history

Public Housing
3:44 pm
Fri November 16, 2012

The Radical Roots Of Yesler Terrace

Jesse Epstein (left) examining slum housing.

Yesler Terrace is Seattle's oldest public housing project. It was revolutionary when it was completed in 1940. In the near future, though, it will be completely demolished.

In its place will sprout a series of high rise towers with a limited number of low-income housing units alongside up to 4,000 market-rate private housing units, offices, retail and commercial spaces. The ultimate goal, says the Seattle Housing Authority, is to create a sustainable, healthy, mixed-income neighborhood.

It's a radical plan, controversial, and every bit as transformational as that which gave rise to Yesler Terrace in 1940.

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History
3:26 pm
Tue October 30, 2012

"War Of The Worlds" Broadcast Touches Off Panic In Pacific Northwest

"War of the Worlds" director and narrator, Orson Welles, 1937.
Library of Congress Van Vechten Collection

On October 30, 1938, Orson Wells' infamous "War of the Worlds" broadcast across the nation.  Fake news of a Martian landing fooled a lot of people on the East Coast, especially around New Jersey, where phony live reports described the alien landing site. But the most infamous panic of all didn't happen in the East. And it wasn't just a single person. It was an entire town, and it happened right here in Washington state.

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History
9:00 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Tim Egan On Edward Curtis, A Famous Photographer You Have Never Heard Of

Edward Curtis' "In A Pigean Lodge," 1910. This image has been criticized for retouching, implying manipulation of anthropological documents..
Wikipedia

Chances are you've seen the works of Edward Curtis, possibly without even realizing it. His images are the iconic, definitive photographs of Native Americans created as the 19th century expired and the 20th came into being. The huge project to photograph the surviving Indian tribes brought Edward Curtis from the fringes of high society to the edge of penury. He died almost forgotten a few years after publication of the last of his 20 volumes of images. The New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan joins us to explore the remarkable life and work of Edward Curtis.

Also this hour we will hear from the two candidates running for Washington state's 9th Congressional District. Rep. Adam Smith and Jim Postma discuss the issues facing the state's first minority-majority district.

Slavery
12:00 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Slavery Story Has Seattle Ties

Cover of Carver Clark Gayton's book, "Narrative of the Sufferings of Lewis Clarke, During a Captivity of More than Twenty-Five Years, Among the Algerines of Kentucky, One of the So Called Christian States of North America."

When Carver Clark Gayton was growing up in Seattle in the 1940s he didn’t hear anything about African-American history in school. But his mother told him stories, including one about his great-grandfather Lewis George Clarke.

Clarke was an escaped slave and an abolitionist. His personal story found its way into the anti-slavery novel "Uncle Tom’s Cabin" that went on to become the second most popular book in the 19th century. It’s seen as one of the causes of the Civil War.

Geology
11:25 am
Fri October 19, 2012

David Montgomery: "The Rocks Don't Lie"

David Montgomery, 2009.
Kvasir Society Photo/Joy Mathew

There are many stories of great floods out there, first and foremost the fable of Noah's ark. But some geologists have found that many of these legends have some basis in historical fact. We talk with University of Washington professor and MacArthur award-winner Dave Montgomery, the author of "The Rocks Don't Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah's Flood."

History
4:49 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Souvenirs Of Seattle’s World’s Fair

Six-year-old Paula Jones was the 9-millionth visitor to the Seattle World's Fair. She was given free admission to all of the rides, as long as she wore this sign around her neck.
Courtesy/Washington State Archives, Puget Sound Regional Branch

Ten million people attended the Seattle World’s Fair over the course of its six month run. Jean Roth was one of them and she was there on opening day: April 21, 1962.

That day was also Roth’s 18th birthday and she and some friends thought it would be great to be the first through the turnstiles.

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Cold War Culture
1:21 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Rocky And Bullwinkle And The Cuban Missile Crisis

"The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" debuted on television screens in 1959. The cartoon featured an all-American squirrel and his pal the moose hotly pursued by Boris and Natasha — the Russian-accented spies with a knack for falling on their own grenades. "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" parodied the space race, the arms race between the US and the Soviets, and also took its share of digs at the American government and military. In an era when Yogi Bear was stealing pies off window sills — never before had an animated cartoon carried such political currency. And as Studio 360’s Julia Wetherell reports in Rocky and Bullwinkle and the Cuban Missile Crisis, it just might have predicted the fall of communism.

Other stories from KUOW Presents:

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Politics
12:52 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

When Did Presidential Debates Become Such A Big Deal?

dontknowmuch.com/

The presidential debates are a major factor in this year’s race for the White House. When did the debates become such a big deal? 

Historian Kenneth Davis tells us the story of America’s presidential debates and talks about his new book, "Don’t Know Much About The American Presidents."

History
10:12 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

1962: Remembering The Deadly Columbus Day Storm

Columbus Day Storm damage, 1962.
Photo by Seattle Municipal Archives.

A lot of strange things happened in October 1962.

In Hollywood, Bobby "Boris" Pickett topped the charts with “Monster Mash.” In New York, James Brown recorded his incredible "Live at the Apollo" album. And in Cuba, offensive missile sites were being built, marking the start of the Cuban missile crisis.

Meanwhile, closer to home, the Pacific Northwest was about to face one of the most destructive natural disasters in American history.

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Books
8:00 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Presidential Popularity Contests With Robert Merry

Robert Merry's 'Where They Stand.'
(Credit/Simon & Schuster)

Who was the best US president? The worst? Biographer Robert Merry plays "rate the presidents" based on popularity and historical judgment. Here are some hints: Abraham Lincoln's at the top and James Buchanan ranks as one of the country's biggest failures.

History
6:02 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

1962: Cordless Phone And Other Tech Innovations Unveiled At Seattle World’s Fair

This was the cordless phone that was unveiled at the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair.
Harriet Baskas, courtesy of Seattle Museum of Communications

The 1962 Seattle World's Fair introduced technological innovations that seemed out of reach at the time, but would eventually become a part of every day life.  Some of the ground breaking gadgets unveiled included a pager, a cordless phone and something called a computer.

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Valentine's Day
7:23 am
Mon February 14, 2011

The Dark Origins Of Valentine's Day

A drawing depicts the death of St. Valentine — one of them, anyway. The Romans executed two men by that name on Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 8:42 am

Valentine's Day is a time to celebrate romance and love and kissy-face fealty. But the origins of this festival of candy and cupids are actually dark, bloody — and a bit muddled.

Though no one has pinpointed the exact origin of the holiday, one good place to start is ancient Rome, where men hit on women by, well, hitting them.

Those Wild And Crazy Romans

From Feb. 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain.

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