Halloween, which is observed annually on October 31st, is one of the most anticipated holidays of the year. Many families begin preparing for the fun celebration, which centers around dressing up in creative costumes and collecting candy, weeks in advance by giving their homes spooky makeovers. Filmmakers use the occasion to release horror movies, while enterprising entrepreneurs cash in on the holiday with creative haunted homes, corn mazes, and hayrides. So how did an obscure holiday transform into the fun, spooky celebration that we know today? Read on.
On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, Americans will decide whether President Donald Trump or Democratic-nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden will lead the country for the next four years. While voter turnout is expected to be amongst the highest in over a century, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a record number of voters to mail their ballots. Experts believe this could delay the outcome of the election by several days, or even weeks.
Oregon firefighters battling wildfires across the state have a new "force" on their team: a plush Baby Yoda doll. The adorable alien tyke, from Disney's popular Star Wars series The Mandalorian, has become a symbol of hope and joy among the first responders who have been tirelessly fighting the historic blazes that have wiped out communities and killed at least nine people since early September.
The remains of German World War II steamer Karlsruhe, found in the seabed off the coast of Poland by Baltictech divers in late September 2020, may house more than the typical Nazi artifacts. It could contain the jewel-encrusted panels of Russia's legendary Amber Room. Often called the "Eighth Wonder of the World," the chamber was last seen in Königsberg, Germany — present-day Kaliningrad, Russia — before it vanished into thin air in 1945.
On October 6, 2020, an anonymous buyer paid an astounding $27.5 million ($31.8 million with fees and costs) to own Stan, one of the world's largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex (T. rex) skeletons. The price far surpasses the previous record holder, Sue — the largest and most complete T. rex skeleton — which was auctioned to Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History for $8.36 million in 1997.
Columbus Day, which is commemorated annually on the second Monday in October, has been a US federal holiday since 1934. However, the celebration, honoring Christopher Columbus's arrival to the Americas, has always been somewhat controversial due to the European settlers' brutal treatment of the Native American people. It has also been argued that the indigenous people had already "discovered" America by the time Columbus landed onto the Bahamian island he named San Salvador on October 12, 1492.
A rat may seem like an unlikely candidate to receive a gold medal for bravery and devotion to duty. However, six-year-old African giant pouched rat Magawa, who was honored with British Veterinary Charity PDSA's highest animal award on September 25, 2020, is no ordinary rodent. Over the past five years, the "HeroRAT" has saved hundreds of lives by detecting 39 landmines and 28 unexploded items in Cambodia.
Supreme Court Justice and feminist icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at her home in Washington, DC, on September 18, 2020, from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. The 87-year-old, who was appointed to the nation's highest court by President Bill Clinton in 1993, was the longest sitting Supreme Court Justice. She was also only the second woman, after Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, to serve in this position.