history

Public Domain

Vincent Van Gogh loved to paint "en plein air" which meant battling the elements: rain, wind and ... grasshoppers? Today, we speak with the painting conservator at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art who found a century-old grasshopper embedded in Van Gogh's Olive Trees. But first, we learn about the history of a Kansas City hero, Primitivo Garcia.

Guests:

Tools, lumber and bolts are just a few of the things that come to mind when thinking about a hardware store — but how about the smell? Today, meet a local perfume maker who decided to recreate the scent of a Kansas City hardware store. Also, we discuss how the community is affected when these old "mom n' pop" businesses close shop.

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Phil Prater / Public Domain

On KCUR’s Central Standard, host Gina Kaufmann spoke to Reverend Debbie Buchholz, co-founder of Deaf International, and William Ennis, assistant professor of history at Gallaudet University, about the history of persecution against people with deafness in this country — and the milestones along the path to equal rights.

The Missouri French Creole community, located mainly in the eastern part of the state, has its own language and culture. We hear more from a filmmaker who is working on a documentary about them.

Plus: the overlooked history of how Jews shaped small towns in the Midwest. It's the topic of a symposium this weekend: Jews in the Midwest: 1850 to 1950.

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Phil Prater / Public Domain

Members of the hearing-impaired community often face unique, and sometimes difficult situations even when living in America. Today, we discuss the history of persecution against people with deafness in this country and the milestones alongside the path to equal rights. For a full transcript of that show, click here. 

Then, Charles Phoenix, a purveyor of Americana culture, shares what he finds fascinating about United States history, geography and folklore.

Wikimedia Commons

For as long as there has been recorded music, there have been cover songs.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR 89.3 FM

Fort Leavenworth isn't just a military base with a lot of historic architecture. It's also a place where you can find one of Kansas' oldest trees.

Just east of the airfield there is a 200-acre stretch of land on a flood plain that's become an accidental wildlife refuge. It's the largest stretch of contiguous forest along the lower Missouri River.

Photo courtesy of Pat O'Neill

It was 120 years ago this week that George Wigert was born in Axtell, a speck of a town in rural Nebraska. Wigert would grow up to attend military school, fight in World War I, then return home to start a family.

It was just three years ago that Wigert's grandson, author and publicist Pat O'Neill, came across hundreds of letters Wigert exchanged with his mother while preparing for and fighting in what was called "the war to end all wars."

Russell Watkins / Flickr - CC

Even though the winds and rain have subsided, the carnage wrought by Hurricanes Maria and Irma have left parts of the Caribbean without power and everyday necessities. Today, we find out how recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are progressing from two Kansas City relief workers who saw the devastation firsthand. Then, learn interesting facts, folk-wisdom, and oddities of the Show-Me State, via a brand new Missouri Almanac.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

During World War I, millions of letters were sent between the American servicemen in Europe and their loved ones back home. Kansas City author and publicist Pat O'Neill focused in on 223 letters sent during the war by his grandfather. Today, we learn Sgt. George Wigert's story.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

The executive director of the Kansas City Symphony is a busy man, but Frank Byrne has carved out some time for Up To Date. Today, he leads us through a Shostakovich symphony he's been listening to a lot lately. Then, we learn about the reporting, the writing, and the living Ernest Hemingway did in Kansas City during his 18th year of life.

Intel Free Press / Flickr - CC

Kansas City has its fair share of historic buildings, but they're not always easy to find and appreciate. Today, learn how a new guidebook is bringing these sites to people's attention. Then, pediatrician Dr.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

More than 40 years after the Vietnam War ended, Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried is still helping Kansas City readers understand the nature of conflict.

Many news outlets report that last weekend's shooting in Las Vegas is one of the deadliest in modern U.S. history. We take a moment to consider our country's history of mass casualties, and what constitutes as a "mass shooting" by definition.

Plus, how active shooter training in school is changing for kids as gun violence is on the rise.

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Public Domain

They may be icons of the old west, but cowboys aren't just an American phenomenon. Today, we learn the long history of the horseback herdsmen, whose roots go back to Africa. Then, we discuss climate change and the complexities of reducing fossil fuel use with environmentalist Bill McKibben. Later, we ask Sam Cossman why on earth he climbs into active volcanoes and what he hopes to gain from doing so.

A "Love Kansas City" mural on Southwest Boulevard was recently vandalized. What the artist did to repair the damage, and address the possible reasons for the vandalism. 

Plus, one woman has collected over a century of Kansas recipes. She joins us ahead of her speaking event on October 4 in Shawnee, Kansas.

With Nazi rallies and swastikas showing up close to home in today's headlines, how one high school teacher is answering students' questions about World War II. 

Plus, why KU professor Kevin Willmott is wearing a bulletproof vest to class

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Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

For centuries, refugees from all over the world have taken to the seas to escape violence and persecution in their homelands. Today, the author of a children's book published this year recounts just a few of their stories. Then, we speak to the director and producer of a new film about Gertrude Bell, who's been called the most powerful woman in the British Empire during World War I.

This week, the University of Kansas is hosting the Black Love Symposium. We meet keynote speaker, NYU professor Pamela Newkirk, here to talk about her anthology, "A Love No Less: More Than Two Centuries of African American Love Letters."

Plus, the "first Beverly Hillbilly" got his start here in Missouri. 

Guests:

Florent Vassault

The consequences of a death sentence most obviously affect the accused, but everyone involved in the case must deal with the decision's terminal implications. Today, we hear how a 1994 death sentence in Mississippi is affecting one juror's life decades later. Then, we explore how America's legacy of lynching still influences race relations in Missouri, Kansas and throughout the country.

A local writer and playwright tells us about her irreverent grandma, who she calls an "R-rated black Yoda."

Then: Dolores Huerta co-founded the National Farmworkers Association with Cesar Chavez, but she may be one of the least-known activists in American history. In light of a new documentary coming out this month, we hear more about Huerta from her great-niece, who lives in KC.

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Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.

Lynn Novick has been making documentaries for more than two decades, most of them in collaboration with Ken Burns. Their latest project, The Vietnam War, is the subject of her conversation today with host Steve Kraske.

Frank Morris / KCUR 89.3

Confederate monuments have been coming down around the country, including the one formerly on Ward Parkway in Kansas City, Missouri. But, with the current political turmoil, the scope of monuments coming in for new scrutiny is expanding fast.

The fight over Confederate statues got Bill Savage thinking about his own hometown.

Wikimedia Commons

The definition of an American family is no longer a man and his wife, living in suburbia with their 2.3 kids. Today, we learn about some of the economic forces reshaping families. Then, we explore the history of sandlot baseball in Kansas City, and find out how communities are trying to revive the tradition. Later, we discuss the controversy over Democratic Missouri Sen.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

As the country prepared for the first total solar eclipse over the continental United States in decades, the Up To Date crew headed into the path of totality for a live broadcast from Parkville, Missouri, and the campus of Park University. We found out why scientists, students and historians were excited about the celestial event.

Slate Magazine says it's the "The Year of the Tick." A local entomologist tells us all about these creepy-crawly disease-carriers.

Then, the city of Lawrence recently hired an African-American police chief. However, he's not the first African-American in the position. The story of Lawrence's black chief marshall from the 1890s.

Plus a new zine that covers the LGBTQ music community in KC.

Guests:

Chris Dahlquist

What do you expect to find at a vending machine? Soda or chips? How about a full-blown history tour?

That’s the idea behind photographer Chris Dahlquist’s exhibit History Vendor, located at City Market Park on 3rd and Main Street through mid-October.

Universal Pictures / Warner Bros. / MGM/UA Entertainment Co.

From E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial to Poltergeist, the summer of '82 was a seminal one for smash-hits that stood the test of time. Today, Up To Date's Video Gurus reunite to reminisce on the raft of red-hot motion pictures from the Reagan era, which helped establish a cinema season most Americans now take for granted.

C.J. Janovy / KCUR 89.3

El Dean Holthus knows what people might think of a town like Smith Center, Kansas.

At nearly the exact geographic center of the contiguous United States, it's an hour from the nearest Interstate. It's home to about 1,600 people, but that population is declining like most of rural America's.

They probably think, he says, that "it's just a little hole in the ground."

Harris & Ewing / U.S. Library of Congress

People generally get their history lessons from a book or movie, not from a vending machine. Today, we learn about a novel way to put historical photos of Kansas City into the hands of City Market Park visitors.

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