History

Kurk Dorsey's "Whales & Nations"

Mar 19, 2014
Univ of Washington Press

The new book "Whales and Nations" by UNH professor Kurkpatrick Dorsey explores the history of international conservation efforts through the lens of the commercial whaling industry. We’ll talk with him about the whaling in the 20th century and why international diplomacy failed to regulate commercial whaling.

GUESTS:

Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

Word of Mouth wishes you a happy Daylight Saving Time! (Can you believe it's this Sunday already?) But why exactly does the practice of changing our clocks even exist? We explore the ins and outs of Daylight Saving (without the extra "s") with a guest who wrote the book on it. Then Zach Nugent talks with Marissa Nadler whose most recent album was released in early February. We take an architectural turn with a look at the invention of revolving doors followed by a hot architectural commodity: wood. Finally, producers Logan Shannon and Sam Evans-Brown bring us a story about a wild winter activity. No, not skiing or boarding, but animal tracking.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.!

February 28th marks thirty years since the 1984 New Hampshire presidential primary. The ’84 election is often overlooked today – mostly because the general election saw Republican President Ronald Reagan beat Democrat Walter Mondale in a landslide - and yet, the 1984 primary was fairly influential.

2.24.14: Modern & Monastic Food

Feb 24, 2014
michaelmossbooks.com and Victoria Reay, Holly Hayes & William Jones via flickr Creative Commons

Prepare your palate, because we're bringing you a smorgasbord of stories; today's Word of Mouth is all about food! But taste with caution, sandwiched between stories of slime and frozen meat are stories of monastic meals and heavenly... beer? That's right, beer that was divinely sanctioned. Grab a snack and take a listen. You'll never think of food the same way again.

Listen to our full show and click Read More for individual segments.

  

Have you hugged a President this week? Steve Wood has. As a card-carrying member of the Association of Lincoln Presenters, Wood assumes the garb, voice and character of the country’s 16th President to educate people about Lincoln’s life and legacy.

Top 10 Lost Ski Sites In New Hampshire

Feb 11, 2014
nelsap.org

Do you ski or snowboard? Do you find yourself going to the same crowded slopes all winter long? Do you need a change? If you said yes to any of these questions, then you need to discover (or rediscover) New Hampshire's 175 lost ski areas. The New England Lost Ski Areas Project (NELSAP) founded by Jeremy Davis has dedicated a website to sharing information, pictures, and brochures for those long lost ski spots. Even Concord, NHPR's hometown, has some lost gems at Russel's Pond and Snow Pond. Chances are, there's a hidden ski slope near year.

Here is Jeremy's list of the top 10 lost ski sites in New Hampshire:

oskay, Frank M, Rafik, and dolphinsdock via flickr Creative Commons

Guess what. (What?!). You got the better of Monday. Reward yourself with a healthy dose of Word of Mouth. Today, we're looking at mental illness in our ancient ancestors, the prudish beginnings of the graham cracker (minus the chocolate and marshmallow), Netflix documentaries, and the choreography of Doug Elkins. Dance your heart out, relax with Netflix, and replenish with a s'more. Just steer clear of the ancient hallucination-inducing furies. Listen to the full show and scroll down for more on each segment.

Pond Hockey : The Tradition Continues

Jan 27, 2014
Zach Nugent / NHPR

Pond hockey has been a favorite winter activity for many hearty New Englanders since 1883, when the first hockey game ever played in the United States happened on the ponds at St. Paul’s school right in Concord. This weekend the pond hockey tradition continued at the 4th annual Black Ice Pond Hockey Championship at White Park in Concord.


Zach Nugent / NHPR

Whether told by a campfire, or at a childhood slumber party, everyone loves a spooky story. Today on Word of Mouth we explore our ‘creepy’ appetite. And the macabre continues with the true story of the battle over Richard the III’s remains.  Although he reigned five centuries ago, his burial site has sparked a modern-day war of the roses among Britain’s Richard-files. Also on the show, the Black Ice Pond Hockey tournament celebrates its fourth year at White Park, and producer Zach Nugent sat on the bench to bring us the sights and sounds. Listen to the whole show below or click Read More to listen to individual segments.


Johnhenryf via Flickr Creative Commons

In the words of author Stephen Amidon, “no other figure is the focus of so much passion, controversy, expectation, and disappointment…” regardless of whether it is football or soccer, figure-skating or hockey, watching the world’s top athletes borders on hypnotic… and sometimes stands as proof of our ability to exceed physical human limitations and become something like the gods. That’s the name of long-time sports-lover and novelist Stephen Amidon’s new cultural history of the athlete, detailing sport from the first Olympic Games, to the rise of Lebron James.

Sara Plourde

After years of isolationism, the U.S. rose in the 20th century to become the world’s sole superpower. Today, economic growth is slow, unemployment and income inequality are rising, and political impasses have ground policy initiatives to a halt. America’s status in global manufacturing, education, and innovation is slipping. Many economists project that China is poised to overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest economy. It all sounds pretty bleak…but economist Charles Kenny paints a much rosier picture. In his book The Upside of Down: Why the Rise of the Rest is Good for the West he argues that Americans should stop worrying and learn to love the decline.

Hannah Duston Historic Site Will Keep Its Name For Now

Jan 14, 2014
Craig Michaud via Wikicommons

Republican state representative Gene Charron of Chester has withdrawn a bill that would have changed the name of the Hannah Duston State Historic Memorial Site in Boscawen to the Contoocook Island State Historic Site.

wikipedia.org

Throughout the world, hundreds of caves have been discovered containing artifacts and paintings from pre-historic times. The art work found in these caves has provided a glimpse into pre-historic culture, but our guest, anthropological archeologist Margaret Conkey says they only tell part of the story of early man. For her project “Between the Caves” she has pushed archeological research beyond the caves, into the landscapes where Paleolithic people lived and thrived.  

NASA

China’s lunar rover, Jade Rabbit, landed on the moon to study the satellite’s terrain, geology, and lava flows. What else might it find? Dirty laundry, golf balls, bags of human waste, and an American flag.  There are loads of items left on the moon by NASA’s Apollo missions -- still perfectly preserved because the moon lacks a destructive atmosphere. With a handful of countries announcing plans for future lunar missions, a number of scientists are arguing that moon trash is an archeological treasure that should be preserved and studied by future generations. But with no laws or lunar governing body to protect, say, the first footprint on the moon, some worry that America’s lunar heritage could be destroyed by a new generation of explorers rushing to reach the moon.

How Should We Live?

Dec 30, 2013
Courtesy of romankrznaric.com

As the fizzy, busy holiday season draws to a close, we’re pausing to reflect on how we navigate a world so unlike that of our parents. Today, no job is a job for life... We live longer but will likely retire with less. We now interact with friends more online than in person, value is measured in page views and how we choose to live could have severe consequences for the future of the planet.

So, how to pursue a life that has meaning and richness in today’s world? Roman Krznaric suggests looking to the past. He’s out with a new book called “How Should We Live?” which peers into the near and ancient past for examples of how people through the ages approached love, work, family, time, money, death, creativity, and more.

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:

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.

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