History

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Merze Tate was the first African-American graduate of Western Michigan Teachers College and the first African-American woman to attend the University of Oxford. We speak with  Sonya Bernard Hollins, one of today’s leading experts on the life of Merze Tate.


Flickr - Shinya Suzuki

It’s the peak of home buying and selling season, and we’ll look back on historic Michigan homes that were to take a leap foward. Current State takes us to Western Michigan’s Usonian community.

Civil War artifacts photo
Courtesy photo / MSU Museum

WKAR-TV presents an overview of Ken Burns' iconic "Civil War" series tomorrow night. Current State brings you stories of Michigan in the Civil War.


The credit given to Henry Ford for inventing the automobile and the assembly line is somewhat exaggerated, according to the author of a new book called “Drive! Henry Ford, George Selden and the Race to invent the Auto Age.” We talk with Lawrence Goldstone about his book.


Courtesy Roger LeLievre

An Ann Arbor writer remembers sailing the Great Lakes as a porter on a Ford Motor Company ship. Current State's Peter Whorf speaks with Roger LeLeivre about his Summer of 1973, sailing the Great Lakes as a cargo ship porter.

Nokomis Learning Center photo
Courtesy photo / Nokomis Learning Center

Current State's Peter Whorf takes us on a tour of the Nokomis learning Center in Meridian Township.


Bonnie Clark photo
Kevin Lavery / WKAR

For six decades, Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital ran a nursing school near its main campus on Michigan Avenue. For the past 95 years, the alumni of that school have held a reunion. Tomorrow, that legacy comes to an end. Current State’s Kevin Lavery talks with a retired registered nurse from the Sparrow Nursing School Class of 1960.


Beatles exhibit entrance
Scott Pohl / WKAR

Everybody loves The Beatles. This weekend, The Henry Ford opens an exhibit of Beatles memorabilia called "The Magical History Tour."


“Ink Trails” chronicled the lives and writings of more than a dozen Michigan authors. It was a Michigan Notable Book for 2013. Now, a new edition has been published. Scott Pohl talks with Dave and Jack Dempsey about “Ink Trails II.”


Kevin Lavery, WKAR

The Grand Army of the Republic fought the Confederacy in the Civil War.  When the war was over, thousands of soldiers kept the name and formed their own fraternal organization.  The G.A.R. cared for veterans and their families decades before the creation of the Veterans Administration. 

On April 6, 1866 – 150 years ago this week – Union soldiers who’d fought in the Civil War came together to form one of the world’s first veterans organizations.

Mark Bashore, WKAR

Anne Sullivan, renowned teacher to Helen Keller, described her as “a child in a strange country.”

A new Library of Michigan exhibit of the same name explores the innovative tools and techniques that enabled Helen Keller to learn, not just how to communicate, but later about subjects including science, math and geography. 

Willow Run map image
Courtesy image / American Center for Mobility

On March 28, 1941, a small army of construction workers began clearing a five-square mile patch of land near Ypsilanti. The Willow Run bomber plant was the largest aircraft manufacturing facility ever built. Now, 75 years later, Willow Run’s proud legacy of innovation continues.


Bill Ballenger photo
WKAR

Today's primary elections in Michigan are closed, with Republicans voting for Republicans and Democrats voting for Democrats. It hasn't always been that way. We talk with Bill Ballenger of The Ballenger Report about Michigan's role in the presidential nominating process over the years.


Governor Fred Warner
Courtesy / Farmington Community Library Heritage Collection

This year’s presidential primary has turned out to be pretty interesting, but the origin story of Michigan’s state level primaries could give the hoopla of 2016 a run for its money. We learn more about Michigan’s first state primary from Maria Taylor, Assistant Editor of Michigan History Magazine.


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