The summer of 2012 marks the centennial of the birth of American folk icon Woody Guthrie, on July 14, 1912. A poet of the people, Guthrie wrote some of America's most important songs, including "This Land Is Your Land." He penned ballads that captured the heart of hard economic times and war.
While Guthrie left a lasting mark on music, culture and politics, he struggled with family poverty, tragedies and personal demons.
Quilts hold a special place in American culture, reflecting pieces of our lives that are passed on from generation to generation. In 1987, a small group of people in San Francisco started a quilt to document the lives and stories of people who died from HIV/AIDS.
Twenty-five years and thousands of stops later, the AIDS Memorial Quilt returns to the National Mall for the first time in more than a decade. To date, more than 48,000 panels have been woven together to memorialize the lives lost to the pandemic.
The NAACP is gearing up for its annual conference in Houston, Texas. Each year, the civil rights group attracts big names, including this year's guest speaker, presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. Host Michel Martin talks with conference organizer Leon Russell about what's on his members' minds for this year's election.
Now we turn to the National Council of La Raza's annual convention. That's the nation's largest Latino civil rights organization, and that group begins its convention this weekend in Las Vegas. I'm joined now by Ron Estrada, who is chairing the event. He's also the vice president of marketing for La Raza. Mr. Estrada, thank you so much for joining us.
The barn reeked of mildew, wet wood in 90 degrees, an odious perfume with which I was familiar from a childhood in a Long Island canal town peppered with planked houses. I opened my instrument's case to see the hygrometer's needle stuck on the highest humidity level: assurance that my first professional-grade violin would not crack, or, to the great aural pleasure of Katja, my radiant Austrian stand partner with superb pitch, remain in tune.
The source of an unidentified illness that has led to the deaths of 61 children in Cambodia since April is under investigation, according to the World Health Organization.
Most of the reported cases occurred in southern Cambodia. Health authorities in the Southeast Asian nation say the majority of the mystery ailment's victims have been under 7, NPR's Anthony Kuhn reported.
They suffered high fevers, followed by severe respiratory problems, and in some cases neurological symptoms.
For five full days — following Friday night's nasty wind-and-rain flashstorm — you were without electricity in the Washington suburbs. Dodging felled trees and fallen power wires, you made daily forays to nearby cafes and coffee shops, establishments that did have power. There you could recharge the batteries in your laptop and smartphone and take care of various electronic chores, such as banking, sending gifts, ordering necessities and sorting through email.
But mostly you stayed home, reading books and actual newspapers, just like in the Olden Days.
Imagine yourself as a resourceful farmer during the Great Depression. You'd like to make a dessert for your family, but traditional pie ingredients, like cherries or pecans, are too expensive or not available.
Desperate times call for desperation pies (or starvation recipes, if you happen to be in Greece).