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Ancient Plague's DNA Revived From A 1,500-Year-Old Tooth

When you hear the words bubonic plague, the Black Death usually comes to mind. But the first plague pandemic happened 800 years earlier, when the Justinian plague wiped out nearly a quarter of the world's population. Scientists have decoded the bacteria responsible, which had roots in China.
NPR

Remaking All That Jazz From Shanghai's Lost Era

Many Shanghai jazz standards of the 1930s and '40s were banned in China after the Chinese Communist Party took over. But they reemerged decades later through cover versions. Now, the songs are back again in a new cover album by a Chinese-American electronic artist and a jazz singer from Shanghai.
WAMU 88.5

Tom Paxton: A Musical Tribute To Pete Seeger

Legendary singer, songwriter and activist Pete Seeger died Monday at age 94. Grammy Award-winning musician Tom Paxton joins Kojo for a musical tribute and a look at Seeger's enduring impact on American music and politics.

NPR

'Founding Mothers' Helps Kids 'Remember The Ladies'

Cokie Roberts' new children's book tells the stories of women who contributed to the success of the American Revolution — women like Martha Washington and Abigail Adams. She tells NPR's Steve Inskeep, "These were very, very politically passionate women. ... They were utterly devoted to the patriot cause."
WAMU 88.5

Virginia Textbook Tweak Stirs Naming Dispute Over Asian Sea

Kojo explores the international dispute touched off by a Virginia General Assembly bill that would require Virginia's textbooks to note that the Sea of Japan is also known as the "East Sea."

NPR

The Middle Class Took Off 100 Years Ago ... Thanks To Henry Ford?

In January 1914, Henry Ford started paying his auto workers a remarkable $5 a day. Doubling the average wage helped ensure a stable workforce and likely boosted sales since the workers could now afford to buy the cars they were making. It laid the foundation for an economy driven by consumer demand.
NPR

'Pope And Mussolini' Tells The 'Secret History' Of Fascism And The Church

It's commonly thought that the Catholic Church fought heroically against the fascists in Italy. But in The Pope and Mussolini, historian David Kertzer says the church actually lent organizational strength and moral legitimacy to Mussolini's regime.
NPR

Conjugal Visits: Costly And Perpetuate Single Parenting?

Mississippi was the first state in the country to offer prisoners conjugal visits. Now the state is set to end the program, citing high costs as the main reason. Host Michel Martin speaks with Heather Thompson of Temple University about the history of conjugal visits and why prisoners' families are upset about the change.
WAMU 88.5

Rebroadcast: "The Good Lord Bird" By James McBride

A surprise winner at this year's National Book Award, James McBride's latest novel takes on the story of abolitionist John Brown's doomed raid on the arsenal at Harper's Ferry. We speak with McBride about the novel, as well as the band he formed to play music that inspired Brown.

NPR

Legacy Of Forced March Still Haunts Navajo Nation

In a series of marches that began in 1864, the U.S. Army forced thousands of Navajo and Mescalero Apache people to walk 400 miles to an isolated reservation; more than a third died. Some say today's ills in Indian Country — severe poverty, suicide, addiction — have their roots in the "Long Walk."

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