Art Silverman

As the coronavirus spread throughout the country last spring, marathoners heard this: "On your mark. Get set. Wait."

After a year and half without races, soon the last word will be "Go!"

Starting late summer, several marathons in big cities will be back. Plans have been made, and people have signed up for those 26.2-mile races in Boston, London, Tokyo, Chicago and other locales.

All this news makes runner Jeff Dengate happy. "I have not run at all in the last 18 months. I'm really bumming out," he says.

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To celebrate this show's 50th birthday, listeners are telling us about favorite stories they heard on our air.

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This show had a big birthday yesterday, so we're celebrating all week. One way is by sharing stories that have stayed with you, our listeners.

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Monday, May 3, 2021, marks the 50th anniversary of NPR's first on-air original broadcast. In the last half century, NPR and Member stations have been essential, trusted sources for local events and cultural programming featuring music, local history, education and the arts. To mark this milestone, we're reflecting on — and renewing — our commitment to serve an audience that reflects America and to Hear Every Voice.


In the 50 years that All Things Considered has been on the air, the ground under journalism has shifted.

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With this program marking 50 years on the air today, listeners shared moments they heard here that stuck with them.

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For Canice Flanagan of San Francisco, one such moment was in May 2008.

Appalachian Road Show — a band formed in 2018 by the independently acclaimed musicians Barry Abernathy, Darrell Webb, Zeb Snyder, Jim VanCleve and Todd Phillips — was just getting ready to release an album full of traditional songs about hardship and heartache when the real-life modern crisis of the coronavirus struck.

Fittingly, the folk and bluegrass supergroup's new release is called Tribulation.

With Americans across the country stuck at home, demand for jigsaw puzzles is surging. Puzzlemakers can't keep up.

"Around the second week of March, we notice sales at one of our largest retail customers ... were up 300% over the same week the previous year," says Carol Glazer, president of Ceaco. The Massachusetts company is one of the largest producers of jigsaw puzzles and family games in the U.S.

"And we said, 'Oh my God. How can you prepare for something like this?' "

High schools are closed and their musicals are canceled around the country because of coronavirus concerns.

Theater kids now have no audience to showcase the numbers they've worked on, some for months and even years.

They won't have a live audience for the time being, but Broadway star Laura Benanti, who won a Tony award in 2008 for her performance in Gypsy, wanted to give student performers the next best thing — an online audience.

She put the call out on Friday.

On All Things Considered 40 years ago this month, here's how host Noah Adams introduced an iconic album:

"New music from a group said by some critics to be the best rock and roll band in the world: The band's name is The Clash, the record is London Calling."

London Calling stood out from the punk rock of its time: It was political, knowing and clever. Compact disks were still a few years away, so the album's 19 songs spilled over two vinyl disks.

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