American History | Texas Public Radio

American History

Ellen Schulz with her camera.
The Witte Museum

This fall marks 93 years since the Witte Museum first opened. San Antonio’s sprawling natural history museum has seen several iterations and huge growth, but largely lost in its evolution is the woman whose sheer determination created it.   


From Texas Standard:

The American West isn’t a fixed idea; its scope and definition can change depending on whom you ask. So how does Texas fit into it? University of Texas historian H. W. Brands tries to answer that question and more in his new book, “Dreams of El Dorado: A History of the American West.” In it, he invites readers to rethink the West, how Texas fits into it, and what the West meant to Americans in the past and what it means to them today. 

Raul Luna CC0: http://bit.ly/2XolAVo

Throughout the history of U.S. politics, music has been used as a rallying cry, a unifying message and most potently, a call-to-arms for voters. Essentially, presidential campaign songs are the commercial jingles for the most important product being sold to the American public.

Texans, it turns out, don't know their U.S. history. A new study from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation found 63 percent of respondents in Texas failed a quiz based on questions from the U.S. citizenship examination.

From Texas Standard:

Like media outlets all over the country, Texas Standard is working on its "Year in Review" show in the remaining weeks of 2018. But these final days of the year are also a last chance to reflect on what was happening in the country 50 years ago. 1968 was a tumultuous year and a turning point in American history, and the University of Texas at Austin's Dolph Briscoe Center for American History has an exhibit that takes a deep dive into it.

From Texas Standard:

In this age of Twitter-driven, toxic politics, it's an interesting intellectual exercise to try and imagine how historians might someday look back on the current era in American history. To call it turbulent seems almost to be an understatement. But history itself may help us understand the times we're living in.

Harvard University Press

Since when did rock 'n' roll become "white"? 

From Texas Standard.

When we think about countries that pose a nuclear threat to the United States, North Korea probably tops the list. But in 1962, at the height of the Cold War, it was the Soviet Union whose missiles kept the U.S. on high alert. And some of those nuclear missiles were as close to the U.S. as 90 miles – in Cuba. A new book explores the Cuban Missile Crisis through the little-known story of U.S. pilots who flew U-2 spy planes in an attempt to find out what sort of threat the Soviets’ armaments posed.

From Texas Standard:

Put aside the current occupant of the White House for a moment and ask yourself: When was the last time a president delivered on all that was promised? If you can’t remember, then ask: Is this the fault of the candidate?  

 

In most American cities these days, it seems like there's a Chinese restaurant on every other street corner.

But in the late 1800s, that ubiquity was exactly what certain white establishment figures feared, according to a new study co-written by Gabriel "Jack" Chin, a law professor at the University of California, Davis.

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