Here's a little bit of Civil War history that seems to have started here in Connecticut. It was in this month of February in 1860 that Cassius Clay, a Kentucky planter turned anti-slavery crusader spoke in Hartford not far from where we're doing this show today. He was accompanied by a torch-bearing honor guard in capes and caps. The Hartford Courant called these young men "wide-awakes."
Shortly after protests began in Ukraine, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy flew to Kiev and met with the anti-government demonstrators.
"The protesters are down there because they’re sick of seeing a government that too often resorts to violence, that has become endemic with corruption and is moving toward Russia instead of towards the European Union," said Murphy.
We hear more from Murphy about the recent, violent developments in the Kiev protests.
Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 2:37 pm
On the outskirts of London, in a basement room of the British National Archives, a historian delicately turns pages that have the brittle feel of dead leaves. Each is covered in text — some typewritten, some in spidery handwriting from a pen that scratched across the page 100 years ago.
"Saturday, the 26th of September, 1914," reads one. "The most ghastly day of my life. And yet one of my proudest, because my regiment did its job and held on against heavy odds."
Next Monday marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Next week in Woodbridge and Madison, there will be two screenings of the film "Nicky’s Family," a Czech documentary that tells the nearly-forgotten story of Sir Nicholas Winton, a British stockbroker who organized the rescue of 669 children just before start of World War II.
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.
It’s been two years since the U.S. military left Iraq. Some of the deadliest fighting was in the western cities of Fallujah and Ramadi, where more than 1,400 Americans died battling Al Qaeda insurgents. This week, news broke that Al Qaeda has taken control of the cities.
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?
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.
B.F. Skinner thought pigeons were so smart they could be used to guide missiles during WWII. He proposed a system in which pigeons would essentially pilot the missile. Skinner said pigeons could be trained to peck at a screen to adjust the trajectory of a missile toward its target. Project pigeon was funded but never used. It's one of the many reasons I could talk about pigeons all day.
Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 9:44 am
The history of the U.S military includes contributions from segregated units. One unit many Americans know little about are the Borinqueneers. They were an all-Hispanic unit in the U.S Army that served in World Wars I and II. But it was the Korean War when the unit rose to prominence. As Lucy Nalpathanchil of WNPR reports, there’s a growing movement to honor these veterans with the Congressional Gold Medal.
Four veterans will read from their creative writing Monday evening and participate in a panel discussion about the notion of "just war" and the therapeutic value of writing at Fairfield University. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil, a reporter who launched the Coming Home Project and hosts All Things Considered, will moderate the event, which is free, and open to the public, and starts at 6:00 pm in the lower level of Fairfield University's Barone Campus Center.
The following is a keynote address delivered by Joe Carvalko at the Milford Veterans' Day parade on Sunday, November 10 on the town green. Carvalko is an American author and lawyer born in Bridgeport. His recent novel is We Were Beautiful Once, Chapters from a Cold War. Carvalko is a veteran of the Air Force (’59-’64), 307th Bomb Wing, Strategic Air Command, and is Adjunct Professor of Law at Quinnipiac University, School of Law. Learn more about him at carvalko.com.
Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 2:26 pm
On a busy street in Berlin's shabby-chic district of Kreuzberg, the gray and dirty pavement glistens with little brass cobblestones. Millions of these stones are embedded in sidewalks all over Europe. They commemorate the last address the city's Jewish residents called home before the war.
This week marks the 12 year anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. But war in this country pre-dates the U.S.’s involvement. In his memoir A Fort of Nine Towers, Qais Akbar Omar recounts his life in Kabul, pre-9/11 when Afghanistan was engulfed in civil war and Taliban rule. Qais recently stopped by our studios to talk about life in war-torn Afghanistan and some of the happier moments.
On Saturday, 30 poets and other artists will gather at Western Connecticut State University for a day-long rally against gun violence. It is part of a larger international day of protests called 100,000 Poets for Change.
Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 4:04 pm
In Baghdad's Sadr City, a bombing attack that struck during a funeral has killed dozens of people, with the death toll continuing to rise Saturday. Multiple reports are citing at least 65 deaths in the attack, one of several in Iraq today.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 11:00 am
One line President Obama might have borrowed for his speech to the nation Tuesday night was a famous one from John F. Kennedy's inauguration address: "Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate."
Always admired as a fine turn of phrase, what meaning does this have in our own time?
Perhaps it might have helped Obama make the turn from indicting the Syrian regime's alleged use of chemical weapons to explaining why he backed off his own earlier threat of military retaliation against Syria.
President Obama is winning some Republican support for military action against Syria. But judging by response from Connecticut's congressional delegation, he won't have an easy time with members of his own party.
"The authorization document that the President has submitted to Congress is insufficiently limited in defining our objectives and strategy," Senator Richard Blumenthal told WNPR's Where We Live. He said the authorization the President is asking congress for is far too broad in its scope, and he wants more information on the long-term objectives.
"Our national security has to be one of the predominant factors that we consider," he said.
Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 11:25 am
The White House is working with congressional leaders to shape a resolution that authorizes the type of military action that would send a "clear message" to President Bashar Assad and cripple the Syrian leader's "capability to use chemical weapons not just now but in the future," President Obama said Tuesday.
Sitting with leaders from both major parties, the president also said he is confident lawmakers are "going to be able to come up with something that hits that mark."
Today we’ll talk to two veterans of the Iraq war. Brian Castner served three tours of duty in the Middle East, two of them as the commander of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit in Iraq. His book, The Long Walk, chronicles his ‘story of war and the life that follows.’ When veteran Kevin Powers returned from Iraq, he turned his experiences there into The Yellow Birds, a novel about two young privates trying to stay alive at war. Castner and Powers join us for the full hour.
Private Loren Goodrich was at a camp in Western Maryland when he wrote home to family and friends. He and his comrades in the 14th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry had just been in a major battle in the small Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg. That battle was fought 150 years ago, from July 1-3, 1863. The 14th was one of five infantry regiments from Connecticut to take part. Of the 1300 Nutmeggers at Gettysburg, sixty-nine were killed and 291 were wounded, captured or missing.