WNPR

Dave Davies

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Decades before NFL player Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem to protest police treatment of African-Americans, boxer Muhammad Ali roiled white America with his 1967 resistance to the Vietnam War draft.

The boxer had converted to the Nation of Islam a few years earlier, and he explained his resistance to the war by saying, "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong."

After Marine Sgt. Thomas ("TJ") Brennan was hit by the blast from a rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan in 2010, he suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him unable to recall much of his immediate past — including, at times, the name of his own daughter.

"When I got blown up, it erased a lot of my memories," Brennan says.

On May 25, 1978, a package exploded at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., injuring a security guard. It was the first of a series of 16 bombings that would occur over the next 17 years, killing three people and injuring many others. The suspect in the case, a shadowy figure who frequently used the U.S. mail to send his homemade explosives, became known as the "Unabomber."

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Tales from the American West are marked by heroism, romance and plenty of cruelty. Among those stories, the saga of the Donner Party stands alone — a band of pioneers set out in covered wagons for California, and eventually, stranded, snowbound and starving, resorted to cannibalism.

Pennsylvania's presidential primary is still a month away, but Republican campaigns are starting to focus on the state because it could prove to be a vital store of delegates for the three remaining candidates.

Donald Trump has a narrow path to clinch the 1,237 delegates needed to secure the GOP nomination. Rivals Ted Cruz and John Kasich are now primarily focused on scoring enough delegates of their own to deny Trump a majority of delegates on the first ballot at this summer's Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Who would you turn to to build a temporary city that will come to life for four days, then disappear? That's what planning and managing a national political convention amounts to, and the Democrats have turned to a Pentecostal minister and jigsaw puzzle master with a gift for organization and politics.

The Rev. Leah Daughtry was CEO of the 2008 convention, remembered for Barack Obama's speech in Denver's football stadium. Now the party has turned to her to handle the one in Philadelphia next summer.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Big spending by superPACs has become a fact of life in federal election campaigns, permitting wealthy donors to spend millions to support candidates for president, and increasingly for Congress. Now, superPACs are becoming players in state and local elections as well.

Three superPACs raised and spent more than $10 million total in Philadelphia's mayoral election this year. That's roughly twice the spending of the candidates themselves, who were bound by contribution limits in city election law.