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Menemsha Films

Sir Nicholas Winton, who organized the rescue of more than 600 children just before the start of World War Two, has died in England. He was 106 years old. 

One of the people he saved now lives in Hartford.

Diana Robinson/flickr creativ commons

A man named Billy Williams became a legend during World War II, but not only for his heroic actions; Williams, stationed in Burma, became an elephant "whisperer." The book Elephant Company describes the man's exceptional ability to understand the elephants around him, and the stunning ability of the elephants to understand and communicate with him, in return.

Frankie Leon / Flickr Creative Commons

News about other countries tends to focus a lot more on what’s wrong with a place, than what’s going right.

Recently, reports about the earthquake in Nepal, kidnappings in Nigeria and Islamic extremism in Iran have dominated the news.

Robert Dewar / Creative Commons

Neanderthals have long been recognized as humans’ closest relatives. They were highly intelligent, skilled hunters, with a rugged build, and a knack for toolmaking.

The Confederate battle flag and three other symbols of the Confederacy were taken down Wednesday from the Capitol grounds in Montgomery, Ala., after their removal was ordered by Gov. Robert Bentley amid a growing backlash against the symbols following last week's racially motivated mass shooting at a black church in South Carolina.

GK / Creative Commons

As South Carolina considers removing the Confederate flag flying over the state Capitol, some are questioning why a building at Yale bears the name of one of this country's most passionate advocates for slavery.

South Carolina's most prominent political leaders say it's time for their state to stop flying the Confederate battle flag on the grounds of its Statehouse. Gov. Nikki Haley made their position clear Monday afternoon, speaking alongside Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Tim Scott and others.

Calls for moving the Confederate battle flag have grown since the shooting of nine black church members in Charleston last week. After speaking about the efforts to cope with that tragedy, Haley said that she has seen "the heart and soul" of South Carolina.

On July 4, America will celebrate 239 years of independence.

Later in the month, our country will mark another historic moment: the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, a law passed on July 26, 1990, that guarantees certain rights — and increased independence — to our compatriots with physical and intellectual disabilities.

In this era of ramps and lifts and other hallmarks of accessible design, it's sometimes hard to remember that not too long ago inaccessibility was the norm. And barriers abounded.

Yale University

More than 100 personal film reels of jazz legend Benny Goodman have been saved from permanent damage thanks to an extensive restoration project at Yale University. 

reibai / Creative Commons

Once one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world, the Syrian city of Palmyra has now found itself in the midst of a cultural crisis. Last month, the city was seized by the self-proclaimed Islamic State, raising concerns about the security of its ancient temples and artifacts. 

alto maltés / Creative Commons

Esperanto was first published in 1887 by Polish-Jewish ophthalmologist L.L. Zamenhof. His goal was to create a neutral language; one that would foster peace and harmony across national borders. 

Jonathan Haeber / Creative Commons

Scattered across Connecticut’s landscape are thousands of old mills and factories. Places like the Gardiner Hall Jr. Company in Willington and Whiting Mills in Winsted now stand as architectural relics from our rich, industrial past. 

It was an ugly scene. A fight broke out at a pool party in a McKinney, Texas, subdivision on Friday, allegedly after a white resident told a group of black teenagers to "go back to their Section 8 housing." Local cops show up in force. At some point, a bystander pulls out his cellphone and begins videotaping.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

 

Ta Nehisi Coates is one of the most important voices in America today. He made the case for reparations last summer when he argued that it's time for America to confront the impact of slavery, Jim Crow, and other discriminatory policies that have consistently denied African Americans opportunities afforded other Americans. He says until we admit to the debts accrued from years of racism, we can never be whole.

Dragons Rule!

Jun 3, 2015
William O'Connor / William O'Connor Studios

She who controls the dragon controls the world.

Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion are the most recent dragons to capture our attention, thanks to "Game of Thrones," the wildly popular HBO hit that's placed dragons front and center in our imagination.

Irina Pechkareva / Flickr Creative Commons

Patterns are everywhere: both in the wonders of nature and in the man-made world. They exist in the formations of crystals and clouds, in art and music, and in math and science. It is therefore no surprise that we, as inhabitants of this pattern filled world, are wired to find them.

And it's not only humans that have this ability; pattern recognition is a skill shared by all mammals. Since the first primates learned that certain weather patterns meant a storm and others meant it was time to hunt, life on this planet has both created and responded to patterns for survival. 

The Pope of the Armenian Apostolic Church is in Rhode Island Saturday. The visit comes on the centennial of the killing and deportation of more than one million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire.

When he stops in Providence, the leader of the international Armenian church, Pope Aram I, will visit the memorial to what many historians call the Armenian Genocide, at the North Burial Ground.  He’ll also take part in a church service.

Father Gomidas Baghsarian, priest at Sts. Vartanantz Church, said the visit is a big honor.

Chris Stone/flickr creative commons

Back in the days when rock and roll was still young and three-chord bands were popping up everywhere, The Grateful Dead were unique in just about every way. They fused multiple music styles: rock, blues, folk, R&B, country, jazz, and, of course, more than a peppering of psychedelia.

ctinworldwar1.org / Connecticut State Library

State residents are being asked to participate in a digital archive project to mark the the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entering into World War I. The Connecticut state library has launched the project in partnership with the Connecticut Digital Archive and the national World War I Centennial Commission. 

Lawrie Cate / Creative Commons

Jews make up 2.2 percent of the population although it fluctuates depending on who gets counted. The U.S. Jewish population is roughly the same size, north of 6 million, as the Jewish population of Israel. 

And, since there are about 14 million Jews in the whole world, an astonishingly high percentage of them live in those two countries. 

Josh Hough / Creative Commons

Since the ISIS takeover of Palmyra in Syria, hundreds are feared killed by the so-called Islamic State. Amateur videos posted online yesterday also appear to show buildings of the ancient city damaged in the fighting.  Palmyra is considered to be one of the most important cultural centers in the world.

Two men are sliding nine pine coffins into a vault in the ground on Chestnut Street in downtown Portsmouth, N.H. The remains were disinterred in 2003, part of a long-forgotten burial ground for African slaves discovered during routine road work. Now, they are being reburied among 200 other long forgotten men and women as part of Portsmouth's new African Burying Ground Memorial Park.

Calvin Health / Rakkasan Delta

On Memorial Day, WNPR will air a special documentary about men who served in Delta Company, a Vietnam-era paratrooper unit. It's called "We've Never Been the Same: A War Story."

Frankie Leon / Creative Commons

News about other countries tends to focus a lot more on what’s wrong with a place, than what’s going right.

Recently, reports about the earthquake in Nepal, kidnappings in Nigeria and Islamic extremism in Iran have dominated the news.

Following the self-declared Islamic State's capture of Palmyra, concern today is turning to the security of the ancient Syrian city's archaeological sites and fears that the Islamist extremists might try to destroy them, as they have done elsewhere.

Chris Boland / Creative Commons

It's been more than 40 years since Graham Nash first sung with David Crosby and Stephen Stills.

Bengt Nyman / Creative Commons

Looking every inch a silver-maned patriarch of Biblical grandeur, Sonny Rollins, the 84-year-old genius of the jazz tenor saxophone, was especially elated last weekend to receive an honorary doctor of music degree from the University of Hartford at graduation ceremonies on its West Hartford campus.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Sometimes being in the right place at the right time -- with your radio tuned into WNPR -- can lead to unexpected connections...

When WNPR's Where We Live first met Stanley Maxwell, we asked musicians Andy Chatfield, Mark Crino, Eric DellaVecchia, and Evan Green to explain the origin of their unusual name. 

Fibonacci Blue / Creative Commons

Hartford is one of the poorest cities in America. While there is lots to love about this city, like the fact that poor minorities are not subject to the police brutality seen in Baltimore and Ferguson, people of color who live in Hartford and who also happen to be poor share the same high levels of unemployment and urban decay seen in those cities. 

Jason Neely

The beautiful spring weather helps fill up local parks. In Middletown, residents walk and picnic at one of the highest points in the city. It's not a park, but a cemetery. 

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