This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. In retrospect, it seems as if public opinion shifted on gay marriage all of a sudden. But as we await the start of Supreme Court arguments tomorrow, we might want to reconsider that idea. Yes, it happened quickly; but minds change one by one by one, and most often because someone they knew - a relative, a friend, a co-worker - came out of the closet and put a human face on what might have been an abstraction.
Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 3:57 pm
Last Friday, the United States won an epic World Cup qualifying match against Costa Rica. The team did it outside Denver, under what were essentially blizzard conditions.
Now, on the eve of a Mexico vs. U.S. game in Mexico City, Costa Rica has lodged a formal complaint with FIFA, saying the "physical integrity" of the players and officials was affected and "ball movement became impossible." The country is now asking for a rematch of their 1-0 loss.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. More than 1 million people have fled to safety across Syria's borders. Many live in camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, which too often struggle to meet basic needs such as shelter, food and clean water. Some arrive wounded, and need medical care. Many suffer from the invisible wounds of trauma - everything from shelling or crossfire to the loss of a loved one, even torture. All of them have lost their homes.
More than a century before Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln offered an intimate portrait of the 16th president and his family, a memoir from the first lady's dressmaker offered a glimpse into the Lincoln White House.
Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln's seamstress and maybe her closest friend, told her story of slavery and self-emancipation, and her relationship with the Lincolns in a tell-all memoir called Behind The Scenes.
Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 7:04 am
Tonight marks the first night of Passover, the commemoration of the Jews' liberation from slavery. Like millions around the world, I'll be sitting down to Seder to celebrate, in my case with a completely religiously and culturally mixed-up mishpocheh. I'm not Jewish, but Passover is one of my favorite nights of the year. With all of its rituals, this holiday takes eating mindfully to a whole new and incredible level, with every foodstuff, prayer and movement geared towards revisiting and renewing the ancient story of bitterness and then emancipation.
Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 9:32 am
In the 1960s, a young nurse from rural California named Emily decided to pack up, move to a newly independent Nigeria on a Christian mission and work with leprosy patients. She met a Nigerian preacher and married him, took the surname Akpem, and they had kids. To an outsider looking at her life in photos decades later, it all seems pretty exceptional.
But to her son, designer Senongo Akpem, it was regular family life. "It's always hard to describe your parents as exceptional," he says. "To me she was just Mom."
Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 3:39 pm
Jews all over the world are gathering around dinner tables Monday night to celebrate the first night of Passover, one of the most important festivals of the Jewish calendar. And in the small, northern Spanish town of Ribadavia, Spanish, American and Israeli Jews are coming together to conduct the first Seder there in more than 500 years.
Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 1:53 pm
President Obama on Monday designated five new national monuments, including one in Maryland dedicated to anti-slavery activist Harriet Tubman and another setting aside Washington state's San Juan Islands.
"These sites honor the pioneering heroes, spectacular landscapes and rich history that have shaped our extraordinary country," President Obama said in a statement. "By designating these national monuments today, we will ensure they will continue to inspire and be enjoyed by generations of Americans to come."
As a film critic for The Boston Globe, Ty Burr has met a lot of movie stars and is often asked what they're really like. What he has realized is that often, the actor's image has little to do with their actual personality, but that's not what interests him; Burr is more curious about why we ask that question to begin with. Burr wants to know "why we respond to these people who we think are larger than life [and] that are — especially in the classic days — manufactured and all their irregularities sanded off and presented to us as some kind of perfection."
To remember Chinua Achebe who died last Thursday, Fresh Air listens back to an interview with the great African writer that originally aired on May 10, 1988. In it, Achebe talks about the literary trope of the white explorer or missionary living amongst the savages, and the importance of struggle.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. She was a runner-up on "American Idol" in 2010, but for millions of people, Crystal Bowersox did win their hearts, anyway, with her powerful voice and equally powerful personal story.
After growing up hard in Ohio, she even performed on the streets occasionally. Her talent, grit and grace took her to second place on "Idol's" ninth season and then on to her debut album, "Farmer's Daughter."
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, we will talk about Passover, which begins at sundown tonight. It commemorates the Jewish people's escape from slavery in Egypt to freedom.
We were wondering what it's like to observe when you are not free, so we'll speak with the former lobbyist, Jack Abramoff, about that. You might remember that he served more than three years in prison for fraud and tax evasion. He'll be with us in just a few minutes.
Switching gears now, you probably know that Passover begins today at sundown. The holiday, one of the most important in the Jewish calendar, commemorates the story of Moses and how he led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. But the holiday resonates beyond Judaism because it is also a celebration of freedom, and that caused us to wonder how the celebration of Passover is complicated by those who are unfree, those who are in prison, for example.
This is TMM from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in this hour we'll talk about why gender matters in matters of health and issues such as drug effectiveness and even how your eyes work. We'll speak with the head of Women's Health Research at the National Institutes of Health in just a minute. That's part of our coverage of Women's History Month.