Weekend Edition Sunday features interviews with newsmakers, artists, scientists, politicians, musicians, writers, theologians and historians. The program has covered news events from Nelson Mandela's 1990 release from a South African prison to the capture of Saddam Hussein.
Weekend Edition Sunday debuted on January 18, 1987, with host Susan Stamberg. Two years later, Liane Hansen took over the host chair, a position she held for 22 years. In that time, Hansen interviewed movers and shakers in politics, science, business and the arts. Her reporting travels took her from the slums of Cairo to the iron mines of Michigan's Upper Peninsula; from the oyster beds on the bayou in Houma, La., to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park; and from the kitchens of Colonial Williamsburg, Va., to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.
In January 2012, Rachel Martin began hosting the program. Previously she served as NPR National Security Correspondent and was part of the team that launched NPR's experimental morning news show, The Bryant Park Project. She has also been the NPR religion correspondent and foreign correspondent based in Berlin.
Every week listeners tune in to hear a unique blend of news, features and the regularly scheduled puzzle segment with Puzzlemaster Will Shortz, the crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times.
Weekend Edition Sunday is heard on NPR Member stations across the United States and around the globe via NPR Worldwide. The conversation between the audience and the program staff continues throughout the social media world.
Every answer is the name of a famous person whose first and last names start with the same consonant or group of consonants. You're given rhymes for the two names. You name the people. For example, if given "cycle four," the answer would be "Michael Moore."
South African writer Nadine Gordimer was an anti-apartheid activist, a Nobel Prize winner and a friend of Nelson Mandela's. Ntsiki Mazwai is a black singer and songwriter whose work grew out of the "struggle poet" tradition in South Africa. They speak with host Rachel Martin about Mandela's legacy.
While baptizing 827 adults one day, evangelical pastor Rick Warren says he literally felt the weight of America's obesity problem. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Warren and psychiatrist and physician Daniel Amen about getting healthy and their new book, The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life.
What's the best way to pick a sport's ultimate champion? Host Rachel Martin speaks with NPR's Mike Pesca about the fickle nature of competitions, from the World Cup to the NFL playoffs to college football playoffs.
Author Jacqueline Jones argues that race is a social construct and that people should think twice before even using the word. Host Rachel Martin talks with Jones about her new book, A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama's America.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police has just released a report saying that police need to change the way they conduct investigations to prevent wrongful convictions. Host Rachel Martin talks with Quincy, Fla., police chief Walter McNeil, former president of the chiefs association.
It's not a grand bargain, as many were hoping, but House and Senate leaders say they are close to a budget agreement that will avoid a shutdown and set spending levels for the next two years. NPR's Tamara Keith talks to host Rachel Martin about the negotiations.
Foreigners are streaming into Syria to help fight with the resistance. Host Rachel Martin talks to Thomas Hegghammer, director of terrorism research at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment in Oslo, about the growing concern that foreign fighters could hurt efforts to reach peace.
The punk band Bad Religion is usually critical of religion and American culture, but the group's newest album, Christmas Songs, is full of the classics. Host Rachel Martin speaks to founders Greg Graffin and Brett Gurewitz about the new album.
The Supreme Court is discussing whether or not airline customers can sue after being thrown out of a frequent flyer program. A rabbi from Minnesota sued when he was thrown out of Northwest's (now Delta) program after supposedly abusing the system. Host Rachel Martin speaks with Brian Kelly, founder of The Points Guy website about how frequent flyer programs work.
The space agency revealed plans this week to grown basil, turnips and a small flowering plant called arabidopsis on the moon. Host Rachel Martin talks with Robert Bowman, a senior scientist with Lockheed Martin who is working with the NASA Ames Research Center, about plans to germinate plants on the moon.
New Year's Day will be the 20th anniversary of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The passage of NAFTA by Congress was one of the most controversial events of the 1990s. Critics predicted a massive loss of American jobs to low-wage Mexico, but most manufacturing jobs went elsewhere instead.
The secretary of defense is trying to shore up alliances in both regions. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Larry Abramson about Chuck Hagel's trip to visit troops in Afghanistan and his next stops in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Richard Stengel was Nelson Mandela's friend and collaborator — he co-wrote his autobiography with him, Long Walk to Freedom, and he wrote his own book after the experience, Mandela's Way: Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage. Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin speaks with him about how Mandela transitioned from revolutionary to politician.
As they mourn the iconic anti-apartheid leader who shepherded South Africa to multiracial democracy, South Africans are experiencing mixed emotions. Some feel at peace with Nelson Mandela's death. Some are in disbelief, and some are anxious about a future without his guidance.