From: Backstory with the American History Guys: In the early days of our nation, July Fourth wasn’t an official holiday at all. In fact, it wasn’t until 1938 that it became a paid day-off. So how did the Fourth become the holiest day on our secular calendar?
Historian Pauline Maier offers some answers, and explains how radically the meaning of the Declaration has changed since 1776. James Heintze chronicles early Independence Day Bacchanalia. And historian David Blight reflects on Frederick Douglass’ arresting 1852 Independence Day speech.
Over the past several months New Orleanians have surely noticed the Bead Dog sculptures placed around town by the LA SPCA. Paws on Parade has worked with the artistic community of New Orleans to help raise awareness for animal welfare and the response has been enthusiastic. To honor of the 60th Bead Dog sculpture, Sharon Litwin spoke with the artist responsible for the anthropomorphic pup.
This week on The Reading Life: The fabulous William Joyce, Oscar-winning filmmaker, author of more than 50 books, and all-around Louisiana treasure, on his new film and book, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. This event was recorded Friday, June 22, at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts after a screening of the film.
"These ideas of mine / percolate the mind," Fiona Apple sings in "Every Single Night," the song that opens her new album, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do. Some people are going to listen to the entire record and come away with the feeling that the percolation in Apple's mind has bubbled over like a coffee pot left on a stove too long. But for me and perhaps for you, Apple's bubbling thoughts, words and music are thrilling — eager and direct, heedless about being judged or misunderstood.
From Backstory with the American History Guys: in 1815, a volcanic eruption in Indonesia sent enough ash into the sky to disrupt the world’s weather for the next year. In New England, 1816 became known as “The Year Without a Summer.” Snow fell in June and July. Crops and animals died. Tens of thousands of people picked up and left; their search for greener pastures became an early chapter in a larger story of westward expansion.
As global population grows, so does the demand for water. Yet less than one percent of the planet's supply is potable, and estimates suggest that 40% of humanity will not have access to clean water by 2025.
Explore the complex issues surrounding this precious resource in this edition of America Abroad.
Ice-T, the rapper and actor, wants people to think about the craft of making rap music. He has directed and starred in a documentary called Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap that takes viewers from Harlem into the South Bronx, to Detroit and South Central Los Angeles. In the film, Ice-T talks to musicians like Doug E.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 6:40 pm
I'm spending June in New Orleans, digging into the soft wet earth of American music. A week in, I feel like I've barely begun to explore. The minute I try to say what draws me to New Orleans music, I realize that the core of it is always changing. It's not just the variety, though I love that in the first few days here, I caught classic blues on Frenchmen Street, a wild bounce night downtown, my longtime favorite Susan Cowsill singing Dusty Springfield covers in the Garden District, and a brass band on the corner in the French Quarter.
News of the widespread layoffs at The Times-Picayune, the city’s only daily newspaper and a mainstay of morning routine for generations of New Orleanians, continued to reverberate throughout the city’s media establishment late Tuesday.