History

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With a camera in one hand and a rifle in the other, a young Faye Schulman resisted German Nazis during World War II. Schulman died on April 24 of this year in Toronto, Canada. She was believed to be 101 years old.

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An unassuming roadside motel that's a spiritual home to the blues. A crumbling Navajo trading post standing right by Monument Valley, and an old filling station that offered refuge to Black travelers during Jim Crow. Campsites — for crusading civil rights demonstrators in the 1960s — and ones that housed Chinese railway workers a century before.

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Do Black people have full Second Amendment rights?

That's the question historian Carol Anderson set out to answer after Minnesota police killed Philando Castile, a Black man with a license to carry a gun, during a 2016 traffic stop.

One hundred years ago, from May 31 through June 1, 1921, a group of white police officers organized white citizens in an attack on the Black residents of Tulsa, Okla., with both aircraft and ground forces. As many as 300 Black Americans were killed, many more were injured, and 35 blocks of the city were destroyed, with damages amounting to what would be more than $20 million today.

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Growing up in New Orleans, Atlantic writer Clint Smith was surrounded by reminders of the Confederacy. To get to school, he traveled down Robert E. Lee Boulevard. He took Jefferson Davis Highway when he went to the grocery store.

In elementary and middle school, Smith never learned about the legacy of slavery. Instead, his class took field trips to plantations — "places that were the sites of torture and intergenerational chattel bondage," he says, "but no one said the word 'slavery.'"

Updated June 1, 2021 at 12:16 PM ET

A New York City art gallery featuring tributes to those who were killed in the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 was vandalized with white paint in what owners have described as hate speech.

The photo is as alluring as it is mysterious. Adorned in a regal, old-fashioned black satin gown and a majestic hairstyle piled high atop her head, a stately young African woman fearlessly traverses an uninhabited, cloud-darkened landscape, with a rolled-up woven sleeping mat balanced on her shoulder. She appears to be on a journey. But to where?

Artist Paul Rucker is fearless when it comes to taking on terrible moments in American history.

"The work that I do evolves mostly around the things I was never taught about," Rucker explains. Over Zoom, he's discussing his work in progress, Three Black Wall Streets, which evokes and honors the achievements of Black entrepreneurs and visionaries who created thriving spaces of possibility and sanctuary after the end of the Civil War.

Brazilian auto racer Helio Castroneves made history after winning his fourth Indianapolis 500 race on Sunday. He is now one of four drivers to win "The Greatest Spectacle in Racing" four times.

Castroneves, who took the checkered flag in 2001, 2002 and 2009, held off runner-up racer Alex Palou, winning by a mere .4928 of a second. Castroneves claimed his first three wins with Team Penske, but Sunday's win was the first Indy 500 win for Meyer Shank Racing.

If all you know about the Tulsa Race Massacre is the re-creations of the attack featured in HBO series like Watchmen and Lovecraft Country, prepare yourself for a serious education over the next few weeks.

All month long, we've been celebrating 50 years of NPR and how it all started on May 3, 1971 with the first broadcast of All Things Considered.

We asked you, our listeners, what stories have captivated you over the decades. Your responses included stories from each decade that brought you laughter, gave you a chance to connect with your family and made you see the world in a different way. Even NPR Special Correspondent Susan Stamberg shared two of her favorite stories from the show's first two decades.

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We are still a year away from the 50th anniversary of the famous burglary that added "Watergate" to everyone's political vocabulary. But in King Richard, veteran journalist and author Michael Dobbs stirs memories of the intense personal drama connecting that break-in to the downfall of President Richard Nixon.

Dobbs has been listening to a vast store of tape recordings from Nixon's White House that has been released in recent years. It enables him to offer a vivid retelling of both the crime story and the human stories around it.

That's Adelyn Breeskin's nude. Well, actually it's Matisse's. He painted it for a rich collector in Baltimore. The collector bequeathed it to the Baltimore Museum of Art. Breeskin (the staff called her "Mrs. B") was museum director. Thanks to the director's wooing of the rich lady, the BMA ended up with the most Matisse's in any public institution in the world!

Not only did Breeskin get Baltimore the Matisse nude up top, among a total of some 730 Matisses, she got this one, too.

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We are marking a milestone, 50 years of NPR, with a look back at stories from the archive.

I had been covering the frightening development of a disease that was striking mostly young, gay men in New York City and San Francisco in the early 1980s. Later, it would be learned that the cause was HIV. Effective treatments that promised a nearly normal lifespan would be developed. But that wasn't our world — certainly, it wasn't the world in which Archie Harrison found himself, infected with a virus that was killing him.

It's been 100 years since the Tulsa Race Massacre — one of the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history. An armed white mob attacked Greenwood, a prosperous Black community in Tulsa, Okla., killing as many as 300 people. What was known as Black Wall Street was burned to the ground.

"Mother, I see men with guns," said Florence Mary Parrish, a small child looking out the window on the evening of May 31, 1921, when the siege began.

When Seattle Mariners backup catcher José Godoy took the field in San Diego Friday, he made history as Major League Baseball's 20,000th player in 150 years.

If you wanted to see a musical on the Great White Way in 1921 — that name came about because of the electric lights on Broadway but was true about the color of the actors and audience — you could see a European-influenced operetta or a splashy Ziegfeld revue.

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They're sweet these days, as long as they stay in their banks. When and if they flood, they're a pain, and most do come spring, unless they're damned up somewhere and brow-beaten into behaving. Outside of swelling up after some gully-washer, rivers are little more than a sweet feature of our landscape, home to ducks and geese, and life itself for deer and coons and a whole gallery of neighboring wildlife. You can pump ‘em out and sprinkle what you get over parched land. But that's it: rivers are just, well, rivers. We notice them only when they get out of line.

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Two death row inmates in South Carolina, now required by law to choose between a yet-to-be-formed firing squad and a 109-year-old electric chair, have decided to sue instead. They call the state's recently signed legislation unconstitutional because lethal injection was the main method of execution when they were sentenced.

It's an argument Democratic state Rep. Justin Bamberg vehemently made as he fought against the new law that is intended to restart executions that have involuntarily stalled in the state for a decade.

A song alluding to Abraham Lincoln as a "tyrant" and a "despot" and to the Union as "Northern scum!" is no longer Maryland's official anthem after Gov. Larry Hogan this week approved its repeal — a move that some Republicans say is another example of "cancel culture."

Hogan gave the measure his OK months after the state's legislature voted to eliminate the long-controversial Civil War-era song, Maryland, My Maryland.

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