This story is part of an ongoing series called Honey, Stop The Car: Monuments That Move You, which checks out memorials across the country that inspire drivers to pull over.
In the summer of 1842, along what is now U.S. Route 40 in Central Indiana, Martin Van Buren was being taken for a ride — literally. He'd been out of office for a little more than a year, but the ex-president was already traveling the country trying to drum up support for another run at the White House.
While Congress has been debating ways to lower the nation's debt ceiling, consumers have been quietly raising their own debt ceilings. Federal Reserve data show consumer debt has begun ticking up again after dropping during the recession.
In the years just before the financial crisis hit in 2008, Americans were borrowing more and more. In 2000, the total debt load for U.S. households was roughly $5 trillion. That shot to about $12.5 trillion by 2008, according to data compiled by the New York Federal Reserve Bank.
There's a new museum going up in Washington, D.C., and although its doors won't open until 2015, every few months here on weekends on All Things Considered, we get an early peek at the collection that's taking shape.
The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture will stand just a few hundred feet from the Washington Monument, making it the newest museum on the National Mall.
The Congressional stalemate continues over raising the nation's debt ceiling. James Fallows of The Atlantic has a recent blog post highlighting who he sees as the main obstacle: Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA). Host Guy Raz speaks with Fallows about his post, resignations from Murdoch's media empire and California's decision that would make all Amazon purchases subject to sales tax.
When Fela Kuti died in 1997, his band, Egypt 80, fell into the hands of his 14-year old son, Seun. Now 28, Seun Kuti still tours and records with his father's old bandmates, and has just released an album with them entitled From Africa With Fury: Rise.
A child born today will never see an American space shuttle blast off from the Kennedy Space Center. The end of the shuttle program worries educators who say that human space flight is a great recruiter for future scientists and engineers. Don't worry, NASA says, its education mission won't slow down when this final shuttle flight lands.
President Obama is meeting with the Dalai Lama — a fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate — and China isn't happy.
The Tibetan spiritual leader has been in Washington, D.C., for an 11-day Buddhist ritual. Thousands of expatriate Tibetans joined a 76th birthday celebration Wednesday for the Dalai Lama, who's just relinquished leadership of Tibet's government-in-exile.
Four years into Franklin Roosevelt's first presidential term, the worst of the Great Depression seemed behind him. Massive jolts of New Deal spending had stopped the economic slide, and the unemployment rate was cut from 22 percent to less than 10 percent.
"People felt that there was momentum," U.S. Senate historian Donald Ritchie tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered. "Finally, there was the light at the end of the tunnel."