Host Ira Glass explains that today's show begins in 1865 and ends today. Ira reads briefly from Lincoln's Second Inaugural address, which describes slavery as America's Original Sin of sorts.
Reporter Jon Ronson tells the story of how, in the immediate wake of September 11, he became convinced that a man he'd done a story on was responsible for the Anthrax attacks in America. So he did something he'd never done before, he ratted out his source to the FBI.
Bim Adewunmi talks about the feeling of now.
Susan Orlean tells us about the moment America asked untrained household canines to make the ultimate sacrifice: to serve in World War II. Susan talks to Gina Snyder, who remembers being a teenager when her dog Tommy joined the service.
If you haven't spent much time in the southwest, you may not know about this, but there are these border patrol checkpoints that are just in the middle of interstate highways and other roads... not at the border. They're as far as a hundred miles away.
When America Asked Household Dogs to Serve in World War II
In Richard Brautigan's novel "The Abortion," he imagines a library where regular people can come and drop off their own unpublished books. Nothing is turned away.
Because of a shortage of math and science teachers, New York City decided to import instructors from Austria. Then the Austrians started to see things about this country that few Americans ever get to see.
Davy Rothbart reads from letters, notes, scraps of paper and school papers, which have been lost by their original owners. He collects and publishes things like this in his magazine, Found Magazine.
The story of several huge companies that accidentally got put into the babysitting business in a big, big way because of snow on December 26, 1988. Every year on the day after Christmas, divorced kids all over America fly from one parent to the other.
When it comes to caring for Covid-19 patients, it’s the nurses who are carrying the heaviest burden. Ben Calhoun spent weeks talking to the nurses in the first Covid-19 unit to open in the ICU – Pod 4.
The New York advertising agency where Shalom Auslander works got an assignment from the State Department back in 2001: Sell American values to the Muslim world. Now they just have to figure out exactly what to say to millions of people they know absolutely nothing about.
Over the last few years, there’s been a flood of kids from Central America who’ve arrived in the United States by themselves. With no adults.
Davy Rothbart was on a 136-city tour appearing on morning TV talk shows to promote his book Found: The Best Lost, Tossed, and Forgotten Items from Around the World. Just before one appearance he had what seemed like a great idea at the time.
We hear a quick rundown of all the ways that Christian conservatives are making headway in advancing their values as public policy, why they think total separation of church and state is not what the founding fathers intended. And why they're wrong.
This is a story of a father and son—told by the son, Juan Zaldivar, who was born in Cuba. Juan has spent the past four years shooting a movie about his father, to try to reassure him that he did the right thing to leave Cuba with his family in the 1980s and come to America.
Host Ira Glass tells the story of Marisela and Yadira, who were honors students in high school. They wanted to go to the best colleges, but they couldn't get federally-funded scholarships because they weren't U.S. citizens; they had come from Mexico when they were little.
Ira talks with Lee Qi, who came to America from China. He worked in Chinese restaurants in small towns, live in tiny apartments with other illegal immigrants who worked there as well—apartments that were sometimes in the back of the restaurants.
Ira goes to the courtroom of Abraham Lincoln Marovitz, who, at 93, presides over the ceremony to make people citizens. In this setting, it's hard to talk about America as it is.
Sarah Vowell tells the lost story behind a patriotic song, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." An early version of the song celebrated an American terrorist. She's accompanied by Jon Langford and the band.
An audio diary of two people using the classified ads to find jobs. Produced by Joe Richman, the awarding winning producer of the series Radio Diaries.
Alex Jones spread the idea that Sandy Hook was a hoax, on his radio show and website for years after the shooting. He's probably the country's most famous conspiracy theorist. He's even had Donald Trump on his show.
Yelena Khanga grew up in Russia knowing almost no other Black people. Emanuele Berry asks Yelena what that was like.
Stephanie Foo tells us the story of amateurs who for one night get thrown into a very, very big job — perhaps the biggest: President of the United States of America.