History

Johnson State College

Jensen Beach's writing can simultaneously provoke readers' judgment while eliciting compassion. His stark, yet multiply-layered prose explores the deep uneasiness people feel, and communicates a complexity of emotions using an economy of words.

VPR's Mitch Wertlieb spoke with Jensen Beach, an assistant professor of writing and literature at Johnson State College, about his new collection of short stories called Swallowed By The Cold.

Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site

The Augustus Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, New Hampshire is getting a new cast of one the great 19th century sculptor's most famous works, the monumental "Abraham Lincoln: The Man" or "Standing Lincoln."  It turns out the man who posed for the statue - it wasn't Abraham Lincoln - was a Vermont man named Langdon Morse. And now the site is looking for living relatives of Morse.  

Melody Bodette / VPR

A survivor of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima will be speaking about reconciliation and responsibility Monday at Middlebury College. And she's be joined by the grandson of President Harry Truman, who has also been working to bring attention to the stories of survivors.

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

On Christmas Eve, a building known as the Stone Hut at the top of Mt. Mansfield caught fire. The blaze destroyed the historic building’s wood elements. Now, an effort is underway to rebuild.

Vermont Historical Society

The best-known native of Vermont's Plymouth Notch is probably still President Calvin Coolidge.

But if you visit the little village's graveyard, someone else's grave is arguably more intriguing. At the bottom of the stone slab is the inscription "I Still Live." This is the final resting place of Achsa Sprague. 

Patti Daniels / VPR

The Reserve Officer Training Corps, ROTC, is celebrating its 100th year. It was created by an act of Congress in 1916 when the U.S. was on the brink of joining World War I and needed well-trained officers. The idea of combining civilian college life with military officer training started at Norwich University, which lays claim to being the birthplace of ROTC.

Jeff Widener / AP

This month marks 27 years since the start of pro-democracy protests in China that culminated in the Tiananmen Square massacre in June 1989. To this day, the Chinese government tries to suppress what really happened during the protests.

But that hasn't stopped Fang Zheng from telling his story.

Kelly Fletcher / Landmark Trust

There's a new, live-action movie coming out of Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book." That work - and some of Kipling's other famous works like "Captains Courageous" and the "Just So Stories" - were written right here in Vermont: at Naulakha, the author's Dummerston home.

Courtesy of Nancy Hogue

Author Steve Long was our guest recently to discuss his new book about a devastating storm in New England history. On September 21, 1938, a hurricane slammed into New England killing hundreds and causing long-lasting effects on the economy and the landscape itself.

Preservation Trust of Vermont

A cabin on the Turner Family homestead in Grafton will be preserved, and  the historic site will get a new access road and information kiosk.

The Preservation Trust of Vermont has been raising the money to conserve the cabin.

African-American storyteller Daisy Turner lived on the property, and preservation trust director Paul Bruhn says the site will be more accessible after the work is done.

AP Photo

On September 21, 1938, a hurricane slammed into New England killing hundreds and devastating the region.

Paramount News / AP

President Barack Obama and the first family touched down in Cuba on Sunday, making him the first sitting U.S. President to visit the island nation since 1928. Before Obama, the last and only American president to visit Cuba while in office was native Vermont son Calvin Coolidge, who traveled to Cuba to address the sixth Annual International Conference of American States in January 1928.

Steve Zind / VPR

Since 1838, the Vermont Historical Society has been collecting documents, paintings and other items important to the state’s history. And now it's running out of room.

George Grantham Bain / Library of Congress

Baseball fans in Vermont tend to root for the Red Sox or the Yankees. Either way, you've probably heard about how the Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees, kicking off the Curse of the Bambino ... or so they say. But sports writer Glenn Stout says a lot of what we think we know about the sale is wrong or incomplete. We're looking at the untold story of Babe Ruth and the deal that changed baseball.

Town of Milton

When Milton voters go to the polls on Town Meeting Day, they'll be asked to consider purchasing the Bombardier homestead, next door to the municipal office complex. But despite the seller's good intentions, the town historical society says it doesn't want to move there.

Ron Cogswell / flickr

Ever seen a "George Washington slept here" sign? It turns out there's a reason that they're so common. Our first President covered a lot of ground. In the first years of his presidency, he took a series of trips to all 13 states - braving occasionally shoddy accommodation and lousy food to sell the new country on  his vision for a unified nation. 

Patti Daniels / VPR

Sheep farming remade the Vermont economy and physical landscape to an astonishing degree in the 19th century. At the height of what's been called the "sheep craze", there were well over a million sheep in the state, about six times the human population. Where did they all go? We're looking at the history of sheep cultivation in Vermont - and taking stock of the current state of sheep farming.

John Locher / AP

In the race for president, Donald Trump's harsh rhetoric has rocketed him to the top of the GOP field. He's called for Muslims to be banned from entering the country, called Mexican immigrants rapists and drug-dealers, and more. Some of this language has been condemned on both sides of the aisle as un-American, but it's clearly appealing to some in this country. We're talking about how it all fits into American history and identity.

Fred Wiseman

Almost a decade ago, Abenaki scholar and paleoethnobotanist Fred Wiseman started working with Abenaki communities as part of the documentation process for federal tribal recognition. While he was in these communities, Wiseman noticed crops that had long been thought to have disappeared growing on the hillsides. It led him to start the Seeds of Renewal Project.

VPR/Steve Zind

Every farmer knows that eventually the expensive equipment that once gleamed bright green or orange when it was new will succumb to age, hard use and rust.

Farmers also know that there’s still a lot of life left in old rusted equipment, if they can just get it apart to repair it.

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