Any prominent public figure has private citizens supporting him or her without much recognition. The name Grenville Clark may not roll off your tongue, but the people he supported-- including both presidential Roosevelts-- changed the history of the United States.
Nancy Peterson Hill, author of A Very Private Public Citizen: The Life of Grenville Clark
After gaining independence, the people of Ireland used pageantry to express their heritage. These thematic recreations of historical and mythical events were subversive acts of forging a new national identity. In All Dressed Up: Modern Irish Historical Pageantry, Joan Dean explores the public imagination of history.
The holidays bring good food, lots of family, and fascinating tales. When families unite, storytelling takes center stage as we recall childhood memories and the ups and downs of life. On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with a personal historian and StoryCorps' David Isay about the process and significance of preserving family stories in preparation for the National Day of Listening.
Gerald Ford bumped Nelson Rockefeller off the 1976 presidential ticket. Two years later, the colorful four-term governor of New York managed to create scandalous headlines with the circumstances of his death.
On this broadcast of Up to Date, Steve Kraske and historian Richard Norton Smithe delve into the life and times of the former vice-president. They discuss his rise to political prominence and his rocky, but unapologetic, personal life.
That's how artist Hung Liu remembers it, anyway. At the age of 16, she was sent to the Chinese countryside to live and work without a wage as part of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution. High school had filled her head with too much non-proletarian knowledge; she would have to unlearn it all through hard labor.
"Working in the cornfield, you sweat. In the morning, you pull the wheat with mud all over your hands. We were colorless," Liu says.
Right in the center of downtown Kansas City, Kan., between the public library and government buildings just off Minnesota Avenue, is a little two-acre cemetery.
The sign reads "Huron Indian Cemetery," but it’s also known as the Wyandot National Burying Ground. Over the years this place has been a gathering spot and a sacred place for members of the Wyandot Nation, but it has also been the site of controversy, confusion and a curse.
When it comes to the telling of the American story, historian David McCullough has few peers. In a book-writing career spanning 46 years, McCullough has chronicled the lives of Harry Truman, Theodore Roosevelt and John Adams. He wrote about the devastation of the Jonestown Flood and the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Panama Canal.
When he went to Europe to perform for his fans across the Atlantic, the trip was one-way.
A contemporary of Charlie Parker, Webster grew up in Kansas City, Mo., right off of 24th Street. He taught himself to play the piano at a young age, and started his career performing as a pianist for silent films. It wasn't until he was about 20 years old that he took up the saxophone.
A few decades ago, Union Station was a bustling train hub, but then people started traveling by air and the station fell into disuse and disrepair. Kansas City's grand old train station turned one hundred this year. In this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske discusses the history of the station, how a flood changed its story and the miracle of its survival.
Ethnomusicologist Daniel Atkinson describes Louisiana State Penitentiary (commonly called "Angola") as a “living, breathing plantation.” The land where the prison stands today was converted from plantation to penitentiary after slavery was abolished.
Presidents have been forced to calculate whether they want to be men of the people...or men of somewhat higher understanding.
On this edition of Up to Date Steve Kraske sits down with author Tevi Troy for a look at how popular culture has shaped the presidency. From Jefferson’s grounding in philosophy to Obama’s mastery of Internet culture, they examine who was best, or worst, at navigating a president's need to connect with the average citizen through the culture of the day.
Kansas Citians - or at least Chiefs fans - may have our own take on the closing line of the national anthem, but this Independence Day we can join the rest of America to celebrate the song's 200th anniversary. That's right: it's been two centuries since Francis Scott Key first commemorated the symbol of the home of the brave.
This spring marked the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, a Kansas case that went to the Supreme Court and ultimately ended with the ruling that the segregation of schools was unconstitutional. In the first half of Tuesday's Central Standard, we shared some little-known stories of the desegregation process from the months and years that followed.
In October of 1864, Kansas City played host to a dramatic clash of Union and Confederate forces. Thousands of troops squared off along Brush Creek and Blue River in the Battle of Westport, the largest Civil War battle west of the Mississippi River. On Thursday's Up to Date Steve Kraske talks with preservationist Daniel Smith about the legacy of the "Gettysburg of the West."
For four decades, Mary Frances Berry has been a civil rights activist. Famously fired from the US Civil Rights Commission before being rehired by President Reagan, she’s gone on to chair the commission, serve as the first woman and African American to be chancellor of the University of Colorado, and teach legal history at the University of Pennsylvania.
Bestselling author Jeff Shaara is renowned for his gritty depiction of Civil War battles. His fictionalized accounts of the historical events have appeared in previous works and he returns with his latest offering, The Smoke at Dawn. On Tuesday's Up to DateSteve Kraske talks with the author about how he fleshes out the known facts and in doing so creates a detailed account of the War Between the States.
Sheraton Estates was the first place in Kansas City, Mo., where African-Americans sought out to build new homes south of 27th Street. The suburban-style subdivision was built in 1957. It was marketed to, and, historically, home to many influential African-American leaders in the city.
You could be forgiven if you happen to believe that Mother's Day is a holiday invented by florists, candy stores and greeting card companies. In point of fact, however, this holiday has a hard-won, grassroots history that puts today's celebrations in context.
On Central Standard, a historian introduced us to three women who lobbied for a mother's day of sorts: the first out of a desire for peace, the second to decrease infant mortality through education, and the third in service of her own professional yearnings.
Everyone is familiar with the National World War I Monument in Kansas City, but there are others.
On Monday, we'll hear the stories behind some of the most prominent WWI monuments and memorials in Kansas City. James J. Heiman the author of Voices In the Bronze and Stone: Kansas City's World War I Monuments and Memorials joins us.
James J. Heiman is the author of Voices In Bronze and Stone: Kansas City's World War I Monuments and Memorials.
1940 was a pivotal year for Kansas City. Tom Pendergast’s rule through corruption and debauchery had crumbled, leaving the new local government to reform a city hungry for jazz and liquor.
On Thursday's Up to Date, we examine how Kansas City was different in the World War II era. On the way, we take a look at how the “Paris of the Plains” changed from a den of iniquity to the city we know today.
If you want drama, the story of how we developed atomic energy has it. From the novelty of X-rays to the destructive power unleashed in Hiroshima, to a major energy source — all the up and downs are there.
On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk with an author who has traced the details of these events and many in-between to construct a history of the atomic age. We look at how scientists managed to get from Marie Curie’s discovery to the Manhattan Project and beyond.