In April, the Brooklyn Job Fair drew thousands of participants, including nearly 80 employers. That same month saw unemployment jump to 9 percent from 8.8 percent in March. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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From Boom To Bust: The Year In Unemployment
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Damn Love Song Amy LaVere
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U-Haul Breakdown New West Guitar Group

Wallace Kuralt (left), the head of the Mecklenburg County welfare program in North Carolina, speaks to the Welfare Board in 1962. The county sterilized 485 people — about three times more than any other in the state. More than 7,000 people were sterilized in North Carolina. Courtesy Charlotte Observer hide caption

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A Brutal Chapter In North Carolina's Eugenics Past
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Hope You Know Megafaun
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Tuolumne Eddie Vedder
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Hell was much written and thought about in 2011. In this 18th century engraving accompanying Dante's Inferno, Virgil leads the poet past souls writhing in torment in the River Styx. Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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Hell On Fire In 2011, Thanks To Film And Books
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Adepero Oduye planned to be a doctor, but after her father died suddenly, she decided to change course and pursue an acting career. Focus Features hide caption

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Coming Out, Coming Of Age As A Teen 'Pariah'
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Sunny's Song Benevento-Russo Duo
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Three Shoes The Horse Flies
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Milo Greene — ignored this year by NPR's staff, but not its interns. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Intern Uprising: Music We Missed In 2011
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Revolting Children Matilda
Fumando Captain Planet

Mitt Romney speaks Dec. 16 at Missouri Valley Steel in Sioux City, Iowa. Chris Carlson/Associated Press hide caption

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Despite Signs Of Hope, Iowa Voters Question Economy
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Lawmakers walk down the House steps to leave for the Christmas holiday. Michael Reynolds/EPA /Landov hide caption

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Why Tea Party Freshmen Caved On Payroll Tax Deal
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Auld Lang Syne Husky Team
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Backatown Trombone Shorty

Filipino soldiers install solar light bulbs through a roof in a shantytown in Manila, Philippines. The bulbs are actually old plastic soda bottles filled with water and bleach, and powered by the sun. Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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In Philippine Slums, Capturing Light In A Bottle
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Atlanta Brook Lumerians
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Sea Change Jeff Parker

A homeless man begs for money during the launch of Christmas celebrations in Athens' central Syntagma Square, Dec. 9. Difficult economic times have meant subdued holiday activities — and even carolers, who traditionally receive money for their songs, are feeling the pinch. Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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In Greece, A Muted Christmas Amid Tough Times
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Monongahela Tulsa Drone
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Mood Hollywood The Dorsey Brothers
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Von Fremden Ländern und Menschen Jacques Loussier Trio
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Wissions (Of Vu) Stanton Moore Trio & Moore, Stanton Trio
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Law 2 Law of the Least Effort
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