The future of integration

Thursday, July 28, 2016
Rob Breymaier, Maria SaldaƱa, Linda Francis
(Photo: Debby Preiser)
Race relations have taken center stage in American politics during 2016.

That issue's of special concern to residents of a village that, since the 1960s, has led the U.S. in efforts to achieve integration: My town of Oak Park, Ill., which borders on Chicago’s mostly African-American Austin neighborhood.

With the presidential contest as a backdrop — on Tuesday evening of the week in which Republicans gathered in Cleveland to crown Donald Trump as their nominee — the Oak Park Regional Housing Center convened a community forum on the future of integration.

A crowd of close to 150 people turned out July 19 to discuss questions like whether new high-rise buildings will undermine Oak Park's commitment to integration.

The center's executive director, Rob Breymaier, asked me to moderate. Here's slightly edited audio of the proceedings.

Next: Racial diversity in Oak Park: A look back to 1992.
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Fun things coming to this blog

Thursday, July 28, 2016

For the last few weeks, I've been working on some cool new (and old) stuff for this space. I think you'll find it timely and compelling. So you don't miss a thing, I hope you'll join the (free!) mailing list. 

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'Voice of Apollo 11' Douglas Ward recalls moon landing: 'Computer alarms began to pop up'

Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Credit: NASA
On July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin of the Apollo 11 mission became the first humans to land on the moon.

Twenty years later, in July 1989, Douglas Ward, one of NASA's "Voices of Apollo" — public information officers who provided the missions' play-by-play for the world — recalled his work that day, including some harrowing moments when "the computers were overloaded."

Here's my 1989 interview with Douglas Ward, followed by archival NASA audio of his historic commentary.

Then listen to my interview with Apollo 8 and Apollo 13 astronaut James Lovell: "After we came back ... we got sued."