Roger Boisjoly was a booster rocket engineer at NASA contractor Morton Thiokol in Utah in January, 1986, when he and four colleagues became embroiled in the fatal decision to launch the Space Shuttle Challenger.
Boisjoly was also one of two confidential sources quoted by NPR three weeks later in the first detailed report about the Challenger launch decision, and the stiff resistance by Boisjoly and other Thiokol engineers.
According to the libertarian social scientist Charles Murray, America is "coming apart at the seams." Class strain has cleaved society into two groups, he argues in his new book Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010: an upper class, defined by educational attainment, and a new lower class, characterized by the lack of it. Murray also posits that the new "lower class" is less industrious, less likely to marry and raise children in a two-parent household, and more politically and socially disengaged
Singer-songwriter Jill Sobule is probably best known for her 1995 hit single, "I Kissed a Girl." These days, she's taking on a new musical project: the gender-bending play by Isaac Bashevis Singer, Yentl.
Barbra Streisand turned Singer's play into her 1984 hit movie musical of the same name. Although Sobule's version features music, it's a little more Singer and a little less Streisand.
"She changed the ending and made it kind of Funny Girl coming to America. ... We keep to the word," Sobule tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.
Richard Holbrooke and Katharine Pierce as students in 1961 at Brown University.
Credit Herman Hiller, World Telegram staff photographer / [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons
Malcolm X, shown here in 1964, spoke at Brown University in 1961 to defend his views. That speech was recently unearthed in the university archives.
Credit Brown University Archives
The front page of the Brown Daily Herald on May 12, 1961, the day after Malcolm X spoke at the university. This was the clipping that Malcolm Burnley found last year in the library archives at the university.
Last semester, Brown senior Malcolm Burnley took a narrative writing course. One of the assignments was to write a fictional story based on something true — and that true event had to be found inside the university archives.
"So I went to the archives and started flipping through dusty compilations of student newspapers, and there was this old black-and-white photo of when Malcolm X came to speak," Burnley says. "There was one short article that corresponded to it, and very little else."
Turning now to Russia. In Moscow, tens of thousands of people took to the streets today in dueling demonstrations for and against the government of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Putin is seeking to return to the presidency in next month's elections.
NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from the Russian capital.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
Republican voters in Nevada have begun caucusing. It's the first state in the West to weigh in on the presidential nominating contest. And as we mentioned earlier, Mitt Romney is the overwhelming favorite to win. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have also been campaigning in the state. Rick Santorum is looking ahead to contests in the Midwest next week.
Boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard remembers the trainer who stood in his corner through some of his greatest fights ever. Along with Leonard, Angelo Dundee trained a long list of boxing champions including George Foreman and the great boxing legend Muhammad Ali. The renowned trainer and cornerman died this week at age 90 at his home in Tampa, Fla.
The U.N. Security Council failed again Saturday to take decisive action to stop the escalating violence in Syria as Russia and China vetoed a resolution backing an Arab League plan that calls for President Bashar Assad to step down. NPR's Michele Kelemen reports the veto drew intense criticism from the U.S.