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History

The Barbie Doll Debuts

When Ruth Handler realized that there were no adult-bodied dolls on the toy market, she suggested to her husband—with whom she co-founded the Mattel toy company—that Mattel begin producing one. In 1959, Barbie made her debut. She was based on a German doll called Bild Lilli and was marketed as a "Teen-age Fashion Model." According to estimates, more than a billion Barbie dolls have been sold worldwide, and many have become collector's items. Who is the "Barbie" after whom the doll was named?

Feature

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The Kit Kat Bar

The original "Kit Kat" comestible was a far cry from the candy bar we know and love today. In the 18th century, mutton pies called kit-cats were served at meetings of London's political Kit-Cat Club. The popular chocolate bar, with its distinct four-fingered shape, was introduced in 1935, after a worker at British confectionary Rowntree suggested the company create a snack that a man could easily take to work. Before being rebranded the "Kit Kat" in 1937, the treat was marketed under what name?

Born on a day like today

Article

Yuri Gagarin

Gagarin was a Russian cosmonaut who, in 1961, became the first human being to successfully travel into space. Gagarin circled the Earth once during his 1-hour-and-48-minute flight aboard the Vostok 1. His success is believed to have ushered in the modern era of man in space, and Gagarin toured widely to promote the Soviet achievement. Ironically, he died in a plane crash seven years later. What factors did Soviet officials consider when choosing Gagarin for the historic space flight?

Last updated on Sunday, 9th March 2014

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