History

pawpaw67 via flickr Creative Commons

The digital age has rendered letter writing, paperboys, and checkbooks as old-fashioned as the rotary phone. While the proliferation of e-books, e-mail, and online newspapers appear to be hastening the death of the printed page, Nicholas Basbanes argues that we are far from becoming a paperless society. Nicholas is an impassioned bibliophile and author of On Paper: The Everything of its Two-Thousand-Year History.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

In a year-long series called “250 Years In The Making: Stories From 13 New Hampshire Towns," NHPR’s Keith Shields has traveled all across the Granite State, learning the unique stories of these towns and how their tales also reflect the broader narrative of new Hampshire history.

GUESTS:

NHPR / Michael Brindley

When you’re just driving by, they all look pretty much the same.

“The green and white markers everyone sees around our highways; to mark important events, important people, important things about New Hampshire.”

But Elizabeth Muzzey, who directs the state’s Division of Historical resources, says when you look a little closer, you find each of the state’s 236 historical markers tells a unique story.

There’s one in New Ipswich marking the first textile mill.

Courtesy of Andrew Pinard

Andrew Pinard’s website features video from the kinds of performances you might expect from a contemporary working magician: entertaining audiences at conventions, business meetings and a group of teens at a post-graduation party.

On Saturday, Andrew will take on another guise, and another century. He’ll be performing as the 19th century magician Jonathan Harrington at Canterbury Shaker Village, and he’s here to give us a preview, and a little bit of information on just who this Harrington is.

Diettogo1 via Flickr Creative Commons

Admitting to eating a bowl of cereal for dinner is like disclosing that you are lonely, lazy, or waaay to busy. Similarly, not having the whole family sitting around the table for a hot dinner of protein, a vegetable, and dessert feels like some kind of failure. When did how and what we eat become codified as right, proper, and essentially American?  How did factory work, television and advertising shape the varied diets carried by centuries of immigrants into the breakfast, lunch and dinner most of us eat today?

Abigail Carroll is a food historian and author of Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal, which explores the history of America’s eating from the Colonial era to the present.

via Wikipedia Commons

  Fifty years after his death, the presidency, and character and memory of John F. Kennedy has been covered and re-covered and burnished in television specials, articles and at least one extraordinary radio special that you’ll be hearing tomorrow on NHPR. With each retrospective comes the revival of the Kennedy myths…pictures of the sprawling family with their giant smiles, privilege…and no holds barred ambition.

In his new book, The Last of the Doughboys, Richard Rubin reflects on the First World War through the eyes of dozens of centenarians who experienced its battles but rarely told its stories. Rubin discovers what he calls a neglected “great generation”, the overlooked and under-appreciated war they fought in, and how that conflict shaped our modern world.

Guest:

Christine Zenino via Flickr Creative Commons

Visitors to Salem, Massachusetts, have a surfeit of choices in Halloween season. They can take a “Tales and Tombstones Trolley Tour,” attend the Zombie Prom, Voodoo Ball, or a performance of “Dracula’s Guest.”

The real terror that coursed through the Massachusetts Bay colony from 1692 to ’93 was not the stuff of a night out with the family. More than two hundred people were accused of witchcraft by their neighbors. Nineteen were hanged. Another was pressed to death. Five women died in prison.  Historian Marilynne Roach examines the lives of individuals swept up in the trials through surviving documents, invoices, and objects. Her new book is called Six Women of Salem: The Untold Story of the Accused and Their Accusers in the Salem Witch Trials.

Photo by David J. Murray, ClearEyePhoto.com

A conversation with author Bill Bryson about his new book, One Summer: America 1927 recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth.

Writers on a New England Stage is a co-production of NHPR and The Music Hall. 

In this new approach to the Civil War, Wineapple provides the reader with a sense of the passions and tragedies of the era, including character studies of the vibrant and flawed personalities behind the scenes.

GUEST:

  • Brenda Wineapple – teaches literature at both New York's New School University and Columbia University.  Wineapple is also professor of modern literary and historical studies at Union College.  Her previous book is White Heat: the Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson.

 A conversation with historian and biographer A. Scott Berg about his new book, Wilson, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth.

Writers on a New England Stage is a co-production of NHPR and The Music Hall. 

Courtesy Keene State College/Library of Congress

We use the phrase “long lost” more often than is probably warranted, but this story certainly qualifies.

Several years ago a contractor was cleaning out a barn in Nelson that he’d been hired to demolish. He found a 35 millimeter film projector and seven reels of nitrate film. Among those was a short film that had not been seen in decades. The film, called “Their First Misunderstanding,” stars an 18 year old woman named Mary Pickford, who would become one of Hollywood’s first and biggest stars.

smithsonianmag.com

Everybody can benefit from taking a field trip. And here’s your chance… this Saturday is Smithsonian magazine’s annual Museum Day Live. Follow this link: Smithsonian's Museum Day Live to download a free ticket that will get you and a guest into any participating Smithsonian museum, including the McCauliffe-Shepard Discovery Museum in Concord, the Aviation Museum of New Hampshire in Manchester, and the Strawberry Banke museum…where you can learn – among other things – about Portsmouth’s long love affair with beer.  And while brewing may not be the focus of 7th grade class trip, there is plenty more to learn at Strawberry Banke.

Selbe B via Flickr/CC

"World record" is a phrase that brings to mind great feats - doing something no one else has ever done.

And that’s what’s happening this Saturday on Lake Winnipesaukee- if all goes as planned, participants will break the  record for “the largest free-floating raft of canoes and kayaks on a single water body.”

The Vault DFW via Flickr Creative Commons

As the summer winds down, so will demand for lobster and its market price. Maine lobstermen are bemoaning low wholesale prices, but far from shore, say New York City’s Lobster Joint, market price today for a roll is $19…a boiled lobster will cost your $34. Today, the crustaceans are coveted, and symbolic of wealth, class, and extravagant living. Not so long ago, lobster was considered lower than the ocean floor on which it dwells. Here to trace its climb up the social ladder from grub for the poor to high-class delicacy is Daniel Luzer, Web Editor at the Washington Monthly. We found his article, “Low Lobster Got Fancy,” in Pacific Standard.

macalit via Flickr Creative Commons

Got milk tolerance? Only about one-third of adults on earth can properly digest dairy. A project uniting archaeologists, chemists and geneticist is studying the history of milk in Europe, where “lactose persistence”, the ability to digest milk as an adult, is thought to have emerged only seven and a half thousand years ago. There’s been a wave of discoveries suggesting that a number of “lactose hot spots” where ancient humans developed the genetic mutation for tolerating milk –  experienced significant advantages which allowed ancient humans to survive and changed the course of human history.  Mark Thomas is an evolutionary geneticist at University College London and co-founder of LeCHE, a collaborative research project that traces lactose persistence in early Europe.

Joe Mud via Flickr Creative Commons

Iodized salt is so common today that you may never have considered the two as separate elements. This wasn’t always the case -- in 1924 iodized salt was first sold commercially in the U.S. to reduce the incidence of goiter – or swelling of the thyroid gland. Within a decade the average I.Q. in the United States had risen three and a half points. In areas that had been iodine deficient, I.Q. levels rose an average of fifteen points. A new paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research traces this leap in I.Q. back to iodized salt.  We spoke with Max Nisen, war room reporter for Business Insider, where he wrote about I.Q. increases as a result of iodized salt.

Jeff Houck/John Stavely via Flickr Creative Commons

Florida’s Aerospace Economic Development Agency is making plans to build a new commercial spaceport not far from the Kennedy Space Center – home of NASA’s now retired shuttle program. There’s just one problem: the land is already occupied.  To learn more, producer Taylor Quimby caught up with Tampa Bay Times reporter Craig Pittmanwho wrote about Space Florida’s proposal to build on top of an  18th century sugar factory and archaeological site called the Elliott Plantation.

teachernz via flickr Creative Commons

For four decades, Dr. Gerald Cohen has pored over documents, texts and pop culture to study etymology--the history and origins of words and how their meanings change over time. Working with the world’s top language historians, Dr. Cohen publishes “Comments on Etymology,” a journal of the peculiar origins of words and phrases like ‘brainstorm’ and ‘hot dog’. The journal cannot be found online, or even at university libraries…its circulation is under one hundred, and it’s published on paper. Gerald Cohen is professor in the Department of Arts, Languages and Philosophy at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Biographer Amity Shlaes say our thirtieth president was deeper than his nickname Silent Cal suggests or what his critics called a man of few words and.. frequent naps.. but a visionary conservative who promoted ideas of limited government and individual responsibility and who oversaw an era of remarkable growth and optimism that preceded the Great Depression.

Guest

A new book aims to tell the stories of some of the most remarkable women in the history of Portsmouth, from colonial tavern keepers to nationally-known artists, politicians, philanthropists and more.

It's called Portsmouth Women: Madams and Matriarchs Who Shaped New Hampshire's Port City.

The book's editor, Laura Pope, talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about some of the women featured in the book.

Americans recently completed that annual ritual, when they file their returns to Uncle Sam.  But over the century of this tax, there’s been lots of debate on its effectiveness and fairness. and a few states, including New Hampshire have decided not to do this at the state level.  We’ll look at the history of the income tax and how it’s evolved.

Guests

Biographer Amity Shlaes say our thirtieth president was deeper than his nickname Silent Cal suggests or what his critics called a man of few words and.. frequent naps.. but a visionary conservative who promoted ideas of limited government and individual responsibility  and who oversaw an era of remarkable growth and optimism that preceded the Great Depression.

Guest

Seeing New England

John Hay was private secretary to Abraham Lincoln and secretary of state under Theodore Roosevelt. His summer estate on Lake Sunapee was a masterpiece of architecture and of horticultural artistry. In 1987, the estate was deeded to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and opened to the public, and recently became a private non-profit offering programs, tours and classes. David Bashaw is a volunteer docent, guiding tours at the Fells.

via stanford.edu

IAN MORRIS, Professor of Classics and History at Stanford University and a Fellow of the Stanford Archaeology Center, is author of several books including, Why the West Rules—For Now: The Patterns of History, and What They Reveal About the Future, which was published in 2010, and his latest, The Measure of Civilization: How Social Development Decides the Fate of Nations. We spoke with professor Morris about his new book, the seminar he gave at Langley to members of the CIA, and his early heavy metal aspirations.

1763: A Landmark Year In New Hampshire History

Mar 11, 2013

This year, 13 New Hampshire towns are celebrating their 250th anniversaries.  As part of a new series called “250 Years In The Making: Stories From 13 New Hampshire Towns," NHPR’s Keith Shields will travel to each of these places, learn more about their founding and find the unique stories buried within their borders. But before we do, we begin with a look back two and a half centuries to the year 1763.

Broadside quoting Marquis de Lafayette, issued 1800-1899 / Rare Books Collection, Boston Public Library, Flickr Creative Commons

Back in 1779, 20 slaves made the case for their freedom before the New Hampshire General Court.  After noting it wasn’t the right time, the body postponed the decision “to a more convenient opportunity.” 

Lawmakers never took that opportunity, and 14 of the petitioners died as slaves. 

But on Wednesday, a Senate committee unanimously passed the bill.  

We all have one:  the friend who refuses to take part in social media, has only a landline, shuns digital cameras, the Mp3, and just about anything else with a computer chip.  The hearty  souls who refuse such technologies tend to inspire a lot of eye-rolling – with a measure of respect.  For the rest of us, choosing the life of a Luddite hardly seems like an option.  The history of the term “Luddite”, and the man for which it was coined is a surprisingly violent one, tracing back to the late 18th century.  Morgan Meis is a freelance writer and editor at “Three Quarks Daily."  Recently, he wrote about the original Luddite, Ned Ludd, and he joins us to tell us more.

via The Atlantic

Our conversation with Sunni Brown sparked an interest in history's doodles; here are some great minds that weren't afraid to scribble a shape or two on their stationary.

Library of Congress

Every American president has taken the same oath of office that President Barack Obama took earlier today - every president except one.

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