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Lori Mack / WNPR

The Shore Line Trolley Museum in East Haven is home to nearly 100 vintage cars from around the country and Canada. But it sits on a floodplain, and much of its valuable collection was damaged after storms Irene and Sandy pounded the East Coast in 2011 and 2012.

Collection of Cornwall Historical Society, Cornwall, CT

Although charcoal is now sold at your local supermarket, the unassuming briquette's story wasn't always confined to American grills and backyards. For a long time, charcoal was the lifeblood of Connecticut’s iron industry -- fueling furnaces creating everything from weapons of war to wheels that rolled across the country. 

The U.S. Army / Creative Commons

Seventy-five years ago, Americans across the country put their lives on hold, leaving their homes and risking their lives to fight a brutal war by land, sea and air.

Today is Veterans Day, and while we honor Veterans of all wars on this day, this hour we hear the stories of the men and women of World War II.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

He's an Academy Award winner, a Golden Globe winner, a BAFTA Award winner.

He's the star of American Graffiti, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, What About Bob?, Mr. Holland's Opus, W., Madoff, and many more movies and TV shows.

© Council Brandon

Since the summer, thousands have stood up against the Dakota Access Pipeline -- a multi-billion dollar project, which would carry crude oil through the Dakotas, Iowa, and Illinois. 

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South African classical guitarist Derek Gripper is obsessed with the lilting and intricate music of the West African instrument known as the kora. Gripper, who performs this Friday night at Wesleyan University, has translated many kora compositions for guitar.

To Catch a Burglar

Nov 2, 2016
Robert Martin / Creative Commons

George Leonidas Leslie robbed the Manhattan Savings Institution of $3 million in 1878. At the time, it was considered one of the safest buildings in the world. He made detailed models of the bank and its vault from blueprints he charmed from a bank employee. 

William Murphy / Creative Commons

It has been 100 years since the Easter Rising in Ireland -- when Irish nationalists rebelled against the British government in Dublin and other parts of the country in 1916. The rebellion eventually led to Irish independence and civil war.

Vector Portal / Creative Commons

Al Capone told everyone who asked him what he did for a living that he was a "property owner and taxpayer in Chicago." He was really a powerful multimillionaire in 1920's Chicago who made money from the illegal sale of alcohol during Prohibition and the vices that usually accompanied it: gambling and prostitution.

Carl Van Vechten / U.S. Library of Congress

As narrator, bandleader, trumpeter and composer, Ron McCurdy is the central dynamic force powering his acclaimed, multimedia presentation of a Langston Hughes trailblazing magnum opus, Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz.

haru__q / flickr creative commons

Everybody loves a bulldozer. In fact, we all grew up loving bulldozers, didn't we? From Benny the Bulldozer to Katy and her big snow, from all the Tonka toys to all the die cast model Caterpillars, the bulldozer is more of an icon in American popular culture than we maybe realize.

Martin Svedén / Creative Commons

A tree’s roots touch more than just soil. They reach into the recesses of our past; into our culture and our traditions. It's something Fiona Stafford writes about in her new book The Long, Long Life of Trees. This hour, we sit down with the author. 

Julie Jordan Scott / Creative Commons

A lot of you reading this are familiar with the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder because you watched the popular "Little House on the Prairie" television show that ran from 1974-1983.

But the television show came long after Laura Ingalls Wilder began sharing the story of her family's journey through the open frontier. She shared her memories in a series of beloved Little House books that spanned a life of pioneering both before and after the government declared the frontier closed. She speaks in simple and intimate prose of everyday life that fascinated millions of young readers who wanted to live like Laura. Fans today still want to believe in the absolute truth of every word. 

Best-selling author Scott Turow once described the act of being a Chicago Cubs fan as "quasi-spiritual."

He's right. Generations of Cubs fans have come and gone without ever seeing their belief in the team validated. It's been 108 years running without a title.

There's something about that blind faith that feels holy to Chicago's North Siders. Their fandom is purer and more absolute because they give of themselves over and over again and get nothing in return. (No World Series wins, at least.)

Vladimir Agafonkin / Creative Commons

August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Piano Lesson opens this Friday at Hartford Stage. This hour, we preview the production. We also find out how it's inspiring some Connecticut residents to open up about the importance of family legacy. 

Michaek Kerswill / Flickr

History and literature are filled with their antics. From the Renaissance's Triboulet to Shakespeare's Feste from "Twelfth Night," jesters and fools have delighted us for centuries with their subversive humor and quick wit. But while comedy was their brand, there existed hardships for these characters as well.

Pez Owen was flying over the desert in her single-engine Cessna airplane when she spotted a huge "X" etched in the desert below. She says it was the strangest thing.

"It's not on the [flight] chart," Owen says. "There just wasn't any indication of this huge cross."

Then she spotted another one.

"There had to be some reason," she says. "So, of course, I immediately thought I had to get Chuck in on this."

National Portrait Gallery, London

Yale Divinity School has renamed one of its largest classrooms after an escaped slave who attended classes at Yale in the 1830s.

When she was growing up, Dina Gilio-Whitaker was constantly asked, "How much Indian blood do you have?" She could never figure out how to respond, which is not to say she didn't know who she was.

"I knew that I was Native, I knew that I was Colville, I knew my family up there on the reservation," she said recently. "But what I grew up with was a process of not being seen and not being recognized as being Native, because I was completely out of context.

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!?)

Eugene Hutchinson

The final resting place of the first African American woman to receive a degree from Yale University is now marked by a monument detailing her life's accomplishments. 

The 18-year-old Jane Jacobs picked a lousy time to leave her hometown of Scranton, Pa., and move to New York City.

It was the fall of 1934 and New York was dragging itself through The Great Depression. During that first year in the city, Jacobs, who'd gone to secretarial school, scrounged for work, riding the subway from the Brooklyn apartment she shared with her older sister, Betty, into Manhattan.

ChurchofSatan / Flickr

Free will, individual responsibility, and the pursuit of happiness: Fundamental tenets of, wait for it... Satanism. While the word conjures up images of fire and brimstone, the truth is a bit more complicated. So why does a religion which celebrates so much what Americans profess to hold dear get such a bad rap?

More than 100 years after it was originally proposed, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is opening its doors in Washington, D.C.

In President Obama's remarks at the dedication ceremony, he said this museum shines a light on stories that are often overlooked in the history books.

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This Saturday, more than 1,300 museums across the country will offer free admission as part of Smithsonian magazine's annual Museum Day Live!

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