His public words have inspired millions, but for scholars, his private words and deeds generate confusion, discomfort, apologetic excuses. When the young Thomas Jefferson wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal," there's compelling evidence to indicate that he indeed meant all men, not just white guys.
Rene Lopez and Devin Burrell blast dirt off the polyurethane coating the iconic white roof of the Superdome in New Orleans. The job will cost about $130,000 and take roughly a month, partly because the roofers must move slowly. "You have to constantly be aware of where you're at," says project manager Tom Keller. "If something stupid happens, it's not going to end up pretty."
Credit Keith O'Brien for NPR
Keller helped rebuild the damaged roof of the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina. "It's not just a roof," he says. "This is the Superdome. It's probably the most infamous roof, and now famous roof, in the whole world."
Credit Keith O'Brien for NPR
The Louisiana Superdome plays an iconic role in the skyline--and heart--of New Orleans.
Credit David J. Phillip / AP
As the roofers get to the top, they literally straddle the void, swinging their bodies from the ladder to the roof over a small but frightening gap.
Most people have their route to work memorized; they can do it with their eyes closed. Heading into the office is some combination of elevators — stairs if you're more ambitious — and hallways. Easy.
Tom Keller's route is a bit more complicated.
"Step here, and there's a bad railing right here with a step," Keller cautions, threading his way up along a series of dimly lit, narrow catwalks suspended above the football field inside the New Orleans Superdome.
The stadium is home to the New Orleans Saints and will host this year's Super Bowl.
Lance Armstrong has resigned from his charity and lost millions of dollars in endorsements, days after the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency released its report alleging a widespread doping conspiracy inside his cycling team. In the court of public opinion, at least, the verdict seems to be in on Armstrong.
Police officers detain Kirill Filimonov, one of the supporters of Radio Liberty in Moscow during a recent protest. The service will stop AM radio broadcasts and will become an Internet operation. It can also be heard on short wave radio.
Radio Liberty was founded in the 1950s to broadcast American views into the former Soviet Union when the Cold War was at its peak. Radio Liberty transmitted on short wave, and the Soviet government did all it could to jam the broadcasts.
But after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russian President Boris Yeltsin granted the service permission to open a Moscow bureau and broadcast within the country on AM radio.
Almost exactly 33 years ago, Iranian activists stormed the American Embassy in Tehran and held 52 U.S. citizens hostage for well over a year. But six American diplomats escaped the embassy at the last minute and took refuge in the home of Canada's ambassador. A new movie called "Argo" tells the story of a CIA agent, played by Ben Affleck, who dreams up a plan to get them out of Iran, disguised as a film crew scouting locations for a science fiction movie. Here, he presents his idea to the secretary of state.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. After a two-year battle in court, lawyers in Portland, Oregon, said - last hour - that they'd release hundreds of confidential files kept by the Boy Scouts of America, on men they suspected of sexual abuse. The files went public online, within the last few minutes.
An Indian child receives the oral polio vaccine. Twice a year, an army of 2 million volunteers fans out across India to administer the vaccine. India has not reported a single case of polio in more than a year-and-a-half.
Credit Julie McCarthy / NPR
Dr. Kiran Kathuria (left) and veteran volunteer Santosh Sharma (front right) make the rounds with a team of vaccinators in Nehru Nagar, a middle-class area of Delhi. India's nationwide polio eradication program, begun in 1995, was modeled after Delhi's.
All this week, we've been examining the world's last remaining pockets of polio, a disease for which there is no cure. India marked a milestone when the World Health Organization struck it from the list of polio-endemic countries in February after no new cases were reported for more than a year. From Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports on how, despite poverty and poor sanitation, the world's second-most populous country is eradicating the disease.
Now we want to tell you about history that was just made on a campus that is full of history, some of it difficult. Just a few days ago, a young woman was crowned homecoming queen at her university. And you might think, well, that's nice, but that happens all the time.