Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Featured story: From Flint to Rio

How much does an Olympic gold medal really change things for a teenager in Flint? Listen to Claressa Shields’ story.

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Featured story: Contenders: The ‘Veep’

Throughout American history, only 14 VPs have ever gone on to the presidency. The rest have been mostly forgotten. And not many people would remember the name Alben Barkley, except for two things: his nickname, the “Veep,” and the remarkable circumstances of his death.

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Featured story: Contenders: Say it Like You Mean it

Throughout American history, one of the most important job qualifications for the office of President has been the ability to deliver a speech that will rally the people.

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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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The Last Place: Diary of a Retirement Home

A group of residents of The Presbyterian Home use tape recorders to document their lives.

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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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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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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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