History

This interview with Isabel Wilkerson was originally broadcast in October of 2014.

For decades after slavery ended, African Americans continued a mighty struggle against a caste system grounded in racism. Pervasive discrimination kept many blacks from building decent lives in the southern states they called home. Faced with few choices, they undertook one of the largest migrations in our nation’s history, with more than 6 million making their way to Midwestern, Western and Eastern cities between 1915 and 1970.

Back in the early 1930s, Chicago had the distinction of being the fourth largest metropolis in the world. The city was a melting pot of race, ethnicity and culture, and a place where some of the world’s most celebrated architects, writers, musicians and entrepreneurs would find their inspiration.

In his book, The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream, Thomas Dyja makes the case that much of what defined America, particularly from the end of World War II until 1960, came from Chicago.  

ITD

The agency that oversees Idaho's highways spent part of Tuesday taking a trip down Memory Lane.

The Idaho Transportation Department opened a time capsule buried in Boise in 1989. The 3-foot piece of conduit had been glued shut and buried near the department's East Annex. The burial was part of a dedication of a grove of trees given to the state by the University of Idaho.

The contents included newspapers of the era, license plates, advertisements and more.

stonebraker
University of Idaho Library

William Allen Stonebraker worked and played in the rugged central Idaho wilderness at the turn of the 20th century and he's left behind a unique legacy of photographs to tell his story. That photo collection has just been released by the University of Idaho Library.

As America celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, it’s a fitting time to remember the man who helped lay the early groundwork for the idea of wilderness as a national treasure.  President Theodore Roosevelt’s dedication and perseverance led to the preservation of some of our greatest national parks, forests, monuments and wildlife sanctuaries.

When the chemical company Ciba purchased a huge swath of forested land in Toms River, New Jersey, back in 1949 and laid plans to build a major factory on the site, the local citizenry mostly thought it was a good thing.

During the ensuing years, that positive opinion pretty much remained in place, as the town grew, property values increased and good-paying jobs at the plant strengthened the local economy.

But as the plant continued to generate an increasing amount of hazardous waste, there were early signs something might be amiss.

This Reader's Corner interview originally was broadcast in July of 2013

When President Franklin Roosevelt selected mild-mannered University of Chicago history professor William Dodd to serve as America’s ambassador to Nazi Germany in 1933, neither man had an inkling of the coming terror. In fact, Dodd accepted the post in part because he believed his light duties would allow him time to complete his exhaustive history of the American South.

art.thewalters.org

A Boise State University professor is trying to solve a historical mystery.

Darryl Butt is trying to figure out who was buried in an Egyptian sarcophagus.  Butt, however, is not an archeologist or historian. He’s a materials scientist and associate director of Idaho’s Center for Advanced Energy Studies. He mostly works with nuclear fuels. Butt says his involvement started with a chance meeting with someone from the Walters Museum in Maryland.

The rugged coastline of the Pacific Northwest is dotted with historic cities and sea ports. But today’s well-established metropolises belie the imagination and tenacity that it took to settle this wild and remote region.

In 1809, John Jacob Astor -- a young, ambitious New York businessman -- saw the potential of the Northwest coast as a great trading emporium for the western half of the United States. Astor dispatched a land and sea party that he hoped would arrive at what is now Astoria, Oregon. The plan was to set up a Jamestown-like colony and establish a fur trading empire.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

The story most people learn about the Nez Perce Tribe and the capture of Chief Joseph doesn't tell the whole history, and now the federal government and Northwest Tribes are trying to fix that with a new historic site.

You may have heard about the Nez Perce’s epic 1,200-mile flight through Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana in 1877. The U.S. Army caught up with them before they could reach Canada. And in history books and documentaries, this is how the story usually ends:

Kamiah, rural, small town
Kara Oehler / Flickr Creative Commons

Idahoans are passionate about how to say the places in which they live. We learned that earlier this month with a post about the 10 places only Idahoans know how to pronounce.

You sent us dozens of suggestions, comments and explanations about Idaho's unique place names. Commentors also disagreed about the correct pronunciation of some words, which is to be expected, says Boise State University Assistant Professor of Linguistics Tim Thornes.

Welcome to Idaho
Craig Cloutier / Flickr Creative Commons

Here's one way to find out if someone is from Idaho: ask them to pronounce Boise, Coeur d'Alene, or Pend Oreille.

If there’s one thing that trips up folks from outside Idaho, it’s our weird and wonderful place names.  Counties, cities, and rivers in Idaho can be hard to pronounce, if you don’t know them well.

These 10 words can be tough for new Idahoans (special thanks to the Idaho Press Club’s Idaho Pronunciation Guide).

Many Americans can still remember where they were on November 22, 1963, the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Gerald “Jerry” Blaine remembers exactly where he was; in Austin, when a fellow Secret Service Agent pounded on his door saying the President had been hit.

Blaine was a Special Agent of the Secret Service, it was his job to protect the President from harm.

He’ll be in Meridian Monday to give two talks about  the day that's forever inked in history books.

This interview for Reader's Corner was originally broadcast in December of 2013:

In the summer of 1936, in the midst of the Great Depression, the world was transfixed by the grandeur of the Olympic Games in Berlin, and by a determined group of young Americans who were giving their all to bring home the gold.

In front of high-ranking Nazi officials, including Adolf Hitler, they overcame impossible odds to snatch victory from both the German and Italian crews in the Games’ signature rowing event.

The power of sports to mend rifts between nations and establish bonds of friendship and understanding was put to the test in 1934, when a group of Major League baseball players, including Babe Ruth, traveled to Japan to play a series of 18 exhibition games in 12 cities.

The Americans squared off against their Japanese rivals in contests that drew thousands of enthusiastic spectators. The crowd’s biggest cheers often went to Ruth, who was revered in Japan as the jovial demigod of baseball.

The Idaho Military Museum is back open for business after being closed since October 2013.  

The museum started at Gowen Field in the late 1980s and eventually moved off base into a nearby warehouse. 

June 6, 2014 marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the invasion on the beaches of Normandy that turned the tide of fighting in World War II Europe and led to an Allied victory. 

John C. McManus, offers an insider’s look at just one of the five beaches taken by Allied troops in his new book,  "The Dead and Those About to Die — D-Day: The Big Red One at Omaha Beach."

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

In June 1944, Robert Haga was on board the USS Chickadee in the waters off of Normandy. Now, a Boise resident, Haga is one of the D-Day veterans featured in a new NOVA special on PBS, "D-Day’s Sunken Secrets."

In the program, a team of experts explores the sea beds along the coastline of Normandy from above and below the water, inviting veterans like Haga along for the journey.

It’s no secret that the zero-sum game of Cold War politics often led U.S. policymakers into global alliances that had more to do with anti-communist expediency than lofty democratic ideals. One relatively unknown Cold War episode involves the 1971 atrocities against the Hindus of Bangladesh that led to war between India and a U.S.-supported military dictatorship in Pakistan.

Earth Day 2014 is Tuesday, and celebrations are planned across our nation and around the world, including here at Boise State. Forty-four years after it was first launched, this annual event continues to evolve, attract new participants and raise awareness about environmental issues. What many may not realize is that Earth Day also played a major role in the birth of the modern environmental movement.  

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