Tomorrow marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War's Battle of Antietam, one of the bloodiest days of any war. In honor of the sesquicentennial, the battle site is hosting a slew of events commemorating the fight. Reporter Jacob Fenston went to Sharpsburg, Maryland, the site of the battle, and brings us this report.
JACOB FENSTON, BYLINE: It started just before dawn.
Of course, the Homestead Act was born during troubled times in American history. It passed during the Civil War, but just barely. And it came at the expense of Native Americans, who were displaced from lands they have settled for generation. We spoke to Jonathan Earle, an associate professor of history at the University of Kansas, and asked him why the Homestead Act was so difficult to pass.
Pope Benedict XVI said Mass in Lebanon Sunday during his first visit to the Middle East, which is seeing dwindling Christian numbers and where Christians fear Islamists will gain power now that secular dictators have fallen.
Lebanon has the region's second-largest Christian population, after Egypt. The pope spent his three-day visit promoting peace and religious tolerance.
Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 8:36 am
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
With about 50 days to go before Election Day, both parties are focusing on what will lead them to victory in both the battle for the White House, as well as control in Congress. What everyone seems to agree upon is that the Latino vote will be crucial. Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population in the U.S. increased by some 43 percent. Latino voters can mean the difference in several states.
Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 8:52 am
Even before the final balloons fell on the Republican and Democratic conventions, pundits were talking up the next big American political viewing experience — the presidential debates.
These match-ups, in which candidates actually share a stage after months of bruising one another from far range, can lead to moments of rhetorical brilliance, or the opposite — getting caught off-guard and making a gaffe.
This year, the Homestead Act of 1862 turned 150. That landmark piece of legislation opened up the Western territories to settlement. Almost anybody could receive up to 160 acres for free if they built a house and "improved" the land over the course of five years. Millions took part, and eventually, more than 10 percent of all U.S. land was given away.
A German peasant named Frederick Wohler was one of those early homesteaders. Wohler received the deed to 80 acres of farmland in north-central Kansas 138 years ago this weekend. And today, the Wohlers are still there.