Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha were shot and killed in a Chapel Hill apartment complex.
deah.barakat /

Administrators at Al-Iman School in Raleigh where Yusor Abu-Salha, Razan Abu-Salha and Deah Barakat studied elementary and middle schools are creating a scholarship and awards fund in their memory.

The endowment, called "Our Three Winners," will be announced at an annual fundraiser on Saturday.

Yusor, her sister, Razan, and Yusor's husband, Barakat, were shot and killed in their Chapel Hill apartment on February 10. Prosecutors charged their neighbor, Craig Stephen Hicks, with three counts of first degree murder. They will seek the death penalty in the case.

Yusor Abu-Salha was killed Tuesday night, along with her husband Deah Barakat and her sister Razan Abu-Salha.

Thousands of people gathered on the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill campus last night to remember three students who were shot to death on Tuesday: Yusor Abu-Salha, Razan Abu-Salha and Deah Barakat.

Last year, Yusor came to the StoryCorps booth in Durham with her former elementary school teacher Mussarut Jabeen.  Jabeen is principal of Al-Iman School in Raleigh.  During the StoryCorps interview, the two women discussed their lives, hopes and dreams for the future.

'I'm Not Broken'

Feb 6, 2015
John and Cassie Rice

John Rice graduated from East Chapel Hill High School and went to college but he dropped out to join the Marines Corps. Rice insisted on infantry, and was assigned to a special operations unit that deployed to Iraq in 2008. Three months into his tour, he was injured.

He told the story to his wife Cassie at the StoryCorps booth in Durham, North Carolina. 

The NASCAR Hall of Fame inducts an African-American driver for the first time Friday night.

Wendell Scott drove during the Jim Crow era, and he was the first African-American to win a race at NASCAR's elite major league level. He died in 1990.

Scott's career began in 1952, and his racing team was his family. They would travel to races together from their home in Virginia, and his sons served as his pit crew.

Photo of Former State of Things Producer Meghan Modafferi and Producer Anita Rao try out sitting on the other side of the glass in "host attire" on Meghan's last day.
Jorge Valencia

As 2014 comes to a close, The State of Things producer Anita Rao takes a look back at some of her favorite segments from the show this year. 

This Christmas Eve people all over the world will log on to the official Santa Tracker to follow his progress through U.S. military radar. This all started in 1955, with a misprint in a Colorado Springs newspaper and a call to Col. Harry Shoup's secret hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command, now known as NORAD.

Shoup's children, Terri Van Keuren, 65, Rick Shoup, 59, and Pam Farrell, 70, recently visited StoryCorps to talk about how the tradition began.

When an assisted living home in California shut down last fall, many of its residents were left behind, with nowhere to go.

The staff at the Valley Springs Manor left when they stopped getting paid — except for cook Maurice Rowland and Miguel Alvarez, the janitor.

"There was about 16 residents left behind, and we had a conversation in the kitchen, 'What are we going to do?' " Rowland says.

"If we left, they wouldn't have nobody," the 34-year-old Alvarez says.

Their roles quickly transformed for the elderly residents, who needed round-the-clock care.

'I Am Glad That You Dared Greatly'

Nov 21, 2014
Bonnie Hacker and Erin Nivens

In 1979, Bonnie Hacker became one of the first single parents to adopt a child in the state of North Carolina.  Seven-year-old Erin moved in with Bonnie, first in a foster-care arrangement. The adoption process began shortly thereafter:

Edwin Lanier (left) with David Wright at StoryCorps in Durham, N.C.  2006

StoryCorps fans might remember the stories told by Edwin "Eddie" Lanier, of battling alcoholism and finding peace. Lanier died on October 14th. He was 68. 

The first interview aired on NPR's Morning Edition in 2006. In that interview, Lanier talked with his friend David Wright. After almost drinking himself to death, Lanier had been sober for five years.

When he was a child, Lanier had been told by his father that alcoholism ran in the family.

Jim Goodmon with his son, Michael.

American Brands closed the Lucky Strike tobacco factory in downtown Durham in 1987. It was still abandoned in 1995, when Jim Goodmon, President of Capitol Broadcasting Company, built the new Durham Bulls stadium across the street. Goodmon says he’d go to the baseball games and stare at the gigantic, abandoned warehouse. He eventually decided to try to bring it back to life, and he tells that story to his son, Michael.


StoryCorps, a national oral history project, has collected more than 50,000 interviews across the country. 

Carlos Rocha grew up in Chicago and became a gang member like his brothers. In 1998, he was arrested for weapons possession and sent to prison.

Right before he was to be released on bond, Carlos, now 40, got into a fight with another inmate and killed him, resulting in an additional 24 years behind bars.


The StoryCorps mobile booth is wrapping up its stay in Durham this week.  The silver trailer has been in town since last month, collecting conversations to archive at the Library of Congress.  Many of those conversations are also airing on WUNC.

David Wright and Eddie Lanier

The StoryCorps mobile recording booth is in Durham this month. The silver Airstream trailer-turned recording studio is in town to collect stories from North Carolina. 

In 2009, Frank Tempone was severely depressed. He had what he calls a midlife crisis, and left his wife and three kids in Massachusetts to live on his own in Chicago.

But after two years apart, Frank came back. The entire family moved to Chicago, and Frank brought his oldest son, Jack, to StoryCorps because he wanted to apologize.

"Do you remember that time?" Frank asks Jack.

Ayodeji Ogunniyi was a pre-med student when his father was murdered by three young men. So Ogunniyi decided that becoming a teacher, not a doctor, would help ensure his father's death was not in vain. (This StoryCorps interview initially aired Oct. 30, 2011 on Weekend Edition Sunday.)

Musician Captain Luke (right) is 88-years-old. He talked with Music Maker Relief Foundation's Tim Duffy

The StoryCorps Mobile Booth opens today. The first very first interview was between the musician Captain Luke Mayer, and Tim Duffy of the Music Maker Relief Foundation.

Captain Luke has a wonderful deep rich baritone. He came to music early in life. Music Maker has documented the story of his life and music:

 Update: All the sessions available have been booked. We will be opening another round of sessions for booking at 10 A.M. on Friday April 18!

StoryCorps is that terrific project where regular people can go into an audio recording booth and interview someone they know. StoryCorps interviews are regular Friday morning features on Morning Edition.

Do you want to record an interview with someone? Here's all the info you need:

When: April 17 - May 18

Aaron didn't intend to tell his classmates that he was homeless. But when he recorded his own story with StoryCorpsU — a project designed to help kids in high-needs schools build stronger relationships with their teachers — he says, it just came out.

"I felt ... like a big load was let off," Aaron explains. (NPR has withheld Aaron's last name, at the request of his foster care agency, to protect his privacy.) "I don't know what made me say it, but I'm like, 'Let me just be honest and just get it out.' "

Clayton Sherrod was just 19 in 1964, when he became the executive chef at an all-white club in Birmingham, Ala. Sherrod, who is African-American, had started working in the kitchen there when he was 13, after his father had a heart attack.

"My mother said, 'You can't go back to school. You're going to have to find a job.' So I went to the country club."

Yelitza Castro, an undocumented immigrant who works as a housekeeper in Charlotte, N.C., cooks dinners for homeless men and women every other Saturday night. It's a tradition that started after she and her children spotted a man standing in the rain on a cold day with a sign asking for help.

Yelitza gave the man $5, she recalls, but her children wanted to take him out to dinner. She turned around to go back, but he was already gone.

"And we were thinking we have to do something," she says.

From 'The Road Home', a StoryCorps animated special

No doubt you've heard StoryCorps on Friday mornings during Morning Edition. Intimate one-on-one conversations are recorded in the traveling StoryCorps booth and played back on the radio. Some years back the booth came to Durham sponsored by WUNC. One of the conversations from that Durham visit is now part of an animated series from StoryCorps.

It was 1966, and a ship called the Daniel J. Morrell was making its last run of the season, hauling steel across Lake Huron. The crew was eager to head home for Christmas. But one night, caught in a severe storm, the ship broke apart and sank.

Only a few of the crew members made it to a life raft, and only one of them, watchman Dennis Hale, survived.

When we first met Danny and Annie Perasa in 2004, we heard about how their first date unfolded into an on-the-spot marriage proposal. We got a sense of Danny's big personality and his deep love for his wife. And we heard about his daily love notes to her.

To my princess, the weather out today is extremely rainy, I'll call you at 11:20 in the morning. And I love you, I love you, I love you.

A Father, A Daughter And Lessons Learned

Oct 23, 2013

When we met Wil Smith last year, we learned that he and his daughter, Olivia, had been unlikely college roommates at Maine's Bowdoin College in the late '90s. At 27, not only was he older than the other students, but he was also a single dad raising an infant.