In a nation as diverse as the United States, the idea of "the American dream" means different things to different people. Many associate the dream with intangible ideals like freedom of expression, freedom of religion, optimism and family ties. But the American dream has also long been associated with attaining a higher standard of living, particularly one that surpasses that of the previous generation.
For millions of American children, the end of the school year means the end of free and reduced-price lunches that fill the gap between their appetites and their families' budgets. It's not that meals aren't available during the summer – they generally are, thanks to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program. But getting kids to show up for those meals is harder than you'd think.
The Pakistani doctor who American officials say was recruited by the CIA to help in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and has since been sentenced to 33 years in prison, was convicted of having ties to a banned militant group, not for alleged treason.
Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 11:34 am
One American's dream can be another American's nightmare.
Consider: Some people long to live in big cities; others think cities have ruined the landscape. Some Americans love to drive big old honking SUVs; others see huge cars as pollution-producing monsters. For some people, the American dream is a steady office job. For others, the office is a sinkhole and the real dream is freedom from the office.
Legendary folk singer and guitarist Doc Watson died on Tuesday, at the age of 89. Long considered one of America's greatest musicians, Watson was blind from the age of one, and taught himself to play music. NPR's Neal Conan remembers the life and career of Doc Watson with a song: "Tennessee Stud."