Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Featured story: The Almost Astronaut (Revisited)

In an attempt to beat the Soviet Union in the space race, the Kennedy administration enlisted Air Force captain Ed Dwight to enter the astronaut training program as its first Black trainee.

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Featured story: The End of Smallpox

Rahima Banu holds a remarkable place in history, as the last known person in the world to be infected with smallpox. This week on the RadioDiaries podcast, the story behind a global effort to eradicate the deadly virus.

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Featured story: Meet 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.

History
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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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Sofia’s Choice: A Ukrainian Diary

Sofia’s mother Vita was living in Kharkiv, Ukraine when Russian forces invaded. The family is now faced with an difficult choice.

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Melissa: 16 Years Later

As an 18 year old raised in the foster care system, Melissa took NPR listeners along when she gave birth to her son Issaiah. Sixteen years later she chronicles her life as a working single mother.

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Portraits Extraordinary stories from ordinary places

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The Final Frontline

Fourth generation funeral directors reflect on their experience of the coronavirus pandemic and prepare for a second wave.

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Home is Where You Park Your Mini Van

As the pandemic hit, Naida Lavon found herself without a home and without a job. Part of our Hunker Down Diaries series.

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Histories Exploring the past to tell the History of Now.

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The Ski Troops of WWII

The men of the 10th Mountain Division led a series of daring assaults against the Nazis in the mountains of Italy. After returning home, many of these soldiers helped to create the modern ski industry.

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The Forgotten Story of Clinton Melton

Emmett Till’s murder is considered the spark that ignited a burgeoning Civil Rights movement. But there was another brazen murder of a Black man that happened just three months later, in a neighboring town in the Delta.

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