Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Featured story: The Vietnam Tapes of Michael A. Baronowski

In 1966, a young Marine took a reel-to-reel tape recorder with him into the Vietnam War.

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Featured story: Weasel’s Diary, Revisited

At 26-years-old, Jose William Huezo Soriano—a.k.a. Weasel—was deported back to his parents’ home country, El Salvador, a country he hadn’t seen since he was 5.

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Featured story: The Last Civil War Widows

Daisy Anderson and Alberta Martin were two of the last surviving Civil War widows.

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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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Majd’s Diary: Two Years in the Life of a Saudi Girl

Majd wants to be a scientist. Her family wants to arrange her marriage.

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Juan: 16 Years Later

16 years ago, Juan reported on his life as a recent Mexican immigrant living in poverty in Texas. In his new diary, Juan takes us on a tour of the life he has built since he first crossed the Rio Grande. It looks a lot like the typical American dream: a house, 2 cars, 3 kids—except for the fact he’s still living illegally in the U.S.

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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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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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Segregation Now, Segregation Forever: The Infamous Words of George Wallace

On the 50th anniversary of Wallace’s inaugural speech as the Governor of Alabama, Radio Diaries tells the story behind those infamous words, and the man who delivered them.

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