Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Featured story: The Chamizal: A Town Between Borders

When the U.S. and Mexico chose the Rio Grande as an international border, they didn’t expect the river to move.

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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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Diaries We give people tape recorders and help them document their own lives in their own words

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The Last Place: Diary of a Retirement Home

A group of residents of The Presbyterian Home use tape recorders to document their lives in retirement.

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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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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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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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West Side Story: Michael Farmer and the Murder that Shocked New York

More than fifty years ago, Puerto Rican and black gang members in New York City fatally stabbed Michael Farmer, a white teenager.

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