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At the Kentucky Derby, the tradition is just as much about atmosphere as it is about the contest itself. Among spectators, the bourbon mint julep is the thirst-quencher of choice, cooling bellies full of burgoo. The sun glared down over the sea of elaborate ladies’ hats decorating the infield as American Pharoah and his jockey, Victor Espinoza, outran 16 other horses to take the coveted blanket of roses at the 141st running of the race. 

Take a look at scenes from Saturday’s spectacle at Derbytown, photographed by Nils Ericson for msnbc.com

#kentuckyderby #kentuckyderby2015 #kyderby #kyderby2015 #derby #AmericanPharoah #VictorEspinoza #ChurchillDowns #Louisville #horses #race #races #horserace #Kentucky #msnbc #photography #bourbon 
At the Kentucky Derby, the tradition is just as much about atmosphere as it is about the contest itself.
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This Week in History: Forty years ago, on April 30, 1975, Saigon fell to communist North Vietnamese forces. Tanks rolled into the city as bombs poured down and panicked civilians swarmed the streets and scaled the walls of the U.S. Embassy, trying to reach evacuation helicopters on the other side. Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” played on the radio—it was the code for personnel to report to designated landing zones—signaling the beginning of Operation Frequent Wind. Helicopters carried 6,236 people to waiting carriers. In all, approximately 5,000 Americans and more than 130,000 South Vietnamese were evacuated. The last helicopter lifted off the ground at 7:53 a.m. Pictured here, a Roman Catholic priest helps an elderly villager to board a government helicopter west of Tuy Hoa in Vietnam in preparation for the fall of Saigon, on March 27, 1975.

Photo by Nick Ut/AP

#‎tbt‬ ‪#‎throwbackthursday‬ ‪#‎history‬ ‪#‎Vietnam‬ ‪#‎1960s‬ ‪#‎1970s‬ ‪#‎throwback‬ ‪#‎msnbcphoto‬ ‪#‎VietnamWar‬ ‪#‎Saigon‬ ‪#‎military‬ ‪#‎USMarines‬ ‪#‎USArmy‬ ‪#‎USNavy‬ ‪#‎SemperFi‬ ‪#‎Nixon‬ ‪#‎LBJ‬ ‪#‎communist‬ ‪#‎photography‬ ‪#‎warphotography‬ ‪#‎evacuation‬ ‪#‎FallofSaigon‬ ‪#‎whitechristmas‬
Take a look back at moments in history with MSNBC's "Throwback Thursdays" a photo journey from politics to pop culture, and everything in between.
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After a night of chaos and violent protest in the city of Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died of a severed spine that allegedly occurred while in police custody a week prior.

‪#‎FreddieGray‬ ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ ‪#‎BaltimoreRiots‬ ‪#‎Baltimore‬ ‪#‎BaltimoreUprising‬ ‪#‎msnbc‬

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/baltimore-descends-violence-after-freddie-gray-funeral
Tensions have run high in the city since Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died on April 19 in police custody.
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See striking images capturing everything from Chilean Calbuco volcano eruption to the inspirational participants in this year's Boston Marathon in MSNBC's This Week in Pictures.

For these and all of this week’s pictures, go to http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/week-pictures-april-18-24-2015

‪#‎weekinpictures‬ ‪#‎chile‬ ‪#‎calbuco‬ ‪#‎volcano‬ ‪#‎bostonstrong‬ ‪#‎bostonmarathon‬ ‪#‎oklahomacity‬ ‪#‎oklahomacitybombing‬ ‪#‎syria‬ ‪#‎ukraine‬ ‪#‎migrants‬ ‪#‎yemen‬ ‪#‎msnbc‬ ‪#‎msnbcphoto‬
See striking images capturing everything from Chilean Calbuco volcano eruption to the inspirational participants in this year's Boston Marathon.
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Over the past few years, the topic of food waste has gone mainstream, largely due to the critical implications of emerging research. For Dan Barber, a chef and co-owner Blue Hill at Stone Barns, the problem is not only how we dispose of our food, but also, the way we create it in the first place. Blue Hill at Stone Barns and the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in upstate New York tackle the larger issue of food waste through education and example. Nils Ericson spent some time at Stone Barns photographing this farm-to-kitchen approach towards eliminating food waste.
For more on the issue of food waste tune in to MSNBC at 10pm EST for the premiere of the film Just Eat It.

‪#‎stonebarns‬ ‪#‎agriculture‬ ‪#‎foodwaste‬ ‪#‎sustainability‬ ‪#‎sustainableagriculture‬ ‪#‎danbarber‬ ‪#‎justeatit‬ ‪#‎bluehill‬ ‪#‎environment‬ ‪#‎wasted‬ ‪#‎msnbc‬ ‪#‎msnbcphoto‬ Blue Hill Farms ‪#‎BlueHillFarm‬ ‪#‎EarthDay‬ Just Eat It- A Food Waste Story
Blue Hill at Stone Barns and the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture tackle the larger issue of food waste through education and example.
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When Cirque du Soleil was founded in 1984 by two street performers in Quebec, Canada, no one could have anticipated that it would become the largest theatrical producer in the world. It currently grosses hundreds of millions of dollars per year and continues to tour around the world, as well as continually sell out shows at its permanent home in Las Vegas.
Tim Georgeson spent some time behind the scenes photographing the performers of the show, Saltimbanco, while the production was on the road in Brussels.

In celebration of World Circus Day, please check out the full photo essay, "On World Circus Day, a peek backstage at Cirque du Soleil”, at http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/world-circus-day-peak-backstage-cirque-du-soleil

#‎circus‬ ‪#‎worldcircusday‬ ‪#‎clown‬ ‪#‎cirquedusoleil‬ ‪#‎canada‬ ‪#‎brussels‬ ‪#‎msnbc‬
At a Cirque de Soleil event in Brussels, the performance doesn't stop backstage.
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A massive earthquake caused devastation in Nepal, protestors react to the death of Freddie Gray, and preparations begin for the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

To see these and all of the best pictures from this week, go to http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/week-pictures-april-25-may-1-2015

‪#‎weekinpictures‬ ‪#‎nepal‬ ‪#‎nepalquake‬ ‪#‎freddiegray‬ ‪#‎baltimore‬ ‪#‎kentuckyderby‬ ‪#‎churchilldowns‬ ‪#‎msnbc‬ ‪#‎msnbcphoto‬
These are the pictures that defined our world this week.
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As the heartbreaking situation in Nepal continues to unfold in the aftermath of Saturday's massive earthquake, Ismail Ferdous has been on the ground covering the catastrophe.
Please have a look at these powerful pictures.
‪#‎nepal‬ ‪#‎nepalearthquake‬ ‪#‎msnbc‬ ‪#‎msnbcphoto‬
The death toll from the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal surpassed 5,000 on Tuesday.
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What started as a small dinner for the then all-male members of the White House press corps in the 1920s has become Washington’s premier social event of the year. A star-studded gala that for a weekend makes one of the biggest events in Hollywood 3,000 miles away on the Potomac.

Check out the sublime photo essay by Philip Montgomery who covered the events for MSNBC.

‪#‎whcd‬ ‪#‎whcd2015‬ ‪#‎nerdprom‬ ‪#‎presscorp‬ ‪#‎journalists‬ ‪#‎whitehousecorrespondents‬ ‪#‎msnbc‬
The White House Correspondents Association annual dinner is a source of love, criticism, anxiety, festivity, and selfies.
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This Week In History: Naturalist John Muir is born in 1838.
‪#‎johnmuir‬ ‪#‎earthweek‬ ‪#‎earthday‬ ‪#‎nature‬ ‪#‎california‬ ‪#‎yosemite‬ ‪#‎msnbc‬ ‪#‎msnbcphoto‬ ‪#‎tbt‬ ‪#‎throwbackthursday‬ ‪#‎history‬
Take a look back at moments in history with MSNBC's "Throwback Thursdays" a photo journey from politics to pop culture, and everything in between.
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In a continuation of his powerful work from Chester, Pa., Justin Maxon returned to the town to look at what has changed, and what remains the same in this impoverished community off the banks of the Delaware River.

‪#‎Chester‬ ‪#‎pennsylvania‬ ‪#‎pa‬ ‪#‎gunviolence‬ ‪#‎msnbc‬ ‪#‎msnbcphoto‬
“Chester has been dealing with issues like lack of justice and police brutality … for decades," said photographer Justin Maxon
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The Republican Leadership Summit, takes place this Friday and Saturday in Nashua, New Hampshire, and it expected to draw most of the party’s top names — including Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie & many others. The possible and declared presidential hopefuls flocked to the first-in-the-nation primary state to both test the waters and establish their credentials with voters.
Mark Peterson Pixs is on the scene covering all the political theater for us, keep checking back as we post new images live from the event.

‪#‎RepublicanLeadershipSummit‬ ‪#‎FITN‬ ‪#‎NewHampshire‬ ‪#‎Nashua‬ ‪#‎JebBush‬ ‪#‎RandPaul‬ ‪#‎MarcoRubio‬ ‪#‎ChrisChristie‬ ‪#‎RickPerry‬ ‪#‎republican‬ ‪#‎GOP‬ ‪#‎PoliticalTheater‬ ‪#‎msnbc‬

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/the-races-republican-event-draws-leading-2016-hopefuls
The Republican Leadership Summit, taking place Friday and Saturday in Nashua, New Hampshire, is expected to draw most of the party’s top names.
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Photography features, photo essays & visual storytelling curated by the photo editors of MSNBC.
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Photography features, photo essays and visual storytelling curated by the photo editors of MSNBC. www.msnbc.com/photography

MSNBC is the premier destination for in-depth analysis of daily headlines, insightful political commentary and informed perspectives. Reaching more than 95 million households nationwide, MSNBC offers a full schedule of live news coverage, political opinions and award-winning documentary programming – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Viewers can find more information on MSNBC’s programming at msnbc.com.