WNPR

history

AJ Zanyk / Creative Commons

It's been 60 years since singer Harry Belafonte released The Banana Boat Song (Day-O) on vinyl. He had spent much of his youth in Jamaica and has said he chose to sing the traditional island work song as a way to challenge negative cultural assumptions about people of the Caribbean.

An Ode To Yodeling

Oct 10, 2017
Matt Raible / Flickr

What is yodeling, anyway? Some consider it singing, some say it's an ululation, and still others consider it merely a means to herd animals. Whatever yodeling is, one's thing clear: Yodeling has been around for thousands of years and shows no signs of disappearing.

Football Legend Y.A. Tittle Dies At 90

Oct 10, 2017

Yelberton Abraham Tittle, better known as Y.A. Tittle, has died at age 90. He passed away Sunday night at Stanford Hospital near his home in Atherton, Calif.

Tittle was a great quarterback for Louisiana State University and went on to play 17 seasons of pro football. His greatest success was in New York when he led the Giants to three division titles in four years. In 1954, he became the first pro football player to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Tittle never won a championship, but as The Associated Press reports:

Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

During the 1920’s, some Connecticut women took jobs painting watch dials with radium-laced paint. At the time, they didn’t know it was toxic. As these so-called “Radium Girls” began to die, their stories became part of a rallying cry for industrial regulation.

Princeton University Office of Communications

John McPhee is a writer's writer. He's thought of as one of the progenitors of the New Journalism, of creative nonfiction or narrative nonfiction, along with people like Gay Talese and Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson. But his style is... quiter than those folks'. His writing is transparent. He tends to keep himself out of the narrative. He doesn't even, in fact, have an author photo.

Frank C. Muller / Flickr

In the 1800s, Connecticut peddlers would travel south to peddle goods made in small factories around the state. The best way to increase their profit margin was to slip a few pieces of prized nutmeg -- and a few fake wooden ones to match -- in their bag. It didn't take long to expose the fraud, earning us the nickname of the Nutmeg State, known by all as clever, if ethically challenged, people. 

Maisa Tisdale

Within the shadow of P.T. Barnum lies a much quieter tale of Bridgeport prosperity -- a tale involving two nineteenth-century sisters, Mary and Eliza Freeman.

While neither achieved the same level of recognition as Barnum, both established a significant place within the history of Connecticut’s Park City. 

Jhontas Jesus Silva / Flikr

Of the many strange behaviors we humans have engaged in, few seem more abhorrent than cannibalism. But the act of feasting on another human's flesh cannot be so easily dismissed as simply disgusting or deviant. Freud, in fact, believed cannibalism played a role in the birth of religion itself.

Columbia Pictures

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" was originally released on December 14, 1977. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards and has gone on to gross more than $300 million worldwide. 

Raffaele Pagani / Flickr

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Amazons of ancient Greek mythology is that they were not entirely mythical. While many of the deeds and details ascribed to these women warriors were imagined, the Amazons themselves were inspired by a real-life horse-riding tribe of nomads called the Scythians.

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.

Em Lansey / 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.

Eli Christman / Creative Commons

The violence in Charlottesville last month over whether or not to remove a statue of Confederate soldier Robert E. Lee rekindled a heated debate that's more about national identity and race than about statues. But, it's easier to fight about statues than begin a long-overdue national discussion over how we remember our collective and complex national past - especially in the context of slavery.

There were once more than 20 operating theaters in downtown Bridgeport alone. They welcomed thousands of people each week, from workers just getting off their shifts at the city's factories to the kids that came every Saturday for Westerns. Today, only two are still standing, and they've been empty for 40 years.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Herbert Hoover realized early in the 20th century that food was as important as bullets to win a war. After witnessing Belgians starve under the harsh treatment of Germany before World War I, he determined to never let that happen in America. So, when the men marched off to war in both World War I and again in World War II, the women marched out to the fields. 

Pages