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.
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.
March of the Bonus Army
In the summer of 1932, a group of World War I veterans in Portland, Oregon hopped a freight train and started riding the rails to Washington DC. They were demanding immediate payment of a cash bonus the government had promised them after the war – but delayed until 1945. More than 20,000 veterans and their families arrived in the nation’s capital. They established a tent city and vowed to stay until their demands were met. But, in a historic confrontation, General Douglas MacArthur’s Army troops routed the veterans and burned their camp to the ground. This is the story of the Bonus Army.
See photos of the Bonus Army on our website. http://www.radiodiaries.org/march-of-the-bonus-army/
The Forgotten Story of Clinton Melton
This summer, videos of Black people killed by police officers have sparked outrage and protests across the country. 65 years ago, it was a photograph that shocked the nation. The image of 14-year-old Emmett Till.
Till had traveled from Chicago to the Mississippi Delta to visit family, when he was kidnapped, horribly beaten and killed by white men after allegedly flirting with a white woman. His body was later found in the Tallahatchie river. Today, Emmett Till’s death is considered the spark that ignited the burgeoning Civil Rights movement.
But few people know there was another brazen murder of a Black man that happened just three months later, in a neighboring town in the Delta. Today on the Radio Diaries Podcast, we tell the forgotten story of Clinton Melton.
Music by Blue Dot Sessions.
The Infamous Words of George Wallace
A law and order politician who rails against anarchists protesting in the streets and the lying mainstream media? It may sound familiar, but we’re actually going back more than five decades on the show today, when Alabama Governor and four time presidential candidate George Wallace was perfecting the politics of resentment and race baiting. A lot of people have commented on the similarities between that time and now. Congressman John Lewis was one of them.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Beautiful - Please make longer ones!
Honest, beautiful, thoughtful - the diaries episodes are gorgeously narrated, the archival episodes powerfully edited. This show is time capsules and affective oral histories. You will never be disappointed.
My only criticism is that I wish the episodes were longer.
Love at first quarantine was a perfect little pod. The duet at the end was sweet.
Love the stories
Would be a 5 star rating if you weren’t constantly replaying the same episodes. That’s confusing and irritating. At least preface the episode by saying “this is a re-run” outloud. I just let my podcasts play while working so I don’t see the titles.