history

Technology
4:36 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Apple's Mac Computer Turns 30

The Apple Computer Inc., manufacturing plant in Milpitas, Calif., producing Macintosh computers, is shown in this Feb. 24, 1984 photo. (Paul Sakuma/AP)

This coming Friday marks the 30th anniversary of the first Apple Mac that went on sale.

NPR technology correspondent Steve Henn joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the genesis of the Macintosh, the future of Apple and how the Mac has influenced both Apple and the technological world.

[Youtube]

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Time To Eat The Dogs?
4:57 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Shackleton: He's So Hot Right Now

Ernest Shackleton leaves Elephant Island on the James Caird with five other members of the expedition, setting out to reach South Georgia Island 800 miles away.
Credit Frank Hurley

Years ago, I needed a book for a long plane ride home from Austin, Texas. My cousin threw me a tattered paperback. It looked mediocre at best: on the cover was an iceberg, a ship, and the word ENDURANCE in bold letters.

A short time and several chapters later, I would start what some would call an obsession with a man named Ernest Shackleton, and one of the most incredible adventure/survival stories ever. 

History
2:49 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

A Promise Unfulfilled: 1962 MLK Speech Recording Is Discovered

A recording of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivering this address to the New York State Civil War Centennial Commission in 1962 was recently discovered by the New York State Museum.
Courtesy of New York State Education Department

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 7:44 pm

Last fall, curators and interns at the New York State Museum were digging through their audio archives in an effort to digitize their collection. It was tedious work; the museum houses over 15 million objects. But on this particular day in November, they unearthed a treasure.

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Connecticut First
9:58 am
Mon January 20, 2014

"Connecticut First" Recalls Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Time in Connecticut

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC.
Credit Win McNamee/Getty Images / Thinkstock

Monday marks the official observance of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday. To honor the occasion, "Connecticut First" is airing a special edition of the weekday news segment with Eric Clemmons. Watch the segment below or catch it on CPTV on Monday at 6:56 pm. It tells the story of the two summers King spent in Simsbury picking tobacco while on college break.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon January 20, 2014

Connecticut's African American History

Martin Luther King, Jr. spent time in Connecticut
Credit Library of Congress

You may not think of Connecticut as a slave state, but in the mid 1700s, New London County held more slaves than anywhere else in New England. Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison referred to our state as the "Georgia of New England."

This fact is one of many that can unsettle our Yankee sensibilities. Connecticut residents, especially white ones, grow up thinking they were on the right side of abolition, of the civil war, and later, of the civil rights movement. But the history, and the real path for African Americans who live in the state, is much more complicated. 

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History
2:59 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Dressing Gowns: Loungewear of Old

Byron and Marianna. This lithograph by Hartford’s Kellogg brothers provides a glimpse of early nineteenth-century leisure wear. Note how Byron (d. 1824) is depicted in a dressing gown rather than a restrictive jacket.
Hand-colored lithograph by E.B. & E.C. Kellogg, 1845-1846. 1994.13.0. Connecticut Historical Society

Today many people cannot wait to arrive home after a long day at work and exchange their work clothes for something more relaxing, comfortable, and cozy. This is not a new phenomenon. Even before the nineteenth century, men and women sometimes wore informal and less confining clothing at home and in informal social settings. These dressing gowns, as they were primarily known, allowed people to appear fashionable while remaining comfortable.

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Planet Money
3:39 am
Fri January 17, 2014

The Birth Of The Minimum Wage In America

Franklin D. Roosevelt Libarary

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 4:46 pm

In 1895, legislators in New York state decided to improve working conditions in what at the time could be a deadly profession: baking bread.

"Bakeries are actually extremely dangerous places to work," says Eric Rauchway, a historian at the University of California, Davis. "Because flour is such a fine particulate, if it gets to hang in the air it can catch fire and the whole room can go up in a sheet of flame."

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Nutmeg History
1:39 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Get To Know Connecticut's Colonial-Era Deputy Governors

Roger Ludlow and Chief Mahackemo are depicted in The Purchase of Norwalk.
Credit Harry Townsend / Works Progress Administration

Before the position of lieutenant governor existed, the Colony of Connecticut had what was then known as the "deputy governor." According to the Connecticut State Library, this position was established in 1639. There were 18 deputy governors, several of whom would alternate off between governor and deputy governor because of one-year term limits.

On a recent episode of Where We Live, we discussed the role of the lieutenant governor and why anyone would want that position. So this got us thinking about some of Connecticut's first #2's when the state was a colony.

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The Race Card Project
3:03 am
Wed January 15, 2014

A Woman Comes To Terms With Her Family's Slave-Owning Past

"I have this day granted bargained and sold and by these present do grant bargain and sell unto the said Edward Clegg a Certain Mulatto Girl named Harriet aged about eight years. Slave for life, and sound in body and mind, and the title to said Girl I do hereby warrant and will forever defend."
Courtesy of Todd Perry

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 3:38 pm

NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often, NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

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History
4:20 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Tragedy at Tariffville: The Railroad Wreck of 1878

One of the coaches of the CWRR train hangs from the end of the first span over the Farmington River. Detail of stereograph published by N. R. Worden of New Britain.
The Connecticut Historical Society, 2004.27.2

The year 2013 was not a great one for the Metro-North Commuter Railroad, with a collision, a major power outage, and, most recently a fatal derailment making the six o’clock news around the country. What this series of mishaps actually points out, however, is that when one considers the number of freight, passenger and commuter trains running in this country, rail travel is still a pretty safe way to get around. This was not the case a century or more ago, when railroad accidents and disasters were frequent and deadly.

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Photography
2:34 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

JFK in Photographs: A Yale Art Exhibit

Dealey Plaza, Dallas, 1964. Gelatin silver print. Yale University Art Gallery.
Garry Winogrand The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Fifty years after his assassination, images of President John F. Kennedy continue to resonate as an expression of American culture and self-identity. A photography exhibition called "A Great Crowd Had Gathered: JFK in the 1960s" examines the president by way of his public at the time. It's at the Yale Art Gallery and runs through the end of March. 

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History
1:29 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

From Kiln to Collection: Norwich Pottery and Its Makers

Pottery at Norwich, Norwich, ca. 1830. This drawing purports to show an 18th-century pottery in Norwich. The building with the smoking chimney is the kiln where the pottery was fired.
Connecticut Historical Society, x.1986.23.0

Stoneware was the commonest form of houseware in America during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  Americans started making stoneware in the early 1700s. One of Connecticut's first potteries began making stoneware in Norwich as early as 1769.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:13 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Enjoying the Randomness of Miscellanea

The joy of miscellanea!
Credit Evelyn Giggles on Flickr Creative Commons

Wandering the vast labyrinth of useless information, you might encounter some people having a debate about the last person who knew everything. This is a great, and also pretty hopeless debate, because it requires a judgment about what all the useful information in the world might have been and who was capable of knowing it. 

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Antarctica
8:47 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Lost Images Come To Life A Century After Antarctic Expedition

Alexander Stevens, Shackleton's chief scientist, looks south from the deck of the Aurora. Hut Point Peninsula on Ross Island, Antarctica, can be seen in the background.
nzaht.org

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 8:25 pm

Conservators working to preserve artifacts from the early days of Antarctic exploration have uncovered century-old black-and-white negatives taken during Ernest Shackleton's 1914-1917 expedition but never printed.

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History
5:55 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Skating Through Winter

Francis and Co. Trade Card. Late 19th century. This trade card shows a pair of skates made to attach to a pair of sturdy boots.
The Connecticut Historical Society

The centuries-old tradition of ice skating during the winter season began as a simple way to get from place to place. However, by the 1850s, better-designed skates and the increased interest in outdoor activities made ice skating a popular leisure activity. Skaters might be found on virtually any frozen body of water: small ponds, rivers, even town reservoirs.

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The Faith Middleton Show
9:33 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Food Schmooze: A History of Connecticut Food

Credit Amy the Nurse/flickr creative commons

Today's show originally aired December 26, 2012.

What is Connecticut food? Which crops, livestock and seafood have shaped the complex cuisines that its people have cherished for more than four centuries? From familiar comforts like chicken potpie and fried oysters to curious concoctions like Grape-Nuts pudding and steamed cheeseburgers, Connecticut's food history is long and varied. Eric D. Lehman and Amy Nawrocki, authors of A History of Connecticut Food, join us on The Food Schmooze for the full hour.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Malls Are Dying, Long Live the Mall!

Will you end up in a mall on Black Friday?
Credit jpellgen / Flickr Creative Commons

Thanksgiving is this week and as the holiday shopping season comes upon us, we’ll look at one of the iconic American institutions: the shopping mall. We’ll talk with a writer at The Atlantic Cities who says that despite how engrained it is in our culture, the mall is preparing to retire. We'll also hear a class piece from radio producer Jonathan Mitchell. He produced a soundscape of his hometown mall called "City X."

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Where Do I Start?
11:01 am
Fri December 20, 2013

A Taste of Duke Ellington

Miles Davis quote from "Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington."
Credit Creative Commons Image / WNPR

So much music and so little time.

On today's Where We Live, we could have spent the entire time just playing Duke Ellington's music. Since we didn't play any of the songs in their entirety, we're sharing the playlist below with the songs that you heard on the show.

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History
11:00 am
Fri December 20, 2013

What Did Santa Bring? Presents Under the Tree 100 Years Ago

Armstrong Christmas tree surrounded by presents. Photograph by William Dudley, ca. 1924. Muriel Armstrong lived in Groton, Connecticut.
The Connecticut Historical Society, 1995.36.1583

"For Muriel Armstrong From Santa" These words are written on a child’s easel blackboard sitting next to a tree decorated with tinsel, beads, glass ornaments and even an American flag. Other presents, including dolls, a sewing set, Bradley’s Toy Village, and “Denslow’s One Ring Circus and Other Stories” surround the tree. This black and white photograph captures the Christmas morning scene for a comfortable Connecticut family about 100 years ago.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri December 20, 2013

As Relevant as Ever: the Music of Duke Ellington

The musical influence of Duke Ellington survives long past his death.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Duke Ellington is one of the pivotal figures in jazz. He was a pianist, composer and bandleader whose impact lasted well beyond his death. Terry Teachout joins us in studio to talk about his new book, Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington. We’ll also talk to local musicians about Ellington’s musical influence on their work.

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Music
11:38 am
Thu December 19, 2013

From Duke's 'Nutcracker' To A Cynical Carol, Jazz For Christmas

Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn collaborated to release The Nutcracker Suite in 1960.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 9:35 am

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History
11:53 am
Fri December 13, 2013

An Inconvenient Season: Charlotte Cowles’s Letters from December 1839

Catherine. Hand-colored lithograph by E.B. & E.C. Kellogg, ca. 1840. Nineteenth-century women wrote a lot of letters. The young woman in this print was a contemporary of Charlotte Cowles.
The Connecticut Historical Society, 2003.147.0

Today we do not think of Farmington and Hartford being distant from each other, but in 1839 it was a journey not to be taken lightly. That is why Charlotte Cowles in Farmington wrote frequently to her brother Samuel in Hartford, asking him to do errands for her. On December 5, 1839, she requested that he procure the type of whale bones generally used in bonnets from Mrs. Orcutt, a milliner. Charlotte also asked him to find a yard and three quarters of “backing” to put under the stove in their keeping room.

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Newtown: One Year Later
12:33 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

Documenting an Outpouring of Grief in Newtown

A child sent this note to Newtown.
Ross MadDonald

Saturday marks the one-year anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 first graders and six educators dead. WNPR will bring you stories throughout this week looking at the impact of that tragedy on our community.

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History
2:00 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Transit of Venus: German Scientists Visit Hartford

Map of the 1761 transit of Venus, from Astronomy Explained Upon Sir Isaac Newton’s Principles, by James Ferguson, F.R.S, London, 1794.
The Connecticut Historical Society, Thomas Robbins collection, 14 Connecticut Historical Society

In December 1882, a German scientific commission sent a team of astronomers to Hartford, Connecticut to observe a rare astronomical event. The transit of Venus (when the planet passes between the earth and the sun) occurs in eight-year pairs, and those pairs occur every 121½ or 105½ years. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the transit was an important opportunity for scientists to calculate the distance between the earth and the sun—the basis for the astronomical unit.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:33 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Historic Preservation in Connecticut

Credit F. D. Richards/flickr creative comons

What makes a building worth preserving? Why do we choose some structures, and ignore others?

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History
1:23 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

The Last Wolf in Connecticut

Putnam’s Cave or Wolf Den. Drawing by John Warner Barber, ca. 1835. The story of Putnam and the wolf was an oft-repeated tale throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Connecticut Historical Society, 1953.5.313
Connecticut Historical Society

Israel Putnam is a name that stands out in the colonial history of Connecticut as a war hero of the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Prior to his wartime glory, he earned the nickname “Wolf Putnam” by killing what was believed to be the last wolf in Connecticut when he was a young farmer in the eastern Connecticut town of Pomfret.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:27 am
Tue November 26, 2013

The Dark Side of Zen

Golden Palace Kinkaku-ji, Zen Buddhist Temple, Kyoto, Japan
Credit Carles Tomas Marti on Flickr Creative Commons

Here in the West, Zen Buddhism is often where you go when you've concluded the religion you grew up with is marred by venality, hypocrisy, misogyny, patriarchal structure, and an insufficient commitment to peace and love. 

Buddhism seems to have less hierarchy and more commitment to pure enlightenment and oneness. So, what do Buddhists do when Buddhism falls down on the job?

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History
5:20 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Battle Among the Clouds: the Chattanooga Campaign

Street view of Chattanooga. Photograph by an unknown photographer, ca. 1865. Like other photographs in this sequence, this one was evidently taken shortly after the war. The Connecticut Historical Society, 2013.225.2
Connecticut Historical Society

The words of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, memorializing the Civil War’s largest battle to date, were still echoing when Union and Confederate forces engaged in yet another large scale engagement in late November 1863. This time around the North’s rising military star, Ulysses S. Grant, commanded the Union forces.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:36 am
Fri November 22, 2013

The Nose Pays Tribute to Melodrama

Irene Papoulis teaches in the Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric at Trinity College
Chion Wolf

Today, on The Nose, well we can't entirely ignore the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, but the subject is so vast we can only break off one little part. We're going to focus on an essay by Adam Gopnik and published in The New Yorker a couple of weeks ago. Gopnik probes the question of exactly what changed as a result of the crime and its murky aftermath. 

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Where We Live
8:41 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Groundbreaking Mayors, and Ten Years of StoryCorps

New Haven Mayor-elect Toni Harp. Art installation structure by Eric Epstein.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

This hour, two stories, and a story about stories. Toni Harp talked about breaking a glass ceiling when she was elected mayor of New Haven earlier this month. The veteran state legislator fought back a tough challenge from Justin Elicker to become the first female mayor of the Elm City. We talk about her personal voyage to city hall, and her vision for New Haven. 

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