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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.


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."

For Persian Jews, America Means 'Religious Pluralism At Its Best'

Judaism has a rich history in Iran dating back millennia. But in the late 1970s, thousands of Iranian Jews fled to the U.S. in search of a new home. They have integrated their ancient Persian heritage into American life.

Once, Cold Weather Came And Stayed — For Years

It's been a bitterly cold winter in much of the country, but hey, it could be worse: You could have been alive in the 6th century. Starting in 536 A.D., scholars wrote of a cold snap that lasted not days, but years. Journalist Colin Barra speaks with NPR's Jacki Lyden about scientists' quest to determine what caused the epic cold spell.

Small Museum Shows Off Weird Objects

In this encore report, we hear about a small museum in an elevator shaft in lower Manhattan. It's only six feet square, and only about three or four people can enter it at a time. The exhibits document the weird and wonderful of modern life, including prison contraband made from bread. (This piece originally aired on Jan. 2, 2014 on All Things Considered).

Why Kenya's Best-Known Writer Decided To Come Out

Binyavanga Wainaina made the announcement in an online essay on his 43rd birthday. He says the recent anti-gay legislation in Uganda and Nigeria influenced his decision to speak out now.
WAMU 88.5

How Much History Should Be Preserved At D.C.'s McMillan Site?

The proposed development at the McMillan sand filtration site in Northwest D.C. has sparked competing proposals for what some say is one of the city's important historic sites.


From The Trenches To The Web: British WWI Diaries Digitized

The British National Archives is posting 1.5 million pages of World War I diaries online. The personal accounts provide new insight into the lives of the troops who fought the war that began 100 years ago. "Everywhere the same hard, grim, pitiless sight of battle and war," reads one entry.

Komla Dumor: The African Journalist Who 'Lifted The Continent'

Dumor hosted the BBC television program Focus on Africa and was probably the best-known journalist on the continent. He roamed Africa for years and was known for explaining Africa — the good and the bad — with clarity, context and compassion.