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NPR

1.7K
Followers
13.3K
Plays
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About Us

The past is never past. Every headline has a history. Join us every week as we go back in time to understand the present. These are stories you can feel and sounds you can see from the moments that shaped our world.

Latest Episodes

The Long Hot Summer

Starting in 1965, summer after summer, America's cities burned. There was civil unrest in more than 150 cities across the country. So in 1967, Lyndon Johnson appointed a commission to diagnose the root causes of the problem and to suggest solutions. What the so called "Kerner Commission" returned with was hotly anticipated and shocking to many Americans. This week, how that report and the reaction to it continues to shape American life.

43 MIN2 d ago
Comments
The Long Hot Summer

Mecca Under Siege

Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, is effectively canceled this year, due to concerns around the spread of the coronavirus. But, for two weeks in 1979, visits to the holy site were also upended when a group of Islamic militants seized Mecca, taking thousands of visitors hostage.

45 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Mecca Under Siege

There's Something About Mary

What the story of Typhoid Mary tells us about journalism, the powers of the state, and the tension between personal responsibility and personal liberty.

42 MIN2 w ago
Comments
There's Something About Mary

Why 2020 Isn't Quite 1968

Protests, racial divisions, political polarization, and a law-and-order president – it's easy to draw comparisons between 2020 and 1968. But, Adam Serwer, who covers politics at The Atlantic, says that a much better point of comparison actually starts a century earlier – 1868. This week, we share an episode we loved from It's Been A Minute with Sam Sanders that explores a moment when white Republicans fought for years for the rights of Black Americans, before abandoning them to pursue white voters.

28 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Why 2020 Isn't Quite 1968

Presidential Power

How the office of the presidency became more powerful than anything the Founding Fathers imagined possible.

52 MINJUN 11
Comments
Presidential Power

American Police

The origins of American policing and how those origins put violent control of Black Americans at the heart of the system.

64 MINJUN 4
Comments
American Police

Hong Kong

This week, how Hong Kong became one of the most important, and most contested, cities in the world.

45 MINMAY 28
Comments
Hong Kong

Conspiracy

How conspiracy theories helped to create the U.S. and became the currency of political opportunists.

42 MINMAY 21
Comments
Conspiracy

The Mask

From bird beaks to wrapping paper to bras, we follow the curious history of one of the most important defenses in our fight against COVID-19.

42 MINMAY 14
Comments
The Mask

Endless War

North Korea's famous for being a black box, one of the most secretive and authoritarian countries in the world. It has a nuclear stockpile. A history of erratic behavior. And a particular fixation on antagonizing the outside world — especially the United States. This cycle of antagonism isn't an accident – the U.S. has played a formative role in the history of North Korea. And North Korea's leaders have been invoking that history from the very beginning.

36 MINMAY 7
Comments
Endless War

Latest Episodes

The Long Hot Summer

Starting in 1965, summer after summer, America's cities burned. There was civil unrest in more than 150 cities across the country. So in 1967, Lyndon Johnson appointed a commission to diagnose the root causes of the problem and to suggest solutions. What the so called "Kerner Commission" returned with was hotly anticipated and shocking to many Americans. This week, how that report and the reaction to it continues to shape American life.

43 MIN2 d ago
Comments
The Long Hot Summer

Mecca Under Siege

Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, is effectively canceled this year, due to concerns around the spread of the coronavirus. But, for two weeks in 1979, visits to the holy site were also upended when a group of Islamic militants seized Mecca, taking thousands of visitors hostage.

45 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Mecca Under Siege

There's Something About Mary

What the story of Typhoid Mary tells us about journalism, the powers of the state, and the tension between personal responsibility and personal liberty.

42 MIN2 w ago
Comments
There's Something About Mary

Why 2020 Isn't Quite 1968

Protests, racial divisions, political polarization, and a law-and-order president – it's easy to draw comparisons between 2020 and 1968. But, Adam Serwer, who covers politics at The Atlantic, says that a much better point of comparison actually starts a century earlier – 1868. This week, we share an episode we loved from It's Been A Minute with Sam Sanders that explores a moment when white Republicans fought for years for the rights of Black Americans, before abandoning them to pursue white voters.

28 MIN3 w ago
Comments
Why 2020 Isn't Quite 1968

Presidential Power

How the office of the presidency became more powerful than anything the Founding Fathers imagined possible.

52 MINJUN 11
Comments
Presidential Power

American Police

The origins of American policing and how those origins put violent control of Black Americans at the heart of the system.

64 MINJUN 4
Comments
American Police

Hong Kong

This week, how Hong Kong became one of the most important, and most contested, cities in the world.

45 MINMAY 28
Comments
Hong Kong

Conspiracy

How conspiracy theories helped to create the U.S. and became the currency of political opportunists.

42 MINMAY 21
Comments
Conspiracy

The Mask

From bird beaks to wrapping paper to bras, we follow the curious history of one of the most important defenses in our fight against COVID-19.

42 MINMAY 14
Comments
The Mask

Endless War

North Korea's famous for being a black box, one of the most secretive and authoritarian countries in the world. It has a nuclear stockpile. A history of erratic behavior. And a particular fixation on antagonizing the outside world — especially the United States. This cycle of antagonism isn't an accident – the U.S. has played a formative role in the history of North Korea. And North Korea's leaders have been invoking that history from the very beginning.

36 MINMAY 7
Comments
Endless War
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