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December 20, 2013

7:46

F.scott.zelda

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Difficult Life

In "The Great Gatsby" F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote about the life of the rich and glamorous during the Roaring Twenties. But what happened to the author when the carefree splendor of the 1920s ended and the nation was plunged into the Great Depression? The 1930s were not kind to Fitzgerald or his wife Zelda. The Fitzgeralds moved to Asheville, North Carolina, where the author continued to look for inspiration in the hopes of making a comeback. Listen to learn more about the fate of this glamorous couple of the Jazz Age after the stock market crash.

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December 11, 2013

12:02

Why did mandela protest

Why did Mandela protest?

Nelson Mandela, former South African President and leader of the anti-apartheid movement, was also labeled a "terrorist." As protests against the government grew from peaceful to violent, learn more about why Mandela was forced to call for armed struggle by listening to this story.

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December 10, 2013

5:07

Moderngoldrush

Modern Day Gold Rush

The California Gold Rush of 1849 inspired thousands of prospective gold miners to move to California in search of wealth. The Gold Rush peaked in 1852, but people still find gold in California rivers. When the U.S. economy was in a recession in 2007 and 2008, gold prices started to rise and a new generation of gold prospectors headed to California. Listen to hear from these modern day prospectors and learn what drives them in their search for treasure!

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December 9, 2013

4:54

Jacklondon.sleddogs

Jack London’s Adventurous Life

Author Jack London lived a life of adventure and travel. From a childhood of poverty in San Francisco to the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897, London took his experiences and transformed them into compelling fiction. 'The Call of the Wild' and 'White Fang' made London the most popular American author of his generation. Literary critics now recognize the talent behind his clearly written adventure tales. Listen to learn more about the extraordinary life of this adventurous, hard working man.

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December 9, 2013

9:02

Veteran remembers pearl harbor

Veteran Remembers Pearl Harbor

FDR proclaimed that December 7, 1941 will go down in infamy. On that day, 2,000 U.S sailors at Pearl Harbor died from a surprise Japanese attack which started America's involvement in WWII. This veteran witnessed both the beginning and the end of the war.

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December 8, 2013

5:51

Marktwain.framedlife

Mark Twain’s Life Framed His Writing

In 'The Adventures of Tom Sawyer' and 'Huckleberry Finn' author Mark Twain wrote about his childhood along the Mississippi River, but he did so as an adult living in Upstate New York. From his vagabond youth to forming a family and beginning to write novels, learn more about Mark Twain’s life and about how and where he wrote his greatest novels.

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December 8, 2013

9:37

Jessejames

Understanding Outlaw Jesse James

Outlaw Jesse James and his gang have become synonymous with the Wild West and horseback outlaws of the era, but the story behind his actions is far more complex. James and other members of the James-Younger Gang were Confederate guerrillas, known as Bushwhackers, before and during the Civil War. At the end of the war ex-Confederates were on the losing side and suffered the consequences. Disenfranchised and numb to violence after what they had witnessed during the war, they sought justice and revenge from the winners of the war. Listen to learn more about the life and exploits of these well-known outlaws.

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December 7, 2013

8:57

Samclemens

Samuel Clemens, The Man Behind The Writer

The works of American author Mark Twain are widely studied, but the man behind this famous pen name is less understood. Samuel Clemens was born in a small Missouri town and through challenges, travels and adventures he became and created Mark Twain. This self-educated “border ruffian” became a successful and famous “Connecticut Yankee” by combining his life experiences, sense of humor and renowned writing talents. Listen to learn how the life of Samuel Clemens created the Mark Twain we know and love.

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December 7, 2013

3:00

Steinbeck.travelswithcharlievehicle

Retracing Steinbeck’s Travels

In 1960, American author John Steinbeck took a 10,000 mile road trip around the United States with his poodle, Charley. They rode in his pickup truck, which he converted to a camper and named Rocinante after Don Quixote’s horse. This counterclockwise trip from New York to Maine, to the Pacific Northwest, California, Texas, the Deep South and back to New York inspired Steinbeck’s novel “Travels with Charley” and allowed Steinbeck to see his country and answer the question “What are Americans like today?” A modern day journalist retraced Steinbeck’s journey, using the novel, Steinbeck’s letters and some old-fashioned detective work.

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December 6, 2013

3:59

Arthur.stone

The Magic and Message of King Arthur

The British legend of King Arthur dates back to the late 5th and early 6th centuries. The details of his life story are populated by folklore and medieval fiction and have been expanded by authors throughout the centuries. The tale of the sword and the stone has resonated through the ages. A young King Arthur learns from sorcerer Merlin with no knowledge of his noble blood. This concept of childhood and the unexpected hero has transcended time and resonates in tales of unlikely heroism today. Listen as modern author Lev Grossman discusses his favorite version of this tale 'The Once And Future King.'

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December 6, 2013

8:53

3199012558 76e6bd0c0e z

Nelson Mandela Dies

The former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95. Mandela was the founding president of the democratic nation. Listen to this story to learn about Mandela's life and legacy.

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December 5, 2013

2:51

Phillis wheatley portrait 2

America’s First Black Poet

Phillis Wheatley lived an extraordinary life. Born in West Africa and sold into slavery in Boston, Massachusetts, Wheatley became the first published African-American woman and poet. In addition to being a poet, Wheatley exchanged letters with religious leaders and philanthropists. Some of her letters have survived, including one in which she reflects on the American Revolution. Listen to learn about this valuable letter, which was auctioned off in 2005.

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December 4, 2013

4:26

African slave ship diagram

The Power of Slave Narratives

Slavery is a horror of history. The capture and transportation of human beings from Africa to North America through the Middle Passage is an experience that is hard to imagine. First-person slave narratives were the first honest account of the experience and were used by the abolitionist movements in Britain and the United States to show the reality of slavery. Listen to learn more about the first-person account of freed slave Olaudah Equiano, shared in his autobiography in 1789.

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December 3, 2013

5:10

Benfranklin

The Multi-Talented Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was one of America’s most influential founding fathers, but he was much more than that. An author, printer, politician, scientist and diplomat Franklin lived a surprising and fascinating life. Listen to learn more about the path of this great statesman from a printer apprenticeship in Philadelphia to an influential scientist and diplomat in Paris.

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December 2, 2013

3:58

Emilydickinson

Emily Dickinson, the Reclusive Poet

American poet Emily Dickinson was known as an eccentric recluse throughout her life. Dickinson maintained friendships through letter writing. She wrote poetry privately. Her unusual poetry style wasn’t truly discovered until after her death in 1886 when her sister Lavinia found nearly 1,800 of her sister’s poems. Though Lavinia had promised to destroy her sister’s papers, she instead had the poems published, which led to Emily’s fame as a great American poet. Listen to learn how her poetry continues to be an inspiration today.

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December 2, 2013

8:12

Mobydick

Melville’s Inspirations for ‘Moby-Dick’

Herman Melville’s classic American novel “Moby-Dick” tells the story of whaling captain Ahab’s quest to kill the white whale Moby-Dick. This somewhat simplistic plot retelling misses the thematic and historic undertones of this massive novel. The novel was a critical and commercial failure when it was released in 1851 but experienced a resurgence after World War I. Listen to learn more about the writing of “Moby-Dick” and how Melville was influenced by the works of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Shakespeare as well as the tensions of pre-Civil War America.

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December 1, 2013

4:32

Faulkertypewriter

Faulkner’s Southern Inspiration

William Faulkner was a private man and a proud Southerner. He is considered by many to be a literary genius. Faulkner wrote frankly about the South, where he lived his entire life. His work brought him acclaim including a Nobel Prize and two Pulitzer Prizes. From 'The Sound and the Fury' to 'As I Lay Dying,' Faulkner took the reader into the mind of his characters by presenting distinct points of view and a stream of consciousness writing style. Learn more about this great American author by exploring his antebellum home in Oxford Mississippi.

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November 30, 2013

3:59

Sylviaplath

The Life and Poetry of Sylvia Plath

American poet Sylvia Plath is well known for her work, her life and her death. Plath’s suicide in February 1963 shocked a generation of readers and writers, shining a light on the plight of women and mental illness. These are the topics that Plath had written about in her semi-autobiographical novel “The Bell Jar.” Fifty years after her dramatic death, Plath’s poetry lives on. Listen to learn more about the life of Sylvia Plath and the collection of poetry, “Ariel,” published after her death.

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November 29, 2013

7:20

Lincolngettysburg

Understanding Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address

On November 19, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln gave a short speech to honor those who had died at the Battle of Gettysburg, which was fought in July of that year. After a two hour speech by politician Edward Everett, Lincoln spoke for just over two minutes. In just 272 words Lincoln explicitly linked human equality and democracy to the Union war effort. This statement of purpose has lived on and remains one of the most famous speeches of the Civil War. Listen to hear the Gettysburg Address and learn more about the historical context in which it was delivered.

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November 28, 2013

8:15

Jfk.speech

Kennedy’s Inspiring Message

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the youngest man elected to the presidency and the first and only Roman Catholic to serve as president. His election represented a departure from the status quo. The message Kennedy delivered in his inauguration speech on January 20, 1961 served as inspiration for a generation. Listen to hear excerpts of his speech and learn how it inspired four young people to action.

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November 27, 2013

4:44

Fibonaccialo

What are Fibonacci’s Numbers?

In life and in math class we use the numerals 0 through 9 every day. They are the basis of our financial system and shape the way we understand value. We have a young Italian mathematician named Leonardo da Pisa, nicknamed Fibonacci, to thank for this. In 1202 he published a book called “Book of Calculation” that introduced these numerals to Europe, replacing Roman numerals and the abacus once and for all. Listen to learn more about the man and concept behind Fibonacci and his numbers.

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November 26, 2013

3:39

Key.peele

Slang Through The Ages

From accents to slang to dialect, people who speak English do not always sound the same. The way people speak reflects a lot of different factors in their lives including region, race, class and education. Some slang is reflective of an era. The word “groovy” will forever be linked to hippies, while other pronunciations reflect a longer history of language, colonization and power. Listen to learn how the pronunciation of the word “ask” has changed over time, and how the black community uses code-switching to adapt to their surroundings.

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November 25, 2013

7:47

Jfk.assassination

Remembering Kennedy’s Assassination

Decades of Americans are able to remember where they were at the moment they heard President John F. Kennedy had been shot and killed in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. Fifty years later in this radio story we relive the events of that fateful day through the memories of two reporters who were there. Hugh Aynesworth was a local reporter for The Dallas Morning News and Sid Davis was a White House correspondent traveling with the president's press corps. Put yourselves in their shoes as they take you through how they learned about and covered the assassination.

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November 25, 2013

3:36

Raymond carver

The Simple Elegance of Raymond Carver

Minimalist author Raymond Carver is known for his simple but powerful short stories of ordinary people. This gritty minimalism both reflects and contradicts the tough and chaotic life of the man himself. Listen to learn more about the life and contradictions of this American author heavily influenced by the work of Anton Chekhov.

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November 24, 2013

4:46

Jfk.secretservice

The Secret Service and JFK’s Assassination

The United States Secret Service has grown and evolved since its creation in 1865. Originally tasked with suppressing and investigating counterfeit money, the Secret Service took on the responsibility of protecting the president after the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, had an equally dramatic effect on the way the Secret Service provided protection. Listen to learn more about the lapses in security that lead to the assassination and the changes implemented since.

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November 23, 2013

9:21

Jfk.dallas

Why Dallas? The Setting for Assassination in 1963

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963 shocked the nation, but the setting of his assassination was less surprising. Dallas, Texas was the center of the anti-Kennedy movement in the United States. Powerful business men, elected officials and Baptist preachers had all joined together to call for the overthrow of President Kennedy for treason. They had whipped up an atmosphere of hate and hysteria in the large southern city. It was into this atmosphere that President Kennedy rode in an open motorcade and was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald from an abandoned building along the route. Listen to learn more about the setting of the assassination.

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November 22, 2013

3:24

St. cuthbert

Million Dollar Medieval Gospel

St. Cuthbert, an Anglo-Saxon monk, hermit and saint, was known for his ability to heal and revered in Medieval England. During his lifetime he recorded the St. John’s gospel in Latin. This book went with him to the grave and was rediscovered when his body was moved to a new shrine in 1104. The British Library purchased the book, known as the St. Cuthbert Gospel, for $14 million. Listen to learn more about the fascinating history of this medieval book.

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November 22, 2013

4:54

How kennedy handled the cuban missile crisis

How Kennedy Handled the Cuban Missile Crisis

50 years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Looking back on the key moments in his presidency, the Cuban Missile Crisis stands out. In 1962, the U.S came dangerously close to igniting a global nuclear war with the Soviet Union. President John F. Kennedy showed that in a time of crisis, one must ultimately worry about not just protecting his own American citizens but about all people. Listen to this story to hear how JFK urged diplomacy despite the pressure for war.

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November 21, 2013

4:50

Richard iii

King Richard III’s Remains Found Under a Parking Lot

Richard III, the last York King, was the King of England from 1483 to 1485. After his death in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth, the Tudor dynasty began. The Tudors, with the help of William Shakespeare, worked to depict Richard has a hunchbacked villain. But the real story is more complex. In 2012 Richard’s remains were found under a parking lot, the site of a cathedral in the 15th century. They were exhumed and reburied at Leicester Cathedral in 2015. Listen to learn more about this fascinating discovery and the Medieval smear campaign that led to Shakespeare’s depiction of Richard III.

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November 21, 2013

4:28

Low cost private schools in kenya

Low-cost Private Schools in Kenya

Several non-profits are targeting families in Africa making less than $2 per day: they want to give those families' children a chance to gain a world class education with affordable tuition. However, stakeholders in Africa feel like chains of low-cost private schools are actually accomplishing the opposite and do not allow access to education for the poorest kids. Discuss with your students the importance of education and what kind of aid is actually helpful by listening to this story.

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November 20, 2013

4:47

Davvycrockett

The Legend of Davy Crockett

Davy Crockett lives in the American imagination as a legendary frontiersman and defender of the Alamo. Crockett lived an extraordinary life in the 1830s, but became even more famous in the 1950s when Walt Disney chose Davy Crockett as a character for his new theme park, Disneyland. From the coonskin cap to his death at the Alamo, this story analyzes the reality behind the myth of Davy Crockett’s life.

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November 20, 2013

9:56

Jfk storngly supported the civil rights movement

JFK Strongly Supported the Civil Rights Movement

President John F. Kennedy remains one of most popular presidents among African-Americans. He helped Dr. Martin Luther King get out of jail and stood for civil rights policies. Tragically, he was not able to personally complete the bill for equal rights, though his successor did. Listen to this story about how JFK struggled to stand up for civil rights despite an important party of opposing opinions and escalating violent acts.

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November 20, 2013

3:47

Deadly typhoon ravages phillipines

Deadly Typhoon Ravages Philippines

Over the weekend, thousands of people in the Philippines died as Typhoon Haiyan ravaged the area. It was one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded. Listen to this story to understand why this storm caused so much damage.

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November 19, 2013

4:52

Shakespearesonnets

Shakespeare’s Private Sonnets

William Shakespeare wrote some of the most famous and recognizable love poems of all time, but some historians think that Shakespeare had no intention of publishing these private messages. His sonnets were largely biographical and it is believed they were written to another man. When a collection of these personal sonnets were published by a shady publisher named Thomas Thorpe, Shakespeare tried to stop their distribution. Listen to learn more about Shakespeare’s sonnets and their unwanted publication.

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November 18, 2013

4:54

Shakespeare.theglobe

How to Pronounce Shakespeare’s Verse

We often think of Shakespeare’s verse as grand, beautiful and proper. The British Library has analyzed the rhyme of Shakespeare’s work and discovered the original pronunciation and dialect of his writings when they were first performed at the Globe Theater. Listen to hear how Shakespeare may have sounded 400 years ago.

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November 15, 2013

7:50

Kingjamesbible

King James Bible Relevant Today

The King James Bible has a rich history. King James I, a Scot who became King of England, had the Christian Bible translated for the Church of England in order to legitimize his rule in the early 1600s. The legacy of the King James Bible lives on in the English language. From books to songs and idioms, the King James Bible has become part of English culture and language. Listen to learn more about the King James Bible from 1603 to today.

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November 15, 2013

2:11

Students' response to video game data tracking

Students' Response to Video Game Data Tracking

After Edward Snowden exposed the U.S government's spying activities, it is impossible to know what gets monitored and what doesn't. However, video game companies aren't hiding as we learned in this story posted last week. Video game companies are tracking players' every action to increase the addiction - so why aren't people as outraged at video game companies as they are at the government? Learn more about what third grade students think after hearing about the science behind video game addiction by listening to this story.

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November 14, 2013

8:11

Dantesinferno

Dante’s Inferno Comes Alive in Latest English Translation

Dante Alighieri finished writing the three part epic poem “Divine Comedy” in 1321. The poem’s three parts, hell, purgatory and heaven follow one man on his journey through all three imaginary places. This great work of Italian literature has survived the ages and remains a classic today. There have been many translations of Dante’s work. This story interviews Clive James, the most recent English translator, about this epic poem and his translated version of “Divine Comedy.”

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November 13, 2013

8:21

Gulliverstravel

Modern Take on ‘Gulliver’s Travels’

Jonathan Swift’s 1726 classic “Gulliver’s Travels” is a satirical tale of travels to a long-lost land. A modern-day movie, starring actor Jack Black, takes the centuries old classic and begins the story in modern day New York City. Listen to learn more about the original novel and this new movie adaptation.

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November 13, 2013

5:59

Keeping native american languages alive

Keeping Native American Languages Alive

As part of Native American History month, listen to this story with students to hear one man's story about keeping alive his Native American language.

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