Children's Crusade -- Fact or Fiction?

The Straight Dope: Cecil Adams, longtime writer of the facts & legends column "The Straight Dope," takes a look at whether the Children's Crusade really happened. Allegedly, in 1212 a vast number of devout children headed to Jerusalem to free the holy land from the Infidels, but they were sold into slavery midway. Yet our primary source for this is an account written 20 years later &emdash; plenty of time for the tale to grow in the telling. Another similar event ends the crusade at the Mediterranean, which refuses to part for the convoy, but this group of "children" were likely in their late teens or 20s. Cecil Adams rounds up some of the facts and the speculations.