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History

Iconoclastic Musician Takes Measure Of His Life: 'I Became A Fighter'

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Fred Ho has combined improvisation with Asian themes to create his own form of political activism. Now, at age 56, Ho is dying of cancer.

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Voting Rights: Time To Think Differently For Those Who've Done Time?

Friday, February 21, 2014

Attorney General Eric Holder wants states to restore voting rights to felons after they complete their sentences. Legal analysts Spencer Overton and Hans von Spakovsky look at the debate.

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On The Media

Rewriting History

Friday, February 21, 2014

Historical understanding doesn’t always move ahead. Sometimes it slips backwards. Case in point: In 2012, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of official US involvement in Vietnam, the Pentagon quietly launched VietnamWar50th.com. Bob talks to historian Nick Turse, the author of Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, who noticed that the website’s version of the war seems stuck in the past, reasserting misinformation long since debunked by journalists, historians, and the government’s own Pentagon papers.

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Washington's Corcoran Museum To Be Taken Over By National Gallery

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The National Gallery of Art is named as a potential escape hatch for the oldest private art museum in Washington. The Corcoran Gallery has faced financial hurdles in recent years.

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Soundcheck

The Fascinating History of Olympic Music

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Did you know that the Olympics used to have an arts competition? Or that iconic intro music we hear on tv is actually two seperate pieces? We talk with a self-proclaimed 'Olympic geek' about the long and storied background on the music of the games.

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The Takeaway

Union Radio Fades from the Airwaves

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

During the heyday of American unions, there were more than 250 programs produced or funded by labor unions. Elizabeth Fones-Wolf, history professor at West Virginia University and author of “Waves of Opposition: Labor and the Struggle for Democratic Radio, 1933-1958,” explains the history of a now lesser-known news source. The Union Edge is the only nationally syndicated labor program remaining. Its co-host and executive producer, Angela Baughman, explains how these newscasts have evolved.

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After Tour, Medal For WWII Japanese-American Soldiers Returns Home

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Congressional Gold Medal was presented in 2011 to Japanese-American war veterans. After a round of museum visits across the country, it's back in Washington, in a new display at the Smithsonian.

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The Takeaway

President: From the Origins of the Word to a Crazy Rabbit Attack

Monday, February 17, 2014

In honor of President's Day, we take two historical looks at the American presidency. First Mark Forsyth looks back at the word's humble origins and traces just how it came to have the heft it has today. The second recounts how a small angry mammal changed the course of history. WNYC reporter Jim O'Grady says that President Jimmy Carter's bizarre encounter with a crazed swimming rabbit on a Georgia lake crystallized an emerging sense that Carter was a man in over his head.

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What Honest Abe's Appetite Tells Us About His Life

Monday, February 17, 2014

Abraham Lincoln is known as one of America's greatest presidents. Turns out, he was also a cook who used to join his wife in the kitchen after work. In her new culinary biography of Lincoln, a food historian walks us through his life with stories — and recipes — of what he ate, cooked and served.

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WNYC News

How Jimmy Carter's Face-Off with a Rabbit Changed the Presidency

Monday, February 17, 2014

WNYC

Jimmy Carter’s encounter with an angry swamp rabbit in the spring of 1979 lasted only a moment. But it played a key role in derailing Carter's hopes for a second term, and changed the way American presidents have managed their image since then.

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The Origin (And Hot Stank) Of The 'Chitlin' Circuit'

Sunday, February 16, 2014

This network of performance venues — nightclubs, bars, juke joints and theaters — formed during Jim Crow because black performers in the U.S. didn't have access to white-owned clubs. But what did chitlins have to do with it?

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Learning About Honest Abe's Life Through Food

Friday, February 14, 2014

You've read about Abraham Lincoln in the history books, but what can cookbooks tell us about Honest Abe? Host Michel Martin speaks with Rae Katherin Eighmey, author of Abraham Lincoln In The Kitchen: A Culinary View of Lincoln's Life and Times.

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Remembering The Radio Stations That Got Loud With 'Black And Proud'

Friday, February 14, 2014

Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio highlights a time when black radio stations were the only ones playing music by African-Americans. Host Michel Martin talks about the audio documentary with legendary music producer Kenny Gamble, who narrated the project.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Secret Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America

Friday, February 14, 2014

Annie Jacobsen tells us about a disturbing, covert government program in the decades following World War II, called Operation Paperclip, which brought Hitler's scientists and their families to the United States. Many were accused of war crimes, others had stood trial at Nuremberg; one was convicted of mass murder and slavery, but these men were also directly responsible for major advances in rocketry, medical treatments, and the U.S. space program. In Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program that Brought Nazi Scientists to America, Jacobsen looks into whether the operation was a moral outrage or if it helped America win the Cold War.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

A Japanese War Crimes Suspect and an Unsolved Mystery from World War II

Thursday, February 13, 2014

In the wake of World War II, the Allied forces charged 28 Japanese men with crimes against humanity. Eric Jaffe tells the story of one of the accused, a civilian named Okawa Shumei. On the first day of the Tokyo trial, he made headlines around the world by slapping star defendant and wartime prime minister Tojo Hideki on the head. Had Okawa lost his sanity? Or was he faking madness to avoid a grim punishment? Jaffee tells the story in his book A Curious Madness

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Thank You, Shirley Temple, For The Original 'Mocktail'

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Generations of children have been charmed by Shirley Temple onscreen, and in a glass. The drink that bears her name, it seems, has a shelf life as long as her movies.

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George Washington Carver, The Black History Monthiest Of Them All

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Ask folks about George Washington Carver, and they'll probably mutter something about peanuts. But Carver's real legacy is hard to grasp. Race contributed to his fame and hindered his scientific research.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Rise and Fall of Penn Station

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Penn Station opened November 27, 1910, and was a grand, beautiful building. But in 1961, the financially strapped Pennsylvania Railroad tore down the train station to build Madison Square Garden. How'd it all go so wrong?

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Mussolini, the Pope, and the Rise of Fascism

Monday, February 10, 2014

David I. Kertzer talks about the complex and secret relationship that Pope Pius XI’s had with Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. The two men both came to power in 1922, and together changed the course of the 20th-century. Kertzer’s book The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe, shows how Pius XI played a crucial role in making Mussolini’s dictatorship possible and keeping him in power. But as Mussolini moved closer to Hitler, the pope started to lash out.

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It Took A Eugenicist To Come Up With 'Moron'

Monday, February 10, 2014

'Moron' wasn't always hurled as an insult. The word was coined by Henry H. Goddard, a researcher and psychologist, who intended it to be used as a medical term to quantify cognitive disabilities.

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