Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Featured story: The Vietnam Tapes of Michael A. Baronowski

In 1966, a young Marine took a reel-to-reel tape recorder with him into the Vietnam War.

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Featured story: Weasel’s Diary, Revisited

At 26-years-old, Jose William Huezo Soriano—a.k.a. Weasel—was deported back to his parents’ home country, El Salvador, a country he hadn’t seen since he was 5.

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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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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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Josh: 16 Years Later

In high school, Josh documented his life with Tourette’s Syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable tics and involuntary verbal outbursts. Sixteen years later, Josh records a new diary about trying to live a normal adult life with a brain that often betrays him.

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Portraits Extraordinary stories from ordinary places

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

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Soweto 1976

On June 16th, 1976, in South Africa, a group of school children in the black township of Soweto held a protest and changed the course of a nation.

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The Pygmy in the Zoo

On September 8th, 1906, New York’s Bronx Zoo unveiled a new exhibit that would attract thousands of visitors. Inside a cage, in the monkey house, was a man.

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