go Set a Watchman, but she is one of America’s most beloved female authors. Fun Facts Harper Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama, the youngest of four children. Her mother was a homemaker, her father, a newspaperman,…


  • Margaret E. Knight

    Margaret E. Knight

    We take common household items like shoelaces, chewing gum, and Velcro for granted, but someone had to invent them. Margaret Knight invented the flat-bottomed paper bag we use for lunches and groceries. Fun Facts Margaret was born in 1838 in Maine. Her father died when she was very young and…


  • Temple Grandin

    Temple Grandin

    Born in 1947 in Boston, Massachusetts, Temple Grandin did not speak until she was three and a half. She was diagnosed with autism, and the experts of the time urged her parents to put her in an institution. Fun Facts In the 1940s, people believed that neglectful parenting caused autism,…


  • Eugenie Clark

    Eugenie Clark

    Eugenie Clark, “the Shark Lady,” spent her weekends as a child at the New York Aquarium. She grew up to be an expert on sharks and other marine animals. Fun Facts Eugenie Clark was born in 1922 in New York City. Her father died when she was two and her…


  • Christina Koch

    Christina Koch

    On February 6, 2020, Christina Koch returned to earth after spending a record-breaking 328 days in space. Her first order of business: to kiss her dog and eat some chips and salsa! Fun Facts Christina grew up in Jacksonville, North Carolina. From the time she was a little girl, she…


  • Mary Cassatt

    Mary Cassatt

    Mary Cassatt was one of three famous female artists living during the 1800s. She gave her mother credit for her talent. Fun Facts Mary was born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania in 1844. She had six siblings and enjoyed a comfortable upper middle-class life. Her family moved to Philadelphia when she…


  • Eleanor Roosevelt

    Eleanor Roosevelt

    Fun Facts Eleanor Roosevelt was born in 1884 in Manhattan, New York. Her parents were important socialites in New York. Her father was President Theodore Roosevelt’s brother. Her mother was the niece of a famous tennis player. Eleanor’s family was very wealthy, but from a young age, Eleanor didn’t seem…


  • Rachel Carson

    Rachel Carson

    Fun Facts Rachel Carson was born in 1907 on a small farm in Springdale, Pennsylvania. From early childhood, Rachel loved nature, something she learned from her mother. Rachel also loved reading. Her favorite stories included those by Beatrix Potter and Gene Stratton-Porter. The young girl started writing stories when she…