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All Things Considered

The Harlem Hellfighters: Fighting Racism In The Trenches Of WWI

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The Harlem Hellfighters broke barriers as the first African-American infantry unit to fight in World War I. Their story is retold in a new graphic novel written by Max Brooks, author of World War Z.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Journalist Todd Purdum, recounts the dramatic political battle to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in his new book An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which details the legislative maneuvering and the larger-than-life characters who made The Civil Rights Act a reality.

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All Things Considered

Take It From A Local: The Tale Of How Turkey, Texas, Got Its Name

Monday, March 31, 2014

There is no shortage of colorful town names in Texas. We explore the story behind one of them — Turkey, Texas — with a local named Don Turner, a volunteer at the Bob Wills Museum.

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The Journey From 'Colored' To 'Minorities' To 'People Of Color'

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The words used to describe race and ethnicity are ever in flux. A favored term one decade becomes passé the next and not nice soon after that. But, the motivation for change remains constant: Respect.

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Helen Keller's Glimpse Of Beethoven's 'Heavenly Vibration'

Saturday, March 29, 2014

NPR's Scott Simon reads from a letter written by activist Helen Keller, who was deaf and blind. It was written in 1924, after she listened to a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

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All Things Considered

Why A Proper Lady Found Herself Behind Bars

Friday, March 28, 2014

As racial tensions were rising in 1964, Mary Peabody, the mother of the Massachusetts governor, went to St. Augustine, Fla., to protest segregation.

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All Things Considered

When A Record Quake Struck Alaska, One Small Church Survived

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Two residents of Old Harbor, Alaska, recall the 9.2 earthquake that devastated the town 50 years ago Thursday. It remains the largest recorded earthquake in North America and the second in the world.

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For Actor Michael Peña, A Transformative Role As Cesar Chavez

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The new film Cesar Chavez tells the story of the civil rights leader who fought to secure a living wage and better working conditions for farm workers. Michael Peña talks about playing the lead role.

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Fishko Files

The House I Live In

Thursday, March 27, 2014

 In this edition of  Fishko Files, a story about music, politics and the U.S.A. 

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The Takeaway

A World on The Edge: Echoes of 1914 in 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Yesterday President Barack Obama promised to use the U.S. military to protect NATO nations against outside threats. "History has a funny way of moving in twists and turns, and not just in a straight line," he said. History also tends to repeat itself, as Margaret MacMillan, professor of history at Oxford University, knows well. She reflects on the fateful summer of 1914 and compares that century-old conflict to the current issues facing the West and Russia.

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Walter Mosley: To End Race, We Have To Recognize 'White' Doesn't Exist

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Walter Mosley's writing inspired Hollywood filmmakers and a generation of black writers. He's now being honored at the National Black Writers' Conference. He talks about the award and his new book.

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Polygamy May Seem Like A Man's Dream, But Kenyan Women Are Not Happy

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Kenyan lawmakers recently passed a bill that legalizes polygamy without a wife's consent. Member of Parliament Annah Nyokabi Gathecha explains why she walked out of the voting session.

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Despite Financial Challenges, HBCUs Fight To Remain A Bargain

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Historically black colleges and universities remain a gateway to higher education for millions of students. But how are the institutions and their students weathering difficult financial challenges?

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Invention of the News

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Long before the invention of printing, people wanted information. Andrew Pettegree tracks the history of news in ten countries over the course of four centuries—from gossip, civic ceremony, sermons, and proclamations to printed pamphlets, edicts, journals to the local and worldwide news as we know it today. In The Invention of the News: How the World Came to Know About Itself, Pettegree investigates who controlled the news and who reported it, news as a tool of political protest and religious reform, issues of privacy and titillation, reliability and trust.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Making of a Khmer Rouge Torturer

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

On April 17, 1975, the communist Khmer Rouge, led by its secretive prime minister Pol Pot, took over Cambodia. They cut the nation off from the world and began systematically killing and starving two million of their people. Thirty years after their fall, a man named Duch, who had served as Chief Prison officer at the regime's central prison complex, stood trial for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Journalist Thierry Cruvellier takes us into the dark heart of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge, using the trial to tell the horrifying story of this terrible chapter in history. The Master of Confessions: The Making of a Khmer Rouge Torturer is an account of a Chief Interrogator's trial for war crimes.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Getting into College; Guastavino Architectural Work; Inventing the News; Justice for a Khmer Rouge Torturer

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

On today’s show: Brooklyn high school guidance counselor Joshua Steckel talks about what happened to some of his students once they achieved their dream of going to college. Then, we’ll find out about the remarkable architectural work by Rafael Guastavino and his son, and where to find it around New York. Andrew Pettegree talks about the invention of the news—from before the printing press was invented to the Internet Age. Journalist Thierry Cruvellier on the 2005 trial of the Khmer Rouge’s chief prison official.

Life of the Law

Trouble with Profiling

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Is ‘looking Mexican’ a legal reason for the Border Patrol to stop a car? Federal law says agents have to have ‘reasonable suspicion’ that something illegal is happening. But what that means depends where you are, and whom you ask.

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The Takeaway

Never-Published Tennessee Williams Story Surfaces

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Drunken antics and foiled romance mark Williams’ campus story that sat on a shelf for years. But its new publisher says it showed signs of the genius to come.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

A Tale of Murder, Madness, Tyranny, and Perversion in Ancient Rome

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Classical historian James Romm tells the juicy story of of murder, madness, tyranny, and perversion, set in ancient Rome. Seneca, then Rome’s preeminent writer and philosopher, was appointed as tutor to 12-year-old Nero, the future emperor of Rome. Controlling them both was Nero’s mother, Julia Agrippina the Younger, great-granddaughter of the Emperor Augustus, sister of the Emperor Caligula, niece and fourth wife of Emperor Claudius. Dying Every Day: Seneca at the Court of Nero is about the moral struggles, political intrigue, and bloody vengeance that surrounded Seneca in the twisted imperial family and the perverse, paranoid regime of Emperor Nero, who was a despot and a madman.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Story of the Jews

Monday, March 24, 2014

Simon Schama details the story of the Jewish experience, tracing it across three millennia, from their beginnings as an ancient tribal people to the opening of the New World in 1492. His book The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words 1000 BC–1492 AD spans the millennia and the continents—from India to Andalusia and from the bazaars of Cairo to the streets of Oxford. It’s a story of a Jewish world immersed in and imprinted by the peoples among whom they have dwelled, from the Egyptians to the Greeks, from the Arabs to the Christians.

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