Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Featured story: The March to Washington (1932 Edition)

In 1932, in the midst of the Great Depression, a group of World War I veterans set up an encampment in Washington D.C. vowing to stay until their voices were heard.

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Featured story: Ballad for Americans

How a ten minute operatic folk cantata managed to unite Democrats, Republicans and Communists.

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Featured story: The Working Tapes

In the early 1970’s, author Studs Terkel went around the country with a reel-to-reel tape recorder interviewing people about their jobs. Our new series, “Working: Then & Now” is now on NPR and The Radio Diaries Podcast.

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History
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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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Josh’s Diaries: Tourette’s / First Kiss

Josh has Tourette’s Syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes uncontrollable tics and involuntary verbal outbursts.

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Frankie: 16 Years Later

As a teenager, Frankie was a high school football star whose picture was in his hometown newspaper every week. Years after graduating, Frankie was back in the paper—when he was arrested for drug related crimes. In his new diary, Frankie tells his story of crystal meth addiction and takes his recorder along while he attempts to repair his relationship with his family. With a baby on the way, Frankie is hoping for a second chance.

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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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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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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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