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In January 1945, in a German POW camp, a U.S. soldier named Roddie Edmonds defied the threat of death to protect the Jewish troops under his command.

Seventy years later, he's being recognized for his valor.

It's the first time a U.S. soldier has been named Righteous Among the Nations, an honor from Israel's Holocaust remembrance and research center reserved for non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

Rosa Parks on a Montgomery bus on December 21, 1956, the day Montgomery's public transportation system was legally integrated.
Wikipedia Photo

Bill Radke talks to Carla Saulter, writer of the blog Bus Chick, about how Rosa Parks' legacy has impacted her life. 

Despite what you read in some history books — such as the Biographical Dictionary of Congressional Women — Rep.

Sixty years ago Tuesday, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Ala. A police officer made the arrest that set off the modern civil rights movement. Today police recruits in Alabama's capital city are being schooled in that history in a course designed to eliminate bias in policing.

The Pilgrims are among the early heroes of American history, celebrated every Thanksgiving for their perseverance in the New World against great odds.

To Christian conservatives, they are role models for another reason as well: They were deeply committed to their Christian faith and not afraid to say so.

In the Mayflower Compact, the governing document signed shortly before the Pilgrims disembarked in Massachusetts' Provincetown Harbor, Pilgrim leaders said they undertook their voyage across the Atlantic "for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith."

Washington and Lafayette at Mount Vernon, 1784, by Thomas Prichard Rossiter and Louis Rémy Mignot.
Public Domain

In 1777 Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette was a French aristocrat looking for military glory. Since the French weren’t at war, the 19-year-old crossed the Atlantic to join George Washington and other American revolutionaries in their fight with the British.

That’s where Sarah Vowell comes in.

A photographer from Wenatchee, Washington, has made a revealing discovery at the scene of a remote and long-abandoned fire lookout: a pile of very old firewood.

A portrait of composer Claude Debussy painted by Marcel  Baschet, 1884.
Public Domain

Pop music has always  borrowed liberally from classical themes: think Al Jolson’s 1920 hit “Avalon” lifting Puccini’s opera “Tosca,” 1970s disco sensation "A Fifth of Beethoven” or Vitamin C’s more modern sampling of Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major.”

But it's a two-way street! In fact, the first borrowing might have taken place on the classical side.  

A fragment of the collapsed bridge, in the Washington State History Museum, Tacoma, Washington.
Wikipedia Photo/Joe Mabel (CC BY SA)/http://bit.ly/1NUPhz7

David Hyde speaks with journalist and local historian Feliks Banel  about the Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse on Nov. 7, 1940.  

Seattle Public Library central branch, 1914 (not the first iteration - that was in 1898 on the fifth floor of the Occidental Building in Pioneer Square).
Flickr Photo/Seattle Municipal Archives (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1WDlL39

David Hyde travels back in time through the magic of radio with writer Knute Berger to the site of Seattle's first library.  

Cape Flattery on Washington's coast.
Flickr Photo/ravas51 (CC BY SA 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1k8ROw2

Kim Malcolm talks to Dr. Kirk Johnson, sant director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, about the geological wonders of the West Coast and his new NOVA special "Making North America." 

Graphic courtesy UW Special Collections

Before Move Seattle and Bridging the Gap, there was Forward Thrust. Fifty years ago this week civic leader Jim Ellis introduced Forward Thrust at a rotary luncheon at the Olympic Hotel. Forward Thrust was the name for a huge package of infrastructure improvements and for a countywide political campaign Ellis envisioned to get them paid for.

Geochemist Frannie Smith would like to see more girls get into science like she did. Women make up only about 25 percent of geoscientists in the U.S. and only a quarter of all the scientists or engineers at the Pacific Northwest National Lab in Washington state are female.

Coby Burren was reading his textbook, sitting in geography class at Pearland High School near Houston, when he noticed a troubling caption. The 15-year-old quickly took a picture with his phone and sent it to his mother.

Ross Reynolds interviews former King County prosecutor Christopher Bayley about his new book, “Seattle Justice: The Rise and Fall of the Police Payoff System in Seattle." 

On November 10, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of the Interior will enter into an agreement establishing the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

David von Blohn/AP

The lake is the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir, created when the local Grijalva River was dammed back in 1966. The church ended up submerged under water.

But now it's visible again, as the reservoir's waters have receded. The reservoir's level has dropped by more than 80 feet because of a long drought.

A hidden chemistry lab was unearthed by a worker doing renovations to the iconic Rotunda at the University of Virginia, and school officials say the room is directly linked to the third U.S. president, Thomas Jefferson, who helped design the building.

The "chemical hearth," which dates back to the 1820s, is thought to be one of the few remaining in the world. It featured two sources of heat for conducting experiments and a system for pulling out fumes.

Illustration by Drew Christie

What is the history of Washington state's political allergy to an income tax? Steven Thomson of Olympia posed this question to KUOW's Local Wonder.

We had an income tax once in Washington state.

It was during the Great Depression, and a lot of people were down and out.

People were so excited about the income tax that they voted twice. First, they changed the state constitution to allow the tax. Then voters approved the tax – 70 percent in favor.

Highway sign on a road entering the Hanford Site
Wikipedia Photo/Ellery (CC BY SA 3.0)/http://bit.ly/1LnhFqH

David Hyde speaks with attorney Richard Eymann about the history of 'Hanford downwinders' -- people who believed they suffered health problems after being exposed to radiation from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Starving prisoners in Mauthausen camp liberated on 5 May 1945.
Public Domain

Kim Malcolm talks to Dee Simon, executive director of The Holocaust Center for Humanity, Seattle's first Holocaust museum, about why she works to share the story of the genocide.

1962: Remembering The Deadly Columbus Day Storm

Oct 12, 2015
Columbus Day Storm damage at 30th Avenue and East Spruce Street. The photo was taken Oct. 15, 1962, three days after the storm struck.
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.

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

Children's book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, points to a 3-year-old fan Marcus Gabrielli as he signed autographs in New York.
AP Photo/Mike Appleton

Did Maurice Sendak, author of "Where The Wild Things Are," talk to kids about his work?

It was 1991, and Sendak had come into the KUOW studios for an interview with Ross Reynolds on “Seattle  Afternoon.”  

Bertha K. Landes served as mayor of Seattle from 1926 to 1928. She was Seattle's first and only female mayor -- also Seattle's first female police chief, according to journalist Emmett Watson.
University of Washington Digital Archives

Before Bertha was a boring machine stuck under Seattle, she was Seattle’s first female mayor.

In 1926, her campaign motto was “municipal housekeeping.”

Bertha K. Landes was her full name and “she was wonderful,” according to columnist Emmett Watson.

Julia Child was tired of hearing people complain about salt, cholesterol and fat. Try moderation and exercise, she said. This photo was taken in 1992, two years after her interview with KUOW's Ross Reynolds.
AP Photo/Jon Chase

Julia Child was mad.

“I think the word ‘healthy’ and the word ‘light’ are really kind of meaningless,” the renowned cook told KUOW’s Ross Reynolds in a prescient 1990 interview. “There are no bad or good foods; they are just healthy and unhealthy ways of using them.”

Author Walter Mosley and his father in front of their home in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Waltermosley.com

People usually remember as far back as the generation that raises them, says writer Walter Mosley.

Mosley had come into KUOW’s studios to speak with KUOW’s Ross Reynolds. It was 1992, and his third book, "White Butterfly," had just been published.

Easy Rawlins, Mosley’s main character, emerged from those memories. Easy was a fixer, a guy who does favors for people.

The writer Ursula K. Le Guin in 2012.
Photo © 2012 Laura Anglin

“If you have a person who is both male and female, what’s the pronoun you use?”

Ursula K. Le Guin posed that question in 1988 when she came in to the KUOW studios for an interview with Ross Reynolds.

Before he created The Simpson, Matt Groening created the 'Life in Hell' comic series. Among his characters were Akbar and Jeff, whose origins go back to Groening's fifth-grade attempts at mimicking 'Peanuts.'
Matt Groening / 'Life In Hell'

Before The Simpsons, there were crazy rabbits and Akbar and Jeff.

Matt Groening, who created television’s most iconic cartoon family, spoke with Ross Reynolds in the late 1980s on the show Seattle Afternoon.

Students play double-dutch at recess at Colman School in 1971. Back then, students had an hour or more time to eat and play at school.
Seattle Public Schools Archives

There was a time Seattle students got 95 minutes of lunch and recess.

Most of that time was for a languid midday break that allowed plenty of time to eat and play.

Reporter Ashley Ahearn dug into the Northwest history of the B-17 bomber with her father, Joe Ahearn, Jr.
EarthFix Photo/Katie Campbell

There’s an old photograph in my father’s office that I’ve always wondered about. In it my grandfather and nine other young airmen stand in front of their B-17 plane, shoulders squared, staring proudly at the camera. They were probably in England at the time, getting ready to fly bombing raids over Germany in 1943.

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