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Harriet Beecher Stowe Center / Facebook

Visitor Center employees at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford have voted to unionize. It’s a trend among museum workers who look to unions not only for help with bread-and-butter issues like job security, but also to have a say in the museum’s future.

John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

When you head to New York, do you ever take a break from the city and get lost on a trail in Central Park? This hour, we take a look at the life of the man behind that beloved and iconic city park: Connecticut native Frederick Law Olmsted.

Gage Skidmore / flickr creative commons

President Trump's former National Security Advisor John Bolton is a pretty interesting figure in the whole impeachment inquiry, right? On the one hand, he's a pretty high-level official who is said to have characterized the whole Ukraine affair as a "drug deal." On the other hand, he's so far refused to testify at the same time as he's making it clear he's got lots of relevant information. On the other other hand, 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Watchmen is a limited series of comic books that became a graphic novel in 1987 and a feature film in 2009. And now it's an HBO series from Damon Lindelof that acts as a kind of sequel to the original comics, set 34 years later.

And: Today is John Dankosky's last day at Connecticut Public after 25 years. There is just no denying that WNPR wouldn't be what it is -- and The Colin McEnroe Show wouldn't be at all -- if it weren't for Mr. Dankosky. The Nose tries to begin to come to terms.

Kishi Bashi playing violin outdoors
Max Ritter

Violinist and singer Kishi Bashi is Japanese American. His most recent musical project, Omoiyari, takes a look at the history of Japanese internment, when 120,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated, fueled by xenophobia during World War II.

This hour, we sit down with Kishi Bashi to talk about why he’s turning to history to better understand our present, and we ask him about his unique musical style.

A24

Every year around this time, we like to take a look at just what's frightening us in the present moment. This year, we start with our present take on a past horror classic, Ridley Scott's Alien, which has its 40th anniversary this year.

Plus: Ari Aster's Hereditary follow-up, Midsommar, is set at a pagan retreat in rural Sweden. As such, it's seen as a bit of a reinvigoration of the folk horror genre, which includes classics like The Wicker Man and more contemporary titles like The VVitch.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Massachusetts has long been a focal point in the history of early New England witch trials. But Connecticut also has a place on this dark historical timeline: as the site of the nation's first witch hanging. This hour, author Beth Caruso joins us to shine light this little-known piece of Connecticut's past, and talk about how it inspired her novel One of Windsor.

Netflix

That headline is just a direct quote from James Poniewozik's Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America. I was torn between that line from the book and this one:

Donald Trump is not a person.

Poniewozik's take is that "Donald Trump" is really a character that Donald Trump has been playing on television since at least the early 1980s.

Debby Shapiro

Middletown today is known for its vibrant main street and the scenic grounds of Wesleyan University.

But the city began as a trading port on the Connecticut River, and from its founding, much of the wealth that came into that port was tied to the transatlantic slave trade. This hour, we hear about a new UNESCO memorial that has brought recognition to that city’s role in slavery.

We also learn about members of a historic African American family in that city who were at the forefront of fighting slavery. The Bemans were prominent abolitionists and leaders in the Middletown’s free black community in the 19th century. 

Some residents today are hoping to see a new public school bear the name of that family. Are you a Middletown resident? How do you think your city should approach its history?

rauter25 / Flickr

Love it or hate it, ventriloquism is hot these days. From Jeff Dunham's superstardom to three recent America's Got Talent winners, 'vents' are seeing more exposure than they have in decades. And with this attention comes new fans and practicioners from around the world.

McFadden Publications / Wikimedia Commons

A hard-boiled private eye, a glamorous blond, and a hapless drifter all sit at a bar on the seamy side of town. It's night, the streets are wet, the shadows are long. They each nurse a drink to the notes of a mournful saxophone and a lonely piano.  Smoke from the cigarettes swirls in the darkness. 

Netflix

Martin Scorsese is a grump. He doesn't like Marvel movies. He says they aren't "cinema." He says they aren't even narrative films, and "we shouldn't be invaded by it." The internet, as you can imagine, has takes.

And: The Eddie Murphy comeback is on. He appeared on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee this summer. He's hosting Saturday Night Live in December. He's got multiple standup comedy specials in the works. And right now he's starring in the briefly-in-theaters-but-hitting-Netflix-next-weekend biopic Dolemite Is My Name.

miss_millions / flickr creative commons

"Hate" is the imprecise word we use to describe a group of ideas that have moved out of the shadows of American public life and into its center ring.

At the core of these movements sits one common idea: that all people are not equal.

sferrario1968 / Pixabay

The bed. It’s a central feature of daily life. We rest on it, recharge in it. But rarely do we reflect on our relationship with it. Until now. 

This hour, we sit down with Brian Fagan, co-author of the new book What We Did in Bed: A Horizontal History. We talk double beds, pod beds, Murphy beds ... even Mark Twain’s bed. And we also hear from you. 

On Monday in the nation's capital, there is no Columbus Day. The D.C. Council voted to replace it with Indigenous Peoples' Day in a temporary move that it hopes to make permanent. Several other places across the United States have also made the switch in a growing movement to end the celebration of the Italian explorer in favor of honoring Indigenous communities and their resiliency in the face of violence by European explorers like Christopher Columbus.

HarshLight / Dapper Dans

We’re exploring the world of Barbershop Harmony; from its roots in the African American community to its influence in other genres, Barbershop is an important piece of the puzzle in the American music scene.

Connecticut Historical Society

Bicycles helped inspire modern cars, paved roads...even airplanes! But did you know they were also an inspiration for the women's movement?

This hour we take a look back in time at the origins of the bicycle, including innovation that happened right here in Connecticut. We find out the history of how this vehicle spurred social change and helped empower women to break through gender barriers a little more than a century ago.

Daniel Case / Wikimedia Commons

Not only is Charles Ives a revered American composer, but he is also Connecticut's native son. This hour, we take an in-depth look at Ives’ life and profound musical output, and we ask: What is his legacy today? 

images of Giant ground sloth (Megatherium americanum), Moa (Megalapteryx didinus), Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
Ballista, George Edward Lodge, Michael L. Baird / Wikimedia Commons

What would it have been like to see a huge, elephant-like mastodon roaming our state? 

The earth has been home to some spectacularly large animals. A few of them still roam or swim our world today. This hour, we take a look at the biology of these giants. 

From chunky island-dwelling birds to the enormous blue whale, what do we know about why these creatures evolved to be so big? And why don’t we see more of them today? 

Plus, with a UN report warning that a million species are at risk of extinction in coming years, are we at risk of losing those big creatures we still have?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

A phone conversation between Donald Trump and the president of Ukraine about former Vice President Joe Biden has sparked outrage from some U.S. lawmakers and amplified calls for Trump’s impeachment. This hour, Connecticut U.S. Rep. Jim Himes joins us to weigh in on this unfolding situation. 

Tim Wolf

A recent report paints a picture of the arts in Greater Hartford, a scene that’s both colorful and rocky.

This hour, we learn about the Greater Hartford Arts Landscape Study, and consider efforts to better support the region’s artists.

We also look back on the early years of hip-hop and breaking (a.k.a. breakdancing) in Connecticut, and hear how some young people are learning and performing these styles today. 

Columbia Pictures

Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, John Belushi, John Candy, Rick Moranis.

Animal House, The Blues Brothers, Beverly Hills Cop, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, ¡Three Amigos!, Funny Farm, Spaceballs, Stripes.

We maybe didn't properly appreciate it at the time, but the 1980s were one of the most fertile periods ever for screen comedies and screen comedians.

This hour, a look at the mavericks who shaped a whole comedy aesthetic and at some of the most popular movie comedies ever made.

Stairway on path in Walnut Hill Park in New Britain, Connecticut
John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

When you head to New York, do you ever take a break from the city and get lost on a trail in Central Park? This hour, we take a look at the life of the man behind that beloved and iconic city park: Connecticut native Frederick Law Olmsted.

Noah Todd / Flock Theater

September 6th is the anniversary of the burning of New London during the Revolutionary War. British troops, under orders from former Patriot turned British loyalist Benedict Arnold looted and burned over 140 buildings in town.

In the decades following the incident, an effigy of Arnold was regularly paraded through town and ceremonially burned. The tradition eventually faded away, but in recent years a local theater company has stepped up to keep the ritual alive.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Sticks & Stones is Dave Chappelle's fifth standup comedy special for Netflix in three years. All four previous specials won the Grammy for Best Comedy Album, and one of them won the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special. The critical response to this latest special, though, has been a bit more muted.

Madyson Frame / NEXT

Officials from the National Park Service gave an update this week on the status of the Coltsville National Historical Park in Hartford, a tribute to Samuel Colt and his role in the firearms industry as well as the Industrial Revolution. Congress approved the park in 2014, but it's far from complete.

Who Gets To Become a U.S. Citizen?

Aug 26, 2019
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Attorneys general from several U.S. states, including Connecticut, have allied in opposition to new Trump administration rules that target immigrants. This hour, we sit down with Connecticut Attorney General William Tong to learn more. 

Province of British Columbia Follow / FLICKR

George Takei has lived long and prospered as an American actor, activist, and author. Although he’s best known for playing Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu on the original Star Trek television series, Takei has spent much of the last 20 years retelling his time spent living in U.S.-run internment camps during World War II.

images of Giant ground sloth (Megatherium americanum), Moa (Megalapteryx didinus), Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus)
Ballista, George Edward Lodge, Michael L. Baird / Wikimedia Commons

What would it have been like to see a huge, elephant-like mastodon roaming our state? 

The earth has been home to some spectacularly large animals. A few of them still roam or swim our world today.

This hour, we take a look at the biology of these giants. 

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