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February Ends on a Leap Day
So rare that maybe it should be a national holiday, February 29 leaps out when we glance at the calendar this year. But did you know there were once too many leap days?

First Day of George Orwell’s 1984
Published in 1949, George Orwell’s most famous novel starts on April 4, 1984. Thankfully, the postwar world did not coalesce into totalitarian superstates, and thoughtcrime is mostly fictional. Yet why is Nineteen Eighty-Four still relevant today? What Orwellian future do we still fear?

Für Elise - A Classical Music Mystery
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven on April 27, 1810, “Für Elise” is one of the world’s most recognizable pieces of classical music. The question is, who is Elise?

Gershwin Debuts Rhapsody in Blue
The Jazz Age had begun, but in 1924 the music was not considered a serious art form. Then, on February 12, an octave-surfing clarinet glided into Rhapsody in Blue, and it made musical history. And to think Gershwin almost didn’t write it …

Gunman Kills John Lennon
Arriving home one night from a session at a recording studio, John Lennon was gunned down in cold blood. The world has been mourning his death since December 8, 1980. Here’s what happened.

Hogmanay - The Scottish New Year Festival
Every December 31, New York City’s New Year countdown takes center stage. But do you know about Hogmanay? It’s an even bigger party – in Scotland.

International Day of Peace - September 21
Host a global feast. Observe a minute of silence. Help kids create paper doves or cranes. Dance, sing, or play a game of soccer. All these activities and more can be done to celebrate Peace Day.

Laika - The First Dog in Space
On November 3, 1957, Sputnik 2 was launched into orbit around the Earth. It was the second artificial satellite ever to be sent up into space. On board was a dog named Laika. Do you know her story?

Lego Teaches Us to Play Well
Patented on January 28, 1958, the Lego brick lets us use our imagination to build worlds. Did you know it started with a duck? Here’s a partial visual history, with pictures from the Lego website.

May the 4th is the Start of Star Wars Days
Jedi fans celebrate Star Wars Day this week because the pun is irresistible: “May the 4th be with you.” And it’s a trilogy, of course, as Vader devotees continue to geek out for the two days after that. Join me, and together we’ll find out how it all started.

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