Fifty years ago this Sunday, four African-American girls died when the Ku Klux Klan bombed a church in Alabama.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
The explosion at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church was a seminal moment in the Civil Rights Movement. It horrified the nation and helped spur passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
SIEGEL: Today, the girls received one of the nation's highest civilian awards, the Congressional Gold Medal. House Speaker John Boehner led the ceremony.
On Tuesday in Washington, D.C., the four girls killed in the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Ala., posthumously received the Congressional Gold Medal. The recognition comes after a year of civil rights ceremonies across the South. The events have drawn renewed attention to how the civil rights movement should be taught to a younger generation.
Finally, this hour, words of love that became a chart-topping song.
FRED STOBAUGH: That's how it all began. I was just lonely one evening and just sat down and wrote it.
SIEGEL: That's Fred Stobaugh. Earlier this summer, the 96-year-old submitted lyrics to a local songwriting contest at Green Shoe Studio in Peoria, Illinois. The song was in memory of his late wife, Lorraine.
STOBAUGH: She was just one of the beautiful-est girls in the world. She could stand up to anybody, movie stars or anybody.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
And I'm Audie Cornish. Apple unveiled two new phones today. One of them, the iPhone 5C, is a lower-priced phone aimed at customers in the developing world. The other, a high-end model, comes with a fingerprint scanner called Touch ID. Now, the unveiling comes as the company faces pressure on several fronts - from rival phone makers, and from Wall Street investors clamoring for breakthrough products.
Finally this hour, NASCAR nastiness. This past Saturday, one team appeared to pull out all the stops to rig a big race. One driver spun out his car, and another took an unnecessary pit stop. Both moves helped advance their teammate to the playoffs. NASCAR fined their team - Michael Waltrip Racing - $300,000, and suspended their general manager indefinitely.
Now, this is the biggest fine in NASCAR history, according to Nate Ryan. He's a senior motorsports reporter for USA Today Sports. He joins us from Charlotte, N.C. Hey there, Nate.
The U.S. and its allies await details of Russia's proposal to place Syria's chemical weapons arsenal under UN supervision. Meanwhile, senior Obama administration officials are continuing to press for congressional approval of a potential military strike against the Bashar al-Assad regime for its alleged use of chemical weapons in August.
Is the Russian proposal to have Syria's chemical weapons placed under international control sincere? And if so, what's in it for Russia and can the Russians be trusted to help rid Syria of chemical weapons? Joining us, is Strobe Talbott, a Russia hand and former deputy secretary of state. He joins us from the Brookings Institution, of which he is the president. Welcome to the program once again.