History

History
1:31 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

The stories fossils can tell

Dr. Gottfried brought this cast of a skull of a so-called 'mammal-like reptile' from South Africa, that is about 240 million years old to WKAR's Studio S, along with a 50-million year old Sand-tiger shark tooth fossil from the Canadian Arctic.
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

Kids go crazy about dinosaur fossils at the museum. Most of us grow out of that dinosaur phase, and those dinosaurs become reminders that we are turning into fossils, at least to our kids. But fossils are much more than just old bones. They can tell stories about where we came from, and about our planet’s history.

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History
1:03 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Feeding the Yanks: MSU historian explores Civil War era cookbooks

Veit specializes in American history in the 19th and 20th centuries, focusing on the history of food and nutrition.
Credit courtesy of helenveit.com

A new book from the MSU Press looks at the cookbooks and foodways of Americans in the 1860s. “Food in the Civil War Era: The North” is officially out this week. It’s  part of a planned food history series from the MSU Press.

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History
12:58 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Tiny Detroit park home to state's original capitol

There's a small replica of the first state capitol building in the park.
Scott Pohl/WKAR


A new book by Jack Dempsey tells the story of Detroit’s historic Capitol Park. It’s the site of Michigan’s first capitol building, and the state’s first governor is buried there.

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History
1:54 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

New book chronicles Lansing's First Family

The Turner-Dodge house is the only 19th century residence in the greater Lansing area open to the public.
Credit Flickr - Greater Lansing Convention & Visitor's Bureau

Take a drive through Lansing Township north of the Capitol, and you’re likely to pass by a stately Classical Revival-style mansion.  Beginning in 1855, the  Turner-Dodge House on North Street was home to several generations of one of  Lansing’s most prominent families.  Today, it’s an interpretive center with its own spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

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History
1:48 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Preserving MSU's audiovisual history

MSU archivist Portia Vescio says many MSU interviews and sportscasts are in formats that are now obsolete. MSU is soliciting public donations to digitize those records.
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR


The Michigan State Spartans had a great run through March Madness, making the Elite Eight. Coach Tom Izzo may want his team to watch the playback of Sunday’s game against the U-Conn Huskies for a little self-analysis. MSU has a lot of tapes like that and other sporting events, some of which pre-date World War II. However, those old film and video clips are falling apart over time. Now, MSU is asking the public for donations to digitize those records for posterity.

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Arts & Culture
12:20 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Exhibit preserves artifacts of endangered places

A Pilgrim Monument Souvenir Plate, which is part of the "Sinking and Melting" collection. The plate was sent in by Steve Desroches, from Provincetown, Mass.
Credit Courtesy of sinkingandmelting.tumblr.com

Many scientists predict that as climate change becomes more extreme, dry and coastal regions around the globe will be heavily impacted by drought and rising sea levels.  Entire communities could disappear.

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Music
1:06 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Detroit's jazz legacy from ballrooms to Motown and beyond

McKinney's Cotton Pickers

In the 1920’s, ballrooms popped up across the United States, including in Detroit. The music that filled Detroit’s dance halls was Jazz.

Current State’s Emanuele Berry spoke with Jim Gallert,  a veteran jazz broadcaster, researcher and writer. Together with Lars Bjorn, he wrote “Before Motown: A History of Jazz in Detroit, 1920– 1960.”

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Politics & Government
1:59 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Hurting while helping: Outside aid often undermines post-civil war democracy

Michael Colaresi researched 136 civil wars from 1936 to 2007 for his recent study, “With Friends Like These, Who Needs Democracy? The Effect of Transnational Support from Rivals on Post-Conflict Democratization.”
Credit Flickr - Vlad Archic

There’s probably never been a time in history when there wasn’t war and conflict going on somewhere in the world, but amid the Arab Spring and the situation between Russia and Ukraine, right now seems like an especially good time to talk to an expert on international conflict.

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History
11:10 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Book chronicles Michigander's role in woman's suffrage

Anna Howard Shaw graduated from Albion College in 1875.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

March is Women’s History Month, and Current State’s Scott Pohl talks with the author of a new book about one Michigan woman's role in America’s suffrage movement. 

Anna Howard Shaw was born in England in 1847. Her family moved to America and she grew up in Michigan. After an isolated farm upbringing, Shaw enrolled at Albion College, which became a springboard to a life as a minister and medical school studies in Boston, and ultimately to work in the reform movements of that era.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:23 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Mobile Black History museum stops in Lansing

Credit blackhistory101mobilemuseum.com


The Black History 101 Mobile Museum will be in Lansing today. The museum’s Peacemakers exhibit includes more than 150 artifacts and can be seen in the Sparrow Professional Building on the third floor atrium from 10 am to 5 pm. Current State’s Scott Pohl is here with more on the exhibit.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:26 am
Mon January 6, 2014

A century later: The legacy of Ford’s 'living wage'

Ford assembly line, 1913.
Credit wikamedia commons

On January 5, 1914, Henry Ford introduced a conditional five-dollar a day wage for his assembly line workers. One hundred years later, different people put different spins on the story. Some say it was Henry Ford paying his workers enough to buy the cars they were producing. Some say it was only a move to stop the high levels of worker on the assembly lines.
MSU's John Beck takes a look at the competing narratives and some interesting parallels 100 years on.
  

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:25 am
Mon January 6, 2014

MSU voice library houses words of presidents, stars and more

 

MSU's G. Robert Vincent Voice Library houses over 40,000 hours of spoken word recordings. Voices in the collection range from everyday people to cultural and political figures. Over 100,000 voices are captured in the collection, which includes audio dating back to 1888.

Current State's Peter Whorf spoke with John Shaw, supervisor of the Vincent Voice Library. 

 

 

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:28 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Jackson museum explores American impressionism

MSU Art and Art History assistant professor Laura Smith considers 'On Grand River' by Frank Weston Benson.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Say “impressionist art” and you’re likely to think of the Europeans like Monet, Manet, Renoir, Degas, and Cezanne. But a number of American artists fit in that category, too. In Jackson, the Ella Sharp Museum has opened an exhibition called “American Impressionism: The Lure of the Artists’ Colony”. It’s on loan from the Reading Public Museum in Pennsylvania.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:00 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

On 50th anniversary, recollections of JFK assassination

President John F. Kennedy at his desk in the Oval Office, 1962.
Credit http://www.jfklibrary.org/

Fifty years ago today, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. If you were alive on November 22, 1963, you remember where you were when you heard the news.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:23 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Current State #192 | October 31, 2013

Today on Current State: October's biggest stories in review; Comet ISON; the history of werewolves in Michigan; and a review of "The Halloween Tree".

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:04 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Ah-oo, werewolves of … Michigan?

In this specific case of Michigan's werewolf folklore, a young nun living in what now is Grosse Pointe became the object of a voyager’s affections.
Credit Wikimedia Commons


Each month Current State Weekend host Emanuele Berry sits down with historian David Votta to rediscover forgotten bits of Michigan’s history. Votta is the Community Engagement Librarian at the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services.  This month they decided to discuss the history of werewolves in Michigan.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:16 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Film chronicles remarkable life of R. Buckminster Fuller

Dymaxion No. 4 is in Madrid, Spain. The Dymaxion was proposed as the first flying car.
Credit Noel Murphy Productions

R. Buckminster Fuller has been called the grandfather of the modern green movement.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:46 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Lansing leaders inducted into Michigan Women's Hall of Fame

The Michigan Women's Historical Center in Lansing houses the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.
Credit Flickr - bettybarcode

Tonight, the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in Lansing will induct six new nominees to its ranks.  Two are high-profile women from Lansing.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:42 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Eaton Rapids student project commemorates Holocaust

The Eaton Rapids High School Holocaust memorial features several handmade displays, including this replica of a concentration camp.
WKAR/Kevin Lavery

On  November 9 and 10, 1938, Nazi soldiers ransacked Jewish homes, synagogues and hospitals across Germany and parts of Austria.  The event 75 years ago came to be known as “Kristallnacht”, the night of broken glass. Historians widely view it as the beginning of the Holocaust.

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:21 am
Fri September 27, 2013

U.S. played crucial role in Pinochet's coup, declassified documents reveal

Augusto Pinochet rose to power in Chile in 1973, with the help of the CIA.
Credit Flickr/Editorial MAYE

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the coup in Chile which elevated General Augusto Pinochet to power.

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Radio Made in Michigan
3:26 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Preservationist sleeps in former slave-dwellings

The Brattonsville cabin in McConnels, SC was one of the slave dwellings in the Slave Cabin Project.
Credit Courtesy preservation.org

In parts of the country, there are an unknown number of old dwellings that once were the homes of slaves. For Joe McGill, preserving these structures has become a mission.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:46 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Debunking the myth of Lansing as 'Biddle City'

Lansing's growth stemmed from the legislatures decision to relocate the capital from Detroit to Lansing Township.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

 

The Wikipedia page for Lansing, Mich. reads that "in the winter of 1835 and early 1836, two brothers from New York plotted the area now known as REO Town just south of downtown Lansing and named it 'Biddle City.' All of this land lay in a floodplain and was underwater during the majority of the year. Regardless, the brothers went back to New York, specifically Lansing, New York, to sell plots for the town that did not exist.”

This story may sound familiar to many, but it turns out it’s not true. David Votta, Community Engagement Librarian at the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services, sat down with Current State’s Emanuele Berry to debunked the myth of Lansing’s foundation.

Radio Made in Michigan
1:52 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Impact of Malcolm X in Lansing, his hometown

Dennis Burnside co-founded the X Foundation, the group which successfully pushed for Main Street in Lansing to be re-named for Malcolm X. Lansing and New York City are the only two known cities in which streets named for Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. intersect.
Credit Kevin Lavery / WKAR

 

 

The March on Washington in August 1963 was one of the largest mass protests ever held in the U.S.  Its physical and spiritual leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., based his entire campaign on nonviolent resistance.  But his strategy was not endorsed by everyone.  Another giant of the civil rights era had other ideas about the African-American struggle.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:51 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Lansing delegation attends 50th Anniversary of March on Washington

The 1963 march was organized under the themes of freedom and jobs.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

 

The eyes of the world are on Washington, D.C. today, as hundreds of thousands of people are expected in the nation’s capital to observe the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.  In many ways, the 1963 rally was the high water mark of the civil rights era and the stuff of legend.  Nearly a quarter of a million people jammed the National Mall to hear a rising Georgia preacher lay out his vision for a more just and equal world.

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:49 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Dr. Lee June recalls Civil Rights Era

Dr. Lee June attended Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in the early 1960's. He's visiting Washington this week as a member of the Lansing area Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission.
Credit Courtesy Michigan State University

 

In August of 1963, Lee June was a young college student.  He was working in New Jersey that summer, though he attended one of the nation’s most prestigious historically black colleges in the South.  Rather than attend the march, June instead came back to school.  

 

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Radio Made in Michigan
11:56 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Gettysburg 150th: Michigan's role in the Civil War Part 3

The only known photograph of President Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

On the rolling hills of southern Pennsylvania 150 years ago this week, 90,000 Union troops collided with 75,000 Confederate soldiers for the Battle of Gettysburg.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:42 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Gettysburg 150th: Michigan's role in the Civil War Part 1

The 21st Michigan Infantry.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

 

This week marks the 150th anniversary of the turning point of the American Civil War: the Battle of Gettysburg.

During this week in 1863, Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s all-out attempt to invade the North was turned down by the Army of the Potomac led by Union General George Meade.

The battle ended with more than 50,000 killed and wounded. Michigan men suffered 40 percent casualties. Gettysburg sent the South on the road to its 1865 surrender.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:17 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Book examines history of rural African Americans in Michigan

Bill Allen was an African American who ran a hog farm in Cass County in the late 1860s.
Credit Courtesy of Benjamin Calvin Wilson

Throughout Michigan's history, the state's African American population is often portrayed as an urban population. But that depiction overlooks a part of Michigan’s history.

Many African Americans settled in rural areas, before and after the Civil War. In 1860, Cass County was home to more than 1,500 blacks, surprisingly that was just under the number of African Americans found in Wayne County at the time.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:29 pm
Mon May 20, 2013

Two years after Fukushima, Japan still recovering

When a massive 9.0 earthquake hit Japan two years ago it caused mass destruction and distress. On March 18, an event took place at MSU to commemorate the second anniversary of the tragedy.
Credit File photo

 Originally aired on March 14, 2013. 

 Two years ago, a massive earthquake struck off the coast of Japan. The quake triggered a tsunami which damaged the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, causing the world’s worst radiation leak since the Chernobyl accident in 1986.  

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:55 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Friend and colleague of MLK recalls his life

These photos are from William G. Anderson's personal collection. Many of them capture Albany Georgia during the civil rights movement.
Courtesy of William G. Anderson

On this date 45 years ago, civil rights pioneer Martin Luther King, Junior was murdered in Memphis, Tennessee.  To the world, King was an icon of equality and justice.  His family and friends, of course, saw something more.  One of Dr. King’s closest friends was William G. Anderson.  Anderson is an osteopathic surgeon with Michigan State University who practices in Detroit.  In 1961, Anderson lived in Albany, Georgia, where he started what came to be known as the “Albany Movement,” one of the first successful organized protests of the era.  

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