A woman prepares a Japanese Christmas cake at the Patisserie Akira Cake shop on Dec. 23, 2011. The sponge cake is drenched in symbolic meaning. Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images

Captain America made his debut for Marvel in 1941, as the incarnation of American patriotic fervor during World War II. Marvel Comics/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Marvel Comics/AP

As part of their annual remembrance, descendants of massacre survivors erected teepees at the historic site over the weekend of Dec. 13. Some were for public visitors, while others were used in closed ceremonies. Megan Verlee/Colorado Public Radio hide caption

itoggle caption Megan Verlee/Colorado Public Radio

Ollies Barbecue was a Birmingham, Ala., landmark where where white plumbers and electricians sat next to white doctors and bank presidents,” but in 1964, blacks weren't allowed to eat there. Courtesy Ollie McClung Jr. hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Ollie McClung Jr.

Wrapped in gold and silver foil, chocolate gelt are often handed out as a little treat for children (and adults) during Hanukkah. Turns out, the tradition is rooted in real money. iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto

Interactive touch screens at the newly redesigned Cooper Hewitt museum let visitors sort through the catalog and create their own designs. Cooper Hewitt hide caption

itoggle caption Cooper Hewitt

An Israeli Antiquities Authority Prevention of Antiquities Robbery officer stands at the opening to a high cave in the Judean desert. Six men were indicted Sunday for looting from this cave. Israel Antiquities Authority hide caption

itoggle caption Israel Antiquities Authority

John Coltrane during the recording of A Love Supreme in December 1964. Chuck Stewart/Courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History hide caption

itoggle caption Chuck Stewart/Courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

A woman raises her hands during an interfaith service at Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church where The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. used to preach. David Goldman/AP hide caption

itoggle caption David Goldman/AP

Marcello Mazzucchi, a retired forest ranger, stands in the Fiemme Valley in the Italian Alps. Renaissance luthiers such as Antonio Stradivari came here to handpick trees that would be crafted into the world's finest instruments. Graziano Panfili for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Graziano Panfili for NPR