The 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act is also a chance to note how often peaceful protests for basic freedoms still find traction in many places in the world.
An Egyptian court sentenced 529 alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood to death last month, and reactions from investors, businesses, and tourists aren't looking good for Egypt's economy.
President Obama's trip to Saudi Arabia comes as a Middle East struggle over 'political Islam' reaches a boiling point. The president can ask his royal hosts what is the best form of government for the world's Muslims.
And it's happening while the Obama administration is considering issuing a national security waiver to provide more weapons and cash to the country's military rulers.