Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life
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Featured story: A Guitar, A Cello and the Day that Changed Music

November 23, 1936 was a good day for recorded music. Two men – an ocean apart – sat before a …

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Featured story: Banging on the Door: The Election of 1872

The 1872 election echoed the current American political climate in several ways. For one, the Republican Party was in danger …

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Featured story: The Square Deal

In the early 20th century, George F. Johnson ran the biggest shoe factory in the world: The Endicott-Johnson Corporation in …

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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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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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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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Quarantined in the Pizzeria

COVID-19 has forced many families to improvise childcare. For some, it’s been like a four month long ‘bring your child to work’ day.

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Histories Exploring the past to tell the History of Now.

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The Rise and Fall of Black Swan Records

The story of the first major black-owned record label and the mystery behind the man who created it.

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A Museum of Sound

Thanks to the Music Modernization Act, tens of thousands of recordings made before 1923 will enter the public domain for the very first time on January 1, 2022.

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