Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Featured story: The Last Civil War Widows

Daisy Anderson and Alberta Martin were two of the last surviving Civil War widows.

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Featured story: The Border Wall (Updated)

What happens when, instead of people crossing the border, the border crosses the people?

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

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Claudette Colvin: “A Teenage Rosa Parks”

What makes a hero? Why do we remember some stories and not others?

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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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