May 5, 2011 Over the past decade, Macel Ely decided to find out who his great-uncle — the late gospel singer Brother Claude Ely — really was. In interviews with nearly 1,400 people, Macel discovered that Claude had a healing effect on those who came to his revivals — and his music influenced some of the pioneers of rock 'n' roll.
December 1, 2010 On Dec. 1, 1948, the nation witnessed one of the largest funerals in U.S. history, for George F. Johnson. The owner of the Endicott Johnson Corp., at one time the country's leading shoe manufacturer, believed it was his responsibility to provide for workers' welfare. So he created what he called the Square Deal, which one welfare expert says is an anachronism today.
August 6, 2010 On Aug. 7, 1930, two young African-American men were lynched by a mob in Marion, Ind. The night before they had been charged with murdering a white factory worker and raping his companion. The case was never solved, but a photograph of the lynching became iconic. And a third man narrowly survived: Who was James Cameron?
May 7, 2010 When Bridgette McGee-Robinson was growing up, she didn't know anything about her grandfather — who he was, where he was from, why no one ever talked about him. So she set about digging for the truth about the black man who was executed in 1951 for raping a white woman in Mississippi.
June 5, 2009 Thembi Ngubane, who chronicled her experience of living with AIDS, died Thursday at the age of 24. Ngubane lived in a shack in the biggest township in South Africa, but over the past five years, her diary about living with HIV was heard around the world.
February 27, 2009 Rose Marie McCoy is one of the most prolific songwriters of '50s American pop music, yet her legacy remains relatively unknown. During her career, the artist published more than 800 songs, some of which were recorded by the likes of Elvis Presley, Dizzy Gillespie and James Brown.
December 1, 2008 In 1968, students in Mexico City challenged the country's government. On Oct. 2, troops opened fire on a crowd of student demonstrators. Forty years later, the exact death toll remains a mystery. But official documents suggest that military snipers may have triggered the massacre.
November 4, 2008 In 1940, the United States was just emerging from the shadow of the Great Depression and war loomed in Europe. Into these serious times stepped Gracie Allen, part of the popular comic duo Burns and Allen, who launched a campaign for president.
October 16, 2008 Margaret Chase Smith, called the "lady of Maine," was a tough hawk who took a keen interest in military affairs and free speech. In 1964, she became the first woman to have her name placed in nomination for the presidency by a major political party.
October 15, 2008 Adlai Stevenson, who tried to "talk sense to the American people," was an old-fashioned intellectual who believed in long speeches and the power of words. But in 1952, Stevenson faced Dwight Eisenhower on a new battleground — television — and lost.
October 14, 2008 At the 1896 Democratic Nationl Convention in Chicago, William Jennings Bryan gave a speech that electrified his party. He was an unlikely presidential candidate, but his "Cross of Gold" speech won him the nomination. It is known today as one of the most important oratorical performances in American history.
October 13, 2008 In the 19th century, Victoria Woodhull was a clairvoyant, a businesswoman and an advocate for women's rights and sexual freedom. But she is best known as the first woman to run for president. Her 1872 campaign came at a time when most women did not even have the right to vote.
August 27, 2008 Alben Barkley served in Congress for close to 40 years and was Harry Truman's vice president from 1948-1952. He too might have been forgotten like other vice presidents except for two things: his nickname and the remarkable circumstance of his death.
August 21, 2008 Master cellist Bernard Greenhouse, 92, and his 300-year-old Stradivarius cello have been constant companions for the last half century. Greenhouse was a founding member of the legendary Beaux Arts Trio, which plays its final U.S. concert at the Tanglewood Festival in Massachusetts.