History

In his latest book, Michael Beschloss details the windup to eight wars — and the executive branch involvement in each.

With the exception of the Korean War, all of these wars received either a formal congressional declaration of war (the War of 1812; the Mexican-American War in 1846; the Spanish-American War in 1898; WWI in 1917; and WWII in 1941-42) or some form of congressional authorization (Civil War in 1861 and the Vietnam War in 1964).

Hennessey Public Library

Like just about every other town from sea to shining sea, Hennesey, Oklahoma, will celebrate its own pioneer days this summer--parades and burgers, gospel quartets, and a mud bog full of slippery pigs. There’ll be more horses and cattle than your ordinary burg, because Main Street, Hennessey is the Chisolm Trail. In the 1870s, downtown Hennessey was the world's largest cattle yard.

The ancient Maya might be known for their mathematical aptitude, their accurate calendars, and their impressive temples. But did you know they were also salt entrepreneurs?

During the peak of Maya civilization – from 300 to 900 A.D. — coastal Maya produced salt by boiling brine in pots over fires. The end result was shaped into salt cakes, then paddled by canoe to inland cities and traded at extensive markets.

This episode is a rerun. It originally ran in 2014. We're playing it again because Bill Nordhaus shared the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science today! We based this episode on one of his papers.

Pick up Nora Krug's reverberant graphic memoir, Belonging, and be prepared to lose yourself for hours in this unstinting investigation into her conflicted feelings about being German and her family's role in the Holocaust.

Earlier this summer, an 8-year-old girl named Saga Vanecek was doing what she often does: wading in Sweden's Lake Vidostern.

"I like to walk around finding rocks and sticks in the water, and then I usually walk around with my hands and knees in the water and in the sand," she explained to Radio Sweden Wednesday.

It was then that she felt something odd beneath her hand and knee. She lifted the object and saw that it had a handle.

With guest host Todd Zwilich.

The political divide in our country might be stark, but it’s not a recent phenomenon.

How did we get here?

Political correspondent Steve Kornacki has a theory. In his new book, The Red and the Blue: The 1990s and the Birth of Political Tribalism, he traces the origin story back several decades, to when Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich climbed to the top of their respective parties.

On June 5, 1968, hotel busboy Juan Romero raced to congratulate Sen. Robert Kennedy moments after his victory in the California presidential primary. He had met the candidate the day before, bringing him room service at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

As Kennedy briefly paused to shake the hand of the 17-year-old, a man named Sirhan Sirhan gunned down Kennedy in front of Romero. A remarkable photograph captured the scene: young Romero, an immigrant from Mexico, cradling the glassy-eyed Kennedy, member of an American political dynasty.

Despite a warning to wear rattlesnake shin guards when walking through the Hill Country, the only sound I hear is the ticking of grasshoppers, crickets and dragonflies on this 100-degree day in Spicewood, Texas.

I'm hunting mesquite trees, and they bite. Their branches, spiked with two-inch thorns, hold desert-colored, seed-hugging beans that rattle when they're ready to pick. If you break one open and put it in your mouth, it tastes lightly sweet.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Pages