Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Featured story: Claudette Colvin – A Teenage “Rosa Parks”

What makes a hero? Why do we remember some stories and not others?

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Featured story: First Kiss

“What I have here is an envelope on which this girl Nicole wrote down instructions on how to kiss. It says: ‘pucker lips, slowly open mouth, slowly slide tongue in, repeat steps 1, 2, and 3.’ She made that list for me because I made out with her and she said I was doing it wrong.”

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Featured story: Remembering The Greatest Songwriter You’ve Never Heard Of

Rose Marie McCoy, one of the most prolific songwriters of the 1950’s and 60’s passed away recently at the age of 92.

History
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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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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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Portraits Extraordinary stories from ordinary places

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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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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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Becoming Nelson Mandela

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

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