4:53am

Sat January 19, 2013
The Salt

Inaugural Balls Where Food Isn't An Afterthought

Guests arrive for the Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball in Washington back in 2005 to celebrate President Bush's second term.
J. David Ake AP

Like everyone else in Washington, D.C., right now, we're gearing up for the long inaugural weekend, bracing ourselves for various events and balls around town that can be thrilling, patriotic, touristy and traffic-jamming, all at the same time.

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4:53am

Sat January 19, 2013
It's All Politics

Inaugural Hijinks: 10 Odd Photos From Ceremonies Past

Scott Stewart AP

The presidential inauguration is a solemn and important occasion, of course, steeped in history and pomp. But it's also a time for parades and balls — and, sometimes, a bit of tomfoolery. As we prepare for President Obama's second inauguration on Monday, a look back at a few funny and unusual moments:

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4:52am

Sat January 19, 2013
It's All Politics

From The Archives: Inaugural Firsts, Ball Gowns And JFK

President John F. Kennedy delivers his inaugural address after taking the oath of office on Jan. 20, 1961.
AP

As we prepare for President Obama's second inauguration on Monday, we've been looking back through our coverage of inaugurations past. (And it's reminded us that a lot has changed, even from just four years ago.) Along the way, we ran across a few memorable features that we thought worth revisiting.

Inaugural Firsts

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4:40am

Sat January 19, 2013
Around the Nation

12 Half-Truths We Live With

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 12:12 pm

Koalas aren't really bears, but we don't seem to mind.
Gabriella Garcia-Pardo NPR

Say it isn't so. Various news organizations have recently reported that on occasion the Subway sandwich chain's $5 footlong measures 11 inches instead of 12 — as advertised. Sure enough, the bacon, lettuce and tomato jewel we bought Friday fell a little short.

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4:38am

Sat January 19, 2013
Politics

House GOP Backs Off Debt Ceiling Demands

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 6:13 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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4:38am

Sat January 19, 2013
Books

For Justice Sotomayor, Books Unlocked Imagination

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 6:13 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has a new autobiography out about her life and her career in law. Earlier this week, we broadcast portions of her interview with NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg. Today, Nina talks to the justice about the role that books have played in her life.

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4:38am

Sat January 19, 2013
Politics

Is A Fresh Start In Washington Possible?

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 6:13 am

Host Scott Simon talks with NPR's Mara Liasson about whether the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans can find some common ground and overcome the political gridlock that characterized much of the president's first term.

4:38am

Sat January 19, 2013
StoryCorps

A Soldier's Battle Lost After Returning Home

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 6:13 am

Lance Pilgrim with his parents, Randy and Judy, at the pre-deployment ceremony at Fort Sill, Okla., in January 2003.
Courtesy of Judy Pilgrim

Spc. Lance Pilgrim was among the first Army troops to enter Iraq in March 2003. Eventually, he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and died from an accidental overdose in 2007 at the age of 26.

His father, Randy Pilgrim, says he first realized something was wrong when his son broke down at the sight of an animal that had been run over. The image had triggered the memory of a traumatic time overseas.

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4:38am

Sat January 19, 2013
It's All Politics

A Gun Owner From The Left, Sen. Leahy Leads The Debate

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 6:13 am

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., voted to allow guns in national parks and on Amtrak trains, but rejects suggestions that he'll slow-walk gun control efforts through Congress.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

President Obama says he's willing to use "whatever power his office holds" to stop gun violence, but the fate of many of his White House proposals will rest in no small part with one man: the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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4:38am

Sat January 19, 2013
Around the Nation

Newtown Debates The Future Of Sandy Hook School

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 11:58 am

A memorial stands in a yard near the Sandy Hook Elementary School a month after the mass shooting that left 27 dead, including 20 children, in Newtown, Conn.
Jessica Hill AP

After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, the town arranged for students to go to school at a building in the neighboring town of Monroe. Now, Newtown is deliberating what to do with the building where the shootings took place and whether to build a new school.

Newtown officials held a second public meeting Friday night to hear what community members think should happen to the school.

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