Congressional staff members gather at the Capitol to raise awareness of the recent killings of black men by police officers, both of which did not result in grand jury indictments, on Dec. 11. They are joined by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. (second from left), and Senate Chaplain Barry Black (far right). J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

itoggle caption J. Scott Applewhite/AP

In Jerusalem, Syrian Orthodox Christian Nadia Ishaq prepares her burbara porridge with boiled what kernels, raisins, dried plums and dried apricots, topped with ground coconut in the shape of a cross. The holiday honors St. Barbara, an early convert to Christianity whose story is echoed in the Rapunzel tale. Daniella Cheslow for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Daniella Cheslow for NPR

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