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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10:23am

Fri July 17, 2015
NPR History Dept.

What Hats Tell Us About American Men

Originally published on Sat July 18, 2015 3:55 pm

Ben Franklin in a fur hat.
Library of Congress

Fedoras, flat caps, baseball caps — hats are prevalent among certain American men these days. Perhaps the hats tell us more about the hat wearer than we realize.

In fact, the National American History Museum points out in its intro to an online hat exhibit that "a hat is much more than a practical device for keeping one's head warm. As a symbol of identity, it also reveals much about the wearer's occupation, social class, cultural heritage, and personal style."

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10:12am

Sun July 12, 2015
NPR History Dept.

Baseball In Skirts, 19th-Century Style

Originally published on Tue July 14, 2015 8:46 am

Chloe Judnic of the River Belles.
Courtesy of Carol "Miss Jewel" Sheldon

As our nation prepares for the annual MLB All-Star Game on July 14, let us pause and refresh our memories of women's baseball in 19th-century America — and what it represented.

From the very early days of baseball in America, women were involved. First, as spectators, as reported in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of Aug. 4, 1859, when a game between two local teams "was witnessed by a large number of people, the greater part of whom were ladies."

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10:32am

Wed July 8, 2015
NPR History Dept.

Strange Stories Surrounding Street Pianos

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 3:13 pm

An organ grinder and child in Chicago, 1891.
Sigmund Krausz Bettmann/CORBIS

Under the headline "Signs of Summer" in 1916, the New Castle, Del., Herald listed: lollipops, robins, bare feet and street pianos.

Yes, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, street pianos were everywhere. Their perky, plinky, preset music — playing the same songs over and over — filled the air in towns across America.

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9:25am

Sat July 4, 2015
NPR History Dept.

When America's Librarians Went To War

Originally published on Sat July 4, 2015 4:55 pm

American Library Association volunteers in Paris on Feb. 27, 1919.
Courtesy of the University of Illinois Archives

Looking back at the nationwide support for American troops in the two world wars, we see Americans of all stripes making patriotic contributions and sacrifices — including farmers, factory workers and librarians.

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6:34pm

Sat June 27, 2015
NPR History Dept.

The Cherry Sisters: Worst Act Ever?

Originally published on Sun June 28, 2015 7:37 am

The Cherry Sisters: Three of the siblings strike a theatrical pose.
The History Center

In the early 20th century, the Cherry Sisters — a family of performers from Marion, Iowa — were like a meme.

Simply invoking the name — the Cherry Sisters — was shorthand for anything awful. As Anthony Slide wrote in the Encyclopedia of Vaudeville, the onstage siblings became "synonymous with any act devoid of talent."

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