History

On this "Vermont Edition" we speak with Mark Bushnell, author of "Hidden History of Vermont."
Mark Bushnell, Courtesy

The new book Hidden History of Vermont collects 15 years of Mark Bushnell's writing about the state’s past.

There are up-close-and-personal stories about well-known figures like Ethan Allen, and obscure but fascinating people like Lucy Cook, who cured patients while in a trance.

The cast of "Mill Girls" at the Champlain Mill in Winooski. There will be free performances of the show at Saint Michael's College in November.
Jerry Swope / Saint Michael's College

A new play premiering at Saint Michael's College tells the story of the women who worked the textile mills in Winooski and across New England in the mid-1800s. But it's also a story about America's shift from small towns to big cities, how women were treated and compensated in the country's earliest factories, the fight for workers' rights and the mills' connections to slavery before the Civil War.

Raymond Zirblis / Friends of Freedom: The Vermont Underground Railroad Survey Report

When it comes to Vermont’s history with the Underground Railroad, where’s the line between myth and truth? And whose voices are missing from the story?

Vermont prides itself on a history of leadership on civil rights issues, but it doesn't mean that there aren't complications — many of them — to the narrative of Vermont's unbroken civil rights leadership.

It's American Archives Month, and former state archivist Gregory Sanford talked to us to illuminate some of the complications he's unearthed through his research in the Vermont state archives.

OGphoto / iStock.com

If you’ve lived in a state for a long time, or grew up there, you probably have this feeling — when you drive into or out of it, you feel like you can tell the difference.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott says that he will proclaim Oct. 9, 2017 as Indigenous People's Day in Vermont. This is the same date on which the federal holiday Columbus Day falls this year.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The Grafton Cornet Band is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.

Men panning for gold in an 1887 photograph from the Plymouth Historical Society.
E. G. Davis / Plymouth Historical Society, courtesy

You've probably heard about the California gold rush of 1849 — but did you know that Vermont had its own mini-gold rush beginning around that same time?

The steeple on the Unitarian Universalist church at the head of Church Street in Burlington.
Historic American Buildings Survey / Library of Congress

A simple question about the history of Burlington's Church Street yielded some interesting trivia about the city, and the commercial district that now defines downtown.

An angled upstairs window, or "witch window," on a house in Wolcott, Vermont.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

You might have seen this architectural oddity on an old Vermont farmhouse, even if you didn’t know what to call it. 

In the 1850s, a small but vibrant community grew up around a gold mining operation in the Plymouth-Bridgewater area. Called Plymouth Five Corners, it had a hotel, a school and a dance hall.
E.G. Davis / Plymouth Historical Society

This month on Brave Little State, we’re doing things a little differently. Instead of taking on one of your questions about Vermont, we’re taking on three — in a kind of local history lightning round.

Courtesy Bloomsbury Academic

Former House Speaker John McCormack might be the most important political leader most people don't remember - or may not have even heard of. His time as a Massachusetts congressman spanned the presidencies of Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon, and he served as Speaker of the House during the turbulent years from 1962-1971.

A recent issue of Vermont Life magazine. A recent issue of Vermont Life magazine. The state is now accepting offers for the publication.
Henry Epp / VPR

In 2017, should the state of Vermont still be supporting a promotional magazine? That’s a question lawmakers put forward in this year’s state budget.

In the early 20th century, Vermont was among a group of states that had policies on the books based on eugenics — the idea that the human population could be controlled to bring out what were considered "desirable" characteristics.

Weybridge Elementary School fourth-grader Juliette Hunsdorfer shows off a copy of 'The War That Saved My Life,' while sixth-grader Narges Anzali listens to another reader's comments about the book.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The War That Saved My Life, by author Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, is a World War II-era story about a girl and her brother who have a chance to escape their cruel childhood when London is evacuated during the war.

The town of Hartford will vote next year on whether to change the name of the October holiday "Columbus Day" to "Indigenous People's Day."

J. Scott Applewhite / AP file

Sent from Vermont to Washington as a U.S. senator for the first time in 1974, Patrick Leahy has served longer than any other current member of the Senate.

Patti Daniels / VPR

Erica Hecht now lives in Stowe, but was born in Hungary in 1934. She is a child survivor of the Holocaust, and Hecht's mother converted from Judaism to Catholicism in an attempt to protect her family from persecution.

Patti Daniels / VPR

Sunday began the annual observance of Yom HaShoah, a day of remembrance for victims and survivors of the Holocaust.  In communities around Vermont, people gathered to share their own families' history of escape and survival from the genocide of Jews during World War II.

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