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Specials

Air every weekend - Saturdays at 6AM on 93.9 FM and 2PM on AM 820. Sundays at 7AM and 8PM on AM 820 and at other times as scheduled.

Join us for a curated presentation of special programs from public radio producers across the country. 

Recently in Specials

Responding to Disasters: From Prediction to Recovery

Saturday, March 17, 2012

From re-creating tsunamis in the laboratory to tracking global pandemics, scientists and engineers around the country are seeking new insights into natural and man-made disasters. This one-hour special report looks at what researchers are doing to protect us from and help us survive these life-shattering events.  

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    Nuclear Power After Fukishima

    Saturday, March 10, 2012

    A one-year anniversary special examining the future of nuclear power after the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan. Among many stories, Alex Chadwick conducts an exclusive interview with an American nuclear technician who was working inside the Daiichi plant when the earthquake and tsunami struck. You will also hear tape recordings from inside the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Emergency Operations Center, as it struggled to shape America's response to the Fukushima disaster. Chadwick speaks with PBS Newshour's Miles O'Brien, just back from Japan, about recovery efforts. Chadwick also profiles Greg Hardy, a Los Angeles-based engineer who has spent much of his career examining the vulnerability of nuclear plants to earthquakes. And you'll hear a story about the next generation of nuclear reactors, so small they can fit on flatbed trucks.

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    Fade To Darkness: The Age of Alzheimer’s

    Saturday, March 03, 2012

    The age of Alzheimer's is upon us. As the country’s 78 million baby boomers turn 65 -- the age when the disease significantly increases -- cases of Alzheimer's are expected to skyrocket. According to the Alzheimer's Association, 10 million -- one in eight -- boomers will develop the disease. Alzheimer's is a debilitating brain disorder that destroys memory, as well as the ability to speak and function. There is still no way to prevent or cure the disease and experts warn that unless progress is made soon, the coming explosion of cases may be the greatest health crisis facing the nation.

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    KCRW's Oscar Special

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

    Kim Masters (The Business) and Elvis Mitchell (The Treatment)  team up to host a one hour Awards Special featuring interviews with some of this year's Oscar and Independent Spirit Award nominees.  While many shows will be discussing the glitz and glamour of the Oscars and the horse race of who will win, Elvis and Kim will banter about the meaning, the shortcomings and the trends in this year's Awards. The Special will feature interviews with Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo (writers of Bridesmaids), Thomas Langmann and Michel Hazanavicius (Producer and Director of The Artist), Tate Taylor and Kathryn Stockett (Director and Author of The Help), Steve McQueen (Writer/Director of Shame), Mike Mills (Writer/Director Beginners), J.C. Chandor (Writer/Director of Margin Call), Bennett Miller (Director of Moneyball), and Dee Rees (Writer/Director of Pariah

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    State Of Siege: Mississippi Whites and the Civil Rights Movement

    Saturday, February 25, 2012

    Saturday, February 25, 2012 6AM on 93.9 FM and NJPR; Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 2PM on AM 820; and Sunday, February 26 at 8PM on AM 820 and NJPR

    No state in the South was more resistant to the struggle for black equality and none more violent than Mississippi. Drawing on newly discovered archival audio and groundbreaking research on the civil rights era, State of Siege brings to light the extraordinary tactics whites in Mississippi used to battle integration and the lasting impact of that battle in American politics today.

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    I, Too, Sing America: Music in the Life of Langston Hughes

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    Wednesday, February 15th at 8PM on 93.9 FM, AM 820, and NJPR; Saturday, February 18th at 6AM on 93.9 FM and NJPR; Saturday, February 18th at 2PM on AM 820; Sunday, February 19th at 8PM on 820 AM and NJPR

    Langston Hughes, an enduring icon of the Harlem Renaissance, is best-known for his written work, which wedded his fierce dedication to social justice with his belief in the transformative power of the word. But he was a music lover, too, and some of the works he was most proud of were collaborations with composers and musicians.  I, Too, Sing America will dive into the songs, cantatas, musicals and librettos that flowed from Hughes’ pen. As he did with his poetry, Hughes used music to denounce war, combat segregation and restore human dignity in the face of Jim Crow. 

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    RelationShow

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    This Valentine’s Day, RelationShow pillow talks with the fabulous Carrie Fisher (seriously—she calls us straight from her bed!) We also meet Carolyn Hax and Nick Galifianakis, whose nationally syndicated relationship advice column is going gangbusters—even though they divorced each other a decade ago.  Plus, a sharp-eyed psychologist uncovers the hidden love codes in your instant messages, and we hear from New Yorkers who find novel ways to keep the romance burning. Come celebrate Valentine's Day with RelationShow!

    The Harlem Renaissance: Music, Religion, and the Politics of Race

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Tuesday, February 14th at 8PM on 93.9 FM, AM 820, and NJPR; Sunday, February 19th at 9PM on AM 820

    During the vibrant years of the Harlem Renaissance, music, religion, and spirituality were interconnected - not just in the religious setting of the church, but in the jazz club, the dance hall, the rent party, even the political street rally.  Writer Carl Hancock Rux, Reverend Calvin Butts of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, historian Farah Griffin, Professors Josef Sorett and Obery Hendricks, and others explore these powerful interconnections.  Hosted by Norris J. Chumley of the Columbia University Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life.

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    Back of the Bus: Mass Transit, Race and Inequality

    Sunday, February 12, 2012

    Sunday, February 12, 2012 at 9PM on 820 AM and Monday, February 13, 2012 at 8PM on 93.9 FM, 820 FM, and NJPR

    In the '60s, highway projects nearly destroyed African American communities. Now in this collaborative reporting project from Transportation Nation and WNYC, "Back of the Bus" investigates why America's people of color still struggle for equal treatment in public transportation.

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    Say It Loud: Great Speeches on Civil Rights and African American Identity

    Saturday, February 11, 2012

    Saturday, February 11 at 6AM on 93.9 FM and NJPR; Saturday, February 11 at 2PM on AM 820; and Sunday, February 12 at 8PM on AM 820 and NJPR

    This American RadioWorks program traces the last half-century of black history through stirring, historically important speeches by African Americans from across the political spectrum.

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    Dickens and India: Mutual Friends

    Tuesday, February 07, 2012

    In this special from the BBC, Indian born writer Ayeesha Menon explores India’s love affair with Dickens.  India loves Dickens because India today feels what Dickens was writing about then. His themes deeply resonate with Indians: the importance of extended family, familial bonds, the rich-poor divide, child labour, domestic violence, social injustice and stratification, and the plight of the deprived and displaced.

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    World Book Club: Great Expectations

    Tuesday, February 07, 2012

    In honor of Charles Dickens's 200th birthday, the BBC's World Book Club invitied acclaimed biographer Claire Tomalin to talk to Harriett Gilbert about Dickens’ novel Great Expectations with actor Simon Callow, famed for his portrayal of Dickens. Dickens’ popularity extends throughout the world but India’s love for Dickens is likely the strongest.

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    Questioning Democracy

    Saturday, January 28, 2012

    Whose democracy is it?  Who gets to participate and who gets left out? Political influence is bought and sold these days and more and more Americans are opting out.  How do we deal with the tensions of Democracy?  In this program we hear answers from poets and theologians, jazz musicians and exiled dictators.  

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    Living Democracy

    Saturday, January 21, 2012

    Before there was Wikipedia… Before there was Facebook and Twitter… there was Ward Cunningham.  The computer programmer who invented the first wiki, back in 1995.  Cunningham also did something even more radical – he didn’t patent his invention.  He passed up billions of dollars of potential revenue.  Why?  Because he believed the internet needed to be more democratic. How do you live your democratic ideals?

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    A Beautiful Symphony of Brotherhood: A Musical Journey in the Life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    Martin Luther King, Jr. grew up listening to and singing church songs, and saw gospel and folk music as natural tools to further the civil rights movement. In this hour-long special from WNYC, host Terrance McKnight interweaves musical examples with Dr. King's own speeches and sermons to illustrate the powerful place that music held in his work--and examines how the musical community responded to and participated in Dr. King's cause.

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    King's Last March

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

    This documentary will trace the final year of King’s life. It was one of the most challenging and controversial chapters of the civil rights leader’s career, yet it has not been the focus of significant public attention. For many, the image of King is of a social and political leader at the height of his powers – especially the period up through 1965.But that's not the way he was viewed in the last year of his life.

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    Writing Democracy

    Saturday, January 14, 2012

    Some people put their bodies on the line for democracy.  Some pick up weapons.  And some put pen to paper.   Writers who use their gifts to speak truth to power have a special place in the annals of literature.  We revere them for their conscience and their courage.  We'll talk with some of the world’s most celebrated writers talk with us about the literature of democracy. Including and interview with the poet in blue jeans, the dissident playwright who inspired the Velvet Revolution that overthrew the Soviet Union. Vaclav Havel, the former president of the Czech Republic, may have recently passed away, but his ideas live on.

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    Demanding Democracy

    Saturday, January 07, 2012

    When your country doesn’t live up to its own values, what do you do?  Put your head under the covers or man the barricades?  Fighting for freedom means different things to different people. In this hour,  we talk with some of them -- from Wikileaks’ controversial founder Julian Assange, to the first Tea Party activist, to the influential media duo of Cornel West and Tavis Smiley.   What do they all have in common?  They’re Demanding Democracy.

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    A Great Miracle Happened There

    Sunday, December 18, 2011

    A conversation between Rabbi Ismar Schorsch and host Larry Josephson about the history, rituals, foods and meaning of Hanukkah--and its importance to American Jews in our time. Cantors David Lefkowitz and Elisheva Dienstfrey sing the music of Hanukkah.

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    Hanukkah Lights 2011

    Saturday, December 17, 2011

    Hanukkah Lights for 2011 presents a collection of specially commissioned works — brand-new stories in which a bookish schoolboy finds a troublesome streak of defiance, a young woman finds a rewarding new life while confronting sudden tragedy, and a few desperate men find miraculous comfort in a quiet ceremony of light — all read by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz, in a program that launches the third decade of this annual holiday favorite.

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