Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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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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Featured story: Before Hillary: Women who Fought for the White House

Three stories from our series Contenders: Portraits of America’s Most Original Presidential Candidates… who never won.

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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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Going Home: Cristel’s Diary

At 15, Cristel attacked a classmate with a razor blade. After 3 years of incarceration, she’s being released.

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

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March of the Bonus Army

In 1932, 20,000 WWI veterans set up a tent city in Washington. They called themselves the Bonus Army.

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Becoming Nelson Mandela

Mandela was a lawyer, freedom fighter, leader of the African National Congress, and finally, president.

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