In the 14th century, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote the "Canterbury Tales." It takes places on a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral in England, much like a listener's story we're going to share with you now. It's part of a little summer series we call...
For the next year, NPR will take a musical journey across America, which is one of the most religiously diverse countries on earth. We want to discover and celebrate the many ways in which people make spiritual music — individually and collectively, inside and outside houses of worship.
The fragile architectural treasures of Venice are endangered by rising sea levels, and a growing number of critics now say the city and its canals are at risk from massive cruise ships as big as floating skyscrapers.
On an average day, tens of thousands of passengers lean over the railings of cruise ships that can be 300 yards long and 15 stories high. The tourists peer down at the majestic Doge's Palace as they sail into St. Mark's basin and down the Giudecca canal.
The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin is reverberating far beyond Florida. On Sunday, President Obama acknowledged the strong passions the verdict has incited. He asked Americans "to respect the call for calm reflection from two parents who lost their young son."
Many people are trying to make sense of a case that sparked a national conversation on race and gun laws.
Now to New York State where there have been other election problems. Election officials there say it's taking too long to finalize race results using electronic machines. So they're going old school and bringing out those with mechanical levers. WNYC's Brigid Bergin has the story.
Pennsylvania's voter ID law will be back in state court Monday after more than a year of legal limbo. A state judge will decide whether the 2012 law — which hasn't been enforced — violates the state's constitution.
The measure requires voters to show a particular state-issued photo ID before casting ballots. Last week, civil rights advocates like the NAACP's John Jordan railed against the requirement.
"It's a ploy to take votes away from people who deserve them — veterans, seniors, students, people with disabilities, people of color and hard-working folk," Jordan said.
During the mid-19th century, an unexpected craze swept America: butterfly collecting. Eager to move on from the Civil War and driven by Europe's long-standing fascination with the insect, the movement captured the interest of Americans from all ages and walks of life.
In an extensive book, Butterfly People: An American Encounter with the Beauty of the World, William Leach documents this butterfly phenomenon — from its founders and followers, to its eventual fall.
Daughn Gibson is kind of the heir to the Johnny Cash throne: a deep-voiced country singer whose songs are filled with characters of questionable morality — or just pure evil. He worked as a long-haul truck driver, a cashier in an "adult book store," a drummer in a metal band, and all sorts of other odd jobs before he became a bit of an indie music darling last year. NPR's Jacki Lyden spoke with Gibson about his new album, Me Moan; click the audio link to hear their conversation.