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'12 Years' Is The Story Of A Slave Whose End Is A Mystery

Solomon Northup, an African-American musician from New York, was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. He was eventually freed and wrote about his experience in Twelve Years a Slave, a memoir that has inspired a new film adaptation. But by the end of the Civil War, he dropped off the public record.
NPR

Will The Rest Of The World Catch Up To The West?

Historian Niall Ferguson explains why, when it comes to amassing wealth, it's been the West versus the rest for the past 500 years. He suggests six killer apps that promote wealth, stability and innovation — and are now shareable.
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Arena Stage Premieres 'Maurice Hines Is Tappin' Thru Life'

Broadway legend Maurice Hines is teaming up with the D.C.-born-and-bred Manzari Brothers to tap audiences through his incredible 40 years in show business.

NPR

Pucker Up, America: Beers Are Going Sour

A brew that has all the complexity of a wine and the zing of a Sour Patch Kid, these tangy beers are rising in popularity. And with few hops in them, they're a great option to try if you don't like bitter beers or prefer a pinot noir to a Pilsner.
NPR

Fuel Efficiency Standards Live On After 1973 Oil Embargo

This is the 40th anniversary of the Arab Oil Embargo, which triggered a seven-year energy crisis. The results of the energy crisis are still with us — both in the political fault-lines in Washington and in the cars that are on our roads.
NPR

Remembering The Woman Who Gave Motown Its Charm

Maxine Powell, who ran a finishing school for Motown's musicians, died this weekend at the age of 98. Her work polishing young artists for mainstream exposure was a big reason the legendary record label was able to integrate the airwaves.
NPR

Bob Mondello Remembers Columbus Day 1963, And A Visit To Camelot

Bob Mondello remembers a Columbus Day 50 years ago made special by what seemed to him a visit to a real-life Camelot — and an unexpected encounter with John F. Kennedy. The president was atoning for some injudicious remarks about Italian Americans by hosting a special Rose Garden ceremony for government workers with Italian heritage.
NPR

How Columbus Sailed Into U.S. History, Thanks To Italians

The making of Columbus Day involved much glorification of the Italian explorer, including some historical inaccuracies. But Christopher Columbus also became the face of a celebration of Italian heritage, amid discrimination in the U.S.
NPR

Pledge Of Allegiance Past Its Prime?

Millions of American school children begin the day with the pledge of allegiance. But do they, or their teachers, really understand what it means? Host Michel Martin discusses the issue with journalist Mary Plummer, of KPCC, and Peter Levine, director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement.
NPR

Birds Of A Feather Spy Together

Journalist Tom Vanderbilt discusses the nonhuman operatives — from pigeons to house cats — deployed by the United States government during the Cold War. He wrote about the program recently for the Smithsonian magazine.

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