Archive for June, 2012
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? In this hour of BackStory we take a look at Independence Day.
In this hour of BackStory, we’re all about the boozin’. Along the way, we ask when and why consumption and production has ebbed and flowed. We look at why rum became the drink of choice among revolutionary troops, explore why American Indians were rejecting alcohol two centuries before the rest of the country, and follow the long march toward Prohibition.
The War of 1812 may be the war we forgot, but that does not mean it’s without an important role in shaping the country. On the occasion of its bicentennial, we ask: What were we fighting for? What did we win, what did we lose, and why should we care?
This week on BackStory, we tackle extreme weather: how we’ve tried to predict it, control it, make sense of it. Along the way, we discover that our responses to wind, sleet, and rain have said as much about us as about the natural world.
The “Scopes Monkey Trial” has come to symbolize the fundamental conflict between science and religion… but are the two necessarily opposed?