For many inauguration attendees without tickets to official viewing areas, there was a historic alternative all the way on the other side of the National Mall at the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln is often invoked by President Obama and the memorial's role in the civil rights movement also made it a powerful draw on a day that was not only Inauguration Day, but also Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.
Robert Siegel talks to several prominent African-Americans for their thoughts on what it has meant to have the first black president. We hear from Roger Wilkins, a civil rights activist, history professor, and journalist; Washington, D.C., Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton; writer Shelby Steele of the Hoover Institution of Stanford University; and civil rights lawyer Sherrilyn Ifill, the new head of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
The Big Sandy Power Plant, 4 miles north of Louisa, is the biggest industry in Lawrence County. Local residents blame President Obama's environmental policies for the company's plans to close the plant in 2015.
If the voters in Louisa, Ky., had their wish, Mitt Romney would have taken the oath of office Monday. Louisa is in eastern Kentucky, and "coal" was the one-word issue in the election. President Obama is seen as an enemy of coal mining and he got only 27 percent of the vote in the county.
And now comes word that Louisa is going to lose its biggest industry — a power generating plant that's been burning coal since 1962.
For the past few weeks a team of scientists, archaeologists and documentary makers has been digging at Yangon's international airport in Myanmar, also known as Burma. They are searching for a legendary trove of Spitfire fighter planes, said to have been buried in Burma in the waning days of World War II.
It's about 25 degrees on a clear Saturday morning when Gregg Treinish — executive director of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, a nonprofit that puts volunteers to work gathering data for scientists around the world — gathers a small group of outdoor adventurers around him near the Duckabush River in the Olympic National Forest in Washington state.
One of President Obama's gun control proposals appears to have widespread support — universal background checks for gun purchases. Some experts on mental health and gun violence find problems with the current laws, and they say the system doesn't do a very good job of predicting and preventing gun crime.
When you enter Kerley's Hunting and Outfitting in Cupertino, Calif., you're greeted by a taxidermy lion roaring and leaping. There are rows of rifles on the walls, but the owner, Harry Dwyer III, doesn't appear to be as fierce as his mascot.
Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 7:01 pm
President Barack Hussein Obama, sobered but resolute after four years as the nation's first African-American head of state, began his second term Monday with an ardent defense of government as essential to the nation's economic and moral fiber, and a call to citizens to accept their obligation to shape the national debate.
As President Barack Obama enters his second term, he leads a country that remains deeply divided on issues from fiscal policy to gun control. Despite the divisions, many Americans maintain a sense of hope for themselves, their towns and the country.
Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 6:59 pm
President Obama began his second term with an unapologetically liberal inaugural address, calling on Americans to work together to preserve entitlements, address climate change and extend civil rights.
"Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play," the president said. "Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable and protect its people from life's worst hazards and misfortune."
Hope and change were two of the watch words of President Obama's first presidential campaign. As he begins a second term, Tell Me More speaks with people gathered in the nation's capital about what they think the next four years will be about.
This year, the presidential inaugural events coincide with the holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Host Michel Martin speaks with scholar Clayborne Carson, about how Dr. King may have viewed the historic challenges facing President Obama.
Many people have argued that President Obama's election and re-election were crowning achievements of the civil rights movement. Host Michel Martin explores what makes a social movement a success. She speaks with Linda Hirshman, author of 'Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution' and Marie Wilson, founder of The White House Project.
People from around the country gathered in Washington, D.C. for President Obama's second inauguration. The event coincides with the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Tell Me More caught up with members of the public to ask for their thoughts about the two men.
Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 12:33 pm
Journalist Simeon Booker braved the dangers of the Deep South during the Jim Crow era. His reporting about the horrific murder of Emmett Till sparked national outcry and added fuel to the civil rights movement. Host Michel Martin speaks with Booker about his remarkable career for a Tell Me More 'Wisdom Watch' conversation.
President Barack Obama delivered his second inaugural speech today. Host Michel Martin explores how his words may have resonated with Americans --those who voted for him and those who didn't-- with two former White House insiders.
Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 11:46 am
In the new Fox TV series The Following, Kevin Bacon plays a former FBI agent asked to help apprehend an escaped serial killer he once put behind bars. The show is from Kevin Williamson, who also created the Scream horror-movie franchise.
In his new book, The Double V: How Wars, Protest and Harry Truman Desegregated America's Military, author Rawn James Jr. argues that if one wants to understand the story of race in the United States, one must understand the history of African-Americans in the country's military. Since the country was founded, he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, the military "has continually been forced to confront what it means to segregate individuals according to race."
Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 12:49 pm
The rapper Lupe Fiasco was escorted off the stage at an unofficial inaugural ball in Washington, last night.
As Politico reports, the Grammy-nominated rapper stayed on the anti-war song "Words I Never Said" for 30 minutes. Video posted by Now This News shows Fiasco dropping lines critical of President Obama, before the lights go off and men in black suits escort him off the stage.
President Barack Obama waves after his speech while Vice President Joe Biden applauds at the ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington on Monday.
A group of women traveled 18 hours by train from Chicago to Washington, D.C., for Inauguration Day. We hear about why they and others decided to attend this year's festivities, which fall on Martin Luther King Day.
Four years ago, the National Mall was packed with record crowds. People gathering as President Obama prepares to take the oath of office and deliver a second inaugural address share some of the same sentiments as the crowds from 2009. But the crowds — and the vendors — are less numerous.
Well, from the studio, I'm going to go out again to talk to NPR's Linda Wertheimer. She is at a place that has a very good view of the activities there on the Mall. That happens to be the Canadian embassy. And just one thing: the West Front of the Capitol is decorated in red, white and blue. That is the backdrop for President Obama's second Inauguration. And Linda has seen every Inauguration since the second time President Richard Nixon was sworn into office, his second inaugural. Good morning.
Steve Inskeep talks with Michele Flournoy, who served as undersecretary of defense for policy in the Obama administration. Flournoy weighs in on foreign policy challenges facing the president in his second term.