Pintsized as a pea or big as a bowling ball, nutritional, durable, and versatile, nuts have been a staple of the human diet since time began, and archaeological evidence places them among our earliest foods. For that, the ancients worshiped them. And because they were relatively non-perishable, nuts sustained the imperial armies of Rome and China, the royal navies of England and Spain, and the native tribes that roamed the American wilderness. Today, we think of nuts as mere snacks, but in a poignant segment, we feature how a peanut product is used by organizations like UNICEF to reverse malnutrition in starving children in less than four weeks. And a powder ground from walnut shells cleans everything from ship hulls to the Space Shuttle. From ancient traditions of tree-picking and hand-gathering to today's powerful machine shakers, sophisticated irrigation techniques, and the latest bio-science, we'll provide a spread of history that's just as smooth as your peanut butter!
For every new snack food introduced, there are about 100 duds! Americans buy more than 4.3 billion pounds of snack food a year--in fact, snacking is quickly becoming America's favorite meal. A snack is defined as a meal or food item eaten hurriedly or casually, which might include anything from a candy bar to a hamburger. The word is derived from the Dutch word snacken, "to bite". Whether it's chips, pretzels, or popcorn, Americans love their snacks--especially if salty! Perhaps the first truly American salty snack was popcorn. But of all the salty treats we indulge in--pretzels, peanuts, corn chips--the potato chip is by far America's favorite snack, with annual sales in excess of $6 billion. Today, the larger food manufacturers are generally full-service snack companies--producing chips, pretzels, and other salty goodies. With creative new snack varieties on the way, the salty snack food industry shows no signs of waning.
Discover how many spices go into richly aromatic tikka masala, and why it's Britain's favorite meal; sweet and sour gummy worms get their mouth-puckering flavor; crunchy golden tortillas stay intact until they're stuffed full of Mexican treats on taco night; and seasonal Easter cr me eggs get that yummy and yolky egg-like filling.
Discover how sweet, crispy waffle cones get their ice cream-ready shape; rich, dark chocolate milk is transformed from creamy to dreamy; tangy Doritos nachos go from kernel to crunchy chip; and how the special ingredient in cheesy Indian dessert Kesar Rasmalai could break the bank.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is widely considered the most influential leader of the American civil rights movement. He fought to overturn Jim Crow segregation laws and eliminate social and economic differences between blacks and whites.
While serving in the military, Jackie Robinson was arrested for refusing to move to the back of a segregated bus. In 1947, he made history when his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers ended racial segregation in Major League Baseball.
Rosa Parks - Mini Biography (4:30)
A short biography of Rosa Parks.
Langston Hughes was the leading voice of the Harlem Renaissance, whose poetry showcased the dignity and beauty in ordinary black life. The hours he spent in Harlem clubs affected his work, making him one of the innovators of Jazz Poetry.
Watch a short biography of Oprah Winfrey who hit the national spotlight with her talk show, "The Oprah Winfrey Show."
Louis Armstrong, nicknamed "Satchmo," "Pops" and, later, "Ambassador Satch," was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. An all-star virtuoso, he came to prominence in the 1920s, influencing countless musicians.
A short biography of Muhammad Ali, an American heavyweight boxer and social activist who converted to Islam. Dodging the Vietnam draft, he was the subject of controversy.
Born in Honolulu, Barack Obama went on to become President of the Harvard Law Review. In 2008, he was elected President of the United States, becoming the first African-American commander-in-chief.
ABBA - Mini Bio
A short biography of ABBA.
Adolf Hitler - Mini Biography
Adolf Hitler was leader of the Nazi Party and became Chancellor of Germany in 1933. As leader of the Third Reich, he invaded Poland, which started World War II. He orchestrated the Holocaust, which resulted in the death of 6 million Jews.
Alexander McQueen - Mini Biography
A short biography on designer Alexander McQueen who left school at 16 to apprentice for Savile Row. After a battle with drug addiction and the death of his mother, he committed suicide in February 2010.
Alicia Keys - Mini Biography
Born and raised in New York City, Alicia Keys began piano lessons at age 7. After graduating from the Professional Performance Arts School, she signed a deal with Clive Davis. Her debut album "Songs in A Minor" earned her five Grammys.
Andrew Jackson - Mini Bio
A short biography of the 7th President of the United States, Andrew Jackson.
Ann-Margret - Mini Biography
Ann-Margret came to the US with her parents after WWII. George Burns helped launch her singing career, and she soon went on to acting, earning an Oscar nomination for Carnal Knowledge.
Aretha Franklin - Mini Biography
A short biography of Aretha Franklin, who became known as the Queen of Soul, with legendary hits like "Natural Woman," "Respect," and "Freeway of Love."
Avril Lavigne - Mini Biography
Punk pop singer Avril Lavigne entered the music scene with a rebellious streak, capturing audiences with songs like "Complicated" and "Sk8er Boi." She later opted to go a more tame route when releasing her music.
Bessie Smith - Mini Biography
A short biography of Bessie Smith, who became known as the "Empress of the Blues." Her distinctive voice made her one of the first jazz singers to appear on records.
Beyonce - Mini Biography
Beyonce Knowles catapulted to fame with Destiny's Child and went on to release Grammy award-winning solo albums and a film career with her star turn in "Dreamgirls." She married hip-hop artist Jay-Z in 2008.
Billie Holiday - Mini Biography
A short biography of Billie "Lady Day" Holiday.
Bob Marley - Mini Biography
Bob Marley helped introduce reggae music to the world and remains one of the genre's most beloved artists to this day.
Brad Pitt - Mini Biography
A short biography of Brad Pitt who got his big break as a robber cowboy on "Thelma and Louise." After finding love with Angelina Jolie, Pitt has been active in social and environmental issues.
Abigail Adams - Mini Biography
A short biography on Abigail Adams who served as unofficial adviser to her husband, President John Adams.
Albert Einstein - Mini Biography
A condensed video biography on the life of Albert Einstein.
Alexander the Great - Mini Biography
Conqueror and king of Macedonia, Alexander the Great was born in 356 B.C., in Pella, Macedonia. He became the king of Persia, Babylon and Asia, and created Macedonian colonies in Iran. He died of malaria in Babylon, Persia, in 323 B.C.
Althea Gibson - Mini Biography
A short biography on Althea Gibson, the first African-American to win a Grand Slam tournament. After retiring, she became the first African-American on the Ladies Professional Golf Association circuit.
Andy Griffith - Mini Biography
Andy Griffith's monologue "What it Was, Was Football" earned him a spot on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and he became a rising star. He starred in the film "A Face in the Crowd" before making his way to television in "The Andy Griffith Show."
Anne Frank - Mini Biography
A short biography of Anne Frank, whose diary offered an intimate account of what life was like hiding from Hitler's Nazis during the Holocaust in World War II. She died at the age of 15, weeks before the war ended.
Arsenio Hall - Mini Biography
Arsenio Hall was born in 1956 in Ohio. Hall replaced Joan Rivers as the host of The Late Show in 1987. In 1989, he launched The Arsenio Hall show, becoming the first black late night talk show host.
Barbra Streisand - Mini Biography
Barbra Streisand was born in 1942 in Brooklyn. Her Broadway debut led to a recording contract and a long series of gold records. Over her career she has mastered nearly every form of entertainment.
Betsey Johnson - Mini Biography
A short biography of fashion designer Betsey Johnson whose London underground influences took the fashion world by storm in 1971.
Bill Clinton - Mini Biography
A short biography of Bill Clinton's rise to political power, his marriage to Hillary Clinton, his impeachment due to the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and his involvement in recreating the Democratic Party's image.
Bing Crosby - Mini Biography
Born Harry Lillis Crosby on May 3, 1903, "Bing" launched his popular radio show in 1931. He began to star in films, winning an Academy Award for Going My Way in 1944. Throughout his career, he dominated the music charts. He died in 1977.
Bobby Flay - Mini Biography
A short biography of Bobby Flay, an internationally renowned chef who began cooking at his father's restaurant, Joe Allen, and emerged with a successful career in television.
Bruce Jenner - Mini Biography
Bruce Jenner became a 70s sports icon after winning the gold medal for decathlon in the 1976 Olympics. He starred on the TV shows "CHiPs" and "The Love Boat" before crossing over to reality tv with "Keeping Up with the Kardashians."
Abraham Lincoln - Mini Biography
Abraham Lincoln grew up in a log cabin in rural Kentucky and went on to become the 16th President of the United States. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation abolishing slavery. He was assassinated on April 15, 1865.
Alex Rodriguez - Mini Biography
In 2007, New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez became the youngest player in major league baseball history to hit 500 career home runs.
Alfred Hitchcock - Mini Biography
Known as "The Master of Suspense," Alfred Hitchcock is most famous for his voyeuristic style, twist endings, and cameo appearances in his films.
Amelia Earhart - Mini Biography
After a plane ride at an air show, Amelia Earhart decided she would learn to fly. After becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, she embarked on her flight around the world and disappeared over the Pacific Ocean.
Andy Warhol - Mini Biography
Andy Warhol was the superstar of the Pop Art movement. His "Campbell's Soup Cans" and "Gold Marilyn Monroe" made him famous worldwide, and his studio, known as "The Factory," became a magnet for artists of the 60s counterculture.
Annette Funicello - Mini Biography
Annette Funicello gained early fame as a leading "Mouseketeer" on Walt Disney's The Mickey Mouse Club. She later starred in films like The Shaggy Dog and the Beach Party series with Frankie Avalon.
Arthur Ashe - Mini Biography
Arthur Ashe was the first African-American male to win men's single titles at Wimbledon. Off the court, he became an anti-apartheid activist and brought attention to HIV/AIDs before succumbing to the disease in 1993.
Bea Arthur - Mini Biography
A short biography on Bea Arthur who started out on Broadway and then moved to the small screen with "Maude" and then to the ever popular hit show "Golden Girls."
Betty Ford - Mini Biography
A short biography of Betty Ford whose honesty and openness on issues like abortion, breast cancer, and addiction connected with the American people.
Bill Cosby - Mini Biography
A short biography of comedian and actor Bill Cosby, who became known as "America's Dad" through his lifelong advocacy in education and PG comedy, along with the creation of shows like "Fat Albert" and "The Cosby Show."
Bob Dylan - Mini Biography
A short biography of Bob Dylan who transcended musical genres to become one of the greatest folk and rock singers of all time.
Bono - Mini Biography
A short biography of Bono, lead singer of U2 and a dedicated social activist.
Adele - Mini Biography
Adele's throwback, soulful sound has made her an international success. After winning the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 2009, her sophomore album "21" won the Grammy for Album of the Year in 2012.
Alexander Hamilton - Mini Biography
Alexander Hamilton was the first United States Secretary of the Treasury. After using his influence to disparage Vice President Aaron Burr's run for Governor of New York, Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel. Hamilton was short and died.
Alfred Nobel - Mini Biography
Alfred Nobel was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1833. In 1864, a deadly explosion killed his younger brother, inspiring Nobel to develop a safer explosive: dynamite. Nobel used his vast fortune to establish the Nobel Prizes.
Amerigo Vespucci - Mini Biography
Explorer Amerigo Vespucci was born in 1451 in Italy. On his third voyage, he discovered present-day Rio de Janeiro. Believing he had discovered a new continent, he called South America the New World. In 1507, America was named after him.
Angelina Jolie - Mini Biography
A short biography of Angelina Jolie, who went from troubled child to overnight superstar with the movie "Gia." Aside from acting, she's known for her humanitarian efforts and her relationship with Brad Pitt.
Anthony Hopkins - Mini Biography
A short biography on Anthony Hopkins, whose big break came when he met Laurence Olivier and served as his understudy. In 1992, he won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter in "The Silence of the Lambs."
Ava Gardner - Mini Biography
Ava Gardner's performance in "The Killers" made her an instant star. Gardner's off-screen life was often as dramatic as the roles she played, with marriages to Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw and Frank Sinatra.
Benjamin Franklin - Mini Biography
A short biography on Benjamin Franklin, who's been famously called the "first Citizen of the 18th Century." A man of many trades, Franklin is famous for "Poor Richard's Almanac," as well as his work in electrical theory.
Betty White - Mini Biography
Betty White is best known for her roles on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and "The Golden Girls." She has appeared for decades on talk shows and game shows and spends her free time advocating for animals.
Bill Gates - Mini Biography
Bill Gates and his partner Paul Allen built the world's largest software business, Microsoft. He became one of the richest men in the world and a major philanthropist through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Bob Geldof - Mini Bio
To those that know him, Bob Geldof is still the messy-haired punk rocker from The Boomtown Rats. But to the rest of the world, Geldof will be most known for his Live Aid and Live 8 concerts to raise money for famine relief.
Booker T. Washington - Mini Biography
In 1881, Booker T. Washington founded the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, which focused on training African Americans in agricultural pursuits. A political adviser and writer, Washington clashed with intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois.