Stray too far from the national anthem’s traditional arrangement at your own risk. Just ask José Feliciano. When the Puerto Rican singer performed a Latin jazz-infused version of the anthem before Game 5 of the 1968 World Series, the crowd booed. After the game, newspapers quoted fans who called it a “disgrace,” a version that sounded like “a hippie was singing it.”

The following summer, Jimi Hendrix took the stage for an early morning set on the last day of Woodstock. When he launched into his now-iconic rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the crowd – this one, a bit more open-minded – was riveted. On the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, University of Michigan historian Mark Clague writes about Hendrix’s yearslong fascination with the anthem, and how, in his 70-plus live performances of Francis Scott Key’s tune, the legendary guitarist was always tinkering with ways to fuse themes of patriotism with protest.

Also this week, we liked stories about a tourist train to Mayan temples, the sort of short life of Saturn’s rings and rooting out the effects of eating organic.

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Hendrix’s version of the National Anthem combined reverence and revolution. nelag0/pixabay

Fifty years ago, Jimi Hendrix’s Woodstock anthem expressed the hopes and fears of a nation

Mark Clague, University of Michigan

Before an exhausted crowd, Hendrix fused protest and horror with patriotism and optimism.

With giant Saturn hanging in the blackness and sheltering Cassini from the Sun’s blinding glare, the spacecraft viewed the rings as never before. NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

A brief astronomical history of Saturn’s amazing rings

Vahe Peroomian, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

Although the rings of Saturn may look like a permanent fixture of the planet, they are ever-changing. New analyses of the rings reveal how and when they were made, from what and whether they'll last.

A proposed new train in Mexico would connect the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, on the Yucatan Peninsula, easier to reach from Cancun. REUTERS/Mauricio Marat/National Institute of Anthropology and History

Mexico wants to run a tourist train through its Mayan heartland — should it?

Gabriel Diaz Montemayor, University of Arkansas

An ambitious new train would link resorts like Cancun to inland ancient ruins and colonial towns. That means laying rail across 932 miles of dense jungle, pristine beach and indigenous villages.



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