history

Tune In
1:29 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

The History and Science of Ham Radio

A wall of old ham radio rigs.
Bill Hammond Creative Commons

On May 18, the American Radio Relay League celebrated its 100th anniversary. It's the largest association of ham radio hobbyists in the United States, headquartered in Newington.

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History
11:02 am
Fri May 23, 2014

A Revolution On Two Wheels: Columbia Bicycles

Bicycle made by the Pope Manufacturing Company, about 1881. Pope produced its first bicycles like this Columbia high wheeler in the late 1870s.
Gift of Aetna Connecticut Historical Society, 1994.204.3

The return of spring weather has prompted a marked increase in bicycle traffic all over Connecticut. Country roads, city streets, and scenic rail trails are filled with cyclists of all ages. But how many know that Connecticut played a prominent role in developing not just bicycles, but the market for them?

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri May 23, 2014

A Conversation with Dan Brown; the Charles W. Morgan Sets Sail; the History of Ham Radio

J Holt
Chion Wolf WNPR

Author Dan Brown has written some of the biggest blockbuster books, from The Da Vinci Code to his latest book, Inferno. He’s coming to Hartford next month to talk with John Dankosky at the Bushnell. This hour, he joins us for a preview of that conversation.

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Wooden Ships
10:45 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Rare Whaling Vessel Charles W. Morgan Takes a Historic Journey to New London

After months of preparation, the oldest wooden whaling ship in the world, the Charles W. Morgan, began her 38th voyage as she is towed down the Mystic River on her way to New London.
Brad Clift WNPR

The Mystic River saw history this weekend as the world's last wooden whaling vessel, the Charles W. Morgan, made its way from its longtime home at Mystic Seaport to New London, where its restoration will be completed.

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History
4:22 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Curtis Veeder Builds His Dream House

The Connecticut Historical Society, One Elizabeth Street, Hartford. The CHS is now located in this stone house built between 1925-1928 by Curtis Veeder.
Connecticut Historical Society

If you visit the Connecticut Historical Society, at One Elizabeth Street in Hartford, you will discover an unusual and intriguing building that was originally built as the home of industrialist Curtis Veeder. Veeder began to plan this house in 1925, and moved in with his wife and two daughters in 1928.  He lived here until his death in 1943. Mrs.Veeder lived in the house until 1950 when she sold it to the Historical Society. It has been adapted for other uses, but it still reflects Curtis Veeder’s personality, talents, and interests.  

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Wooden Whaling Ship
1:40 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Whaling Ship Charles W. Morgan to Leave Mystic Seaport For First Time In 70 Years

Courtesy of Mystic Seaport.

The only wooden whaling ship in the world, the Charles W. Morgan, will leave her home port of Mystic Seaport this weekend for the first time in more than 70 years.

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Music Manufacturing
12:18 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Organ Company In Hartford Still Pulling Out All the Stops After 100 Years

Anne Wysocki, a voicer at Austin Organs, tunes a chimney flute that will be added to an organ in Cincinnati originally built by Austin in 1929.
Shana Sureck WNPR

If you ask Michael Fazio how long he’s been in the pipe organ business, he’ll say, “How do I get out of it?”

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Code Switch
12:29 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Young People Want Equality But Struggle To Discuss Bias

These protesters rallied outside the Supreme Court in favor of affirmative action last fall, but MTV found that majorities of young people, across races, opposed racial preferences of any kind.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu May 15, 2014 2:53 pm

One oft-employed generalization about The Kids These Days is that they've grown up free from the legalized discrimination and racial neuroses of older generations, and they will live in a more multicultural world with less racism. But do we even know if that's true?

MTV, that reliable weather vane of popular youth culture, wanted to find out. It polled a nationally representative sample of people ages 14 to 24 about their views on bias and identity.

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Jazz Corridor
2:48 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Jazz Goes to Church In Its Sunday Best

The interior of the Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford.
Asylum Hill Congregational Church

Long a welcoming haven for jazz, Asylum Hill Congregational Church embraces Duke Ellington’s sacred music Sunday, May 18, at 4:00 pm as it presents "The Best of the Duke Ellington Sacred Concerts" with full-scale, soulful re-creations blessed with four mighty choirs singing, a powerhouse jazz band swinging, and a tap dancer tapping in the historic Hartford church’s majestic sanctuary.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:12 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Navigating Our World: Maps to GPS

John Smith's 1616 map of New England is the first printed map devoted specifically to this region.
Credit John Smith of Jamestown / Creative Commons

When friends say they're going to Paris I make them promise to get a Plan de Paris,  which is a pocket-sized book of little maps and one big, huge fold-out map which you never use because it makes you look like a befuddled tourist and it's really hard to fold back into the little book. But the Arrondissement maps and Plan are essential. If you have them, you'll understand where you are and where you're going. If you don't, not so much. My point is this-it's just not true that we don't need or use maps anymore. 

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Host's Diary
3:21 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

One of Those Comparisons Neither Side Would Relish

President Bill Clinton in 1995.
Creative Commons

To whom might one compare Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-Day Saints? Reading the new book by Alex Beam, I found myself thinking about Bill Clinton. 

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History
3:05 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Hepburn Returns to Hartford

Retail District, Main Street, Hartford. Photograph, ca. 1930. The Strand Theater is on the right. A preview of “A Bill of Divorcement” took place here in 1932.
Connecticut Historical Society Collection, 2000.171.199

Katharine Hepburn’s relationship with Hartford was strong and deeply rooted; it was her birthplace, her hometown, and a place she both supported and to which she always came back.

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Verse and Voice
4:01 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

The Spirit Level

Doug Kerr Creative Commons

a terza rima for the New Britain Industrial Museum

Hard hittin' New Britain, some of my students intone
to describe their home for a few years or a lifetime
in that depressed part of Hartford County once known

by relics in unphotographable pre-European times
as a fertile hunting and fishing ground by the Tunxis,
Quinnipiac, Wangunk, Podunk and Mattabesett tribes

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The Colin McEnroe Show
5:00 am
Wed May 7, 2014

The Murder of Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith Jr., Founder of the Latter Day Saint Movement.
Credit Unknown Painter / Wikimedia Commons

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is the religious version of recession food. Since the end of the Civil War, the Mormon membership numbers have grown every single year, and quite often they've grown at an astonishing pace.  In the late 1970's and 80's, they added members at a rate of 5-6% a year. Today, their worldwide membership is around 15 million. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Tue May 6, 2014

A Tribute to Black and White

Credit Martin Pettitt / Flickr Creative Commons

We crave color. Think of the Spring trip you make to the park, that has beautiful tulips or multicolored roses in the Summer. Think of the enormous travel industry that springs up around fall foliage every year.

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Ukraine Crisis
5:19 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Russia Condemns Ukraine With Comparisons To Nazis

Ukrainian soldiers stand at a checkpoint they seized Friday morning in the eastern Ukrainian village of Andreevka. The Russian government has referred to Ukraine's interim government and other Ukrainian groups as "fascists" and "neo-Nazis."
Vasily Maximov AFP/Getty Images

The Ukrainian government is describing its offensive against pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country as an "anti-terrorist operation," language that offends the separatists and Russia.

In turn, Russia is using even stronger language, saying that the Ukrainian military has launched a "punitive operation." While that may not carry any special meaning to Western ears, it has far more sinister implications for Russians.

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Tourism
10:04 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Saybrook Point Inn Opens Historic Guest House

The Three Stories guest house is across the street from the Inn's main property.
Harriet Jones WNPR

As May begins, Connecticut's tourism industry is gearing up in earnest for the summer season ahead. And there's cautious optimism that receipts may be up once again this year. One Old Saybrook business is investing in the future.

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History
8:52 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Katharine Hepburn: The Personal Wardrobe of a Star

Katharine Hepburn seated on lawn, 1938.
Connecticut Historical Society, 2009.62.6

From a very young age, Katharine Hepburn was a sporting enthusiast. She relished time spent outdoors playing golf, tennis, and swimming. In her film and stage career, she did many of her own stunts; even advancing age didn’t deter her. This love of movement and comfort greatly influenced her personal style. She held fast to her own informal style even while becoming one of Hollywood’s glamorous movie starlets.

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Watergate History
1:52 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

John Dean Says Nixon's Enemies List Was Never Used to "Screw" Anyone

John Dean, left, and Kevin Rennie.
Chion Wolf WNPR

John Dean was one of the monumental figures of the Watergate era. The former White House counsel has been widely praised for helping to uncover the misdeeds of the Nixon administration, but was also called the "master manipulator of the cover-up" by the FBI. Dean served prison time after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice and was disbarred.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu May 1, 2014

John Dean and the Legacy of Watergate

The cover of TIME magazine in April 1973 illustrated by Jack Davis showed the men surrounding Richard Nixon, including John Dean.
TIME magazine

We’re live from the Hartford Hilton, part of InPractice, a conference put on by the Hartford County Bar Association. Their special guest is John Dean, former White House Counsel during the Nixon administration. Dean is credited with cooperating with investigators, and linking President Nixon to the Watergate scandal. He was also called, by the FBI, the “master manipulator of the cover up.”

Dean pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice, and spent four months in jail. He has faced decades of questions and criticism about his role. The story he’s here to tell lawyers is about the Legacy of Watergate, and what it means for today’s legal profession.

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New Haven History
8:58 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Construction at CenterPlan Unearths Artifacts From New Haven's Past

State archeologist Nick Bellantoni found shards of wine bottles and cow horns at the CityPlan construction site. He believes they date from the 1700s.
Robert S. Greenberg

Artifacts from New Haven's past are surfacing in the huge construction site at College and George Streets in the Elm City. Many citizens are concerned that the construction could destroy a link to New Haven's earliest days.

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Jazz
8:15 am
Tue April 29, 2014

The Public School Where The Duke Lives On

Trumpeter Geraldo Marshall and trombonist Johannes Utas, students at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, rehearse for their school's 40th anniversary celebration.
Lauren Migaki NPR

Originally published on Tue April 29, 2014 12:52 pm

Duke Ellington didn't consider himself a jazz musician.

He said he was a musician who played jazz. And what a musician: pianist, bandleader, composer of more than 1,000 songs including standards like "Don't Get Around Much Anymore," "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)," "Satin Doll" and "Sophisticated Lady."

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Deceptive Cadence
2:10 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

A Trove Of Celluloid, Primed For The Public

Maria Callas at home in her Milan Apartment, in 1958. One of 85,000 archive films British Pathé has uploaded to YouTube.
British Pathé

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 9:42 am

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History
10:54 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Up from the Ashes: Fire at the Meriden Britannia Company

Ruins of a Portion of the Meriden Britannia Works. Photograph by Prescott & White, 1870. This overview suggests the extent of the damage.
The Connecticut Historical Society, 1988.136.2

On July 16, 1870, a devastating fire destroyed the main building of the Meriden Britannia Company, in Meriden, Connecticut, an internationally famed producer of silver-plated ware. The 700-foot-long building employed over 900 people, including 100 women, all of whom were left temporarily without work. However, the building was fully insured, the loss was fully covered, and rebuilding began immediately, while work continued unabated at the company’s six other factories.

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History
12:35 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Long-Lost Wreck Off San Francisco Recalls Anti-Chinese History

The steamship City of Chester.
San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park K01.2.571PL

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 3:16 pm

Rewind to the year 1888: The 202-foot SS City of Chester, departing San Francisco harbor in thick fog, is nearly cut in two by the much larger liner Oceanic, arriving from Hong Kong. Within six minutes, the smaller ship disappears under the turbulent current near the site of the present-day Golden Gate Bridge, claiming 16 lives.

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South Carolina
4:30 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Race To Unearth Civil War-Era Artifacts Before Developer Digs In

Archaeologist Chester DePratter stands by the site of Camp Asylum, a Civil War-era prison, in Columbia, S.C. The site will soon be cleared to make room for a mixed-use development.
Susanne Schafer AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 9:52 am

About a dozen archaeologists in downtown Columbia, S.C., are focused on a 165-acre sliver of land that was a prisoner of war camp during the Civil War. Last summer, the property was sold, and the group is trying to recover artifacts before a developer builds condos and shops there.

"We're out here to salvage what we can in advance of that development," says Chester DePratter, a University of South Carolina archaeologist. Time is running out: DePratter and his team have a permit to excavate until April 30.

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History
11:47 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Yankee Ingenuity: Curtis Veeder, a Mechanical Genius and Shrewd Businessman

“Curtis Veeder, Inventor of the Cyclometer, Riding a Bicycle,” Drawn by HH Art Studios Inc. for G. Fox & Co. 100th Anniversary, 1947. (Connecticut Historical Society, 1980.93.23)

 

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Dinosaurs
3:43 am
Wed April 16, 2014

A T. Rex Treks To Washington For A Shot At Fame

Pat Leiggi (right) of the Museum of the Rockies prepares to move a leg bone of the T. rex at the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Wed April 16, 2014 4:33 pm

This week, scientists at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History will start unpacking some rare and precious cargo. It's something the Smithsonian has never had before — a nearly complete skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex.

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History
3:27 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Eyewitness to History: The Treasury Guard Regiment Flag

The Treasury Guard Regiment flag spent over a century in this display box.
Connecticut Historical Society

In 1864, President Lincoln ordered his executive departments to each raise a force of troops for the defense of Washington should it be threatened by Confederate forces. The Treasury Department raised a full regiment of citizen-soldiers, and the women employed there presented a custom set of colors to the unit. The canton of the national flag bore hand-painted patriotic images and a banner identifying the unit, which spent months drilling on a dusty lot in Washington. In April 1865 the unit held a ball at Ford’s Theater celebrating Lee’s surrender.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:00 am
Thu April 10, 2014

We've Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered

Randy Schmidt is the author of Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter and a music educator in Denton, Texas
Chion Wolf WNPR

If you are a person of a certain age, you probably remember the moment when you were first seized by Karen Carpenter's voice. For me, it was getting into my mother's Pontiac LeMans after a commencement ceremony at Kingswood School in 1970. I was a sophomore at an all-boys school, and nobody wanted to be "Close To" me.

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