First-person diaries, sound portraits, and hidden chapters of history from Peabody Award-winning producer Joe Richman and the Radio Diaries team. From teenagers to octogenarians, prisoners to prison guards, bra saleswomen to lighthouse keepers. The extraordinary stories of ordinary life. Radio Diaries is a proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.
America Vs. America
After the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th, we've all been trying to grapple with an event that feels so different from anything we’ve experienced before in this country. But this attack wasn’t the first time the Capitol has been violently breached. History books mention 1814 — when the British army set fire to the Capitol. Less well known is what happened on March 1st, 1954. That’s when four young Puerto Rican New Yorkers launched an attack in the chamber of the House of Representatives.
Support this week from GreenChef, the first USDA-certified organic meal kit company. Use code diaries90 for $90 off and free shipping.
Love from Six Feet Apart (Revisited)
Robert and Wendy Jackson have been socially distancing under the same roof for 8 months. Robert is 71 and had a kidney transplant four years ago. His immune system is severely compromised. His wife, Wendy, is a pediatric emergency room doctor. When the pandemic hit in March, the couple made the difficult decision to live together…six feet apart. We also revisit the audio diary of 11-year-old Francesca Montanaro, who was going to school at her dad’s pizza shop in the Bronx.
Music from Blue Dot Sessions and “Nunca Es Suficiente” by Natalia Lafourcade and Los Ángeles Azules.
Support from AcornTV which is now streaming “A Suitable Boy” from the BBC. Use code “DIARIES” to get a free 30-day trial.
Love at First Quarantine, The Sequel
When the pandemic hit back in March, Gali Beeri and Joshua Boliver decided to quarantine together, after their very first date. Today on the show, we check back in with them — eight months later — to see how a new relationship weathers a pandemic. Their story is part of our series Hunker Down Diaries, stories of people in unexpected situations during the pandemic. You can listen to the whole series on past episodes of the Radio Diaries Podcast.
Music from Blue Dot Sessions, Yo La Tengo, and “Blaze & Sybil's Lullaby” by Alia Shawkat & Ben Dickey.
Support this week from Imagined Life, a podcast from Wondery.
Centenarians (Still) in Lockdown
It’s been 9 months since Joe Newman (107) and Anita Sampson (100) recorded their story about surviving the 1918 pandemic, getting older, and staying in love during lockdown. We’re thrilled to announce they just won a Third Coast Award! We share their story and check in with them in Sarasota, Florida where COVID cases are surging.
Support this week from AcornTV and their new series “A Suitable Boy” from the BBC.
How to Lose an Election: A History
Presidential campaigns are essentially dramas, and we’re in the final act of this one. The curtain is about to come down.For the past century, the moment of closure has come in the form of one simple act: the public concession. From William Jennings Bryan to Adlai Stevenson to John McCain to Al Gore and Hillary Clinton…. A History of How To Lose An Election.
We have support from Imagined Life, a podcast from Wondery.
And Source Material, a new show from Vice.
When Nazis Took Manhattan
In an election season when the words "Will you condemn white supremacy" are considered a gotcha question at a presidential debate, it seems like a good time to look back at another moment in American history when race and ethnic division took center stage.
On February 20th, 1939, 20,000 people streamed into Madison Square Garden in New York City. Outside, the marquee was lit up with the evening's main event: a "Pro-American rally." Inside, on the stage, there was a 30-foot tall banner of George Washington, sandwiched between American flags...and two huge swastikas.
Today’s episode is a special collaboration with The Memory Palace and producer Nate DiMeo. Special thanks to Marshall Curry, whose film “A Night To Remember” inspired this story.
Music from Blue Dot Sessions.