history

Remembering The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
3:02 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Brings 'Bad Juju' And Pain 25 Years Later

Scott Pegau, a scientist at the Prince William Sound Science Center, studies the effects of spilled oil on the environment in Cordova, Alaska.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:54 pm

At Ross Mullins' home in Cordova, Alaska, you have to slam the front door extra hard to make it close. The former commercial fisherman lives in a small wood-frame house that's in need of repair. Some of the windows are cracked and he leaves the water faucets dripping to protect uninsulated pipes from the harsh Alaskan winter.

When the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ran aground and started leaking oil 25 years ago, the disaster drastically changed the fishing industry in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Mullins has never recovered from that blow.

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Exxon Valdez
2:07 am
Mon March 24, 2014

25 Years After Spill, Alaska Town Struggles Back From 'Dead Zone'

Orca Inlet, Cordova's fishing harbor, on a blustery day this month. Commercial fishing is the small Alaskan town's primary industry.
Marisa Peñaloza NPR

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 9:25 am

On March 24, 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine water. At the time, it was the single biggest spill in U.S. history. In a series of stories, NPR is examining the lasting social and economic impacts of the disaster, as well as the policy, regulation and scientific research that came out of it.

It's a blustery, snowy March day when Michelle Hahn O'Leary offers a tour of Cordova, Alaska, situated on the eastern shore of Prince William Sound.

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Author Interview
4:02 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Astoria: Product Of West Coast Empire Exploration

Peter Stark's book, "Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire."

David Hyde talks to author Peter Stark about his new book, "Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire."

Java History
3:08 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

How Coffee Sobered Up The Modern World

Mark Pendergrast's book, "Uncommon Grounds."

Ross Reynolds talks with Mark Pendergrast, author of "Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World," about early coffee houses and why some leaders wanted to ban the popular caffeinated drink.

Tuitition Increases
2:24 am
Tue March 18, 2014

How The Cost Of College Went From Affordable To Sky-High

World War II veterans and other students at the University of Iowa in 1947. That year, due to federal assistance from the GI Bill, 60 percent of the school's enrollment was made up of veterans.
Margaret Bourke-White Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 10:59 am

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Famine And War
9:47 am
Mon March 17, 2014

The Dark History Of Green Food On St. Patrick's Day

Green cupcakes may mean party time in America, but in Ireland, emerald-tinged edibles harken back to a desperate past.
Ro Jo Images iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 6:03 am

Green food may mean party time in America, where St. Patrick's Day has long been an excuse to break out the food dye. But in Ireland, where the Irish celebrate their patron saint on March 17, green food has bitter connotations that recall the nation's darkest chapter, says historian Christine Kinealy.

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Food For Thought
3:49 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Salmon: 'Nature's Earliest Convenience Food'

Flickr Photo/cobalt123 (CC BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde talks with author Nicholaas Mink about the early days of salmon and how the fish changed the culture in the Pacific Northwest. His latest book is, "Salmon: A Global History."

Neighborhood Change
3:22 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

The Wah Mee Club Building: More Than The Tragedy

The historic building, which once housed the Wah Mee Club, will be destroyed after the December fire.
Google Maps

Steve Scher meets up with community activist Ron Chew in the Chinatown-International District to talk about the impending demolition of the building that housed the Wah Mee Club and what it means for the community as a whole.

Wanapum Dam
8:35 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Old Questions About Newly-Exposed Bones On Columbia River Shore

Newly exposed riverbank sprawls out upstream on the Columbia River from Wanapum Dam
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 6:17 pm

Grant County officials and Native Americans are patrolling round the clock to keep sacred and sensitive sites protected on miles of exposed Columbia River shoreline.

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Tech History
4:08 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

How Did We Use The Internet, Before The URL?

Janet Abbate's book "Inventing the Internet."

Steve Scher talks with Janet Abbate, associate professor of Science and Technology In Society at Virginia Tech, about the history and early users of the Internet. Abbate is also the author of, "Inventing the Internet."

Climate Change
4:26 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

How Humans Are Contributing To The Sixth Extinction

Elizabeth Kolbert's book "The Sixth Extinction."

Steve Scher talks with New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert about her book "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History."

Nutty History
3:22 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Peanuts: From Hog Food To Gourmet Spread

Jon Krampner's book "Creamy and Crunchy."

Steve Scher talks with Jon Krampner, author of "Creamy and Crunchy: An Informal History of Peanut Butter, the All-American Food," about how peanuts went from hog food to the organic peanut butter that we spend $8 on today.

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Downtown Harbor
11:08 am
Thu March 6, 2014

To Reshape Seattle's Waterfront, Planners Look To Past

By the end of the 1920s, Seattle's waterfront was crowded with docks and its skyline was getting taller. This photo, taken from Colman Dock around 1931, is part of a panorama view of the city. The tallest landmarks are the Exchange Building (left) and Smith Tower (right).
Credit Courtesy of Museum of History & Industry

Historians point to the early months of 1852 as the time that downtown Seattle was founded. One Sunday in late winter of that year, members of the Denny Party, a group of settlers from Illinois who’d arrived at Alki a few months earlier, paddled across Elliott Bay.

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Books News & Features
10:00 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Re-Released Recordings Reveal Literary Titans In Their Youth

James Baldwin, shown here in 1964, was the first in a series of authors Harry and Lynne Sharon Schwartz recorded.
Jenkins Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 10:19 am

You can listen to plenty of actors performing the works of William Shakespeare. But imagine if you could hear the voice of the young playwright himself — or the older one, for that matter — reading his own writing aloud.

Well, we can't take you back that far. But in the early 1960s, when recorded readings by authors were rare, a young couple in Boston decided to be literary audio pioneers.

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Author Interviews
9:44 am
Wed March 5, 2014

When War-Torn Rubble Met Royal Imagination, 'Paris Became Paris'

Le Pont Neuf, shown here in an 18th-century painting by Nicolas-Jean-Baptiste Raguenet, was completed in 1606 by Henry IV. The bridge's construction kicked off the reinvention of Paris in the 17th century. Today, it's the oldest standing bridge across the Seine.
Public Domain

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 5:04 am

Today, Paris is a city of light and romance, full of broad avenues, picturesque bridges and countless tourists visiting to soak in its charms.

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