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    2019: A Year in Stories

    December 19, 2019

December 19, 2019

2019: A Year in Stories

As we close out 2019 and prepare for the new decade ahead, look back with us over the past year and the many stories that we have had the extraordinary privilege to honor and share.

2019 was a big year for StoryCorps. We released over a dozen new animations over the course of the year, illustrating a diverse collection of unique voices. The StoryCorps Mobile Tour crisscrossed the country listening to the stories of everyday people from Orlando, Florida all the way to Yuma, Arizona. To honor the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, we asked people across the country to join Stonewall OutLoud, our national effort to record and share the stories of LGBTQ elders.

Along the way, you listened with us to stories from people of all backgrounds. In a time when people feel more divided than ever, you helped us to shine a light on the unique challenges and life experiences of everyday people, and to build connections between people. These are just a few of the stories that we have shared in 2019.

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“When I buy a new book, I don’t start reading the first page. I smell it.”

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Remembering the Start of a Lifelong Love of Books

At StoryCorps in Chicago, Alagappa Rammohan shares with his daughter, Paru Venkat, a love letter to the written word.

Originally aired January 4, 2019, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

 



A Mother’s Promise

Maria Rivas and her teenage daughter, Emily, prepare for the possibility of Maria returning to El Salvador if she is forced to leave the U.S.

Presented as part of our animation season “Moments that Define,” in which StoryCorps participants share the turning points that have shaped them.

 

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The Leesburg Stockade Girls

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The Leesburg Stockade Girls

In 1963, more than a dozen African American teenage girls were arrested for protesting segregation laws in Americus, Georgia. They were quickly hauled outside the city, where they spent the next two months locked inside a stockade. Here, the Leesburg girls — now women in their sixties — shine a light on an overlooked moment in civil rights history.

Released on the StoryCorps podcast on January 8, 2019.

 



The Door She Opened

At the age of 63, Dee Westenhauser came out as a transgender woman. While growing up in the 1950s, her Aunt Yaya gave her an opportunity that no one else would: a safe, loving space to be herself.

Presented as part of Stonewall OutLoud, our national effort to preserve and celebrate the voices of LGBTQ elders.

 

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“You don’t often have two hydrogen bombs falling out of aircraft onto U.S. property.”

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The Terrible Ten

Munitions expert Jack ReVelle remembers the aftermath of January 24, 1961, when a U.S. military plane accidentally dropped two hydrogen bombs into a field in North Carolina.

Originally aired January 25th, 2019, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

 



Love Lost, And Found

Sue McConnell and Kristyn Weed are best friends and Vietnam-era veterans. Although they didn’t serve in the war together, they share a story of courage — on and off the battlefield.

Presented as part of Stonewall OutLoud, our national effort to preserve and celebrate the voices of LGBTQ elders.

 

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"We felt a sense of gratitude that we could allow Elijah to rest in peace and not have to struggle."

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Remembering Dr. Tiller

Natalie and David Young remember abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, who was killed three years after they sought his help in Wichita, Kansas.

 



The Drill

“I’m a mother. And I don’t know what to say.” Ten-year-old Dezmond Floyd has an open discussion with his mother Tanai about what happens during his school’s active shooter drills.

 

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By the Power Vested in Me

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By the Power Vested in Me

In this episode of the StoryCorps podcast, we get to know some of the trailblazers who set the stage for marriage equality in the United States.

Released on the StoryCorps podcast on May 14, 2019.

 



The Treasures of Mrs. Grady’s Library

Judge Olly Neal remembers his high school days, when a book — and a little nudge from two helpful librarians — turned him around academically.

Presented as part of our animation season “Moments that Define,” in which StoryCorps participants share the turning points that have shaped them.

 

Thank you for all that you have done to help us in our mission to build a more just and compassionate world. This is just the beginning.

Source: SNPR Story Corps