From The Archives

NHPR began broadcasting in 1981, and in the intervening years has documented the the stories of New Hampshire. From policy makers in Concord, to residents around the state affected by those policies; from notable Granite Staters, to our ordinary neighbors with a good story, NHPR has produced compelling radio for New Hampshire, by New Hampshire. These stories are the components of the NHPR archives, and on this blog we'll dust off some old stories that are newly relevant, and even find some that were never broadcast. We hope to demonstrate how we've changed as a state by charting our narrative on a longer scale. 

PumpkinRot

So this week's feature wasn't exactly buried under an inch of dust and parchment mites, but it speaks to the best part of this time of year: telling scary stories. Back in January, Word of Mouth looked into how these stories have made the jump from summer camp and slumber parties to the web.

As Kansas City finds itself in its first World Series since 1985, its easy to think upon our own championship drought, which ended in 2004.  

It’s been a decade since Boston's boys of summer willed their way out of the American League Championship Series in unlikely fashion and finally put to bed the ghosts of Ruth, Dent, Buckner, Boone (and countless others).

Anyone who’s been paying attention the last few months knows who and what will be appearing on the ballot in a few weeks. (And if you haven’t been paying attention, get off the sidelines already!) 

But how that information gets on the ballots is a process we don’t think much about.

In the run up to the 2004 election, NHPR's Lisa Peakes visited Captial Offset Printing, the company that had printed ballots for the state for decades.

Here's her story from the NHPR archives:

With the Roosevelts running (and running) on PBS stations across the country, NH’s most famous documentarian has again put Walpole on the map. Ken Burns and his production company Florentine Films have won dozens of awards – Emmys, Grammys, a Peabody and a Columbia-DuPont Award. Much of the success can also be attributed to writer/historian Dayton Duncan who was a key collaborator on many of Florentine’s projects including The National Parks, The Civil War and Baseball.

We’re back in school again, and back at the polls. Seemed like a good time to listen back to this conversation on the Exchange from 2009. Laura spoke with a few members of a newly appointed task force to examine the state of civics education in NH.

Nicole Tung, courtesy FreeJamesFoley.org.

 

Three years ago, NHPR's Jon Greenberg sat down with New Hampshire journalist James Foley.

Foley's family in Rochester and New Hampshire officials have confirmed he was killed by ISIS militants.

He was kidnapped two years ago, but this wasn't the first time he went missing.

The Libyan government held reporter Foley and two of his colleagues for six weeks.  The three were released in 2011.

Foley was a correspondent with Global Post, an online news service. 

James Brady passed away earlier this week.

The former White House Press Secretary was also Vice Chair of the National Brain Injury Association. He came to NH for a technology expo focusing on new technology for people living with disabilities in 1995, not long after that he spoke with NHPR’s Laura Kiernan on our Perspectives program.

NPR

Earlier this week, longtime NPR reporter Margot Adler died. Morning Edition produced a great story about her career.

Archivists are all about anniversaries…we put a man on the moon 45 years ago this week, The Exchange marked that anniversary with help from the Sky Guys the other day. This week is also the 10th anniversary of Killington, VT officials meeting with NH Gov. Craig Benson about plans for secession and perhaps throwing in with the Granite State (more about that here).

George Herman “Babe” Ruth made his major league debut this week 100 years ago (7/11/1914) with the Boston Red Sox. He had just 10 at-bats in 5 games that season, pitching four, and earning $2,500

10 years ago The Front Porch (NHPR’s nightly arts program until 2007) went to Conway, NH to speak with Julia Ruth Stevens, the Babe’s adopted daughter. Stevens spoke to NHPR’s John Walters about living with the most famous man in America, “we never thought about it when we were all at home. He was Daddy and we were just like any other family.”

“Our country is a nation on the make,” according to historian Walter McDougall. He says we’re builders, dreamers, go-getters, inventers and organizers, so much so that "hustling" has become an indelible part of the American character and American history. He means it in all senses of the word, even going back as far as colonists's first arrival on American soil.

This arrived in the mail today.

This unassuming hard drive contains more than 500 GB of audio, the digital representation of 280 tape reels.  A couple months ago, I mentioned that NHPR was sending the last of the tape reels in our archive to Crawford Media to be digitized. And today the fruits of their labor appeared in the form of this orange-y goodness. (They also sent along a few pictures of the digitization process, take a look at the slideshow above).

If you have World Cup fever, you’ll know Brazil and Croatia kick off the tournament Thursday. Even if you don’t have the fever; even if the brouhaha over Landon Donovan last month didn’t register; even if you have only the faintest understanding of who David Beckham is; you know that the U.S. has never been a favorite in the sport of international soccer.

Minnesota Historical Society

On a Monday morning the weather more closely resembled Martin Luther King Jr’s hometown of Atlanta, than it did downtown Concord. But the heat and humidity didn’t discourage those who had gathered at the statehouse for the historic bill signing.

An archive is only as good as the data it captures. This is a thorny issue that archivists grapple with perennially. There wasn’t a lot of information about this week’s story in our records.

Photo by Marsmet523, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Memorial Day is probably the most archives-centric holiday in the year. While many holidays are a flush of personal memories and family traditions, Memorial Day is more about our collective memory as fellow countrymen. And archives are a conduit to our collective memory. 

Ella Nilsen / NHPR

I was listening back this week to New Hampshire Daily, a half hour NH news program we aired from October, 1989 to February, 1992. I was listening to the programs from the week of 14 May, 1990. Among the news of the day (including the death of Jim Hensen, and Lithuania’s independence negotiations with Mikhail Gorbachev) was a four part series we produced about the Canterbury Shaker Village.

via Q1045

This week NHPR is taking a close look at higher education in the state with our special series A Matter of Degrees. But funding higher ed is a perennial issue that we've been tracking for almost as long as we've been broadcasting.  

This week, I'm packing up another batch of old tape reels from the NHPR archive, which I'll send to Crawford Media in Atlanta for digitization (or "migration", as they call it). I'll be documenting the process on the blog, so check back next week to see how it's moving. We worked with them last spring to digitize about 300 of our tape reels, courtesy of the American Archive Content Inventory Project (more below).

On the 450th anniversary of the birth of the language's greatest writer, it seems appropriate to reflect on the work of William Shakespeare. 

In 2005, the Blackfriars Stage Company brought their tour to New Hampshire. We welcomed two actos from the company to our studios to speak with the Front Porch. Alyssa Wilmoth and Tyler Moss were playing Beatrice and Benedick from Much Ado About Nothing and they gave us a little taste of their craft; from Act 1, Scene 1.

Here is a scene from Act 4 where the two characters explore different feelings.

wallyg / Flickr Creative Commons

One year after the tragedy at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, we remember the many stories of heartbreak and of courage that abound at the time and have transpired since.

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats That Never Was

Apr 10, 2014

  The New Hampshire Fisher Cats hold their home opener tonight in Manchester. It's the 10th season of a team that was originally supposed to be called The New Hampshire Primaries. That plan changed dramatically thanks to a group of vocal and mobilized Granite Staters. To remind us what happened, we talk with Vin Sylvia, the deputy managing editor for sports at the New Hampshire Union Leader. Ironically, the current name was selected through a democratic process not unlike the actual Primaries.


On a September evening 25 years ago a sold out crowd of logophiles gathered at the Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth to hear the state's preeminent poets speak in their native tongue. The program for the evening featured just four names, but a weighty four: Donald Hall, Jane Kenyon, Maxine Kumin and Charles Simic.

Courtesy Adam Adam Hammer via WikiMedia

Alice’s Restaurant was published nearly 30 years ago, the iconic song that gave the album its name is about the goings on at a restaurant owned by Alice and Ray Brock. Around the corner from the restaurant was the Old Trinity Church, which they made into their home. Ten years ago, Kate McNally, host of NHPR’s Folk Show on Sunday nights, spoke with Arlo Guthrie at the Old Trinity Church in Great Barrington, Ma, now site of the Guthrie Center. This week we’ll listen back to her interview with the folk music icon.

It's Robert Frost's birthday!

Born in 1874, Frost was the first U.S. Poet Laureate with connections to the Granite State though he was followed by Maxine Kumin, Donald Hall and Charles Simic,who all reinforced the Granite State's literary reputation.

In 2004, the Center for Women in Government released a report about women in top appointed positions in all 50 state governments. NH ranked last in percentage of such appointments. After a back and forth with Gov. Craig Benson’s office, NHPR's Raquel Maria Dillon reports, an updated survey then placed NH seventh. 

www.BackgroundNow.com / Flickr/Creative Commons

It’s town meeting time! A storied tradition in northern New England, and in New Hampshire especially. This week I found an old interview with Dartmouth College professor of history, Jere Daniell. He spoke with an unidentified NHPR reporter in July, 1994. Daniell has made close study of our town meeting and the history of the institution.

The roots of town meeting go back three centuries and have evolved over time. Once viewed as an extension of the old boys network which governed many towns, it enjoyed a bit of a renaissance in the early 20th century. 

Ten years ago this week, Rev. Gene Robinson officially became the first openly gay bishop in history. He was elected in June, 2003 and on 7 March, 2004  he was "invested" at a ceremony where the previous bishop (Rev. Douglas Theuner) formally handed the shepherd's crook to him.

  Just days before the investiture, Robinson spoke with John Walters on NHPR's The Front Porch about his election, and the controversy that followed in and around the Episcopal Church. They discuss the transition and what his plans are taking the church forward.

Today marks thirty years since the 1984 New Hampshire primary. It’s a contest not well remembered today – on the Republican side, President Ronald Reagan was running essentially unopposed, and the man who won the Democratic nomination, Walter Mondale, not only lost the New Hampshire primary, he lost the general election in a landslide.

Earlier this month, Dick Ray, founding member of The Spectras, one of New Hampshire's first rock bands to make good, passed away. We were fortunate enough to have spoken with Ray and band co-founder Chris Quackenbush in 2001. They joined John Walters on NHPR's The Front Porch to talk about the band and their journey in the music business.

Pages