Up next, you know, this week was Independence Day, and to celebrate, we're going to be looking at the life of Benjamin Franklin. We know him for his role in the American Revolution, but we're going to look at the great intellectual revolution he brought to America. Maybe you didn't know about that. Well, you can find out more about it in the new book, "The Society for Useful Knowledge: How Benjamin Franklin and Friends Brought the Enlightenment to America."
Exactly a year ago this week, a video on YouTube went viral. It was called "Heat Buckles Highway, SUV Goes Airborne." A road in Wisconsin buckled so badly from the heat that it sent cars flying. Well, this year, the buckling continues. But if you're in certain parts of the country, you don't need me to tell you that. It's hot, and I'm not going to use that but-it's-a-dry-heat line, either.
June job numbers are out, and the unemployment rate is still 7.6%. As the U.S. enters its fifth year of recovery, guest host Celeste Headlee asks Sudeep Reddy of the Wall Street Journal where we go from here.
Now it's time for Faith Matters. That's the segment on this program when we talk about issues of religion and spirituality in our lives. And today, we focus on the absence of faith.
(SOUNDBITE OF JERRY DEWITT SPEECH)
JERRY DEWITT: I realized I was standing on a rock. Yes, my friends, there was a rock and it was a rock of reason. I want you to understand that today you're changing the future. You're making life better. And there is hope after faith. Can I get a Darwin?
That sunscreen you dutifully spray throughout the day could actually get you burned.
We're not talking sunburn. We're talking people bursting into flames because they're wearing sunscreen.
Last year, the Food and Drug Administration recorded five incidents in which people were burned after their sunscreen caught on fire. One person was hurt after lighting a cigarette. Another stood near a citronella candle.
Common Core — the new set of national education standards in math and English language arts — will take effect in most states next year. This move toward a single set of standards has been embraced by a bipartisan crowd of politicians and educators largely because of what the Common Core standards are replacing: a mess.
In years past, the education landscape was a discord of state standards. A fourth grader in Arkansas could have appeared proficient in reading by his state's standards — but, by the standards of another state, say Massachusetts, not even close.
For the nearly 700 firefighters trying to smother the Arizona blaze that killed 19 of their own on Sunday, July 4th was another day on the hill. An interagency investigation team was collecting evidence to figure out what went wrong. And in nearby Prescott — home to the Granite Mountain Hotshots — the town went ahead with its holiday celebration.
Some famous writers, painters and musicians have done some of their best work in their later years — impressionist Claude Monet, for one. But at the North Hollywood Senior Arts Colony, older people are proving that you don't have to be famous — or even a professional artist — to live a creatively fulfilling life in old age.
With a fully equipped theater and painting and sculpture studios, there seems to be rehearsals or exhibitions of some sort going on here all the time.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
Time spent among people who do the same kind of work can boost morale, sharpen creativity, just go to a conference or a retreat. So some people involved in education thought how about giving teachers a place where are a lot of them can live under one roof. They're trying that in Philadelphia.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. The Statue of Liberty is once again welcoming visitors to New York Harbor. Lady Liberty reopened for tours today for the first time since Hurricane Sandy, more than eight months ago. While the statue itself was not harmed, the storm did cause extensive damage to the island below it.
The National Park Service has been working towards today's reopening ever since. Here's NPR's Joel Rose.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. Happy 4th of July. And we begin the hour by taking the nation's political temperature on a couple of points. First, immigration, and how that issue is playing in a key border state. In our series, Texas 2020, we've been covering the implications of changing demographics. One of the rising political stars in Texas is the son of a foreign-born father and American mother.
Dr. Linda Smith walks into a room at Providence Alaska Medical Center, ready with a stethoscope and a huge grin. She teases her patient, Dawn Dillard, saying that her spiky hair recently resembled a "faux hawk."
Dillard found out she had uterine cancer a year ago. Her oncologist gave her a year to live. The 57-year-old has beaten those odds, but now her kidneys are failing. After the laughs are over, Smith sits down on the edge of Dillard's bed, leans in, and starts talking about a procedure Dillard will have.
The Fourth of July show will go on as usual tonight in Boston. For the 40th year in a row, the Boston Pops will perform along the banks of the Charles River as fireworks burst overhead.
But the scene and the mood will be different, with heavy security measures in the wake of the recent Boston Marathon bombings. It's in the back of many people's minds that the July 4 celebration was apparently the original target until, police say, the bombers decided to attack the race instead.
This is the 40th year the Boston Pops will perform along the Charles River with fireworks bursting overhead. But the scene will be different this year following the Boston Marathon bombing in April. Police say there is no specific threat to the celebration but security must be tightened.
We often celebrate Independence Day with backyard barbecues and fireworks, forgetting the document that started this whole country: the Declaration of Independence.
For the past 20 years Morning Edition has asked NPR hosts and reporters to read the document on the Fourth, as a reminder of our country's history. This year, we decided to ask visitors at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to give it a try.
About three dozen men dressed in Confederate Army uniforms woke Wednesday morning on historical campgrounds at the iconic Gettysburg battlefield. Soggy from the night's rain, they warmed themselves by the fire and cooked up bacon and potatoes.
The re-enactors joined hundreds of others camping out to show visitors what life may have been like for Civil War soldiers. It's part of a huge display the National Parks Service is putting on to mark the Battle of Gettysburg's 150th anniversary.
It's too soon, obviously, to know how the Obama administration's decision to delay by a year the imposition of penalties on large employers that fail to provide health insurance to their workers will ultimately play out, politically.
The wildfire season is expected to intensify and firefighters are facing it with decreasing resources. Federal budget cuts, including the sequester, mean fewer firefighters, less equipment and less spending on prevention.
Ever since Edward Snowden, a former NSA contractor who has been leaking secret documents, arrived at Moscow's airport over a week ago, his efforts to find asylum from U.S. prosecution have been thwarted. Some countries have turned him down, while others have said they can't consider his request unless he's physically on their soil or at their borders. Snowden's been out of sight in the airport's transit zone, but he's believed to still be there in a legal limbo that's officially not Russian territory.
The Obama administration's decision to delay implementation of a key part of the Affordable Care Act is winning praise from business groups today. The administration has announced it will wait another year before penalizing large employers who fail to offer health care coverage to their workers. The delay gives retail and restaurant companies that had opposed the mandate more time to prepare for the law.
Our leaders have been commemorating Gettysburg ever since 1863 - most famously President Lincoln that November when he dedicated the cemetery there. Later, presidents and vice presidents have observed many anniversaries at Gettysburg. For the centennial in 1963, Lyndon Johnson, still the vice president, linked the Civil War to the civil rights movement.
PRESIDENT LYNDON B. JOHNSON: One hundred years ago, a slave was freed. One hundred years later, the negro remains in bondage to the color of his skin.
On July 4, 1803, President Thomas Jefferson announced the signing of the Louisiana Purchase, when the United States bought more than 800,000 square miles of land from the French. On this anniversary, guest host Celeste Headlee highlights some of the forgotten history around the purchase.
The American Values Survey finds that citizens of the U.S. think they're more divided today than they were a decade ago. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks with Don Baer about whether we're really as different as we believe we are.
More than any other day of the year, the Fourth of July is a time to take pride in American history. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks to author Kenneth C. Davis about what you shouldn't forget this Independence Day.