In April of 1963, a Baltimore mailman set off to deliver the most important letter in his life — one he wrote himself. William Lewis Moore decided to walk along Highway 11 from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Jackson, Miss., hoping to hand-deliver his letter to Gov. Ross Barnett. Moore wanted Barnett to fundamentally change Mississippi's racial hierarchy — something unthinkable for a Southern politician at the time.
Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 11:36 am
We're monitoring the news from Birmingham, Ala., where a UPS cargo plane crashed Wednesday morning. UPS says the incident involves UPS Flight 1354, which was traveling from Louisville.
The flight, which would normally last about 45 minutes, had been scheduled to land before 5 a.m. local time, according to several flight-tracking websites. Louisville is in the Eastern time zone, while Birmingham is in the Central.
The sun sets over the Manhattan skyline during a major power outage affecting a large part of the Northeastern United States and Canada on Aug. 14, 2003. Ten years later, some improvements have been made to the grid to prevent another large-scale blackout.
Credit Jonathan Fickies / Getty Images
People walk across the Brooklyn Bridge during the massive blackout.
Credit Julie Jacobson / AP
Frozen food manager Rodney Mitchell loads trash bags full of ruined food onto a cart at Gristede's Supermarket in New York's Chelsea neighborhood on Aug. 18. The blackout shut down the store's freezers and refrigerators.
Credit Julie Jacobson / AP
A stranded traveler sleeps in the baggage claim area at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The power outage caused flight delays at airports in New York City, stranding travelers for up to 48 hours.
Credit Gregory Bull / AP
People try to board the back of a crowded New York City bus during the blackout.
Credit Jacqueline Larma / AP
Patrons crowd a Mister Softee ice cream truck to buy ice cream as darkness envelops Weehawken, N.J.
Credit Jamie-Andrea Yanak / AP
The sun sets behind the FirstEnergy Corp. power plant in Eastlake, Ohio. A software bug in a control room's alarm system prevented operators from realizing they had overloaded power lines. This caused a cascade of other problems that led to the massive blackout.
Credit Robert Giroux / Getty Images
The sun sets over the Manhattan skyline on Aug. 14, 2003. A major power outage doused the lights on more than 50 million people across the Northeastern U.S. and part of Canada.
Ten years ago, a sagging power line hit a tree near Cleveland, tripping some circuit breakers. To compensate, power was rerouted to a nearby line, which began to overheat and sink down into another tree, tripping another circuit. The resulting cascade created a massive blackout in the Northeast U.S., affecting power in eight states and part of Canada.
Robert Avery has been a councilman in his hometown of Gadsden, Ala., for almost three decades. As a teen, he and two friends hitchhiked to the nation's capital, where they made signs for the March on Washington.
For the month of August, Morning Edition and The Race Card Project are looking back at a seminal moment in civil rights history: The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., delivered his iconic "I Have A Dream Speech" on Aug. 28, 1963. Approximately 250,000 people descended on the nation's capitol from all over the country for the mass demonstration.
The government's decision Tuesday to oppose the merger of US Airways and American Airlines stunned airline analysts, but many predicted the deal eventually will win go through.
"Given that other airline mergers were approved, this was a surprise," University of Richmond transportation economist George Hoffer said. Other major carriers already have been allowed to combine forces, so "it's illogical to oppose this merger. This move comes a day late and a dollar short," he said.
At Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank in Purcellville, Va., dog holder Diane Garcia snuggles with one-year-old Doberman Leon as phlebotomist Rebecca Pearce taps his jugular vein to start the blood draw. Leon's "mom," Carrie Smalser, feeds him peanut butter, to keep him happily distracted and calm.
Credit Christopher Connelly / NPR
"It's pretty slim pickin's," Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank manager Jocelyn Pratt says of the fridge where she stores packed red blood cells before they are mailed out. More than half of these will be gone by the end of the day, she predicts.
America is facing a blood shortage — a shortage of dog blood. Whether Fido tangles with a car and loses, or Barky contracts a blood-damaging disease, dogs — like their people — sometimes need transfusions. And while there's no centralized Red Cross for Rover, there are a few commercial canine blood banks across the country, and many veterinary schools do their own blood banking.
Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 3:26 pm
For a few hours Tuesday, it appeared that Chipotle Mexican Grill, an ever expanding source of fast food for the ethically conscious consumer, had softened its hard line against antibiotics in meat production.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish.
Voting rights advocates are focusing their sights on North Carolina. The ACLU and the NAACP filed lawsuits challenging the state's new voting rules just minutes after Governor Pat McCrory signed the bill into law yesterday.
Dave DeWitt of North Carolina Public Radio reports the new law does more than merely require voters to show an ID at the polls.
The proposed merger of U.S. Airways and American Airlines ran into major turbulence on Tuesday as the Justice Department and six state attorneys general filed an antitrust suit aimed at blocking the deal. Justice Department officials said the merger would eliminate competition and put consumers at risk of higher prices.
In Virginia, there is a cold, damp relic of American ingenuity called the Crozet Tunnel. It was built in the 1850s for the Blue Ridge railroad. For a time, it was the longest tunnel in America, nearly a mile long, under Afton Mountain. Well, today, it's abandoned. But for years, local officials wanted to turn it into a walking path. Well, now it looks like that'll happen.
Reporter Eric Mennel visited the tunnel before it's a change.
Power companies all over the country are in the process of replacing old residential meters with new digital smart ones. These meters transmit real time data back to the utilities, giving a precise picture of how much electricity customers are using and when. Audie Cornish talks to Severin Borenstein — director of the University of California Energy Institute — about the technology.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Robert Siegel. Ten years ago tomorrow, a sagging electrical line outside of Cleveland touched some overgrown tree limbs. That seemingly minor event triggered a chain reaction and a massive power outage. The blackout affected some 50 million people in eight states and Canada. From member station WCPN, David C. Barnett reports on the biggest power blackout in U.S. history and some of the changes that it prompted.
The New York Department of Financial Services has issued subpoenas to several companies using the virtual currency Bitcoin for more information on how they do business. Audie Cornish talks to Jerry Brito, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, about the complications of regulating digital money.
'Stranger Danger' used to be the mantra parents taught their kids to keep them safe. But now we're learning that strangers aren't the main problem - children are usually harmed by people they already know. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks child safety with a roundtable of experts and parents.
With so many marriages ending in divorce today, some people wonder if the legal definition of marriage needs updating. One lawyer, Paul Rampell, says maybe it's time to consider 'leasing' your marriage - with the option to renew. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks to Rampell about his idea.
Now we want to hear from one of the plaintiffs in the New York's stop-and-frisk lawsuit. Nicholas Peart is a lifelong resident of Harlem. He told his story to StoryCorp, that's the national project that records interviews between families and friends across the nation. More than once, he was stopped by police and patted down. One of the first incidents occurred seven years ago while he was out celebrating his 18th birthday, and he talked about that night in his own words.
A federal judge says New York City's stop-and-frisk policies have violated the rights of thousands of people. Guest Host Celeste Headlee discusses the ruling with Scott Burns of the National District Attorneys Association and criminal justice professor Delores Jones-Brown.
Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 8:10 am
We've decided to take a weekly look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology or just because it has an interesting story.
NOTE TO READERS: This is a post about one of the harshest racial slurs in American English. In the interest of forthrightness, we're going to use the slur throughout this essay. In other words, you'll see "nigger" used throughout the essay. We understand that the word is upsetting, so we wanted to offer people a chance to opt out now
Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 5:38 pm
A 19-year Army veteran was given a summons and told to leave the oceanside boardwalk in North Wildwood, N.J., Thursday, after a police officer refused to accept the presence of the veteran's service dog. Jared Goering says it was the first vacation for him and his wife, Sally, in years.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
I'm Robert Siegel.
For many communities around the country, the yellow school bus is the quintessential sign that school is in session. Well, one school district is taking its buses off the roads. Citing the need to cut costs, district officials in Hoover, Alabama are canceling school bus service starting one year from now.
A Boston jury has found James "Whitey" Bulger guilty of 11 murders, racketeering, extortion and other mob-related crimes. Bulger, who was the subject of a worldwide manhunt for more than a decade before being captured in 2011, likely faces life in prison. Audie Cornish speaks with WBUR's David Boeri.
A federal judge in New York City ruled that the police department has been violating the civil rights of tens of thousands of minority New Yorkers with its practice of warrantless searches, better known as "stop-and-frisk." It's a rebuke for city officials have defended the tactic as an important crime-fighting tool. Judge Shira Scheindlin is appointing a federal monitor to oversee reforms at the department.
Attorney General Eric Holder outlined federal steps to cut long prison sentences for some drug offenders. In a speech before the American Bar Association, Holder said the change is necessary to curb growing incarceration costs and to make the justice system more fair.
A trip to Malibu is the perfect getaway during your summer vacation. But good luck finding a place to park. Some Malibu residents place fake "No Parking" signs along the coast to keep tourists off of public beaches. And it's not just a problem in Malibu. A bill in the California Legislature would allow the state's Coastal Commission to start cracking down on the 600 backlogged public access violations along the coast.
After an extensive investigation lasting well over a year, NPR's ombudsman has concluded the network's series on South Dakota's efforts to put Native American children in foster care was fundamentally flawed.
The network and the ombudsman, Edward Schumacher-Matos, who is paid to critique NPR's news coverage, have split sharply over his findings.
Jeanne Pincha-Tulley, a Type 1 incident commander, addresses the media in the then-evacuated town of Idyllwild, as the Mountain Fire grows closer. Pincha-Tulley has a reputation for being frank and direct with the media and public. "For the next two days," she said, "the fire is going to put embers right over this town."
Credit Nate Rott / NPR
A Smokey the Bear sign stands undamaged by the flames that raced by it two days earlier on their way to engulfing 42 square miles of the San Jacinto Mountains in California. The sign sits next to the Esperanza Firefighters Memorial Highway, named after five firefighters who died battling the Esperanza Fire in similar terrain in 2006.
A line of dirty fire engines rumbles off of Southern California's Pine to Palms Highway into an open field, trailing a cloud of brown dust. The drivers' faces are smudged with black soot.
Across the road, helicopters land to fill with water and fuel before whacking their way back up through the smoky sky. The scenic San Jacinto Mountains behind them are bare and black, burnt clean of tree and bush. Puffs of gray smoke rise like faint ghosts.
After Medgar Evers was murdered, his wife, Myrlie Evers, carried on his work. This photo shows Myrlie Evers and her children, Van, 9; Darrell, 16; and Rena, 14, in June 1969 in their Claremont, Calif., home.
Credit Myrlie Evers Private Collection
Medgar Evers embraces friends James Meredith (left), the first black student to enroll in the University of Mississippi (with Evers' help), and iconic writer James Baldwin (right), who covered the civil rights movement for magazines like The New Yorker. Van Evers stands in front: "It's one of the very few photos I have of my dad and me," he says.
Credit J. Van Evers
Leading ladies of the civil rights movement: Van Evers waited years for the opportunity to get Dr. Betty Shabazz (educator and widow of Malcolm X), Coretta Scott King (activist and widow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) and his mother, Myrlie Evers-Williams, in the same room at the same time for a portrait.
Credit J. Van Evers
At his second inauguration, President Obama speaks with Nolan Evers, 12, and Alex Evers, 13, about the importance of their grandfather Medgar's work, as their grandmother Myrlie Evers-Williams looks on.
James Van Dyke Evers was only 3 when his father, Medgar, was assassinated in the driveway of the family's home in Jackson, Miss., in June 1963.
A sniper shot Medgar Evers in the back as he returned from a meeting late at night. Tensions had been running high because Evers, the first field secretary for the NAACP, was making headway in pushing the state's black citizens to register to vote. White Mississippians who had lived comfortably under segregation could feel the ground shifting beneath them — and they didn't like it.