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Products for grant TR-277989-21

TR-277989-21
The Audio History Project
Joe Richman, Radio Diaries, Inc.

Grant details: https://apps.neh.gov/publicquery/main.aspx?f=1&gn=TR-277989-21

The Kerner Commission (Radio/Audio Broadcast or Recording)
Title: The Kerner Commission
Writer: Mycah Hazel
Producer: Mycah Hazel
Producer: Joe Richman
Abstract: Decades before our current debate over critical race theory, the 1968 Kerner Report pointed the finger at structural racism for creating the conditions that had triggered a series of protests in Black communities across the United States in the summer of 1967. Former Senator Fred Harris is the last surviving member of the Kerner Commission, a group appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the protests and author the report, which shocked the political establishment and the public. Featuring interviews with Fred Harris and rare archival audio, we look back at this pivotal moment in American race relations.
Date: 09/26/2021
Primary URL: https://www.npr.org/2021/09/26/1040791834/the-kerner-commissions-last-living-member-we-still-need-to-talk-about-racism
Primary URL Description: The NPR webpage where the story and its companion web article appeared.
Secondary URL: https://www.radiodiaries.org/last-witness-kerner-commission/
Secondary URL Description: The Radio Diaries webpage where the podcast episode appeared.
Access Model: Open Access
Format: Radio
Format: Digital File
Format: Web

My Iron Lung (Radio/Audio Broadcast or Recording)
Title: My Iron Lung
Writer: Erin Kelly
Writer: Alissa Escarce
Producer: Alissa Escarce
Producer: Erin Kelly
Producer: Joe Richman
Abstract: In the first half of the 20th century, the disease known as poliomyelitis panicked Americans. Just like Covid today, polio stopped ordinary life in its tracks. Tens of thousands were paralyzed when the virus attacked their nervous systems. Many were left unable to walk. In the worst cases, people’s breathing muscles stopped working, and they were placed in an iron lung, a giant ventilator that fits the human body from the neck down. On June 8, 1953, five-year-old Martha Lillard contracted polio. She spent six months in the hospital, where she was put in a ventilator called an iron lung to help her breathe. A polio vaccine became widely available in 1955 — and millions of Americans got vaccinated. The iron lung became obsolete and they stopped being manufactured in the late 1960’s. While many people who suffered from polio or post-polio syndrome either weaned themselves off the machines or switched to another form of ventilator, Martha never did. To this day, she is one of only two people in the United States who still depends on the iron lung to survive.
Date: 10/25/2021
Primary URL: https://www.npr.org/2021/10/25/1047691984/decades-after-polio-martha-is-among-the-last-to-still-rely-on-an-iron-lung-to-br
Primary URL Description: The NPR webpage where the broadcast story and the companion web article appeared.
Secondary URL: https://www.radiodiaries.org/my-iron-lung/
Secondary URL Description: The Radio Diaries webpage where the podcast episode appeared.
Format: Radio
Format: Digital File
Format: Web

The End of Smallpox (Radio/Audio Broadcast or Recording)
Title: The End of Smallpox
Writer: Alissa Escarce
Producer: Alissa Escarce
Producer: Joe Richman
Abstract: Only one human disease has ever been completely eradicated from the earth: smallpox. Smallpox claimed the lives of ancient Egyptian pharaohs as well as an estimated 300 million people during the twentieth century. Then, by the 1980s, it was gone. The smallpox vaccine—the world’s very first vaccine—was invented by Edward Jenner in the 1700s. Almost two hundred years later, public health workers from around the world came together to try to eliminate the virus. American public health worker Alan Schnur and French doctor Daniel Tarantola were among them. When Schnur and Tarantola arrived in Bangladesh in the early 1970s, it was the last country in the world to still have outbreaks of variola major, the deadliest strain of smallpox. Variola major killed a third of the people it infected. Our story chronicles the last case of deadly smallpox, involving a 2-year-old girl named Rahima Banu and the public health workers who helped stamp out the virus worldwide.
Date: 05/20/2022
Primary URL: https://www.npr.org/2022/05/20/1099830501/smallpox-covid-vaccine-eradication-who
Primary URL Description: The NPR webpage where the broadcast story and companion web article appeared.
Secondary URL: https://www.radiodiaries.org/the-end-of-smallpox/
Secondary URL Description: The Radio Diaries webpage where the extended podcast episode appeared.
Access Model: Open Access
Format: Radio
Format: Digital File
Format: Web

The Almost Astronaut (Radio/Audio Broadcast or Recording)
Title: The Almost Astronaut
Writer: Mycah Hazel
Producer: Mycah Hazel
Producer: Joe Richman
Abstract: On November 4th, 1961, 28-year-old Ed Dwight got a letter from the United States government inviting him to join the Aerospace Research Pilot School (ARPS) at Edwards Air Force base—making him the United States’ first Black astronaut candidate. Dwight had been a commander with the Air Force, flew B-52s in Japan, and was a bomber pilot with 9,000 flying hours under his belt, more than many of his white counterparts. Dwight’s selection was met with cover spreads all over black media, from Ebony to Jet Magazine. It also satisfied the public’s demands that the U.S. send a Black person to space. However, according to Dwight, his arrival at ARPS was met with disapproval from the largely white instructors—including the head of the school, Air Force Officer Chuck Yeager. In October 1963, 14 astronaut trainees, known as Group 3, were selected for NASA’s next missions: Gemini and Apollo. Though he completed his training, Ed Dwight was not chosen. Our story follows Dwight’s career and explores the underlying racial tensions in the United States’ space race with the Soviet Union.
Date: 07/05/2022
Primary URL: https://www.npr.org/2022/07/05/1109678316/edward-dwight-space-race-nasa-astronaut-moon
Primary URL Description: The NPR webpage where our broadcast story and companion web article appeared.
Secondary URL: https://www.radiodiaries.org/the-almost-astronaut/
Secondary URL Description: The Radio Diaries webpage where our podcast version appeared.
Access Model: Open Access
Format: Radio
Format: Digital File
Format: Web

The Girls of the Leesburg Stockade (Radio/Audio Broadcast or Recording)
Title: The Girls of the Leesburg Stockade
Writer: Mycah Hazel
Director: Joe Richman
Producer: Mycah Hazel
Abstract: In July of 1963 in Americus, Georgia, at least 15 Black girls ranging in age from 12-15 were jailed for challenging segregation laws. After spending one night in jail, the girls were transferred to the one-room Leesburg Stockade, a Civil-War era structure in the backwoods of Leesburg. They spent the next 45 days on the cement floor of the stockade. The cement-floor room had no beds or running water, apart from a dripping shower head. Twenty miles away, the girls’ parents had no knowledge of where authorities were holding their children. A month into their confinement, the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) heard rumors of the girls’ detention and sent photographer Danny Lyon who took pictures of them through barred windows. Within days, Lyon’s photographs appeared in publications around the country and were entered into the Congressional Record. As the girls’ ordeal gained national attention, they were released without charges. The story of the ‘Stolen Girls’—as they have come to refer to themselves—is one of the lesser-known stories of the Civil Rights Movement.
Date: 7/19/2023
Primary URL: https://www.npr.org/2023/07/19/1150083525/they-marched-for-desegregation-then-they-disappeared-for-45-days
Primary URL Description: Radio Diaries page on NPR.
Secondary URL: http://https://www.radiodiaries.org/girls-leesburg-stockade/
Secondary URL Description: Radio Diaries website.
Access Model: Free and available to the public.
Format: Radio
Format: Web
Format: Other

The Unmarked Graveyard: Neil Harris Jr. (ep. 1) (Radio/Audio Broadcast or Recording)
Title: The Unmarked Graveyard: Neil Harris Jr. (ep. 1)
Writer: Alissa Escarce
Director: Joe Richman
Producer: Alissa Escarce
Abstract: Since 1869, over a million people have been buried on Hart Island. It is not a typical cemetery. There are no headstones or plaques, just white posts with numbers. Each one marks a trench with about 150 coffins inside. There’s a broad range of people buried here—people whose families couldn’t afford a private burial, people who died in various waves of epidemics that swept the city, and people who couldn’t be identified. Among the unidentified buried on Hart Island are some of New York’s homeless population. When homeless people die, their stories are often buried with them. On the inaugural episode of our series The Unmarked Graveyard, we tell the story of one man, whose identity came to light by chance. Neil Harris grew up in Inwood, Long Island, the child of a single mom named Susan Hurlburt. In his twenties was diagnosed with schizophrenia. One day, Neil asked to be dropped off at a train station, Susan gave him some money and he walked away. That was the last time she saw him. Susan reported Neil missing and started posting weekly pleas on social media for any information about her son. Meanwhile, residents of New York’s Upper West Side were getting to know a young man named Stephen who spent his days sitting on a bench in Riverside Park. Stephen said little and asked for nothing,but he became a fixture in the neighborhood. When he suddenly died in 2017, the city buried Stephen on Hart Island, where he became one of hundreds of bodies identified only as “Male Unknown.” A year later, a local journalist who’d known Stephen from the park found his photo in a missing persons database. It was the man she had known as Stephen, and next to the photo was a name: Neil Harris Jr. Jessica tracked down Susan Hurlburt, and together they were able to confirm that Stephen and Neil were one and the same.
Date: 9/28/2023
Primary URL: https://www.npr.org/2023/10/09/1204127804/hart-island-new-york-radio-diaries
Primary URL Description: Radio Diaries on NPR website.
Secondary URL: https://www.radiodiaries.org/graveyard/
Secondary URL Description: The Unmarked Graveyard landing page on Radio Diaries website.
Access Model: Free and available to the public.
Format: Radio
Format: Web
Format: Other

The Unmarked Graveyard: Noah Creshevsky (ep. 2) (Radio/Audio Broadcast or Recording)
Title: The Unmarked Graveyard: Noah Creshevsky (ep. 2)
Writer: Joe Richman
Director: Joe Richman
Producer: Joe Richman
Abstract: Noah Creshevesky was training to be a concert pianist, when he fell in love with the world of electronic music. He began composing, studying under some of the most prominent figures in modern music, including conductor Nadia Boulanger. He began composing songs using field recordings. He would stretch and distort sounds, building collages from scraps of voices and instruments. He called his work “hyper-realism.” When Noah learned he was dying of bladder cancer, he decided to decline medical treatment. Soon, he and his husband David Sachs were faced with another decision: what would become of his body after he died? He made the uncommon choice to be buried on Hart Island.
Date: 10/5/2023
Primary URL: https://www.npr.org/2023/10/17/1205692418/hart-island-burial-new-york-music-death-cancer
Primary URL Description: Radio Diaries page on NPR.
Secondary URL: https://www.radiodiaries.org/graveyard/
Secondary URL Description: The Unmarked Graveyard landing page on the Radio Diaries website.
Access Model: Free and available to the public.
Format: Radio
Format: Web
Format: Other

The Unmarked Graveyard: Angel Garcia (ep. 3) (Radio/Audio Broadcast or Recording)
Title: The Unmarked Graveyard: Angel Garcia (ep. 3)
Writer: Nellie Gilles
Director: Joe Richman
Producer: Nellie Gilles
Abstract: When New York City gets hit hard by an epidemic, Hart Island gets hit hard too, from the flu of 1918 to COVID-19. During the 1980s, the epidemic was AIDS. More than 100,000 people would ultimately die because of AIDS in New York City alone. Many were buried on Hart Island. Some of their families never knew what happened to them. When Annette Vega was seven years old, she found out the man she called “dad” wasn’t her biological father. As an adult she set out to look for the man with him she shared DNA, whose name was Angel Alberto Garcia. Through genealogy websites and research, she found many biological relatives: an aunt, cousins, even half-siblings. No one had heard from Angel since 1989 when he escaped from a prison in Puerto Rico and made his way to the Bronx.This is the story of one daughter’s search for her father, discovering the life he lived and the family he left behind.
Date: 10/12/2023
Primary URL: http://radiodiaries.org/graveyard/
Primary URL Description: The Unmarked Graveyard landing page on the Radio Diaries website.
Access Model: Free and available to the public.
Format: Radio
Format: Web
Format: Other

The Unmarked Graveyard: Documenting An Invisible Island (ep. 4) (Radio/Audio Broadcast or Recording)
Title: The Unmarked Graveyard: Documenting An Invisible Island (ep. 4)
Writer: Alissa Escarce
Director: Joe Richman
Producer: Alissa Escarce
Producer: Joe Richman
Abstract: For more than a century, Hart Island has been mostly off-limits. But in recent years that has started to change. That is thanks, in large part, to the work of Melinda Hunt: a visual artist who has spent more than 30 years documenting America’s largest public cemetery and advocating for families with loved ones buried there. She is the founder of The Hart Island Project, a searchable database of more than 75,000 burial records. This episode is a dedicated deep-dive into Hart Island’s history, Melinda’s advocacy efforts to change city policy around the cemetery’s visitation laws, and her efforts to shift the cultural perception of America's largest public cemetery.
Date: 10/19/2023
Primary URL: https://www.radiodiaries.org/graveyard/
Primary URL Description: The Unmarked Graveyard landing page on the Radio Diaries website.
Access Model: Free and available to the public.
Format: Web
Format: Other

The Unmarked Graveyard: Dawn Powell (ep. 5) (Radio/Audio Broadcast or Recording)
Title: The Unmarked Graveyard: Dawn Powell (ep. 5)
Writer: Mycah Hazel
Director: Joe Richman
Producer: Mycah Hazel
Abstract: Dawn Powell moved to New York from Ohio in 1918 to become a writer. Settling in Greenwich Village, Powell published nine novels in her lifetime, exploring fame, relationships and money, set against the backdrops of glitzy New York City and rural Ohio. Ernest Hemingway called her his “favorite living writer.” But Powell’s work never received the acclaim that critics today, think she deserved. When Powell died of colon cancer in 1965, she donated her body to Cornell Medical Center, with the understanding that her body would eventually be returned to her family. Five years later, her remains were buried on Hart Island without the family’s consent. Our story explores Powell’s life and writing, through the voices of Powell’s great niece Vicki Johnson, writer Fran Liebotwitz, and biographer Tim page. We also ask the fundamental question of why her books—and her body—disappeared.
Date: 10/26/2023
Primary URL: https://www.npr.org/2023/10/30/1208533790/dawn-powell-writer-new-york-radio-diaries-hart-island
Primary URL Description: Radio Diaries page on the NPR website.
Secondary URL: https://www.radiodiaries.org/graveyard/
Secondary URL Description: The Unmarked Graveyard landing page on the Radio Diaries website.
Access Model: Free and available to the public.
Format: Radio
Format: Web
Format: Other


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