• Grandma Essie's pet was the first one to see that her new marriage was a good thing. - 09/01/2011

    When Grandma Essie eloped with Wally Combs, everyone in the family was shocked, and nobody thought it was a good idea. Except maybe Monty. The old black Lab had mourned Grandpa Ed for three years. Day after day, month after month, Monty sprawled out by the front door, his graying muzzle resting on...

  • A kind act earns Matthew a great reward. - 09/01/2011

    Long ago, an aging childless king gathered his court together. “I am ready to pass along my crown,” he announced. “The next king will be decided by a contest.” He then called upon two young dukes, Frederick and Matthew, who had the nearest claims to the throne. The king told them, “Whichever of...

  • For the Jewish people, the dreidel is a toy as well as a reminder of miracles. - 09/01/2011

    The dreidel is a toy and a reminder of miracles for Jewish people. Can you think of a holiday with its own special game? Hanukkah falls in late November or December. Jewish children around the world play a Hanukkah game with a spinning top called a dreidel. Dreidel is a word that means “turn.” A...

  • For thousands of years, Alaska's Gwich'in Indians have hunted caribou for food and clothing. - 09/01/2011

    The Tritt sisters of Arctic Village, Alaska: Dodie (left), Amanda (middle), and Sophia (right). For thousands of years, Alaska’s Gwich’in Indians have hunted caribou for food and clothing. The caribou had returned. Everyone in Arctic Village, Alaska, knew of the return because hundreds of animals...

  • Young Ben Franklin learned an important lesson about honesty. - 09/01/2011

    Benjamin Franklin is remembered as an inventor, author, statesman, and signer of the Declaration of Independence. But all great people were kids once and got into mischief. In writing about his life, Franklin recalled a youthful event that he later regretted. Franklin was born in Boston in 1706....

  • Read about what a young girl wrote to Abraham Lincoln. - 09/01/2011

    Grace Bedell at 14. Bedell's letter to Abraham Lincoln had a big effect on him and the United States! When eleven-year-old Grace Bedell wrote a letter in 1860, she couldn’t have known that people would be reading it more than one hundred years later. But Grace’s letter was written to Abraham Lincoln,...

  • In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar devised our calendar, starting with a leap year of 15 months and 445 days! - 09/01/2011

    Leap year can raise some confusing questions. Why does leap year come every four years? Why do we add an extra day to February? If you lived in Rome two thousand years ago, that extra day wasn’t even considered a day at all. Confused? Don’t worry. Our modern leap-year tradition started with a year...

  • Mill Ends Park in Portland, Oregon, is world-record famous--it's a circle of land two feet wide! - 09/01/2011

    Mill Ends Park sits in the middle of a busy four-lane street in downtown Portland, Oregon. Plants such as marigolds, geraniums, and lilies grow in the rich soil of the two-foot-wide circle. Drivers waiting for the traffic light to change may not know the story of this tiny circle, but it began with...

  • Without speaking the same language, a boy learns about his Korean name from his elderly grandfather. - 09/01/2011

    My grandfather left Korea to live with us in New York when he was almost eighty years old. My parents fixed up the attic so that he had his own room. He wore traditional Korean clothes: shiny vests with gold buttons, and puffy pants that made his legs look fat even though he was really very skinny....

  • Caroline Pickersgill helped to sew the flag that inspired the song, "The Star-Spangled Banner" - 09/01/2011

    It started with a snip, then a cut, and then stitch after tiny stitch. Caroline Pickersgill was thirteen years old when she began the largest sewing project of her life. It was the summer of 1813. She had no idea that the finished product would inspire a song Americans know by heart. Caroline learned...

  • Learn how borrowing a little money can result in a big debt. - 09/01/2011

    I only needed $10. Would my sister lend me the money? When I was eight, I wanted a Super Sleuth Utility Belt more than anything else in the world. It had a see-in-the-dark collapsible telescope. It also had an invisible- ink pen, a voice scrambler, a fingerprint kit, a magnifying glass, and a decoder—all...

  • Were Rebecca and Abigail Bates real heroes of the War of 1812? - 09/01/2011

    Some arguments are not easy to settle. For example, many people say Rebecca and Abigail Bates were real heroes of the War of 1812. Others think that’s just not so. What did Rebecca and Abigail do? They saved their town from a British warship. At least that’s what Rebecca claimed in 1874, the year...

  • Sunglasses have been around for hundreds of years. Who invented them? - 09/01/2011

    Summer sun makes the beach flash like silver. Winter snow sparkles whiter than white. All you know is that your eyes ache and your head hurts. Reach in your pocket and pull out . . . sunglasses! These days, sunglasses are everywhere. But who thought up these wonders for your eyes? For hundreds of...

  • After a decisive Revolutionary War battle, a family takes in the young son of an enemy soldier. - 09/01/2011

    Granny and I watched from the front door of our cabin as the last of the camp followers trudged past. They were a sad and weary lot— women with babies on their hips, and ragged children no older than me prodding cows and sheep along the muddy road. The defeated British and German soldiers had already...

  • Parker finds a way to help his baby sister sleep through the night. - 09/01/2011

    Parker went to bed every night at eight-thirty. He got up every morning at six-thirty. He only woke up in the middle of the night if he had a bad dream or if he felt sick. But he hardly ever had bad dreams or felt sick. Then Parker’s baby sister, Emma, was born. The first night after Emma came home...

  • How do Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan? - 09/01/2011

    A special prayer is part of Eid ul-Fitr, the "fast-breaking festival" celebrated after Ramadan ends. A small sliver of the moon is seen in the dark night sky. Eid is here! Eid ul-Fitr (EE dul FEET er) signifies the end of Ramadan. During Ramadan, Muslims everywhere fast from sunrise to sunset—no...

  • Learn how banks lend money and keep their depositors' money safe. - 09/01/2011

    Have you ever noticed the vault when you go to the bank? A vault is a room, usually at the back of a bank, with thick walls, a heavy door, and a big lock. All banks have one. When I was a kid, I thought the vault at my bank was where the bank kept all the money that people put into their accounts....

  • How two men saved a national treasure. - 09/01/2011

    On May 15, 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Yosemite National Park and was greeted by a cheering crowd. The President’s luggage was thoughtfully taken to the fanciest hotel in the area. “Someone get my bags!” shouted Roosevelt. The president was not happy. He had not traveled all the...

  • During World War II, young Nelly Toll lived through her paintings. - 09/01/2011

    In her paintings, Nelly Toll created a world of her own. Unexpectedly, there was a knock at the door. Nelly and her mother glanced at each other, then quickly started gathering their things. It didn’t take long to collect their belongings because they didn’t have much—a change of underwear, scraps...

  • Find out what happened to Fido when President Abraham Lincoln and his family moved to the White Hous - 09/01/2011

    Fido was Lincoln’s constant companion. Would Fido be happy in Washington? Jumping up and yipping, Fido chased his tail. He looked like a pinwheel going round and round. The family laughed, but soon Abraham Lincoln’s eyes grew sad. He treasured rolling on the floor with his yellow dog. But what...