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Stories by Meredith Francis

Clifford the Big Red Dog
December 6, 2019 | Meredith Francis
Clifford the Big Red Dog and his pal Emily Elizabeth are returning to PBS KIDS for more larger-than-life adventures with new animation, songs, and more.
Museum of Science and Industry
November 19, 2019 | Meredith Francis
It already feels like winter in Chicago, so it’s time to break out the mittens, lace up the skates, and fill your mug with hot cocoa­­—though not necessarily in that order. Here are just some of the things you can do around Chicagoland this holiday season.
Sgt. Jermaine Harris
November 12, 2019 | Meredith Francis

Though the number of Chicagoans killed by gun violence has declined in the past two years, the persistent problem is still a reality for many of the city’s residents.

Central Standard Building
October 29, 2019 | Meredith Francis
Before our clocks fell back and sprung forward, there were dozens of time zones in the United States. Chicago, once a major railroad hub, played a key part in standardizing time across the country.
James Henry Breasted
October 9, 2019 | Meredith Francis
In 1919, James Henry Breasted founded the Oriental Instiute with what was at the time "a radical idea," that scholars should look toward the ancient Middle East to understand western civilization. Now, 100 years later, OI is celebrating its past by looking toward its future.
Midway Airport Airfield
September 24, 2019 | Meredith Francis
As both of Chicago's airports look toward the future of air travel, here's a look at the ups and downs of Midway's past. When it was the world's busiest airport, Chicagoans would flock to watch airplanes take off and land in the airfield.
Ian McKellen with Cookie Monster
September 5, 2019 | Meredith Francis
Leaders, actors, musicians, and athletes have all made their way to Sesame Street to offer up some teachable moments, as well as some plain fun ones. Big names like James Earl Jones, Johnny Cash, and Michelle Obama have all joined the gang to lend their talent. 
Mae Jemison
July 29, 2019 | Meredith Francis
More than 550 people from 36 countries have traveled to space. Beyond household names like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, dozens of Americans became celebrated "firsts" and set records, like the farthest distance travelled from Earth, the first person enrolled in a Native American tribe to travel to space, and the most number of days spent in orbit.
Neil Armstrong's footprint on the moon
July 22, 2019 | Meredith Francis
In a span of just three years, NASA sent twelve people—all men—to the moon. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin are household names, but what about the others? Among them are a man who overcame dyslexia, one who believed in UFOs, and another who subscribed to creationism.
Apollo 11 astronauts
July 8, 2019 | Meredith Francis
Less than a decade after Apollo 11 landed on the moon, the first widespread conspiracy theories emerged, claiming that the landing was a hoax. Even today, vloggers on YouTube and podcast hosts still promote several conspiracy theories that are easily debunked from scientific, photographic, and physical evidence.