Before the Civil War, there were 8,000 different kinds of money in the United States.
Banks printed their own paper money. And, unlike today, a $1 bill wasn't always worth $1. Sometimes people took the bills at face value. Sometimes they accepted them at a discount (a $1 bill might only be worth 90 cents, say.) Sometimes people rejected certain bills altogether.
On today's show, we figure out how this world worked. And explain how the Civil War — and the Union's need for money — changed everything.
The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says he's done waiting for answers about how the Justice Department will handle marijuana offenses in states that have legalized small amounts of the drug.
Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 3:54 pm
The author is a Syrian citizen in Damascus who is not being further identified out of safety concerns.
Most residents of Damascus believe that a U.S. military strike is on the horizon, but few think it will have a dramatic impact on the course of a war that has already been raging for more than two years.
Those who follow the government line often speak about a U.S. conspiracy to overthrow the country's leader, Bashar Assad, as other Arab leaders have been toppled in recent years.
Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 7:22 pm
In its first "Global Government Requests Report," Facebook has released details on the number of requests it has gotten from government agents for user data.
Facebook reveals that governments around the globe have made 38,000 total requests for user data in the first half of 2013, and the U.S. dwarfs the rest of the world in requests. Up to June 30, the U.S. government asked Facebook for access to accounts of between 20,000 and 21,000 users, the company said.
Facebook has more than 1.1 billion users globally.
Sarah Jarosz was still in high school when she signed her record deal, and she released her debut album (2009's Song Up In Her Head) shortly thereafter, but the versatile bluegrass star seemed to emerge fully formed. For one thing, the 22-year-old keeps her music sounding warmly pretty — and rooted in accessibly poppy folk — rather than focusing solely on her Grammy-nominated instrumental chops.
The real-life garage in Arlington, Va., where Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward met with his secret source "Deep Throat" as the Watergate scandal unfolded is likely to be demolished sometime in the next few years.
Conan O'Brien has probably had the most unusual career trajectory of any current late-night host. When he joined NBC's Late Night in 1993, replacing David Letterman, he had virtually no on-air experience. He did, however, have comedy-writing chops: O'Brien edited the humor magazine The Harvard Lampoon as a student, then wrote for Saturday Night Live and was a writer and producer for The Simpsons.
Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 12:12 pm
A one-time aide in the Washington office of Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann "will have a theft charge against him dropped if he completes 32 hours of community service over several months," The Associated Press writes.
As we conclude this special Twitter education special today we'll check in with editor Ammad Omar, who's been following our live forum on Twitter. Ammad, overall, how has the Twitter audience answered the question, is education the civil rights of our time? What have they had to say?
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We are continuing our focus on education this hour. Later, we'll have a closer look at why some Memphis schools remain separated by race and class decades after a court ordered them to integrate. But first, we hear from educators. It's no secret that teaching is a rewarding job, but it's also a tough one. Some say it's getting tougher, what with crowded classrooms, troubled students and standardized tests.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Today, we are talking about education just as students across the country are heading back to school and many are observing the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. One of the cornerstones of the civil rights movement has always been access to quality education. Martin Luther King Jr. himself touted the issue, and many political leaders, including President Obama, have called it the civil rights issue of our time.
Serena Williams dispatched Francesca Schiavone, 6-0, 6-1, in the first round of the U.S. Open Monday night, in a game played under the lights at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York.
With the win, Serena Williams, 31, joined her older sister Venus in the second round — only the second time this year that both players have advanced past the opening round of a Grand Slam event. That last happened in the Australian Open, seven months ago.
In 1992, when Jay Leno took over from Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, he was already a familiar presence, having served as one of Carson's regular substitute hosts. Despite that experience, Leno's first few years on Tonight were rocky.
"When he started, when he was up against Letterman, Letterman beat him for the first couple of years," critic David Bianculli tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "But once Leno came ahead, he was unstoppable. He never lost that audience."