Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Featured story: Strange Fruit and the Inauguration

British Singer Rebecca Ferguson wanted to sing Strange Fruit at Donald Trump’s Inauguration. This is the story behind the song.

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Featured story: Busman’s Holiday

The story of William Cimillo, a New York City bus driver who snapped one day in 1947, left his regular route in the Bronx, and drove his municipal bus down to Florida.

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Featured story: The Working Tapes

In the early 1970’s, author Studs Terkel went around the country with a reel-to-reel tape recorder interviewing people about their jobs. Our new series, “Working: Then & Now” is now on NPR and The Radio Diaries Podcast.

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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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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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Melissa’s Diaries: Teen Mom / Raising Issaiah

Melissa never meant to get pregnant. But now, after 12 years of living in the foster care system, she’s trying to build the family she never had.

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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 Weaving together oral histories and archival tape to bring the past to life

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West Side Story: Michael Farmer and the Murder that Shocked New York

More than fifty years ago, Puerto Rican and black gang members in New York City fatally stabbed Michael Farmer, a white teenager.

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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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