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Commemorating the Anniversary of September 11

In 2005, in partnership with the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, StoryCorps launched the September 11 Initiative. The goal of the project is to record at least one story commemorating each life lost during the attacks on September 11, 2001 and the February 26, 1993 World Trade Center Bombing.

Last year, in recognition of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, StoryCorps released two new animated shorts highlighting the voices of those impacted by this tragedy, “September 12th” and “Father Mychal’s Blessing.” These new animations are part of a rich body of stories from the September 11 Initiative, which includes conversations with family members, colleagues, and friends who wish to commemorate the events of September 11.

These StoryCorps interviews are archived in the StoryCorps Archive in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and are also part of a special collection at the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum.


Father Mychal’s Blessing

On 9/11, Father Mychal Judge, beloved chaplain to the NYC Fire Department, was killed during the attack on the World Trade Center while offering spiritual support, becoming the first certified fatality of the 9/11 attacks. His friend, Father Michael Duffy, read the sermon at his funeral. He remembers Father Mychal’s endearing mannerisms, constant positivity, and profound impact on everyone he knew.
Read the full transcript here.

September 12th

On 9/11, Vaughn Allex checked in two passengers arriving late for their flight. He learned later that they were two of the hijackers of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. He recalls the toll it took on him.
Read the full transcript here.


We also released a two-part podcast episode that shares first-hand reflections on 9/11. The first part, a collaboration with Consider This, looks at the lasting toll of 9/11 on U.S. civilians, U.S. veterans, and Afghan citizens. The second part remembers the life and legacy of Richard Palazzolo, who was killed in the attacks. Subscribe to the StoryCorps podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

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From StoryCorps and Consider This: The Lasting Toll Of 9/11
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From StoryCorps and Consider This: The Lasting Toll Of 9/11

In this episode of the StoryCorps podcast, we teamed up with NPR’s daily afternoon podcast, Consider This, to bring you stories from some of the people whose lives were forever changed by September 11 and its aftermath.


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“I opened up the back door of that church to see these hundreds of eyes all staring back at me, knowing where I had been.”
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Joe Dittmar

Joe Dittmar recounts making his way back home on September 11, 2001 after surviving the attacks on the World Trade Center.
Read the full transcript here.

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"He gave me the joys of motherhood, and the pains of motherhood."
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Salman Hamdani

Talat Hamdani remembers her son, an EMT and NYPD cadet who died at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 as a first responder and was wrongfully accused of having terrorist links.
Read the full transcript here.

She Was the One

When Richie Pecorella met Karen Juday, she captured his heart and changed his life. They were engaged when she was killed at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Read the full transcript here.

John and Joe

The late John Vigiano Sr., a retired FDNY captain, honors his sons — John Jr., also a firefighter, and Joe, a police detective — who were killed while saving others on September 11, 2001.
Read the full transcript here.

Sean Rooney

Beverly Eckert shares her final conversation with her husband, Sean Rooney, before he died in the south tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
Read the full transcript here.

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"We were so close that it was like just being...one person."
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Richie Palazzolo

Ronnie and Richie Palazzolo were identical twins who did everything together, including working at the World Trade Center. They were both there on the morning of the September 11 attacks. 20 years later, Ronnie came to StoryCorps to remember his brother and best friend.
Read the full transcript here.

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“We were the luckiest of the unlucky.”
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Mark Petrocelli

Retired NYC Fire Chief Albert Petrocelli died from COVID-19 nearly two decades after losing his youngest son, Mark, on September 11, 2001. Before he passed, Chief Petrocelli and his wife, Ginger, sat down to remember the last time they saw their son.
Read the full transcript here.

story
"People saw only a turban and a beard."
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Balbir Singh Sodhi

Rana and Harjit Sodhi remember their brother, Balbir Singh Sodhi, a Sikh man who was killed in the first hate crime following the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Read the full transcript here.

Always a Family

Monique Ferrer remembers the last time she spoke with her ex-husband, Michael Trinidad, on September 11, 2001, when he called her from the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower to say goodbye.
Read the full transcript here.

 

From the Archive: More Stories of September 11

To hear more stories related to September 11, visit our Archive and search for the keyword “9/11”.
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Dawn Ennis and Amy Weinstein

Interview partners Dawn Ennis and Amy Weinstein talk about Dawn’s experience as a producer on CBS This Morning on the morning of September 11, 2001. Dawn describes the exact moment when newsrooms found out that a plane had hit the World Trade Center and she shares her feelings regarding the reactions that New Yorkers had after the attack. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Sharon Watts

Sharon Watts shares the story of her relationship with her ex-fiance Captain Patrick Brown of the FDNY, who passed away during the 9/11 attacks. Sharon affectionately recollects stories and reveals that soon after Patrick passed away, Sharon compiled stories and journals about his life to create a book. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Maria Dominguez and Phillip Cassanova

Rescue medical firefighter, Maria “Terry” Dominguez talks with her nephew Phillip Cassanova about her deployment with the USSR during the 9/11 attacks and shares her feelings about the aftermath of the tragedy while reflecting on the importance of loved ones. Phillip describes being 10 years old when the attack occurred and finding out in his 5th grade classroom. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Michael Doyle

Michael Doyle, along with StoryCorps facilitator Virginia Lora, recounts finding out that the attacks had occurred while he was riding the Q train over lower Manhattan. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Diane Davis and Leo McKenna

Spouses Diane Davis and Leo McKenna discuss their memories of 9/11, when 7,000 plane passengers were forced to land in the town of Gander, Newfoundland, Canada following the attacks in New York City. Diane, a third grade teacher at the time, remembers preparing the schools to house the passengers. Leo recalls the commotion that occurred due to the sudden landing of the passengers. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Seth and Lois Gilman

Seth Gilman, who was a rescue worker during 9/11, speaks with his mother Lois Gilman about assisting the New York City police and witnessing the loss of many lives on that day. He describes his journey to becoming a teacher, and the unity that he saw during a difficult moment in history. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Nadine Newlight

Nadine (Nai’a) Newlight tells StoryCorps facilitator Eloise Melzer about how close she was to being at World Trade Center on 9/11. She describes her love for the World Trade Center and her experience as a tour guide there. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Brian Muldowney and B. Kelly Hallman

Colleagues and close friends Brian Muldowney and B. Kelly Hallman discuss the loss of Muldowney’s brother, Richard Muldowney Jr., a fellow firefighter who passed away saving people on 9/11. Brian describes going down to the World Trade Center with his brother’s firehouse to help and discusses how his brother’s legacy affects his work. Read the full transcript here.

 


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Michael Fabiano

Michael Fabiano, a Deputy Controller for NY/NJ Port Authority, speaks with Sarah Geis about his experience being on the 69th floor of Tower 1 when the first plane attacked. He describes his escape from the building and his efforts to help bring to safety a colleague, John Ambrosio, who was wheelchair bound.
Read the full transcript here.

 


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Kris Gould and Scott Accord

On the morning of 9/11 as she watched the planes crash, Kris Gould tried to get in contact with a friend who worked on the 99th floor of Tower 1. She and her colleague Scott Accord talk about the vibe that fell over the city the day after the attacks occurred. Read the full transcript here.

 


Share your story. StoryCorps Connect makes it possible to interview a loved one remotely and then upload it to the StoryCorps Archive at the Library of Congress. Learn more at StoryCorpsConnect.org.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

In recognition of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we’re highlighting the stories that uplift Latine* voices as they share triumphs, achievements, legacies, and lived experiences from across the United States. As you listen to the stories below, take a moment to reflect on what heritage means to you and how you consider inclusivity in your day-to-day life.

Know any voices that are missing from the narrative of Latine history and heritage?

By sitting down with someone you love for a StoryCorps conversation, you’re showing them that their stories matter and preserving them for generations to come. Just download the StoryCorps App to record your conversation and upload it directly to the Archive, housed at the Library of Congress. Or, if an in-person interview isn’t possible, use StoryCorps Connect to conduct it remotely.

From StoryCorps Historias

Listen to and share stories from StoryCorps Historias, our initiative to record the diverse stories and life experiences of Latine people in the United States. You can also find our full collection of Historias stories here.


Facundo the Great

Ramón “Chunky” Sanchez remembers how teachers at his elementary school anglicized the Mexican American students’ names. But one name stumped them all.


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“I remember he had the white boots, the white mask, with kind of like a red beak.”
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A Son Remembers His Father, A Lucho Libre Wrestler

John Torres, Jr. came to StoryCorps with his dad’s best friend and fellow wrestler, Abraham Guzman, to remember John, Sr. and his stardom as a Lucho Libre Wrestler in the Bronx.


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"When Papu would talk to us it was like a king holding his court."
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They Called Him Papu

Martha Escutia and her cousin Marina Jimenez share the legacy of their grandfather, nicknamed Papu, who came to the U.S. as a Bracero worker in the 1940s.


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“There’s vultures circling all the time.”
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Providing Life-Saving Aid at the Border

Maria Ochoa, a 70-year-old grandmother, speaks about the many times she’s walked the Arizona desert, providing legal, life-saving water and aid to migrants crossing the border from Mexico.


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"Tell me about your childhood in Mexico."
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Growing Up in Tijuana

Francisco Ortega shares memories of his childhood in Tijuana with his daughter Kaya, and tells her about the day he left Mexico to reunite with his parents in Los Angeles.


Yelitza Castro and Willie Davis

Yelitza Castro, an undocumented immigrant, has been cooking meals for homeless people in her community since 2010. Through this work she has gotten to know Willie Davis, who has been the recipient of many of those meals.


Gabe and Chris López

Gabe López, age 8, remembers when things really changed for him as a transgender kid. With his mother and friends by his side, he knew he wouldn’t have to face these changes alone.


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“He was proud he was able to help save one of his fellow pilots.”
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Siblings Remember Their Father, A Combat Pilot Who Served In Three Wars

Lt. Col. Miguel Encinias was a military pilot at a time when combat pilots of Hispanic heritage were almost unheard of. At StoryCorps, Isabel and Juan Pablo Encinias reflect on their hero — their father — and his love for flying.


Mi Abuela Panchita

Bishop Ricardo Ramierez remembers his grandmother Panchita Espitia as a formidable and wise woman. He shares her memory and the valuable spiritual lesson she taught him at the end of her days.


Want to listen to more StoryCorps stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.


Looking for more activities related to Hispanic Heritage Month?

Check out a digital exhibition presented as part of our collaboration with the American Folklife Center and the Hispanic Division at the Library of Congress.

Digital Artifact Exploration (PDF): Celebrate Latine heritage by experiencing it with a Digital Artifact Exploration for Hispanic Heritage Month

*Throughout the brief history of this month-long commemoration multiple words have been used including Hispanic, Latino, Latina, Latinx and now Latine to highlight individuals whose roots tie them to Latin America. At StoryCorps, we try our best to be inclusive of all individuals, from any background. In doing so, we want to share our reasoning behind our wording. We believe that any individual should be free to use the word that they most identify with, and with the goal of creating inclusive spaces in mind, we will be using the word Latine as we share stories for Hispanic Heritage Month, and beyond. Latine is a gender-neutral version of Latino and Latina, that uses an -e instead of an -x (such as in Latinx), and can be considered more inclusive for Spanish and English speakers alike.

Stories to Start the School Year

For years, StoryCorps has worked closely with schools to provide teachers and students with resources for recording the stories of people they admire. With the new school year just around the corner, we’re sharing a few of these voices. Listen to stories of current and former students and educators as they share the memories of school that they carry with them.

You can honor a student or educator in your life with a StoryCorps interview like these. Just download the StoryCorps App to record your conversation and upload it directly to the Archive, housed at the Library of Congress. Or, if an in-person interview isn’t possible, use StoryCorps Connect to conduct it remotely.

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“I think you should get half my diploma.”
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A Special Kind of Thank You

Cole Phillips became blind shortly before he began high school. The late Rugenia Keefe was the paraprofessional assigned to help Cole. The two came to rely on each other’s humor and humility.


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"As if high school is not hard enough…"
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“As If High School Is Not Hard Enough”

Tierra Jackson, age 23, talks to John Horan, the president of her high school, about what her life was like when they first met.


School’s Out

As Black families were pushed out of his town of Sheridan, AR, Reverend James Seawood recalls how his mother became the principal, janitor, and more to ensure Black students had access to an education.


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"I did think I was the smartest person in class. But I realized that you were gonna give me a run for my money."
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50 Years After Desegregation, Two Classmates Remember

A half-century after the milestone Supreme Court case Alexander v. Holmes, former classmates Natalie Guice Adams and Eli Brown reflect together for the first time on life after court-ordered desegregation.


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“I feel like I have wings now.”
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Don’t Let Anybody Tell You That You Can’t

Ngoc Nguyen talks with her GED instructor Chris Myers about her childhood and the impact his teaching has had on her.


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"You have this unique ability to — even in the darkest times — just tell people it's going to be okay."
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Two Teachers on Supporting Their Students and Each Other During the Pandemic

High school English teacher Alexia Dukes speaks with her mentor and colleague, Maria Rivera, about teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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"In my old school, I never went to class."
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Wanting the Best for Your Students, Even When They Don’t See It

When Sarah Benko first began tutoring Meliza Arellano, the two did not hit it off. They sat down to look back on the year when Meliza became a serious student.


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"You showed me that I'm not alone."
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“You Always Have a Family Here.”

Warning: this story discusses child abuse.

At the time when Rogelio Martinez enrolled in Lisa Moya King’s high school dance class, his family members were abusing him. Years later, Rogelio talks with Lisa about how she took care of him when he needed it.


story
"He said, 'You make sure you call that teacher.'"
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An Unexpected Phone Call

Eighth grade science teacher Al Siedlecki, or “Mr. Sie,” was helping a group of students study for a test when he received a surprise phone call from former student Lee Buono, now a neurosurgeon.


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"I always walk them through the lunch line…"
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The Cost of Lunch

Kenny Thompson, a volunteer mentor, discovered that some kids he worked with couldn’t afford school lunch. He spoke with students Gary Barber and Dakota Gibson about the weight of paying for school lunches, and what his help meant to them.


Lessons Learned

From the first roll call of the 1964 school year, Dr. Weaver knew his new teachers didn’t have his success in mind. Luckily, one former teacher did.


story
“I realized, wow, somebody else has these feelings. This isn’t just me.”
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50 Years Later: Giving Thanks to the Teacher Who Changed His Life

Russell King sat down with his elementary school music teacher Paige Macklin to tell her about how she changed his life with a musical number.


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"You were just doing what you felt you needed to do for us to be better people."
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How A Dedicated Teacher Turned Into A Lifelong Friend

6th grade math teacher Raymond Blanks speaks with his former 7th grade teacher and friend, Sean Lloyd, about how Sean inspired him to follow in his footsteps.


Want to listen to more StoryCorps stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

Remarkable Friends Share Their Stories

Since the beginning of StoryCorps, countless friends have sat down, one-on-one, to share the things that matter to them through the StoryCorps interview process. That’s why we’re celebrating stories of those people who matter to each other. Explore the collection to hear from friendships that have continually uplifted one another, ones that turned into decades-long love stories, and those who reconnected after years apart.

Celebrate one of your friends by inviting them to a StoryCorps interview! Just download the StoryCorps App to record your conversation and upload it directly to the Archive, housed at the Library of Congress. Or, if an in-person interview isn’t possible, use StoryCorps Connect to conduct it remotely.


Clean Streets

“I’ve been very lucky because he’s been the best partner I ever had.” Angelo Bruno and Eddie Nieves remember a decade of working together as sanitation workers in New York City.


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"I think I survived it by always having hope."
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Even an Iota of Light

After being released from prison following a 15-year sentence for a nonviolent drug offense, Robert Sanchez met minister Fred Davie. They discuss the support that Fred offered Robert as he navigated re-entry.


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"There’s a huge well of grief there but you gotta show up."
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“It’s Still Worth Celebrating”

Yennie Neal-Achigbu and Jamie Olivieri celebrate three decades of being there for each other, from dealing with grief to organizing Christmas sleepovers for their kids.


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“I used to like to serenade you from the stern of the canoe.”
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“We’re Stuck With Each Other”

Gary Bezucha and Greg Klatkiewicz met over 50 years ago and instantly became a dynamic duo. At StoryCorps, they recounted some memories that really stood out from decades of friendship.


story
“Oh God, here’s a newsy neighbor.”
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“You’re My Forever Love”

Beau McCall and Julaina Glass didn’t get off on the right foot. 30 years later, they look back on the friendship of a lifetime.


story
“I said, ‘I like you more than any other male except my Papa.’”
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No Hanky Panky

Julia and Joel Helfman met when they were just 12 and 13. Their friendship blossomed into a decades-long love story.


Love Lost, And Found

Sue McConnell and Kristyn Weed were disowned by their families after coming out. Then they found each other through a transgender veterans’ group.


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"You were just doing what you felt you needed to do for us to be better people."
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“You Didn’t Elevate Me, But You Helped Me Elevate Myself”

Sean Lloyd was one of Raymond Blanks’s only Black teachers. After graduating college, Raymond became an educator himself. The two reflect on the impact they had on each other.


story
"I remember seeing your face and I was shocked."
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Longtime Friends Reconnect in a Homeless Shelter

“I don’t know where I would be if you and I didn’t run into each other at the shelter.” Barbara Parham and Jeanne Satterfield discuss the support they offered each other after experiencing homelessness.


story
“I was secretly really envying you to be able to be yourself.”
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Our Own Mountains to Climb

After coming out, 90-year-old Kenneth Felts talked with his trainer, David Smith, who is also gay, about Ken’s journey and the inspiration David provided.


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“We had even stronger bonds because we had survived this together.”
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Friends During the Vietnam War Reunite Almost 50 Years After

John Nordeen and Kay Lee served in the same platoon during the Vietnam War, but they lost touch when they returned to the U.S. Then, nearly 50 years later, John gave Kay a call.


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"We really had some adventures."
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See You In Antarctica

Friends and traveling companions Wydenia Perry and Essie Gregory have had quite a lot of adventures in their 37 years of traveling together. They talk about some of their favorites before setting off to their seventh continent, Antarctica.


Want to listen to more StoryCorps stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

Stories of Sweet Summer Memories

Ice cream trucks, baseball games, barbecues, summer love … everyone’s got their own sweet memories from sunnier months. Luckily, the StoryCorps Archive is full of stories about lazy summer afternoons and reflections on seasons past, so we rounded up some of our favorites… (turns out our participants really, really love baseball). Listen to some of these incredible tales, get inspired, and go make some new memories this summer!

Do you want to have a conversation like these with someone you love? Just download the StoryCorps App to record your conversation and upload it directly to the Archive, housed at the Library of Congress. Or, if an in-person interview isn’t possible, use StoryCorps Connect to conduct it remotely.


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Joy on Saint James Pl.
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Joy on Saint James Pl.

In this episode of the StoryCorps podcast, how one family’s socially-distant block party brought a neighborhood together during the pandemic.


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“Ice cream has given me a name, like a Ted Williams or a Babe Ruth or a Larry Bird.”
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A Life Through the Window of an Ice Cream Truck

Allan Ganz has been an ice cream man for over seven decades. At StoryCorps, he reminisces with his wife, Rosalyn, about his sweet career.


story
“He said, 'Freckles, how many times do you want my signature?'”
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Summers at Yankee Stadium

In 1943, Anthony D’Andrea was a kid on a mission: to get the signature of every team member of the Yankees.


You Move Me

One summer evening, Jay McKnight was singing acapella with his friends and caught the ear of a girl named Andrea. The rest was history.


story
"The way that I look at my job as a vendor, I’m a professional athlete."
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Fancy Clancy

Throughout his 43-year long career as a beer vendor for the Baltimore Orioles, Clarence “Clancy” Haskett has brought energy, athleticism, and cheer.


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"The evening that I met her, she had 'Babs' written on her sweater."
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A Summer of Love

Walter and Babette Sonneborn, who have been married for 67 years, tell their niece Ellen Bettmann about the summer they met at a mountain resort.


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“The parents initially booed when I went out to play. They could see that I was a better player than some of their sons.”
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The Girl Who Changed Little League Baseball

As a girl, there was nothing Kay “Tubby” Johnston wanted more than to play little league baseball. This is how one kid’s love of the game changed everything.


Two by Two

Hunny and Elliot met in the summer of 1946… and so did their identical twins. The two pairs of twins got married in a double wedding, and after sixty-one years of marriage, Hunny and Elliot sat down to share some memories.


story
"My first memory of you was at camp when we were 12…"
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Always Something to Say

May Herlands and Sheila Lepelstat met at summer camp when they were 12. Now in their 70s, they’ve remained friends and talk on the phone everyday.


story
"I was in Brooklyn, New York teaching the third grade."
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The Nuns of Summer

Sister Vincent Cecire, 94, shares how she fell in love with baseball and how she and her friend earned the nickname “the Nuns of Summer”.


Want to listen to more StoryCorps stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

We the People: Voices of the United States

With the Fourth of July around the corner, there is a lot to reflect on as a nation from the past year. For many this is a time of celebration, to celebrate our nation and our diverse history. However, there is also much to learn as we navigate the country today.

Thoughts of country and patriotism evoke different things for different people — often, they evoke different, conflicting notions for just one person. The U.S. is complicated, its history marked by both incredible beauty and profound injustice. And so its people are complicated too: their backgrounds, experiences, and values are diverse and nuanced. Let’s recognize and honor that. This Independence Day, hear what it means to be a part of the United States right from the source. Listen to these extraordinary stories from remarkable people, all of whom make up this complicated, beautiful, and diverse country.

The following stories were drawn from across the various StoryCorps initiatives, each of which highlights voices from a particular group of people living in the U.S. As you listen, click the links at the bottom of the descriptions to explore the corresponding initiative.

What’s your U.S.A. experience? By uploading an interview to the StoryCorps archive at the Library of Congress, you and a loved one preserve your stories for generations. Download the StoryCorps App to record a conversation and add it directly to the collection. If an in-person interview isn’t an option, use StoryCorps Connect to conduct it remotely.


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"I wanted him to show them that he could do what anybody else can do."
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Breaking Baseball’s Color Barrier

Harold Lucas, Jr. attended Jackie Robinson’s first game for the Royals in Daytona Beach when he was just a small boy. At StoryCorps, he remembers that day and the inspiration that followed him. From StoryCorps Griot.


story
“I was right there between two cultures that I love.”
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For Those Left Behind: An Afghan American Marine Reflects On His Homeland

When he was five, Ajmal Achekzai fled his home in Afghanistan for the United States at the start of the Soviet-Afghan War. Ajmal returned over 20 years later, but as a U.S. Marine. From the Military Voices Initiative.


A Mother’s Promise

Maria Rivas and her teenage daughter Emily prepare for the possibility of Maria returning to El Salvador if she is forced to leave the U.S. From the American Pathways Initiative.


Where I Come From

The U.S. government forced Barnie Botone’s great-grandfather, a Kiowa chief, to board a train and leave his tribe’s land behind. Almost a century later, Barnie got a job on the railroad. From the StoryCorps animated season, “This Land.”


The Golden Rule

“I don’t think we could be any further apart as people.” Joseph Weidknecht, a Trump supporter, sits down with Amina Amdeen, a Muslim student who rescued him at an anti-Trump rally. From One Small Step.


The Icing on the Cake

Blanca Alvarez immigrated to the United States from Mexico in 1972. She crossed the border with her husband and son while she was pregnant with her daughter, Connie. At StoryCorps, Blanca and Connie remember those early years. From StoryCorps Historias.


story
"I have to do at least what I can to give those values a voice."
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StoryCorps Extra: Giving Values a Voice

Shyamala Keshamouni and her son Abhinand reflect on their desire to preserve their Indian heritage while looking forward to participating in a U.S. presidential election for the first time. From the StoryCorps Archive.


story
“What were the first few days like in jail?”
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28 Months Without Freedom

At 17, Asad Kerr-Giles was wrongfully imprisoned and spent the next 28 months on Rikers Island. Asad and his mother, April Kerr, talk about his first few days in jail. From the Justice Project.


Love Lost, And Found

Sue McConnell and Kristyn Weed are best friends and Vietnam-era veterans. Although they didn’t serve in the war together, they share a story of courage — on and off the battlefield. From Stonewall OutLoud.


Want to listen to more StoryCorps stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

LGBTQ Voices to Honor This Pride Month

June is Pride Month, and we’re celebrating by sharing stories from LGBTQ people finding peace and acceptance with themselves, their families, and the people they love — and sometimes, making history in the process. These conversations are all about finding love, your people, and your place in the world. Dive into memorable and touching stories from our LGBTQ community.

Is there an LGBTQIA+ person in your life who you want to honor with a StoryCorps conversation? Learn how you can help them feel heard and record a meaningful conversation at StoryCorps.org/OutLoud.

A Life of Honor

When Joseph Patton joined the Navy in 1955, he had to serve in silence. At the time, the LGBTQ+ community could not be open while in the military. Joseph remembers the pride he took in his service and the beauty and joy that love has brought to his life.


podcast
Love and a Life Complete
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StoryCorps Podcast: Love and a Life Complete

Many people come to StoryCorps to have a conversation with someone who’s been meaningful in their lives. Some of our favorite interview moments come from partners and spouses — especially when they’re discussing matters of the heart.


story
"You said that you were in the wrong body, that you should be a man."
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A Family Transition

In 1997, Les and Scott GrantSmiths’ marriage was on the rocks. They had been together for ten years and were raising two children. But Les was hiding something: although he was born female, he felt like a man in the wrong body.


The Saint of Dry Creek

As a teenager, Patrick Haggerty began to understand he was gay — something he thought he was hiding well. One day, he learned that his father could see him more clearly than he realized.

 


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We're Still Here
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StoryCorps Podcast: We’re Still Here

A collection of stories from trans women of color, who have often been the first to stand up for equality, and the last to be recognized for their contributions.


story
"That was the only thing we could do to legalize our relationship."
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Loving Unconventionally

Walter Naegle recounts to his niece Ericka what it was like falling in love with the iconic civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, in a time where marriage between two men was impossible.


A Life Worth Living

MJ Seide never thought that she would live a happy, fulfilling life. Then she met her future partner, who at the time had been married to a man and raising children.


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"I was debating whether I would say something at dinner..."
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After Facing A Difficult Coming Out, One Couple Changed A Mother’s Heart

Leslye Huff and her partner, Mary Ostendorf, met in 1983. Leslye was open about her feelings for Mary, while Mary felt less comfortable with public displays of affection and had not told many people in her life about her sexuality, including her family.


Growing Up Gabe

Chris López always knew there was something different about her youngest child, Gabe. Assigned female at birth, Gabe felt like he was a boy.


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No One's Going to Stop Me
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StoryCorps Podcast: No One’s Going to Stop Me

Many of our LGBTQ+ stories center the voices of elders. Let’s look to the future, and hear what the next generation has to say.


Love Lost, and Found

Sue McConnell and Kristyn Weed are best friends and Vietnam-era veterans. Although they didn’t serve in the war together, they share a story of courage — on and off the battlefield.


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“He would sit and tell us what it was like to be gay in 1890.”
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Remembering a Gay Icon in Mother Bryant

At 82 years old, Alexei Romanoff came to StoryCorps with his husband, David Farah, to remember the person who taught him to be proud of who he is.


The Door She Opened

At the age of 63, Dee Westenhauser came out as a transgender woman. She remembers growing up in El Paso, Texas in the 1950s, and the one person who made her feel like herself.


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"In high school when I first started wearing make-up, my family didn't notice."
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Pink Lipstick, Fur Coats, and Authenticity

Kiyan Williams had a conversation with their friend Darnell Moore about growing up feeling different from other kids and grappling with his family’s expectations. Today, Kiyan works with LGBTQ+ youth in New York City.


Honor Military Voices for Memorial Day

Memorial Day gives us an opportunity to remember those who have died while serving in the U.S. military. We’ve put together a collection of Military Voices Initiative stories from veterans, service members, and their loved ones to help us reflect on their lives, contributions, and sacrifices. Listen to their voices below.

Honor a veteran, service member, or military family member in your life today through StoryCorps conversation. You can record in person using the StoryCorps App, or remotely using StoryCorps Connect.

The Last Viewing

In 2005, Allen Hoe’s oldest son, Nainoa, was killed in action in Iraq. Not long after on Memorial Day, he had a chance encounter with a stranger that brought them both unforeseen comfort.


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“I would listen and then pray for their strength.”
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“I Took an Oath to Respond to the Needs of My Nation”

Army Major Ivan Arreguin, a military chaplain, tells his wife, Aileen, what it was like to provide medical support in New York City in April 2020, during the height of COVID-19.


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“These folks have made the ultimate sacrifice and the least we can do is take care of them.”
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An Airline Worker Finds His Calling Honoring The Military’s Fallen

Brian McConnell, who’s been an airline worker for close to four decades, told his wife, Nora, about how he found his calling providing support to fallen service members with the Delta Honor Guard.


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"He was talking about this feeling that he had that he was going to die."
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In Memory of Diego Rincon

George Rincon and Yolanda Reyes, remember their son, Army Private First Class Diego Rincon, who received U.S. citizenship after he was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq in 2003.


1st Squad, 3rd Platoon

In 2005, Marine Lance Corporal Travis Williams and his squad went on a rescue mission in Barwanah, Iraq. He was the only member of his team to make it back home.


The Nature of War

Specialist Justin Cliburn was deployed to Iraq in 2005. While serving in Baghdad, he formed a friendship with Ali and Ahmed, two boys who lived near his compound.


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“I don't see him as a symbol. In some way that takes him away from me.”
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In Memory of Army Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman

Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman was the first American soldier killed in combat during the War in Afghanistan. His brother, Keith Chapman, and his mother Lynn honor Nathan’s memory.


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“Because she was Asian, they wouldn’t accept her. Mom said she didn’t care; she enlisted anyway.”
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Remembering One Tough Veteran: Lieutenant Susan Ahn Cuddy

Flip and Christine Cuddy remember their mother, Susan Ahn Cuddy, the first Asian American woman in the Navy and the first woman gunnery officer teaching air combat tactics.


Pearl Harbor, Tattooed on Your Soul

On December 7, 1941, over 2,000 people died when Japanese fighter planes attacked Pearl Harbor. On that day, Frank Curre, then a teenager, was serving aboard the U.S.S. Tennessee.


Want even more stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.

Stories to Reflect on for Father’s Day

Father’s Day offers us a chance to recognize the role that dads and fatherhood have played in our lives. Enjoy our collection of stories celebrating father figures and the many ways they support and shape us.

What would you like to share with a parent or guardian in your life? This Father’s Day, honor a father figure and record his story. You can record in person using the StoryCorps App, or remotely using StoryCorps Connect.

From Our Animation Series, Father Figures

Double Major

When Wil Smith enrolled as a freshman in college, he brought an unusual roommate with him — his infant daughter. Wil and Olivia look back together on their days as college roommates.


Leading the Way

John Washington, 95, was born blind and with a severe loss of hearing. He sat down with his eldest child for a conversation about the pride he takes in his kids and to laugh over some of their childhood hijinks.


A Wonderful Life

The memories may be hazy, but the feelings are clear. Ken Morganstern, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s five years before this conversation with his daughters Priya and Bhavani, discusses his most important legacy — his loving family.


My Aunties

Stefan Lynch remembers the community of gay men – lovingly nicknamed his “aunties” – who helped raise him, the dark days of the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, and the lessons that he learned from this powerful family.


More Stories for Father’s Day

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"When you and I communicate with each other, we can do it by beats."
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A Father-Daughter Beatboxing Duo on Making Music

Ed Cage has been beatboxing to his daughter Nicole Paris since before she was born. They talk about their shared love for the art, and each other.


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“I remember feeding him; watching him close his eyes with each spoonful.”
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For a Father’s Last Meal, the Main Ingredient Is Love

Sisters Estela and Candi Reyes remember their father, Juan Reyes, and the love they shared through food while caring for him in his final days.


Driving Lessons

Muhammad Faridi talks to his father about what it was like to grow up as the son of a NYC cab driver. Though he was once embarrassed, Muhammad now takes pride in his father’s work.


The Saint of Dry Creek

When he was a teenager in a rural town in the 1950s, Patrick Haggerty began to understand he was gay. After performing at a school assembly, he received some life-changing advice from his dad.


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“Some of my earliest memories are of us playing his video games.”
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He Created His Destiny

Anderson and Karen Lawson remember their father, engineer Gerald Lawson, and how his pioneering spirit influenced their childhood in 1970s Silicon Valley.


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"He always seemed so grateful for living."
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A Gentle Giant

Libby Stroik talks about finding a kindred spirit in her grandfather, Harry Golomski, and about her treasured memories of their quiet mornings in rural Wisconsin.


Daddy’s Lessons

Arguster and Lebronze Davis grew up on their family’s farm in Wetumpka, Alabama in the ‘50s. They remember life on the farm and the many lessons of their dad, Ben Davis.


Want even more stories? Sign up for our Story of the Week newsletter to discover a new voice every week.