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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11:48am

Thu March 26, 2015
NPR History Dept.

Board Games That Bored Gamers

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 2:29 pm

iStockphoto

Gaming is a way of life for Americans of all ages.

We play games on Facebook, on our phones, on phantasmagorical home systems. We play on fields and courts and dining room tables. Contemporary culture mavens speak of the gamification of education and the workplace and our day-to-day communications.

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10:18am

Tue March 24, 2015
NPR History Dept.

Old-Timey Slang: 'Polking' Was A Vulgar Word

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 1:48 pm

"All slang words are detestable from the lips of ladies," Eliza Leslie said in 1867. She was the author of the Behavior Book, a 19th century etiquette manual published in Philadelphia.

How times have changed. Men and women in contemporary America sling slang around like hash — or like weed. From txt msgs to the Twitterverse, the jargon can be jarring.

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9:23am

Thu March 19, 2015
NPR History Dept.

When The KKK Was Mainstream

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 1:44 pm

Recently I tumbled on this story from Kansas Humanities — and an earlier post from Only A Game — about a 1925 baseball game between Wichita's African-American team, the Monrovians, and the Ku Klux Klan.

Wait a minute. The Ku Klux Klan once had a baseball team?

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11:33am

Tue March 17, 2015
NPR History Dept.

7 Creative Wedding Ideas From History

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 12:43 pm

Grant and Amanda Engler celebrate in jet packs at their wedding ceremony in 2012 in Newport Beach, Calif.
Lenny Ignelzi Associated Press

Wedding websites today are aswirl with inventive suggestions, including 10 Unique Wedding Venues from Burnett's Boards; 23 Unconventional But Awesome Wedding Ideas from Buzzfeed and 21 Most Unique Ceremony Ideas from Emmaline Bride.

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9:03am

Fri March 13, 2015
NPR History Dept.

A King Speech You've Never Heard — Plus, Your Chance To Do Archive Sleuthing

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 9:54 am

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965.
AP

Historically speaking, I need your help.

Davis Houck, a communications professor at Florida State University, recently pointed me toward a little-explored archive at Stanford University called Project South.

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10:48am

Tue March 10, 2015
NPR History Dept.

Who Takes 3,000 Photos Of NYC's Doors?

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 1:24 pm

Roy Colmer New York Public Library

Street View: New York City's Doors: A Special Research Project of NPR History Dept.

A door is for closing. And for opening.

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11:50am

Tue March 3, 2015
NPR History Dept.

The Secret History Of Knock-Knock Jokes

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 7:54 pm

Knock knock.

Who's there?

Joe King.

Joe King who?

Joking like this used to be considered a sickness by some people.

The knock-knock joke has been a staple of American humor since the early 20th century. With its repetitive set-up and wordplay punchline, the form has been invoked — and understood — by people of all ages and sensibilities.

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11:26am

Thu February 26, 2015
NPR History Dept.

How Black Abolitionists Changed A Nation

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 4:52 pm

This year we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution — abolishing slavery. So it's worth pointing out that the emancipation movement in 19th century America was pushed forward by many different forces: enlightened lawmakers, determined liberators of captive slaves and outspoken abolitionists — including an influential number who were black.

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10:33am

Tue February 24, 2015
NPR History Dept.

The Courage And Ingenuity Of Freedom-Seeking Slaves In America

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 1:17 pm

In the opening of his new book, Gateway To Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad, Eric Foner lays out the inspirational story of Frederick Bailey — a young slave in Maryland who teaches himself to read and write; plans to escape slavery by canoe, but gets caught; boards a train wearing seaman's clothes and carrying false papers; and after several unsettling detours — and despite the fact that slave catchers are everywhere — arrives in the free state of New York.

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6:13pm

Thu February 5, 2015
NPR History Dept.

Marathon Mania In American History

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 12:10 pm

Marathon Dance contestants, 1923.
Library of Congress

Odd that Americans, long known for their short attention spans and — oh, look, a sparkly thing ... are at the same time manic for marathonic undertakings.

Running, for example. A century ago, scores of marathoners competed before huge wintertime crowds in the 1909 Brooklyn Marathon. Flash forward, and this past November, more than 50,000 participants finished the 2014 New York City Marathon. (Applications for nonguaranteed entry in the 2015 race must be in by Feb. 15.)

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