History

2:48am

Sat July 6, 2013
Code Switch

Remembering Birmingham's 'Dynamite Hill' Neighborhood

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 7:54 am

Three civil rights workers stand guard in front NAACP attorney Arthur Shores' house in Sept. 1963. The house was blasted by dynamite the night before.
AP

Long before the Civil Rights marches of 1963 thrust Birmingham, Ala. into the national spotlight, black families along one residential street were steadily chipping away at Jim Crow segregation laws — and paying a price for it. As part of our series looking back at the seminal events that changed the nation 50 years ago, NPR's Debbie Elliott paid a visit to Birmingham's Dynamite Hill.

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1:09am

Thu July 4, 2013
Author Interviews

For 'Star-Spangled Banner,' A Long Road From Song To Anthem

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 7:48 am

American lawyer Francis Scott Key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry from a boat about 8 miles away.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

All over the country on Thursday, fireworks will light up the sky. In many places, those fireworks will come with a patriotic soundtrack — one that wouldn't be complete without "The Star-Spangled Banner." The song officially became America's national anthem in 1931, but it's been around since the early 19th century.

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4:59pm

Wed July 3, 2013
Around the Nation

Gettysburg Swells As Throngs Mark Civil War's Turning Point

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 3:15 pm

Men dressed as members of the Union infantry demonstrate battalion formations for tourists.
Chris Connelly NPR

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.

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10:47am

Wed July 3, 2013
The Salt

Civil War Soldiers Needed Bravery To Face The Foe, And The Food

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 11:11 am

How did the food taste? These faces say it all. Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, Meade in Virginia, August-November 1863.
Timothy H. O'Sullivan Library of Congress

War is hell, Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman is famously said to have uttered.* And the food, he might as well have added, was pretty lousy, too.

As the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg — a turning point in the Civil War — it's worth remembering that the men who fought on that Pennsylvania field did so while surviving on food that would make most of us surrender in dismay.

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2:02pm

Sun June 30, 2013
The Two-Way

LOOKING BACK: RFK's 'Ripple Of Hope' Speech In South Africa

A Meeting Of Great Minds: During his 1966 visit to South Africa, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy met with anti-apartheid activist Chief Luthuli and later spoke publicly about their meeting. Because of a government ban on media coverage of Luthuli, it was the first news many had of their leader in more than five years.
Shoreline Productions

At South Africa's University of Cape Town on Sunday, President Obama noted that he was speaking at the same place where, in 1966, then-Sen. Robert Kennedy, D-N.Y., delivered what some historians believe was the best speech of his life.

Obama was discussing about how, as a young man, he had come to believe that "I could be part of something bigger than myself; that my own salvation was bound up with those of others."

Then the president brought up the late senator:

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