HISTORY

Richard Wilbur's Remarkable Sleight Of Hand

Oct 18, 2017

Over his long life, Richard Wilbur was a writer of immense achievement.

Beginning in the mid-1800s, a Worcester neighborhood known as Beaver Brook became a home to African-Americans migrating from the South.

That community is long gone, and a lot of its history went with it. But a trove of glass plate negatives, on view for the first time at the Worcester Art Museum, is helping to rebuild their narratives.

Nick Schuyler, now 74, used to wander around Beaver Brook as a kid.

Wildfires in York County, Maine, October 1947.
Brick Store Museum

For some in New England, the deadly fires in California are a reminder of when fires overtook much of Maine around this time of year, 70 years ago. Wildfires in 1947 simultaneously burned over hundreds of miles for ten days, wiping out towns, and forever changing the landscape. 

Original WWI artwork from Armory employee Joseph Farrelley was featured on posters and in newsletters to inspire employees.
Carrie Healy / NEPR

The Springfield Armory played a key role in making the rifles and other weapons used by the three and a half million American soldiers who fought in World War I. 

A section of mural at the Seuss museum in Springfield, Mass.
Dave Roback / The Republican

Facing increasing pressure for how it's chosen to handle the legacy of a children's book author with a mixed record on issues of race and prejudice, the new Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield, Mass., has acknowledged a change is needed.

Sunday was a historic day for the intersection of sports and politics.

Widespread protests in the National Football League, the most popular professional sport in America, were shown on broadcast channels across the country.

Stick to sports? Not this week. Whether sports fans wanted to see it or not, they couldn't avoid politics.

The monument to 16 soliders who died in a military plane crash in Peru, Massachusetts, on August 15, 1942.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Seventy-five years ago, a military transport plane crashed in a remote section of Peru, Massachusetts, killing 16 of the servicemen on board. The victims will be remembered in a ceremony marking the anniversary, as will the story of how this tiny Berkshire County town rallied to help in the rescue.

Henry Epp / NEPR

Over the next few months, workers at the Springfield Armory will be digging a lot of dirt. They’re restructuring parts of the armory’s grounds to recreate the landscape of the National Historic Site to what it looked like in the 1950s. They’ll even plant specific trees to match that era, which was the last time the armory was really in business. It built and developed weapons for the U.S. military.

At the Armory grounds, Superintendent James Woolsey explained how crews have begun turning a field into a sloping hill.

What Photographs Can Teach Us About Our Leaders

Jan 24, 2017
Barack Obama before going out to take the oath in 2009
Pete Souza / Official White House Photo

The day before President Trump was inaugurated, commentator and art historian Paul Staiti was passing though an airport in Los Angeles when he noticed Barack Obama’s photograph greeting every arriving passenger.  Staiti found himself contemplating the image, and its imminent disappearance.