On July 4, 1803, President Thomas Jefferson announced the signing of the Louisiana Purchase, when the United States bought more than 800,000 square miles of land from the French. On this anniversary, guest host Celeste Headlee highlights some of the forgotten history around the purchase.
Now we continue our discussion on the history and traditions of Independence Day. Sure, there are parades and John Philip Sousa marches, but for many Americans, the grilled hot dogs and hamburgers are as important as the fireworks. Historian Kenneth C. Davis told us earlier that Fourth of July celebrations began in 1776, but the foods we now consider traditional didn't arrive until much later.
I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. If you were to paint a picture of today's contemporary music styles, it might be saturated with synthesizers and samplers that make up a, well, a very contemporary sound, very 21st-century. But there are a few musicians out there achieving the sound of today, but with the instruments of yesterday.
And now, this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We're going to go back to law and the politics of abortion, and we want to focus on what's happening in Texas. Early this morning, legislators there revived an effort to restrict access to abortion in that state. The bill would ban most abortions after 20 weeks and it would also place new tough standards on existing clinics.
Finally today, we want to take a minute to say goodbye to an important figure in American politics and education. Former Congressman William Gray III died yesterday at the age of 71. Gray was a Democrat who represented Pennsylvania's 2nd District from 1979 to 1992. He was the first African-American to serve as majority whip in the U.S. House of Representatives.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child but maybe you just need a few moms and dads in your corner. Every week we check in with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy advice. Today, as we broadcast from the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado we decided to talk about new ideas about how young people can make the most of their 20s.
Now we'd like to bring you the story of one young woman for whom going to school was literally an act of courage. Shabana Basij-Rasikh was six when the Taliban took over in Afghanistan. They made it illegal for girls to go to school. As a result, for years, Shabana and her sister put their lives on the line to go to a secret school in Kabul. Her persistence and bravery eventually led her to Middlebury College, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2010.
We are also hearing your thoughts about education on Twitter at #NPRAspen. I just want to read one more of the tweets that we got, it says treat teacher time and energy as valuable, finite resources, design schools to use them efficiently. That comes from Roxanna Eldin (ph) in Miami. Please stay with us as we continue our special broadcast from the Aspen Ideas Festival, we're broadcasting from the Hotel Jerome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.