History

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.


Little Rock Nine student on life at MSU and beyond

Mar 1, 2016
Ernest Green and Mark Bashore photo
April Van Buren / WKAR

We have part two of Current State's conversation with civil rights activist Ernest Green today.


Little Rock Nine student’s journey from Arkansas to EL

Feb 24, 2016
Ernest Green and Mark Bashore photo
April Van Buren / WKAR

In September of 1957, Ernest Green and eight other African American students stood outside the all white Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, their entrance blocked by a line of Arkansas National Guard Soldiers. The Little Rock Nine became symbols of the fight to integrate public schools in America. We talk to Ernest Green about what it was like to be a part of such a historic moment ahead of his lecture in East Lansing on Thursday.

Winter Comes to Michigan photo
Courtesy photo / Michigan Department of Transportation

A 1930’s era newsreel that nostalgically captures the work that went into keeping the state’s main roads free of snow more than seventy years ago has been rediscovered in a basement in the Upper Peninsula town of Newberry. We learn more about how popular it’s become from MDOT spokesman Dan Weingarten.


Manumission photo 1
Courtesy photo / Ben Hall

The Michigan Historical Center recently got a special donation: the manumission papers of Frank Demas, who likely bought his freedom from a slave owner in Kentucky before settling in Mason, were donated by his family. We hear from state archivist Mark Harvey and Ben Hall, a Lansing musician and descendant of Demas, about this rare piece of history.


In the second part of Scott Pohl’s conversation with Mahtob Mahmoody, author of “My Name is Mahtob”, she describes forgiving her father for holding her and her mother captive in Iran when she was a child. 

61Syx Teknique photo
Courtesy photo / Vince Dudzinski

February is Black History month, and the Capital Area District Libraries have some interesting and enlightening events planned to celebrate. We speak with Jolee Hamlin, associate director of public service, and professor Roy Finkenbine, a guest speaker at one of the events.


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