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Q&A: the charges against William Ayers and his wife

William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn surrendered after 11 years in hiding.

Associated Press (1980)

William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn surrendered after 11 years in hiding.

Charges against Ayers and wife

Was William Ayers or his wife, Bernardine Dohrn, ever formally charged or convicted of any criminal or terrorist act associated with the Weather Underground group?

After 11 years in hiding, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn surrendered to federal authorities in 1980. Charges of crossing state lines to destroy property and to create a civil disturbance were dropped due to improper surveillance by the authorities.

Dohrn received a fine and three years' probation for a misdemeanor dating to a 1969 antiwar demonstration. In 1982, she was jailed for eight months for contempt after she refused to give grand jury testimony about a 1981 Brink's robbery in which a guard and two police officers were killed.

Ayers and Dohrn have three sons, Zayd, Malik and Chesa. Their adopted son, Chesa, has lived with them since he was 14 months old when his parents, Kathy Boudin and David Gilbert, went to prison for their roles in the Brink's robbery.

Voting date made sense in 1845

Why are elections always held on Tuesdays? Saturday would seem like a much more convenient day for both voters and employers. So how did Tuesday come to be chosen as the day?

In 1845, Congress designated the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November as the day for selecting presidential and vice presidential electors.

Because the United States at the time was mostly agrarian, Congress decided that November was the most convenient month for those living in rural areas to travel to vote. The harvest was over, and the weather was still fairly mild in most regions.

Also, voting may have required an overnight trip. Because Sunday was reserved for church, Tuesday made the most sense.

Cheney most unpopular VP

What is Dick Cheney's current approval rating? Has any VP been lower?

Vice President Dick Cheney's approval ratings are at his lowest ever, according to the latest Harris Poll of adults surveyed in June. Cheney received 18 percent positive and 74 percent negative ratings. That's down from a positive rating of 69 percent shortly after 9/11.

The polls suggest Cheney has surpassed Dan Quayle as the most unpopular vice president in recent history.

At 72, Redford is engaged

I heard recently that Robert Redford is engaged. Is that true?

Redford, now 72, is engaged to German artist Sibylle Szaggars, 53. No wedding date has been set, nor has Redford indicated they were in any hurry. They have reportedly dated since 1996. Redford's first marriage ended in divorce in 1985.

Q&A: the charges against William Ayers and his wife 11/20/08 [Last modified: Thursday, November 4, 2010 10:01am]
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[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]