Update at 10:40: p.m. ET: Protesters React To Video Release of Shooting

These days it seems like the holidays are running together — at least commercially speaking — when Halloween masks start popping up around Labor Day and Christmas trappings are for sale in the stores before Thanksgiving.

In the stores it feels sort of like Hallothankshanachristmasgivingween.

But the jumbling of holidays is not exclusive to contemporary times. Turns out that people all across America used to wear costumes on or near Thanksgiving, which effectively created a mash-up of Halloween and Turkey Day.

A Mother Hangs Her Hopes On A New High School

Nov 24, 2015

Last year, when Jann Peña was in eighth grade at a public school and his little brother was in second grade at a charter school, the little brother got more homework.

That was just fine with Jann, an easygoing 14-year-old who passed his ample free time racing cars on his Xbox. But it was unacceptable to the boys' mother, Jovanka Anderson, a Dominican immigrant who wants to give her children a better life than she has.

Up, Up And Away: Balloon School For Parade Newbies

Nov 24, 2015

The Thanksgiving Day holiday traditionally brings with it parades and balloons — really big balloons that scrape the skyline in cities like New York or Detroit. Someone has to keep those helium-filled balloons from floating away. Have no fear — there's special training for those tasked with keeping the balloons from floating away.

In a massive Detroit parking lot, a star is rising — it's a happy star, you can tell by the grin painted on it. It's a balloon, ready to be used by those practicing for the upcoming Thanksgiving Day parade.

After a long stalemate, a bipartisan team of congressional negotiators has agreed to overhaul the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The law, currently known as No Child Left Behind, sends roughly $14 billion a year to schools that serve mostly low-income students.

Here's what we know about the rough agreement. First, annual testing — a major feature of NCLB — would remain for grades three through eight and at least once in high school. Schools would still have to test 95 percent of their students and report the results by race, income and special need.

World leaders are scheduled to meet in Paris soon, trying to draft an agreement on how to combat climate change. Among the heads of state, you'll also see California Gov. Jerry Brown, who is spearheading his own international climate movement.

Brown has been on an international diplomatic tour the last few months — all about climate change.

"The world faces an existential threat," he told Canadian leaders in July.

Then, he went to the Vatican. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap," he said.

Remember that health class you had in middle school? Where you found out all that stuff about your body? We wondered why there wasn't a class like that for middle age. Could someone tell us what happens to us as we move through the decades?

Morning Edition asked listeners to send their questions about women's bodies and aging as part of our ongoing series Changing Lives of Women. We heard from hundreds of you asking about everything from sleeplessness to STDs to sex in old age.

There are few costumes more recognizable than the blue-and-white checkered dress Judy Garland wore as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz. On Monday, an unidentified buyer snapped it up for $1.5 million over the phone during an auction at Bonhams in New York City.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Ladies and gentlemen, Mayor-elect Jackie Biskupski.