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A woman, Sandra Day O'Connor, sits in a chair wearing a black robe and white color, on the U.S. Supreme Court in 2006.

Late last year, in a letter addressed to “friends and fellow Americans,” former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her retirement from public life. She explained her decision this way: “Some time ago, doctors diagnosed me with the beginning stages of dementia, probably Alzheimer’s disease. As this condition has progressed, I am no longer able to participate in public life.”

Dogs' superior smelling powers allow them to sniff out humans who may be trapped under rubble that people can't access.

In the spring of 1995, 61-year-old Wilma Melville, a retired physical education teacher and grandmother of six, found herself treading over blasted concrete, shattered glass, and charred paper confetti. She and her specially trained and FEMA-certified black Labrador Murphy were navigating through the debris field surrounding the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

People paid 25 cents to see Dr. Martin Couney’s incubator babies.

In the early 1900s, amusement seekers flocked to Coney Island, N.Y., to ride the carousel and stuff themselves with hot dogs and cotton candy. They might meander through the sideshow area to see oddities like the lion-faced man, Zip the Pinhead, and the tattooed woman. 

Although not nearly as well-known as some composers, Florence Price was both brilliant and prolific, having composed over 300 works for piano, organ, strings, orchestra, and musical instruction.

Few people have heard of her. But Florence Beatrice Price came into the world an underdog and left it behind having proven her brilliance as a leading composer.

Fat cats and dogs are another example of the obesity epidemic.

There’s no doubt about it, we love our pets. In many homes, cats and dogs are an integral part of the family, receiving the same care and attention traditionally reserved for children. Whether it’s for pet daycare or luxury spa and grooming services, people spare no expense when it comes to their beloved animals.

a portrait of American Heiress and art collector Marjorie Merriweather Post

The next time you pour yourself a bowl of Grape-Nuts, consider that in 1914 those crunchy bits of grain made 27-year-old Marjorie Merriweather Post the richest woman in the world. 

Betty Ford opened the Betty Ford Center in 1982. Since then, it has treated more than 100,000 people.

People say that being America’s first lady is among the most challenging and thankless jobs in government. They are wrong. In fact, the first lady receives no salary. She’s a volunteer. 

This meat was grown in a lab, rather than made by a live cow.

In the December 1931 issue of Strand magazine, Winston Churchill laid out his predictions for the future. He envisioned a world run by nuclear power and anticipated the development of wireless telephones and televisions. 

Unlike many painters who idealized their subjects, Caravaggio included real-world imperfections in his works. Note, for instance, the white insect egg sack on the grape leaf in Boy With a Basket of Fruit (circ. 1593).

If ever there were an artist who personified the fine line between madness and genius, it was Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. In his short life of 38 years, he became as infamous as he was renowned.