Martin Luther King Jr., with the Rev. Ralph Abernathy (center) and the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, defied an injunction against protesting on Good Friday in 1963. They were arrested and held in solitary confinement in the Birmingham jail where King wrote his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail."
Credit Courtesy of Birmingham Public Library Archives
Charles Avery Jr. was 18 in 1963, when he participated in anti-segregation demonstrations in Birmingham. "I'll never forget the time or the date. It's etched in my mind forever," he says.
Credit Kathy Lohr / NPR
Alabama segregationist Bull Connor ordered police to use dogs and fire hoses on black demonstrators in May 1963.
It's been five decades since Martin Luther King Jr., began writing his famous "Letter From Birmingham Jail," a response to eight white Alabama clergymen who criticized King and worried the civil rights campaign would cause violence. They called King an "extremist" and told blacks they should be patient.
But the time for waiting was over. Birmingham was the perfect place to take a stand.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:03 am
As investigators combed through evidence in the deadly Boston Marathon bombings, seeking both motive and perpetrator, we turned Tuesday to a security expert for guidance on how the investigation may be unfolding.
Bryan Cunningham, a former CIA officer, assistant U.S. attorney and deputy legal adviser for the National Security Council, served in both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. He is now a senior adviser at the consulting firm the Chertoff Group, co-founded by former Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff.
Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 2:54 pm
A computer glitch in the reservations system at American Airlines caused all of the carrier's flights to be grounded for at least two hours on Tuesday.
"American's reservation and booking tool, Sabre is offline," American Airlines spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan told Reuters in an email. "We're working to resolve the issue as quickly as we can. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience."
NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports that the outage was announced about 2:30 p.m. Eastern time.
Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 3:35 pm
Hospitals can make much more money when surgery goes wrong than in cases that go without a hitch.
And that presents a problem for patients. The financial incentives don't favor better care.
"The magnitude of the numbers was eye-popping," says Atul Gawande, a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, and an author of the study, which was just published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. "It was much larger than we expected."
The general consensus is that food labels that advertise lower sodium are a good way to help people make more healthful choices. But after that, what we think those labels mean gets a bit fuzzy, according to a new study.
Nutrition researchers were wondering just how we interpret the various sodium-related claims slapped on food packages: claims like "low in sodium" but also how a food product will reducing the risk of disease like hypertension, or "help lower blood pressure."
Pope Francis' doctrinal chief has reaffirmed the Vatican's intention to overhaul the largest organization of U.S. nuns, dashing the hopes of some that the newly installed pontiff would take a more conciliatory approach than his predecessor.
This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. We are so saddened and outraged by the bombings yesterday at the Boston Marathon - we're going to start the show, today, with a brief call to Dan Shaughnessy, a Boston Globe sports columnist who's covered many of the Boston Marathons. He's been named Massachusetts Sportswriter of the Year eight times and seven times has been voted one of America's top 10 sports columnists by AP sports editors.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s letter from Birmingham jail. Dr. King penned this letter as a response to white clergymen who called his campaign of non-violent protests, quote, "unwise and untimely," unquote, and had urged him not to intervene in Alabama's segregationist policies.
Here is a clip of Dr. King reading part of the letter that he wrote in response.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're going to start the program today by talking about the bombings that shook Boston yesterday afternoon. Today, civic leaders are trying to find out what happened, but also to help their citizens heal. Here's Boston's mayor, Thomas Menino, at a press conference this morning.
In this week's segment on parenting, host Michel Martin talks to three single moms to find out what they've learned by raising children alone. Martin is joined by Lori Gottlieb who wrote about single parenting for Working Mother magazine, Stacia Brown, blogger at Beyond Baby Mamas, and regular 'Moms' contributor Aracely Panameno.
Oklahoma City officials say that a marathon that's part of memorial events honoring the anniversary of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building will take place Friday. Here, Boy Scouts take part in the 2010 event.
News of the deadly bombing attack on the Boston Marathon is echoing in Oklahoma City, where residents will observe the 18th anniversary Friday of the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, which killed 168 people. The events include a marathon, which remains on the schedule, although officials say they will review their security plans.
Morning Edition co-hosts Steve Inskeep and David Greene discuss the investigation of Monday's Boston Marathon explosions with Roger Cressey, a former counterterrorism investigator and member of the National Security Council, and NPR's Dina Temple-Raston.
Medical personnel work outside the medical tent in the aftermath of two explosions near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday. At area hospitals, doctors say they were confronted with the kinds of injuries U.S. troops get in Iraq and Afghanistan.
<strong>Oklahoma City Bombing:</strong> The Albert P. Murrah Federal Building shows the devastation caused by a fuel and fertilizer truck bomb on April 19, 1995. The blast killed 168 people and injured more than 500.
Credit Bob Daemmrich / AFP/Getty Images
<strong>Branch Davidian:</strong> This aerial shot shows the burned remains of the cult compound April 21, 1993, in Waco, Texas.
Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 11:04 am
Howard Berkes is an NPR correspondent based in Salt Lake City.
It may have been the dumbest thing I ever said. On April 19, 1999, I stood before an audience at Idaho State University in Pocatello, talking about the cruelest month. April, I pointed out, and April 19 in particular, have provided celebrated, infamous and sometimes horrific moments in our history.
What was it about the month, I wondered, or the time of year, that made April so meaningful and at times so cruel? Back then, the list was relatively short:
A marathon runner, wrapped in a blanket to stay warm after the race, watched Monday as authorities investigated the bombings that shook the finish line area at the Boston Marathon. At least three people were killed and dozens were wounded.
Credit Nicolaus Czarnecki / Barcroft Media /Landov
FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers said that they believed the devices used in the attack may have been pressure-cooker bombs stuffed with BBs and nails. Investigators said the bombs may have been left inside nylon bags or backpacks.
This October 2011 photo provided by Melanie Capobianco shows her adoptive daughter, Veronica, trick-or-treating in Charleston, S.C. The child has been the focus of a custody battle between her adoptive parents and her birth father.
Take the usual agony of an adoption dispute. Add in the disgraceful U.S. history of ripping Indian children from their Native American families. Mix in a dose of initial fatherly abandonment. And there you have it — a poisonous and painful legal cocktail that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.
At issue is the reach of the Indian Child Welfare Act, known as ICWA. The law was enacted in 1978 to protect Native American tribes from having their children almost literally stolen away and given to non-Indian adoptive or foster parents.
Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 3:21 am
Even as the shock and horror of the deadly explosions at the Boston Marathon had yet to subside Monday, people were turning to online tools to check on the safety of their friends and family who were at the event. The latest estimates of the casualties include more than 3 dozen people injured, with two dead.
As has been the case in previous calamities, Google and the Red Cross helped to connect people with runners, spectators, and volunteers who were at the race.
U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Park Police officers stand guard on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House Monday. Security there was tightened after at least two explosions went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 3:23 am
Monday's explosions in Boston have led to heightened security elsewhere, with New York, Washington and Los Angeles among the cities taking action within hours of the blasts.
"We're stepping up security at hotels and other prominent locations in the city through deployment of the NYPD's critical response vehicles until more about the explosion is learned," Paul J. Browne, the deputy commissioner of the New York Police Department, .
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block. We begin this hour with the horrific story unfolding today out of Boston. Just over four hours into the Boston Marathon, two explosions ripped into a crowd of onlookers and runners not far from the finish line. Boston Police have confirmed at least two people dead, and 23 injured. Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick spoke just moments ago, along with the city's police commissioner, Ed Davis.
Medical geneticist Dr. Harry Ostrer (center) talks to the press outside the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday. The court heard oral arguments on the highly charged question of whether human genes can be patented.
In a case considered pivotal to the future of science and medicine, the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court seemed skeptical Monday about a claim that human genes can be patented.
Contending that genes can be patented are the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, which see patents as the keys to new scientific exploration. On the other side are doctors, patients and many scientists, who see gene patents as an attempt to monopolize and block future exploration in the new universe of genetics.
Anne Mostue is a reporter from member station WGBH, in Boston. She was there, covering the race, at the time of the explosions, and she joins us now. And Anne, where were you, exactly, when these bombs went off?
ANNE MOSTUE, BYLINE: I'm - I was a block away, just on Newbury Street, which is parallel to Boylston - where those bombs went off.
Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 7:33 am
People near the finish line of the Boston Marathon described horrific scenes of the chaos that followed two loud explosions in quick succession this afternoon, sending spectators rushing away from the scene in panic as others lay bloodied and wounded on the ground.
One witness, Aaron Michael told member station WGBH that he heard first one explosion and then another.
Christopher Scott, Johnnie Lindsey and Billy Smith drive down a desolate highway toward a prison in East Texas. They've all been there before, serving hard time — 63 years among the three of them.
But this time it's different. They're driving a Hummer. They're dressed to the nines. And they're on a mission. They aim to get an inmate out — a friend of Scott's named Jimmy O'Steen, aka Big O. But this will be a slow-motion prison break. Scott, Lindsey and Smith are all exonerated prisoners.
Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 3:06 pm
Is small-batch hard apple cider the next microbrew? It seems everybody and their brother is experimenting with ways to make the potent stuff profitable. Sales of domestically produced hard cider have more than tripled since 2007, according to beverage industry analysts — and that's not counting Europe, where it has held a steady popularity for centuries.