History

Part 2 of TED Radio Hour episode: The Food Connection

The loss of Native American food traditions has been taking place for centuries. At Owamni, chef Sean Sherman is trying to change that by serving food that celebrates and preserves Dakota cooking.

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Nearly 70 years after their unjust executions, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam granted posthumous pardons Tuesday to seven Black men known as the "Martinsville Seven," who were executed for the alleged rape of a white woman in 1951 in Martinsville, Va.

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Larry West was looking for a hobby that would combine visual arts and American history. And he found it in 1975 at an antique store in Mamaroneck, N.Y. At that time, boxes of daguerreotypes — the first commercially successful photographic process, invented around 1839 — would just be sitting there, West says. So he bought one "that happened to be [of] an African American," he tells Weekend Edition. "And I was fascinated."

Masks are the emblem of the mystery man hero — think Zorro and Batman, the centerpiece of theatrical costume as in Japanese Noh plays and Phantom of the Opera. In their cultural context, masks are powerful ceremonial artifacts that obliterate the wearer's personality and change him or her into another being entirely.

The age of COVID adds yet another layer of meaning. When breath, the embodiment of life, becomes the carrier of death, a mask becomes literally a matter of life and death.

The last conversation Keith Chapman had with his younger brother Nathan Chapman was on Christmas Day 2001. Nathan had called up his family from Afghanistan.

Although the 31-year-old, a sergeant first class with the U.S. Army's 1st Special Forces Group, couldn't disclose his location, his family put it together based on what time Nathan said it was where he was calling from.

"I don't remember that we said very much," Keith said during a StoryCorps interview in Frederick, Md., last week with their mother, Lynn Chapman.

History is no game, but the developers of Fortnite are adding an iconic moment featuring Martin Luther King Jr. to the popular video game — and some people worry it sends the wrong message about the civil rights leader.

Women's Equality Day is all about celebrating equal rights, but it's important to note that when women first won the right to vote more than a century ago, equal rights weren't so equal.

The basics of Women's Equality Day are easy enough to understand: we celebrate it because on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was certified, making it illegal to deny citizens the right to vote based on sex.

Here's what you might not know: the blanket use of the word "women" when discussing what the 19th Amendment changed is misleading.

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The Justice Department calls the Voting Rights Act of 1965 "the most successful piece of civil rights legislation ever adopted by the United States Congress."

The law put an end to literacy tests, which prevented many people from registering to vote, in a half-dozen states, granted the attorney general the power to send observers to witness elections and gave the federal government the authority to preapprove voting and election changes in places with a history of discrimination.

Timothy Griffin has been having a lot of long nights.

"I probably have not slept since it happened," Griffin says, "since I woke up and the headline was Afghan president flees the country, Taliban are in Kabul."

Griffin did a tour in Afghanistan under an Obama-era program where he learned Pashto to help the Americans better communicate with Afghans. He was stationed out of Fort Campbell, an Army base outside of Nashville, Tenn.

He says he hasn't been sleeping so that he can bridge the time difference with the translators he worked with during his tour.

Updated August 25, 2021 at 5:52 PM ET

James Loewen, a renowned sociologist, public educator and racial justice activist, died on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md. He was the author of several books, including the best-seller Lies My Teacher Told Me. He was 79.

His death was confirmed by Stephen A. Berrey, a friend and professor of American culture and history at the University of Michigan. He says Loewen had been diagnosed with bladder cancer about two years ago.

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Updated August 21, 2021 at 6:14 PM ET

Scenes from the Taliban's capture of Kabul have evoked memories of the 1975 fall of the U.S.-backed South Vietnamese government in Saigon to communist North Vietnamese forces.

The U.S., then and now, scrambled to evacuate Americans and allies.

The quick collapse of the Afghan National Army stunned many, including the Pentagon's top military officer, Gen. Mark Milley. He told reporters this week that the U.S. intelligence community estimated that if U.S. forces withdrew, it would be weeks, months, even years before the Afghan military fell to the Taliban.

Instead, it was just 11 days.

So what happened? How could U.S. officials be so wrong?

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Today marks 30 years since dramatic political events in Russia - the failed coup in 1991 that brought the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union. But as Charles Maynes reports from Moscow, attitudes towards that time are changing.

Updated August 31, 2021 at 5:25 PM ET

The collapse of the Afghan government and the Taliban's recapture of power came after a blitz by the militant group that stunned many Afghans and the world. It is the latest chapter in the country's nearly 42 years of instability and bitter conflict.

Afghans have lived through foreign invasions, civil war, insurgency and a previous period of oppressive Taliban rule. Here are some key events and dates from the past four decades.

Even before the pandemic pushed the U.S. housing market into overdrive, the price of the average American home was on a rocket ride, climbing more than 50 percent between 2012 and 2019. It was the third biggest housing boom in American history. Then came the pandemic, marked by a buying frenzy and a selling freeze, which created a supply-demand mismatch that made the price boom go into warp speed.

The History Of The Taliban In Afghanistan

Aug 15, 2021

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"Respect" is the name of a new biopic about Aretha Franklin. Before she died, Franklin hand-picked Jennifer Hudson to play her and sing as her.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "RESPECT")

MEXICO CITY — These days the Mexican capital is a top spot for travelers eager to emerge from coronavirus lockdowns. The megalopolis has long lured tourists with its mix of modern and ancient, and this summer, there's even more history to entice: Mexico is marking 500 years since the Spanish conquistadors, and their Indigenous allies, laid siege to the city, leading to the downfall of the Aztec Empire.

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Analysis of ancient DNA found in Finland has unveiled a surprise a century later – the remains of an early medieval warrior thought to be female may have been nonbinary.

Machu Picchu Is Older Than You Think

Aug 9, 2021

Until now, historians had to rely on the Spanish conquistadors to guess at the age of the Incan citadel, high in the Andes Mountains of Peru. Researchers now have evidence that human habitation began in Machu Picchu at least decades earlier.

"People were thinking that it dated back to 1450," Richard Burger, a professor of anthropology at Yale University, tells Morning Edition.

Burger and his team found evidence that Machu Picchu can date all the way back to 1420, 30 years older than thought.

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A new book is recasting the question - do you remember the Alamo? - to, how do you remember the Alamo? The authors argued that a significant driver for Texas independence was the expansion of slavery.

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Our understanding of one of the world's greatest historic sites recently got a bit of an update.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

On August 6, 1991, the first website was introduced to the world.

And while perhaps not as exciting or immersive as some of the nearly 1.9 billion websites that exist today, it makes sense that the first web page launched on the good ol' W3 was, well, instructions about how to use it.

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The ancient martial art of karate made its debut at the Tokyo Summer Olympics this week. The sport was added as a nod to the country where it developed 700 years ago. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports from Tokyo.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross. Today marks the 76th anniversary of the first wartime use of a nuclear weapon - the atomic bomb dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. While the horrors of the explosion and radiation from the bomb are now widely acknowledged, they were far less well-known in the months after the attack. American GIs serving in the occupation force in Japan would regularly visit Hiroshima to pick up atomic souvenirs from the rubble to take home.

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