Emma Bowman

Courtney McKinney remembers what her single mother had told her about her father: "That his name was Charles and he was white, and [her parents] had a brief relationship and it didn't work out."

But she also remembers not believing that story.

As it turned out, McKinney was right to have doubts. When she was 16, she learned that her mom had actually conceived through anonymous sperm donation. Her mom had always planned to tell her, and McKinney says when she began expressing more longing to know about her father, her mom decided it was time.

He pronounces his last name "fyooks." Still, Allan Fuks grew up with a last name that, on paper, looks like the mother of all curse words — and, naturally, offered endless material for bullies.

Fuks, the son of Russian immigrants, grew up all over the U.S. — New York City, Northern California — before finally landing in suburban New Jersey in middle school. But no matter where he went, the taunting followed.

In a recent StoryCorps interview, he tells his former classmate, Spencer Katzman, that, growing up in the 1980s, he was seldom called by his first name.

Infamous photographs, taken seconds after Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was shot on June 5, 1968, show him lying on the floor of the Ambassador Hotel's kitchen. A teenage busboy kneels beside him, cradling the senator's head.

That busboy was Juan Romero.

Kennedy was running for president and had just won the California Democratic primary when he was assassinated at the Los Angeles hotel.

StoryCorps' Military Voices Initiative records stories from members of the U.S. military and their families.

In 2012, Army Spc. Robert Joseph Allen took his own life while serving in the U.S. military. At the time, the suicide rate for active-duty troops was at its highest ever, with more soldiers dying from suicide than in combat.

During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than 1,600 men and women lost limbs in battle.

For nearly a decade, civilian physical therapists Adele Levine and Etaine Raphael worked side by side helping soldiers navigate life after their injuries.

In a StoryCorps conversation, Levine and Raphael talk about their work at the Walter Reed military hospitals in the Washington, D.C., area.

Levine, 48, vividly recalls the day she saw her first patient who'd been injured in war.

Kittie Weston-Knauer, on the cusp of 70 years old, is the oldest female BMX bicycle racer in the U.S.

When she started competing in the late 1980s, she was often the only woman on the track. It was her son, Max Knauer, a champion BMX rider, who introduced her to the sport when he was 10.

Max, now 40, explains that he planted the racing seed after a frustrating day of his mom playing coach.

Updated at 8:48 p.m. ET

After a day of steady rain on Churchill Downs, it was Justify who managed to cross the finish line first in the mud.

Justify brought Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith a second Derby victory. Smith previously won aboard Giacomo in 2005. Bob Baffert, the trainer of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, seals his fifth Derby win.

Ten years ago, Tracia Kraemer wanted to celebrate her 40th birthday by trying something new.

So she mustered her courage and visited Indian Hills, a nudist park in Louisiana.

At the very least, she figured she'd return home with a good story. "I thought I'd go to Indian Hills, get naked, get dressed and drive off," she says.

But the people she met were so nice and welcoming, she says, that she decided to stay longer that day. "Soon after, I got a membership."

Two years after that first visit, she met her husband-to-be, Patrick Kraemer, at the park.

Charisse Spencer, 64, grew up in southeast Virginia during the 1960s civil rights movement.

Back then, the area of Portsmouth, Va., where her family lived — Cavalier Manor — was one of the largest black suburbs in the country.

"I could stand in my backyard and listen to Ku Klux Klan meetings," Charisse tells her son, Myles Spencer-Watson, in a StoryCorps conversation recorded in 2009. "And in my young mind, I'd imagine these ghostly demons in white sheets with their eyes being black holes and —"

A new exhibit that opens Monday at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum aims to honor a founding mission.

Five years in the making, "Americans and the Holocaust" contextualizes attitudes in the U.S. during 1930s and '40s persecution and mass murder of Jews in Europe.

Twenty-five years ago, when the building opened, noted Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel introduced the museum not as an answer to the horrors of genocide but to pose a glaring question: How could this happen?

For much of Abby Gagliardo's childhood, her dad had been in and out of jail and prison. "People would ask me, they'd be like, 'Oh, where's your dad?' " Abby recalls in a StoryCorps conversation recorded last year, when she was 16.

She knew he was incarcerated, but she was never given a clear picture why. "I didn't understand any of it," she says.

Roxanne and Dennis Simmonds knew their son as fearless and strong from the day he was born.

"D.J. came out with shoulders of a linebacker," Roxanne says. "He was the first baby I saw that had muscles."

"He wasn't really afraid of anything," Dennis says.

At night, young D.J. would take the dog with him and circle the entire house, to "make sure there's nobody on the grounds," Dennis says, laughing. "I used to say, 'D.J. where you going? It's late.' He would say 'I'm doing a perimeter search, Dad.' "

StoryCorps' Military Voices Initiative records stories from members of the U.S. military and their families.

Good things come in small packages — it's a proverbial truth that, for one veteran, holds up even in the middle of war.

At 20 years old, Pfc. Roman Coley Davis found himself 7,000 miles from home. Born in Douglas, Ga., he'd joined the military after high school, and was now living in one of the most remote U.S. outposts in Afghanistan.

Brothers Russell, 28, and Remmick Wadsworth, 27, have autism. As kids, they had trouble with social interactions, so they often relied on each other for support during tough situations. Now, as the siblings navigate the working world, they're still looking out for each other.

Remmick remembers his first job, working with his older brother in a coffee shop. "You would always have my back, talking to customers for me, handle them for me while I make their drinks," he tells Russell during a StoryCorps conversation.

There's no crying in baseball. But for Kay Johnston, there's crying when you can't play.

In the spring of 1950, in upstate New York, 13-year-old Kay Johnston wanted nothing more than to play Little League baseball. But in those days, that was out of the question. Girls weren't encouraged to swing bats and throw balls.

As families around the country search for answers in the wake of school shootings in Parkland, Fla. and elsewhere, parents and children are having conversations that would've been almost unfathomable a generation ago.

Dezmond Floyd is a 10-year-old student in Houston. At StoryCorps, he and his mother, Tanai Benard, 34, talk about the active shooter drills in his fifth-grade classroom.

Vince Cantu and Joe Galloway, both aged 76, have been friends since they met as third graders in the tiny town of Refugio, Texas.

After their high school graduation in 1959, Joe left town to become a journalist. Vince stuck around Refugio where he fronted a local band, until he was drafted into the Army in 1963. Naturally, the two lost track of each other over the years.

But the two reunited in a most unexpected place: in South Vietnam, where the U.S. was ratcheting up its involvement in the war. Joe and Vince recounted the moment during a StoryCorps interview.

Ashley Judd was one of the first women to publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment.

When John Banvard, 100, met Gerard "Jerry" Nadeau, 72, in 1993, neither of them had been openly gay.

"When we met, we were sort of in the closet, and I'd never had a real relationship. Now, we've been together almost 25 years," Jerry tells John during a StoryCorps interview.

"What would it have been like if you didn't meet me?" Jerry asks John.

"I would have continued being lonely," John says. "I'd been absolutely lost."

Updated 8:38 a.m. ET

A White House official confirms with NPR that Kathleen Hartnett White's controversial nomination to head the Council on Environmental Quality is being withdrawn.

Most people familiar with "face-swapping" know it as an innocuous social media feature. An algorithm captures a person's face and pastes it onto someone else's. The result is rarely seamless and often funny.

A favorite pastime for April Gibson and her teenage son, Gregory Bess, is simply talking to one another.

"I think I learn more from those conversations than school," says Gregory, who turned 17 on Thursday.

But during a recent StoryCorps conversation in St. Paul, Minn., April, 33, knew he wanted to talk about a subject the two hadn't really explored.

April invited her son to ask about what that time was like for her, as a young black mother. "Now you can ask me the hard question," April says.

"What did you feel like when I was born?" Gregory asks.

Rickey Jackson spent nearly four decades in prison for a crime he didn't commit.

In May of 1975, when a shopkeeper at a small Cleveland grocery store was slain during a robbery, Eddie Vernon, then 12 years old, served as the main witness in the case. Eddie — who, in fact, hadn't seen anything — says he was pressured into testifying by police.

Three officials at the Miss America Organization are stepping down after having been implicated in emails published by HuffPost on Thursday that contained crude language disparaging former pageant winners.

It was Christmas of 2001, and Thompson Williams' family was struggling financially. "That year we used all our money just before Christmas so that we could pay the bills and buy groceries — at least we'd have something to eat," he tells his son, Kiamichi-tet at StoryCorps.

Thompson was teaching students with special needs, and his wife was selling handmade Christmas ornaments. They lived in Edmond, Okla., with Kiamichi-tet, then 11, and their daughter AuNane, 14.

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