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Then and Now

November 1999 -- This year Morning Edition celebrates its 20th anniversary. To mark the occasion, we're dusting off the archives and producing a special series of reports examining how life has changed since the show first aired 20 years ago.

audio icon Technology
NPR's Renee Montagne reflects how technology has changed since 1978 when there were no cellular phones, no fax machines, no ATMs, no personal computers and no Internet.

audio icon Shopping
In the past 20 years, the once-dominant shopping mall has given way to discounters, "category killers," and now, the Internet. NPR's Madeleine Brand reports on how shopping has evolved since 1979.

audio icon Gender Equity
Gender equity has come a long way in the past 20 years -- especially in college athletics. In December 1979, Title IX went into effect, forcing colleges and universities to equalize spending in men's and women's sports or lose federal funding. Hear more about Title IX and its effect on the world of sports from NPR's Jim Wildman.

audio icon Bob Edwards Talks with Red Barber, 1999
From the 1930s through the '60s, pioneering sportscaster Red Barber did play-by-play successively for the Reds, the Dodgers and the Yankees. From 1981 until his death in 1992, he was a regular Friday morning guest on Morning Edition. Hear Morning Edition host Bob Edwards recall one chat with the legendary Barber.

audio icon Space Shuttle
The sound of the countdown and the noise of lift-off have been heard often during Morning Edition's 20 years. This year coincides with the 18th anniversary of the space shuttle. Host Bob Edwards and NPR's Neal Conan recall the sounds and significance of the space shuttle, and the legendary figures -- Chuck Yeager, Arthur C. Clark, John Glenn -- who helped bring that story to you.

audio icon Bob Edwards Talks with Red Barber, 1982
From 1982, another of host Bob Edwards' conversations with the late Red Barber -- as usual, touching on sports, broadcasting and anything else on his mind.

more icon Mount St. Helens
Recall one of the big stories during Morning Edition's first year, as NPR's Howard Berkes revisits the site of the May 18, 1980, eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington.

audio icon Bob Edwards Talks with Red Barber, 1981
Red Barber brings back baseball history in a July 4th conversation with Bob Edwards in 1981, when a labor dispute left America without baseball.

audio icon Inflation
Twenty years ago, Americans faced an economy marked by prices rising rapidly and inflation seeping into the fabric of everyday life. NPR Economics Correspondent John Ydstie examines the inflation of the late 1970s and how it finally was beaten.

audio icon Bob Edwards Talks with Charles Osgood
Host Bob Edwards talks to Charles Osgood of CBS News, who was the first person Bob interviewed when Morning Edition went on the air in November 1979. Like Bob, Charles begins his work day around 2:30 a.m., preparing for the CBS radio program The Osgood File. He also has hosted the television program CBS News Sunday Morning. During the interview, Osgood reads some of his doggerel, including a verse he writes on the spot for the 20th anniversary celebration.

audio icon John Ciardi
John Ciardi, a poet and etymologist, was a regular commentator on the program before his death in 1986. During its 20th anniversary year, Morning Edition is remembering some old friends and replaying some favorite moments. Many listeners also remember John Ciardi, and his passion for words. In this broadcast, he talked about a citation he saw in a dictionary of computer terms.

audio icon Bob Edwards Talks with Red Barber, 1986
In October 1986, host Bob Edwards talked to Red Barber about two of baseball's most famous home runs.

audio icon Pacific Bell Park
During a visit to the West Coast for a series of events to mark Morning Edition's 20th anniversary, Bob Edwards visited the construction site of the new home of the San Francisco Giants with baseball great Willie Mays. During more than 20 seasons with the Giants in New York and in San Francisco, Mays won 12 gold gloves. He played in 24 All-Star games, and slugged his way to third place on baseball's all-time career home run list.

audio icon Heart Disease
NPR's Science Correspondent Joanne Silberner reviews 20 years of progress in the fight against heart disease. Inside a hospital operating room, Silberner observes heart specialist Stuart Seides as he performs a procedure called a catheterization. Seides says his profession has advanced so much, and changed so radically, that the greatest cardiologist on earth 20 years ago would be lost today.