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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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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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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Identical Strangers

Paula Bernstein and Elyse Schein were both born in New York City and adopted as infants. When they were 35-years-old, they met, and found they were “identical strangers.”

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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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