A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

December 18, 2009

As of 2008, the city of North Pole, Alaska, had a population of 2,212.
Source: Census Bureau

December 17, 2009

Fourteen percent of department store sales and 18 percent of jewelry store sales in 2008 occurred in December.

Source: Census Bureau

December 16, 2009

Last December, retail sales by online shopping and mail-order houses totaled $24 billion, the highest total for any month of the year.
Source: Census Bureau

FactCheck Mailbag, Week of Dec. 8-Dec. 14

This week, readers sent us comments on Climategate, Climategate, Climategate, Climategate, Obama’s Nobel speech and Hanukkah. We’ve included here a representative sample, and we respond to an e-mail whose author makes an argument that would allow cherry-picking of climate data. As legislation makes its way through Congress (or doesn’t), we’ll be returning to the climate change issue.
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.

December 15, 2009

The new United States of America ratified the Bill of Rights on Dec. 15, 1791.
Source: Library of Congress

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

December 11, 2009

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

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