April 29, 2011

“The next day, the police car pulled up and they said, 'We're taking y'all to jail.'”

In 1958, a kiss made civil rights history. It happened in Monroe, North Carolina. Two African-American children, James Hanover Thompson and David Simpson, were said to have kissed a girl who was white. They were arrested and accused of rape.

The incident became known around the world as “The Kissing Case.” But over time, it was largely forgotten.
Even the Thompson family rarely talked about it—until they came to StoryCorps, where James (L) sat down with his younger brother, Dwight (R), and told him what happened.

In 1958, a kiss made civil rights history. It happened in Monroe, North Carolina. Two African-American children, James Hanover Thompson and David Simpson, were said to have kissed a girl who was white. They were arrested and accused of rape.
The incident became known around the world as “The Kissing Case.” But over time, it was largely forgotten.

Even the Thompson family rarely talked about it—until they came to StoryCorps, where James (L) sat down with his younger brother, Dwight (R), and told him what happened.

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April 28, 2011

Come Learn About Beaver County

BEAVER  COUNTY  HISTORICAL  
RESEARCH  AND
LANDMARKS  FOUNDATION

Beaver County History Celebration
May 7th and 8th, 2011
Visit online at BCHR&LF 
Historical Sites Also Open on Friday May 6th for School Tours

April 22, 2011

Steven Wells and his daughter Jennifer | StoryCorps

Steven Wells and his daughter Jennifer | StoryCorps

“I was scared to death.”  Steven Wells tells his daughter, Jennifer, how it felt to become a dad. Recorded in Macon, GA.
interview photo

April 19, 2011

Listen to The Social Voice Project sampler


Life Boy Soap

Paul and Hazel grew up in the 1930s and 40s; their childhoods were carried along and shaped by a nation dragging itself through the Great Depression and then into the War years. We know history's highlights from this era--the headlines, of course. But what about everyday life? What was that like? What about the history of house and home?

April 16, 2011

Leaves Us Helpless

The SS Edmund Fitzgerald was an American Great Lakes freighter that made headlines after sinking in a Lake Superior storm on November 10, 1975, with the loss of the entire crew. When launched on June 8, 1958, she was the largest boat on the Great lakes, and remains the largest boat to have sunk there.


73 Seconds

The Space Shuttle Challenger disaster occurred on Tuesday, January 28, 1986, when Challenger broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, leading to the deaths of its seven crew members.


Robbery Gone Bad (sample)


Despite the latest headline news story or episode of crime TV, we don’t think about cops much.   Of course, we know the police are always there; we see them on patrol, walking, driving, riding bicycles, on the streets, in the schools, and at the airport.  And for all that presence we still often take their service for granted.  If you’ve ever been in danger and needed a cop to protect your life or property, you’ve probably assumed that someone in uniform would just show up—like a dial-up hero, on-demand.  

Police work sometimes puts officers into the thick of things, where violence and death are a consequence.   We expect our cops to run towards danger; that’s their job.  We like to believe that we’re paying for the finest bravery.  Yet, cops are only human.  I imagine that they, too, must have to dig deep and gather up the courage to risk life and limb for strangers.  We should forgive any hesitation or doubt on their part.  After all, they have wives and husbands and kids, and just like the rest of us they’d like to go home after work and live a normal life.
As a police officer, Don spent twenty years in the thick of things for the city.  Its citizens counted on him to be their hero when mayhem threatened their safety, and the record shows that Don never hesitated to run toward the danger.  From rookie foot patrolman to department chief, each day he put on the uniform was an act of the finest bravery. 

That's How That Worked (sample)


My Dad Was Rough (sample)


Paul, who turned 80 years old in 2010, talks about his rough and tumble Hungarian immigrant father.  At the age of ten, Paul's mother suffered a nervous breakdown and was forcibly taken from the family.  His father abruptly found himself as a struggling single parent of ten children, with one child on the way. 

Despite his heavy domestic responsibilities, his backbreaking job in a steel mill, and his booze-filled hard living social life, Paul's father managed to keep a roof over everyone's head.  The family, however, he could not keep together.  The youngest child was forcebily adopted out, and several other kids younger than Paul spent time in foster homes.    

My Name is Ashlee (sample)


A Kid By Any Other Name (sample)


When he was eight years old, Louis Farkas' mother petitioned the court to change his surname to match hers.  At the time, I thought it was the end of the world for my son--the demise of his paternal heritage and my family's legacy.   However, after unsuccessfully contesting the motion the ordeal taught me that one's name is far less important than one's identity.   "What's in a name? that which we call a rose," Shakespeare's Juliet remarked.  "By any other name would smell as sweet."

Even Though He Was a Coal Miner (sample)

Mary Fogel-Loveland describes growing up in a coal mining family in the lower Allegheny Valley of Pennsylvania.

Chicken Soup (sample)

Don grew up without a father, so his older brothers took on that difficult, yet special role out of necessity . . . and love. 

Although the older men had their own lives to live and families to raise, they devoted themselves to guiding young Don through his boyhood.   The hours they spent together working around the house, tinkering with cars, or squirrel hunting in the autumn forests were precious moments that taught a young boy the skills of manhood. 

Through their kindness and compassion, Don's brothers also taught him that heroes don't always need super powers to make them great.  Sometimes, just being there with a loving, brotherly arm around the shoulder will do.  That and a can of chicken soup.