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Charlie Jane Anders / Flickr

Author Ben Winter's latest work of alternative History, Underground Airlines, has been getting lots of attention in the short time since its release. Taking on themes such as institutional racism, social responsibility and personal redemption, the novel's relevance to today's top issues can't be denied.

Daniela Brighenti / New Haven Independent

The former Yale University dining hall worker fired for smashing a stained-glass window depicting slaves is asking for his job back.

With the overwhelming support of the Senate, Dr. Carla Hayden has been approved as the next librarian of Congress.

Hayden, the head of Baltimore's public library system and the former president of the American Library Association, is the first woman and the first African-American to hold the post.

Hayden was nominated by President Obama in February, but a vote on her nomination wasn't held until Wednesday.

Mabel Lu / flickr creative commons

Last fall, Colin saw The Bloodstained Men and Their Friends demonstrating in New Haven.

They wear white coveralls with red stains on the crotches.

The Boston Citgo sign, all 3,600 square LED feet of which has served as the backdrop to Red Sox games since 1965, is now officially a "pending landmark."

Jim Glab / Flickr

There are few genres of entertainment more American than the Western. But for a genre so steeped in the iconography of our past, its accuracy in portraying historical event leaves much to be desired. Many argue that the Western is more myth than reality, and that this myth is akin to revisionist history.

Daniela Brighenti / New Haven Independent

Yale University officials have asked the state not to pursue criminal charges against a former worker who destroyed a stained glass window depicting slaves in a cotton field. 

David DesRoches / WNPR

In the summer of 1877 there was a battle in the mountains of Montana. The Nez Perce people fought the U.S. Army over two days. Dozens of women and children were killed, along with U.S. and Nez Perce fighters. 

After seven years, the British have released the findings of inquiry into the Iraq War.

NPR's Lauren Frayer says that the 6,000-page report, the result of an investigation led by retired civil servant John Chilcot, found that Britain rushed to war before all peaceful means were exhausted. Lauren filed this report for our Newscast unit:

Charles Bulfinch / Creative Commons

Connecticut's Old State House will be closing, at least temporarily.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Before Stephen Colbert and John Oliver, before Jon Stewart and Conan O’Brien, before "The Simpsons," before David Letterman, before "Saturday Night Live," before The National Lampoon… before all the great subversive American satirists that we’ve all grown… used to — before all that, there was MAD magazine.

Flickr Creative Commons

My Batman story begins with a crime. I was in third grade. I went to the barber shop in West Hartford Center where there were comic books to read while you waited.

I had never seen any superhero comic before and I started reading a Batman story. It was great but I didn't have enough time to finish it. So, when my haircut was done, I took it home with me. 

U.S. Navy

This hour, we talk about three different stories that touch various people in our state. First, a check-in on how the Department of Defense has followed through with exhuming the remains of 388 sailors and Marines who died during the attacks on Pearl Harbor. Some of their relatives, including a Connecticut man, had asked for to give their loved ones a proper burial at home. We have an update on whether their requests have been heard. 

Patti / Flickr

It's easy to think of borders as fixed, almost sacrosanct lines, so rooted in the natural order of things that it often doesn't occur to us to question them. But borders were not always thought of this way. In fact, the notion of well understood, and agreed upon boundaries between nations is somewhat new.

Thomas Hart / Wikimedia Commons

When you "pull a Benedict Arnold," you sell out your side to join the stronger side of a situation out of fear, not honor.  Needless to say, that's not a compliment.

More than 230 years after America secured independence from Britain, this skilled warrior and confidante of George Washington is remembered as a traitor and coward for defecting to the British side.

But it's not that easy.  

Loren Kerns / Creative Commons

There are many ways to experience the American landscape -- you can bike it, drive it, fly over it... even take trains across it. But there’s nothing quite as intimate or liberating as the experience you get while walking it. 

Carlos Duplessis / flickr creative commons

New York magazine's Will Leitch has called ESPN's new documentary "O.J.: Made in America" a masterpiece, and he thinks it'll be "the only thing this country's going to be talking about" as it airs next week. The Nose has already seen it, and it's all we're going to be talking about this week.

Tracy Lee Carroll / Creative Commons

This Saturday, you have no excuse to say there's nothing to do in Connecticut. That's because it's the state's Open House Day for residents and visitors to explore the state -- from the smallest of historical sites to the largest of museums. This hour, we preview just a sliver of what is out there. What little gems exist where you live?

Vice / Flickr

Between orthodoxy and cultism exists a narrow divide; a proving ground of public opinion where spirited groups vie for entry into the hallowed halls of true religion. Few are more firmly planted in this place than the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Update at 3:15 p.m. ET: Ali's Funeral Set For Friday

Muhammad Ali, the man considered the greatest boxer of all time, died late Friday at a hospital in Phoenix at age 74. He was battling respiratory problems.

He died of septic shock related to natural causes, with his family at his bedside, according to family spokesman Bob Gunnell.

Ali inspired millions by standing up for his principles during the volatile 1960s and by always entertaining — in the boxing ring and in front of a microphone.

Naval Submarine Base New London

For a century, Groton, Connecticut has been home to the Naval Submarine Base and Training School. It’s turned into an economic staple for the region with the presence of manufacturer Electric Boat. The state is celebrating one hundred years as the "Submarine Capital of the World." This hour, we discuss the history of the submarine industry and how it fares today. Even after all these years, the vessels continue to play an important role in U.S. military strategy.

Robin Lubbock / WBUR

Five years ago, on June 1, 2011, an F3 tornado, with wind speeds between 150 and 200 miles per hour, swept through eight communities across western and central Massachusetts, from Westfield east to Southbridge.

One of the hardest hit was Monson, where the tornado cut nearly a half-mile swath of devastation through the center of town of about 8,500 residents.

Ray Hardman / WNPR

Over the last year, the Connecticut Historical Society has been traveling the state asking residents "what was it like growing up in Connecticut?" 

"Seventy-one years ago, on a bright, cloudless morning, death fell from the sky and the world was changed," President Obama said Friday, in the first visit by a sitting U.S. president to Hiroshima, Japan.

In 1945, the United States dropped the first atomic bomb used in warfare on that city, killing an estimated 140,000 people. A second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki three days later. Within weeks, Japan surrendered, ending the war in the Pacific Theater.

President Obama wraps up a weeklong Asia trip on Friday with a historic visit to Hiroshima, Japan. Obama will be the first sitting president to visit the city synonymous with the deadly nuclear age that began there more than seven decades ago.

Obama said he plans to "honor all those who were lost in World War II and reaffirm our shared vision of a world without nuclear weapons."

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will accompany Obama, told reporters the trip "will no doubt create further, powerful momentum" toward that goal.

Steven Sussman

If you were selecting a patron saint of jazz for Hartford, a strong contender for canonization would most certainly be Paul Brown, a miracle worker whose countless good works for the music and local jazz musicians over many decades brought great joy, peace and comfort to the capital city.     

NASA / Flickr

The man who once walked on the moon, and helped America define itself as a leader in space travel is now out with a new book. It reads half as a memoir, and  half as a motivational speech to the next generation of explorers who he hopes will carry on America's legacy.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

In the more than six years that it's been on the air, we've never taken The Colin McEnroe Show to the Peabody Museum before. (Crazy, right?) And: In the more than six years that it's been on the air, we've never done a Colin McEnroe Show about dinosaurs before. (Crazy! Right!?)

Smoakandarrow / Flickr

Flash fiction goes by many names: micro-fiction, nano-fiction, short-shorts, and with the emergence of Twitter-fiction; twiction and twisters have also entered the fray. Whatever you choose to call it one thing's for sure: these pint-sized tales often punch way above their weight.

Robert Huffstutter / Creative Commons

Wilhelm Reich was  a once promising psychoanalyst and scientist under the guidance of Freud in pre-World War II Europe. He promoted "sexual revolution" to support his belief that sexual repression was linked to bodily and societal ills like neurosis and even fascism.

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