Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon signed Title IX, which said no person shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from any education program or activity. Vocational education courses that barred girls — such as auto mechanics, carpentry and plumbing — became available for everyone. But it's still hard to find girls in classes once viewed as "for boys only."
Zoe Shipley, 15, has a passion for cars and tinkering with engines.
"It's just kind of cool to learn how to fix a car or learn about it," she says.
Fun. is in the middle of quite a run. For six weeks this spring, the band had the No. 1 song in the country with "We Are Young," an anthemic pledge of drunken solidarity that has appeared in countless commercials and TV shows, and dominated radio playlists and sales charts since March (it's still in the top five).
For most people, the start of World War II means German soldiers marching into Poland. Historian Antony Beevor begins and ends his new book, The Second World War with something different: the story of a German soldier who was actually Korean, was captured in Normandy, and wound up living in Illinois.
The Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development was the biggest United Nations conference ever, but it may be one of the biggest duds. It produced no major agreements — just a vaguely worded declaration that has been widely derided.
More than 45,000 people registered for the event in Rio de Janeiro, but diplomats couldn't even agree about the meeting's objective until 2:45 a.m. on Tuesday, just before heads of state and other high-level delegates started arriving in Rio.
There are more than 5,300 inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. Nearly 4,000 of them are serving life without parole. Last month, the Angola Prison Drama Club staged a play unlike any other in the prison's experience.
The Life of Jesus Christ featured 70 inmates, men and women acting together for the first time — in costume, with a real camel, performing for the general public. For the untrained actors, this production held special meaning as they saw pieces of their own lives revealed in the characters they played.
The Midwest is known for its roadside attractions — world's largest ear of corn, heaviest ball of twine, biggest truck stop.
But it's also home to one of the largest collections of grottoes in the world. Most of these man-made caves were created by immigrant priests at the beginning of the 20th century. And the mother of them all — encrusted in $6 million worth of semiprecious stones — is in West Bend, Iowa.
This weekend, the Grotto of the Redemption turns 100.
Title IX, which turns 40 on Saturday, has helped reverse years of bias, banning sex discrimination in federally funded schools and colleges.
Its guarantee of equal access to sports was a small part of the original legislation. But it's become the most recognizable part of Title IX. That guarantee has not always played out, and the law has its critics. For four decades, however, it's played a huge part in shaping lives.
Coming a week after President Obama announced that he would defer deportation proceedings for many young illegal immigrants, it was safe to predict that he'd get an appreciative response from an audience of Latino leaders. They didn't disappoint.
You may not have heard of the special-effects studio Digital Domain, but you've probably seen their work. They sank the Titanic for James Cameron; they aged Brad Pitt backward in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Most recently, their virtual likeness of the late Tupac Shakur performed in concert.
Having worked those wonders, they're tackling thornier challenges: fur and feathers.
Kofi Annan is trying to rally the international community to bring the violence in Syria to an end. Annan even suggested that Iran should be consulted, an idea the United States doubts.
NPR's Michele Kelemen filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"The joint UN and Arab league envoy, Kofi Annan, is trying to convene a meeting next weekend in Geneva. He told reporters there it is time for countries with influence to increase the pressure on the parties in Syria to stop the killing and start talking.
When Moody's downgraded the credit ratings of most major U.S. banks on Thursday, you'd have thought Friday would be a tough day for bank stocks.
But bank stocks ticked up — largely because investors were relieved. They had feared the downgrades would be worse. The Dow Jones industrial average was recovering from Thursday's 250-point drop, the second-worst of the year.
Paul Revere Williams began designing homes and commercial buildings in the early 1920s. By the time he died in 1980, he had created some 2,500 buildings, most of them in and around Los Angeles, but also around the globe. And he did it as a pioneer: Paul Williams was African-American. He was the first black architect to become a member of the American Institute of Architects in 1923, and in 1957 he was inducted as the AIA's first black fellow.
Named for the patron saint of musicians, La Santa Cecilia has deep roots in the immigrant community of Los Angeles. Yet the band's six members draw inspiration not only from their rich heritage, but also from their everyday lives growing up embedded in American culture.
During a short, recent trip to historic Olvera Street in downtown L.A. — "It's a little street with little shops resembling any town in Mexico or Latin America" — singer Marisol Hernandez describes the hopes and dreams the city represents.
Just last month, I was at the same lakeside resort where Taliban gunmen carried out a suicidal attack on Friday, killing more than 20 people before they were gunned down.
My friends and I had gone to Lake Qargha to drink tea after a long hike on a hot day.
The man-made lake, about six miles outside Kabul, is the only large body of water near the capital, and it is extremely popular among Kabul residents seeking to escape the city's pollution, particularly in the summer when temperatures can top 100 degrees.
Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 12:54 pm
A jury found Msgr. William J. Lynn, of Philadelphia, guilty on one count of endangerment stemming from allegations that he helped coverup the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests. Lynn was acquitted of another count of endangerment and one count of conspiracy, the AP reports.
Elizabeth Fiedler of member station WHYY reports that the jury was hung on rape and endangerment charges against Lynn's co-defendant Rev. James J. Brennan.
Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 12:44 pm
Hours before he was scheduled to be sworn in as Greek's newest finance minister, Vassilis Rapanos fell ill and was rushed to the hospital "complaining of nausea, intense abdominal pains and dizziness," Reuters reports.
Of course this all comes just after Greece elected a new parliament and just after Greece formed a new three-party coalition that has the task of wading through national and Eurozone politics to negotiate a bailout.
Advocates for cannabis decriminalization have long touted marijuana's potential medical benefits, but some new research suggests that the grass, as it were, may not always be greener.
Plenty of people aren't waiting for marijuana to become legal to start trying it as a medicine, though. About 1 in 10 patients referred to a McGill University pain clinic in Montreal for fibromyalgia over a six-year period were using marijuana to deal with the chronically painful condition, a new study found.
Originally published on Fri June 22, 2012 10:46 am
Bloomberg pollster J. Ann Selzer ignited something of a political firestorm this week when her national survey for the news organization showed President Obama leading GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney among likely voters by 13 points, 53-40 percent.
Most recent polls have shown the race much closer.
For once, the Germans and the Greeks seem determined to play nicely.
They have been at loggerheads for many months over the eurozone crisis. Insults have flown back and forth. But Friday, we're told — for a couple of glorious hours — all that will be forgotten. Or will it?
By a quirk of fate, Germany, the economic and political powerhouse of Europe, is playing against small, dependent, bankrupt, bailed-out Greece in the quarterfinals of the Euro 2012 soccer championship.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin.
Coming up, we take our weekly visit to the Barbershop where we will ask the guys now that LeBron James finally has his championship ring, will that stop the haters or not? That is later in the program.
When the girls basketball team was cut from Charlotte Murphy's Pittsburgh school last year, the then 4th grader told the superintendent that the cut went against Title IX. For the 40th anniversary of Title IX, the law that prohibits schools from discriminating on the basis of sex, host Michel Martin talks to Murphy and Superintendent Linda Lane.