Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Featured story: Podcast: The Gospel Ranger

Outside the Appalachian mountains, his name was barely known. But Brother Claude Ely influenced some of the pioneers of rock & roll.

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Featured story: Podcast: Walter the Seltzerman

Once there were thousands of seltzer men in New York City. Today, Walter Backerman is one of the last.

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Featured story: Podcast: The Long Shadow of Forrest Carter

Asa Carter and Forrest Carter couldn’t have been more different. But they shared a secret.

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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. Over the past 16 years Melissa and her son have faced many challenges, from eviction notices to her son’s life-threatening medical diagnosis. In her new diary, Melissa chronicles her life as a working single mother, and reveals things about her past that her son has never known.

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My So-Called Lungs

Laura Rothenberg tried to live a normal life, with lungs that betrayed her and the awareness that she might not live to see her 30th birthday.

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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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The WASPs: Women Pilots of WWII

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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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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