History

Place-making with historic preservation

May 16, 2014
Wikimedia Commons

Historic preservation stakeholders from across the state are convening in Jackson, Michigan this week for the annual Michigan Historic Preservation Network conference. The network works to recognize and conserve Michigan’s architectural culture.

Happy graduates in cap and gown
Michigan State University

Commencement season is upon us. MSU is sending new graduates into the world this weekend in East Lansing. The only thing more ubiquitous than caps, gowns, and cameras is a military march written by a British guy in 1901. 

Seriously, why do Americans graduate to a tune that across the Atlantic Ocean essentially has become an unofficial English National Anthem? Current State’s Melissa Benmark explores the song that’s helped “commence” graduates for over a century.  

The stories fossils can tell

May 1, 2014
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.

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.

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.

New book chronicles Lansing's First Family

Apr 24, 2014
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.

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.

Exhibit preserves artifacts of endangered places

Mar 10, 2014
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.

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.”

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.

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.

Mobile Black History museum stops in Lansing

Feb 4, 2014
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.

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.
  

 

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. 

 

 

 

Jackson museum explores American impressionism

Dec 10, 2013
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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