History

Word of Mouth
10:44 am
Tue November 26, 2013

When Did 'Three Square Meals' Become The American Norm?

Credit 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.

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Word of Mouth
1:01 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

J.F.K.: A Second Son Made Into A President

Credit 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.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Mon November 11, 2013

REBROADCAST: The Last of the Doughboys

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:

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Word of Mouth
9:35 am
Thu October 31, 2013

The Real Salem Witches

A gravestone for Gile Corey, executed for witchcraft in Salem.
Credit 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.

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Word of Mouth
2:20 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Bill Bryson Takes Us Back To The Summer Of 1927

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. 

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Brenda Wineapple's Civil War Book, Ecstatic Nation

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.
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Writers On A New England Stage
10:16 am
Fri October 4, 2013

A. Scott Berg On 'Wilson'

Wilson was President from 1913 to 1921

 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. 

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All Things Considered
5:37 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Keene State College Prof Uncovers A Lost Gem From Hollywood's Early Days

Mary Pickford stars in "Their First Misunderstanding," a 1911 short film believed lost. A copy of the film turned up in a barn in Nelson, N.H., and Keene State College took part in the process to restore the film.
Credit 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.

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Word of Mouth
11:50 am
Tue September 24, 2013

The Smithsonian's Annual Museum Day Live

Credit 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.

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All Things Considered
6:15 am
Fri September 6, 2013

The Astonishing And The Esoteric: New Hampshire's Guinness World Records

Keene's Pumpkin Festival in 2010. Festival organizers say they're feeling really confident that 2013 is going to be the year they reclaim the Guinness world record for most lit jack o'lanterns displayed.
Credit Selbe B via Flickr/Creative Commons - http://www.flickr.com/photos/stacylynn/5117165696/in/photostream/

"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.”

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Word of Mouth
12:15 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Lobster's Journey From Trashy Food To Fancy Feast

Credit 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.

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Word of Mouth
9:16 am
Thu August 15, 2013

Got Milk Tolerance?

Credit 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.

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Word of Mouth
12:04 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Salt Smarts: How Iodine Has Increased American I.Q.s

Credit 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.

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Word of Mouth
9:48 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Commercial Spaceport Is Being Threatened By History

Credit 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.

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Word of Mouth
8:58 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Studying Slang With An Etymologist

Credit 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.

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