A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

December 14, 2009

A little more than half of the United States’ potatoes were produced in Idaho and Washington in 2008.
Source: Census Bureau/National Agriculture Statistics Service

December 13, 2009

In 1997 a massive menorah was built in Latrun, Israel. It was more than 60 feet tall, requiring a rabbi to be lifted in a crane each night of Hanukkah to light the candles. 
Source: History Channel

December 12, 2009

Hanukkah means "rededication," and it commemorates the rededication of the temple of Jerusalem by the Maccabees, a group of Jews who defeated the Syrian Greeks in a three-year war.

Source: BBC

A Short Piece on Obama’s Peace Speech

Yesterday President Barack Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, and made some remarks that could use a bit of context and explanation.
Obama said that "billions have been lifted from poverty." Though he didn’t provide a time frame, he was discussing the effects of the United Nations and the Marshall Plan, both of which began in the late 1940s. We haven’t been able to find any reliable statistics that go back that far,

December 11, 2009

The lowest temperature recorded in the world is -129 degrees Fahrenheit in Vostok, Antarctica, measured on July 21, 1983.
Source: NOAA

‘Climategate’

In late November 2009, more than 1,000 e-mails between scientists at the Climate Research Unit of the U.K.’s University of East Anglia were stolen and made public by an as-yet-unnamed hacker. Climate skeptics are claiming that they show scientific misconduct that amounts to the complete fabrication of …

December 10, 2009

The National Archives has records dating back to 1775. Its holdings include about 9 billion pages of textual records; 7.2 million maps, charts, and architectural drawings; 20 million photographs; billions of machine-readable data sets; and 365,000 reels of film and 110,000 videotapes.
Source: NARA

December 9, 2009

The National Archives and Records Administration keeps 1 percent to 3 percent of all the documents and materials created by the federal government.
Source: NARA

Obama’s Economic Speech

We’re always alert for signs that the president (any president) is overselling his programs. Here’s what we heard in President Obama’s speech on Tuesday announcing new efforts to create jobs: He highlighted a Congressional Budget Office estimate that “up to” 1.6 million jobs …

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Dec. 1-Dec. 7

This week, readers sent us comments on health care (no way!), Obama’s "gaffe" and the proper stance during the national anthem.
In the FactCheck Mailbag we feature some of the e-mail we receive. Readers can send comments to editor@factcheck.org. Letters may be edited for length.