Emma Bowman

For the past three weeks, students across India's capital have been attending a radical new course: happiness.

The Delhi government introduced "happiness classes" in an effort to shift the country's academic focus from student achievement to emotional well-being. In a country that uses standardized testing to determine student success, offers a limited number of seats in top universities and sets high expectations, educators have been seeing mental health consequences.

Every summer since 1977, the town of Peabody, Mass., has heard "Yankee Doodle" coming from Allan Ganz' ice cream truck.

Over that time, Allan has watched his customers grow up — and become parents and even grandparents. The town loves him so much it has a street sign designating him "The King of Cool."

In the summer of 1994, in Tulsa, Okla., Brandy Carpenter, then 14, had just started dating her crush, 17-year-old De'Marchoe Carpenter.

But before they even had their first kiss, De'Marchoe was arrested for a murder he didn't commit.

At StoryCorps in May, De'Marchoe, 41, and Brandy, 38, remember what first drew them to each other, and the toll that prison took on their relationship.

"You always made me laugh and you always made me smile," Brandy says. "I always wanted you to be around."

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

Sue McConnell and Kristyn Weed both entered the military in the 1970s. But they also share another kind of sisterhood.

When McConnell, 65, and Weed, 64, came out to their respective families as transgender, they both say they weren't accepted. In a recent StoryCorps conversation, the two veterans talk about how they found support through one another.

In 1993, Greg Yance was serving a sentence at a prison boot camp program in Greene County, Ill., for a drug conviction. Yance says his life was changed that year — thanks to an experience he had outside of Greene County lines.

Yance, then 23, had been sent with a group of inmates about 130 miles away, to Niota, Ill., in the middle of what would become the Great Flood of 1993. The inmates were dispatched to shore up the levee in Niota, which is along the banks of the Mississippi River, with sandbags.

Growing up, half sisters Glennette Rozelle and Jennifer Mack were used to hearing their parents fight.

At StoryCorps, the women remember the night that changed everything for their family.

It was Valentine's Day, 1977. Minnie Wallace and Virgil "Glenn" Wallace were raising four children outside Oklahoma City. Glennette, then 7, and 10-year-old Jennifer, who was Glenn's stepdaughter, were home on a night that took them decades to process.

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.

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