CNN's Soledad O'Brien talks to Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin about what the "Sputnik moment" meant to him.
Sarah Palin takes aim at President Obama's State of the Union address and hits the old Soviet Union instead.
Pres. Obama called this our "Sputnik moment." She says launching sputnik ended up bankrupting the USSR.
Does she have her facts straight? We're keeping her honest. Plus, the congressman who's causing an uproar over his feedback on the State of the Union address and more.
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[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2011/images/01/26/t1larg.jailed.mother.wews.jpg caption="Kelley Williams-Bolar is escorted through the Summit County, Ohio, jail last week." width=300 height=169]
Tonight on 360°, we'll look at the case of an Ohio woman who was jailed for tampering with records to get her two daughters into a better school.
Kelley Williams-Bolar, 40, got out of jail yesterday, having served nine days of her 10-day sentence. Now she faces two years of probation and 80 hours of community service
Here's the back story: Williams-Bolar, a single mom living in public housing in Akron, used her father's address to register her two daughters approximately seven miles away in the Copley-Fairlawn school district.
Williams-Bolar, and her father, maintained that the girls did live with her in Akron and their grandfather part of the time. But the Copley-Fairlawn school district claimed it was all lies. They said they spent $6,000 for a private investigator to track Williams-Bolar. The district also said she should have paid $30,000 in out-of-district tuition.
Critics said the school district and the judge went too far. They said had Williams-Bolar been white she never would have been prosecuted.
Others are applauding the school district's actions. They say Williams-Bolar knowingly ripped off taxpayers.
Williams-Bolar is a teacher's aide at a high school in Akron and is working toward a teaching degree. Now that she has a felony conviction she not be able to teach. She's planning to appeal her conviction.
We'll talk about the public uproar with Dr. Andre Perry, CEO of the UNO Charter Schools and Dr. Boyce Watkins, a Syracuse University professor and Resident Scholar of AOL Black Voices. We'll also look at the legal angles with former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin, of our sister network truTV.
On the political front, we'll hear from Rep. Paul Broun, R-Georgia, who's making headlines for blasting Pres. Obama during his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
Broun sat in his office during the speech not on the House floor and he was busy tweeting his thoughts the whole time.
Here's the tweet that has created the most buzz: "Mr. President, you don't believe in the Constitution. You believe in socialism."
Does Rep. Broun truly believe what he wrote? We'll ask him. Keeping Them Honest.
And, we'll take you live to Egypt – a country on the brink. Thousands of protesters in the world's most populous Arab nation are expected to take to the streets after Friday prayers, demanding that Pres. Hosni Mubarek step down. Egyptian pro-democracy leader and Nobel Peace winner Mohamed ElBaradei will take part in the anti-government rallies tomorrow. We'll talk with CNN's Nic Robertson in Egypt about what's fueling the anger and what this could mean for the region and U.S. relations.
Join us for these stories and more starting at 10 p.m. ET on CNN.
Ready for today's Beat 360°? Everyday we post a picture 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:
Members of the Backstreet Boys and the New Kids on the Block (L-R) Brian Littrell, Jonathan Knight, Howie Dorough, Donnie Wahlberg, Jordan Knight, Joey McIntyre and Danny Wood leap at the base of the Green Monster on January 26, 2011 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo credit:Robert E. Klein/Getty Images)
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.
Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: President Obama has once again called for a new age of American accomplishment. And in today’s letter, I can’t help but ask: In what?
Dear Mr. President,
I am intrigued by the way that you return time and again to the U.S. space program when you are looking for an example of American excellence in science and technology. It makes sense. The quest for the moon was undeniably thrilling, inspiring, and mind-bending. I watch old documentaries about what we accomplished back then, and I am truly in awe. Talk about the audacity of hope! We showed the modern world what a concerted, sustained effort by a clever and courageous group of people can accomplish.
So when you said in your State of the Union address that we need to rally the way we did after the Soviets sent Sputnik soaring to heaven, I was intrigued. This seems like an excellent idea. But what I am not so clear on is the target.
We could all see the moon. The voyage through the black, freezing void of space was outrageously daunting and beyond comprehension, yet at once easily conceived. “We are here. We are going there.” The alpha and the omega were right there. And in between we discovered so many wonders that today we can’t even count them. I daresay each American daily touches, uses, or enjoys some product or technology that owes much of its pedigree to the Apollo missions. The space program gave us many of the tools that shape our lives today, and without it I am hard pressed to believe we would have enjoyed even a fraction of the progress we’ve seen in the past half century.
But I don’t see which moon you are talking about now.
I take on faith that you are committed to a new age of technological and scientific excellence, but I don’t really know to what end. Sometimes you talk about green energy. Sometimes you talk about general resource conservation. Sometimes you talk about better, quicker, cheaper, or smarter products. I think you need to pick a clear goal and name it. Maybe you should say that you want only electric cars on the roads in ten years; or maybe you should say we are going to Mars; or maybe you should…well, I don’t know. Pick whatever you think will work; make it big enough to spark our dreams and sense of greatness, and then put your legislative muscle behind it. That is what happened with the space race.
It is not enough to say, “We should excel.” Absent a clear target, scientific research can be easily confused, and scattered like leaves in the wind. Years can pass, money can be wasted, and we can find ourselves no closer to any substantial goal. But with a true plan, Americans are more than capable of excellence. Just give us a target, and turn us loose.
Just a few thoughts on a Thursday. I hope all is well with you. Did you have any trouble with the snow? Took me an hour and a half just to get home.