[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/US/02/21/chimp.cartoon/art.todd.jealous.cnn.jpg" caption="The NAACP's Benjamin Todd Jealous believes racial disparities still plague the U.S."]
Benjamin Todd Jealous
Special to CNN
As the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People prepares to celebrate its Centennial in New York, the city of its birth, I'm confident that we as a nation have turned an important corner on the long road toward racial and economic equality for all Americans.
Established in 1909 by a core group of black and white Americans, the NAACP's mission has been clarified and sharpened during our first 100 years. We have covered a lot of ground in the march to improve the lives of millions of Americans, but there remains much more work to be done.
The NAACP's legacy of accomplishment is rich, and cannot be dismissed or subjected to gainsaying in the wake of the election of President Obama.
Yes, we are energized and emboldened by the historic election of America's first black president. We were not surprised that Americans, at long last, voted to choose high-quality ideas, soaring spirit and bright vision over the racial, cultural and class distinctions that have so long divided us. The multi-ethnic coalition that coalesced around Obama is familiar to us, indeed.
Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture – and you provide the caption and our staff will join in too. Tune in tonight at 10pm to see if you are our favorite! Here is the 'Beat 360°' pic:
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama talk backstage before an event for the "United We Serve" service project with at Fort McNair in Washington DC, June 25, 2009. (Photo by: OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO/Pete Souza)
Have fun with it. We're looking forward to your captions! Make sure to include your name, city, state (or country) so we can post your comment.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/16/sotomayor.hearing/art.graham.gi.jpg caption="Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor greets Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, Thursday."]
Timothy P. O'Neill
Special to CNN
So what does the U.S. Supreme Court gain and lose by exchanging Justice David Souter for Sonia Sotomayor?
In Souter, it is losing a graduate of both an Ivy League college and law school; someone with law firm practice as a civil litigator as well as experience as a government prosecutor; a person known as a fine trial judge; and someone who came directly to the Supreme Court from a judgeship on the U.S. Court of Appeals. He is unmarried, childless, and known as a tireless worker.
If Sotomayor is confirmed, the Supreme Court will gain a graduate of both an Ivy League college and law school; someone with law firm practice as a civil litigator as well as experience as a government prosecutor; a person known as a fine trial judge; and someone who comes directly to the Supreme Court from a judgeship on the U.S. Court of Appeals. She is unmarried, childless, and known as a tireless worker.
Oh, and their last names both begin with the letter "S."
So will the change make any difference?
Editor's Note: To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum has been tweeting the historic mission starting today as if it were happening in real time. To follow along with man's first trip to the moon, check out their twitter feed at twitter.com/reliveapollo11 or click the image below.
CNN Financial News Producer
Former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, testifying today before Congress for the first time since leaving office, defended his role in salvaging a controversial deal struck during the height of the financial crisis last fall.
Lawmakers grilled Paulson about whether he overstepped his authority in pushing Bank of America to follow through on its takeover of troubled brokerage Merrill Lynch - a deal which wound up costing taxpayers billions of dollars.
Paulson testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, whose members have already questioned the chiefs of Bank of America and the Federal Reserve.
Bank of America's purchase of Merrill Lynch last September was trumpeted as good news, especially when compared to the near-simultaneous bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.
Yet the deal later nearly collapsed, only to be rescued by billions of taxpayer dollars and government intervention, the full extent of which had not fully surfaced until officials started investigating earlier this year.
[cnn-photo-caption image="http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Movies/07/14/potter.cast.grows.up/art.potter.cast.gi.jpg" caption="Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint at the 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' premiere at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City."]
As I feverishly search Fandango for available tickets to "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" this week, I feel like a muggle infiltrating the wizards' world. I'm not quite one of the rabid fans; but really, once you read a Harry Potter book there's no turning back.
If you've read one book, you've likely read all seven - or you're fast on your way to doing so. If you know what Quidditch is, you probably know what patronuses, pensieves, hippogriffs, horcruxes, floo powder, and butterbeer are too. Also, you are well aware of who "You Know Who" is.
But I can't help but wonder… Is Harry Potter "so 2000s" or will the books and films go down in history as bona fide children's classics? Will my children grow up reading J.K. Rowling just like I grew up reading E.B. White?
The books make scant reference to a time period – although the characters' dates of birth can be found online, as clues in the book have prompted fans to do the math. Harry's birthday is reportedly July 31, 1979 - which makes us about the same age. Clearly, I am not the Harry Potter target audience.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/TECH/space/07/16/private.space.ventures/art.xcor.lynx.xcor.jpg caption="This is a rendering of XCOR Aerospace's Lynx, which would be used to send people on suborbital spaceflights."]
For The Washington Post
On the spring morning in 1927 when Charles Lindbergh set off alone across the Atlantic Ocean, only a handful of explorer-adventurers were capable of even attempting the feat. Many had tried before Lindbergh's successful flight, but all had failed and many lost their lives in the process. Most people then thought transatlantic travel was an impossible dream. But 40 years later, 20,000 people a day were safely flying the same route that the "Lone Eagle" had voyaged. Transatlantic flight had become routine.
Forty years ago today, Neil Armstrong, Mike Collins and I began our quarter-million-mile journey through the blackness of space to reach the moon.