Locally Produced Talk

Hidden Histories


Imagine Howard Zinn developing a series of two minute radio modules on the history of the Americas ... that's Hidden History in a nutshell, history from the perspective of the folks who built the plantations and grew the crops and cleaned the gutters; history for the rest of us.

Ernst Toller, a 20th Century German playwright, once declared, "History is the propaganda of the victors." In his pronouncement, Toller really wasn't saying anything that hadn't been said before, but he was saying it quite precisely. Our view of history is usually controlled by those who have come out on top, not only in terms of geographical wars, but also in terms of more subtle class and cultural wars.

Hidden History aims to explain the history of a particular moment from the perspective of someone who hasn't necessarily 'won'.  Towards this end it covers a broad geographic area, including the Global South, with a series of entertaining and edifying stories designed and oriented around the perspective of someone who stands outside the dominant cultural narrative. In short, it's history for the rest of us.    

Visit the show website

Recent Blog Entries

6/30/10 Twinkies- Death of an icon

From time capsules to deranged killers, Twinkies have been honored in popular culture with wildly divergent legends.

Read more...

5/25/10 Hidden Histories: Hard Hat Riots, May 8, 1970

This may be one of the weirdest Vietnam era events you’ve never heard of.

On May 8, 1970, just five days after the Kent State University massacre, several hundred anti-war protesters (most of them high school and college students)  planned to hold a memorial at Broad and Wall Streets, New York City.

A counter demonstration of support for Richard Nixon’s policies in Vietnam was kicked off by Peter J. Brennanan old labor leader in New York who supported the war. The counter demonstrators were primarily construction workers who happened to be building the world trade center. According to the New York times, One of the construction workers said that not only were the workmen organized but that also in at least one case they were offered a monetary bonus by their contractor-employers if they would take time off from their work to "break some heads."

You can listen to all Hidden Histories at:

Read more...

5/23/10 Hidden HIstories: Luddites - a short history of one of the first labor movements

Call someone a luddite today and you’ll likely receive a sour look. The term has evolved into meaning someone who is against modern ways or technology. But the original luddites were far more calculating in their rejection of the industrialization that was destroying their way of life. They emerged in Nottingham, England, curiously -- the same district famous for another champion of the poor, Robin Hood. The Luddite movement was a reaction by mill workers of the Manchester - Leeds industrial region of England to the coming of steam powered machinery, replacing their skilled labor and leaving them jobless and hungry.

Read more...

5/22/10 Hidden Histories: Jackson State Massacre—40 years later

If you Google Jackson State today you have to work to even catch a glimpse of the violence that happened on their campus between May 14th and 15th 1970, just ten short days after the Kent state massacre. Perform that same Google search on Kent State, of course, and there’s no doubt that something horrific happened. History has swallowed the incident at Jackson state university Mississippi, but it’s no less noteworthy than the massacre at Kent State.

You can listen to all Hidden Histories at


Read more...


Connect with WRIR

Donate now »

Call to donate.


Who are you? Join the WRIR email list.


.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)