Archive for 'Historical Programs'

Mathew Brady: America’s First Photojournalist

Mathew Brady opened his first photographic office in 1844.  To his studios in New York and Washington, D. C., flocked politicians, generals, actors, and actresses.  Anyone who was anyone sat to “have their likeness taken” by Brady and his assistants, several of whom, including Timothy O’Sullivan and Alexander Gardner, were destined for fame in their [...]

Songs of the Civil War

War seems to bring out the best in songwriters. It’s as if the carnage reminds the composers and lyricists of the important things in life that are threatened by the conflict. Here’s a program about how the songwriters responded to the Civil War. We’ll make gallant charges upon the enemy, join Sherman’s march to the [...]

That Old Time Religion

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of hours spent in church, those downhome country ones with plenty of pies for the fellowship dinners, little old ladies who were everyone’s grandmother, and the beginnings of lifelong friendships. And the music! Whether we were “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms” or “Standing on the Promises”, it was [...]

The Discovery of King Tutankhamen’s Tomb

“Everywhere the glint of gold!” was the description of archaeologist Howard Carter, as he peered into the darkness of the tomb of King Tutankhamen, the first person to do so in over 3,000 years.  Politics and principle, professional rivalry and personalities clashed in the glare of gold and the dust of history.  We explore the [...]

Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley

Buffalo Bill was the flamboyant scout who put together his “Wild West and Congress of Rough Riders” toward the end of the nineteenth century.  But it was his discovery of Phoebe Moses, the little girl from Darke County, Ohio, who became Annie Oakley, the star of his show, that helped him take his show across [...]

The White House: America’s First Home

Since 1800, when John Adams moved in and Abigail hung out her wash in the East Room, the White House has been the home of our presidents.  Through the years it has been rebuilt, rearranged, remodeled, and redecorated, while history has unfolded in and around it.  We’ll look at historical views of the White House, [...]

The Raid on the Northfield Bank: The James-Younger Gang Meets Its Match

The most notorious gang of bank robbers in the entire 1800’s rode into the small town of Northfield, Minnesota, on September 7, 1876, intending to empty the contents of the bank’s safe into their own pockets, only to meet with a stunning and decisive defeat.  Hear the thrilling story of the origins of the gang, [...]

The Wit and Wisdom of Norman Rockwell: Children and Growing Up

Everyone remembers those wonderful Saturday Evening Post covers illustrated by the great artist Norman Rockwell.  Rockwell was not only a skilled illustrator, but a keen observer of human nature and a marvelous teller of stories.  In this program, we look at Rockwell’s history, his development as an artist, his illustrative techniques, and the visual stories [...]

Thanksgiving in America

From our starting point at President Roosevelt’s 1941 State of the Union speech and Norman Rockwell’s subsequent series of wonderful illustrations, the “Four Freedoms”, we trace the history of Thanksgiving, from Pilgrim beginnings through the annual Presidential pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey.  After a look at some familiar holiday sights and traditions, we’ll finish with [...]

A Charles Dickens Christmas

One of the best-beloved stories of Christmas was published in 1843 by English author Charles Dickens.  Weaving a masterful tale of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge with the ghost of his old partner, Marley, and his shivering clerk, Bob Cratchit, Dickens spirits us on a memorable visit to the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Future.  We [...]

The Titanic

April 15, 2012, is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the great ship Titanic, on her maiden voyage from England to the United States.  Over 1500 passengers lost their lives when the great ocean liner went down, amid stories of tragedy, heroism, and narrow escape.  In 1985 the wreck of the Titanic was discovered, [...]

The U. S. Capitol: Hallowed Halls of Democracy

Few public buildings have a history as rich and fraught with significance as the U.S. Capitol Building.  The ghosts of famous names from the past look down from the walls and stalk the halls:  statesmen, power brokers, inquisitors, and pioneers, fresh from the wilderness.  The building itself, since the laying of its cornerstone in 1793, [...]

Yellowstone Then and Now

Our nation’s first national park was still young when lecturer John L. Stoddard visited Yellowstone in the 1890’s.  We review the history and development of the Park, comparing Mr. Stoddard’s stories and photographs with stories and photographs from visits a century later.  See pictures of geysers, waterfalls, mud pots, and canyons, and buffalo, grizzlies, beavers, [...]

Lincoln Takes The Stage

Abraham Lincoln was a president for the ages.  What led him to seek the office, and how was he uniquely prepared to lead the country during its most turbulent times?  In this program we explore Lincoln’s roots in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois, first as a pioneer child growing up on the American frontier, and later [...]

Fort Snelling: Outpost on the Mississippi

Travel back in time for a visit to Minnesota’s first military installation, built at the juncture of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers in order to establish the nation’s presence in the northern reaches of the Louisiana Purchase.  View the barracks, shops, guardhouse, store, and fortifications of the outpost, and hear the Fort’s history through the [...]

Under the Big Top in 1898

Who doesn’t love a circus?  When my great great uncle Jimmy McIndoo joined it for the 1898 season as the giant “Boy Wonder,” the Forepaugh Sells Circus rivaled the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey for the title “Greatest Show On Earth,” traveling by rail with hundreds of performers and roustabouts to cities all across [...]

The Tin Lizzie: Mr. Ford’s Model T

2008 marked the 100th anniversary of the Model T Ford.  Hear how Henry Ford revolutionized automobile production, putting auto ownership within the reach of ordinary folks and transforming American society in the process.  See how the Ford operation grew, and how the nation embraced the “Tin Lizzie.”  Pictures of early autos, creative uses of the [...]

The Statue of Liberty: Beacon of Hope

In 1886, America celebrated the unveiling of “Liberty Enlightening the World,” or, as we know it, the Statue of Liberty.  Since then, from its pedestal in New York Harbor, the statue has welcomed millions of immigrants to a new world and freedom.  We follow the statute’s fascinating story, from its conception by sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi [...]

The Raid on the Northfield Bank, Part Two: Capture at Madelia

Follow the remnants of the wounded and decimated James-Younger gang as they flee the scene of their defeat at Northfield and straggle through rain and the Big Woods of southern Minnesota in an attempt to evade the largest manhunt in the nation’s history.  Two weeks after the robbery, an alert farm boy spots the remaining [...]

Pearl Harbor: Day That Will Live In Infamy

“Tora, Tora, Tora!”  Japanese Air Commander Fuchida’s coded message sent hundreds of fighters and torpedo bombers in a sneak attack against an American Pacific Fleet lying, unsuspecting, at anchor at the U.S. Naval Base on Oahu, Hawaii.  By the time the attack was finished, 2,400 were dead, dozens of ships destroyed, and America was at [...]

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