Charles Osgood introduced the stories for September 7, 2014. The cover story, on One-room schools, is covered by Barry Peterson. Then, discussion of World War I, wherein 8.5 million soldiers died between 1914 and 1918. Third, Tracy Smith interviews Steve Buscemi, who once worked as a fireman. Fourth, a tribute to Joan Rivers. Also, stories by Terrell Brown, Steve Hartman, and Joel Sartori.
Headlines. Obama does an about-face on immigration reform. US airstrikes targeting ISIS. Two day truce in Ukraine problematic. Lava flow in Hawaii. Nishitori wins at US Open. Weather: sunny and pleasant in most of US. Remnants of Hurricane Norbert in California.
Barry Peterson reports on the "one room schoolhouse," starting with the "Divide School" in district 4 in Montana. There are 200 one-room schools in the US.
Almanac. Sept. 7, 1921. 8 girls competed for the title of "Miss America." InterCity Beauty Contest. Not allowed. Margaret Gorman of Washington, DC won the first contest. Golden Mermaid. 1954, contest on television. Bert Parks singing. In 1945, Bess Myerson. In 1984, Vanessa Williams. Now, 10,000 compete.
Terrell Brown interviews Madeleine Peyroux, who has been likened to Billie Holiday. A little bit of pain. Peyroux grew up in Georgia. Mother moved to Paris when Madeleine was 11.
Deirdre Westgate. Wikipedia notes: Peyroux started singing at the age of fifteen, when she discovered street musicians in the Latin Quarter in Paris. Peyroux initially declined an offered record deal.
Martha Teichen on "The Great War." On Sept 7, 1914, 600 taxis shuttled 6000 re-enforcements to the battlefield at Marne. Two million men fought. In absolute numbers, WWI defies previous numbers. The lesson from the war: want to avoid war. On June 28, 1914, Franz-Ferdinand shot by Serbian nationalist. On July 28, Austria Hungary declared war on Serbia.
Real Patriots Keep Cool. Song in US: I didn't raise my boy to be a soldier. Stanford prof: Daivd Kennedy. Wilson re-elected in 1916: he kept us out of war. April 6, 1917: US declares war. Propaganda war. Shift from saying this was not our war. Persuading people.
Demonizing the enemy. US had 90 million people; 30 million were foreign born.
Joyce Kilmer's story. The Peacemaker. "to meet the fires of hell." Miriam Kilmer is his grand-daughter. In 1916, the first tanks. More than 2 million American soldiers. Kilmer was shot by a sniper in July 1918. "In Flanders field, the poppies grow." 8.5 million soldiers died. Deep disillusionment after WWI.
Joel Sartori on the passenger pigeon. "Martha," the last passenger pigeon, now stuffed in the Smithsonian, died Sept. 1, 1914. Scientists are using dan to insert into the band-tailed pigeon. "De-extinction." Should we be doing this? Will people think extinction is not a problem, because it is reversible? Relict darter is on brink of extinction. Test-tube menagerie?
Second chances are very rare things.
Richard Schlesinger on the life, and death, of Joan Rivers. Quote from Al Roker,introducing Joan: she's 78 years young. Her response, here's Al Roker, all 320 pounds. Another line:
My g-spot has been declared a historical landmark. Cardiac arrest on August 28. A quiet end to a life lived at full volume. Towels: his and herpes. Donate her body to Tupperware.
Scared that when she died, God won't recognize her. Degree from Barnard. Her career: this is what I am supposed to do. Success in February 1965; she was 31. In 1966, on Sammy Davis show. Became a fixture on Tonight Show for 20 years. Carson was not her friend; never invited to Tonight Christmas party. Rivers launched show on Fox; Carson never spoke to her again. Edgar Rosenberg committed suicide after Rivers' show cancelled. She later sold handbags, etc. Desparate for something to do. I had to find something fast. Go through every door. Rivers was great in the funny business. Too busy to retire. Rivers spoke to Mo Rocca: actual death easier than dying on stage. Why can't you be like your cousin Sheila.
Steve Hartman at Minnesota State Fair. Making dough. Martha Olson's cookies. Back to 1979: cookie booth at state fair. This year, grossed 2.4 million dollars. Sweet Martha's Cookie Jar. Serve them hot and serve a lot. A bucket of cookies for $15. Take home pail. Remember to smile.
Tracy Smith on Steve Buscemi, of Boardwalk Empire. Armageddon. Reservoir Dogs. The Wedding Singer. Con Air. Fargo. Sympathetic creepy guys. There has to be something Buscemi likes.
Father wanted all sons to take civil service exam. He was looking at for his sons. Engine 55 in Manhattan. Moonlighted as actor. Movie "Parting Glances." Nobody leaves job as fireman.
In 1985, cast as drug dealer in Miami Vice. Sleazy, seedy character. Spy Kids 2. Made the most of how I look. If you only fixed your teeth. Lives in Brooklyn townhouse. Cyanotype picture. When the curtain comes down. Met his wife when he was a firefighter. Married in 1987. When 9/11 happened, Buscemi volunteered for work at ground zero. Something about being there was very comforting. Documentary "A good job" premieres tomorrow night. Inside look at what it means to be a firefighter in NYC. Wife: he's my guy, my connection to this world.
Nancy Giles on "Enter Talking" by Joan Rivers. Her parents told her she was absolutely without talent. Pepper January. Comedy flowed from Joan Wollensky, the schlep. Her life began in 1965, on Tonight Show. Carson: you're going to be a star. She never lied about her cosmetic surgery. Rivers regularly sent thank you notes to co-workers. If you can see it, you can be it. We stand on her shoulders, gratefully.
Pulse. How likely is another world war in your lifetime? very likely 30% somewhat likely 37%
Week ahead. Monday: Snoopy gets fashion makeover. Tuesday: Apple unveils new products. iWatch? Wednesday: Guinness World Records. Thursday: Oskar Pistoriua. Friday: Hollywood Bowl has Simpsons. Saturday: FarmAid in Raleigh.
Bruce Morton died on Friday. With CBS for 29 years.
Next week. Actress Jessica Chastain.
Moment of nature. Gray seals off Cape Cod.