Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Featured story: Working Then and Now

In the early 1970s, radio host and oral historian Studs Terkel recorded more than 130 interviews for his bestselling oral history “Working.”

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Featured story: New Podcast: Strange Fruit – Voices of a Lynching

An eerie photograph, a famous song, and the man who lived to tell the story.

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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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Diaries We give people tape recorders and help them document their own lives in their own words

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Matthew and the Judge: Juvenile Court Diary

Through their diaries, Matthew and Judge Jeremiah tell the same story from two different sides of the bench.

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Amanda’s Diary: Girlfriend

Amanda is gay. Amanda’s family is Catholic. And she’s having a hard time convincing her parents that this is not “just a phase.”

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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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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 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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