James from Apple Valley and Anna from Sartell wanted to know: When did Black Friday start? According to BlackFriday.com, the term “Black Friday” was coined back in the 1960s, but it was really 1924 – the first year of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – that the day after Thanksgiving became the unofficial start to the Christmas shopping season. Early on, when the term was coined in 1961, it had a negative connotation because Philadelphia Police used it to describe the traffic jams and clogged sidewalks of that day. But, by the 1980s, the idea of the Friday after Thanksgiving putting the retailers back in the black (or profitable) started to take hold.
Caroline Kennedy was sworn in as the ambassador to Japan on Tuesday. So, that had Wendy from Eagan wondering: What does being an ambassador entail? According to the U.S. State Department, a U.S. ambassador is the president’s highest-ranking representative to another country. That person’s main role is to coordinate the Foreign Service office and the staff that serves under him or her. An ambassador is nominated by the president, but must be approved by the Senate. Some ambassadors are long-time diplomats, and others have been political friends or allies. In this case, Caroline Kennedy is a well-known person from prominent political family who will fill a high-profile ambassadorship.
Danyelle from Shorview asked: How long has Minnesota and the U.S. been issuing driver’s licenses?
Scott from Plymouth wanted to know: Why do we like to stretch after a good night’s sleep? According to Dr. Paul Mellick, a physiologist at the University of St. Thomas, we stretch because it feels good, but scientists aren’t exactly sure why.
Over the past month, people trying to apply for health insurance through the federal exchange encountered major problems on the healthcare.gov website. On Tuesday, President Obama addressed the situation, saying, “No one is more frustrated about that than I am.”
Fall in Minnesota is always beautiful, but this year the colors are especially vivid due to a wet early-mid summer and a sunny fall. This week, Heather Brown is digging into the mailbag to answer your Good Questions about autumn leaves.
We’ve all seen the beautiful leaves out there. But how exactly do they change colors? That’s just one of the Good Questions you e-mailed us this week. Now back to leaves…
Heather Brown answers all your questions, from where did goose bumps get its name to where do bird go during a thunderstorm.
Judy from Minneapolis wants to know: Why do MLB games start at 10 minutes after the hour instead of on the hour? According to Twins spokesman Kevin Smith, the start time are to accommodate radio and television networks that come on the air at the top of the hour. It gives them time to set up the game, welcome everyone and sometimes take a commercial break.
Barbara from Longville wanted to know: Why is the steering wheel on a boat on right side?
Patrick wanted to know: Why do we still dial ’1′ for long distance?
Why is a honeymoon called a honeymoon? Why isn’t dental covered under health insurance? What’s the difference between New York vanilla, French vanilla, and vanilla bean ice creams?
Why does the Lowry Tunnel need cleaning? How do you determine a good peach? Does the baby prince have a last name?
Why do golfers yell “fore?” Who determines where the food trucks park every day? And can you feel someone staring at you?
With the Basilica Block Party rolling into town this weekend, Kristin from Minneapolis wanted to know: Where does the term Rock ‘n Roll come from?