This weekend, the city of Atlanta kicked off its own celebration to mark the anniversary. People gathered at the Martin Luther King National Historic Site and at the Center for Nonviolence. This is the beginning of more than a week of national events to commemorate King's "I Have a Dream," speech.
As NPR's Kathy Lohr reports, the festivities started in the city where King was born.
The Martin Luther King Junior memorial in Washington, D.C. will be ready for the 50th anniversary of the civil rights March on Washington. The sculpture, which looks out on the city's tidal basin has been covered in scaffolding to correct an inscription on the monument. Since it was put up in 2011, it has had a truncated version of a quotation from a speech King gave in 1968.
"There is no question that there is a civil war that is waging within the party."
That Republican conflict, political science professor David Cohen adds, isn't between just two sides, but among a number of factions, including libertarians.
One of the most public battles has involved national security and civil liberties. Leaks about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs raised alarms for libertarians about the government's reach.
They talked about the Hillary Clinton documentary and miniseries. They talked about how well they're doing raising money. They talked about how they're building a state-of-the-art data mining and voter turnout operation.
Here's what the Republican National Committee members didn't talk about at their summer meeting, but, rather, talked around: their existential need to broaden their base of support, and how so far their traditional base is not exactly embracing the idea.
Hundred dollar bills don't stretch as far as they used to. They're also getting a little frazzled. New 100 dollar bills were supposed to replace them over two years ago, but the Federal Reserve pushed back the date in 2010 because of a printing error.
This week, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder proposed reducing mandatory minimum sentences for some drug offenders. Federal mandated drug-sentencing guidelines have been around since the 1980s and they are thought to contribute to the huge increase in the number of inmates in U.S. prisons. But what has the affect of mandatory sentencing been on courts and communities?
Few American mothers could fathom a situation that would force them to leave their country in order to put food in their children's bellies, clothes on their backs and send them to school. This is the reality for many Filipina women, who cross oceans in search of jobs that pay enough to provide for their families back home.
The Philippines is known worldwide for sending its citizens overseas to work, and a recent study has shown the country consistently deploys more women than men. In the United States, Filipinas are often nurses and caretakers; many work as nannies
Immigrant and farm worker rights groups came from Los Angeles to Bakersfield, Calif., by the busload this week. Bakersfield, in the state's Central Valley, is farm country, and immigration is a complex issue here.
The groups were converging on the home of the third-most powerful Republican in the House, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy.
Activists across the country are targeting a number of Republican members of Congress this summer, trying to pressure the House to take up the immigration reform bill passed in the Senate.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie agreed to ease restrictions on medical marijuana for chronically ill children, but he won't go as far as lawmakers would like.
NPR's Joel Rose reports that Christie, a Republican, has rejected part of a bill that would allow young patients access to an ingestible form of marijuana at state-approved dispensaries without the approval of a psychiatrist and pediatrician.
His partial veto sends the bill back to the Democratic-controlled Legislature for approval before it becomes law.
This week, North Carolina's governor signed a new law requiring a state-approved photo ID to cast a vote in a polling place and shortening the period for early voting. The move comes just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a key provision of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which had required large parts of the state to get federal approval before changing voting laws.
Ancient North Americans gouged elaborate rock art into a heap of big boulders northeast of Reno, Nev., more than 10,000 years ago and perhaps 15,000 years ago. That makes the carvings the oldest known petroglyphs on the continent, according to a paper published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.
This week, Attorney General Eric Holder called for sweeping changes to America's 40-year war on drugs. Holder is the first African-American in the nation's top law enforcement post. He's also part of a growing movement of black leaders who have pushed for major reforms to the drug war.
Audie Cornish talks with Alan Levin, a Bloomberg News reporter covering aviation safety and the Federal Aviation Administration, about cargo plane safety and why cargo plane accidents appear to be increasing worldwide
Do you want to learn the samba in Chicago, or perhaps the Lindy hop or the waltz? Maybe you want to know exactly how one gets jiggy. Well, all you have to do is wander into Grant Park in the summer, Chicago's Summer Dance is the nation's largest annual outdoor dance series. And for our series, Summer Nights, NPR's Sonari Glinton stopped by Grant Park for a tango.
SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: Just after work on a Thursday evening, you can see crowds forming in the Spirit of Music Garden on the edge of Grant Park.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And Audie Cornish. Just 40 days after winning the women's singles title at Wimbledon, Marion Bartoli of France announced on Wednesday that she's retiring from tennis at age 28. Bartoli now joins a relatively short list of top athletes who decided to call it quits in their prime. Sports writer Stefan Fatsis joins us now, as he does most Fridays. Hey there, Stefan.
A bill that would ban hunting with lead ammunition in California is stirring debate. Advocates for the endangered California condor say the ban is the only way to keep the struggling species going. Some hunters question the environmental impact of lead ammunition and they say a ban would leave them with few convenient options. Here's reporter Aaron Schrank.
AARON SCHRANK, BYLINE: Inside a diagnostics room at the Los Angeles Zoo, the condor recovery team is taking an X-ray.
The Justice Department has called for prison sentencing reform — but it's really Congress that would have to carry it out. The time may be right: Crime is down, and even conservatives favor sentencing reform to save money.
An anonymous painter in New York City created dozens of art forgeries, which sold for more than $80 million, according to prosecutors. The man isn't facing charges — but those who helped sell his Abstract Expressionist canvases as the work of artists such as Jackson Pollock and Robert Motherwell are in trouble.
The number of girls and women studying the sciences has steadily increased each year, but there is still a gender gap in higher education and the work force. Researchers Andresse St. Rose and Catherine Riegle-Crumb and Linda Kekelis, executive director of Techbridge, discuss the social and environmental factors that contribute to this disparity.
Happy Dodson and Taz Roman are bikers. Not cyclists, but the leather jacket and chained wallet kind of bikers. They're also members of a group called Bikers Against Child Abuse.
The nonprofit, with chapters across the U.S. and in some parts of Europe, accepts referrals from parents, guardians, police, social workers and other agencies. Whenever those kids don't feel safe, they can call Happy, Taz and their other biker friends, who come straight to the child's house.
Oklahoma was hit particularly hard by two massive outbreaks this year in what's been another deadly season of tornadoes in the U.S. Despite technology and forecasting improvements, scientists still have plenty to learn about how and why tornadoes form.
Currently, one of the best ways for researchers to understand how tornadoes form is to chase them. So off they go with mobile science laboratories, rushing toward storms armed with research equipment and weather-sensing probes.
Drive about 20 miles north of Reno, Nev., into the barren scrubland and you're sure to see "wild" horses — more than 1,000, in fact. Just not in the wild.
Laura Leigh calls several mares to the edge of the dusty corral. She's a regular at Palomino Valley National Adoption Center. The horses eagerly rub their muzzles against her, their coats hot from the midday sun.
"We got to get you a home, don't we?" she says to one of the horses. "This one will let you scratch her withers and put your hands on her legs. You're adorable, aren't you?"
Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 5:36 am
Remember back when President Bill Clinton argued that his truthfulness about his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky depended on the meaning of the word "is"?
Though the topic may be decidedly less salacious, the Republican Party is embroiled in its own semantics gymnastics this week as its national committee members gather in Boston for their summer meeting.
The trailblazing strategist behind the 1963 March on Washington will this year be posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. That's a long way from the days when civil rights activists counted on Bayard Rustin's hard work, but tried to push him aside because he was gay.
For 60 years, Rustin fought for peace and equal rights — demonstrating, organizing and protesting in the United States and around the world.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the hottest team in baseball. They've won 40 of their last 48 games, and Wednesday night, they came from behind in dramatic fashion to beat the New York Mets in 12 innings.
It's a remarkable turnaround for a team that was near the cellar before the All-Star break. Now, they're calling Dodgers Stadium the Magic Castle. Attendance is up, TV ratings are up, star power is up. And the on-field play is "magical," according to legendary announcer Vin Scully.