How ‘Trick or Treat!’ Took Over the World

Wherever you live, chances are that on Oct. 31 you’ll be visited by pirates, ghosts, princesses, and monsters crying, “Trick or treat!” at your front door. Costumes and going door-to-door for treats can be traced back to pagan and Christian rituals from the Middle Ages.

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Columbus’ Anchor Salvaged from the Depths

A team of explorers believes it has discovered an anchor from one of Christopher Columbus’ ships in the Caribbean.

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Fragments of History: The Smartest Man in America

When it became clear that the American colonies would have to engage in a war for independence from England, Ben Franklin was made president of Pennsylvania’s defense committee.

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The Evolution of Independence Day

If Americans have one holiday in common, it’s the Fourth of July.

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Fragments of History: ‘It’s All in Your Head!” – A Brief History of the Brain

Sometime during the Neolithic or Stone Age (6000–2000 BCE), a girl who suffered from epilepsy, migraines, depression, or a mental illness was treated by someone skilled in trepanation.

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Fragments of History: Fascinating Facts about U.S. Presidents

Kennedy in the confessional booth. President John F. Kennedy was private about his Roman Catholic faith but did make an effort to attend confession regularly. However, he worried that as president a priest might recognize him and someday reveal the contents of his confession.

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