Special Features

Classical Music Stars of the 1950s


Leonard Bernstein / Library of Congress photo

For the original version of This I Believe, host Edward R. Murrow invited a number of classical music artists to share their beliefs. Their essays reach beyond their profession to explore their thoughts about the world of the 1950s. Click the links below to hear what these musicians had to say.

  1. The Mountain Disappears
  2. That Little, Inner Voice
  3. The Reason For Life
  4. The High Price Of Money
  5. Uniting Into A Proud National Family

2009 In Review


With the arrival of the New Year, we are looking back and taking stock of the old year. 2009 included some wonderful essays about tolerance, forgiveness, creativity and more. We hope you enjoy revisiting some of the beliefs presented in the past year.

    On NPR:

  1. Inviting the World to Dinner
  2. Finding Freedom in Forgiveness
  3. The Beatles Live On
  4. I Am Still The Greatest
  5. Saying Thanks To My Ghosts
    On The Bob Edwards Show

  1. The Light of a Brighter Day
  2. Free Minds and Hearts at Work
  3. Why I Close My Restaurant
  4. When Children Are Wanted
  5. The Birthright of Human Dignity

In Remembrance: Catherine Royce


Catherine Royce led an active life: she was a dancer, theater manager and deputy arts commissioner for the city of Boston. But in 2003, she was diagnosed in ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Even as the illness took a toll on her body, Catherine continued to write using a microphone and voice recognition software – and that’s how she composed her essay for This I Believe in 2006. Catherine died on March 30, a date she selected by choice. We offer this tribute to Catherine from her neighbor, NPR science reporter Richard Knox. You can also read Catherine’s This I Believe essay.

The Theory of Evolution


February marks the 200th anniversary of naturalist Charles Darwin’s birth, and 2009 is the 150th anniversary of the publication of his “On the Origin of Species.” Several essayists from the original This I Believe series were influenced by the theory of evolution, including Darwin’s own grandson. Click the links below to read how these writers balanced science, faith and belief.

  1. A Hope for Bettering Humanity
  2. A New Control of Destiny
  3. What Science Proves
  4. An Inner Urge to Perfection
  5. The Directing Force of Primordial Particles

Remembering John Updike (1932 – 2009)


The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of novels, short stories, and poetry wrote an essay for This I Believe in April 2005. In his statement, Updike found his beliefs grounded in religious faith, the ideals of democracy, and the power of creative writing.

2007 in Review


With the arrival of the New Year, we are looking back and taking stock of the old year. 2007 included some wonderful essays about life, love, war, home, the environment and more. We hope you enjoy revisiting some of the beliefs that were featured in the past year.

  1. A Marriage That’s Good Enough
  2. Combating the Tyranny of the Positive Attitude
  3. A Potential for Brutality
  4. Creating Our Own Happiness
  5. Teaching a Bad Dog New Tricks
  6. A Way to Honor Life



Photo illustration by ilkin via Flickr

Most everyone says they’re for justice even if we can’t always agree on what exactly constitutes it. Is justice best defined morally or legally? How much is it rooted in fairness and equity? Who deserves it and who dispenses it? Click the links below to read how these essayists struggled with these questions as they developed their beliefs.

  1. The Real Consequences of Justice
  2. The Greatest of All Virtues
  3. Everyone Deserves Defense
  4. Doing Justice One Person at a Time
  5. One Measure of Justice and Equality