Radio Archive by Tag

History

  • Prologue.

    479: Little War on the Prairie 11.23.2012

    Ira talks to John Biewen about how remarkable it is that he could grow up in a town and never ...HistoryHolidays

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  • Act One.

    479: Little War on the Prairie 11.23.2012

    John meets up with Gwen Westerman, a Dakota woman who moved to Mankato twenty years ago, also ...History

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  • Act Two.

    479: Little War on the Prairie 11.23.2012

    John continues the story of the Dakota War of 1862, and how it resulted in the expulsion of the ...History

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  • Prologue.

    432: Know When To Fold 'Em 04.08.2011

    Host Ira Glass speaks with Jim McManus, whose book Positively Fifth Street inspired Ira to start ...HistoryPoliticsPresidents

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  • Act One.

    428: Oh You Shouldn't Have 03.04.2011

    Allison Silverman reports on This Is Your Life, a show from the 1950s ...HistoryTelevision

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  • Trickle Down History.

    424: Kid Politics 01.14.2011

    Reporter Starlee Kine observes what would have happened if the U.S.-led invasion of Grenada in ...ChildrenEducationHistory

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  • Prologue.

    423: The Invention of Money 01.07.2011

    Ira Glass speaks with several members of the Planet Money team, who all found ...EconomicsHistory

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  • Elbert County.

    413: Georgia Rambler 07.30.2010

    Chuck Salter, son of Georgia Rambler Charles Salter, Sr., visits a man named Windell Cleveland, ...FamilyFathersHistory

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  • Nancy's Dad's Story.

    400: Stories Pitched by Our Parents 02.12.2010

    The Erie Canal. (6 minutes.) Web bonus: Click here to download the song that Nancy and Dave sing.FathersHistoryMusic

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  • He Shapes Ship Shapes By The Sea Shore.

    399: Contents Unknown 01.22.2010

    Fred van Doorninck and George Bass were unlikely candidates for pioneering underwater Byzantine ...BoatsHistory

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  • Prologue.

    381: Turncoat 05.22.2009

    Ira talks with reporter My Thuan Tran of The Los Angeles Times about how San Jose City ...ActivismDevelopmentGovernment

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  • Code Red.

    381: Turncoat 05.22.2009

    The story from the prologue continues. (6 minutes) ActivismDevelopmentGovernment

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  • If The Shoe Fits.

    381: Turncoat 05.22.2009

    Actor Matt Malloy reads a short piece of fiction called "Shoes," about a boy trying not to be a ...ChildhoodFictionHistory

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  • Family Feudalism.

    376: Wrong Side of History 03.13.2009

    Sketch comedy troupe Kasper Hauser performs a radio game show, where a race car driver, a guy ...FunnyHistoryLive Performance

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  • The Other Guy.

    376: Wrong Side of History 03.13.2009

    When Bernie Epton ran for mayor of Chicago in 1983, he was a long shot—Chicago historically ...HistoryPoliticsRace

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  • Act Four Fifteen Trillion Dollar Dismal Science Experiment.

    373: The New Boss 01.30.2009

    Our crack economics duo, Producer Alex Blumberg and NPR International Economics Correspondent ...EconomicsGovernmentHistory

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  • Hard Times.

    368: Who Do You Think You Are? 11.07.2008

    Studs Terkel, the Chicago reporter who recorded oral histories of ordinary Americans, died last ...EconomicsHistory

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  • What A Difference An Election Day Makes.

    368: Who Do You Think You Are? 11.07.2008

    Ira talks to Rev. Donald Sharp, of Faith Tabernacle Church in Chicago. Reverend Sharp, who is ...HistoryRace

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  • Prologue.

    360: Switched At Birth 07.25.2008

    Host Ira Glass introduces four characters: Kay McDonald, who raised a daughter named Sue, and ...FamilyHistory

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  • Act One.

    360: Switched At Birth 07.25.2008

    Reporter Jake Halpern tells the story of Marti Miller and Sue McDonald, the daughters who were ...FamilyHistory

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  • Act Two.

    360: Switched At Birth 07.25.2008

    Jake Halpern tells the mothers' sides of the story. At 69, Kay McDonald had to cope not only ...FamilyHistory

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  • Prologue.

    352: The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar 03.14.2008

    Host Ira Glass plays the song "Mystery of the Dunbar's Child" by Richard "Rabbit" Brown. It ...CrimeFamilyHistory

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  • Part One.

    352: The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar 03.14.2008

    Reporter Tal McThenia tells the first half of Margaret's story. Everyone in her family knew the ...CrimeFamilyHistory

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  • Part Two.

    352: The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar 03.14.2008

    Tal McThenia's story continues. Margaret meets the living relatives of the kidnapper, William ...CrimeFamilyHistory

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  • Prologue.

    349: Valentine's Day 2008 02.15.2008

    Richard Klein of Cornell University explains that the way we view love really began with love ...HistoryLiteratureRomance

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  • Wenceslas Square.

    337: Man vs. History 07.27.2007

    Arthur Phillips reads an abridged version of his short story "Wenceslas Square," which takes ...FictionHistory

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  • September 11th, 1660.

    331: Habeas Schmabeas 2007 04.27.2007

    Habeas corpus began in England. And recently, 175 members of the British parliament filed a ...Criminal JusticeHistoryLegal System

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  • The Homesick Explorer.

    329: Nice Work If You Can Get It 04.06.2007

    This American Life contributor Sarah Vowell tells the story of a mapmaker named Charles Preuss ...FunnyHistory

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  • Internet.

    312: How We Talked Back Then 05.12.2006

    In this show, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Ira and David Hauptschein explored this now ...HistoryLive PerformanceTechnology

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  • September 11th, 1660.

    310: Habeas Schmabeas 03.10.2006

    Habeas corpus began in England. And recently, 175 members of the British parliament filed a ...Criminal JusticeHistoryLegal System

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  • Prologue.

    307: In the Shadow of the City 02.03.2006

    Every city's got a place like this: that weird no man's land on the outskirts of town, with junk ...ArtCityHistory

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  • Christmas At Valley Forge.

    305: The This American Life Holiday Spectacular 12.23.2005

    A brand new Christmas carol gets its world premiere: A song about both Christmas and American ...FunnyHistoryHolidays

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  • Prologue.

    301: Settling the Score 11.11.2005

    Erin Einhorn grew up begging her mother to tell her all about the remarkable story of how she ...FamilyHeroismHistory

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  • One Good Deed.

    301: Settling the Score 11.11.2005

    Erin Einhorn's story continues. She tells what happens once she arrives in Poland. Things start ...FamilyHeroismHistory

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  • French Kiss.

    291: Reunited (And It Feels So Good) 07.01.2005

    This American Life contributing editor Sarah Vowell tells the story of General Lafayette's ...History

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  • Where's Walter?

    283: Remember Me 02.25.2005

    Starlee Kine rents a room at a Ramada hotel in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, where a ghost supposedly ...HistoryHousing

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  • Giving Up The Ghosts.

    283: Remember Me 02.25.2005

    Writer Shalom Auslander reads his short story about how he decided to start forgetting the dead, ...DeathHistoryWriting

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  • Straight Eyes On The Quirin Guys.

    260: The Facts Don't Matter 03.12.2004

    Chris Neary tells the story of how a bungled Nazi sabotage operation from the early days of ...HistoryLegal SystemTerrorism

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  • Prologue.

    246: My Pen Pal 09.12.2003

    Ira talks to historian Ted Widmer about two of the first pen pals in the New World. John ...FriendshipHistoryWriting

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  • Teacher Hit Me With A Ruler.

    239: Lost in America 06.06.2003

    Sarah Vowell tells the lost story behind a patriotic song, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." ...HistoryLive PerformanceMusic

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  • Fighting The Previous War.

    235: The Balloon Goes Up 03.21.2003

    Sarah Vowell tells the story about the first time the United States attacked a country that ...HistoryWar

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  • What Peacetime Forgets About Wartime.

    235: The Balloon Goes Up 03.21.2003

    A few years back, a writer named Lee Sandlin wrote a story for the weekly paper The Chicago ...HistoryJournalismWar

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  • Lessons From Ancient Wars.

    235: The Balloon Goes Up 03.21.2003

    The story of a preventive act of war committed 3200 years ago, in the land that's now Turkey, ...HistoryTheaterWar

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  • What's The Truth Good For, Anyway?

    232: The Real Story 02.14.2003

    For many years, Israeli citizens learned a sanitized version of what happened during their War ...HistoryPoliticsRace

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  • God Shed His Grace On Thee.

    216: Give the People What They Want 07.12.2002

    A fable of how America got its name, and how it was named after someone who was a fraud, but the ...History

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  • Prologue.

    199: House on Loon Lake 11.16.2001

    Host Ira Glass explains that our show's a little different this week. It consists of one long ...ChildhoodFamilyHistory

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  • Act Two.

    199: House on Loon Lake 11.16.2001

    Adam Beckman continues his story. He returns to the town in New Hampshire where he discovered ...ChildhoodFamilyHistory

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  • Mr. Boder Vanishes.

    197: Before It Had A Name 10.26.2001

    In 1946, a man named David Boder started to investigate the Holocaust before it was known as the ...AnimalsDeathHistory

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  • Bombs Over Baghdad.

    196: Rashomon 10.05.2001

    We hear the story of the Persian Gulf war, as told by Issam Shukri, a family man from Bagdad who ...ChildrenFathersHistory

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  • Toto, I Don't Think We're In Vietnam Anymore.

    196: Rashomon 10.05.2001

    U.S. special operations forces will lead the first part of the coming war we're all bracing for. ...HistoryMilitary

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  • Watching From The River's Edge.

    194: Before and After 09.21.2001

    David Rakoff tells the story of the day that used to hold the record as the worst disaster in ...BoatsDeathHistory

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  • Prologue.

    189: Hitler's Yacht 07.13.2001

    Host Ira Glass joins a group of tourists to walk through the captured German submarine that's on ...BoatsChildrenHistory

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  • Act One.

    189: Hitler's Yacht 07.13.2001

    Reporter Alix Spiegel tells the story of the Ostwind, the boat that came to be known as ...BoatsHistory

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  • Act Two.

    189: Hitler's Yacht 07.13.2001

    Alix Spiegel's story continues. (28 minutes) BoatsHistory

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  • Nepotism: A Beginner's Guide.

    171: Election 11.03.2000

    Reporter Adam Davidson is related to George W. Bush. You might be too. By some freak of ...FamilyHistoryPolitics

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  • Prologue.

    167: Memo to the People of the Future 09.08.2000

    Host Ira Glass tells the story of a time capsule project designed to document our lives so that ...HistoryScience

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  • One And One Don't Make Two.

    167: Memo to the People of the Future 09.08.2000

    What if you're remembered in ways that you don't like? What if you're remembered for something ...ChildrenFamilyHistory

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  • You Don't Have To Be An Einstein.

    167: Memo to the People of the Future 09.08.2000

    After he died, Albert Einstein became a figure of international kitsch: Appearing in computer ...Health Care/MedicineHistoryScience

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  • Those Who Ignore History Are Condemned To Repeat It—But Those Who Pay Attention To History Are Also Condemned To Repeat It.

    160: Character Assassination 05.19.2000

    Dirty political attacks go back to the very beginning of the American Republic. What's different ...HistoryPoliticsPresidents

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  • Exile On Main Street.

    156: What Remains 03.31.2000

    Keith Gessen, a young Russian emigre, revisits the heroes of his youth: the brave Soviet ...ActivismHistoryImmigration

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  • Prologue.

    148: The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Suit 12.24.1999

    Host Ira Glass talks with Stephen Nissenbaum, author of a history called The Battle for ...CityHistoryHolidays

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  • Prologue.

    142: Barbara 10.15.1999

    Host Ira Glass describes the moment when black single mothers became a national political ...HistoryMothersPolitics

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  • Upside Down World.

    139: Ghosts of Elections Past 09.03.1999

    A campaign diary from writer Michael Lewis from four years ago, about a politician you've heard ...GovernmentHistoryMilitary

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  • Roger And Me, Lewis And Clark.

    137: The Book That Changed Your Life 08.20.1999

    Reporter Jeremy Goldstein tells the story of a man who had many books change his life, even ...HistoryLiterature

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  • The Secret To Being Rich And Happy.

    133: Sales 06.25.1999

    What happens to you if you stay in sales all your life? 76-year-old salesman "Diamond" Jimmy Roy ...BusinessHistory

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  • Where The People Walk Around Upside Down.

    131: The Kids Are Alright 06.04.1999

    More stories from Wen Huang that contradict what you think you know about the 1989 student ...ActivismChildhoodGovernment

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  • When Czechs Bounce.

    131: The Kids Are Alright 06.04.1999

    If part of the impulse behind the Tiananmen Square uprising was the pure desire to feel like ...ChildhoodHistoryMusic

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  • History.

    128: Four Corners 04.30.1999

    Sarah Vowell has a theory that you can tell the entire history of the United States by standing ...History

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  • Prologue.

    127: Pimp Anthropology 04.16.1999

    Ira talks about the classic biography of an American pimp, Iceberg Slim's Pimp: The Story of My ...CrimeHistoryProstitution

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  • You Can't Go Home Again.

    126: Do-Gooders 04.09.1999

    Jackie and Kenny Wharton were kids in the tiny town of Canalou, Missouri, off of old Highway 61. ...ChildhoodHistoryMarriage

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  • Humanitarians.

    126: Do-Gooders 04.09.1999

    Modern-day fables of two different kinds of do-gooders during and after the 1994 genocide in ...DeathGovernmentHistory

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  • Act One.

    121: Twentieth Century Man 01.29.1999

    The first part of Gillian's story. (33 minutes) ChildrenDeathDivorce

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  • Act Two.

    121: Twentieth Century Man 01.29.1999

    Gillian's story continues. (25 minutes) ChildrenDivorceFamily

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  • Doing Good By Doing Bad.

    120: Be Careful Who You Pretend to Be 01.22.1999

    Ron Copeland is a historical interpreter at the Conner Prairie Living History Museum, outside of ...HistoryJobs/EmploymentRace

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  • What's So Funny About Peace, Love And Understanding?

    120: Be Careful Who You Pretend to Be 01.22.1999

    Alix Spiegel travels with a group of white suburbanites as they pretend to be runaway slaves, at ...HistoryRaceTheater

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  • Prologue.

    114: Last Words 10.23.1998

    Host Ira Glass reads famous last words from Bing Crosby, Oscar Wilde, W.C. Fields, and talks ...DeathHistory

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  • Prologue.

    112: Ladies and Germs 10.02.1998

    The story of a White House scandal from the year 1881. President James Garfield lay dying of a ...Health Care/MedicineHistoryPolitics

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  • 20th Century Germ.

    112: Ladies and Germs 10.02.1998

    Germs were first understood at the turn of the 20th century and it turns out that the aesthetics ...Health Care/MedicineHistory

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  • Ladies And Germs.

    112: Ladies and Germs 10.02.1998

    The burden of keeping germs from hurting us in our everyday lives has fallen mostly on women, ...Food/Drinks/CookingHealth Care/MedicineHistory

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  • Sight.

    110: Mapping 09.04.1998

    Denis Wood talks with host Ira Glass about the maps he's made of his own neighborhood, Boylan ...CityHistory

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  • Note Four. Ritual.

    109: Notes on Camp 08.28.1998

    Camp Lake of the Woods holds a fake Indian powwow during the summer. This kind of fake Native ...BusinessChildhoodHistory

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  • Prologue.

    107: Trail of Tears 07.03.1998

    Host Ira Glass describes what thousands of people do all over America on our holiday weekends: ...ChildrenEducationHistory

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  • Act One.

    107: Trail of Tears 07.03.1998

    Sarah Vowell and her twin sister Amy re-trace the Trail of Tears. They visit the town in Georgia ...ChildhoodFamilyHistory

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  • Act Two.

    107: Trail of Tears 07.03.1998

    Sarah Vowell's story continues. She and Amy visit the home of President Andrew Jackson, the ...FamilyHistoryPresidents

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  • Act One.

    101: Niagara 05.01.1998

    The modern history of Niagara Falls can be divided roughly into three phases: Schemers who came ...ChildhoodEnvironmentHistory

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  • Noble Calling.

    100: Radio 04.24.1998

    Now in exile, Jose Ramos Horta spent two decades as the leading international spokesman against ...FunnyHistoryPolitics

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  • Prologue.

    96: Pinned by History 03.13.1998

    Host Ira Glass with Jan Tomare, who spent three years in the Auschwitz concentration camp. (4 ...GamblingHistory

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  • Book Of Job.

    96: Pinned by History 03.13.1998

    Reporter Scott Carrier does a story about Harvey "Job" Matusow. (38 minutes)Criminal JusticeDeathDivorce

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  • God Of War.

    96: Pinned by History 03.13.1998

    In Vietnam, Jeffrey Harris, with one year of grad school, judged which soldiers stayed and which ...HistoryJobs/EmploymentMental Health

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  • Prologue.

    93: Valentine's Day '98 02.13.1998

    Richard Klein of Cornell University explains that the way we view love really began with love ...HistoryPoetryRomance

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  • Prologue.

    90: Telephone 01.16.1998

    Host Ira Glass explains why some old answering machine messages from a decade ago have such ...HistoryPoliticsRomance

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  • When Days Are Numbered.

    88: Numbers 01.02.1998

    Jerry Davidson has been keeping a list of everything he's done since 1955 when he was ten years ...FamilyHistory

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  • Prologue.

    85: Poultry Slam 1997 12.05.1997

    Host Ira Glass reads from a letter Benjamin Franklin wrote, and discusses it with Jack Hitt. (5 ...AnimalsHistory

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  • Yesterday.

    84: Harold 11.21.1997

    A history of the brief mayoral career of Harold Washington, and its lessons for black and white ...CityGovernmentHistory

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  • The Present And The Future.

    84: Harold 11.21.1997

    Twenty years after Harold's death, we take up the question: has white Chicago changed?Host Ira ...CityDeathGovernment

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  • Act Two.

    82: Haunted 10.31.1997

    Binjamin Wilkomirski and New York writer Blake Eskin try and figure out if they are related. ...AdoptionFamilyHistory

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  • Running After Antelope.

    80: Running After Antelope 10.17.1997

    Scott Carrier in Salt Lake City with the latest installment in his 12-year quest to chase down ...AnimalsHistoryScience

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  • Prologue.

    79: Stuck in the Wrong Decade 10.10.1997

    A communist, the filmmaker Marcel Ophuls, the band Camper Van Beethoven, and other people who ...HistoryMusicPolitics

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  • Working In Another Decade. [Retracted]

    79: Stuck in the Wrong Decade 10.10.1997

    This episode originally included a story by reporter Stephen Glass (no relation to Ira) about an ...FictionHistoryScience

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  • Prologue.

    72: Trek 08.08.1997

    More than England, or Japan or Israel.... When we think of South Africa, it's a more interesting ...HistoryPoliticsRace

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  • Prologue.

    68: Lincoln's Second Inaugural 07.04.1997

    Host Ira Glass explains that today's show begins in 1865 and ends today. Ira reads briefly from ...HistoryPoliticsPresidents

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  • Politics.

    68: Lincoln's Second Inaugural 07.04.1997

    South Carolina native Jack Hitt discusses the Confederate Flag's prominent place over the ...GovernmentHistory

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  • Color.

    67: Your Dream, My Nightmare 06.27.1997

    An interracial couple takes a plantation tour. (13 minutes)HistoryRaceTravel

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  • The World's Most Perfect Pneumatic Vacuum.

    65: Who's Canadian? 05.30.1997

    Canadians not getting any respect in two locales: A town called Little Canada, Minnesota; and in ...HistoryRadio

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  • What We Were Trying To Do.

    61: Fiasco! 04.25.1997

    A medieval village, a 1900-pound brass kettle, marauding visigoths, and a plan to drench ...HistoryMilitary

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  • Centralia.

    59: Fire 04.11.1997

    An inextinguishable subterranean fire on the edge of a small Pennsylvania town, and why the ...HistoryNeighbors/Neighborhoods

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  • The Big Picture.

    59: Fire 04.11.1997

    Professor Stephen Pyne. (23 minutes)EnvironmentHistory

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  • Prologue.

    51: Animals Die, People Ponder 01.24.1997

    Ira with an expert in medieval manuscripts, Sandy Hindman. (5 minutes)AnimalsArtHistory

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  • The Moment Humans Stopped Being Animals.

    49: Animals 01.10.1997

    Anthropologists agree that humans stopped being animals when they started walking upright, on ...AnimalsHistoryScience

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  • International Justice.

    48: Justice 01.03.1997

    They can't pronounce the names, can't read the maps, don't know the history, and are on an ...CrimeCriminal JusticeHistory

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  • National Tour.

    38: Simulated Worlds 10.11.1996

    Host Ira Glass uses Italian author Umberto Eco's essay Travels in Hyperreality as a guidebook ...ArtFamilyHistory

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  • Dinosaur Exhibit.

    38: Simulated Worlds 10.11.1996

    Writer Jack Hitt discovers that the world of dinosaurs is a man-made creation, a simulated world ...AnimalsHistoryScience

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  • Medieval Times.

    38: Simulated Worlds 10.11.1996

    Ira takes a Medieval scholar from the University of Chicago, Michael Camille, to Medieval Times ...EducationHistoryTheater

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  • The Port Chicago 50.

    37: The Job That Takes Over Your Life 09.27.1996

    The story of the worst stateside disaster during World War II, at Port Chicago, an ammunition ...BoatsHistoryJobs/Employment

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