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Company Auctions Off Letters From Freud, Van Gogh

Audie Cornish talks to Joe Maddalena, who runs Profiles in History. The company is auctioning off a huge collection of historic letters and documents on Dec. 18. Among them are letters by George Washington, John Lennon, Vincent Van Gogh, Lou Gehrig, Louis Pasteur, Sigmund Freud, and Napoleon.
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WWII Veteran To Be Honored With Bronze Star

An 88-year-old World War II veteran from the D.C. area will receive the Bronze Star for Heroism today, nearly 70 years after he was wounded in battle in France.


'Pullman Porter Blues' Travels Back In Time

NPR's Michel Martin speaks with actor Larry Marshall and playwright Cheryl West about Pullman Porter Blues, a play that tells the story of three generations of African-American railway porters in 1937.

Chemical Weapons And The Syrian Civil War

After intelligence officials reported activity at Syrian chemical weapons sites, the U.S. warned Syrian President Bashar Assad he'd face "consequences" if Syria uses such weapons. Many questions remain about what chemical weapons Syria has and how they could use them.

How History Created The Cult Of The Catcher

Star 19th Century barehanded catcher Deacon White was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday. White played from 1871-1890, logging 2,067 hits in 1,560 games. He gained fame in the days when catchers wore no gear and the job required a substantial amount of courage.
WAMU 88.5

Ernest Freeberg: "The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America"

A historian places Thomas Edison's incandescent light bulb in the context of a period of intense technological creativity in the U.S. More than any other invention, he argues, electric light ushered in modernity.


Buying Freedom Through Dressmaking

The new movie 'Lincoln' explores the last months of Abraham Lincoln's life and sheds light on prominent figures of the time. One lesser-known person is former slave Elizabeth Keckley. She became a close confidante to Mary Todd Lincoln. Host Michel Martin speaks with professor Clarence Lusane about Keckley's contributions to American history.

Why Drinking Tea Was Once Considered A Dangerous Habit

Reformers of the 19th century warned that taking a tea break would steer Irish peasant women to thoughts of revolution. The warnings largely went unheeded. Still, it gives us pause to think about our modern-day food obsessions and how they might look to others in the future.