When George F. Johnson died, the nation witnessed one of the largest funerals in U.S. history. What did Johnson do? He made shoes. Lots of them. 100 years ago, the Endicott Johnson Corporation, headquartered in upstate New York, was the largest shoe factory in the world. But George F. Johnson wasn’t only famous for his shoes. He also became known for his views on how a company should treat its workers. Some people called it “welfare capitalism.” Johnson had a different name for it: The Square Deal.
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This month marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, a turning point in the gay rights movement.
The anniversary is a reminder of how much has changed since 1969, when "homosexual acts" were illegal in all states but one - Illinois. Today, gay marriage is legal across the nation. Here at Radio Diaries we have our own small time capsule of how much has changed. The very first audio diary I ever did, with Amanda Brand. Amanda's story was about being a gay teenager, with parents who were having a really hard time with the idea. Today on our podcast, we're revisiting Amanda's diary, and we catch up on her life now.
On May 31, 1921, six-year-old Olivia Hooker was home with her family when a group of white men launched an attack on the Greenwood section of Tulsa, Oklahoma. In less than 24 hours, the mobs destroyed more than 1000 homes and businesses. It’s estimated as many as 300 people were killed. The Tulsa Race Riot is considered one of the worst incidents of racial violence in American history. Olivia Hooker was the last surviving witness to the events of that day.
Know someone who’d make a good Last Witness? Get in touch. You can find us on Twitter and Facebook @RadioDiaries.
Back in the 1990s, Juan crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, and settled with his family next to the Rio Grande river in Texas. We gave him a cassette recorder to document his life there for NPR. Almost two decades later, we gave Juan another recorder to report on his life as an adult. In many ways, Juan has achieved the American Dream - he has a house, a good job, and three American kids. But...he's still undocumented.