Fifty years ago — Oct. 1, 1962 — the first black student was admitted to the University of Mississippi, a bastion of the Old South.
The town of Oxford erupted. It took some 30,000 U.S. troops, federal marshals and national guardsmen to get James Meredith to class after a violent campus uprising. Two people were killed and more than 300 injured. Some historians say the integration of Ole Miss was the last battle of the Civil War.
It was a high-stakes showdown between President Kennedy and Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett.
It would be hard to beat last June's cataclysmic, cacophonous end of the Supreme Court term and the decision upholding the Obama health care law. But while all the media focus is on the upcoming elections, the U.S. Supreme Court is about to begin yet another headline-making term, with decisions expected on affirmative action in higher education, same-sex marriage, the Voting Rights Act and a lot of privacy issues.
Today marks the 30th anniversary of a musical format many of us grew up with: the compact disc. It's been three decades since the first CD went on sale in Japan. The shiny discs came to dominate music industry sales, but their popularity has faded in the digital age they helped unleash. The CD is just the latest musical format to rise and fall in roughly the same 30-year cycle.
Compact discs had been pressed before 1982, but the first CD to officially go on sale was Billy Joel's 52nd Street.
A sensational political scandal in China involves murder, abuse of power, and an attempted defection. And the case of senior politician Bo Xilai took another twist today. After months of speculation, it has just been announced that he has been expelled from the Communist Party and will face criminal charges. NPR's Louisa Lim is on the line with us from Beijing, and Louisa, what kind of charges is Bo Xilai going to face?
A young boy in Canada wondered where butterflies go in the winter — and spent 40 years trying to answer that question.
In 1973, Dr. Fred Urquhart — all grown up by then — placed an ad in a newspaper in Mexico looking for volunteers to tag and observe butterflies and find their destination. A woman named Catalina Aguado and her American husband, Kenneth Brugger, answered that ad. They spent two years searching in remote parts of Mexico.
European finance ministers have asked Spain if it might need a few bucks to tide it over - in particular, $125 billion to prop up failing banks. The Spanish government is expected to announce today how much of that sum it will need.
Shoring up banks is one step Spain is taking to prevent economic collapse. Another step is to slash more than $50 billion dollars in spending.
Lauren Frayer reports from Madrid on Spain's new budget, unveiled last night.