history

"In the ways that we teach and learn about the history of American slavery," write the authors of a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), "the nation needs an intervention."

In 1545, people in the Mexican highlands starting dying in enormous numbers. People infected with the disease bled and vomited before they died. Many had red spots on their skin.

It was one of the most devastating epidemics in human history. The 1545 outbreak, and a second wave in 1576, killed an estimated 7 million to 17 million people and contributed to the destruction of the Aztec Empire.

But identifying the pathogen responsible for the carnage has been difficult for scientists because infectious diseases leave behind very little archaeological evidence.

In December 1955, after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Ala., bus to a white man, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other black ministers and community leaders organized a citywide bus boycott in protest. That part is well known.

Less well-known is the story of Georgia Gilmore, the Montgomery cook, midwife and activist whose secret kitchen fed the civil rights movement.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The author of A Streetcar Named Desire and The Glass Menagerie did not set any of his well-known plays in Key West.

But the island was his primary residence from the 1940s until he died in 1983. That’s a lot longer than a certain other famous writer.

Michal Kranz / WLRN

Are you a storyteller who wants to make a splash?

Biscayne National Park is holding a storytelling contest with cash prizes. The theme? Water.

Organizers are seeking people to tell five- to seven-minute true stories about experiences with water: frozen or fresh, sparkling or still, floating on top or diving below. It's part of the 50th anniversary celebration for the park, which is 95 percent water.

The South Florida sun appeals to almost everyone: tourists, snowbirds, even embattled prime ministers looking to unwind after saving a nation from the threat of a Nazi invasion. After the end of World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his Conservative Party lost the elections of 1945, forcing Churchill to resign as prime minister.

Well, it looks like women have been balancing a full-time job and motherhood for thousands of years. All the while, they haven't gotten much credit for it.

By studying the bones of ancient women in Europe, archaeologists at the University of Cambridge have uncovered a hidden history of women's manual labor, from the early days of farming about 7,500 years ago up until about 2,000 years ago.

When I meet Ghanaian chocolatier Selassie Atadika, the first thing she does is pull a box of chocolates out of her bag. Then, introductions aside, she launches into a story.

It's a story of melding chocolate and spices, of straddling Africa and America, and of connecting cultures and people through taste.

Before they dress their turkeys, mash potatoes or pull piping hot pies from the ovens this Thanksgiving, people will tie on aprons.

It's the stories and people behind those aprons that have delighted EllynAnne Geisel for years.

Bridget O'Brien / WLRN News

This week on a special edition of The Florida Roundup at the Miami Book Fair, WLRN's Tom Hudson spoke with a panel of authors about the changing political and cultural landscape of South Florida.

National Book Award finalist and MacArthur finalist Edwidge Danticat, host of NPR's Full Disclosure Roben Farzad and Dr. Andrew Frank, professor of history at Florida State University took to the stage to discuss everything from uncertainty over immigration to the slow expansion of medical marijuana and the backlash against Confederate symbols scattered across the state. 

Who Is In Charge When The Cranes Fall? No One

Nov 8, 2017
Wilson Sayre / WLRN

Bruno Rebuffo heard the crane fall before he knew what it was.

“It sounded like an earthquake, honestly,” he said. “It was a big loud boom and you thought the roof is going to fall”

It's the end of an era in domestic commercial aviation Tuesday, as United Airlines flies the iconic Boeing 747 one last time.

The flight from San Francisco to Honolulu recreates the airline's first trip taken by the "Queen of the Skies" back in 1970, which helped usher in a golden age of commercial airline flight.

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Joe Skipper/Reuters 

One of the most chilling symbols of the Cold War has to be the black-and-yellow aluminum sign, indicating a nuclear fallout shelter.

The man responsible for the sign, Robert Blakeley, died on Oct. 25, at the age of 95.

The signs — long out of use — can still be found across the country at schools and other buildings designated as public shelters by the government, in the event of a Soviet nuclear strike.

Back in 1961, Blakeley was asked by the US Army Corps of Engineers to come up with a design for the new fallout shelter program.

As Jacksonville residents grapple with whether to remove the city’s Confederate monuments a group of area high school students are offering a more conciliatory alternative to the normally fractious debate among adults.


In 1940, on the eve of the United States' entrance into World War II, then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Immigration and Naturalization Service wanted to promote tolerance toward immigrants.

At that time, radio was the most important medium in the U.S. More than 80 percent of American households had a radio, and people listened for three or four hours every day. So, to reach the American people, the agency made a radio show.

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