One hundred fifty years ago today, Giuseppe Verdi first mounted his opera La Forza del Destino ("The Force of Destiny") on a stage in St. Petersburg, Russia. Today, La Forza is considered one of Verdi's masterpieces, but it wasn't always that way. The story of Don Alvaro, whose love for the aristocratic Leonora incurs the wrath of her family, is violent and chaotic, and it flopped on its first run.
On Dec. 23, 1973, cars lined up in two directions at a gas station in New York City.
Credit Marty Lederhandler / AP
Cars line up in two directions at a gas station in New York City on Dec. 23, 1973.
Leon Mill spray paints a sign outside his Phillips 66 station in Perkasie, Pa., on June 1, 1973, to let his customers know he's out of gas. An oil crisis was the culprit, squeezing U.S. businesses and consumers who were forced to line up at gas stations for hours.
Drivers and a man pushing a lawnmower line up at gas station in San Jose, Calif., on March 15, 1974.
Motorists rush to fill their gas tanks in Martinez, Calif., on Sept. 21, 1973. Northern California service station operators threatened to shut down entirely to protest gas price restrictions.
Gas lines in America may be rare, but they're not unprecedented.
The gas shortage in the Northeast, the result of Superstorm Sandy, is inflicting plenty of pain. But it's a localized phenomenon that's not expected to last for long.
During two separate oil crises in the 1970s, Americans from coast to coast faced persistent gas shortages as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, flexed its muscles and disrupted oil supplies.
In 1973 and again in 1979, drivers frequently faced around-the-block lines when they tried to fill up.
Nickelback. The name itself is musical shorthand for everything music aficionados love to hate about modern rock.
But with more than 50 million record sales worldwide and a lead singer who earns $10 million a year, the band is laughing all the way to the bank — as reporter Ben Paynter describes in Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine.
When Katherine Marsh was a young girl, she was mesmerized by the dwarfs of Diego Velazquez's paintings. Years later, that obsession inspired Jepp, Who Defied the Stars, her latest novel for young adults.
Marsh joins NPR's Guy Raz to discuss her book, which is rooted in history, yet speckled with fantasy. It carries her readers to the Spanish Netherlands in the late 16th century to tell the coming-of-age story of Jepp of Astraveld.