Just before noon (EST) on January 20, 2021, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. placed his hand on a 127-year-old family Bible, which has followed his entire career, and took the Presidential oath of office to "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America." The inauguration ceremony of America's 46th President came just moments after Kamala D. Harris took her oath of office and became the first woman and first person of color to hold the country's second-highest office.
Celebrated annually on the third Monday of January, Martin Luther King Jr. Day honors the life and legacy of one of the most influential leaders of the American civil rights movement. Designated a national day of service by the US Congress, the federal holiday encourages citizens to help realize the Baptist minister's vision of a “beloved community” by bridging racial and ethnic barriers, addressing social issues, and volunteering to improve their communities.
In late November 2020, German divers, commissioned by the World Wildlife Foundation to extract abandoned fishing nets from the Baltic seafloor, stumbled upon what appeared to be a pristinely-preserved ancient typewriter. However, a closer look at the rusted, algae-covered contraption revealed that the artifact was far from a typewriter. It was a rare Enigma machine, used by German armed forces to send messages securely during the Second World War.
The cameraman zooms in on the anxious elephant, who paces back and forth. However, the pachyderm's demeanor instantly calms down upon hearing a soothing ballad from Disney’s Cinderella, “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes," sung to him by none other than American singer and actress Cher. The now-viral poignant video, published on YouTube on November 30, 2020, was the culmination of the pop singer and animal activist's four-year-long quest to save Kaavan, “The world's loneliest elephant."
Canada's WestJet Airlines is famous for its annual "Christmas Miracle" videos. In the past, the heartwarming footage has shown the airline's employees surprising a few, unsuspecting families with extravagant gifts, ranging from iPods to vacations to diamond rings. While the 2020 "Christmas Miracle" did not involve any fancy presents, it is equally uplifting and much more far-reaching.
Educators not only inspire kids to dream big and help them to achieve their goals but they also act as counselors, problem-solvers, and sometimes even social workers. Yet, these incredible human beings are often overlooked. To "reawaken the world's appreciation and importance of teachers," in 2014, the Varkey Foundation partnered with UNESCO to establish the Global Teacher Prize. The annual award, which comes with a $1 million grant, recognizes "one exceptional educator who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession."
For most Americans, Christmas celebrations entail decorating homes with lights and wreaths, putting up Christmas trees, finding meaningful gifts for loved ones, and, of course, binge-watching holiday classics like Elf and Home Alone. However, not everyone observes the holiday in the same way. Here are some unique and wonderful Christmas traditions from around the world.
Over the years, researchers have found ample evidence proving that the horned Triceratops and the Tyrannosaurus Rex (T. rex), which roamed western North America in the late Cretaceous period — some 69 million years ago — were mortal enemies. However, finding perfectly-preserved fossils of the prey and predator locked in combat was something they only dreamed of until the 2006 discovery of the "Dueling Dinosaurs" at a private Montana farm by commercial fossil hunters Clayton Phipps and his team.