The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels soar over the Florida Keys during a March 23 air show. The group has <a href="http://blog.al.com/gulf-coast/2013/04/blue_angels_practices_shows_ca.html">canceled several air shows</a> in <a href="http://www.blueangels.navy.mil/show/">April and May</a>, reportedly owing to budget cuts.
Automatic federal budget cuts that kicked in March 1 have had little initial impact in many parts of the government. For a few programs, however, the effect has been real and painful, as the government begins cutting $85 billion from its spending through the end of September.
Many of the earliest signs of the cuts are being seen on the local level, in state programs like education that rely in part on federal dollars.
Ruben Aguilar, 85, was forcibly deported from the U.S. 80 years ago as part of a largely forgotten Mexican repatriation program run by the American government.
During the Great Depression, hundreds of thousands of people of Mexican descent were forcibly deported to Mexico without due process, including many American citizens. Aguilar, an American citizen, was born in Chicago but was deported with his parents, who were undocumented. At the time, he was 6 years old.
This July, The Rolling Stones will play London's Hyde Park for the first time in 44 years. The band's last concert there — July 5, 1969 — turned out to be a defining moment in musical history, which those who were there will never forget. Mick Jagger hasn't.
<strong>WUNC 70's Beer: </strong>North Carolina Public Radio brewed their thanks in the late 70's with WUNC brew. It was brewed by a former program director, guaranteed to be "fun-raising" and labeled at 91.5% pure (the station frequency).
Credit Keith Weston / WUNC
<p><strong><strong><strong>Public Radio Tattoos</strong>: </strong></strong>Capital Public Radio is one of the stations that plans to get in on this temporary tattoo action. From April 19-25, listeners who contribute will get a full set of these fun vintage tattoos. See all the designs here: <a href="http://www.thisamericanlife.org/tattoos">http://www.thisamericanlife.org/tattoos</a></p><p></p>
Credit Andy Perez
<strong>KEXP Belt Buckle:</strong> Seattle's KEXP sends out belt buckles so supporting members can don their favorite radio station in style. The station just wrapped up their spring pledge drive and these buckles helped make it a major success.
Credit Janice Headley / KEXP
<strong>WUNC 70's Beer: </strong>North Carolina Public Radio brewed their thanks in the late 70's with WUNC Brew. Made by a former program director at the station, WUNC Brew promises to be "fun-raising" at "91.5% pure" (the station frequency).
Credit Keith Weston / WUNC
<strong>KRCC Squirrel Underpants:</strong> During their spring 2009 pledge drive, Colorado's KRCC thanked supporters with itty bitty squirrel underwear for "boys." Listeners went nuts for these tiny tighty-whities. They were so popular, in fact, that the girls line was made available in later drives.
Credit Katie Burk / NPR
<p><strong>WUWF, "Your World on a Short Leash":</strong> From 2006-07 Florida's WUWF - or "woof" - showed that they appreciate more than just their human listeners when they offered a treat for their four-legged friends. The WUWF-branded bowl and leash reads, "Your World on a Short Leash."</p><p></p><p></p>
Credit Pat Crawford / WUWF
<strong>WWNO "Makin' Groceries" Tote Bag:</strong> In 2007, Member Station WWNO helped listeners show off their city pride by placing the popular New Orleans saying, "Makin' Groceries," on a tote bag. The NOLA jargon for food shopping was displayed with a literal interpretation of the phrase, created by local design artist, Blake Haney.
Credit Jeffrey Sklaver
<strong>KMUW Zombie Protection Helmet:</strong> Last year, Wichita did more than thank their radio supporters for pledging; they also helped protect listeners from harm during a zombie apocalypse, of course. The station offered protective helmets to those who contributed at the "Zombie Apocalypse Premium Level." They even brought in musician Jonathan Coulton to help explain: http://bit.ly/13UR0kl
Credit Sarah Jane Crespo / KMUW
<strong>WPR "Food for 40": </strong>Wisconsin Public Radio has shown thanks by paying it forward since 2010. Listeners can request that instead of a gift, WPR gives a Wisconsin food bank $8, which covers approximately 40 meals. Through their donations, WPR listeners have provided approximately 246,080 meals to those in need.
<p><strong>Public Radio Tattoos: </strong>Public radio shows and stations including NPR, WNYC, WHYY and <em>This American Life </em>collaborated to design a tattoos premium for Member Stations to offer as thank you gifts this spring. Keep an eye out for their mid-April release and you, too, can rock some hardcore <em>Morning Edition</em> or <em>All Things Considered</em> ink.</p><p></p>
Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 8:41 am
Ok, so pledge drive season might not be your most favorite time of the year. But if you are like many of us, it's the thank you gift that really gets you opening your wallet (oh, and all that great programming).
From donations befitting local organizations, to tiny underpants (not that kind), NPR Member Stations are coming up with distinctive and regionally-inspired ways to thank the listeners and fans who support them. Check out the slideshow below to see the pledge gifts, and in some cases gaffs, public radio stations use to share their appreciation.