A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

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

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

December 8, 2009

On Dec. 8, 1941, one day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed Congress, saying that Dec. 7 would be "a date which will live in infamy."
Source: National Archives

December 7, 2009

Parts of Washington, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New York, Vermont and Maine have a greater than 90 percent probability of having a white Christmas.
Source: NOAA 

December 6, 2009

The greatest daily snowfall on record in the U.S. between 1893 and 2006 is 63 inches, which fell in Georgetown, Colo., on Dec. 4, 1913.
Source: NOAA

December 5, 2009

U.S. imports of Christmas tree ornaments from China totaled $470.3 million between January and August this year. China also shipped $28.6 million worth of artificial Christmas trees during that period.

Source: Census Bureau

December 4, 2009

Between Dec. 1 and Christmas day, the U.S. Postal Service will deliver 16.6 billion cards, letters and packages.
Source: USPS

December 3, 2009

Afghanistan is 652,230 square kilometers, slightly smaller than the state of Texas.

Source: CIA World Factbook