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Around the Nation
4:46 am
Sat July 4, 2015

A Bird Of Courage And A Bash In Denmark: The July 4 You Didn't Know

Benjamin Franklin thought the turkey was a much more respectable bird than the eagle.
Kairon Gnothi (Opportunity Knocks) Flickr

Independence Day is typically filled with revelry — many people drink American beer, shoot explosives into the sky and rock red, white and blue apparel that may not be appropriate for everyday wear. It's also a day full of interesting, quirky history that people usually don't talk about between filling their mouths with hot dogs and singing The Star Spangled Banner off-key.

But if you're destined to spend your holiday at, say, a company cookout, here are five things you may not have known about Independence Day that you can use as conversation starters:

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Goats and Soda
4:39 am
Sat July 4, 2015

Need A Hand? Don't Worry, The Ghanaians Got Your Back

Hanna Barczyk for NPR

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 4:52 am

I finally reached the outskirts of my community after a 5-mile, uphill bike ride from the town where I go to buy groceries.

Hot, exhausted and loaded down with rice, bananas and mangoes, I didn't have the energy to go the final few hundred yards to reach the compound where I live.

Luckily, I didn't have to.

From the distance I heard cries of "n be Wumpini lo lo ni." That means "Welcome home my sister Wumpini." (That's my local name; it means God's gift.)

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Around the Nation
4:25 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

In Philadelphia's Fishtown, A Fierce Debate Over The Fate Of A Polish Church

St. Laurentius, a polish Catholic church in Philadelphia's Fishtown neighborhood, was closed in March amid fears that it would collapse. Since then, the community has pushed back to save the historic building.
Kim Paynter WHYY

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 5:31 pm

For more than a century, the copper spires of St. Laurentius have stood tall over Philadelphia's Fishtown. But the city's oldest Polish church — founded in 1882 — could soon face the wrecking ball.

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Politics
4:25 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

Donald Trump Controversy Highlights Influence Of Hispanics In U.S.

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 5:31 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Donald Trump is doubling down on his negative comments about Mexicans and illegal immigration. To recap, here's what he said last month when he announced his presidential run.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Architecture
4:25 pm
Fri July 3, 2015

Chicago To Replace Famed Ferris Wheel With Taller One

Originally published on Fri July 3, 2015 5:31 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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