September 8, 2006 On Sept. 8, 1906, the Bronx Zoo unveiled a new exhibit that would attract tens of thousands of visitors a day: Ota Benga, an African pygmy. From his life in the Belgian Congo to his death Lynchburg, Va., Ota Benga's story is as remarkable as it is tragic.
April 19, 2006 Thembi Ngubane lives in one of South Africa's largest townships. She has a boyfriend and a close relationship with her mother and father. She is also living with AIDS. For a year, she recorded a diary that brings listeners into her home, among her family, to witness her daily struggles and triumphs.
June 15, 2004 A century ago today, the steamship General Slocum and its 1,300 passengers began a journey up the East River for a church picnic on Long Island. But the Slocum never made it; it caught fire and sank, killing more than 1,000 people. The last living survivor tells the story.
December 1, 2003 On any given day, more than 2,000 patients pass through the gates of Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, South Africa. Almost half of them are HIV positive. Sister Agnes Ramashiga, an AIDS counselor at the hospital, takes us through an ordinary day on the frontlines in the war on AIDS.
March 24, 2003 Award-winning reporter and producer Joe Richman first met Laura Rothenberg when he began recruiting young people to contribute to his Radio Diaries series. Rothenberg died last Thursday at age 22 after a lifelong struggle with cystic fibrosis, but left behind a wealth of insights about her own mortality and a life worth living. Listen to My So-Called Lungs — the documentary featuring Rothenberg's diary entries — first heard on NPR in August 2002.
December 18, 2002 In the early 1940s when the Army Air Force faced a shortage of pilots, it launched an experimental program to train new ones — the Women Airforce Service Pilots. Hear an oral history of these trailblazing women, from the documentary production company Radio Diaries.
December 18, 2002 Radio producer Joe Richman describes his experiences making radio diaries, in this essay first published in the quarterly review of Harvard University's Nieman Foundation for Journalism.