On this day, when we observe the inauguration of the nation's president and, as well, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, we decided to send TELL ME MORE producer Emily Ochsenschlager to the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial to hear what visitors there had to say about what today's events mean to them.
Carrie Haskins(ph) came in for the inauguration from Fort Lee, Virginia.
This is special coverage from NPR News. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Just over two hours ago, President Barack Obama took the oath of office on the west steps of the Capitol before a throng gathered on the National Mall and millions listening on radio and TV. As he begins his second term in the White House, he leads a nation deeply divided on the size and purpose of government, on gay marriage, on guns.
Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 2:41 pm
Feelings of hope and change have mostly faded.
The country is in better shape than it was when Barack Obama became president four years ago. The economy is no longer in free fall, and the nation has for the most part extricated itself from seemingly endless wars abroad.
Yet as Obama prepares to enter his second term, there seems to be less optimism about his ability to address the nation's problems than was the case when he first entered the White House.
It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
And I'm Renee Montagne. One of the liveliest parts of today's events dates back to the very first Inauguration, and that would be the inaugural parade. After George Washington took his oath of office, he was joined by a procession made up of local militias as he made his way from Mount Vernon to New York City. Today, the parade is a colorful blend of marching bands, floats and different organizations led by ceremonial military regiments.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. The inaugural parade will have floats and marching bands, and for science geeks a special treat - life-size replicas of the NASA Mars rover, Curiosity, and the Orion space capsule. The biggest attraction may be marching alongside the replicas: Bobak Ferdowsi, the go-to guy for last year's Mars landing, who came to be known as Mohawk Guy. He told Wired magazine he'll reveal a special new hairstyle just for today's parade. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
One of greatest hitters in the history of baseball, Stan Musial, has died. He was born 92 years ago in Donora, Pennsylvania and raised there. But for his fans, Stan the Man, as he was known, will forever be linked to the St. Louis and the Cardinals.
Greg Echlin has this remembrance.
GREG ECHLIN, BYLINE: Wearing a bright red blazer while riding in the back of a shiny car, before the 2009 All-Star game in St. Louis, Stan Musial had one more chance to bask in the adoration of his fans.
President Obama will be sworn in for a second term with fanfare at noon Monday, but the official swearing in was Sunday. Obama's second inauguration is a smaller affair than four years ago. But hundreds of thousands of people have come to Washington, D.C. nonetheless.
The match up for Super Bowl is set. In two weeks, the San Francisco 49ers, winners of the NFC championship, will play the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens were big underdogs in their game, yesterday, against the defending AFC champions, the New England Patriots. Same teams as last season, but this time a different result. The Ravens beat the home team 28 to 13.
NPR's Mike Pesca was at the game in Foxborough, Massachusetts and filed this report.
President Obama is the third president in a row to face the challenges of a second term, on the heels of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The last time there were three in a row, their names were Jefferson, Madison and Monroe. In the modern era, second terms have become notorious for getting derailed.
To find out what history may teach President Obama about navigating the next four years, we reached presidential historian Michael Beschloss. Welcome.
And the widow of a murdered Mississippi civil rights leader will help open the inaugural ceremony today. President Obama selected activist Myrlie Evers-Williams to deliver the invocation. She's the first woman and the first layperson to have the honor.
NPR's Debbie Elliott has this profile.
DEBBIE ELLIOTT, BYLINE: Evers-Williams' prominent role in President Obama's second inauguration comes in the 50th year since NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers was shot to death outside his family's home in Jackson, Mississippi.