Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Featured story: Mandela’s Prison Years

While working on our documentary, Mandela: An Audio History, we stumbled across the only known recording of Nelson Mandela during his 27 years in prison. Hear the story behind the tape on this episode of the Radio Diaries Podcast.

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Featured story: Welcome to The Memory Palace

Do you remember the first podcast you ever fell in love with?

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Featured story: Podcast: Matthew and the Judge

Through their diaries, Matthew and Judge Jeremiah tell the same story from two different sides of the bench.

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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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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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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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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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A Guitar, A Cello, and The Day That Changed Music

November 23, 1936, was a very good day for recorded music.

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The Pygmy in the Zoo

On September 8th, 1906, New York’s Bronx Zoo unveiled a new exhibit that would attract thousands of visitors. Inside a cage, in the monkey house, was a man.

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