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

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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

Police clash with supporters of US President Donald Trump who breached security and entered the Capitol building in Washington D.C. Mostafa Bassim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images hide caption

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Mostafa Bassim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Anatomy of Autocracy: Timothy Snyder

When a mob of pro-Trump supporters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, they also incited a defining moment in United States history. Now what? Historian Timothy Snyder talks to us about how we got here and what an insurrection could mean for the future of America.

The Anatomy of Autocracy: Timothy Snyder

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The impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson in the Senate on March 13, 1868. The House approved 11 articles of impeachment against Andrew Johnson. After a 74-day Senate trial, the Senate acquitted Johnson on three of the articles by a one-vote margin each and decided not to vote on the remaining articles. Library of Congress/Getty Images hide caption

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Library of Congress/Getty Images

Impeachment

When Andrew Johnson became president in 1865, the United States was in the midst of one of its most volatile chapters. The country was divided after fighting a bloody civil war and had just experienced the first presidential assassination. We look at how these factors led to the first presidential impeachment in American history.

Impeachment

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A young girl stands with supporters of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and the National Task Force to End Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Against Women as they hold a rally for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) outside the US Capitol on June 26, 2012. JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Outside/In: Everybody Knows Somebody

In the mid-1980's a woman who didn't consider herself a feminist was asked to solve perhaps the biggest problem women face. How she and a small group of people seized on that rare moment and fought back in the hopes that something could finally be done.

Outside/In: Everybody Knows Somebody

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Fahmida Azim for NPR

Outside/In: War of the Worlds

The Sunni-Shia divide is a conflict that most people have heard about - two sects with Sunni Islam being in the majority and Shia Islam the minority. Exactly how did this conflict originate and when? We go through 1400 years of history to find the moment this divide first turned deadly and how it has evolved since.

Outside/In: War of the Worlds

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A 46-foot, 14-ton captured German V-2 rocket is launched during a test firing at White Sands Proving Ground, near Las Cruces, New Mexico, in May 1946. The long-range liquid-fuel rocket was developed by German engineer Wernher von Braun, who in September 1945 came to the U.S. as a technical advisor to the United States Army's missile program. ASSOCIATED PRESS hide caption

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Outside/In: The Dark Side Of The Moon

50 years ago the world watched as man first landed on the moon, an incredible accomplishment by the engineers and scientists of NASA. But what if some of those same engineers and scientists had a secret history that the U.S. government tried to hide? This week, the story of how the U.S. space program was made possible by former Nazis.

Outside/In: The Dark Side Of The Moon

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Thousands of Iranians participate in a mass funeral in Tehran for the people who died on Iran Air Flight 655. The plane was shot down by the USS Vincennes on July 3, 1988, and all 290 people on board were killed. Mohammad Sayyad/CP/AP hide caption

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Mohammad Sayyad/CP/AP

Outside/In: Rules of Engagement

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.

Outside/In: Rules of Engagement

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Kaz Fantone

Supreme

When, why, and how did the Supreme Court get the final say in the law of the land? The question of the Court's role, and whether its decisions should reign above all the other branches of government, has been hotly debated for centuries. And that's resulted in a Supreme Court more powerful than anything the Founding Fathers could have imagined possible.

Supreme

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Connie Jin

The Modern White Power Movement

It has been nearly twenty years since 9/11 and during that time much of the media coverage and government attention has been directed at the threat of radical Islamist terrorism. Yet, during that time, it has been domestic terrorism from armed, mostly white American men, that has posed the biggest threat. This week, the rise of the modern white power movement.

The Modern White Power Movement

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A Northern Spotted owl sits on a branch. Tom Gallagher/AP hide caption

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Tom Gallagher/AP

The Spotted Owl

The story of how the Endangered Species Act went from unanimous passage under a Republican president to becoming a deeply partisan wedge. The act was passed to protect big, beloved animals like bald eagles and blue whales; no one thought it would apply to a motley, reclusive owl. In this episode from Oregon Public Broadcasting's Timber Wars, a story about saving the last of America's old growth forests and the push to roll back environmental protections.

The Spotted Owl

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Portrait of Dr. Franz Boas. Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

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Corbis via Getty Images

The Invention of Race

The idea that race is a social construct comes from the pioneering work of anthropologist Franz Boas. During a time when race-based science and the eugenics movement were becoming mainstream, anthropologist Franz Boas actively sought to prove that race was a social construct, not a biological fact.

The Invention of Race

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