Linton Weeks

Linton Weeks joined NPR in the summer of 2008, as its national correspondent for Digital News. He immediately hit the campaign trail, covering the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; fact-checking the debates; and exploring the candidates, the issues and the electorate.

Weeks is originally from Tennessee, and graduated from Rhodes College in 1976. He was the founding editor of Southern Magazine in 1986. The magazine was bought — and crushed — in 1989 by Time-Warner. In 1990, he was named managing editor of The Washington Post's Sunday magazine. Four years later, he became the first director of the newspaper's website, Washingtonpost.com. From 1995 until 2008, he was a staff writer in the Style section of The Washington Post.

He currently lives in a suburb of Washington with the artist Jan Taylor Weeks. In 2009, they created The Stone and Holt Weeks Foundation to honor their beloved sons.

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11:18am

Thu May 28, 2015
NPR History Dept.

The Windshield-Pitting Mystery Of 1954

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 11:50 am

A man shows his pitted windshield to a police officer in Seattle in 1954
Museum of History

The nationwide weirdness that was the Windshield-Pitting Mystery began in the spring of 1954. Looking back at the events today may give us a window – ok, a windshield – on the make-up and the mindset of mid-20th century America.

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10:58am

Tue May 26, 2015
NPR History Dept.

When 'Petting Parties' Scandalized The Nation

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 1:24 pm

To some social observers, petting parties of the 1920s were a natural, post-First World War outgrowth of a repressed society. To others, the out-in-the-open hug-and-kissfests were blinking neon signposts on the Road to Perdition.

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10:43am

Thu May 21, 2015
NPR History Dept.

Muddled Messages In America's Past

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 6:17 pm

Telegraph operator, 1908.
Library of Congress

Do you ever feel like communication — in this Age of Communication — is more confused and confusing than ever? Does anybody even read whole messages anymore — beyond the subject line or the first screen? Do you get tangled up in threads and bewildered by attachments? Do txt msgs n-furi-8 u?

Here's the real question: Are all these communication devices truly improving interaction between humans or just providing more opportunities for miscommunication?

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11:14am

Tue May 19, 2015
NPR History Dept.

The Repast Is Not Even Past: Old LA Menus

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 1:28 pm

Courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library

Let's see — what shall we have? So much to choose from in the collection of historical menus at the Los Angeles Public Library.

There are some 9,000 items to consider — creative, colorful, delicious-looking. By just perusing the choices, we get a deep sense of the city's rich culture and juicy past.

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1:03pm

Thu May 14, 2015
NPR History Dept.

The Curious World Of Baseball Re-Enactors

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 1:38 pm

The Dirigo Vintage Base Ball Club in Maine.
Courtesy of Matt Muise

Vintage base ball players — sort of like Civil War re-enactors who wield wooden bats instead of muskets — move among us. They glory in the past times of America's pastime.

Think: When Johnny comes sliding home.

Dressed in old uniforms, teams play each other using 19th century rules. Sometimes they don't wear gloves. Sometimes they pitch underhand. They spell "base ball" as two words. They call each other "ballists."

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2:16pm

Tue May 12, 2015
NPR History Dept.

Do We Talk Funny? 51 American Colloquialisms

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 9:25 pm

Jennifer Maravillas Ikon Images/Getty Images

Has American English become homogenized? Have our regional ways of saying particular things — sometimes in very particular ways — receded into the past? Or do we talk as funny as ever?

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11:31am

Wed May 6, 2015
NPR History Dept.

4 Hot-Button Kids' Books From The '50s That Sparked Controversy

Originally published on Thu May 7, 2015 7:58 am

NPR

The 1950s was a hinge decade for noteworthy and nation-changing civil rights events across the United States, including Brown v. Board of Education in Kansas, the bus boycott in Alabama and the National Guard-protected integration of Central High School in Arkansas.

Meanwhile, there was also a revolution brewing in bookstores and public libraries.

By design or by happenstance, a handful of children's picture books were focal points of the American movement toward integration in the '50s.

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11:03am

Tue May 5, 2015
NPR History Dept.

Do We Really Need Libraries?

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 2:02 pm

Bedford Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library — a gift from Andrew Carnegie, 1905.
New York Public Library

In New York City, supporters of public libraries say that respect for — and repair of — the libraries is long, well, overdue.

A new campaign, Invest in Libraries, puts forth that in the past 10 years, the city government has reduced funding for public libraries by nearly 20 percent and 1,000 workers or so have been trimmed from the payroll. The campaign calls on the city to increase its support in various ways, such as restoring $65 million in operating funds.

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11:49am

Thu April 30, 2015
NPR History Dept.

A Forgotten Tradition: May Basket Day

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 9:42 am

First lady Eleanor Roosevelt receives a May basket of flowers from young children in 1938.
Library of Congress

Maybe there really was a time when America was more innocent.

Back when May Basket Day was a thing, perhaps.

The curious custom — still practiced in discrete pockets of the country — went something like this: As the month of April rolled to an end, people would begin gathering flowers and candies and other goodies to put in May baskets to hang on the doors of friends, neighbors and loved ones on May 1.

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11:43am

Tue April 28, 2015
NPR History Dept.

Nazi Summer Camps In 1930s America?

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 5:56 pm

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