Throughline 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.
Throughline
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Throughline

From NPR

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.

Most Recent Episodes

Thousands of Iranians chanting "Death to America," participate in a mass funeral for 76 people killed when the USS Vincennes shot down Iran Air Flight 655, in Tehran, Iran, July 7, 1988. They hold aloft a drawing depicting the incident. 290 people were killed in the July 3, 1988 incident. Mohammad Sayyad/CP/AP hide caption

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Mohammad Sayyad/CP/AP

Rules of Engagement

After Iran shot down an American surveillance drone in June, tensions between the two countries have only gone up. But the US and Iran have been in some state of conflict for the last 40 years, since the Iranian revolution. This week, we look at three key moments in this conflict to better understand where it might go next.

Rules of Engagement

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August 19, 1953: Massive protests broke out across Iran, leaving almost 300 dead in firefights in the streets of Tehran. Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh was soon overthrown in a coup orchestrated by the CIA and British intelligence. The Shah was reinstalled as Iran's leader. AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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AFP/Getty Images

Four Days In August

The U.S. and Iran have had a tense relationship for decades — but when did that begin? Over the next two weeks, we're exploring the history. This week, we feature our very first episode about an event from August 1953 — when the CIA helped to overthrow Iran's Prime Minister.

Four Days In August

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Around 1963, as the civil rights movement heated up, Nina Simone's music took a sharp turn toward activism. She would go on to create "To Be Young, Gifted and Black" in 1969 as a dedication to her friend, playwright Lorraine Hansberry, author of A Raisin in the Sun. Getty Images hide caption

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Getty Images

American Anthem

The Star-Spangled Banner is the official anthem for the United States, but there are plenty of songs that have become informal American anthems for millions of people. This week, we share three stories from NPR Music's American Anthem series that highlight the origins of songs that have become ingrained in American culture.

American Anthem

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A gay rights march in New York in favor of the 1968 Civil Rights Act being amended to include gay rights. Peter Keegan/Getty Images hide caption

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Peter Keegan/Getty Images

Before Stonewall

Fifty years ago, a gay bar in New York City called The Stonewall Inn was raided by police, and what followed were days of rebellion where protesters and police clashed. Today, that event is seen as the start of the gay civil rights movement, but gay activists and organizations were standing up to harassment and discrimination years before. On this episode, the fight for gay rights before Stonewall.

Before Stonewall

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Pallbearers carry the casket of Jimmie Lee Jackson into a church in Marion, Ala., where a sign reads "Racism killed our brother." Bettmann/Getty Images hide caption

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Bettmann/Getty Images

The X On The Map

In 1965, Jimmie Lee Jackson was an unarmed black civil rights activist who was murdered in Marion, Ala., after a peaceful protest. His murder brought newfound energy to the civil rights movement, leading to the march to Montgomery that ended in "Bloody Sunday." This week, we share an episode we loved from White Lies as they look for answers to a murder that happened more than half a century ago.

The X On The Map

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Angela Hsieh

Apocalypse Now

Evangelicals have played an important role in modern day American politics - from supporting President Trump to helping elect Jimmy Carter back in 1976. How and when did this religious group become so intertwined with today's political issues? In this episode, what it means to be an evangelical today and how it has changed over time.

Apocalypse Now

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Al Behrman/AP

Mitch McConnell

Mitch McConnell has been described as "opaque," "drab," and even "dull." He is one of the least popular - and most polarizing - politicians in the country. So how did he win eight consecutive elections? And what does it tell us about how he operates? This week, we share an episode we loved from Embedded that traces McConnell's political history.

Mitch McConnell

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Portrait of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in India's Parliament House, on May 28, 2016. Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times/Getty Images hide caption

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Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times/Getty Images

Savarkar's India

Right-wing Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi has won reelection as India's Prime Minister. As the political philosophy of Hindu nationalism gains ground in India we look back at one of its architects - Vinayak Savarkar.

Savarkar's India

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Sun Yat-sen. Angela Hsieh/NPR hide caption

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Angela Hsieh/NPR

A Dream Of Modern China

China is a world superpower today. But just over a century ago, the country was in complete turmoil — foreign powers had carved up the country, the ruling dynasty was losing control, and millions of citizens were struggling to survive. However, that political chaos inspired a nationalist movement that reshaped China as we know it, and it was led by one man - Sun Yat-sen.

A Dream Of Modern China

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Graffiti depicting late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and revolutionary leader Simon Bolivar. LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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LUIS ROBAYO/AFP/Getty Images

El Libertador

Venezuela is facing an economic and humanitarian crisis as extreme poverty and violence have forced many to flee the country in recent years. How did a country once wealthy with oil resources fall into such turmoil? Through the lives of two revolutionaries turned authoritarian leaders separated by two centuries, we look back at the rise and fall of Venezuela.

El Libertador

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