Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Featured story: George Wallace and the Legacy of a Sentence

Listen to our story about “Segregation Now, Segregation Tomorrow, Segregation Forever” on the Radio Diaries Podcast.

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Featured story: The View from the 79th Floor

On July 28, 1945 an Army bomber pilot on a routine ferry mission found himself lost in the fog over Manhattan. A dictation machine in a nearby office happened to capture the sound of the plane as it hit the Empire State Building at the 79th floor. Find out what happened next on the Radio Diaries Podcast.

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Featured story: Miss Subways

Beauty pageants promote the fantasy of the ideal woman. But for 35 years, the Miss Subways contest in New York City celebrated the everyday working girl.

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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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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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Amanda: 16 Years Later

At the age of 17, Amanda knew she was gay. But her parents kept insisting she’d grow out of it. Today, a lot has changed in the country, and within her own family. In her new story, Amanda goes back to her parents to find out how they came to accept having a daughter who is gay.

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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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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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Becoming Nelson Mandela

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

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The Gospel Ranger

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

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