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August 16 -- yesterday -- is kind of an oddly busy day in the history of popular culture. In 1954, the first issue of Sports Illustrated was published. In 1962, Pete Best was fired from The Beatles. In 1948, Babe Ruth died. In 1958, Madonna was born (and so she turned 60 yesterday). In 1977, Elvis Presley died. And yesterday, a new August 16th-shaped dot was added to the timeline of pop culture: the death of Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul was 76 years old.

And: The new Spike Lee joint, BlacKkKlansman, is set in 1970s Colorado Springs, Colo., and it tells a story that's about race relations in all of America right now, today. It's "a slapstick comedy, a blaxsploitation throwback, and an incendiary Molotov cocktail thrown into the foray of the modern multiplex," and it's being called Lee's "hardest-hitting work in decades."

Seth Eastman

Researchers at UConn are teaming up with local history groups to create a state “Blue Trail.” The idea is to build an interactive outdoor museum on Connecticut’s coast, that’s accessible through your phone.

Ryohei Noda / Creative Commons

Hannah Arendt's 576-page magnum opus, The Origins of Totalitarianism, is a densely-written book about the rise of anti-Semitism up to the outbreak of World War I. The book sold out on Amazon within one month of the 2016 election in which America elected Donald Trump as their next president. 

Vanessa de la Torre / WNPR

Students from Parkland, Florida travelled to Newtown Connecticut—the site of the Sandy Hook massacre—to rally against gun violence this weekend.  But the problem of gun violence is not just confined to mass shootings.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

If you live, work, or study anywhere near Yale's Old Campus, the sounds of the bells emanating from Harkness Tower are probably a routine part of your day.

Carmen Baskauf / WNPR

It’s usually historians and scholars who get excited when a university acquires an ancient document. But in the 1960s, a map acquired by Yale University caused such a stir it divided the country.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Kneeling has historically been an act of supplication. An act of reverence, of modesty. An act of submission, even.

But then Colin Kaepernick started kneeling during the national anthem at football games, and eventually, the president of the United States called him and other players like him a "son of a bitch."

And now a Haddam Selectman has started kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance, and people are calling her names too -- and calling for her to resign.

Chion Wolf / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

Take a look at at any early 20th century photograph and you'll see them: Hats! From Beavers and Bowlers to bonnets and baseball caps, for hundreds of years hats were the essential accessory for any fashionable and upstanding citizen.

Chion Wolf / CT Public Radio

This hour, we talk about two Connecticut dance halls, each springing from the vision of two very different men who took their respective dance halls down very different paths. One's dream soared, bringing thousands of concert-goers to over 3,000 acts over an eleven-year history. The other's dream stalled, his elaborate dance hall sitting idle for decades.

Stock Catalog / Creative Commons


Type the word "diet" into a search engine and... bam... you’ll unlock a goldmine of results: diet books, diet blogs, diet pills, and other evidence of a diet-crazed world.

But what drove society to become so obsessed with food restriction? How did something as simple as eating become so complicated?

This hour, we take a bite out of... diets and diet trends... with guest host David DesRoches.

 

We also look back on the history of the federal government's Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). What impact has the program had on the diets and health of Native communities?

 

Apex Photo Company / Wikimedia Commons

During his remarkable career with the Boston Red Sox, Ted Williams earned many nicknames: The Kid, The Splendid Splinter, Teddy Ballgame... but the only nickname that he ever wanted was "the greatest hitter who ever lived."

Carmen Baskauf / WNPR

It’s usually historians and scholars who get excited when a university acquires an ancient document. But in the 1960s, a map acquired by Yale University caused such a stir it divided the country.

With more empty storefronts than full ones, the 30-year-old Berkshire Mall in Lanesborough, Massachusetts, has seen better days. But near Spencer Gifts and a now-shuttered Hollister, something rather unexpected is alive and well: baseball.

bluesbby / Creative Commons

President Trump wants to "Make America Great Again," by turning back the clock to a time he believes was safer, purer, and removed from the dangers of modern society.

He's not the first president to evoke nostalgia for the Rockwellian image of small town life where everyone knew one another, had a good job, and raised a family. The mental scene may vary but the nostalgia for something lost remains constant.

Leonard Bernstein seated at piano, making annotations to a musical score.
Al Ravenna / New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection (Public Domain)

Leonard Bernstein’s ghost has hung discreetly around the grounds of Tanglewood for the past 28 years, ever since the maestro died in the fall of 1990.

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