history

In 1977, Roots became one of the most-watched TV miniseries of all time. Based on Alex Haley's book about his family's story, from enslavement to liberation, it won a multitude of awards and exposed Americans to the horrors of slavery.

The recent remake of Roots enters into a more complex and nuanced culture of racial representation. We explore the new version, its place in American culture ... and if we needed a remake of such an iconic series.

Guests:

Mongrel Media

It's not just temperatures that are rising this weekend. From a controversial examination of the connections (or lack thereof) between vaccines and autism, to the absurdist drama of adults finding a mate before they literally turn into animals, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary film critic Steve Walker's suggestions will get a rise out of viewers, too.

Vaxxed: From Cover-up to Catastrophe, Unrated

Early-American Manuscripts Coming To Independence

Jun 1, 2016

The founding principles of the American experiment weren't just a bunch of ideas floating around the heads of the founding fathers, they were ideals that were put to paper. Examining those documents first-hand is an opportunity to reflect on the issues our nation faced then, and what lessons we should carry with us into the future.

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Literature lovers owe a debt of gratitude to industrialist Henry Folger, who assembled the largest collection of William Shakespeare's folios, including the famed First Folio. Without that anthology, "half of his plays would have ended up on the ash heap of history," says author Andrea Mays.

Managing the country's more than 400 national parks, trails, sites, memorials, and more, takes the help of more than 20,000 men and women employed by the National Park Service, which is celebrating it's centennial birthday in August. For some, preserving all that history and heritage is more than just a job, it's a passion!

You probably think he turned his back on our nascent nation, but before all that Gen. Benedict Arnold was an ally of George Washington and a war hero to boot. Author Nathaniel Philbrick's latest book, Valiant Ambition, explores Arnold's motives for making the decision that ultimately became his legacy.

Jeremy Thompson / Flickr

In this encore presentation of Central Standard: The roller coaster ride where you almost had your first kiss. Or what about the one you were finally tall enough to ride ... only to chicken out? Or the one where you met your spouse, or even got married?

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We chat with the creators of Red Bird, a new web series out of Lawrence. It tells the story of Kitty Mae, who is seeking revenge after Quantrill's Raid.

Guests:

  • Jeremy Osbern and Misti Boland, co-creators of Red Bird
https://chicagology.com

You've probably never heard of him, but if it weren’t for the work of Octave Chanute, those shiny streetcars might be climbing the hills of Saint Joseph, Missouri, not Kansas City. Instead of celebrating the Royals’ World Series win, we could be cheering on the Leavenworth Lions.

But in a single master stroke, Chanute’s Hannibal Bridge, completed in 1869, allowed cattle, and all sorts of other freight, to cross back and forth from Clay and Jackson counties in record time.

Wikimedia Commons

In this encore presentation of Central Standard: What does it mean to be a "Renaissance Man" today? Hint: it's more than being an expert multi-tasker. 

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When Al-Qaida moved into Timbuktu, Mali, the terror group was bent on enforcing Shariah law, threatening many historical artifacts in the region. That's when an African collector and adventurer, Abdel Kader Haidara, took it upon himself to salvage and smuggle more than 370,000 ancient manuscripts out of harm's way.

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You may not have heard of Octave Chanute before but, if you live in or around Kansas City, chances are you're affected by his work. Local historian Bill Nicks explains Chanute's lasting importance to aviation, and where you can still find evidence of his legacy in the metro.

As we're in the midst of another election season, we hear a lot about how each candidate seems "presidential." What does that word mean, and what does it say about us? An editor who publishes books about the presidency shares his thoughts.

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Jessica Spengler / Flickr

The food of Kansas City has a life story to tell. Author Andrea Broomfield tells it. The origins of Kansas City chili, tamales and tailgating, an affinity for dining al fresco and cinnamon rolls, and what local beer has to do with our sports teams and stadiums. Every food tradition can be explained through the lens of history.

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Last week, students from Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy in Johnson County, Kansas and University Academy in Kansas City, Missouri boarded a bus for a Civil Rights Tour of the South. What they found were new relationships and a surprising shared history. 

Guests:

  • Jazmyne Smith is a junior at University Academy.
  • Amanda Sokol is a sophomore at Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy.
Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Story of a Song is a monthly segment on KCUR's Central Standard, in which local musicians tell the story behind a recent song, and explain how it was constructed musically. 

The project: Igor Stravinsky's "L'Histoire du Soldat," or "A Soldier's Tale."

Courtesy Historic Kansas City

“Adult" coloring books are hot right now. Some 12 million coloring books sold in 2015, up from just 1 million the year before, according to the Nielsen Bookscan.

Some claim coloring is therapeutic. It’s undeniably nostalgic, but no matter the reason, The First Kansas City Coloring Book resurfacing now is certainly an example of good timing.

Activated

Mar 9, 2016

The protests at Mizzou last fall felt like game-changers for the overall visibility and power of student activism. What's the state of campus activism today? Plus, the history of campus protests, starting with objections to rancid butter in the 1770s.

Guests:

  • Storm Ervin, demonstrator, Concerned Students at The University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Angus Johnson, teacher and researcher, The City University of New York

Paper dolls have been popular toys for children for centuries, but the black versions of these toys often depict racial stereotypes that reflect how society viewed African Americans. 

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Have you ever wondered what your great-great grandfather did for a living or if the family story of a famous relative is really true? Genealogy has been a popular hobby for many looking for answers and recent advances in digital research offer new opportunities for those plotting family trees.

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Creative Commons

What does it mean to be a "Renaissance Man" today? Hint: it's more than being an expert multi-tasker. 

Guests:

Stained glass was nearly banned by legislators in the United States, back in the late 1970s. At the same time, there was a resurgence in art glass, or stained glass created not for churches or important buildings, but for its own sake. The Stained Glass Art Association, now based here in Kansas City, stepped in.

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Courtesy / U.S. Postal Service

They are works of art that pay homage to great leaders, tell the history of this nation and highlight our culture. And they do it all in miniature.

The U.S. Postal Service has just unveiled its latest collection of stamps, and we discuss this year's assortments with William Gicker, manager of stamp development for the U.S. Postal Service. 

Nurse, Please

Jan 4, 2016

The history of nursing started on the battlefield. The profession that emerged is still with us, but in a totally transformed medical landscape. Using an exhibit at the World War I Museum as a jumping off point, this discussion explores how the origins of nursing have shaped both the realities and misconceptions of the field today. 

Guests:

Wikipedia -- CC

In this encore edition of Central Standard, we hear about the infamous 1974 Ozark Music Festival.

It drew as many as 350,000 people to the small, family-oriented town of Sedalia.

Traffic ground to a halt. Temperatures were in the triple-digits. Nudity ran rampant and the cost of ice skyrocketed.

Residents came home to festival-goers camped out on their lawns, using garden hoses for "baths." People sent their children out of town for safety. Hungry, drug-addled music fans stole a cow. And it only gets crazier from there.

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National Archives at Kansas City, Missouri

Fingerprinting has been around since the age of the Egyptians. However, modern criminal forensics in the United States have only been using this unique human feature to identify criminals for a little over 100 years. And it all goes back to an odd mix-up at the United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth more than a century ago.

Courtesy photo / Dean Realty

 

Perhaps you’ve seen the six-story abandoned building off of Interstate 35 at Southwest Boulevard in Kansas City — it towers over its neighbors.

 

There’s a website displayed on the side in huge font: imperialbrewery.com. Beer isn’t brewed there any longer, and you won't find any for sale on their website.

 

But what is the Imperial Brewery and where did it go?

 

There was a time when every kid hauled their toys around in a bright red Radio Flyer wagon. That toy, which started production in 1923, was a "must-have" Christmas present. The passing decades have given us plenty of “it” toys, from the Slinky to the Cabbage Patch Kid.

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American composers have played a role in turning the political tables in our society. Dr. Anna Celenza speaks with Steve Kraske about how their compositions influenced people's hearts and minds.

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Pulitzer Prize-winner Jon Meacham's new book on the first President Bush is generating attention for what he had to say about Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, advisers to his son President George W. Bush. But there's a lot more inside the biography about the man Meacham describes as "the last moderate Republican."

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