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Central American migrants on a train in southern Mexico
Peter Haden / Flickr

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced that anyone who enters the United States illegally will be prosecuted, even if they are seeking asylum. This hour, we get the details on current immigration policies, and we ask: what has “legal immigration" really meant throughout our country’s history?

The Flap Over Flags

May 22, 2018
Flickr Creative Commons, Sam Howzit

Flags have been in the news a lot lately. South Carolina removed the Confederate flag from its Statehouse and one Missouri county threatened to lower the flags at their courthouse for one full year to mourn the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

I'm in awe of the emotions a simple flag can evoke. On the surface, it's a piece of cloth with pretty colors and designs.

Max Pixel / Creative Commons

Black children are three times more likely to drown in the United States than white children. This hour, we learn the history behind this deadly disparity.

Harvey Bravman is the director and producer of "Soul Witness: The Brookline Holocaust Witness Project." The film is playing in New Haven on Thursday, May 17 at 7:00 pm.
Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

For years, hours of videotaped interviews with survivors of the Holocaust sat packed away in a closet in Brookline, Massachusetts. Now, a filmmaker has rescued those old tapes, weaving dozens of interviews together into a “living memorial” for survivors.

Inside a secret annex above her father's office, Anne Frank edited passages from her first diary, the book that captured a teenager's experience of the Holocaust. What she hid underneath brown gummed paper on two pages was revealed on Tuesday — five crossed-out phrases, four risqué jokes and 33 lines about sex education and prostitution.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Flickr

If there's one thing that unites us all (literally, ALL of us) it's gravity. Gravity attracts every bit of matter in the universe to every other bit of matter in the universe, no exceptions! But for something (a warping of space-time, to be precise) so universally present, it remains one of the least understood forces in physics.

The great American patriot and Bostonian Paul Revere died 200 years ago on May 10, 1818. He's often remembered as one of the infamous "midnight riders" who rode into Concord, Massachusetts, to warn residents about a planned British attack.

Adam Tiner / flickr creative commons

Lauren Bacall probably does have the most famous line about smoking in all of cinema. But there are other good ones too. "What are you gonna do? Charge me with smoking?" "Smoke if ya got 'em." And many more.

Cigarettes have been such an integral part of movies for so long that one big concern in the lead up to Disney and Fox's planned merger is -- seriously -- all the smoking in Fox movies.

ICE returned 3,800 ancient artifacts, including cuneiform tablets, cylinder seals, and clay bullae, to the Republic of Iraq. The artifacts were smuggled into the U.S. in violation of federal law and shipped to Hobby Lobby Stores.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

When the Green family, the owners of the Oklahoma-based arts and craft store Hobby Lobby, purchased thousands of artifacts from dealers in the United Arab Emirates in 2010, it was believed many of the objects were looted from archaeological sites in Iraq. 

Phil Guest / flickr creative commons

The bands Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Rush, Asia, and Styx have sold, literally, hundreds of millions of albums.

And that's despite the fact that This Is Spinal Tap is a devastatingly accurate spoofing of, ya know... all those bands.

This hour: a look at the rise and fall of progressive rock.

Evan Kalish / Postlandia

When Alexis de Tocqueville toured America in the early 1830's to gather observations that he would later put on the pages of Democracy in America, he was impressed with the efficiency of our American Postal Service.

Ed Dunens / Flickr

As President Trump talks about draining the swamp in Washington D.C., we turn our attention to actual swamps. Associated with death and decay, while also celebrated for their beauty and biodiversity, few landscapes evoke such contradictory sentiments as swamps.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This week's Nose tackles Kanye's bromance with President Trump. And we've got an update on monkey selfies!

Plus: Courtney Balaker's Little Pink House, which opens today at Real Art Ways in Hartford, tells the story of Kelo v. City of New London. Catherine Keener plays Susette Kelo. There's an unnamed version of Governor John Rowland. Keith Kountz makes an appearance. The movie is kind of Erin Brockovich, but on the Connecticut Shoreline in the Late '90s/Early 2000s. The Nose has seen it.

Connecticut State Library, State Archives Picture Group 034

One of Connecticut’s most highly decorated World War I veterans is featured in a new animated film, opening in theaters nationwide Friday. He warned his fellow soldiers of a possible gas attack, located wounded men in the field, and even helped to catch an enemy spy hidden in the Allied trenches.

Colin Dunn / Creative Commons

A mosaic of boldly colored labels and brightly lit bottles, the vitamin aisle is as much a drug store staple as it is a monument to a multi-billion dollar industry. This hour, we trace the history of dietary supplement sales in the U.S. and consider why these supplements remain so popular today. 

Jamle / flickr

They smell better, they're better at sensing temperature changes and they can handle more pain. These are just a few of the actual differences between redheads and the rest of us. But while having red hair does come with certain advantages, there are more than a few disadvantages as well.

Eleanor Roosevelt (second from left) and Lorena Hickok (far right)
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library / Wikimedia Commons

Eleanor Roosevelt was a woman with a huge historical footprint—First Lady, first U.S. delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. She was dubbed “The First Lady of the World” by Harry Truman. 

But how much is known about Eleanor’s personal life beyond the politics and activism? This hour, we sit down with Connecticut author Amy Bloom. Her new book, White Houses, is a fictional novel that explores Eleanor’s real-life romantic relationship with female journalist Lorena Hickok.

Shaheen Lakhan / Creative Commons

H.M. is one of the most important and studied human research subjects of all time. He revolutionized what we know about memory today because of the amnesia he developed after a lobotomy in 1953 to treat the severe epilepsy he developed after a head injury sustained earlier in life. 

Lydia Brown / WNPR

This hour: a lesson in public history. How are towns and cities across Connecticut and the Northeast engaging residents with the past?

We check in with a team of experts and historians. We look at examples of locally driven projects and initiatives, and consider their impact on community building and sense of place.

Do you feel a strong tie to your community’s history? We want to hear from you. 

IFC Films

Armando Iannucci is the creator of Veep and The Thick of It and the writer and director of In the Loop. Those, you'll note, are all contemporary political satires. Iannucci's new movie, The Death of Stalin, is set in 1953 Moscow and tells a true-to-some-degree version of the story of, logically, Joseph Stalin's death. Historical period piece or no, The Death of Stalin is still utterly recognizable Iannucci: it's funny, it's filthy -- it's mostly about the incompetence of the powerful. And, at the same time, stories about Russian authoritarianism have a certain contemporary vibe too, ya know?

Library of Congress

This hour: As Women's History Month draws to a close, we draw attention to a Connecticut native who was integral in the campaign for civil rights -- Judge Constance Baker Motley.

Coming up, we take an in-depth look at Judge Motley's life and talk about her legacy both inside and outside of the courtroom.

Plus: Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home From the Wars Parts 1, 2 & 3 opened at Yale Repertory Theatre earlier this month.

We learn more about the production and find out how the Theatre’s ongoing WILL POWER! initiative is exposing students to the arts. 

Brett Streutker / Flickr

As secular attitudes increase around the world and beliefs in the supernatural decline, how is it that the demand for exorcisms has never been higher?

In America and across Europe, the Catholic Church is struggling to keep up. And as the Vatican is busy teaching courses to train new exorcists, the question remains: Why now?

This hour we speak with a historian, a psychiatrist, and an officially sanctioned exorcist to unravel the mystery behind the twenty-first-century resurgence of this age-old Catholic practice.

GUESTS:

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Thumb on the scale, loading the dice -- the English language is full of idioms for people who cheat the system.

If you’ve ever wondered why so many of those expressions invoke images of weights and measures, a good “rule of thumb” is to look back at New England’s colonial history, when standardizing the way we define our world today was a priority.

Christina Carolus

For over a century, Americans have looked to National Geographic to learn about other people and cultures around the world.

Now for the first time ever, the magazine has acknowledged its “exotic” portrayals of other cultures, which it was known for during much of its history, were based on racist ideas.

WWIIHITLERTHIRDREICHHISTORY / flickr

How did a figure like Hitler emerge so quickly and so forcefully onto the world stage? How, in what was thought to be an enlightened and civilized society, did such demagoguery manage to incite an army to commit one of history's greatest atrocities?

Alice Collins Plebuch

Unearthing family history -- one saliva sample at a time.

This hour: how low-cost DNA testing helped spawn an industry and, with it, a new wave of genealogical sleuthing.

Ancestry.com, 23andMe, Family Tree DNA -- how far are you willing to go and how much are you willing to spend to better understand your roots? 

Mike Dunphy.

She grew up knowing more about "farming than feminism." Now she serves as leader of the oldest women's foundation in the country. 

This hour: a conversation with Teresa Younger, President and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women.

It's the fourth installment in Connecticut Public Radio's “Making Her Story” series highlighting prominent women with ties to Connecticut. 

Francisco Osorio / flickr

According to mytho-historical accounts, the ancient Amazons wore pants while riding into battle. But the trend this tribe of warrior women set was short lived. For nearly two millennia after their demise, the notion of women wearing pants was steeped in controversy.

Library of Congress

Chances are you’ve never heard of Constance Baker Motley.

Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Thurgood Marshall are all known for their historic work in the Civil Rights Movement, but Motley -- who was right there with them -- isn’t. 

"The Second Amendment."

If you've lived in America, you've heard those words spoken with feeling.

The feeling may have been forceful, even vehement.

"Why? The Second Amendment, that's why."

The same words can be heard uttered in bitterness, as if in blame.

"Why? The Second Amendment, that's why."

Or then again, with reverence, an invocation of the sacred — rather like "the Second Coming."

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