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October 29th, 2009
06:52 PM ET

How UNICEF became a Halloween treat

Téa Leoni suggests that trick-or-treaters ask for UNICEF donations along with candy
Téa Leoni suggests that trick-or-treaters ask for UNICEF donations along with candy

Téa Leoni
Special to CNN

Editor's note: Téa Leoni is a U.S. Fund for UNICEF Ambassador. Her grandmother, Helenka Pantaleoni, founded the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Leoni was a member of the 2007 Blue Ribbon panel for CNN Heroes.

I grew up under the impression that I was the best trick-or-treater in the whole wide world, because my grandmother invented it!

The whole thing was her idea! My grandmother and her friend UNICEF started it way back when she was born in the early 1500s. I thought UNICEF must be a pretty cool lady if she was hanging out with my grandmother.

Occasionally I'll ask people if they know about UNICEF, and sometimes they don't. But if I then mention the little orange Trick-or-Treat boxes on Halloween, suddenly everyone knows UNICEF.

We grew up carrying those Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF boxes on Halloween night, and now our kids do. These days, the candy bags may be fancier than pillowcases, and the costumes may come from the store, but the orange boxes remain the same.

Keep Reading...


Filed under: CNN Heroes • Halloween
October 31st, 2008
07:55 PM ET

Robin Meade: a Clown, a Blues Brother, and Glenda the Good Witch

Robin as 'Glenda the Good Witch when she was a Majorette in high school
Robin as 'Glenda the Good Witch when she was a Majorette in high school

Editor's Note: Happy Halloween! We asked some of our favorite CNN personalities to share with us their Halloween memories. We asked them a few 'Trick or Treat' questions.... here's what they had to say:

Robin Meade | BIO
Anchor, Headline News'
"Morning Express with Robin Meade"

Favorite Halloween costume as a kid?

Was this true where you grew up?: Halloween costumes were mostly of the plastic/vinyl kind, where you just slipped into these plastic sheaths that had some cartoon characters body printed on the outside of it... along with the ol' plastic face-front only masks that you couldn't see or breathe out of very well. (Don't forget the rubber band that always broke about halfway through your school costume parade). You had to wear clothes underneath this little plastic jobby, because it was never meant to be worn alone, (it's the equivalent in thickness of the paper vest the doc gives you now so you don't feel "naked" during your exam) and because it was usually like 17 degrees in Ohio by Halloween.

I didn't grow for a few years in elementary school. So I had to wear the same vinyl/plastic Snow White costume a couple of years in a row. The injustice! Talk about the elementary equivalent of a buzz kill. But the neighborhood candy and ensuing sugar high made up for it, I'm sure.

Favorite scary movie?

The Shining. Those little dead kids who'd be standing in the hallway would freak me out.

Best Halloween memory?
FULL POST


Filed under: Halloween • Robin Meade
October 31st, 2008
05:27 PM ET

Candy Crowley: Hobos and Candy Corn

Editor's Note: Happy Halloween! We asked some of our favorite CNN personalities to share with us their Halloween memories. We asked them a few 'Trick or Treat' questions.... here's what they had to say:

Candy Crowley | BIO
CNN Senior Political Correspondent

Favorite Halloween costume as a kid?

Hobo. Mostly because my mother picked out some of my clothes I could destroy to look like a bum...we got a tree stick and put a bag at the end of it ..my dad stomped on one of his hats for me and put charcoal on my face. It all seemed illegal. Livin' the dream at the age of 5

Favorite scary movie?

"Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte." I only saw it once and had nightmares for years. I believe it involved a severed head bumping down the stairs.

Best Halloween memory?
FULL POST


Filed under: Candy Crowley • Halloween
October 31st, 2008
04:14 PM ET

Erica Hill: Wore my dress and bonnet even when it wasn't Halloween

Editor's Note: Happy Halloween! We asked some of our favorite CNN personalities to share with us their Halloween memories. We asked them a few 'Trick or Treat' questions.... here's what they had to say:

Erica Hill | BIO
AC360° Correspondent


Favorite Halloween costume as a kid?

My Laura Ingalls costume definitely got the most play! I LOVED "Little House on the Prairie" as a kid, and wore my dress and bonnet even when it wasn't Halloween. I had some fabulous early 80's clogs to round out the ensemble. I did like the costumes my husband and I wore last year – Richie and Margot Tenenbaum. Classic.

Favorite scary movie?

No scary movies for this girl! I am the biggest wuss you'll ever meet. When I was younger, I did like "Poltergeist" and remember watching "Tales from the Crypt" with our babysitter, but you'd never catch me watching them now.

Best Halloween memory?
FULL POST


Filed under: Erica Hill • Halloween
October 31st, 2008
01:49 PM ET

Joe Johns: I loved the cape and the fangs

AC360 artist's interpretation of Joe Johns' favorite Halloween costume based on his blog
AC360 artist's interpretation of Joe Johns' favorite Halloween costume based on his blog

Editor's Note: Happy Halloween! We asked some of our favorite CNN personalities to share with us their Halloween memories. We asked them a few 'Trick or Treat' questions.... here's what they had to say:

Joe Johns | BIO
CNN Correspondent

Favorite Halloween costume as a kid?

My favorite costume as a kid (elementary school) had to be Dracula. I loved the cape and the fangs and 'hypnotizing' girls I had a crush on. I was very vampire when I was a kid. If I had grown up much later than I did I would have been very attracted to the Gothic scene!

Favorite scary movie?

Favorite movie was the old black and white Dracula with Béla Lugosi. There are pics of me in high school because I actually played Dracula in my high school play (I was the only one who who could do a poor imitation of a Romanian accent. But those are too sensitive to be released!


Filed under: Halloween • Joe Johns
October 31st, 2008
01:45 PM ET

Tom Foreman: If you received a whole candy bar, that was a big deal.

AC360 artist's interpretation of Tom Foreman's favorite Halloween costume based on his blog
AC360 artist's interpretation of Tom Foreman's favorite Halloween costume based on his blog

Editor's Note: Happy Halloween! We asked some of our favorite CNN personalities to share with us their Halloween memories. We asked them a few 'Trick or Treat' questions.... here's what they had to say:

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Favorite Halloween costume as a kid?

I had a store bought Frankenstein costume when I was in kindergarten: green satin pants, some kind of long sleeved green top with a picture of Frankenstein on it, and a mask that would allow you to see out of only one eye hole at a time, unless you were congenitally gifted with eyes that were three inches apart. I tried to run across a dark street on the Air Force base where we lived in South Dakota, to keep up with my older brother and sister, and I fell, ripping the knee. I cried because it hurt, because I ruined my costume, and because I was pretty sure at that point people would realize I was not really Frankenstein. Mind you, I was already working against type by being three feet tall at the time.

Favorite scary movie?

The Sound of Music. Enough said.

Best Halloween memory?
FULL POST


Filed under: Halloween • Tom Foreman
October 31st, 2008
01:30 PM ET

Randi Kaye: Norman Bates still scares me!

Editor's Note: Happy Halloween! We asked some of our favorite CNN personalities to share with us their Halloween memories. We asked them a few 'Trick or Treat' questions.... here's what they had to say:

Randi Kaye | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Favorite Halloween costume as a kid?

One year I went as a tube of Colgate toothpaste. I wrapped myself in a huge piece of foam rubber.. painted it with the Colgate logo... and painted my face red for the top. It was really tough to walk in. I regretted it from the moment I started out. I waddled around as long as I could before I had to pack it in. But I got enough candy, trust me.

Favorite scary movie?

My favorite scary movie is Psycho. Norman Bates still scares me! I always watch it when it's on TV... I can't help it. I still have nightmares about that guy. In fact, there have been a few shady motels we've had to stay on while reporting on the road for 360 that we like to call the "Bates Motel" just like the movie. Luckily, good ol' Norman has never shown up.

Best Halloween memory?
FULL POST


Filed under: Halloween • Randi Kaye
October 31st, 2008
01:27 PM ET

Gary Tuchman: In second grade, I made my own costume for a school party...

Editor's Note: Happy Halloween! We asked some of our favorite CNN personalities to share with us their Halloween memories. We asked them a few 'Trick or Treat' questions.... here's what they had to say:

Gary Tuchman | BIO
AC360 Correspondent

Favorite Halloween costume as a kid?

In second grade, I made my own costume for a school party... I was a ghost and put two eye holes in the sheet myself. But I didn't measure the eye holes properly, so I kept bumping into walls at school.

Favorite scary movie?

Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds." He is the master.

Best Halloween memory?
FULL POST


Filed under: Gary Tuchman • Halloween
October 31st, 2008
08:44 AM ET

Pardon the witches

Watch Atika's report on the petition to posthumously pardon 'witches' executed in the U.K.
Watch Atika's report on the petition to posthumously pardon 'witches' executed in the U.K.

Atika Shubert
CNN London correspondent

I have to say, I thought it would be a lot harder to find a modern-day practicing witch in London.

But all it took was a google search, a phone call and a 5 minute walk from the office to find Christina Oakley Harrington. She is a practicing Wiccan – a believer in pagan rituals and modern witchcraft.

Her bookstore, Treadwell’s, is a warm and homey place tucked into a small street in London’s Covent Carden. There are little vials and packets of herbs, multi-colored candles, the odd 19th century mixing bowl and an engraved Celtic sword.

And tons of books. And more books. Spellbooks, Grimoires (a magician’s manual for invoking demons, should the need arise), tomes on Jewish Mysticism, the Occult, Alchemy… you name it.

My cameraman thumbs through a book of voodoo and finds a step-by-step guide to silencing that annoying guy on the bus who thinks the whole world wants to hear his phone conversation. Pins in a wax doll’s ears will do it, apparently.

It turns out Christina is a really nice witch. She happily agrees to an interview and tolerates my faltering questions about what a Wiccan does exactly.

FULL POST


Filed under: 360° Radar • Global 360° • Halloween
October 31st, 2008
07:56 AM ET

My daughter’s October surprise

Gabe Ramirez
CNN Los Angeles photojournalist

The big question at my house in every early October is, “So what do you guys want to be for Halloween?” When my mom asked us this question way back in the late 70s-early 80s, my answer was always a variation of one of many Star Wars characters, Storm Trooper, Darth, Ben Kenobi, Jawa. It’s funny; my 8-year old son (Ben, sans Kenobi) has also been Darth, a Storm Trooper, a Jedi. My little sister was always some kind of medieval character, princess, fairy, troll… well maybe not a troll. One year she was a dragon. My mom made this really cool paper Mache dragonhead and sewed together a dragon body. Does anybody do that anymore?

But my 4-year old daughter Sophie didn’t need to wait until early October to decide what she was going to be. One Saturday in June, as decisive as a McCain strategist, she announced, “I think Belle again, or… maybe Jasmine. I like Ariel and Sleeping Beauty too. I’ll be one of those.” I thought, Hmm, which of those costumes does she already have? Answer: all of the above. Her enablers? My wife and my mom who love to see her dressed up.

My wife and kids really enjoy going to Disneyland, and because we live in Los Angeles, less than an hour north of the Magic Kingdom, we go – often. I too enjoy the park, especially because my kids always have a great time. But Sophie is a Disney addict. If we are in the car and a radio ad mentions Disney, she instantly straightens up and asks, “What did they say? What about Disneyland?” They must put something in the Pirate Punch at the Pirates of the Caribbean because, she like so many others her age, can’t get enough of the Disney princesses. In 2007, Newsweek estimated the Disney princess franchise to be worth $4 billion. I am sure the countries current economic situation has put a dent in that, but if my daughter and her schoolmates are an indicator, Disney will continue its roll.

FULL POST


Filed under: 2008 Election • Gabe Ramirez • Halloween