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A 'Happy Burden': Reflections On The Medal Of Honor

On the 150th anniversary of the nation's highest military honor, two recipients share their stories. While badly wounded and under heavy fire, recalls one Vietnam War veteran, "what goes through your mind is the understanding that if you don't do something ... then everything is lost."
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The Story Of The Chitlin' Circuit's Great Performers

Before the Civil Rights movement, segregated American cities helped give birth to the Chitlin' Circuit, a touring revue that provided employment for hundreds of black musicians. Rock historian Ed Ward profiles two recent books which illuminate the conditions these musicians endured.
WAMU 88.5

Hearing 130-Year-Old Recordings For The First Time

Shakespeare's timeless Hamlet soliloquy is among the more than century-old recordings that researchers from the Library of Congress have  unveiled recently.

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Powerful Portraits Capture China's Empress Dowager

A new exhibit at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., features photos of Cixi, a teenage concubine turned empress who ruled China for 43 years. The portraits were taken as a diplomatic effort — an attempt to revive the reputation of a dying dynasty.
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Run Against Gingrich? Cooter From 'Dukes' Did

You might remember Ben Jones as Cooter the mechanic on The Dukes of Hazzard, but Jones also spent two terms in Congress. In 1994, he faced off against a very interesting opponent: current Republican presidential frontrunner Newt Gingrich.
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Vaclav Havel, Leader Of The Velvet Revolution, Dies

Vaclav Havel, the Czech playwright who led a revolution to bring down the country's communist regime, has died. During the communist era, Havel was one of Eastern Europe's foremost dissident writers and champion of human rights. He was 75.
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Finders Not Keepers: Yale Returns Artifacts To Peru

Objects excavated from the Machu Picchu ruins in the early 1900s have finally come home. The artifacts were taken by Yale explorer Hiram Bingham III. After 100 years, an international custody battle and an angry letter from Yale alumni, they're are back on display in their country of origin.
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Science Diction: The Origin Of The Petri Dish

In 1887, Julius Petri invented a simple pair of nesting glass dishes, ideal for keeping specimens of growing bacteria sterile--the 'Petri dish.' Science historian Howard Markel recounts the history of this ubiquitous lab supply, and the serendipitous discovery of the stuff in it, agar.

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