tv America Tonight Al Jazeera September 14, 2014 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
bulletproof stocking. we will not forget the name. i'm richelle carey, "america tonight" is next. be sure to visit the website for news and updates. go to aljazeera.com. thanks for you time. >> on america tonight, the weekend edition, the blade runner's biggest challenge, after a lifetime of racing through hurdles, olympian oscar pistorius faces a trial he can't run from. >> i fired four shots at the door. my ears were ringing. i couldn't hear anything. i sat over reeva and i cried. >> a verdict in the death of his glamorous girlfriend, is his
long run at south africa's most celebrated athlete over? >> also, a new political lightning rod and the battlefield is your child's classroom. is common core the new obamacare. >> if you like obama core, you're a communist. that's what i heard at louisiana state board meetings and elsewhere. >> an in democratic look at how the fight over public school standards could play out in this fall's election. >> and oh say, can you see. >> by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed the twilight's last gleaming. >> the stitches that held a young nation together and created the fabric of a new union. adam may with the star spangled celebration.
>> thank you for are joining us. following months of deliberation and emotional testimony, the south african oscar pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide after acquitted of murder charges for killing his girlfriend. awaiting sentencing, we report on the man known as the blade runner, his rise to stardom and his spectacular fall. >> he's known as the blade runner. >> has shattered another barrier. >> the first to run in the olympics. >> the drama of oscar pistorius life plays out like a classic tragedy. he was once a revered sports hero. a sprinting star, an inspiration to the world. as the first double amputee to
complete in the olympic games. he shot and killed his girlfriend. >> less than two years, aboscar pistorius was living the dream. overcoming incredible odds from the time he was a boy. >> i grew up in a house with my parents. my mother said to me when i woke up in the morning, oscar, you put on your legs and my brother,
put on your shoes. basically, i grew up my legs were like different shoes, you know. we grew up in a very typical south african household and never had any worries or issues. >> he was born without fibula bones. doctors amputated his legs when he was a baby. he quickly mastered brought they goetics. >> i played sports with all the other kids in the community. i went to school with my brother and sister to the same school and got on with life. kids initially when they see something different, they might be reserved, but as you get going, they go this guy hasn't got any problems. >> i was certainly taken aback by this incredible youngster, that had a disability, but life wasn't getting him down. >> south african sports journalist said he was a confident kid when he met the rising star 15 years ago. >> there was already talk about this young kid who was going to be possibly the next paralympic
star. i think his dream was boys to run with able-bodied athletes. piss goal was to run with able-bodied athletes. he challenged the system. >> i met him when he was 17. he had just got into athletics and on the strength of his ability to run the 100 meters and break the world record for a double leg amputee on his first attempt, he was rushed on to the team. we didn't know his name or anything about him. he was quiet, unassuming young man. >> he was soon gracing the pages of "time" magazine twice as one of the most influential people in the world. >> he became known around the world. the status was massive. he had so much power from being
this disabled athlete and what he was about to achieve, and just took it to another whole level. >> even with his carbon fiber blades, his pace was on par with the world's most elite able-bodied athletes. he fought to compete against them. the international association of athletic if he would reaction shut him down, saying the blades gave him an advantage. pistorius appealed. >> we went to rice university and conduct the three weeks of testing. our results were extremely different. we looked at the prosecutors they goetic leg, acceleration, deceleration, energy expenditure, stride length, swing time. we went to the courts of arbitration for sports and all three judges in the case agreed in our favor, so really a unanimous decision. >> he was making great strides and history by racing in the 2012 olympic games. he didn't medal there, but that didn't matter. >> he was a source of enormous
inspiration. it doesn't harm him that he was a good-looking kid and that he knew how to handle the media. this was all part of what made up oscar pistorius, but the fact that he had overcome such remarkable odds and achieved so much meant that he would inspire other athletes who came behind him. more than that, it was anybody who felt they couldn't achieve something in whatever world it was that they belonged to. they looked to oscar pistorius and got inspiration. >> he went on to win gold at the paralympics and named one of people's magazines sexiest men alive. in 2012, he met reef stein, a model and paralegal turned t.v. personality. just three months later, he shot and killed her at his home. he claims he thought she was an intruder.
>> the prosecutor known as a pit bull and bulldog for his cross examinations showed pictures of the body in court. >> you know that the same happened to riva's head. it exploded. >> as i picked riva up, i touched her head. i don't have to look at a picture. i was there. >> now his fate lies in the hands of the judge, a woman known for giving harsh sentences in domestic violence cases. >> he was a terrible witness, and i feared the worst for the outcome for oscar pistorius.
he was not convincing. >> unfortunately, there's only one person that will ever know the truth and that's himself. there's so many questions that need to be answered. for me, the real tragedy is that a family's lost a daughter. you lost a sportsman that's gone from hero to zero, but a family's last a life and that for me is the real tragedy. >> a classic tragedy that regardless of the outcome in worth, ends with a hero defeated. aljazeera. >> when we return, hard to watch images of animals being abused, but a key part of making the case. >> without video evidence, it is often nearly impossible to get authorities, especially in rural areas to bring criminal charges in farm animal cases. >> we investigate iowas spans to whistle blower's efforts to
expose abuse, putting them behind bars. pregnant don't mean your life's ended. >> intense pressure... >> i don't know if this whole dance thing will work out. >> tough realities... >> we chicago ch-iraq, because we have more killings... >> life changing moments... >> shut the camera.... >> from oscar winning director, alex gibney, a hard hitting look at the real issues facing american teens. the incredible journey continues... on the edge of eighteen only on all jazeera america
>> al jazeera america starts off at 8 with primetime news. our fearless journalists bring you ground breaking reports from around the world, and here at home. >> this has been one of the hottest of the hotspots... >> then at 9, it's al jazeera america presents... award winning documentaries that will open your hearts and minds. >> i don't know if iv'e ever seen anything like this... >> and at 10, don't miss the best the best of america tonight, in depth reports, with unique
perspectives. >> people are coming from hours away, to try to help. only on al jazeera america >> a batting brewing down on the familiar, the united states is the largest beef and poultry producer ranging second to china in pork production. it is worth tens of billions of dollars. it doesn't come as a surprise that state governments want to protect farmers. how they're doing it is now raising concern. we have a warning to viewers that some of the video in this report is quite disturbing. >> acting on a tip, the animal rights green peta sent investigators to secretly record a large hog operation in iowa.
>> don't be afraid to hurt them. >> over several months, they recorded pigs beaten with metal rods, kicked repeatedly, and a cropled sow receive ago prod. >> i wouldn't tolerate that on my farm. >> craig hill is president of the iowa farm bureau. >> you always want hope pigs. when you walk in the door, you kind of know, you just as a producer, you sense by their activities and how they're behaving and their actions. >> in iowa's capitol des moines, the peta video prompted action from state legislators, but not what you might think. they passed a law aimed not at animal abuse, but of anyone going undercover to investigate abuse. the law was initially authored by lobbyists for the agriculture industry, making it a crime
punishable by jail time to lion a job application at a farm. if you want to work at the hog facility where the videotape was shot, you now have to answer this question on your job application, are you a member of peta, the humane society of the united states or any other animal rights organization? opponents of the law call it ag gag. >> it's a misnomer. there's nothing about gag. it is about agriculture, and it is about being authentic. >> why did the farm bureau support the law? >> because we didn't want individuals coming to our farms, applying to work, telling us that they have had a history or experience in animal care, which was not true. their in tent was to maliciously capture some footage or some video that could be used against you and put you out of business.
>> why do you use the word malicious? >> i think it's malicious when they show up intent on putting you out of business. >> pork is big business in iowa, the number one pork producing state, worth $5 billion to the state's economy. this in a state with only 3 million people. iowa's bill was the first such law in the u.s., since then, six other states have passed similar legislation. idaho, kansas, missouri, montana, north carolina dakota and utah, designed to prevent videotaping without a farmer's consent. paul shapiro is vice president for farm bureau protection. >> this is a very clear effort for the meat industry to prevent whistle blowers from gaining employment at factory farms and slaughter plants, because they don't want them taking photos of routine animal cruelty, food safety problems and more.
>> the cow, he's alive. >> yes! >> last year in utah, amy myers shot this videotape on the side of the road on public property of a cow being moved with a tractor outside a slaughterhouse. >> what's going on today? >> oh, not a whole lot. >> the police weren't interested in the slaughterhouse workers. instead, meyer was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor, agricultural operation interference, becoming the first person charged under one of those so-called ag gag laws. >> am i free to leave or being detained? >> you are being tee detained right now. >> ok. >> the case against her was dropped and the law challenged in court. >> that's what these ag gag laws are all about. >> like peta, the humane society used undercover video like this operation in new jersey. as a result of this footage, the
u.s. department of agriculture temporarily suspended operations at this facility. activists argue video evidence over time helps establish a pattern of abuse, so important in criminal cases. >> without video evidence, it is often nearly impossible to get authorities, especially in rural areas to bring criminal charges in farm animal cases. >> in total, i spent probably five years in nebraska, iowa, and minnesota. >> ted has written a book coming out this call called the chain, examining pork production in the united states. he met us outside the hog operation where in 2008, surround suffer undercover peta operatives shot footage for months. >> the result was eventually, six people were charged with livestock abuse, and there were several convictions, and which
was the first case of livestock abuse being successfully prosecuted. >> first time. >> in iowa. that's right, in fact, first time on a midwestern farm. >> how important was the video? >> the video was critical. the sheriff's department was able to come out and interview the workers here, and to show them the video, and to say here's video of the abuse and what do you have to say. >> sean lions was the first worker the sheriff's department talked to and the first convicted. we found him at his home nearby, unemployed and angry about what had happened. >> i was doing what i was told to do. >> he told us he was mad at the investigators for gathering the evidence that cost him his job. >> i worked side by side next to the dude every day, thinking he was all right, there he was, getting me in trouble.
>> iowa farm bureau president craig hill says workers should get in trouble for abusing animals. >> you would hope that if an individual witnesses that, an employee, or a passer by or anybody in the community sees something like that taking place, that they would report it immediately. they would go to the owner first of all and say that's not right, you shouldn't be doing that, and if you don't get a recourse, then you go to the deputy sheriff or the sheriff's office. >> if the real issue and concern is for animal welfare, then why not report those abuses as soon as they're seen? why carry on an investigation which can last for months where animals are repeatedly abused. >> we would never ask justified cover officers to out themselves one or two days after an investigation is begun. we allow them the ability to continue their investigation for weeks or months to gather the evidence. >> he says when the peta investigator finally reported the abuse he witnessed to a supervisor, he was fired, and
the initial whistle blower who contacted peta was fired after he complained, too. >> these are facilities where, you know, that the workforce is largely unskilled and untrained. you can replace people very quickly, and so, it doesn't take anything to decide that somebody is being a trouble maker by reporting something, and to get rid of them and hire somebody who doesn't complain. >> peta is unapologetic about its agenda. it wants videos like these to bring an end to animals raised for food. the humane society has different goals. >> the meat industry views animals as units of production on an assembly line, merely commodities. the humane society view animals as living creatures who deserve to be treated with some mod come
of decency and compassion. >> craig hill said farmers don't want animals mistreated, either. last year, iowa farmers launched the animal farm animal care coalition with a hot line to report abuse. >> this is something i think people miss, our goals are aligned. the better i care for an animal, the more healthy they are, the more productive they are. >> farmers and the groups that watch over them have very different ideas about how to stamp out animal abuse. there's no sign they'll be seeing eye to eye anytime soon. aljazeera, iowa. >> after the break, a new lesson in american education, the common core. is it a breakthrough in raising standards or another political football? >> how is what you're doing now different than what you were doing before?
>> old systems, here's your quiz, 20 multiple choice, matching, whatever. new system, explain how you did that, justify it with textual evidence. you know, you can't copy it, you can't fake it. >> correspondent, in class, the students and teachers challenged by the common core. >> they're blocking the doors... ground breaking... they killed evan dead... truth seeking... >> they don't wanna see what's really going on >> break though investigative documentary series america's war workers only on al jazeera america real reporting that brings you the world. >> this is a pretty dangerous trip. >> security in beirut is tight.
>> more reporters. >> they don't have the resources to take the fight to al shabaab. >> more bureaus, more stories. >> this is where the typhoon came ashore. giving you a real global perspective like no other can. >> al jazeera, nairobi. >> on the turkey-syria border. >> venezuela. >> beijing. >> kabul. >> hong kong. >> ukraine. >> the artic. real reporting from around the world. this is what we do. al jazeera america. ow.
common core is mired in controversy. >> how we can reach answers in various ways, ok? >> it's the first week of school at mcdonough 42, a charter schooling in the heart of new orleans. this year, things are a little different. >> what is another word for numbers? >> digits. >> one peek and you'll see for yourself. >> lets make 123. >> instead of memorizing multiplication tables, instead of tackling stacks of addition problems by rote, students are literally feeling their way through problems. >> 70, 80, 90, 100. >> because some of the words are missing, why? >> english is different, too. in the seventh grade class, students are learning grammar in style in ways that might be unfamiliar to their older siblings, not to mention their parents. >> why can't he come right out and tell this guy hey, the pile
is dead? >> he's not sure. >> you think he's not sure. >> how is what you're doing different than before? >> the old system, here's your quiz, 20 multiple choice, matching, whatever. new system, explain how did you that, justify it with textual evidence. you can't copy it, you can't fake it. >> this new approach is inspired by common core instead of national academic standards in math and english going into effect this year. the initiative outlines what every student in america should know by the end of each grade. >> we saw our job as defining what students needed to learn. >> a san francisco based math educator was on the three person team that wrote the new math standards. they modeled them after high performing countries like japan.
>> our curriculum was a mile wide and an inch deep when you compare it to the high performing countries. japan might spend a week and a half on a topic and here we would spend three days. it's not necessarily magic why more of their students learn it. the transition is you have to for teachers and school districts. >> how difficult has it been to make the transition? >> it's been a really, really steep learning curve, teaching for 15 years, i had every lesson plan you could possibly think of, oh, you know, comparative add vees, i can do that in my sleep, but i believe as a result of common core, these kids are going to be be able to think critically. >> the students learn at a deeper academic level. >> mickey landry is the executive director of choice foundation which runs this
school and two others. his staff trained for two years to implement the new standards and landry is confident students will benefit. >> three to five years down the road. >> a bipartisan group of governors and education experts from 48 states came to the same conclusion when they developed the standards in 2010. they were building on the bush administration's accountability driven no child left behind policy. the obama administration embraced it and encouraged states to do the same, if they wanted in on federal race to the top funds. >> in 2012, louisiana's republican governor bobby jindal announced his support at a choice foundation school with mickey landry by his side. >> parents and kids will not be trapped in a failing school because of their zip code, income, gender or color. this summer, the governor announced he wanted louisiana to join three other states, oklahoma, indiana and south
carolina in rejecting the standards. >> at some point, you have to say enough is enough and this is where we're drawing the line in louisiana. >> how could he on the one hand in 2012 come to one of our schools and declare that he was going to raise the standards and raise the rigor for curriculum because that's what our children needed to compete in the world they're going to live in as duties and pull the rug out from under us. >> that's what it feltic, he was pulling the rug from under you? >> absolutely. it totally baffled me. when you look at the political world that he lives in and you look at the competition he's got for republican presidential, they had pulled from common core and i guess that's the decision he made. >> he was sued to prevent him
from pulling out of common core. in august, a judge ruled in their favor. not ready to admit defeat, the governor filed suit against the obama administration, claiming it's forcing states to adopt the common core. >> america tonight asked an interview with governor jindal, but he declined. it's not just louisiana. across the country, republican governors who once signed on to the core are now distancing themselves, pushed in part by conservatives like glenn beck. >> our kids are owl robot like these. >> who's cast it as the latest big government intrusion. in july, he hosted a live event, broadcast at movie theaters across the country where he taught parents not to conform, but rather to fight what has become known as obama core, the new obamacare. >> if you like obama core, you're a communist, that's what i've heard at louisiana state board of education meetings and
elsewhere. look, i'm a vietnam era veteran. i am not a communist, and i could just as easily call those people clansmen, because they're keeping my kids back from succeeds at a much more rigorous curriculum. >> would you consider yourselves members of the tea party? >> no. >> not at all. >> you're democrats? >> i'm a liberal. right out there. >> across lake ponce train, some parents and teachers are organizing against the common core, saying politics aside, there are real reasons to oppose them. amy decided to homeschool. >> i have an issue with standards being national standards, because i have an issue with everybody needs to be doing exactly the same thing. >> what really seem to say bother parents like amy, she says common core methods
designed to dive deeper into subjects like math actually confuse children. >> i still to this day am fixing his math, as ihome school. we had this one particular problem, jim had two quarters and a nickel and he wanted to buy a candy bar that is worth 50 cents. we want to find the value of the coins. that's fine. five questions later, asking the same number problem and at the end explain how you arrive at the answer. he said i know because i listened. i can't argue with that, the kid is correct. >> to be clear about this, there was a problem that was phrased a variety of different ways. >> yes. >> it's actually asking the same thing. >> right, right, which is a valid method, but i wasn't seeing the list to make sure we know all these math facts so that we can answer the problem. >> across the country, parents have raised similar concerns.
comedian louie k. spoke on david letterman. >> bill has flee goldfish. he buys two more, how many dogs live in london? or something like that. >> common core defenders say these methods worked in japan and singapore. >> two plus two still equals four. the kids still have to be fluent with the basic subtraction and multiplication and difficulties facts, but being able to calculate is no longer efficient. >> i want to thank you for attempt to go get us out of common core. >> that explanation hasn't satisfied hundred was louisiana parents, who testified at school board meetings and the state capitol, plead, lawmakers to repeal the core. >> at least five legislatures
have said they'd vote to get rid of it, but for now, it's still the law. at the center of this political storm, the students here, still getting used to this new way of learning. the only question, even their teachers can't answer, is how long it will last. aljazeera, new orleans. >> after the break, an exclusive look into the shadowy world of the police testing to see if bad drugs are good. >> just agitate it a bit. >> bath salts. >> yellow baath salts? >> that's yellow baath salts. >> we take you to an underground world hidden in the excitement of a festival seen for a look at a different kind of drug test.
of the day might effect your savings, your job or your retirement. whether it's bail-outs or bond rates this stuff gets complicated. but don't worry. i'm here to take the fear out of finance. every night on my show i break down confusing financial speak and make it real. >> on the party scene, music and drugs often go hand-in-hand. this summer's festival season was no exception. last month, two deaths and 20 hospitalizations at a baltimore festival were tied to drug overdoses. there's a new business offering help with a controversial product aimed at illicit drug users. we bring you an exclusive interview with a man who makes it a business to see if bad
drugs are good. >> it's the height of the summer music festival season and the crowds are ready to go wild. ♪ >> the news of two more deaths at a traveling electronic dance festival just last month has organizers worried about the illicit substances brought in. this is an illegal psychedelic drug, mix it with the right chemical and you'll see the same chemicals every time. it's called spot testing, a method for identifying unknown substances and now used in the most unlikely substances. >> shake it around? >> agitate it a bit. >> bath salts. yellow baath salts? >> that's baath salts. >> shut up! [ laughter ] >> drug testing kits designed to
help people test the purity of their recreational drugs are making the rounds around the country. as these tests show, buyers often have no idea what they're really getting. one increasingly common and dangerous adulterant is bath salts. >> close it and shake it. >> yellow. >> so is that. >> that's baath salts. >> let's not take baath salts. >> i just wasted $100. >> i'm fine with that. i'd rather not do baath salts. >> the kids are made by an anonymous organization called the bunk police, volunteers who travel from festival to festival selling kids to consumers of illegal drugs. >> this is my office. >> adam is the group's founder. >> a little bit outdated, one of our best friends is the 2014 edition, the drug identification bible. >> what's in here? >> all kinds of interesting
information about every single drug you can possibly imagine. we actually used some of these ideas to get our test kids into music festivals. >> in his first on camera interview, he took america tonight on a tour of his home, now also a makeshift laboratory. >> it's like breaking bad in here. >> brake r. breaking good, not breaking bad. now we're going to mix the dry chemical with the wet. >> he researches new methods and spreading the worth about adult rated drugs. the bunk police is a new player in what's called harm reduction, giving practical information and tools to help people make safer decisions about drug use. >> in theory, i can go to a festival, music concert, rave, whatever, buy a pill of ecstasy, mdma, and use one of your test
kits to see if it's what that dealer has claimed that it is. >> right. >> and make the decision if i want to put it in my body or not. >> yes. >> similar testing kits used by law enforcement to identify substances in the field, it's information hard to come by in the world of illegal drugs. >> the demand was just absolutely in sane, especially once people started to realize that was actually out there. >> at this time of the year, he sells thousands of kits per week. >> sean was an intelligence analyst with the d.e.a. for more than a decade. he now advocates for drug policy reform. >> profit is made by volume in the illegal drug industry, so everything is adult rated with something, everybody that you buy on the street is adult rated with something. the only question is how much. >> the risks of taking
adulterated drugs are higher at music festivals. drug consumers buying from dealers with whom they have no prior relationship, transient markets like music festivals, there's really no reason whatsoever that a drug dealer wouldn't sell a bag of glass to a 14-year-old kid and claim it to be some illegal drug. >> what are all the ingredients you've seen. >> it would take me 10 minutes to sit here and lift them all, the most common are are baath salts, met drone, that sort of thing. we do see a lot of amphetamines, meth amphetamines. >> it's difficult to detect the components in mixtures. t.l.c. he hopes will solve the problems. >> people are making better choices about what they put in their body because of your kits. >> absolutely, without a doubt. i've watched the culture change
over the last few years. >> a rash of well. ized overdoses at music festivals last year helped raise awareness. in brooklyn, organizers set up tight security and banned a long list of seemingly harmless items, cups, chap sticks and gum. >> there's definitely a good amount of people who do take illegal substances, but at their own risk. i was at an electric zoo last year, where two people died. >> one of those people was jeffery russ, a 23-year-old from rochester who collapsed into a seizure and died after consuming pills with a heatal combination of mdma and bath salts. did he say spice such stories, most musical festivals won't how his kits on to the premises. >> the year year, we were very upfront, trying to get permission from every single one of these and received absolutely nothing in response. from there, we just decided to
stop asking and start doing. >> just going without asking. >> yes. >> sometimes that means smuggling in your testing kits. >> it means that every time. we bribe food truck owners to put it under their produce and drive it in. we put it in black duffle bags and throw them over fences in the middle of the night. we do whatever it takes. >> the bunk police operate an illegal gray area, skirting the edges of state paraphernalia laws. festival organizations themselves are subject to the federal rave act, penalizing promoters for sanctioning drug use on their premises. >> they think having us there testing substances means that they are allowing drug use to go on. >> the bunk police isn't the first organization to offer drug testing kits, though may be the most aggressive as part of the harm reduction movements. >> harm reduction is accept that go drug use and abuse and addiction are at their core
public health problems. the goal should be minimizing the harm, making overdoses less common, making them less dangerous, slowing the spread of disease. you know, all these things that reduce the harms that come from drug use, you know, rather than just putting people in jail. >> you helped people test hundred was thousands, maybe millions of drugs. what's been your general take away? >> most of what's out there is not what people say it is. we just want people to know what they're taking before they take it, or more importantly, before they buy it. >> aljazeera, denver. >> the background on our exclusive story with the bunk police, and the fight against bad drugs at music festival is at aljazeera.com/americatonight. >> ahead in the final segment of this hour, a closer look at fabric that bound a young nation together and a celebration of
♪ oh say can you see >> it's as. to americans as a baby's lullaby. we all know the words, at least the first verse. how did the song become such a part of the fabric of america? >> the anthem gets the flag more publicity and the flag makes the anthem more famous. >> rick has devoted his life to history. >> we're standing on the gun deck. >> he's the chief of interpretation at maryland's fort mchenry national monument, his mission, bringing our distant path to life. >> this is the power of place. here's are the thing, people love the anthem. they love the flag, but what they need to understand is that at fort mchenry they both come together. i mean literally on the exact original ground in which you and
i are now standing. >> the so-called star spangled banner flag is 200 years old. last fall, to celebrate the anniversary, the maryland historical society researched the original flag, and recreated it as accurately as possible, down to the very last stitch. >> one of the major sources that i looked at was the conservation report from the smithsonian, and actually reading the description of what the fabric looked like and then actually being able to take it to a weaver and say, you know, can you do this. i didn't necessarily want to do it if i couldn't fly it. i wanted to fly it. that's really important for something like this and the way we went. >> a team of devoted stitchers assembled and took the yeoman's work and people across the world wanted to contribute a stitch. there was a splitting up of
duties of the stripes and stars. >> quilter's point of view, the stripes are pieced together and sewed in long strips. the starsar appliqued on top. there's two different types of sewing, one piecing things together and the other putting one piece on top of another and sewing it down. >> she's stars and i'm stripes. that was our nickname throughout. she was responsible for stars, i was responsible for stripes. put your hand underneath, thumb on top. you want to be a quarter inch from where the thread has come through the fabric. you go down and actually touch your finger underneath, using your thumb and finger, you bend the fabric in half and the fabric pops back up and that's a stitch. >> we go straight down. >> uh-huh. >> now you put it all the way through, so you don't get to bend it now. >> i made a mistake. i'm ruining the star spangled
banner. >> here we go. >> 200 years ago, baltimore was a boom town in a new nation, but the british had not given up the idea of getting their former colonies back in line. angered by british trade restrictions and the american sailors, america declared war on the british in the war of 1812. >> that's an 18-pound ball. as you can see, it does not explode. historically, they didn't call them cannonballs. >> what did they call them? >> shot. >> the battle of baltimore would become a defining moment in america's history and inspire a national anthem. the beginning of the war wasn't clear sailing. >> we're not doing too well in the war at this point in time, so to have kind of a symbol of the country very visible to the british, who are in the chesapeake bay all of 1813 is really important, basically just
to say we're here. we're not going anywhere. it has a lot of gravitas. >> the commander of fort mchenry wanted to raise a garcon flag, 32 feet by 42 feet, large enough to be visible to the armada of british ships anchored. mary pickersville was paid $405.90. today, it would be almost $6,000. >> she's not making a flag that she thinks is going to last 200 years and be in the smithsonian institution. she's making a flag for a fort. she expects this to last two or three years and she'll make a big one. >> she didn't work in a big auditorium. she made it just outside downtown baltimore. mary, five family members and an
indentured servant worked for six weeks straight piecing together the flag, working by candlelight sometimes to meet their deadline. >> the fabric is something that i don't think anybody here ever hammed before. sometimes i thought that she would say something like i know 6-year-olds that show better than this. >> the material, called bunting used to make today's flag costs about $12,000. add in labor costs for the almost 2,000 people who have worked on it over the last six months, and you have a price tag in the mus hundreds of thousandf dollars. talk about inflation. there could have been even more work involved in the state count had been accurate. >> 15 stars and 15 stripe, so at this point in time, when there's a new state added to the union, each new state gets a new star and a new stripe, a piece of trivia, however is that in 1812, there are actually 18 states in the union, not 15. they just hadn't gotten around to putting the new stars and
stripes on the flag. they don't change it until 1818, there's 21 at that time. >> what does it go to. >> at that point, they take it back to 13 stripes for the 13 original states, and then they continue to add stars for each new state. this is the only flag in our history that has more than 13 stripes. >> sailing on a schooner brings the past within arm's reach. 200 years this fall marks another important american anniversary, the star spinningle'd banner song was written, on ode to the garrison flag. >> ironically, here it is september 11 is when the british ships were spotted. >> how did the guys here react. when you looked out, that must have been extremely intimidating to see all of these ships. >> there was three times ships as in the united states navy.
it was almost like the shock and awe of 19th century. >> francis scott key had gone out to a ship in the river, negotiates a prisoner release from the fleet when the battle of baltimore began. he was four miles away from fort mchenry. today that part is marked with a buoy. what many don't know is that francis scott key could not see the outcome of the battle. >> it's muddy, raining, the, you know, the american are feeling helpless. he got the smoke from all the guns, oh say, can you see? he could not see the flag, can you see the flag by dawn's early light. then he reflects, so proudly we hailed at twilight's last gleaming. >> out on the water where today we see baltimore's key bridge, key protoa poem originally called the defense of fort mchenry, setting the words to a tune of a favorite song. >> he had a real thing for
british drinking song called anakrian in heaven. >> francis scott key was really into a drinking song. >> yes, he really, really liked the tune a lot. i think you can post other porty to fit it, but he definitely had this in mind. >> do you know the song? >> yes, i do. >> will you sing it for me? >> i'll try. we'll do our best. >> ok. ♪ to anacrion in heaven, the true sons of harmony sent a petition. >> oh say can you see by the dawn's early light which so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming, whose brought stripes and bright stars through the per i willous fight, oer the ram parts we watched were so gallantly streaming. >> do you see the american flagg differently now? >> yeah, this is so personal. this is my flag.
this is our flag. >> it was really the first true national symbol that we had. we didn't really have say nothing architecture, right? we didn't -- couldn't really say we invented the english language, because we didn't, so what do you have? well, you have this flag, this red white and blue that really represents what the country stands for. >> a flag, flying in the face of an enemy, a symbol with simple beginnings, whose power has last the for 200 years. >> long may it wave eor the land of the free and the home of the brave. >> aljazeera, baltimore, maryland. >> it does make you want to sing, doesn't it? that's it for us here on america tonight. tomorrow, an america tonight exclusive, a groundbreaking news of the procedure called deep brain stimulation. america tonight's adam may gets unprecedented access and asks
conrad cell brain surgery provide immediate relief from mental illness. if you'd like to comment on any story tonight, go to the website. join the conversation with us on twitter or at our facebook page. good night. we'll have more of america tonight tomorrow. america tonight investigative report >> why are you wearing gloves? >> ocd... taking over this woman's life... >> i don't wanna touch anything... >> now a controversial surgery can literally reprogram her mind >> we can modify emotional circuitry >> is this a miracle cure? or an ethical nightmare? >> there's a lot of mystery
right now... >> rewiring the brain an america tonight investigative report only on al jazeera america >> this is aljazeera america. i'm randall pinkston in new york with a look at today's top stories. >> >> it was about love for an old man. >> remembering british aid worker david haines beheaded by the islamic state group, the brutal killing. >> pointed messages through britain's prime minister increased the resolve to fight i.s. >> hillary clinton returns to iowa for the first time since 2008, getting folks asking the big question. >> just days until