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Morning Edition is celebrating a summer of love

Good morning. The newsletter team is taking a break for Independence Day. We'll return with the news you need to start your day tomorrow. Today, ring in the summer sun with Morning Edition's "Summer of Love" series.

The future of marriage

by Claire Murashima, Morning Edition and Up First production assistant

When I was a girl, I didn’t dream of getting married the way many of my friends did. It doesn’t bother me that I’ve spent most of my twenties single.

My parents Cindy (left) and Don (right) Murashima got married at age 29 (mom) and 34 (dad) on October 14, 1995 in Newport Beach, Ca.
/ Don and Cindy Murashima
Don and Cindy Murashima
My parents Cindy (left) and Don (right) Murashima got married at age 29 (mom) and 34 (dad) on October 14, 1995 in Newport Beach, Ca.

As my peers and I settled into life after college, it felt as if we either took the traditional path and married young or didn't think about marriage at all. Of the latter, some don’t believe in the institution, some are ethically non-monogamous, and some feel their long-term relationships suffice without marriage.

So, for the first installment of Morning Edition's "Summer of Love" series, I teamed up with Michel Martin and futurist Jake Dunagan to answer the question: What will marriage look like in the future?

I also talked to four other experts whose interviews didn't make it on air. They had a lot to say about how rapidly shifting marriage norms in recent decades will play out in the future. Here are some of their thoughts:

  • 💒 Therapist Sheila Addison says the LGBTQ+ community is “leading the way in re-imagining marriage.” Though many of her queer clients are skeptical of the institution, as same-sex marriage was legalized nationally nine years ago, she says they want “committed, intimate relationships of some kind” and added that “for many folks, that still does mean marriage.”
  • 💒 Marriage coach Hasani Pettiford counsels couples on the verge of divorce due to infidelity. He says marriage is in peril because of a culture that says to flee when things get hard. He compares the struggle to commit to a relationship with buying a house. “If I rent, I can break a lease and move on. I'll pay a little fee,” Pettiford said. “But if I own a house, it's a whole lot harder to leave.” This mentality of renting vs. ownership has spilled into relationships, Pettiford says.

All of the experts I spoke with predict that marriage will continue to become more fluid. It has already evolved away from the model of one male and one female marrying to create children and never getting a divorce.

Dunagan thinks there could be three alternate potential futures for the institution of marriage:

  • ❤️ It could collapse. Today, many don't feel a need for religious or state approval to have a lasting romantic relationship.
  • ❤️ Its norms could become more rigid and be used to reinforce social norms.
  • ❤️ Lastly, it could completely transform. Humans and non-human entities like AI could marry.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing more stories about love! Listen to Morning Edition on the NPR app or your local NPR station to hear about how marriage has evolved, the politics of marriage, love songs over time, and more. If you have one story you’d like to hear, please let me know at

July 4th stories you may have missed

by Suzanne Nuyen, Up First newsletter writer

The Caesar salad was born 100 years ago, on July 4, 1924, in Tijuana, Mexico. Above, the grilled romaine Caesar salad at<strong> </strong>Boucherie, a restaurant in uptown New Orleans.
Randy Schmidt / Boucherie
The Caesar Salad was born 100 years ago, on July 4, 1924, in Tijuana, Mexico. Above, a Caesar Salad from the Boucherie restaurant in New Orleans.

Today marks another very important anniversary: the 100th birthday of the Caesar Salad. Caesar Cardini, an Italian immigrant living in Mexico, created the iconic dish on July 4th, 1924, in Tijuana. Cardini's original restaurant is still open for business. Read about how he created the Ceasar salad and how it's evolved over the years.

Throughout this week, Morning Edition asked newly naturalized citizens what it means for them to be American.

  • 🦅 Bernadette Medina, 47, says becoming a citizen was her "proudest moment." Eduardo Bautista says it was "a dream come true."
  • 🦅 Joanne and Andy Daw migrated to the U.S. from the U.K. Andy says it was hard saying goodbye to their home. While their ties to family in the U.K. won't change, they're signaling they're starting a different future in the U.S.
  • 🦅 Nickolas Grosser left Brazil to feel safe and free as an LGBTQ+ person. He met his husband in the U.S. and says he feels a weight has been lifted off his shoulders after becoming a citizen.

The American flag is one of the most iconic symbols of this holiday. It's flown worldwide, and many flags across the nation started as strips of fabric at Annin Flagmakers in Ohio. The company began in 1847 in New York City. It has made some of the most historically significant flags, like the one draped over Abraham Lincoln's casket, the one raised by U.S. Marines at Iwo Jima, the one on the moon and every flag flown at presidential inaugurations since Zachary Taylor. (via WOSU)

What's on your July 4 playlist? Chances are, you'll hear Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A" today. But you've probably never heard of the Freedom remix of the song. In 1984, on the cusp of superstardom, Springsteen agreed to let a producer remix three songs from his upcoming album, also titled Born in the U.S.A. Four decades later, these remixes have nearly vanished.

Independence Day fireworks can be difficult for veterans because the loud, colorful blasts can remind them of combat or other traumatic military experiences. Mandy Rabenhorst-Bell, the PTSD program manager for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Eastern Colorado, has advice for how to help ease veterans' stress. (via KUNC)

This newsletter was edited by Treye Green.

Copyright 2024 NPR

Claire Murashima
Claire Murashima is a production assistant on Morning Edition and Up First. Before that, she worked on How I Built This, NPR's Team Atlas and Michigan Radio. She graduated from Calvin University.