Six Years Of Change

Day to Day premiered on NPR on July 28, 2003. As you can imagine, quite a few things have changed since then, including our military presence in Iraq, housing prices, gas prices ... and the list goes on.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MADELEINE BRAND, host:

From the studios of NPR West, this is Day to Day. I'm Madeleine Brand.

ALEX COHEN:

And I'm Alex Cohen.

BRAND: OK, this is it. Maybe we should just call it "Day" because this is the final broadcast of Day to Day.

COHEN: This show first hit the air on July 28th, 2003. Today, we promise to go out with a bang, but we want to start off looking at how much has changed in the world over the past five years or so.

BRAND: A lot has happened. For instance, the war in Iraq had just started. In fact, by the time we first went to air, then-President Bush had already declared mission accomplished.

COHEN: Of course, U.S. troops are still there, and combat troops will be there until August of 2010.

BRAND: Then, about two weeks after Day to Day launched, there was that huge blackout on the East Coast. I was in New York City that day. I was actually reporting for the show, and Alex Chadwick was the host.

(Soundbite of Day to Day news report)

ALEX CHADWICK: Is electricity back on locally just where you are?

BRAND: Just where we are, no, but there are spots where the power is back on.

CHADWICK: OK.

BRAND: Times Square, for instance.

CHADWICK: How did people spend the night?

BRAND: People spent the night in all manner of strange ways. Some people actually slept in parks. Some people crashed at friends' houses in Manhattan if they couldn't get out. Other people I spoke to walked three hours downtown and across the Brooklyn Bridge or the Manhattan Bridge to get to Brooklyn. And people who decided just to make the best of it - there were people outside drinking, partying.

BRAND: I have to say, I was one of those people. I mean, after I got off the air, of course.

(Soundbite of laughter)

COHEN: Day to Day has always prided itself on being a partying show and a West Coast show, and back here in California, things are really different now than they were when Day to Day first started. Well, sort of. There's a huge budget deficit now, and there was one back then, too. In fact, former Governor Gray Davis was booted from office in large part because of that deficit.

BRAND: We had Governor Gray Davis on our first show. Here's Alex asking him about the efforts to kick him out of office.

(Soundbite of interview)

ALEX CHADWICK: You must know how voters go here. What difference is it going to make if Arnold Schwarzenegger gets in the race?

Former Governor GRAY DAVIS (Democrat, California): Doesn't make any difference at all.

CHADWICK: Really?

Former Governor DAVIS: No.

CHADWICK: Governor Davis, thank you for speaking with us.

Former Governor DAVIS: Thank you. And welcome to California.

COHEN: And of course, we all know how that race went. But here's something interesting, Madeleine. In light of the economic meltdown that started with subprime mortgages and the crash of the housing market, do you know what the median home price was nationally back then, when the show started?

BRAND: No. No idea.

COHEN: About $177,000. And just for a little sense of where it all winds up - February of this year, it's at about 180,000.

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