Recently, the beloved Sesame Street character Big Bird went on television and social media to promote COVID-19 vaccines. For anyone who has been conscious for at least a few years, celebrities—especially ones with larger fanbases amongst the youth of the country—promoting public health initiatives is not surprising. It has been going on forever and ever.
In 1956, Presley was about to become the super famous icon we have all come to know. He had a couple of No. 1 hits, a movie soon to be released, and television appearances booked. Before he was set to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show, Presley went in front of the cameras with Sullivan present for those very same cameras in order to take a photo of himself being administered a polio vaccine shot by a New York state official. That is what the photo above this story memorializes.
// The speaker's words edified the graduating class, giving them hope and encouragement.
// As they grew older, the children realized their grandfather embellished the stories of his travels abroad.
// The gift shop had cowboy shirts and hats embellished with beads and stitching.
"Well, I've always wanted to write a children's book. This is just partly based on a story I used to tell Krishna, my daughter, when she was going to bed at night, but we just embellished it and embellished it." — Padma Lakshmi, quoted in Bon Appétit, 27 May 2021
Edify comes from the Latin verb aedificare, meaning "to instruct or improve spiritually"; it is based on aedes, the word for "temple." Edify shares the spiritual meaning of its Latin root, but it is also used in general contexts to refer to the act of instructing in a way that improves the mind or character overall.