Massachusetts 8th Graders Instigate Legislation To Clear The Name Of The Final Salem "Witch"

The infamous Salem witch trials, which took place in colonial Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693, were a dark period in America's legal history. More than 200 people were wrongfully accused of practicing witchcraft, and 20 were executed. In the 328 years since, most of the accused have been cleared of any crimes. However, for reasons unknown, Elizabeth Johnson Jr., who was just 22 at the time, was never pardoned. Now, thanks to the hard work of an eighth-grade class from North Andover Middle School, MA, her name may finally be cleared.

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These Amazing Paralympians See No Challenges, Just Opportunities

The pandemic-delayed Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, which took place from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5, 2021, attracted a record number of competitors. A total of 4,403 athletes — 2,550 male and 1,853 female — competed across 22 sports and 23 disciplines. Here are a handful of the incredible men and women whose determination and grit shattered stereotypes and exhibited the amazing opportunities that can come from following your dreams.

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America's 20-Year War In Afghanistan Has Ended

The longest war in American history has ended. On August 31, 2021, a US aircraft carrying the remaining US officials in Afghanistan lifted off from Kabul, ending the nation's almost 20-year presence in the country. The chain of events leading to the long, drawn-out war began early on September 11, 2001.

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Athletes To Watch At The 2020 Tokyo Olympics

The countdown to the 2020 Summer Games has begun. On July 23, 2021, about 11,000 athletes from 206 countries will gather at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, for the opening ceremony of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad. Here are a few contestants to keep an eye on at the world's most prestigious sporting event.

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Can The World's Whitest White Paint Help Reduce Global Warming?

Given that white was one of the first colors used in art in the 15th century, one would think that there is little room left to improve its "whiteness." It turns out that is far from the case. A team of researchers led by Xiulin Ruan, a professor of mechanical engineering at Indiana's Purdue University, recently revealed an "ultra-white" paint that they believe could even help combat climate change.

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Will Washington, DC, Become The 51st US State?

On April 22, 2021, for the second consecutive year, the US House of Representatives voted 216-208 to make Washington, DC, the nation's 51st state. Though the symbolically titled H.R. 51 bill is identical to the one passed on June 26, 2020, the legislation was never put to the vote in the then Republican-controlled Senate. However, this time around, the bill — which has the support of both President Joe Biden and Democratic Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer — will get a hearing in the upper house of Congress.

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This Earth Day, Commit To "Restore Our Earth"

Every April 22, over a billion people around the world celebrate Earth Day by participating in neighborhood clean-up activities and environmental teach-ins. The planet's largest civic event began in 1970 when twenty million Americans poured out onto the streets to urge lawmakers to take action to protect the environment before it was too late. Now boasting over 50,000 partners in 195 countries, the Earth Day Network (EDN) has led to the establishment of numerous environmental policies, including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

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15 US States Are About To Get Inundated With Billions Of Noisy Cicadas

Fifteen US states, including New York, Illinois, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, as well as Washington D.C., will soon be buzzing with billions, and perhaps even trillions, of cicadas. The noisy, red-eyed members of Brood X, which have been hibernating underground for the past 17 years, will emerge unannounced as soon as the conditions are right: the soil is 64 degrees, and on a night that's humid enough but free of wind and rain.

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The Holy Month Of Ramadan

For the more than a billion Muslims worldwide, there is nothing more sacred than the month of Ramadan, or Ramazan. It was during this ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar that Jibril (the Archangel Gabriel in the Judeo-Christian faith) revealed the first verses of the Quran — Islam's holy text — to the prophet Muhammad. The auspicious month's start, based on the appearance of the super-slim young crescent Moon, is determined by moon-sighting committees in various Muslim countries, most notably in Saudi Arabia. This year, Ramadan will begin on Monday, April 12th, or Tuesday, April 13th.

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A Piece Of Digital Artwork Just Auctioned For A Stunning $69 Million!

When Christie's set out to auction its first-ever digital-only artwork — "Everydays: The First 5000 Days"— on March 1, 2021, they had fully expected it to fetch more than the minimum bid of $100. However, the 255-year-old British auction house had never in its wildest dreams envisioned that the unique masterpiece, minted by Mike Winkelmann, aka Beeple, would fetch a record $60.25 million ($69.3 million with fees).

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Fun Easter Celebrations From Around The World

Easter, which will be observed on April 4, 2021, is the oldest and most important Christian festival. Many adults commemorate the holiday, which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his Crucifixion, with prayers and fasting for 40 days before the event. For children in the US, Easter is largely about fun activities like seeking out candy-filled eggs, meeting the Easter bunny, and participating in spring parades. However, not everyone celebrates this all-important holiday with these traditions.

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Hayley Arceneaux To Become The Youngest American To Go To Space

The idiom “shoot for the stars” has just taken on a literal meaning for cancer survivor Hayley Arceneaux. On February 22, 2021, the Memphis, Tennessee, native was selected to be one of four crew members of the SpaceX Inspiration4 — the world's first civilian astronaut mission. The 29-year-old will make further history as the youngest American — and the first with a prosthetic limb — to travel to space.

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Researchers Read Sealed Renaissance-Era Letter Without Opening It!

On July 31, 1697, a French lawyer named Jacques Sennacques wrote an urgent message to remind a cousin in the Netherlands to send him a relative's death certificate. To prevent others from reading the confidential memo, the note was carefully folded, or "letter locked." The ancient technique, which transformed the letter into its own secure package, was prevalent before the invention of envelopes.

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Italy's Mount Etna Puts Up A Dazzling Show

Mount Etna, Europe's most active volcano, has been erupting regularly since 2011. However, the latest series of explosions, which began on February 16, 2021, has been particularly noteworthy. Emanating from the youngest of the volcano's four craters — the Southeast Crater— they have spewed spectacular fountains of lava as high as 0.9 miles (1.5 kilometers). To put it in perspective, that is about three times the height of One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the United States.

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Everyone Is A Little Irish On St. Patrick's Day!

St. Patrick may have been an Irish clergyman, but his death anniversary — observed annually on March 17 — is celebrated worldwide, even in cities and towns with few or no ethnic Irish people. Here is a brief history of the man behind the holiday and the origins of some of the fun traditions associated with the commemoration.

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World's Oldest DNA Recovered From Million-Year-Old Siberian Mammoth Teeth

A team of Swedish scientists has successfully extracted and reconstructed the world's oldest DNA from the tooth of a Siberian mammoth, which roamed Earth over a million years ago. Also known as deoxyribonucleic acid, the all-important molecule — which contains the genetic instructions for the development and function of living things. — provides new insights into the evolution of the ancient Ice Age giants. Prior to this, the oldest DNA sequenced came from the bone of a horse that trotted around Canada about 700,000 years ago.

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Get Ready To "Lose" An Hour! Daylight Saving Time Starts On March 14, 2021

On March 14, 2021, millions of Americans and Canadians will mark the start of Daylight Saving Time (DST) by moving their clocks forward an hour. The time manipulation — which will result in the loss of sixty minutes of precious sleep or leisure time on Sunday — is designed to enable North Americans to enjoy longer days during the upcoming spring and summer months.

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