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NPR

'The King Years': An Intersection Of Race And Politics

President Obama will be publicly sworn in for a second term on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a notable confluence of events. Historian Taylor Branch joins guest host Linda Wertheimer to talk about race and democracy, past and present. Branch's new book is The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement.
NPR

Don't Waste That Christmas Tree: Turn It Into Spruce Beer

Everyone from the Vikings to 18th century British sailors swore that a pint of spruce beer kept away scurvy. While that may not have really worked, you, too, can capture the essence of your Christmas tree in a glass.
NPR

DNA Links Bloody Handkerchief To French King's Execution

In France, a team of scientists says that a piece of cloth dipped that was reputedly dipped in the blood of Louis XVI is genuine. The monarch was executed 220 years ago this month, during the French Revolution.
NPR

The Emancipation Proclamation: A Public Document

For the 150th birthday of the Emancipation Proclamation, the National Archives is displaying the original document for members of the public to visit. A'Lelia Bundles, chair and president of the board of directors of the Foundation for the National Archives, viewed the Proclamation Sunday; she discusses what the document did — and did not do — for slaves.
NPR

Peace Pilgrim's 28-Year Walk For 'A Meaningful Way Of Life'

On Jan. 1, 1953, Mildred Norman gave up her name — and possessions — to become Peace Pilgrim. She walked across the U.S. and Canada for 28 years, subsisting on handouts from strangers to spread her message of peace.
NPR

Why We Toast: Uncorking A New Year's Tradition

Some early Europeans toasted to profess their love to young women, while others lifted their arms to honor their kings. Toasting, which dates back to ancient times, is a ritual shrouded in urban legends. But one historian says some of the tall tales are actually true.
WAMU 88.5

Emancipation Proclamation On View For 'Watch Night'

The Emancipation Proclamation will be on view at the National Archives until after midnight on New Year's Eve, keeping up the longtime "Watch Night" tradition.

WAMU 88.5

Lease Issues Remain For Jack's Boathouse

The National Park Service still plans to open the operation of a Georgetown boathouse to bidders, after a review revealed the owner wasn't on the lease, which itself is out of date with NPS practices.

NPR

'Watch Nights,' A New Year's Celebration Of Emancipation

On Dec. 31, 1862, African-Americans and abolitionists waited for word — via telegraph, newspaper or word of mouth — that the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued. A New Year's Eve tradition marks the anniversary of President Lincoln's actions to end slavery.

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