Ray Hanania only went to see Titanic the movie because his fiance did. But when he heard a character speaking in Arabic, he shot up in his seat, and since then has worked to uncover the hidden history of Arabs on the Titanic and America.
Allen Dorough was cleaning out a barn near Birmingham, Ala., when he found 10 metal boxes full floor illustrations by Wallace A. Rayfield, a black man and architect in the early 1900s who had died in obscurity. Dorough talks to host Dick Gordon about Rayfield’s legacy, including the 16th Street Baptist Church of Birmingham.
During the Korean War, the 15th Infantry Regiment was sent to hold a small hilltop that was just beyond the front line. Although Outpost Harry had great strategic significance, it was so small that no more than 150 soldiers could defend it at any one time. Over the course of a week, over 13,000 Chinese soldiers took turns trying to storm the hill in wave after wave of assaults. Sergeant Jerry Cunningham was there. Also in the show: A woman learns about cheering in a foreign land.
When Douglas Lee was 16 years old, he and a friend quit their summer job busing tables and headed for Woodstock. They stuffed hundreds of bagels in their trunk with the intention of selling them at the concert.
In the early morning hours of August 22, 1971, Father Michael Doyle and 27 other mostly Catholic priests and lay people were caught destroying draft records inside the federal courthouse in Camden, N.J. It was an act of nonviolent civil disobedience to protest what Father Doyle and the others considered the immoral war in Vietnam. Also in this episode: Grandma gets the lead out.
Five years before the creation of Facebook, three undergrads at Stanford - Lawrence Gentilello, Aaron Bell and Tuyen Truong - started a similar website. But university officials were horrified that such information would be online and they forced the site to close. Dick Gordon talks with the three about the social network that could have been.Also in this episode: Mariem Masmoudi on the heart of the revolution. And a listener story about being locked in a closet.
Mai Mclean had just turned 17 when she married an American soldier she met while working at an air base near her village in Vietnam. He was the first person who ever showed her any kindness. Mai left her village with her new husband. But leaving her mother was particularly wrenching. Mai faithfully sent money to her family in Vietnam every month until her husband abandoned her and she had to work 3 jobs to support her children. In February 2007, and for the first time in 40 years, Mai Mclean returned to her village in Vietnam to reconnect with the family and country she left behind.
When writer Henry Shukman heard about the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, he was intrigued by its reputation as Europe’s largest wildlife refuge. After all, for more than 25 years, few humans have been allowed access to the 1,600 sq. miles of land around the nuclear reactor there. Henry shared a meal with "resettlers," people who returned.
Guest Host Sean Cole speaks with Cryn Johannsen, who is an activist on student debt issues. She threw out a question in her blog about whether anyone had suicidal feelings, and was alarmed at how many people wrote saying they did.