Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Featured story: Thembi’s AIDS Diary

Thembi Ngubane carried a tape recorder from 2004 to 2005 to document her life. She was willing to speak out at a time when very few South Africans were willing to say, “I have AIDS.” We’re revisiting her story on the podcast.

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Featured story: Remembering Olivia Hooker

Olivia Hooker was the last surviving witness to the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921.

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Featured story: A Guitar, A Cello, and The Day That Changed Music

November 23, 1936, was a very good day for recorded music.

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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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Amanda: 16 Years Later

At the age of 17, Amanda knew she was gay. But her parents kept insisting she’d grow out of it. Today, a lot has changed in the country, and within her own family. In her new story, Amanda goes back to her parents to find out how they came to accept having a daughter who is gay.

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Juan: 16 Years Later

16 years ago, Juan reported on his life as a recent Mexican immigrant living in poverty in Texas. In his new diary, Juan takes us on a tour of the life he has built since he first crossed the Rio Grande. It looks a lot like the typical American dream: a house, 2 cars, 3 kids—except for the fact he’s still living illegally in the U.S.

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Portraits Extraordinary stories from ordinary places

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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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The Last Man on the Mountain

In the 1990s, Arch Coal began mining Pigeonroost Hollow. Now Jimmy Weekley is the last person left there.

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Histories Exploring the past to tell the History of Now.

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The Dropped Wrench

A collaboration with This American Life.

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Podcast: Fly Girls

In the early 1940s, the government launched an experimental program to train women pilots. They were known as the WASPs, the Women Airforce Service Pilots.

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