Emma Bowman

This year marks the first time a U.S. president has officially recognized Indigenous Peoples' Day.

Wilma Mankiller, the Cherokee Nation's first woman chief, led a life defying expectations.

Her last name, for one — adopted by her ancestor that refers to a traditional Cherokee military rank — has invited all sorts of misinterpretations.

"I'm fairly soft-spoken and people, sort of, have an image of what a woman named Mankiller would be like, and I don't think that I really fit their image," she told Fresh Air in 1993.

Jeanine Menze fell in love with airplanes as a little girl in Jamaica, watching them take off and land at the local airport.

At 18, she set out to register for her first flight lesson at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla.

But she got discouraged when she saw that the people lining up for aeronautical science classes were mostly white and male.

"I panicked," she said in a StoryCorps conversation last month. "I don't see anyone that looks like me, and I felt like I didn't belong."

More than a month after Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 storm, battered Louisiana's coast, Roy and Annie Parfait still can't go home.

The Native couple, elders of the Houma tribe, are staying with family while they wait to see if federal money comes through to help them repair their roof in Dulac.

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Updated September 23, 2021 at 5:14 PM ET

Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended a third dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for people 65 and older as well as others at a high risk of severe illness.

Ajmal Achekzai was five years old when he first left his homeland. It was 1980, and his family was among the first Afghans to seek asylum in the United States after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

"All I remember is crying, hearing tank sounds," said Achekzai, now 46, recalling the Soviet-Afghan war during a StoryCorps interview in Los Angeles last month.

Achekzai's father, who was a university professor in Kabul, was tipped off by one of his students that the Russian regime suspected him of being a supporter of the anti-Soviet mujahedeen rebels.

The last conversation Keith Chapman had with his younger brother Nathan Chapman was on Christmas Day 2001. Nathan had called up his family from Afghanistan.

Although the 31-year-old, a sergeant first class with the U.S. Army's 1st Special Forces Group, couldn't disclose his location, his family put it together based on what time Nathan said it was where he was calling from.

"I don't remember that we said very much," Keith said during a StoryCorps interview in Frederick, Md., last week with their mother, Lynn Chapman.

Updated July 19, 2021 at 12:01 AM ET

Three people were wounded in a shooting outside of Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. during a home game against the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.

The shooting was an exchange of gunfire between people in two cars, said Metropolitan Police Department executive assistant police chief Ashan Benedict, according to The Associated Press.

More abortion restrictions have been enacted across the U.S. this year than in any previous year, according to an analysis by a group that supports abortion rights.

State legislatures have passed at least 90 laws restricting the procedure in 2021 so far, finds a report released this month from the Guttmacher Institute.

This July 4th, freedom rang a little louder than last Independence Day. Well, the fireworks did at least.

Blasts of flashy pyrotechnics across the country marked something of a return to normal, a year after the coronavirus pandemic dampened most Fourth festivities.

But on America's 245th birthday, there was perhaps even more reason to celebrate in the name of freedom. About half of Americans are fully vaccinated against the virus, lockdowns have been lifted and infections remain relatively low in the U.S.

Updated July 5, 2021 at 5:15 PM ET

For as long as she can remember, Danita Bilozaze knew that the name on her birth certificate, "Danita Loth," didn't reflect her Indigenous identity.

From the stories her mother recounted to her, she knew that Catholic missionaries had changed her family's name. Her great-grandfather, a man known as Lor Bilozaze, was written into priests' logs as "Loth Bilozaze." Government record books in Canada ultimately dropped the "Bilozaze," and Loth became their surname.

In the face of lawsuits alleging the condo board's negligence in the catastrophic collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Fla., the condominium association has hired a crisis communications firm.

Levick, a PR firm based in Washington, D.C., that promises to "fix the impossible," confirmed to NPR that it has been retained by the condo group. Levick's director Maxwell Marcucci told NPR that his firm is assisting the board with a deluge of media inquiries.

Updated June 25, 2021 at 3:46 PM ET

Derek Chauvin's mother told a Minneapolis judge that the former police officer has a big heart, and she opposed a lengthy sentence for her son, who was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of George Floyd last year.

Carolyn Pawlenty said Chauvin's selfless character has been twisted by the media into an unfair depiction.

The National Memorial Day Concert on Sunday night was less of a concert than it was a muted, broadcast tribute to the sacrifices and heroism of American veterans, fallen service members and their families.

The PBS event wove together vignettes spotlighting veterans, musical performances from noted artists and archival footage across decades of war. Celebrated actors lent their talents to tell first-person accounts of veteran trailblazers. The pre-taped concert, usually held at the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building, was semi-virtual this year because of COVID-19 protocols.

The first cruise set to sail from American ports in more than 15 months is headed to the Caribbean this summer.

Celebrity Cruises got approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to bring passengers aboard for the seven-night cruise on June 26, the company announced this week.

"CDC and the cruise industry agree that the industry has what it needs to move forward and no additional roadblocks exist for resuming sailing by mid-summer," CDC spokesperson Caitlin Shockey confirmed in an email.

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