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Staying True To Gen. McPherson's Good Name

The statue of General McPherson looks down on the square named after him, which has served as a home to Occupy DC protesters for the past few months.
Mallory Noe-Payne
The statue of General McPherson looks down on the square named after him, which has served as a home to Occupy DC protesters for the past few months.

As long as the Occupy DC protesters remain at Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square, you will hear stories about the demonstrations on WAMU. 

There's no controversy about how to pronounce "freedom" but there is a dispute about how to pronounce "McPherson," as in U.S. Civil War Gen. James Birdseye McPherson, for whom the square is named.   

D.C. natives unanimously say mc-FEAR-son, but you will no longer hear that pronunciation in our stories. 

After a newsroom debate involving several emails, phone calls to numerous towns around the United States also named after the general, and even one Twitter consultation, we decided to check with Dr. Richard Sommers, the leading Civil War expert at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., for the final word on the General's name.

He acknowledges the debate, but adds: "There's no fear in McPherson." That's why we are saying mc-FUR-son. 

As an addendum, the general's middle name is not pronounced "bird's eye" but rather "bird see," according to Sommers.

Class dismissed.

NPR

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NPR

Check Out These Musicians Who Literally Play With Their Food

It turns out beans aren't the only musical fruit. The London Vegetable Orchestra is one of many musical acts that use all sorts of fruit and veg to produce sweet (and savory) sounds.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - May 27, 2016

Congress votes to override DC's 2013 ballot initiative on budget autonomy. Virginia governor faces a federal investigation over international finance and lobbying rules. And DC, Maryland and Virginia move to create a Metro safety oversight panel.

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A voyaging canoe built to revive the centuries-old tradition of Hawaiian exploration is circumnavigating the globe. Its crew has already traveled 26,000 miles navigating with the sun, stars and waves.

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