'Gassed' by American painter John Singer Sargent.
Public Domain

How can we make sense of the staggering history of loss -- loss of reason, life, and hope for the future -- represented by World War I?

In 2014 University of Washington professor Robin McCabe launched a three-part series of concerts with accompanying lectures to explore that question through music. The theme, inspired by the centenary of the start of World War I, was “Music From The War To End All Wars.” Speakers Forum aired Part I, featuring a talk by UW dean Robert Stacey, this past January.

The legendary Gold Rush of the late 1840s was a game changer in American history.

The promise of overnight wealth — and the industries that rose up around the wealth-seekers — lured legions of people from all over the world to Northern California and to cities and towns along the Pacific Coast. But there were other Gold Rush ramifications — economic and environmental — as well.

For example: the wholesale taking of tortoises from the Galapagos Islands by sailors and fortune seekers on their way to and from California.

Tortoise Soup

Scientists have discovered the fossilized remains of an unusual human-like creature that lived long ago. Exactly how long ago is still a mystery — and that's not the only mystery surrounding this newfound species.

The bones have a strange mix of primitive and modern features, and were found in an even stranger place — an almost inaccessible chamber deep inside a South African cave called Rising Star.

Mosquito fleet steamers are seen at Houghton, Wash., in 1945.
Courtesy of MOHAI

Jeannie Yandel speaks to Leonard Garfield, director of the Museum of History and Industry, about a time when Seattleites got around on a "swarm of little steamers" known as the Mosquito Fleet.

Henry Chamberlain looks at mementos from World War II. He spent three and a half years as a prisoner of the Japanese.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

In 1945 President Harry Truman declared Sept. 2 as Victory Over Japan Day. Japan surrendered aboard the USS Missouri. It was the official end of World War II.

But the suffering wasn't over for Henry Chamberlain, who had been captured on the Philippines' Bataan Peninsula more than three years before.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



Operagoers visit replica of horse stall where Japanese-American families were housed en route to camps.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Opera patrons tend to glide toward their seats, downing last drops of Prosecco before the doors close.

But this Seattle opera wants to draw you in from the moment you step into the grand hall. Case in point: Patrons entering the McCaw Hall lobby pass through a checkpoint where actors dressed as guards assign numbers.

“This is your family number,” they tell you, “please keep it with you at all times.”

Unfolding The History Of Napkin Art

Aug 12, 2015

Napkins today are mundane and practical, made from paper or cheap factory cloth and folded, if at all, hastily into a rectangle. In the past, napkins weren't just for wiping hands or protecting clothing — they were works of art.

The 70th Anniversary of the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan was remembered Sunday night in Richland, Washington. About 50 people gathered near the Columbia River to remember the day.

The B reactor at Hanford.
Flickr Photo/Gary Paulson (CC BY ND 2.0)

Todd Mundt speaks with Northwest News Network correspondent Anna King about the past and present of the Hanford nuclear site in eastern Washington. 

Outside Edith Macefield's former house, also known as the 'Up' house. People have associated the house with the Pixar movie 'Up,' which follows a similar narrative of an elderly man who refuses to sell his house to developers.
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Edith Macefield’s tiny house will soon float to Orcas Island – but not by balloon.

The property owner – a bank that won’t disclose its identity – has gifted the legendary house to a nonprofit on Orcas Island. The nonprofit, in turn, promises to barge the house up Puget Sound to the island, where it will be hauled onto land and turned into a home for lower-income people.

Scotts Bluff National Monument along the Oregon Trail.
Flickr Photo/Kent Kanouse (CC BY NC 2.0)

Ross Reynolds interviews Rinker Buck about his new book,“The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey.” Buck and his brother took a mule-drawn wagon more than 2,000 miles over the path of the trail that brought the first mass migration of white settlers to the Pacific Northwest.

Maya Lin with Nez Perce elder Horace Axtell at our dedication ceremony for Chief Timothy Park near Clarkston, Washington.
Miranda Ross

Ross Reynolds interviews artist Maya Lin, designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, about the Confluence Project.

Since 2001 Lin has been working on six interpretive art works that track the Lewis and Clark expedition route along the Columbia River. She weaves together several things to create the projects: the Lewis and Clark Journals about their pioneering trip across country, the history of the Columbia River’s geology, native American accounts and  a contemporary environmental perspective.

Jimmy Hoff and Robert 'Bobby' Kennedy.

When John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, labor leader Jimmy Hoffa was heard to say, “Bobby Kennedy is just another lawyer now.”

The animosity between Hoffa and the Kennedys dated to a famous 1957 Senate investigation, the so-called Rackets Committee, led by Robert Kennedy. That very public hearing began a lifelong feud between two powerful and dedicated adversaries.

Courtesy of MOHAI/Staff Photographer at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Warning: If you live in Seattle, this might break your heart.

Once upon a time, Seattle was a pioneer in transportation planning.

City officials thought in terms of economic expediency and asked themselves, how could we get our residents around as quickly as possible? Thus, at the beginning of the 20th century, the streetcar system was born.