Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Featured story: Willie McGee and the Traveling Electric Chair

Bridgette McGee is unearthing everything she can about her grandfather’s life – and his death.

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Featured story: Miss Subways

Beauty pageants promote the fantasy of the ideal woman. But for 35 years, the Miss Subways contest in New York City celebrated the everyday working girl.

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Featured story: A Movement, a Massacre, and Mexico’s 50 Year Search for the Truth

The secret behind the 1968 massacre of students in Tlatelolco.

History
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History
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History
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Diaries We give people tape recorders and help them document their own lives in their own words

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Frankie: 16 Years Later

As a teenager, Frankie recorded his life as a high school football star. 16 years later and with a baby on the way, he shares his struggle with drug addiction.

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Melissa: 16 Years Later

As an 18 year old raised in the foster care system, Melissa took NPR listeners along when she gave birth to her son Issaiah. Sixteen years later she chronicles her life as a working single mother.

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Portraits Extraordinary stories from ordinary places

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Selma Koch, Bra Saleswoman

94-year old Selma Koch runs the Town Shop, one of New York’s last old-style bra fitting shops.

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Walter Backerman, Seltzer Man

Once there were thousands of seltzer men in New York City. Today, Walter Backerman is one of the last.

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Histories Exploring the past to tell the History of Now.

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The Gospel Ranger

Outside the Appalachian mountains, his name was barely known. But Claude Ely influenced some of the pioneers of rock & roll.

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Ballad for Americans

How a ten minute operatic folk cantata managed to unite Democrats, Republicans and Communists.

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