USA TODAY AWARD

Aural History Productions   


The Radio Archive ~ January - June, 2011

~ ~ ~ ~

June 30, 2011
Segment 1: "Remembering Stonewall" (1976).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 23:02.
REBROADCAST. Produced in 1989 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, this piece by David Isay (with Michael Schirker) offers a detailed examination of the events of Friday, June 27, 1969 when "eight officers from the public morals section of the first division New York City Police Department pulled up in front of the Stonewall Inn, one of the city's largest and most popular gay bars. At the time, the vice squad routinely raided gay bars. Patrons always complied with the police, frightened by the prospect of being identified in the newspaper. But this particular Friday night at the Stonewall Inn was different. It sparked a revolution, and a hidden subculture was transformed into a vibrant political movement. What began with a drag queen clobbering her arresting officer soon escalated into a full-fledged riot, and modern gay activism was born. This documentary marked the 20th anniversary of the riots and is the first documentary--in any medium--about Stonewall. It weaves together the perspectives of the participants in the riots, from Deputy Inspector Seymour Pine, who marshaled the raid, to Sylvia Rivera, one of the drag queens who battled most fiercely that night. The revolutionary impact of the riot is better understood by looking at life for gay men and lesbians in the era before Stonewall, seen through the eyes of people like Bruce Merrow and Geanne Harwood, a gay couple who have been together for 60 years, and Jheri Faire, and 80 year old lesbian. Remembering Stonewall also examines how Stonewall affected gay politics through the voices of people like Randy Wicker, the first openly-gay person to appear on television and radio, Joan Nestle, founder of the Lesbian Herstory Archives, and yippie leader Jim Fouratt, who helped found the Gay Liberation Front on the third night of the Stonewall Riots. Remembering Stonewall made possible by a grant from the Pacifica National Program Fund. Credits: Remembering Stonewall premiered on Weekend All Things Considered on 7/1/90. Producer: David Isay with Michael Schirker. Editor: Amy Goodman. Mixed by Spider Ryder at WNYC."

Segment 2: "The Magna Carta" (LibriVox reading of the 1215 document).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 28:35.
Here is another reading of a classic historical text -- the English charter originally issued on June 15, 1215 -- from LibriVox (www.librivox.org). The text (originally penned in Latin) read here is the first version in the on-line Project Gutenberg collection. The Magna Carta is considered one of a series of foundational documents that led to the establishment of consitutional law in Europe and in the Americas. It was opriginally written to resolve potentially bloody disagreements between the Pope, King John, and several of John's barons over the rights of the King. The document became the formal law of the land in 1225 and evised under a longer title in 1297: "The Great Charter of the Liberties of England, and of the Liberties of the Forest." For more information on the Magna Carta (and a copy of the original document), see: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/.

Segment 3: "Willie McGee and the Traveling Electric Chair" (2010).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 22:09.
Here is another piece from the Joe Richman / Radio Diaries Audio History series, originally broadcast on National Public Radio last year (2010): "Bridgette McGee grew up knowing nothing about her grandfather, Willie McGee. Now she is on a quest to unearth everything she can about his life - and his death.
In 1945, Willie McGee was accused of raping a white woman. The all-white jury took less than three minutes to find him guilty and McGee was sentenced to death. Over the next six years, the case went through three trials and sparked international protests and appeals from Albert Einstein, William Faulkner, Paul Robeson, and Josephine Baker. McGee was defended by a young Bella Abzug arguing her first major case. But in 1951, McGee was put to death in Mississippi's traveling electric chair. His execution was broadcast live by a local radio station. Today, a newly discovered recording of that broadcast provides a chilling window into a lost episode of civil rights history. Narrated by Bridgette McGee, this documentary follows a granddaughter's search for the truth about a case that has been called a real-life To Kill A Mockingbird."

~ ~ ~ ~

June 23, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "Ganienkeh: An Iroquois Tale" (1976).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 24:52.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 31:19.
Last month, From the Vault brought back to the airwaves Tim McGovern’s 1976 documentary Ganienkeh, "an eye-opening probe into the theft of over nine million acres of land from the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, traditional land that was guaranteed and titled by six separate treaties, including a 1792 agreement signed by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson." As described by the producers of From the Vault: "Striking and profound, Ganienkeh excels at weaving together oral tradition passed down from tribal elders to tell the story of the Six Nations’ formation and prosperity, treaties made with and broken by the United States and Canada, and struggle since 1974 to formally reclaim their traditional homeland at Ganienkeh, an area in present-day northeastern New York." Here, we present the re-broadcast of McGovern's 1976 documentary.

Segment 2: "Leather Stocking Tales: The Last of the Mohicans" (1932 radio broadcast ~ selection).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 16:18.
American writer James Fenimore Cooper is perhaps best know for his series of novels collectively known as the Leatherstocking Tales. Among the most famous of these tales is The Last of the Mohicans, a historical novel set in the 1750s during the French and Indian War. Here, we offer a selection from a 1932 radio broadcast of the novel. For the complete broadcast segments, go to archive.org -- more specifically: http://www.archive.org/details/LeatherstockingTales. For more information on James Fenimore Cooper, see: http://external.oneonta.edu/cooper/.

~ ~ ~ ~

JUNE 16, 2011. DUE TO A TRANSMITTER PROBLEM, WE DID NOT AIR TALKING HISTORY TODAY. HERE'S A PROGRAM YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED FROM OUR ARCHIVE -- ORIGINALLY BROADCAST ON OCTOBER 20, 2005.
Segment 1: "Profile of an American Nazi: George Lincoln Rockwell."

Real Media. MP3. Time: 24:43.
Born in Bloomington, Ill. on March 9, 1918, George Lincoln Rockwell went on to found the American Nazi Party. After serving in the military -- the U.S. Navy -- during World War II and the Korean War, Rockwell became a strong supporter of General Douglas MacArthur and began to shift dramatically to the right during the 1950s. Increasingly influenced by far-right antisemitic and anti-black propaganda, Rockwell went on to found the American American Nazi Party in early 1959, and established its headquaters in Arlington, Virginia. The Party was heavily influenced by the former German NSDAP and the ideas of Adolph Hitler. Among Rockwell's many controversial public appearances and speeches was this one which took place at Michigan State University on April 20, 1967, four months before an unstable and disgruntled Party member, John Patler, assassinated Rockwell in an Arlington shopping center. This is an edited selection from Rockwell's Michigan State University speech. The full version is available at the National Archives' Motion Picture, Sound, and Video Records LICON, Special Media Archives Services Division, College Park, MD. For an excellent intrroduction to Rockwell and his ideas, see Alex Haley's 1966 Playboy interview with him, available at http://www.skrewdriver.net/rockw1.html and various other Web site.

Segment 2: "Abe Fortas on Overturning Court Precedents."
Real Media. MP3. Time: 12:17.
Memphis-born Abraham Fortas (June 19, 1910 - April 5, 1982) was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1965 by President Lyndon Baynes Johnson to replace outgoing Associate Justice Arthur Goldberg, who took up his new job as Ambassador to the United Nations. Fortas served as an Associate Justice until May of 1969--taking consistently liberal positions in Court decisions. In 1969, however, he resigned amidst a scandal incolving his acceptance of a $20,000 fee from a foundation controlled by Louis Wolfson, a financier under investigation for violating Federal securities laws. A year earlier, another controversy over Fortas' acceptance of a $15,000 fee for speaking engagements at the American University Law School (not an illegal act, but an embarrasing one), had partially fueled resistance to his confirmation as Chief Justice. A Republican and Southern conservative Democrat ("Dixicrat") coalition led a successful filibuster against his confirmation. In fact, it was Fortas' ideological positions in various Court cases, more than his acceptance of high speaking fees, that was behind this fillibuster. In 2005, Democrats cited the Fortas fillibuster as establishing a precedent for utilizing the fillibuster against coservative judicial appointments. Here we present a short segment of a speech Fortas delivered in 1968, a year before his departure from the bench, concerning how and why precedentsn are overturned.

Segment 3: "Texas City Disaster of 1947."
Real Media. MP3. Time: 7:59.
On April 16, 1947, a ship carrying a cargo of ammonium nitrate fertilizer destined for post-War Europe, caught fire and exploded in the Texas City harbor (Texas). The explosion triggered additional explosions and fires, and spread to the nearby Monsanto Chemical Plant and other nearby industrial plants. The fires burned through the following day, and continued to take their toll in human lives. The initial explosion was so intense that it gave rise to a tidal wave which swept more than 150 feet inland. Nearly 2000 people were injured, and 600 people lost their lives, in the explosions and fires that swept through the city. This recording, produced soon after the disaster, was broadcast on Armed Forces Radio. The original recording can be found in the media collection of Record Group 330: Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, 1921 - 2004, at the National Archives' Motion Picture, Sound, and Video Records LICON, Special Media Archives Services Division, College Park, MD. For photographs and first-person accounts of the disaster, go to: http://www.local1259iaff.org/disaster.html.

~ ~ ~ ~

June 9, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "My Brother is Not a Criminal: Bobby Sands and the H Block Hunger Strikes." (2011).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 29:24.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 24:64.
From Australian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio National's Hindsight, we bring you this story: "In the Spring and Summer of 1981, 10 Republican prisoners in the H Block section of the Maze Prison outside Belfast undertook a hunger strike to the death, with the aim of achieving 'special category status' for those convicted under Northern Ireland's extensive anti terrorist and emergency laws. They were led by Bobby Sands, the Officer Commanding the Provisional IRA prisoners. The British Government insisted they were criminals, they saw themselves as prisoners of war. This program features a number of rare interviews with Republicans recorded in Ireland in 1981 by Brendan Frost. It includes the voices of Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, prison chaplains Father Dennis Faul and Father Raymond Murray,as well as ex prisoners from the Maze and Armagh Women's Prison. As part of this retrospective porgram, Jim Short, from Crossmaglen in South Armagh,looks back at the events of 30 years ago and reflects on the present situation in Northern Ireland."

Segment 2: "Recorded James Joyce: James Joyce Reading 'Anna Livia Plurabelle.'" 1929.
Real Media. MP3. Time: 8:37.
Two recordings of James Joyce reading his work exist: one of a selection from his novel Ulysses and the other of "Anna Livia Plurabelle," a reading from his then novel-in-progress Finnegans Wake. Written in Paris over a period of 17 years and finally published in 1939, Finnegan's Wake is probably the most complex novel published in the 20th century, written in a unique, synthetic linguistic mode meant to represent the intermingling of consciousness, unconsciousness, dream, symbolism, and myth. For information on recordings of Joyce, including this one, see: http://www.jamesjoyce.ie/detail.asp?ID=185.

~ ~ ~ ~
June 2, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "The Anniversary of the Freedom Rides (From the Vault ~ Pacifica Radio)." 2011.
PART 1A: Real Media. MP3. Time: 31:26.
PART 1B: Real Media. MP3. Time: 25:08.
Pacifica Radio's From the Vault celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the May 1961 Freedom Rides with these two programs which we aired today: 1) a 1960 conversation between "legendary KPFA Public Affairs Director Elsa Knight Thompson and Civil Rights activist James Farmer, one of the co-founders of The Congress of Racial Equality (C.O.R.E.) -- the group that helped organize and sponsor the Freedom Rides of 1961," and 2) a talk by Knoxville, Tennessee Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee Field Secretary Matthew Jones, focusing on how he became involved with the SNCC and his experience with restaurant sit-ins, the Freedom Rides, and other non-violent movements.

Segment 2: "Bayard Ruskin Recalls the Journey of Reconciliation of 1947, the First 'Freedom Rides.'" 1985.
Real Media. MP3. Time: 07:16.

Bayard Ruskin helped organize the first Freedom Rides back in 1947. In part, this was a response to the 1946 Supreme Court ruling that declared that the practice of making Blacks sit in the backs of buses in interstate travel was unconstitutional. Called the "Journey of Reconciliation," the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) decided in 1947 to send a group of Blacks and Whites on interstate buses and test the Supreme Court's ruling. Here, Bayard Ruskin, in a short selection from a Columbia University oral history, describes the events of that year. For more information about the "Journey of Reconociliation," see: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAjor.htm.

~ ~ ~ ~
May 26, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "Message in a Bottle." (2010).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 29:28.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 21:18.
We explore politics, philosophy, and theater in this program that comes to us from Pacifica Radio's Against the Grain: "Michael Paller discusses Jean-Paul Sartre's activities during World War II, which included writing the play No Exit, an expression of Sartre's existentialist philosophy. Tom Ross talks about the Tennessee Williams play The Eccentricities of a Nightingale. And Robert Bray comments on Williams's political views and the playwright's coming-out on national television in 1970."

Segment 2: "H.G. Wells and Orson Welles in Conversation, 1940."
Real Media. MP3. Time: 7:21.
Originally broadcast on KTSA in San Antonio, Texas on October 28, 1940, here is a conversation between H.G. Wells and Orson Welles. The two men explore Welles' 1938 production of War of the Worlds, inspired by H. G. Wells' 1898 science fiction novel War of the Worlds. Welles also discusses -- actually "plugs" -- his soon to be released film, Citizen Kane. Audio source: http://www.mercurytheatre.info/ (scroll to bottom of the page).

~ ~ ~ ~

May 19, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "Message in a Bottle." (2010).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3 Unavailable by producer request. Time: 27:46.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3 Unavailable by producer request. Time: 24:54.
Megan Williams produced this documentary focusing on the music and lives of composers Viktor Ullmann and Gideon Klein who were imprisioned in Terezin, a "model ghetto" created by the Nazis. TTerezin was "where many of Europe's greatest artists, musician and writers were held, and expected to continue to create and perform during the Holocaust. More than 70 years later, some of Ullmann and Klein's music has be re-discovered in attics, under beds and hidden in libraries around the world." This documentary, produced for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation recently won a Gold World Medal in the history category at the 2010 New York Festivals.

Segment 2: "Wounded Knee, 1973."
Real Media. MP3. Time: 4:51.
This recording of American Indian Movement's March 12, 1973 proclamation creating an autonomous indigenous Indian community at Wounded Knee comes from Peggy Berryhill's 1975 Pacifica Radio documentary "Why Wounded Knee?" The documentary chronicled "the 71-day standoff in 1973 between Federal Marshall's, F.B.I. and other federal law enforcement officials and indigenous American Indian tribes in the town of Wounded Knee, South Dakota. On February 27th, 1973, members of the American Indian Movement (AIM), led by Russell Means and Dennis Banks, occupied Wounded Knee (site of the 1890 massacre) to call attention to the deplorable conditions of the nearby Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and other reservations across America. This action was leaked to the United States Department of Justice, who responded with an onslaught of government officials, law enforcement officers, and soldiers with armored personnel carriers - surrounding the tiny town. By Febuary 27th both sides were in place and would actively engage in firefights for over two months."

~ ~ ~ ~

May 12, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "Backstory: Questions Remain." (2011).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 31:54.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 18:39.
This is the final segment of a three-part series from Backstory focusing on the Civil War. Devoting the hour to listener questions, the History Guys explore some new questions about the Civil War, such as what role did religion playe in the lead-up to war? Why did Abraham Lincoln free the slaves in the Confederate states before he freed the slaves in the loyal states? And what is the relevance of the Civil War today? For more information about this segment and about Backstory, go to the series' Web site: http://backstoryradio.org/.

Segment 2: "Civil War Novels: The Red Badge of Courage" 1894.
Real Media. MP3. Time: 11:28.
Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage, though published in the 1890s, long after the Civil War, is perhaps one of the most famous novels about the War. Through Henry Fleming -- the central character in the novel -- Crane examined the psychological cost of war, heroism, and cowardice. The novel's realistic portrayal of war and its exploration of the "psychological portrayal of fear" broke new ground in fictive narrative writing and inspired many 20th century writers, including Ernest Hemmingway.

~ ~ ~ ~

May 5, 2011
Segment 1: "Freedom Denied: The St Patrick's Battalion" (2011).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 38:58.
Colm McNaughton, producer and writer, explores the history of the Los San Patricios in this Hindsight (Australian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio National) production. The St. Patrick's Battalian was a contingent of mostly Irish Catholic soldiers who deserted the American Army during the Mexican-American War in 1846 and joined the fight against U.S. soldiers fighting along side of Mexican troop. For a short history of the Saint Patrick's Battalian (with a bibliography), see: http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/qis01.

Segment 2: "Earl Warren and the Republican Ascendancy of 1952" (1952).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 9:53.
Here's an edited selection from a Longines Chronoscrope interview with then Governor Earl Warren, who during his third term as governor of California, was attempting to win the Republican Republican nomination for President in 1952. General Eisenhower and Richard Nixon managed to win the nomination -- and the election. Upon Eisenhower's victory and ascent to the presidency, Warren joined his administration as Solicitor General and with the death of Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson in September of 1953, Eisenhower selected Warren to replace Vinson. Warren would soon take the court in a far more liberal direction than Eisnehower had ever anticipated. For more information about Warren and his pre-court career, see: Ed Cray, Chief Justice: A Biography of Earl Warren (1997). Longines Chronoscope was a CBS program aired in the 1950s. All Longines Chronoscope broadcasts are now in the public domain (thanks to the generosity of CBS and available at the National Archives, Archives II, in College Park, Maryland. For a list of the Chronoscope interviews, go to: http://www.archives.gov/research/guides/catalog-tv-interviews-1951-to-1955.html.

Segment 3: "Jennifer L. Weber on the Copperheads and Lincoln." (2007).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 15:23.
Former NH state senator Burt Cohen interviews author Jennifer L Weber about her book Copperheads, The Rise and Fall of Lincoln's Opponents in the North (2006). Weber's book and this interview focuses on Northern Democrats during the Civil War who pursued a peace agenda and argued for a negotiated peace with the Confederacy. This segment, a lengthy excerpt from the original broadcast, comes to us courtesy of Burt Cohen, Portsmouth Community Radio, and Public radio Exchange (PRX); it was originally broadcast on 3/15/2007.

~ ~ ~ ~

April 28, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "Backstory: Why They Fought." (2011).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 31:27.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 18:53.
This is the second of a three-part series from Backstory focusing on the Civil War. As summarized by the producers: "150 years ago this April, the Union went to war with the Confederacy. Ever since, Americans have been debating the causes of that war. Most historians today agree that it was fundamentally about slavery. And so what are we to make of the fact that most Southerners didn’t own any slaves, and most Northerners were not abolitionists? In this hour of BackStory, historian-hosts Brian Balogh, Peter Onuf, and Ed Ayers turn the question of the Civil War’s causes on its side, asking instead why Northerners and Southerners took up arms to fight one another. What causes, in other words, were they willing to die for? By focusing on the lived experience of ordinary Americans, the episode will explore such questions as: Were families on the homefront united in their commitment to war, or were there differences of opinion? Who didn’t want to fight? What did slavery mean to white people on both sides, and what role did enslaved and free African-Americans play in the liberation of slaves? How much did Americans’ reasons for fighting change between 1861 and 1864? And finally – how have intervening wars altered the ways we interpret the motivations of Civil War soldiers?" Guests in this segment include: Adam Goodheart (lead author, New York Times “Disunion” series); Christy Coleman (president, American Civil War Center at Historic Tredegar); Gary Gallagher (historian, University of Virginia); and Aaron Sheehan-Dean (historian, University of North Florida).

Segment 2: "Walt Whitman and Civil War Poetry: 'When Lilacs Last in Dooryard Bloomed." 1865.
Real Media. MP3. Time: 14:16.
Here is a slection from one of Walt Whitman's more famous poems. "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd" was written by Whitman in 1865, shortly after Abraham Lincoln was assassination. It is one of many poems that Whitman wrote in the 1860s that were inspired by the horrors of the Civil War -- horrors he witnessed first hand as a "nurse" and aid to the wounded (the extent to which he actually "nursed" is disputed). This poem inspired many poets in the 20th century, including T. S. Elliot (see Elliot's "The Waste Land"). For more information on Whitman's Civil War service, see: http://www.whitmanarchive.org/criticism/current/anc.00156.html. The reading comes to us from DJB Rizalist (vocalist) and archive.org.

~ ~ ~ ~

April 21, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "Aldo Leopold and the Emerging Land Ethic." (2011).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 26:59.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 25:35.
This documentary, "Aldo Leopold and the Emerging Land Ethic," produced by Jack Loeffler, examines and celebrates the life of the author of the environmental classic A Sand County Almanac (1949). As described by the producer: "That book includes his essay, 'The Land Ethic' that is considered the capstone of the reflections of the great mind and spirit of the man who forwarded the realization that conscience and consciousness are far more vital than economics when considering the landscape. Leopold began his career as a forest ranger in the American Southwest, and went on to reconfigure conservationist perspective through the practice of restoration ecology. The program includes the voices Leopold’s daughters Nina and Estella Leopold, as well as scholars, environmental activists and writers who have been greatly influenced by the man regarded by many as the greatest conservationist of the 20th Century. Also heard are environmental historian Susan Flader, activist Dave Foreman, author, environmentalist William deBuys, former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, and many others whose thinking and practices have been deeply influenced by the genius of Aldo Leopold."

Segment 2: "John Muir." A LibriVox reading.
Real Media. MP3. Time: 32:00.
John Muir (1838-1914) is widely considered one of the secular patron saints of the American preservationist movement. The Scottish-born naturalist and author, founder of one of the most famous preservationist groups in the nation, the Sierra Club, is widely identified with the American far west and the California wilderness areas of the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park, and the Sierras. His tactful but tenacious lobbying activities helped to preserve these and other wilderness areas in his adopted homeland. Here we present a reading -- from LibriVox.org -- of an exceprt from one of Muir's many books, The Mountains of California (1894), which helped educate the public about the beauty of the High Sierras and ultimately helped preserve them for generations to come. There are several excellent biographies of Muir, but for a short on-line introduction to his life and work -- with bibliographical pointers to additional sources -- see the Sierra Club's Web site: http://www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/bio/default.aspx.

~ ~ ~ ~

April 14, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "Backstory: Secession and the Coming of the Civil War." (2011).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 31:29.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 18:53.
Here's the first of a three-part series focusing on the Civil War. As summarized by the producers: "In hindsight, it’s easy to see the Civil War as a conflict just waiting to happen. But to Americans in the spring of 1861, disunion was anything but inevitable. In the days leading up to the firing on Fort Sumter, in fact, Virginia officials rejected secession by a 2-1 margin. Even among those who expected war, few imagined the devastation that was just around the corner. In this episode, the History Guys focus on the dramatic six months between Abraham Lincoln’s election and the outbreak of war. Over the course of the hour, they attempt to understand the period from the perspective of Americans at the time. Why did abolitionists dread the prospect of Lincoln’s presidency? Why did slaveholders in many parts of the South argue against secession? What made the leaders of Virginia, a state long known as “the mother of presidents,” finally decide to break their ties with the nation? How did 19th century ideas about race and gender shape people’s decision-making? And finally, did the existence of slavery mean some kind of civil war would come sooner or later, or might war have been averted?" In the course of the hour, show hosts Brian Balogh, Ed Ayers, and Peter Onuf are joined by historians David Blight (author of A Slave No More and Frederick Doiglass's Civil War), Elizabeth Varon (author of Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War), and William Freehling (author of Showdown in Virginia and The Road to Reunion). For more information, go to Backstory's Web site at: backstoryradio.org.

Segment 2: "Ronnie Gilbert Sings "Lincoln and Liberty" (a Jesse Hutchinson Jr. song, performed by the Hutchinson Family Singers in 1860)." 1991.
Real Media. MP3. Time: 2:08.
One of the most recognizable members of the most famous left-wing singing group of the mid-20th century, the Weavers, sings a song performed by one of the most famous left-wing singing groups of the mid-19th century, the Hutchnson Family Singers. Here is former Weavers member Ronnie Gilbert singing the song that became Abraham Lincoln's campaign song, "Lincoln and Liberty." The Hutchinson Singers regularly performed for Union troops during the Civil War. For more information on the group, the Hutchinsons' connection to the many reform movements of their day, and to their songs, see Scott Gac, Singing for Freedom: The Hutchinson Family Singers and the Nineteenth-Century Culture of Antebellum Reform (Yale Univ. Press, 2007). Short introductions to the place of the Hutchinsons in American 19th century social and musical history are widely available on the Internet.

~ ~ ~ ~
April 7, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "Manning Marable on Malcolm X's Harlem." 2006. [Re-broadcast].
PART I:  Real Media. MP3. Time: 28:37.
PART II: Real Media. MP3. Time: 27:51.
Dr. Manning Marable, one of America's most influential and widely read scholars of African American history, passed away on Friday, April 1, 2011 at the age of 60 -- just a few days before the publication of his most recent book, Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention. He had been working on the book for close to two decades. Marable was Professor of Public Affairs, Political Science, History and African-American Studies at Columbia University and was the founding director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies. At Columbia, Marable also established the Center for Contemporary Black History. Here, we present a re-broadcast of a talk delivered as the keynote speech at the 2006 Researching New York History Conference at SUNY-Albany, where he talked about one of the core arguments in the Malcom-X biography.

Segment 2: "Frances Perkins on the Social Securities Act." 1960.
Real Media. MP3. Time: 11:23
Here is former Sect. of Labor Frances Perkins talking, on August 15th, 1960, at the Social Security Administration in Washington D.C. about the origins of the Social Security Act. The Social Security Administration recalls her contributions and subsequent career on its Web site, from which the following is borrowed: "As Secretary of Labor she played a key role writing New Deal legislation, including minimum wage laws. However, her most important contribution came in 1934 as chairwoman of the President's Committee on Economic Security. In this position she was involved in all aspects of the reports and hearings that ultimately resulted in the Social Security Act of 1935. Prior to going to Washington, Perkins held positions in State government in New York, first as an aid to governor Al Smith and then to Franklin Roosevelt when he became governor. Smith, a machine politician from the old school, was an early social reformer with whom Frances Perkins made many a common-cause. At Smith's funeral in 1944 two of his former Tammany Hall political cronies were overheard to speculate on why Smith had become a social crusader. One of them summed the matter up this way: "I'll tell you. Al Smith read a book. That book was a person, and her name was Frances Perkins. She told him all these things and he believed her." Following her tenure as Secretary of Labor in 1945, Ms. Perkins was asked by President Truman to serve on the U.S. Civil Service Commission, which she did until 1952 when her husband died, and she resigned from Federal service. Following her government service career, Ms. Perkins continued to be active as a teacher and lecturer until her death on May 14, 1965."

~ ~ ~ ~

March 31, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "Allen B. Ballard: An African American Life, Part 1." 2011.
PART 2A: Real Media. MP3. Time: 28:28.
PART 2B: Real Media. MP3. Time: 26:26.
We continue with the lengthy interview begun last week with Allen B. Ballard, Professor of History and Africana Studies at SUNY-Albany. In this part of the interview, he talks about his graduate research and time in the Soviet Union, including a month spent with Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife, and discussed his efforts to create an equal opportunity program at City College of New York (CCNY). See last week's description for more information on the interview and on Ballard.

Segment 2: "The U-2 Spy Plane Trial of Gary Powers" (Universal Newsreel, 8-18-1960).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 02:11
This August 1960 Universal Newsreel segment focuses on the Soviet trial of Gary Powers for epionage. On May 1, 1960, Powers was piloting a U-2 high altitude spy plane when the aircraft was shot down by the Soviets over their air space. Though the Eisenhower administration denied it at first -- thinking that Powers had died -- they were soon embarrased when Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev revealed that Powers was indeed alive and a captive of the Soviet Union. A substantial portion of the plane had also survived and was shown to the world press as additional evidence of U.S. violation of Soviet territory. The subsequent trial provided yet another opportunity for the Soviet Union to embarras the U.S. government, as discussed in this newsreel.

~ ~ ~ ~

March 24, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "Allen B. Ballard: An African American Life, Part 1." 2011.
PART 1A: Real Media. MP3. Time: 27:53.
PART 1B: Real Media. MP3. Time: 28:10.
Talking History producer Gerald Zahavi interviews Allen B. Ballard, Professor of History and Africana Studies at SUNY-Albany, about his life growing up in Philadelphia and his varied travels and career -- first as a Sovietologist researching Soviet agriculture and later as an African American history scholar and college administrator. The conversation was long and filled with rich details on growing up in a middle class African American family in Philadelphia, desegrating Kenyon College and the Queen Mary ocean liner, and his experience amongst the expatriate African American community in France and as a black soldier during the Korean War era -- as well as Ballard's studies and travels in the Soviet Union in the 1950s (which included spending a month with Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife, Raisa, on a Soviet farm long before Garbachev had become a major force in the Soviet Communist Party). The interview also includes discussions of some of the earliest higher education equal opportunity programs pioneered by Ballard at City College of New York (CCNY). Today, we present Part 1 of our conversation, covering Ballard's life till the early 1950s and his Fulbright year in graduate study in Bordeaux, France. Next week, we'll air Part 2.
   Ballard, born on November 1, 1930 in Philadelphia, is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Kenyon College in Ohio and holds a Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University. He taught government at City College of New York for 25 years, and served as Dean of Faculty of the City University of New York for five years before coming to the State University of New York at Albany (U-Albany) in the mid-1980s. Prof. Ballard has published three non-fiction book -- The Education of Black Folk (Harper and Row, 1973), One More Day's Journey: The Story of a Family and a People (McGraw-Hill, 1984), and a recent autobiographical narrative, Breaching Jericho's Walls: An African American Life (SUNY Press, 2011) -- as well as two works of fiction, Where I'm Bound (Simon and Schuster, 2000) and Carried By Six (Seaforth Press, 2009), and a number of articles which have appeared in both scholarly and popular journals (including the New York Times Magazine). For more information on Ballard, go to: http://members.authorsguild.net/aballard.

Segment 2: "James Baldwin: The Fire This Time." (Selection, 1963 speech).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 03:21
Here is a selection from a 1963 Los Angeles speech delivered by the African American author James Balwin. It comes to us from the Pacifica Radio Archives and From the Vault: "In 1963, James Baldwin was traveling America, speaking at churches, high schools, Masonic temples, and universities in promotion of his newly released book, The Fire Next Time. Pacifica Radio was on the scene, recording Baldwin at events in Berkeley, Los Angeles, and New York. Introducing The Free and the Brave, an thoughtful address Baldwin delivered before the congregation of the Second Baptist Church in Los Angeles, in which he proposes a solution to the difficult task of creating a racially just society. Recorded by Lorenz Graham just before the March on Washington and the subsequent murders of four children in a Birmingham church, this recording helps us better understand Baldwin’s moral and spiritual trajectory before those profound events of 1963 solidified the Civil Rights Movement." For the full speech, go to: http://fromthevaultradio.org/home/2011/02/17/ftv-249-james-baldwin-the-fire-this-time/

~ ~ ~ ~
March 17, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911." 1984.
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 26:07.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 26:47.
Today, we recall the March 25th, 1991 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire and the many lives it snuffed ou. This 1984 radio documentary, first aired by WBAI-New York, and produced by Beth Friend and Steve Stoew (with technical production by David Rapkin) includes interviews with a survivor of the fire, contemporaries of that era, and a recreation of the fire complete with music and readings--as well as an interview with Pauline Newman, the first woman organizer for the ILGWU (International Ladies Garment Workers Union).

Segment 2: "Jacob Riis: "Heroes Who Fight Fires." 1898.
Real Media. MP3. Time: 02:43
Here is a LibriVox reading of a selection from pioneering photojournalist and early muckraking social reformer Jacob Riis's essays on late 19th century firefighters. It was first published in the February 1898 edition of the The Century Magazine and later republished in Riis' Children of the Tenements (1903). For more information on Riis, see: http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/r/jacob_riis/index.html

~ ~ ~ ~

March 10, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "Salvage and Loss: The Aswan High Dam and the Fate of Nubia." 2010.
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 26:54.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 23:44.
Here is a look at the price of modern infrastructure development -- and particularly its impact on indigenous communities: the story of the construction of the Aswan Dam in the 1960s and the dislocation of the Nubians. It comes to us from ABC/Radio National's Hindsight, one of our regular contributors. Here is a detailed description of the documentary, from Hindsight's Web page: (http://www.abc.net.au/rn/hindsight/stories/2010/2985582.htm): "'Here are joined the political, social, national and military battles of the Egyptian people, welded together like a gigantic mass of rock that has blocked the course of the ancient Nile.' So said Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser on the first closure of the Nile at the Aswan High Dam site in May 1964. The dam was completed in 1971-at that time it was the largest rock-filled dam in the world. It created a new reservoir, Lake Nasser, which spilled over into the Sudan, large enough to hold back two complete Nile floods. In the decades since, the environmental costs of river control systems on the Nile have become starkly apparent: a rising water table, a sinking delta, a loss of soil fertility, river stagnation, soil salinity, a decline in Mediterranean fish populations. Meanwhile, the protests of Nubian people displaced by the dam are becoming internationally audible-especially as the diaspora widens and new dams under construction in Sudan threaten to flood more Nubian land and villages. The salvage of the magnificent rock-cut temples at Abu Simbel in the 1960s was celebrated as a triumph of engineering, international co-operation and concern for cultural heritage; but the loss of untold antiquities and relics under Lake Nasser is a source of regret for specialists working in the burgeoning field of Nubian archaeology in Egypt and Sudan. In spite of all this, the Nasser-era rhetoric about the Aswan High Dam-its association with Egyptian independence, modernisation and might-has never given way to historical reinterpretation. In Egypt today it's hard to find a critic of the dam. In Hindsight we explore what was lost when Egypt dammed the River Nile at Aswan: an archaeologist's paradise, an ancient cycle of inundation and renewal, and the ancestral homeland of 100,000 Nubian people.

Segment 2: "Buffy Saint-Marie and Kinzua Dam, 1964."
[Excerpt, original 1964 version of "Now That the Buffalo's Gone"]:
Real Media. MP3. Time: 00:21
[Later version of "Now That the Buffalo's Gone"]:
Real Media. MP3. Time: 2:46
Economic and infrastructure development impacted indigenous peoples throughout the world. In the United States, at around the same time that the Aswan Dam was being built, a conflict over land rights and infrastructure development arose in Northwestern Pennsylvania, over the construction of the Kinzua Dam -- a project designed to control flooding on the Alleghany River and provide cheap hydro electricity as well. Buffy Saint-Marie, an activist Cree singer-songwriter and musician, wrote several protest songs in the early 1960s specifically dealing with the loss of indigenous lands. In "Now That the Buffalo's Gone," released on on her first album in 196s, Saint-Marie mentioned the Kinzua Dam by name. In later versions, she modified the lyrics to reflect contemporary comnflicts that arose in the 1980s and 1990s. Here is a short excerpt from the original version, and a longer version reflecting the changes that Buffy Saint-Marie made to the song. For more information on Kinzua Dam controversy and the history of Buffy Saint-Marie's song, see: http://english8.fsu.edu/dcs577/Kinzua.html for more information. The controversy over the Kinzua Dam is documented in Joy A. Bilharz, The Allegany Senecas and Kinzua Dam: Forced Relocation Through Two Generations (Univ. of Nebraska Press, 1998).

~ ~ ~ ~

March 3, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "Arturo Schomburg."
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 30:41.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 19:00.
Here is the story of the man behind the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, coming to us from Against the Grain (www.againstthegrain.org): "Arturo Alfonso Schomburg was a Black Puerto Rican born in 1874. After he moved to New York City in 1891, Schomburg was active in Cuban and Puerto Rican independence struggles; he later launched an effort to unite people of African descent across national boundaries. Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof has written about this celebrated activist, historian, and collector." For more information on Schomburg, see Hoffnung-Garskof''s work in: Román & Flores, eds., The Afro-Latin Reader: History and Culture in the United States (Duke U. Press, 2010), and Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof, A Tale of Two Cities: Santo Domingo and New York after 1950 (Princeton U. Press, 2008).

Segment 2: "Harry S. Truman on Labor and the Republican Party, Labor Day, 1948.
Real Media. MP3. Time: 11:38
Harry S. Truman delivers some sharp criticism of the Republican Party and its labor policies in this 1948 campaign speech, delivered on Labor Day, September 6, 1948, at Cadillac Square, Detroit, Michigan.

~ ~ ~ ~

February 24, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "A Tale of Two Tunnels: New York, New Jersey and the Port of Un-Authority."
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 30:41.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 19:00.
    The Port of NY Authority was chartered in 1921 to solve problems unique to the district’s bi-state nature, including the absence of a rail tunnel linking New Jersey to Manhattan. Like everything related to the docks, rival powers on the Irish waterfront were bitterly divided over the tunnels. Bill McCormack, the waterfront's 'Mr. Big' blocked the tunnel; the Port Authority’s Austin Tobin got even by clearing mobsters from a pier in Hoboken so that “On the Waterfront” could be filmed there. That tunnel is unconstructed 90 years later. Prof James Fisher, Professor of Theology and American Studies at Fordham University,
roots this colossal failing in the dominant political cultures from the late-19th century to the present, when an already-approved Hudson River rail tunnel teeters on the verge of annulment.
   Fisher is the author of On the Irish Waterfront: The Crusader, the Movie, and the Soul of the Port of New York (Cornell University Press), where he offers a detailed social history of the New York/New Jersey waterfront. He traces the rise of Irish American entrepreneurs and political bosses during the World War I era and into the mid-1950s, when the emergence of a revolutionary new mode of cargo-shipping signaled a radical reorganization of the port and offers -- as well -- the back-story to Elia Kazan's classic film On the Waterfront (1954). His talk was the keynote address for the annual UAlbany Researching NY Conference. Fisher was introduced by Richard F. Hamm, History Department Chair.

Segment 2: "Fred Hartley Interview." (1953)
Real Media. MP3. Time: 11:38
This Longines Chronoscope segment (original Air Date, 25 March 1953), featured an interview of ex-U.S. Congressman Fred A. Hartley Jr., who served ten-terms in the House of Representatives representing a district in New Jersey. Hartley is best remembered for being the primary sponsor of the Taft-Hartley Act in the House of Representatives. Hartley was questioned about the Taft-Hartley Act and possible revisions to the Act, as well as about his evaluation of the Eisenhower Administration.

~ ~ ~ ~

February 17, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "Roaring Girls: Women Pirates Across the Ages." (2001; 2011).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 26:25.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 26:58.
First produced back in 2001, Hindsight (ABC Radio National) recently rebroadcast this wonderful piece focusing on the history of women and piracy: "From 5th century Artemesia to Madame Jung Ee Sow hundreds of years later, women have always taken to the sea for profit and for pleasure. This feature uncovers the hidden history of women and piracy, the unofficial maritime economy which reached its zenith in the late 18th century,when hordes of pirates ships trawled the Caribbean and Atlantic seas for booty. Among all the men who took up the 'sweet trade' were a number of women, including cross-dressing buccaneers Ann Bonny and Mary Read. The lives of these two, along with with other women such as Gaelic pirate Granuaile and her 19th century Chinese soul sister Lo Hon Chow reveal a very different story of the sea - one that is peopled by pirate queens and 'roaring girls' (cutlass in one hand, baby in the other!)."

Segment 2: "Lotte Lenya, Pirate Jenny, and The Three Penny Opera." 1931; 1962.
Real Media. MP3. Time: 7:06.
The Threepenny Opera (Die Dreigroschenoper), playwrite Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill's 1928 adaptation of John Gay's 18th century The Beggar's Opera, is a thinly disguised Marxist critique of modern capitalist society. Weill's wife, Austrian-born singer and actress Lotte Lenya, played one of the central roles in the play -- the role of Ginny Jenny or "Low-Dive Jenny." She reprised the role in the 1931 film based on the play -- and, more than three decades later -- in a 1962 BBC English-language television production. Here, we feature her 1931 and 1962 performances of one of the most powerful songs in the play, 'Pirate Jenny' -- in which the ordinary maid imagines herself as a pirate captain biding her time until her ship and crew arrive and she is able to take her revenge on the townspeople who for so long have mistreated her and held her in contempt."Kill them all" she orders her crew and then sails off with them on her ship.

~ ~ ~ ~

February 10, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "Ruby Elzy: Black Diva of the Thirties" (2006).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 37:20.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 21:37.
Producer and host Boyce Lancaster, with the assistance of David E. Weaver, transformed Weaver's book Black Diva of the Thirties - The Life of Ruby Elzy (University Press of Mississippi, 2004) into this aural documentary of Black soprano singer Ruby Elzy. She "was one of George Gershwin's hand picked leads for the original production of Porgy and Bess. Hailing from the small Mississippi town of Pontotoc, Ruby Elzy's voice carried her to Ohio State University, Julliard, Broadway, and concerts coast to coast. Tragically, her life would end before she took the next step to the Metropolitan Opera stage in Aida. In the year 2000, soprano Ruby Elzy was one of the first inductees into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame. Sixty-five years earlier, she was chosen by George Gershwin to create the role of Serena in Porgy and Bess. Ruby appeared in feature films with Paul Robeson and Bing Crosby. She attended The Ohio State University and Juilliard School of Music and performed on Broadway, in Hollywood, and on national radio. Ruby would have been one of the first black artists to appear in grand opera had she lived beyond her 35 years."

Segment 2: "Ralph Abernathy Speaks to the SCLC, 1960." (Selection).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 2:19.
One of the central figures in the Civil Rights Movement, the Reverend Ralph Abernathy stood side-by-side with Martin Luther King Jr. in the various campaigns waged for equality in the South and North. Like King, Abernathy cultivated the art of passionate public speaking. Here we feature a short segment of one of Abernathy's sermon's, delivered to the Southern Christian Leadership Council, an organization he co-founded in 1957. The recording was made on October 18, 1960 and originally broadcast on Pacifica Radio. It comes to us from the Pacifica Radio Archives. For a short biography on Abernathy, see: http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/nge/Article.jsp?id=h-2736; you can also find recommendations for further reading there.

~ ~ ~ ~

February 3, 2011
Segment 1: "Paul Robeson: Sung Hero" (2006; 2009).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 29:23.
Mark Lavonier produced this piece on Paul Robeson, focusing on "living historian" Ken Anderson's efforts to tell the story of "Paul Robeson through conversation and song, as well as audio of Robeson through the years on stage and radio. . . . Until only recently, athlete, actor, singer and political activist Paul Robeson was one of the most underappreciated figures of the 20th century. Accusations of communist affiliations forced Robeson into obscurity in the 1950's, but prior to this his legacy was already cemented in the minds of millions, regarding Robeson as one of the worlds most fascinating renaissance men."

Segment 2: "The Suez Crisis of 1956" (1956).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 2:22.
Here's a Universal Newsreel account of the Suez Crisis, from November 1, 1956. The firm produced two newsreels a weekm from 1929 through 1967, with each release containing 6-7 segments focusing on various events in the news. Universal Studios donated their entire archive to the National Archives in 1967 -- along with all rights -- thus placing their collection in the public domain. The entire collection is available at the National Archives' College Park branch; a large and growing number are available on the Internet. For a short account of the Crisis, see: http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/COLDsuez.htm.

Segment 3: "Mark Twain in the West." (2010).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 23:12.
David Ross tells the story Mark Twain's service to the Governor of the territory of Nevada and, more generally, his years in the West. From Ross's introduction: "One day in August of 1861, two men got off the overland stage at Carson City, capital of the newly-created territory of Nevada. They’re the Clemens brothers, Orion and Samuel. Coming cross-country from Missouri, they were surprised at the landscape before them – a tiny little town with hardly more than a few buildings, smack in the middle of a vast and mountainous desert. They came to this little dot on the map for jobs. Orion Clemens had been appointed Nevada’s secretary – second-in-command to the governor, who like most politicians was back east, much more concerned with the outbreak of the War Between the States. After several business failures, the 36-year-old needed the work. But young Sam Clemens, who had been well-employed piloting steamboats on the Mississippi River, had another reason to come West."

~ ~ ~ ~

January 27, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "Voice of the Troubles: Stories from the Irish Conflict" (2006).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 31:04.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 18:59.
Freelance radio producer Charles Lane put this documentary together back in 2006, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Irish Hunger Strike. Lane relies heavily on oral history in this exploration of the conflict in Northern Ireland: "For Americans watching current events in Iraq, the stories of the Troubles are haunting. And when the looking glass is pulled back we see eerie similarities between the two conflicts: warring factions on all sides with a foreign army caught in the middle trying desperately to keep the peace. What is it like to live in constant conflict? What does the brink of civil war sound like? Voice of the Troubles answers those questions for an American audience by entering the lives of those who lived in Ireland during the 70s and 80s, waking up each morning to find bodies on their doorstep and bombs under their kitchen window. The program begins with an intimate conversation with a hunger striker's brother who was with him on his last night alive. We then hear two starkly different interpretations of the riots and protests that followed. The second segment follows the earlier lives of two children growing up during the Troubles, the good times and the bad. The program concludes in a soundscape of wisdom on the effects of conflict, how it erodes even the most fundamental elements of society. Its history passed through the lens of today's headlines."

Segment 2: "Oscar Wilde and The Ballad of Reading Gaol." (Orig. 1898).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 39:55.
Irish writer and poet Oscar Wilde was jailed after an infamous trial and conviction for his homosexual offenses. His two years in prison yielded this epic poem, written just after his release in 1897 while living in exile in France. Here we present a LibriVox [http://librivox.org/the-ballad-of-reading-gaol-by-oscar-wilde-jg/] reading of the poem. The Ballad of Reading Gaol was inspired by the hanging of Charles Thomas Wooldridge, a trooper in the Royal Horse Guards who was convicted for the murder of his wife. For more information about Wilde and the poem, see: Wilde, Wooldridge and Reading Gaol.

~ ~ ~ ~

January 20, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "Gandhi in South Africa." (2009).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 26:14.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 24:35.
Here's another excellent program from Hindsight, focusing on "how Apartheid South Africa came into being, the central figure of Boer General Jan Smuts in this history, and its impact on the life and philosophy of Mohandas [later known as Mahatma] Gandhi." Here is a summary from the producers: "Gandhi went to the South Africa in 1894, not long after he had graduated as a lawyer. Over the subsequent 15 years, in response to the growing prejudice he and fellow Indians experienced, he campaigned against racial segregation in the cape colonies, and most ardently against the Bill for Union, which effectively enshrined the racist policies inherent in apartheid. When the British parliament passed the Union Bill 1909, Gandhi's once firmly held conviction in the British Commonwealth as a good and just idea was vanquished. It was out of this experience in South Africa that Gandhi began to form his idea for self-governance in India, and which was given articulation in his booklet Hind Swaraj, written on the return voyage from London to South Africa in 1909. The Hind Swaraj was written as a refutation of the kind of violent protest enacted by Indian separatists in the early 20th century, which had seen the assassination of Lord Curzon Wyllie in London. It also provided the genesis for Gandhi's developing ideas for the future of India, to be shaped into his philosophy known as satyagraha, or resistance through mass civil disobedience. Satyagraha's guiding principles were at the core of India's long struggle for independence, and have inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world.

Segment 2: "Tolstoy and the Philosophical Foundations of Civil Disobedience: The Kingdom of God is Within You." (1894).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 48:46.
Published in Germany in 1894, after having been banned in Russia, this classic non-fiction work by Count Lyev Nikolayevich Tolstoy (Leo Tolstoy), The Kingdom of God Is Within You, explores the Christian foundations of resistance to evil through non-violence. Tolstoy's treatise on nonviolent resistance had an important influence on Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr. Here is an selection from a reading of this work, from LibriVox. For the full reading (more than 13 hours), go to: http://librivox.org/the-kingdom-of-god-is-within-you-by-leo-tolstoy/.

~ ~ ~ ~

January 13, 2011
Segment 1 and 3: "Isabel Wilkerson on the Great Black Migration." (2010).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 33:00.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 18:50.
From Christopher Lydon and Radio Open Source, here's an interview with Isabel Wilkerson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration (Random House, 2010). Wilkerson tells the story of "the Great Migration of Southern black people . . . the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves."

Segment 2: "Destination Freedom: The Liberators." (1950).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 30:51.
Here is an episode from Richard Durham's radio series, Destination Freedom (1948-1950), which aired on Chicago's NBC affiliate, WMAQ.  Durham's series focused on prominent individuals and seminal events in African American history. In this episode, The Liberators, part 1, Durham examined the Abolitionist movement through a profile of the work of William Lloyd Garrison and Isaac Knapp, the two printers and anti-slavery activists who founded of The Liberator in Boston in 1831. For a transcript of the episode, see: http://jfredmacdonald.com/rddf/williamlloydgarrison.htm.

~ ~ ~ ~

January 6, 2010
Segment 1 and 3: "Backstory: Beyond Numbers ~ A History of the U.S. Census." (2010).
PART 1: Real Media. MP3. Time: 31:36.
PART 2: Real Media. MP3. Time: 18:54.
The American History Guys (Backstory) are back with an examination of the history of the U.S. census: "On December 21st, the Census Bureau released its first batch of results from Census 2010. Those numbers will have far-reaching implications, shaping everything from the way power is apportioned in Congress and federal aid is doled out to the very ways we think about ourselves as a nation. After all – embedded in those multiple-choice Census forms are basic assumptions about who belongs here, and who doesn’t. At its very heart, the Census asks one enormous question with anything but an obvious answer: Who are ‘we’ now? In this episode of BackStory, the History Guys dig into the little-considered story of the Census – the invisible backbone of America’s democracy. As it turns out, the idea of doling out power based on the actual numbers of bodies in a region was an innovation unique to America. The History Guys explore what was so revolutionary about the concept in the founding era, and look at how census data continued to threaten the power of America’s white elites over the course of the 19th century. Moving into the 20th century, they look at the emerging awareness of a racial “undercount,” and consider the ways that widespread suspicion of government has posed a challenge to the work of the Census Bureau. Over the course of the hour, the History Guys hear from scholars, former Census officials, and ordinary listeners interested in exploring the fascinating story of how we’ve counted ourselves through three centuries of American life." Among the guests featured in this episode are: political scientist Melissa Nobles (explaining "how the categories on 19th century census forms reflected – and shaped – Americans’ changing ideas about race;" Vincent Barabba, U.S. Census Director under Presidents Nixon and Carter, explining "why the Census is 'one of the most political things we do';" Al Marquart, who worked as an enumerator in the 1940 Census, sharing his memories of census taking during the Great Depression; and BackStory producer Catherine Moore, telling "the story of the 1920 Census, which first registered that America had become a predominantly urban nation… and sent Congress into a tizzy."

Segment 2: "The 1948 Copleston-Russell Debate on the Existence of God." (1948).
Real Media. MP3. Time: 2:32.
Jesuit priest and historian of philosophy Frederick Copleston and British philosopher, logician, historian, and social critic Bertrand Russell met in early 1948 to conduct an on-air (BBC) debate on the existence of God. Here is a recording of their conversation. For a transcript of the core of the exchange, see: http://www.bringyou.to/apologetics/p20.htm. For information on Russell, check out the excellent -- and detailed -- article on him in the on-line Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/russell/. The Encyclopedia also has an excellent overview of the "Cosmological Argument" that was at the heart of the debate between Copleston and Russell; see http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmological-argument/. A short biography of Copleston is available at the Gifford Lectures Web site: http://www.giffordlectures.org/Author.asp?AuthorID=43.

~ ~ ~ ~

Home | Guide to Listening | The Radio Show | The Radio Archive Producers | Production | Labor History Archive | Contacting Us

Copyright © 1997-2016 Talking History