History

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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Radio Made in Michigan
12:50 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Oldsmobile through the decades

Ransom founded the Olds Motor Vehicle Company in Lansing in 1897. The company was bought by General Motors in 1908, which produced the Oldsmobile brand for 96 years. Ransom Olds continued to produce cars, however, under the name REO Motor Car Company.
Credit 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.

Radio Made in Michigan
2:38 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

MSU now home to interviews with atomic bomb survivors

Dr. Wake joined the faculty of Lyman Briggs College in 2005 after completing her graduate degrees at Kyoto University, Japan (MA) and Indiana University Bloomington (Ph.D). Her current work focuses on Japanese-American and Korean-American memories of the atomic bombs.
Credit 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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:18 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

How Tigers helped Michigan bear 1968 summer

The Detroit Tigers' performance in the 1968 World Series inspired many American to persevere through the devastating events.
Credit 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.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:47 pm
Fri March 22, 2013

A tour of Lansing's Albert Kahn building

  Architect Albert Kahn was famous for his Michigan buildings, among them Detroit’s Fisher Building and General Motors Headquarters, Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium and the many functional but distinctive factories and industrial facilities throughout Detroit and the U.S. Lansing is home to one Kahn building, the former Motor Wheel Factory.

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:28 pm
Thu March 14, 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. There is an event taking place Monday at MSU to commemorate the second anniversary of the tragedy.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

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.  

On Monday, MSU will commemorate the anniversary with an event at the International Center.  One of the speakers, Dr. Ethan Segal, a professor of history at MSU and an expert on Japan, assesses the rebuilding efforts and discusses Japan’s complex relationship with nuclear power. 

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:13 pm
Wed February 27, 2013

New book chronicles history of Native American struggle with U.S. military

Author Winona LaDuke focuses on the troubled and complicated history between Native Americans and the U.S. military.
Credit Courtesy of MSU Press

Forty years ago, 200 members of the American Indian Movement took over the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota.  The group was protesting the federal government’s failure to honor various treaties with native tribes.  The location was symbolic.  In 1890, as many as 300 Lakota Indians were killed at Wounded Knee by the U-S Army.  The standoff lasted 73 days and claimed three lives.

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History
11:40 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Detroit Boat Show also features Great Lakes naval history

The American fleet of nine vessels, commanded by Oliver H. Perry, was outgunned by the British heading into The Battle of Lake Erie in 1813.

The 55th annual Detroit Boat Show runs now through Sunday at Cobo Center. The expo showcases everything from power boats to pontoons, and even a little Great Lakes history. This year is the bicentennial of the epic Battle of Lake Erie, which occurred during the War of 1812.
 

Tall ships of the British and United States navies clashed in September of 1813.  The Americans won this crucial battle, which may be best-remembered for the famous message delivered by Commodore Oliver Perry:  “We have met the enemy, and he is ours…”
 

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History
12:47 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Radio legend Mike Whorf on life, love songs

Mike Whorf in his home recording studio.
Credit Peter Whorf

Mike Whorf is known to countless Michigan and Midwestern radio listeners as the long-time host of WJR's Kaleidoscope.  The daily program which aired from the mid-1960s to the late 90s won the coveted Peabody Award in 1968, as well as numerous other statewide and national honors.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Mon February 4, 2013

The Henry Ford Observes Rosa Parks Centennial

The historic Rosa Parks bus needed restoration when obtained by The Henry Ford
Courtesy/The Henry Ford

Today marks the centennial of the birth of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Wed January 23, 2013

The War of 1812: Battle At The River Raisin

General James Winchester
Courtesy/Roger Rosentreter

MSU historian Roger Rosentreter returns today to help us remember an important battle in the War of 1812: the Battle at the River Raisin, 200 years ago this week.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Mon September 17, 2012

MICHIGAN AND THE CIVIL WAR: Antietam

Gen. Israel Richardson was wounded at Antietam, and never recovered.
Roger Rosentreter collection

Today marks the 150th anniversary of a turning point in the Civil War: the battle of Antietam.

The Maryland battle marked the Confederate army’s first invasion of the north, and it would become the bloodiest day in American history. More than

23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or reported missing.           

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Thu August 16, 2012

The War Of 1812: The Surrender Of Detroit

Gen. William Hull faced court-martial for surrendering Detroit to the British.
Courtesy: U.S. History Images

Today marks the bicentennial of the surrender of Detroit to the British in the War of 1812. The key figure is American General William Hull.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Tue July 17, 2012

The War Of 1812: A Michigan Bicentennial

The British took Fort Mackinac 200 years ago today. The British had built the fort and knew it was vulnerable from behind. Their surprise attack led to a quick surrender.
Courtesy Mackinac State Historic Parks

July 17 marks the bicentennial of a key date in the War of 1812, when the British captured Fort Mackinac at the onset of war. WKAR’s Scott Pohl speaks with Phil Porter about the historic date.

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WKAR Blog
4:32 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Calling All Anglophiles!

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at a Royal Gala

I'd like to think everyone is as much an Anglophile as I am. While I know it's not true, I do know that there are a lot of WKAR-TV viewers who really are enjoying all things British on PBS this summer. If you count yourself in that number, here are a few shows coming up that you won't want to miss!

About Queens Elizabeth II and Victoria

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Campus Archaeologists Dig MSU

A team of archaeologists at Michigan State University continues to explore what lies beneath the East Lansing campus.  

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Thu February 9, 2012

MICHIGAN AND THE CIVIL WAR: Senator Zachariah Chandler

WKAR's Scott Pohl has been periodically talking with Michigan State University historian Roger Rosentreter about the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, with an eye on Michigan's role in the war.

Today, they discuss the Joint Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War. Michigan Senator Zachariah Chandler was an outspoken member of the committee.

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WKAR Features
9:14 am
Thu July 21, 2011

MICHIGAN AND THE CIVIL WAR: First Battle of Bull Run

East Lansing, MI –

It's time to mark another 150th anniversary of an important Civil War event.

The First Battle of Bull Run was fought on July 21st, 1861.

WKAR's Scott Pohl discussed the battle with Roger Rosentreter, the former editor of Michigan History magazine and an adjunct professor at Michigan State University.

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WKAR Features
9:44 am
Wed May 11, 2011

MICHIGAN AND THE CIVIL WAR: 150th anniversary of the Michigan First

EAST LANSING, MI –

This year, America is marking the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.

As sesquicentennial events are noted, one of the most talked about involves the Michigan First Regiment.

The Michigan First mustered at Campus Martius in Detroit on this date in 1861, called by Abraham Lincoln to protect the nation's capital.

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