history

Wiki Commons

This year marks 400 years since the transatlantic slave trade began. On Aug. 20, 1619, a ship carrying the first enslaved Africans to what became the United Stated arrived in Virginia, changing the course of American history.

Private Collection, Georgia Museum of Art

In the 1930s, the government created a package of programs to add new jobs to the faltering economy. One of them was the Works Progress Administration, which hired people to work on a wide variety of public service projects, including public art.

Many famous male artists that came to define American art, such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, got their start through the WPA. But a new exhibit at the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens seeks to shed light on a number of female WPA artists.


Neil Armstrong / AP

The Apollo 11 rocket NASA that launched into space 50 years ago this week was also the blast-off point for things now commonly used on Earth. The first moonwalk created the foundations for technology that moves people and products around every day. 

The lunar laser retroreflector used by astronaut Buzz Aldrin was critical to developing global positioning systems or GPS. Todd Jaegar is global director of commercial optics for Haraeus, which helped produce the reflector. Jaegar visited On Second Thought from Haraeus' quartz glass facility in Buford. 


Elizabeth Karmel/AP Images

While the particulars, origin stories and claims to be the barbecue capital of world may vary, Jim Auchmutey has found one thing we can agree on: Barbecue has a Southern accent. 

The veteran journalist and smoked meat sherpa recently wrote a new book — Smokelore: A Short History of Barbecue in America. Auchmutey stopped by On Second Thought to give a taste on what to expect from the history of barbecue.


Summer Evans

It's Juneteenth, also known as "Freedom Day"  — commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. It was on June 19, 1865, when union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce slavery had been abolished. That was two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation of Proclamation.

On Second Thought looked at Juneteenth traditions and history with Daina Ramey Berry. Berry is professor of history and African and African diaspora studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She's also author of four books that detail the history of slavery, including "The Price for Their Pound of Flesh."


LaRaven Taylor / GPB

"Recreational Genetics" are a thing. Apparently, an estimated 26 million people worldwide have dug into their ancestry with the help of at-home DNA kits such as Ancestry or 23andMe. But finding your family story requires more than learning ethnic percentages from a DNA swab. 

That's where genealogist Kenyatta Berry comes in. She's a lawyer and co-host of PBS' Genealogy Roadshow. Berry visited On Second Thought to talk about her new book, The Family Tree Toolkit: A Comprehensive Guide to Uncovering Your Ancestry and Researching Genealogy.


Arcade Publishing

Members of Congress are working to revive an Obama-era effort to make Harriet Tubman the new face of the $20 bill. A new historical novel about Tubman gives reader a whole new face and consideration of the woman known as the "Moses of her people." 


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Chadwick Boseman, Oprah Winfrey and Spike Lee are all graduates of historically black colleges and universities. For more than a century, HBCUs provided the foundation for countless dynamic and influential leaders. Now, some academic finance experts predict that a quarter of those schools could be gone within 20 years.


COURTESY NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Macon's Ocmulgee mounds are now part of a national historic park. The area was a national monument and earned an expanded designation under the law President Trump signed in early March. The park is  exponentially expanding in size -- going from 702 acres to nearly 3,000. 

The Muscogee Indians built the Ocmulgee mounds more than a thousand years ago. They also identify as the "Creek" nation. GPB reporter Grant Blankenship has been following the story in Macon and spoke with "On Second Thought" host Virginia Prescott about the history of the mounds. 


Women's educational opportunities in the 19th Century were few and far between. Finishing schools focused on women's socialization and skills like art, music and French, rather than a rigorous academic curriculum.

The Lucy Cobb Institute in Athens aimed to change that. It opened in 1859 and taught women finishing school skills alongside math and science classes. The institute cemented Athens as a place for women's education in the South.

 


Georgia is one of five states without a hate crimes law on the books; however, legislation proposed last week could change that.  Sponsored by State Rep. Chuck Efstration, a Gwinnett Republican, House Bill 426 would introduce enhanced penalties for hate crimes if signed into law. According to the most recent data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 27 such crimes were reported in 2017. 

 A similar bill didn’t make it out of committee last year, despite wide support from law enforcement. We spoke with that bill's sponsor, former State Rep. Meagan Hanson, about why that legislation was a priority for her. Rachel Glickhouse, partner manager for ProPublica's Documenting Hate project, also joined the conversation. 


photo credit, Josh Luxenberg/Twitter

If asked about the "Plessy v. Ferguson" case, many Americans might connect the case to racial segregation. Far fewer would know the name Homer Plessy or what happened after he was arrested for refusing to leave a whites-only railway car in New Orleans the summer of 1892. 

Author and "Washington Post" editor Steve Luxenberg discovered the act of protest was decades in the making. Luxenberg joined "On Second Thought" and explained how Plessy, a fair-skinned man of African descent, was the perfect plant to challenge the constitutionality of separate rail cars in a case that made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1896.


Courtesy of AP Images

In 1832, playwright and peformer Thomas Dartmouth Rice used theatrical make-up to create a supposedly black character. The character's name was Jim Crow. That name later came to represent a system of extra-judicial terror and racial segregation laws that ended in 1965, but the recent political crisis in Virginia shows dressing up in blackface did not.


Coastal Georgia Department of Natural Resources

For generations, the Georgia coast has been home to folks who have made their living on the water. A new oral history project aims to trace the traditions and changes in small-scale fishing through firsthand accounts.

Georgia Southern University anthropology professor Jennifer Sweeney Tookes and University of Georgia Marine Extension associate director Bryan Fluech are leading a team of anthropology students in compiling "Fishing Traditions and Fishing Futures: Oral Histories of Commercial Fishing in Georgia."


Georgia Historical Society

The first colonial settlers landed with James Oglethorpe in February 1733 in what is now Savannah. 

The Georgia Historical Society celebrates the founding of the state annually with the Georgia History Festival, beginning this year on Friday with Georgia Day.

GPB’s Cindy Hill spoke with Georgia Historical Society senior historian Stan Deaton and Pattye Meahger to learn more.

Digital Library of Georgia

Georgia newspapers spanning the years from the end of the colonial period to the start of the Civil War have been made publicly available via the internet.


Zora Neale Hurston, the celebrated Harlem Renaissance writer and anthropologist, has a new bestseller out nearly 60 years after her death. She wrote "Barracoon: The Story of The Last 'Black Cargo'" almost a century ago. It’s the nonfiction story of Oluale Kossola, the last survivor of the African slave trade in the United States. Kossola was sold into slavery and taken from West Africa when he was 19.


Golden Globe nominations have been announced, and several Georgia-based productions are in the running. The list came as a "Boycott Georgia" hashtag is being used by some film industry insiders. Some are protesting the victory of Brian Kemp, while others say they're concerned about the religious freedom bill the governor-elect expressed support for on the campaign trail. Opponents say the proposed legislation would discriminate against the LGBTQ community. 

GPB's "The Credits" podcast host Kalena Boller spoke to "On Second Thought" host Virginia Prescott about the controversial issue. 

 


Today on the show, we heard from Shannon Browning-Mullis, curator of history and decorative arts for Telfair Museums. Browning-Mullis said Telfair Museums' Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters plans to reveal the newly-refurbished slave quarters at the Regency-era mansion to the public on Saturday, Nov. 17.


Cindy Hill

Savannah’s Telfair Museums is showcasing the lives of urban enslaved people in a new exhibit opening Nov. 16.

Shannon Browning-Mullis is curator of history and decorative arts for the Telfair Museums, which operates the house. She takes us on an audio tour.


Joe Jackson

When Joe Jackson started working for Delta Airlines in 1968, he didn't realize he would become the first black flight dispatcher in Atlanta. Jackson's Delta career started in Miami where he entered the field as a ramp agent.


Incirlik Air Base

This year is the 50th anniversary of George Romero's 1968 film, "Night of the Living Dead." While Romero's film popularized zombies as a horror trope, he's far from the first filmmaker to be enchanted by these creatures. One of the first zombie movies in the United States, "White Zombie," came out in 1934.

We spoke with Sarah Juliet Lauro about the history of zombies in popular culture. She traced their origins from the U.S. occupation of Haiti in 1915 in her book, "The Transatlantic Zombie: Slavery, Rebellion, and Living Death."

Today on the show, we explored the history of voter suppression and lynching victims in Georgia. We also heard from filmmakers and organizers from the Fifty Foot Film Festival about homegrown horror and sci-fi films.

We spoke to ProPublica's Jessica Huseman and Savannah State's Allynne Owens about the history of voter suppression and how to spot it as citizens today. Huseman oversees the collaborative reporting project called Electionland, which reports on election issues across the country.

We also spoke with Catherine Meeks from The Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing about the ceremony remembering lynching victims in Georgia this Friday. Historian and author Anthony Pitch also joined the conversation. He wrote "The Last Lynching: How A Gruessome Mass Murder Rocked A Small Georgia Town."

Audra Melton/The New York Times

Georgia has the second-highest number of undocumented lynchings. A 2015 report by the Equal Justice Initiative found nearly 600 cases in the state.


Historic Rural Churches of Georgia

Churches were built all over Georgia during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. They were social and spiritual centers from across mountains, the Piedmont, to the swamps and pine barrens of south Georgia. They were of all dimensions and denominations. Some have lasted down the years in fine shape while some require restoration.


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender histories of New York and San Francisco are well known. But what about the South?


Maura Currie / GPB News

Urban archeology has unearthed centuries-old artifacts from beneath Atlanta. And lots of it is simply very old trash, leftover from landfills and dumps. Now, a team from Georgia State University is working with students to catalog the artifacts and teach history, writing and anthropology in the process. It’s called the Phoenix Project, and we had three of the faculty involved with it in the studio: Jeffrey Glover, Brennan Collins, and Robin Wharton.

Imperial War Museum

During December 1914, something remarkable happened. For a week before Christmas Day, French, British and German soldiers laid down their arms. They talked, sang carols, and wished each other Merry Christmas. This was known as the Christmas Truce, and did not happen again. We learned more about this piece of holiday history from Emory University professor Patrick Allitt.

 

 

Infrogmation of New Orleans / flickr

Georgia’s legislative session begins January 8, 2018. But a bill addressing the debate over Confederate monuments has already been filed by Decatur’s State Representative, Mary Margaret Oliver. The bill would allow local governments to decide whether or not to keep or remove monuments.

Sean Powers / On Second Thought.

All this year, we have raised a glass to Southern food. From sweet tea to fried chicken, every Southern dish tells a story. Southern food scholar Adrian Miller and Ashli Stokes of the Center for the Study of the New South helped us dig into the history of mac and cheese, and how the creamy dish helps us understand Southern identity. 

Pages