Why is a tournament where each team plays the other in turn called a round robin? The answer involves ribbons, religious refugees, and ringleaders.
Where does pie come from, and why do we eat it on Thanksgiving? The answer involves a certain bird known for collecting miscellaneous objects, Queen Elizabeth I, and elaborate dinnertime entertainment.
Where did s’mores come from? The answer involves the Girl Scouts, a Wikipedia hoax, and the Father of American Vegetarianism.
Why do good spellers compete in a spelling “bee”? The answer involves all the favorite subjects of a spelling bee winner—etymology, philology, and, of course, spelling.
Why are conservatives referred to as the “right” and liberals referred to as the “left” in politics? The answer involves the French Revolution, the quick spread of information through newspapers, and the tense interlude between the two World Wars.
Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving? The answer may not be what you think—it’s both more complicated than the “pilgrims and Indians” narrative many of us learned in school and less sinister than many “myth-busting” articles have recently claimed.