FROM THIS EPISODE
A show for July 4th weekend: we begin with perhaps the most moving, poetic inaugural speech in American history, and look at its legacy today. In his second inaugural address, Lincoln wondered aloud why God saw fit to send the slaughter of the civil war to the United States. His conclusion: that perhaps one drop of soldier's blood had to be spilled for every drop of blood raised by the slavemaster's lash in hundreds of years of slavery. We start our show there, and look at the enduring legacy of slavery and the civil war today. New Republic writer Stephen Glass (no relation to host Ira Glass) on a college internship program that puts black kids to work for the summer as "fieldhands;" at Mount Vernon (George Washington's old southern plantation home), for no pay, in period dress. Jack Hitt on the debate over whether to fly the Confederate flag over the state house in South Carolina, and how the governor of South Carolina accidentally became a semiotician when he staked out his political position on the issue.