Eaton Rapids student project commemorates Holocaust

Oct 17, 2013
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.

Flickr/Editorial MAYE

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

Preservationist sleeps in former slave-dwellings

Sep 23, 2013
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.

Debunking the myth of Lansing as 'Biddle City'

Sep 16, 2013
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.

Impact of Malcolm X in Lansing, his hometown

Aug 28, 2013
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.

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.


Dr. Lee June recalls Civil Rights Era

Aug 28, 2013
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.  


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.

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.

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.

Two years after Fukushima, Japan still recovering

May 20, 2013
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.  

Friend and colleague of MLK recalls his life

Apr 4, 2013
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.  

Oldsmobile through the decades

Apr 4, 2013
Joe Ross via Flicker

   The R.E. Olds transportation museum houses a diverse collection of Oldsmobiles dating from 1897 to 2004.

It also includes a wide array of auto and industrial history covering about  a century, including a nearly complete collection of Michigan license plates, early traffic signs and a working 1950s-era traffic signal.

Bill Adcock is the Executive Director of the RE Olds Transportation Museum.  He recently joined WKAR’s Peter Whorf for a tour of the museum.

By Emanuele Berry


MSU’s G. Robert Vincent Voice Library is now home to the largest collection of of interviews with people in the Americas who survived the bombings in Nagasaki and Hiroshima. The interviews provide insight into the global network of survivors and the issues which they continue to face.  Dr. Naoko Wake has a joint appointment in MSU’s Lyman Briggs College and the Department of History. Naoko, who helped bring the collection to the library, discusses  the interviews and what she’s learned from listening.

How Tigers helped Michigan bear 1968 summer

Mar 28, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

With riots, the Vietnam War, and the King and Kennedy assassinations, 1968 was a tumultuous year for the United States. In Michigan, the success of the World Series champion, the Detroit Tigers, helped people get through that difficult time.

Tim Wendel, author of "Summer of  '68: The Season that Changed Baseball and America, Forever," chronicles the relationship between the events of that time and the baseball heroes of that year.