For years, she was known simply as The Great Mae Young. She started out in high school, wrestling boys and challenging top female wrestlers. Decades later, she took on far younger opponents and demanded to be "powerbombed" into folding tables by huge men.
Sears, Roebuck put out its first catalog in the 1890's. You could buy a watch, jewelry and, later on, saddles, sewing machines, silk stockings, even live singing canaries. “The Sears catalog was a bit of a godsend to rural consumers,” says Art Carden, an economics professor at Samford University’s Brock School of Business.
Hello, consumer economy!
The Sears catalog gave people easy access, good quality, good prices, delivered to their doorstep. “The Sears catalog was even good for urban consumers because it meant they didn’t have to shop at the even pricier department stores,” says Carden.
“It is exactly the late 19th and 20th century predecessor to Amazon,” says Daniel Raff, a professor of management at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
So where did things go so wrong for Sears? When they are going so right for Amazon? “The large reasons have to do with the rise of internet commerce and the decline of the attractiveness of physical stores,” says Raff.
In 1925, Sears opened its first store. Today, Sears and its sister store Kmart, have twice the retail square footage of JC Penney.
But shoppers don’t want stores. More and more want to shop without leaving home. A model that Sears, at least in the old days, was really good at.
Scientists have shown that damage to the brain's "white matter" is responsible for many of the developmental problems that very premature infants often face. Now researchers have also demonstrated that it's possible to prevent that sort of damage in mice.
The fifth anniversary of the bull market is right around the corner. The Dow Jones Industrial average is worth nearly triple what it was at its lowest point (that's 6,447 in March 2009).
Of course, the fifth anniversary of the bull run comes amid lots of talk about a market correction on the horizon. For a true correction to happen, the stock market has to drop at least 10%. That would mean the Dow Jones Industrial Average would have to fall 1,600 points (ouch).
Turns out, we're due for a fall. "The S&P 500 has averaged a correction every 18 months, and currently we haven’t had one since 2011. So we’re about 28 months overdue," says Alec Young, global equity strategist with S&P Capital IQ.
"The rally is long in the tooth, but it is also a unique circumstance on a lot of levels," says Max Wolff, chief economist at ZT Wealth. Even so, Wolff still expects a correction. He says unemployment is high, economic growth has been slow, and then there’s the Federal Reserve: It's been pumping billions into our economy every month for years, and it’s hard to know what will happen as the Fed slows down the stimulus.
"We’re about to see, over the next six months, how much of the market’s rally was Fed policy, and how much of the market’s rally was the economy," says Wolff. "That makes everybody nervous and it should."
But a correction would probably not turn into a crash, says Gary Thayer, Chief Macro Strategist with Wells Fargo Advisors. He says corporate earnings are strong and most companies’ stock is not overvalued if you look at how much they’re taking in.
"So, we’re expecting it would just be a temporary pullback in the market, not a reversal in the trend."
So, even if the market’s bull run is over, we don’t necessarily have to brace for the bears.
President Obama last year appointed a commission to recommend ways that local election officials can shorten lines at the polls. On Wednesday, that commission is releasing its final report, offering suggestions on how to make improvements in the voting experience.
Months before Brazil hosts the World Cup, preparations are going at breakneck speed to host the hundreds of thousands of tourists who will pour in to watch the extravaganza. Still, construction on several of the proposed stadiums is behind schedule, and infrastructure upgrades have been delayed, as well. Will Brazil be ready for the games?
Voters in Turkey go to the polls on March 30 to elect local officials, and the election is seen as the first chance for Turks to weigh in on a number of major controversies. These include Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's increasingly autocratic governing style, the growing repression of free speech and a corruption scandal that has claimed the jobs of three cabinet ministers thus far. The race for Istanbul mayor is seen as the best hope for Turkey's secular opposition to lift itself off the political mat and become a contender again.
The Pentagon is saying that it needs to keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014 to train Afghans and maintain a counterterror mission. But military officials are once again running into interference from Vice President Joe Biden. That's nothing new: Biden in particular has for years pushed for a counterterror option of only several thousand troops, though the military says that number is far too small. The Pentagon argues that Biden's proposal would mean the U.S. forces would be largely consigned to their bases.
At the White House on Wednesday, President Obama's Council on Women and Girls presented its report on sexual assault, calling it an epidemic especially on college campuses. The report claims that one in five women will experience a sexual assault in their lifetimes. Only 12 percent of victims actually report it, though.
As the peace conference on Syria begins in the Swiss city of Montreaux, Robert Siegel talks to Lord David Owen, the former British foreign secretary. They discuss Owen's experience with a similarly fraught peace process, when he sought to broker a peace plan between the Serbians and Bosnians in the 1990s.
The long-anticipated Syrian peace conference commenced on Wednesday in Montreux, Switzerland. The opening day marked the first time Syrian government and opposition members came together in the same room. Each side blamed the other for the three years of bloodshed in Syria. NPR's Deborah Amos offers a recap and analysis of the day's events from Switzerland.
Because North Carolina didn't expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, many low-income people who could otherwise benefit from the law don't. But there are often ways to bump up their incomes just enough to help them qualify for subsidized coverage.
Puerto Ricans are less likely to speak Spanish at home, compared with other Latinos living in the U.S. According to an NPR poll, only 20 percent of Puerto Ricans speak Spanish at home — less than half the percentage for respondents overall.
Two teams of medical doctors and political columnists face off over the hot-button health care law in the latest Intelligence Squared debate. Is Obamacare fundamentally flawed or poised to transform the health care system for the better?