President Obama Visits Hiroshima
Maggie: Thanks to Evanston High School for kicking us off and getting us in the Memorial Day mood.
Today President Obama is making history, becoming the first sitting president to visit Hiroshima, Japan, since the U.S. dropped the first nuclear bomb there during World War II. And, as I found out during my visit there, it is a story that is still important today.
Keiko Ogura was 8 years old when America dropped a nuclear bomb just a mile and a half from her home. In an instant, it took more than 70,000 lives.
Keiko Ogura: Attacked by a hundred bombs, we thought.
Maggie: It was just one — the most powerful weapon ever created. It was in this exact location when, at 8:15 in the morning on August 6, 1945, the first nuclear weapon was used in war.
Instantly, this entire area was devastated. Just days later, Japan surrendered, ending years of war. The scars from 70 years ago have been paved over in the rebuilding of this bustling, modern city, but the pain is still there.
At the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, we see everyday items that tell the story of what happened. These are clothes that have been just ripped to shreds by the blast of the bomb, a 4-year-old boy’s tricycle, a student’s lunch box completely melted by the heat. Temperatures reached 7,000 degrees, hotter than the surface of the sun, destroying these everyday items and the people who owned them.
Man: Today there are 16,000 nuclear weapons on Earth, so it is important to take another look at what has happened here.
Maggie: Five nations are officially recognized as having nuclear weapons. Three other countries are known to possess them, and two others are believed to have nuclear weapon programs.
Young people in Hiroshima want the memory of what happened here to start a conversation.
Woman: It’s really important to learn about peace or nuclear weapons because this is a really huge problem in the world right now.
The Next Big Thing of 2016
Maggie: We’ve seen some pretty amazing next big things this school year, and last week we showed you the top five and asked for you guys to pick your fave. So what came in as the next biggest thing of 2016?
In third place, with 11 percent of the votes — Netflix socks, which pause your Netflix if you fall asleep.
Class: We’re Ms. Cosal’s eighth-grade homeroom class, and we’re from West Lee Middle, Sanford, North Carolina. We think the Netflix socks are the next big thing!
Maggie: In second place, at 30 percent, the car vending machine.
Class: This is Mrs. Ganger’s class from Northridge High School in Middlebury, Indiana, and we think the car vending machine is this year’s next big thing.
Maggie: And in first place — drum roll, please — 46 percent of you said NeverWet, the magic spray that protects your prized possessions by turning them completely waterproof.
Class: We’re Ms. Hartnett’s eighth-grade social studies class from Mystic, Connecticut, and we think the NeverWet is the number-one next big thing. Isn’t that right? Yeah! What?!
Class: NeverWet! NeverWet! NeverWet!
2015-2016 Year in Review
Maggie; Hi everyone, I am Maggie Rulli, reporting from Paris, France…
Keith: Hey guys, I am in the chilly Arctic…
Arielle: Right now, I am in the Lower Ninth Ward…
Demetrius: Today I am hanging out in Cuba…
Azia: This is the Great Lawn of New York City’s Central Park…
Tom: They are saying, “Death to Israel, death to America.”
Keith: I know it might be on a small scale, but that is what is contributing to sea-level rise, right there.
Man: There had never been a storm of this size hit the United States.
Maggie: So you have to do all of this just because you can’t use water out of the faucet, right?
George Takei: I could see the barbed-wire fence and the sentry tower right outside my schoolhouse window as I recited the words “with liberty and justice for all.”
Arielle: Oh my God, I did it!
Woman: Five, six, seven, eight!
Woman: And you have to make sure that your knees are over your toes.
Maggie: I ad-libbed a bit, I ad-libbed.
Keith: All right, so this is where the fun starts.
My favorite memory from this season was my tornado chasing experience. Demetrius and I traveled across the Midwest in search of one of the most destructive powers in nature. So just to see one in person, I thought, would be a really cool thing.
We traveled through 12 states, and we finally saw a tornado in Kansas, but you know what, I would say that was just a small portion of the journey. Demetrius and I, we spent days on the road together. After a while I could tell Demetrius really had enough tornado chasing, but overall, the experience was awesome.
Azia: A time when I felt especially nervous was the first time that I was introduced on Channel One. I was so nervous! I’ve done so many on-camera things before. Just knowing that it was the first time that I was going to connect with the Channel One audience, I was freaking out, very nervous. Hopefully, it didn’t come across as that, but I was — I was freaking out.
Demetrius: During our homeless series; Maggie and I were deciding whether or not to shoot down on Skid Row. Skid Row is a part of Los Angeles where a lot of homeless people live. In fact, I think it is the most densely populated area of homeless people in the country. We really wanted to get a shot inside of there.
So we kind of did a scouting report. We had the GoPro on the side of our car, and we did kind of like a drive-by with our camera, and even with the little GoPro on the car, people were spotting our cameras; they were shouting it out, “Hey, they’ve got a camera! They’ve got a camera!” So we decided to just shoot from the outskirts, and we still got approached by somebody.
Arielle: Definitely, the Black Lives Matter story affected me after covering it. This teen was so devoted to enlightening her peers about the need to use your voice. Her character touched me and made me want to just stand up for what I believe in.
Tom: Tackling an issue like the war on drugs was something that challenged me both as a journalist and as a human being. I saw so much despair, so much suffering, and there was heroin use; there was violence. Oftentimes it was hard not to kind of cross the line from being a journalist into being a human being.
You are seeing people who are making destructive choices, and you just kind of have to be there to document it and understand that those are choices that they are making.
Maggie: More so than any other location I have ever filmed in, our week in Iran was unexpected. What you are going to be allowed to film, who you are going to be allowed to talk to, is controlled by the government fixer that you are with. You had to give up control a little bit and just realize that everything was going to be unexpected and you had better just react quickly.