WBEZ | History http://www.wbez.org/tags/history Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en If You Toured Chicago in 1910, What Would You Do? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/if-you-toured-chicago-1910-what-would-you-do-114606 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/thumb-touringchicago2.png" alt="" /><p></p> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 14:58:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/if-you-toured-chicago-1910-what-would-you-do-114606 More African-Americans Are Learning Their Roots with Genetic Testing http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-01-25/more-african-americans-are-learning-their-roots-genetic <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/dnatest.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Tracing your genealogy has become a popular hobby in the United States. More than 1 million people around the country have taken these tests. Shows like PBS&#39;s&nbsp;<em>Finding Your Roots</em>&nbsp;have shown the public how much information you can find out about your family tree with a simple DNA test.</p><p>It might be surprising that genetic sleuthing has become part of pop culture, but it probably isn&#39;t so shocking that this has become particularly important to one demographic. African-Americans of all different backgrounds were intentionally divorced from their ancestral stories by the slave trade and all that followed.</p><div id="con464181626" previewtitle="Book Edition Information"><div id="res464181658" previewtitle="The Social Life of DNA"><div><p>Author and Columbia sociology professor Alondra Nelson&#39;s new book&nbsp;<em>The Social Life Of DNA</em>&nbsp;looks at the interest in genetic ancestry tracing from the African-American community.</p></div></div></div><p>In an interview with NPR&#39;s Michel Martin, Nelson considers how this technology is changing the way many African-Americans see themselves and their place in the American story.</p><p>Interview highlights below contain some web-only answers. Click the audio link above to hear the whole interview.</p><div><hr /></div><h3>Interview Highlights</h3><p><a href="http://www.npr.org/books/titles/464181585/the-social-life-of-dna-race-reparations-and-reconciliation-after-the-genome"><img alt="The Social Life of DNA" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/bakertaylor/covers/t/the-social-life-of-dna/9780807033012_custom-7f8b6d0faf53e58462abcb39fd65ac70dcf1735b-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 465px; width: 310px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome by Alondra Nelson" /></a></p><p><strong>On African-Americans&#39; skepticism of medical testing</strong></p><p>How does a community that had really been the object of scientific and medical scrutiny for generations &mdash; with really negative outcomes &mdash; come to see science and technology as a positive thing, or something that can be used for self-knowledge and liberation? That was a question for me as well.</p><p>And what I discovered over the course of this decade of research is that people find the stakes are really high, but they also find that the benefits are really high for communities. ...</p><p>Many people talk to me about living their whole lives wanting to know who they were, in the sense of who they were before the slave trade, who they were with regards to African ancestry. And to have this as a prevailing question for your whole life means that if you can find something that might help you answer that question, that it might be worth making the leap, despite that history.</p><p><strong>On using the DNA technology for those seeking reparations for slavery</strong></p><p>This is a moment where genetic technology is being used for an endeavor that many African-Americans had tried to accomplish for decades and generations: reparations. And they&#39;re using genetic technology which has not always historically been a friend to black communities if we think about the legacy of eugenics for example. And they&#39;re using this to try to get freedom and restitution for black people.</p><p>So it&#39;s an interesting case in that it&#39;s &ndash; to the best that I could discern &ndash; it&#39;s the first time that genetic ancestry testing is introduced in a civil case. ... It continues the long drumbeat for reparations in American society by generations of people &ndash; a drumbeat that comes again in 2014 with the publication of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/">Ta-Nehesi Coates essay</a>&nbsp;in<em>&nbsp;The Atlantic</em>. And because genetics is thought here to pose a new answer to a very old and longstanding question in black political culture.</p><p><strong>On her own test results</strong></p><p>Part of what I learned in the course of doing the research is that I am an outlier in this regard. Many of the people I spoke to &ndash; whether they were 25 or 65, had lived their whole lives wanting to know where in Africa their ancestors were from. ...</p><p>I was well aware of the ritual and performance of the reveal. So I thought to myself if I&#39;m gonna do this I&#39;m gonna do it in a big public way &ndash; in a reveal. ...</p><p>When the chief science officer of the African Ancestry Company announced my results as being an inference to the Bamileke people at Cameroon, things just sort of went from there. I didn&#39;t have to perform so much because everyone was just so happy and enthused about the results for me. It was a very emotional experience.</p><p><strong>How she felt when learning about her heritage</strong></p><div id="res464182729"><div>&nbsp;</div></div><p>I had no idea what the result was going to be. I found it informative and interesting. So it was a bit surreal, and it was fun.</p><p>But it was actually more meaningful to my mother, who right away &ndash; like so many of the people that I interviewed in my book &mdash; within I would say, within a couple of weeks my mother calls and says &quot;I met a lady from Cameroon at church and she&#39;s Bamileke,&quot; and then she was at the dinner table &ndash; this was a few years ago. And this past Thanksgiving she was at our table with her husband and her son, she&#39;s part of our family now.</p><p><strong>On the future of genetic testing</strong></p><p>The industry is continuing to grow, it shows no signs of stemming. I think this will continue to happen as people will continue to make meaning and stories and relationships and new connections out of the evidence. I think that that space that you describe as on the one hand being knowledgeable about the technology or science at times being the enemy of black communities. On the other hand, being a friend. So friend or foe.</p><p>I think that&#39;s actually not a bad place to be. I think that&#39;s our contemporary modern condition for all of us.</p><p>You see it with the Black Lives Matter movement. The very technology that&#39;s used to surveil young activists, has also been turned against police authorities and the state to advance that political agenda.</p><p>So we&#39;re living in a moment that is the social life of DNA and is the social life of technology. It&#39;s very much the driver of who we are and what we do. I think having that critical, nuanced perspective that maybe we could say is particular to or comes out or has a particular inspiration in the experiences of black people who come to often science and technology with this critical perspective, is I think not a bad place to be in this historical moment.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2016/01/24/464181490/more-african-americans-are-learning-their-roots-with-genetic-testing?ft=nprml&amp;f=464181490"><em> via NP</em></a></p></p> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 14:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-01-25/more-african-americans-are-learning-their-roots-genetic Final Report Issued on Deaths at Florida Reform School http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-01-22/final-report-issued-deaths-florida-reform-school-114576 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/0122_dozier-school-ap-624x416.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The University of South Florida this week released its&nbsp;<a href="http://news.usf.edu/article/articlefiles/7173-usf-final-dozier-summary-2016.pdf" target="_blank">final report</a>&nbsp;on a terrible chapter in Florida&rsquo;s not-so-distant past. The report is about the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida. It was a state-run reform school predominantly for African-American boys.</p><p>The school closed in 2011 after men who had attended as boys came forward to say they were beaten, raped and that some there were killed. Scores of unmarked graves have been discovered at the school.</p><p>There have never been any criminal charges filed.&nbsp;<em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s</em> Robin Young speaks with <a href="https://twitter.com/SaschaCordner" target="_blank">Sascha Cordner</a>&nbsp;of WFSU in Tallahassee about this week&rsquo;s news.</p></p> Fri, 22 Jan 2016 16:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-01-22/final-report-issued-deaths-florida-reform-school-114576 'In A Different Key' Traces History and Politics of Autism http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-01-21/different-key-traces-history-and-politics-autism-114550 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/thestoryofautism.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res463615359" previewtitle="In the 1940s, a psychoanalytic approach to autism — &quot;the refrigerator mother theory&quot; — suggested that the condition was caused by bad parenting."><div data-crop-type="">In their book published this month,&nbsp;<em>In a Different Key: The Story of Autism</em>, journalists John Donvan and Caren Zucker delve into the history of the good and bad intentions, sometimes wrongheaded science and shifting definitions that can cloud our understanding of what has come to be called the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/autism-spectrum-disorders-asd/index.shtml">autism spectrum</a>.</div></div><p>In their Tuesday conversation with NPR&#39;s Robert Siegel, host of&nbsp;<em>All Things Considered</em>,&nbsp;<a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/News/john-donvan/story?id=128658">Donvan</a>&nbsp;and Zucker tell of a particularly dark period in the 1940s when psychiatrists blamed autistic behavior on &quot;refrigerator mothers&quot; &mdash; emotionally distant women who, supposedly, didn&#39;t love their children enough.</p><p>&quot;This was a very, very poisonous idea,&quot; says Donvan. And it wasn&#39;t the last flawed notion about autism&#39;s roots.</p><p><em>Highlights of the interview follow, edited for space and clarity.</em></p><hr /><p><strong>INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS</strong></p><p><strong>Siegel</strong>:&nbsp;How would you define autism?</p><p><strong>Zucker</strong>:&nbsp;Well it depends who you are actually, because autism is now seen as a spectrum, and the spectrum is so broad right now that there are people on one end of it that are severely, severely disabled and you can&#39;t help but call it a disability because people are literally injuring themselves &mdash; they can&#39;t communicate, they can&#39;t do things by themselves. On the other extreme end of the spectrum are people who can speak for themselves, they can manage their lives; they do not see autism as a disability but just as a different fabric in humanity.</p><div id="res463612553" previewtitle="In researching their book, Caren Zucker and John Donvan tracked down Donald Gray Triplett (center), the first person officially diagnosed with autism. Now in his 80s, Triplett has had a long, happy life, Donvan says, maybe partly because his hometown embraced him from the beginning as &quot; 'odd, but really, really smart.' &quot;"><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="In researching their book, Caren Zucker and John Donvan tracked down Donald Gray Triplett (center), the first person officially diagnosed with autism. Now in his 80s, Triplett has had a long, happy life, Donvan says, maybe partly because his hometown embraced him from the beginning as &quot; 'odd, but really, really smart.' &quot;" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2016/01/19/autism-1-4b9924b11342469f873ffe1a3854ff5820271f90-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 233px; width: 310px; float: right;" title="In researching their book, Caren Zucker and John Donvan tracked down Donald Gray Triplett, center, the first person officially diagnosed with autism. Now in his 80s, Triplett has had a long, happy life, Donvan says, maybe partly because his hometown embraced him from the beginning as &quot; 'odd, but really, really smart.' &quot; (Courtesy of Penguin Random House)" /></div><div><div><p><strong>Donvan</strong>:&nbsp;Because this condition is not one that has a biological marker, you cannot identify autism by a cheek swab or a blood test, but you identify it by looking at people&#39;s behaviors. That has allowed, over decades, for so many various interpretations of those key traits that the definition itself has moved again and again.</p></div></div></div><p><strong>Siegel</strong>:&nbsp;The book describes how autism was first diagnosed, how it was named and explained. I want you to describe this: For years, there was a psychoanalytic approach that dominated the understanding of autism, and the cause was really held to be bad parenting.</p><p><strong>Donvan</strong>:&nbsp;It was called the&nbsp;<a href="https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/early-infantile-autism-and-refrigerator-mother-theory-1943-1970">refrigerator mother theory</a>, and the idea was that children were somehow insulted &mdash; psychologically insulted &mdash; by their mothers, who, for some reason, signaled that they didn&#39;t love their children enough. And, as a defense mechanism, the children were said to have withdrawn into their own world. So this was a very, very poisonous idea.</p><p><strong>Siegel</strong>:&nbsp;Much of the story of autism is frankly about parents and about what parents have done to bring attention to the condition of their children &mdash; very often for the good. [But] sometimes &mdash; in the case of advocating a vaccine theory as the cause of autism &mdash; not for the good.</p><div id="con463602384" previewtitle="Book Edition Information"><div id="res463602410" previewtitle="In a Different Key"><div data-crop-type=""><a href="http://www.npr.org/books/titles/463601896/in-a-different-key-the-story-of-autism"><img alt="In a Different Key" src="http://media.npr.org/assets/bakertaylor/covers/i/in-a-different-key/9780307985675_custom-0a316c36714b57a4742cd7ee4f2cb2294cede238-s400-c85.jpg" style="height: 453px; width: 310px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Cover, In a Different Key: The Story of Autism by John Donvan and Caren Zucker" /></a></div></div><div id="res463602031"><p><strong>Zucker</strong>:&nbsp;Well, in our book, we really see the parent as unsung heroes. They literally change the world for children with autism. I mean, parents were told to put their children into institutions, and that was what the norm was 50 years ago. And they opened up the schools for them. [Before parents insisted on a change in policy] the schools were allowed to not have children with autism in them. So without parents, we wouldn&#39;t be anywhere near where we are today.</p></div></div><p><strong>Siegel</strong>:&nbsp;On the other hand, parents did lend their voices to, well, to the vaccine theory. And the fact that there are many voices saying something doesn&#39;t make it scientifically true.</p><p><strong>Donvan</strong>:&nbsp;Absolutely not. The story of autism has very often been the story of bad science, many, many times. In the case of the vaccine issue, yes, 15 years ago, when the question had not been investigated, it made sense to ask it; it was not a ridiculous question. But it was asked; it was answered, and the science settled it. Vaccines don&#39;t cause autism.</p><p><strong>Siegel</strong>:&nbsp;By the year 2000, the rise in the number of autism diagnoses became the subject of congressional concern. In hearings that year, Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana said, &quot;The rates of autism have escalated dramatically in the last few years. What used to be considered a rare disorder has become a near epidemic.&quot;&nbsp;<em>Has&nbsp;</em>there been an autism epidemic?</p><p><strong>Donvan</strong>:&nbsp;The truth is that we don&#39;t really know whether there has been an epidemic. And I know that sounds strange to people, because they hear so much more about autism now than they ever have before, but what we think is that there has been an explosion in&nbsp;<em>autism diagnoses</em>,&nbsp;which is different from there being more autism. We started looking for autism, so found it. Also, at the same time, what we call autism became a much, much broader spectrum, and the definition kept changing over time.</p><p><strong>Siegel</strong>:&nbsp;Toward the very end of your book, you acknowledge the &quot;neurodiversity movement.&quot; These would be people who are on the spectrum and who say, &quot;Look, this isn&#39;t an illness. We don&#39;t want to be cured. This is a different way of being wired, a different way of your brain working.&quot; And there&#39;s an exchange between an activist of that sort with a mother whose son has autism. Describe what goes on between them.</p><p><strong>Donvan</strong>:&nbsp;It&#39;s a conversation between&nbsp;<a href="http://autisticadvocacy.org/home/about-asan/staff/">Ari Ne&#39;eman</a>, who is a very, very prominent and successful activist for the concept of neurodiversity. And Ari Ne&#39;eman, whom we have a lot of respect for, has been very, very successful in promulgating the idea that people with autism should be accepted as they are. And he had a conversation with a mother named&nbsp;<a href="http://blog.autismspeaks.org/tag/liz-bell/">Liz Bell</a>. Liz Bell is the mother of a young man named Tyler.</p><p>In his mom&#39;s opinion, Tyler&#39;s experience of autism is very, very limiting in his life and his ability to dress himself, to shave himself, to feed himself, to go out the front door by himself and not run into traffic. And these are two very, very different views of what autism represents that come down to the fact that the spectrum is so broad that there is room for an Ari Ne&#39;eman on it and there is room for a Tyler Bell on it. And the basic disagreement between them is whether autism is something that should be cured &mdash; whether the traits that limit Tyler&#39;s ability to be independent in life should be treated to make those traits go away.</p><p>On one side, Ari is saying that it&#39;s suppressing who he actually is and his identity; on the other side is Tyler&#39;s mother saying that to treat him, and even cure him, of his autism would be to liberate who he is.</p><p><strong>Siegel</strong>:&nbsp;But it does pose a question: Since there is no biological test &mdash; as you say, &quot;no cheek swab that defines someone&#39;s condition as being autism&quot; &mdash; are we really clear that Ari and Tyler have the same condition, and that we should group them together on this spectrum? Or does the spectrum inevitably include everybody in the world?</p><p><strong>Donvan</strong>: Boy, that is the question of the moment in the autism conversation. How big is the umbrella under which we want to include people who have autistic traits? We don&#39;t look at the spectrum concept as necessarily the last word. We may end up splitting the spectrum again into different parts. And this tension between lumping together or splitting apart has been repeated again and again through the history of autism. We happen to be in what&#39;s called in the field a &quot;lumper moment&quot; in that the spectrum idea is dominant, popular &mdash; it makes a lot of sense to a lot of people.</p><p><strong>Siegel</strong>:&nbsp;Caren Zucker, is it any easier to be the parent of someone with autism today than it was, say, 15 or 20 years ago?</p><p><strong>Zucker: </strong>Absolutely. I have a 21-year-old son [with autism], and when I was trying to get services for my son, I was making it up, or I was on a list for 300 people to try to get into a program that could actually help him. And if you look back at how far we&#39;ve come in 15 years, it&#39;s remarkable in terms of awareness, in terms of education. We have figured out what to do, to a very large extent, with the kids. But we have not gotten to the adults. And part of that is because adults weren&#39;t around, you know, 50 years ago &mdash; they were mostly in institutions. So that&#39;s really the heart of where we&#39;re also trying to go with our book &mdash; for people to see: Look how far we&#39;ve come. Look at what these parents and advocates have done. But look how far we still have to go.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/01/19/463601735/in-a-different-key-traces-history-and-politics-of-autism?ft=nprml&amp;f=463601735" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 21 Jan 2016 11:55:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2016-01-21/different-key-traces-history-and-politics-autism-114550 That Time Chicago Sent a Trainload of Snow to Florida http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/time-chicago-sent-trainload-snow-florida-114494 <p><p>Chicago loves winter. Talking about it at least. Inevitably, you&rsquo;ll lament the most recent snowfall with your neighbor. Inevitably, a Facebook friend will post a screenshot of Chicago&rsquo;s zero-degree forecast. &nbsp;And, inevitably, a media outlet like us will bring up the Chicago Blizzard of 1967 &mdash; if only to remind everyone that today&rsquo;s bad weather could always get worse.</p><p>But this isn&rsquo;t a story just about that blizzard; it&rsquo;s also about how the media talks about its aftermath. It&rsquo;s been nearly 50 years since the largest single snowfall in Chicago history, and not only are <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/chi-chicagodays-1967blizzard-story-story.html" target="_blank">local news outlets still publishing retrospectives</a>, they&rsquo;re also still hung up on a single, microcosmic detail &mdash; <a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20150109/downtown/history-of-winter-chicago-it-could-be-worse-definitely-was" target="_blank">written in a sentence or two</a> or in a quote like this one, usually below the fold:</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Some of the snow from 1967, there was so much of it, they didn&#39;t know what to do with it,&quot; said Peter Alter, resident historian at the Chicago History Museum. &quot;They put it on train cars, and they shipped it to Florida for kids who had never seen snow.&quot; -<a href="http://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20150109/downtown/history-of-winter-chicago-it-could-be-worse-definitely-was" target="_blank">DNAinfo, January 9, 2015</a></p></blockquote><p>It was a tidbit like this that inspired a question that came all the way from a classroom of fourth and fifth graders in High Point, North Carolina. They had learned about the &lsquo;67 blizzard and, being school kids themselves, they were particularly enamored with the Chicago-to-Florida snow train delivery. So, they asked us for help filling in the blanks:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>Was there really a trainful of snow surplus shipped from Chicago to Florida school kids? How did that even happen?!</em></p><p>I&rsquo;ll tell you right now: It happened, all right, and the story&rsquo;s details are worth revisiting. Because when you retrace the making of this Chicago mini-legend, you can see click-bait journalism being written across the front pages of mainstream newspapers &mdash; 40 years before its time.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Not all snow trains lead to Florida</span></p><p>The story of the Chicago Blizzard of 1967 starts on January 26, when it snowed for 29 hours straight. Having been 65 degrees just two days before, the storm took many people off guard. More than two feet of snow covered the region, with reports of drifts up to 10 feet high. Cars were discarded like cigarette butts over expressways. There was no public transportation, no access to grocery stores, no way to get to work. Twenty-three people died in the Chicago area, mostly from heart attacks while shoveling snow.</p><p>It took three weeks for the Department of Streets and Sanitation to plow the city streets. Desperate for places to put the stuff, they dumped it in any vacant lot they could find: Park District land, neighborhood lots, <a href="http://www.trbimg.com/img-563cc845/turbine/chi-110131-snowstorm-1967-pictures-010/1300/1300x731" target="_blank">even the Chicago River</a>.</p><p>Some Chicago rail yards came up with their own solution for snow that built up in their depots. It&rsquo;s kind of bizarre in its simplicity: Shove it on freight trains already heading south. The warmer weather would do the job, melting the stuff in transit.</p><p>&ldquo;They sent it because they wanted to get rid of it,&rdquo; A.W. Pirtle, supervisor of the Illinois Central Railroad&rsquo;s Memphis depot <a href="https://www.newspapers.com/clip/3848614/mt_vernon_registernews/" target="_blank">told the Associated Press</a> (probably rolling his eyes). And in Chicago, the ordeal made front-page news:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="400" scrolling="no" src="http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1967/02/11/page/37/article/hundreds-of-freight-cars-used" width="600"></iframe></p><p>Dozens of train lines followed suit, and this solution &mdash; extolled in headlines such as this &mdash; grew into a national story. It was picked up by the Associated Press, and photographs of trains carrying heaps of sooty, Chicago snow from the blizzard appeared in papers around the country as the rail cars made their way to Tennessee, Alabama and Texas.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">A 1,300-mile regift, remembered</span></p><p>The story was even picked up by national television, and eventually reached the ears and eyes of a 13-year-old girl in the town of Fort Myers Beach, Florida.</p><p>We found that girl through the White Pages. Her name is Terri Bell (last name Hodson at the time), and, at age 61, she still lives in Fort Myers Beach.</p><p>She says after hearing the broadcast about trainloads of Chicago snow heading south, she wrote a letter to William Quinn, the president of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, asking him to send her some snow because, as a Floridian, she had never seen any.</p><p>And he did.</p><p>It&rsquo;s just that 13-year-old Terri Hodson hadn&rsquo;t realized that all of the other southbound snow was shipped in uninsulated cars &mdash; the whole point being to <em>melt</em>. But Quinn, possibly sensing a brilliant PR stunt but possibly out of the goodness of his heart, had the snow shipped to Florida in refrigerator cars.</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://soundcloud.com/curiouscity/that-time-chicago-sent-a-trainload-of-snow-to-florida" target="_blank"><strong>Hear Terri tell her own story of getting Chicago shipped 1,300 miles to Florida</strong></a></p><p>And if the media went bananas over Chicago railroads sending snow south in uninsulated cars, they went banana sundaes when they heard about the special, frozen shipment to school kids in Florida.</p><p>Headlines from Pennsylvania to California read:</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://img0.newspapers.com/img/img?id=51235319&amp;width=557&amp;height=1226&amp;crop=3338_6901_824_1847&amp;rotation=0&amp;brightness=0&amp;contrast=0&amp;invert=0&amp;ts=1452895228&amp;h=8ae3bfd79913bdd017c5e1edbec509e4" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/youthsnowanswered.png" title="" /></a></div><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>The Mercury</em>, Pottstown, Pennsylvania</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/floridagirltoget.png" title="" /></div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><em>Lincoln Journal Star</em>, Lincoln, Nebraska</div><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="https://img0.newspapers.com/img/img?id=17862377&amp;width=557&amp;height=1263&amp;crop=46_2385_468_1081&amp;rotation=0&amp;brightness=0&amp;contrast=0&amp;invert=0&amp;ts=1452894834&amp;h=d11eda3334b31dd27ff4730e3090f6a9" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/floridasnowrequest%20california.PNG" style="height: 201px; width: 400px;" title="" /></a></div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>Independent</em>, Long Beach, California</div></div><p>&nbsp;</p><p>And in Chicago, yet another front page story:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe frameborder="0" height="400" scrolling="no" src="http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1967/02/21/page/1/article/train-heads-south-with-snow-for-girl" width="620"></iframe></p><p>Terri became a local hero and a national celebrity. She appeared on talk shows and was quoted in papers across the country. The town of Fort Myers Beach even held a special ceremony for the occasion, in which a local hardware store gave her a sled that was shipped to them by mistake. (She still has that sled, by the way.)</p><p>On February 27, 1967 &mdash; after almost a week in transit &mdash; the snow came rolling into the Fort Myers train depot, where thousands neighbors, parents, and kids were waiting. Some were skeptical, but a good number of the kids looked forward to playing in the white, fluffy, powdery stuff they&rsquo;d never seen before.</p><p>Except, Terri got something else entirely, after she&rsquo;d cut the ribbon to the train cars and a couple guys used a front-end loader to shovel the snow into the parking lot:</p><blockquote><p>I had expected it to be soft and powdery. You know, like, dripping snowflakes and it would just come pouring out of the car. Unfortunately after a week&rsquo;s ride in a refrigerator car it was no longer soft powdery snow. It was quite icy.</p><p>You could still kind of form it a little bit and do something with it and people were trying to build snowmen and snowballs and make snow angels and do the best they could with it. But, it was still snow and I could say I saw snow.</p></blockquote><p>Nearly 50 years after the event, Terri remembers playing in the snow was not that much fun.</p><p>&quot;It was the fact that I really got it, and all the cool things that happened to me around that,&quot; she says. &quot;Everybody says you&rsquo;ll have a claim to fame once in your life. That was the most exciting thing that happened in my life.&quot;</p><p>And though the snow melted almost immediately in the 80-degree Florida heat that February day in 1967, the short buzz of fame Terri felt has stuck with her ever since.</p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="https://img0.newspapers.com/img/img?id=36758128&amp;width=557&amp;height=694&amp;crop=1720_873_1676_2128&amp;rotation=0&amp;brightness=0&amp;contrast=0&amp;invert=0&amp;ts=1452895281&amp;h=1e086e25e489fdf1b852dc52b699bf6b" target="_blank"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/chi%20snow%20shipped%20to%20fla.png" style="height: 635px; width: 620px;" title="A photo of Terri on the front page of the Charleston Daily Mail the day after the snow's arrival. " /></a></div><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Vintage virality</span></p><p>The story about the Florida snow train had a lot of heart, but why was it enough to make the era&rsquo;s national media go berzerk?</p><p>Bruce Evensen, director of Depaul University&rsquo;s journalism school, says part of the explanation is that there were few media outlets at the time. Evensen, who&rsquo;s now 64 and was 16 during the blizzard, reminds us 1967 wasn&rsquo;t the age of social media. Cable television was still relatively new, and NPR hadn&rsquo;t even been founded.</p><p>He says the issue wasn&rsquo;t just that there was less &ldquo;news&rdquo;; hardly any of it was &ldquo;second day&rdquo; or feature stories. Basically, in 1967, &ldquo;news&rdquo; was hard news, and the Chicago-Florida snow train story was not only an exception, but an exceptionally popular one. Why?</p><p>&ldquo;A story of what to do with the snow when a city reaches the point where it can&rsquo;t handle snow is an interesting thing,&rdquo; Evensen says. And what made that irony particularly resonate, Evensen says, was Chicago&rsquo;s nickname as the &ldquo;Phoenix City,&rdquo; coined by Chicago Tribune managing editor and later city mayor Joseph Medill after the Great Fire of 1871.</p><p>&ldquo;So the joke &mdash; the parlour game &mdash; was that Chicago was not going to be stopped by the fire. Chicago was not going to be stopped by this paralyzing storm, even though it<em> was</em> stopped for 24, 36, 48 hours,&rdquo; Evensen says. &ldquo;[It] just was another suggestion of the city&rsquo;s sort of ironic muscularity: &lsquo;You want some snow? You can have it!&rsquo;&rdquo;</p><p>The story&rsquo;s news hook was its irony factor &mdash; a gesture of Midwestern politeness and can-do spirit, a simultaneous high-five and slap in the face while the city dug itself out of a frozen hell. And, considering the story&rsquo;s national virality as a slice-of-life spinoff outside the breaking news world, it&rsquo;s fair to call it a harbinger of a media landscape to come. It was a hashtag before its time.</p><p>Evensen suspects that, &ldquo;properly handled and exploited,&rdquo; the Chicago-Florida snow train story would get even more press if it happened today rather than in 1967. One reason: There are more news outlets and more competition for stories between them. Another reason: The media offers more social and cultural context to news stories than ever before, and coverage continues as long as there&rsquo;s proof of listener interest, Evensen says.</p><p>&ldquo;Even the mainstream media now is much more attentive than ever before to how the story is <em>going</em>,&rdquo; Bevensen says. &ldquo;What kind of visibility is it getting? You can measure this. So I think if they found that that kind of curious, funny story was getting attention initially, it might be boosted even higher.&rdquo;</p><p>So, to the Floridians out there looking for their claim to fame: consider the next northern blizzard your big break.</p><p>And pro tip to Chicago journalists and bloggers: Fact-check the legends. Some are still in the White Pages.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Logan Jaffe is Curious City&#39;s multimedia producer. <a href="http://twitter.com/loganjaffe" target="_blank">Follow her on Twitter</a> for more of these kinds of shenanigans.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Fri, 15 Jan 2016 15:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/time-chicago-sent-trainload-snow-florida-114494 How Do We Save the Internet for History? http://www.wbez.org/science-friday/2016-01-04/how-do-we-save-internet-history-114363 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/5079018246_c76a34edf8_z.jpg" title="The Internet Archive in San Francisco, CA. (flickr/Beatrice Murch)" /></div><p>There is a building in northern San Francisco that looks like a cousin to the Acropolis in Greece. It used to be a Christian Science church.</p><p>Now, however, it houses 26 petabytes of digital information in a forest of blinking, heat-generating servers. Welcome to the Internet Archive headquarters.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;The Internet Archive is part of the vision to build the Library of Alexandria, version 2,&rdquo; says digital librarian Brewster Kahle.&nbsp;&ldquo;We hit the record button on the World Wide Web in 1996. We take a snapshot of every website and every web page on every website.&rdquo;</p><p>The archive doesn&rsquo;t just collect digital information. They also archive old video games, film&nbsp;and hardware. And they get a lot of traffic. Between two and three million users upload or download something from the archive every day.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;What we want is the wackiness and the wildness of all the people participating in the big conversation that is the Internet,&rdquo; Kahle says.&nbsp;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/22428592633_43b8779fd4_z.jpg" style="height: 207px; width: 310px; float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="Internet Archive visitor standing near petabytes. (flickr/Mario Behling)" />The Internet Archive collects web pages at about one billion pages per week. Currently the collection consists of some 450 billion web objects.</p><p>&ldquo;Which is just freaking huge,&rdquo; Kahle says, &ldquo;The Library of Congress&#39;s number of books is 28 million. We collect that in about, oh I don&#39;t know, six hours.&rdquo;</p><p>The Internet Archive is unable to access all of the web, however. Information on Facebook and Twitter is closed to the public, and difficult for the archive to get.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;You have to understand these are privately owned information assets,&rdquo; says historian Abby Smith Rumsey.&nbsp;&ldquo;People don&#39;t think of things that they put on Facebook or Twitter as belonging to somebody else because they come from us. But in fact they don&#39;t have ultimate control over this. ...&nbsp;We need more organizations that control information like Twitter, Apple, Google, to actually develop partnerships with public institutions, like the Internet Archive or the Library of Congress, so that they can be archived and made available to the public for the long term.&rdquo;</p><p>The Internet Archive&rsquo;s work involves not only collecting information, but figuring out new ways to store it, and constantly updating it to keep it available in relevant formats.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;We have to be out there all the time not only gathering the stuff, but keeping it in formats and keeping it relevant,&rdquo; Kahle says.&nbsp;</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-01-02/why-group-working-hard-make-sure-internet-isnt-lost-history" target="_blank"><em>via Science Friday</em></a></p></p> Mon, 04 Jan 2016 12:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/science-friday/2016-01-04/how-do-we-save-internet-history-114363 Don't Call it a Christmas Tree: How Russia's 'Yolka' Survived the Revolution http://www.wbez.org/news/dont-call-it-christmas-tree-how-russias-yolka-survived-revolution-114286 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/ap_08123008530_custom-afe980a5d5dddbe2a17af4af876dbee819209592-s800-c85.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res460189011" previewtitle="A New Year tree stands outside the Kremlin in Moscow, in 2008. Shown from right in the background are: the Kremlin's St. Nicholas Tower, the Historical Museum, and the monument to Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="A New Year tree stands outside the Kremlin in Moscow, in 2008. Shown from right in the background are: the Kremlin's St. Nicholas Tower, the Historical Museum, and the monument to Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/17/ap_08123008530_custom-afe980a5d5dddbe2a17af4af876dbee819209592-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 384px; width: 620px;" title="A New Year tree stands outside the Kremlin in Moscow, in 2008. Shown from right in the background are: the Kremlin's St. Nicholas Tower, the Historical Museum, and the monument to Soviet Marshal Georgy Zhukov. (Mikhail Metzel/AP)" /></div><div data-crop-type="">Like a lot of kids in Moscow, Svetlana Shmulyian loved New Year&#39;s Eve.</div></div><p>&quot;If there was once a year that a Soviet kid got to eat red caviar, it was on the night of the New Year!&quot; she says. And one of her favorite traditions (besides the caviar) was the&nbsp;<em>yolka&nbsp;</em>&mdash; the New Year&#39;s tree. &quot;The smell of the tree, the toys, the blinking lights &mdash; it was one day to look forward to for the whole year.&quot;</p><p>If that sounds a lot like Christmas, that&#39;s because it kind of is. A century ago, Christmas in Russia was pretty much like Christmas in the U.S. &mdash; complete with decorated trees, family celebrations.</p><p>But all that changed with the Russian Revolution.</p><p>&quot;The tree comes to be seen as a symbol of both the bourgeois order, which is one class enemy, and of religion in particular, which is another kind of class enemy,&quot; says Victoria Smolkin-Rothrock, who teaches Russian history at Wesleyan University.</p><p>&quot;There are very explicit statements that essentially unmask the Christmas tree for the class symbol that it is,&quot; Smolkin-Rothrock continues. &quot;It becomes clear that one does not have Christmas trees without political sympathies and allegiances falling into question.&quot;</p><div id="res460401167" previewtitle="&quot;Away with the bourgeois tree,&quot; reads the illustration, which was originally published in the newspaper &quot;Worker of the Urals,&quot; in December 1930."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="&quot;Away with the bourgeois tree,&quot; reads the illustration, which was originally published in the newspaper &quot;Worker of the Urals,&quot; in December 1930." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/19/away-with-the-bourgeois-tree_custom-8500b7c97f5e95ca08c862080184680abbdd3c26-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 234px; width: 540px;" title="&quot;Away with the bourgeois tree,&quot; reads the illustration, which was originally published in the newspaper &quot;Worker of the Urals,&quot; in December 1930. (Worker of the Urals)" /></div><div><div><p>And in the Soviet era, having your political sympathies questioned could be dangerous. In 1935, though, there was a letter in&nbsp;Pravda, the official paper, saying things had changed.</p></div></div></div><p>Smolkin-Rothrock sums up the argument of one high-ranking Bolshevik: &quot;Here we are, and Socialism has been built, and why would we deprive those children who had never had a Christmas tree of their own of the pleasure of the tree?&quot;</p><p>So, the tree was redeemed. And it moved up the Orthodox calendar, becoming completely secular.</p><p>&quot;I don&#39;t think I even heard that it has something to do with Christmas,&quot; says Victoria Anesh, who grew up in the Soviet Union, in what&#39;s now Ukraine, before immigrating to the U.S. &quot;It&#39;s just a tree for New Year&#39;s. And we had probably, on top of the tree, we had a star ... like the Kremlin red star.&quot;</p><div id="res460400814" previewtitle="A 1966 postcard featuring a yolka — and a little red-clad cosmonaut."><div data-crop-type=""><img alt="A 1966 postcard featuring a yolka — and a little red-clad cosmonaut." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/12/19/cosmos-elka-1966_custom-7222ce0b8648797b7b09a878f41ce106220f225d-s300-c85.jpg" style="height: 442px; width: 310px; float: right; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="A 1966 postcard featuring a yolka — and a little red-clad cosmonaut. (Courtesy of Victoria Smolkin-Rothrock)" /></div><div><div><p>Those Kremlin stars became such common tree-toppers, they were even featured in &#39;60s-era Soviet postcards.</p></div></div></div><p>Anesh, who is Jewish, loved her New Year&#39;s tree &mdash; but then she came to America.</p><p>&quot;We were told that trees here are put on Christmas. And Jews don&#39;t do Christmas.&quot;</p><p>Getting rid of the tree was just one in a long list of things to get used to in America. But when Anesh and her friends started families of their own, they began to rethink it. &quot;You know, why aren&#39;t you doing this? We&#39;re supposed to! What about our heritage?&quot;</p><p>But while Anesh loved the tree as a kid, it&#39;s not something she wants to pass on to her own children.</p><p>&quot;For me, it was kind of a symbol of not having choices,&quot; she says. &quot;I love that I have choices here. They&#39;re very tough &mdash; figuring out what is my moral compass here, what it means to be Jewish. There&#39;s a lot of things that I don&#39;t have answers, and I&#39;m learning with them. But I love it.&quot;</p><p>For other Russians, like Shmulyian, this new freedom of choice means choosing a tree.</p><p>&quot;I am experiencing this and want to create experiences for my kids that link them to the tribe. They&#39;re part of the Jewish tribe. They&#39;re also part of American tribe. They&#39;re also part of Russian tribe,&quot; Shmulyian says. &quot;They&#39;re all these identities that they carry.&quot;</p><p>Just as in the Soviet Union, what makes tradition meaningful isn&#39;t some government edict. It&#39;s how people gather around the tree, or don&#39;t, and decide what it means to be Russian &mdash; and Jewish, and American &mdash; in a new world.</p><p>&mdash; <a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/12/19/460186573/dont-call-it-a-christmas-tree-how-russias-yolka-survived-the-revolution?ft=nprml&amp;f=460186573" target="_blank"><em>via NPR</em></a></p></p> Thu, 24 Dec 2015 13:35:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/dont-call-it-christmas-tree-how-russias-yolka-survived-revolution-114286 The Fall of Chicago's 'Porkopolis' and the Rise of Niche Meat http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/fall-chicagos-porkopolis-and-rise-niche-meat-114271 <p><p>Like a lot of American kids, Pam Monaco read <em><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jungle" target="_blank">The Jungle</a></em> when she was in high school.</p><p>In case you don&rsquo;t remember, it&rsquo;s Upton Sinclair&rsquo;s 1906 indictment of the conditions in Chicago&rsquo;s meatpacking industry at the time. And it left an indelible impression on her. Monaco says even when she was living in Kansas, she&rsquo;d see livestock trucks heading north from Kansas and wonder if they were going to Chicago.</p><p>So, not long after she moved to the Chicago area, Monaco asked Curious City whether there are any meatpackers left in Chicago and, if not, where they went.</p><p>Borrowing from yet another literary classic, she specifically asked:</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>Does Chicago &mdash; the former <a href="http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/poem/2043" target="_blank">hog butcher for the world</a> &mdash; still do any of that kind of work?</em></p><p>The short answer is &ldquo;yes&rdquo; and we&rsquo;ll introduce a few of the shops that do. But what&rsquo;s most interesting is what&rsquo;s changed in the local industry. One hundred years ago the city was an international slaughtering juggernaut that helped establish a mass-market industrialized food system. Today, the remnants of slaughtering in Chicago are sustained by niche markets not well-served by that modern system: immigrant communities, trendy gourmands and people who cook traditional dishes in traditional ways.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Why did Chicago become a &lsquo;Porkopolis&rsquo;?</span></p><p>Dominic Pacyga, author of <em>Slaughterhouse: Chicago&rsquo;s Union Stock Yard and the World It Made</em>, says the principle reason is that by 1865, the city was the nexus of at least nine rail lines, and that nexus put Chicago close to the center of the nation&rsquo;s livestock growth areas.</p><p>&ldquo;After the Civil War the Great Plains were opened up to Texas cattle and they could be driven up north to [railroad stops] and brought into Chicago,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Later on, when you had refrigerated railroad cars that could take chilled beef east, Chicago really dominated even the Eastern and even the California meat markets.&rdquo;</p><p>The center of activity was the Union Stock Yard, a concentrated square mile on the city&rsquo;s Southwest Side. The yard acted as a market for the sale of large mammals: mostly cows, pigs and sheep. Some animals sold at the yards would be sent on to new owners beyond Chicago, but the rest would head for local slaughterhouses where they were killed, broken down and shipped out as chilled carcasses or canned and cured meats.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Livestock_chicago_1947.jpg" style="height: 447px; width: 620px;" title="The Union Stockyards in 1941. (Courtesy Library of Congress)" /></div><p>Companies such as Armour, Swift and Morris used new processing technologies and the yards&rsquo; massive scale to become international meatpacking giants.</p><p>&ldquo;It took a skilled butcher and his apprentice about eight to 10 hours to dress a steer in 1890,&rdquo; explains Pacyga, &ldquo;but it took about 35 minutes at Armour &amp; Company.&rdquo;</p><p>For many decades, the number of animals that passed through the stockyards just got bigger. Pacyga writes that the whole thing peaked in 1924, when 18.6 million animals went through the stock yard. On a single cold day in December that year, he says, it took in more than 122,000 hogs. To handle those animals, the stockyards made jobs for an estimated 40,000 workers at at time.</p><p>Early on many of the waste products from the animals ended up in the south fork of the Chicago River &mdash; a section <a href="http://www.chicagojournal.com/News/09-16-2009/There_are_still_bubbles" target="_blank">unaffectionately dubbed &ldquo;Bubbly Creek.&rdquo;</a> This improved a bit when meatpackers launched byproduct businesses that used the fat, blood, hair, organs and more to make soap, buttons, furniture stuffing, medicine, glue, paintbrushes, instrument strings, etc. Still, between the livestock, manure and the rendering plants, the smells generated could travel all the way to the North Side on hot summer nights.</p><p><a name="littleeddie"></a>But this didn&rsquo;t stop the tourists. As many as half a million a year flocked to the yard to see the latest in meat technology.</p><p>This modern meat show even became a popular destination for Chicago Public Schools field trips. WBEZ volunteer Ed Kramer remembers going to the stockyards in 1941 with his 8th grade class. He says he remembers taking the &lsquo;L&rsquo; from Wicker Park down to the yards and standing over the pens on a catwalk.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/239447357&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>&ldquo;Down below us, cows were being led in through a chute,&rdquo; he recalls. &ldquo;A chain was whipped around the back legs of the cow and they were hoisted up in the air. Someone came along with a huge wooden sledge, hit on the head and it stunned them and then their throats were cut. At that point a half a dozen people in the group began to erp.&rdquo;</p><p>Despite its popularity with the kids, the stockyards were already on the decline by the 1940s. Modern trucks and an extensive highway system made it easier to ship livestock to exact destinations by truck, rather than relying on fixed rail routes. Plus, farmers started to make deals directly with packing houses, eliminating the need to send their livestock to a central market.</p><p>These circumstances shrank the number of animals moving through the yard. In 1970, fewer than 1 million hogs arrived at the yards, leading officials to close the hog market that year. The closing of the cattle market soon followed, and the stockyards closed their doors forever in February 1971.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FOR%20WEB%20stockyard%20graphic%206.png" style="height: 381px; width: 620px;" title="A depiction of the decline of the Union Stockyards as major meatpacking companies relocated. Based on Dominic Pacyga's book, Slaughterhouse: Chicago’s Union Stock Yard and the World It Made. (Graphic by Logan Jaffe/WBEZ) " /></div><div>Today, hog and cattle slaughtering and butchering facilities are in small towns all over the Midwest &mdash; mostly in Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota. They&rsquo;re closer to farms, easy highways, cheap land and fewer neighbors to complain about the stench.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="font-size:24px;">Chicago&rsquo;s slaughterhouse holdovers</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>There&rsquo;s still a smallish meatpacking district near Fulton Street. The city also hosts 11 official slaughterhouses. These are mostly neighborhood spots that focus on poultry, but three process mainly sheep, goats and pigs. Those are: halal processor Barkaat, in the old Chiappetti plant at 38th and Halsted Street; Park Packing at 41st and Ashland Avenue; and the little Halsted Packing House at Halsted and Hubbard Streets.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Even combined, the scale of these three processors is dwarfed by the scale of the former Union Stock Yard. Based on interviews with the operators, together they process approximately 1,000 animals per day, whereas the old yards could take in 100,000 hogs alone in a single day.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>These operations don&rsquo;t share much with the old stockyards other than the fact that they all slaughter or process animals. During visits to two of the three remnant facilities &mdash; one slaughterhouse and one packing house (meaning: no slaughtering, just packing) &mdash; we see that these operations are almost an antidote to the mega industrial meat industry the Union Stock Yard helped establish. Instead, they base their business on fresh custom cuts, personalized service and (sometimes) religious traditions.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="font-size:24px;">Halsted Packing House: The family business </span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Halsted Packing House quietly operates on the 400 block of North Halsted Street, within walking distance of some of the city&rsquo;s top restaurants. On most days, you&rsquo;ll find a fresh stack of gossip magazines and either Cookie or Callie Davos at the front of the house. They&rsquo;re sisters (trained respectively in chiropractics and accounting) who never expected to run a slaughterhouse. But then, one day in 1994, their father had a sudden heart attack.</div><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="423" id="iframe" scrolling="no" src="//flickrit.com/slideshowholder.php?height=413&amp;width=620&amp;size=medium&amp;setId=72157662665264866&amp;click=true&amp;caption=true&amp;counter=true&amp;credit=2&amp;trans=1&amp;thumbnails=0&amp;transition=0&amp;layoutType=fixed&amp;sort=0" width="620"></iframe></p><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;So we came down here to figure it out and reassure everyone that they still had jobs,&rdquo; Callie remembers, adding that the shop was male-dominated at the time. &ldquo;We were rookies and had no clue, and I think all the men were taking bets on how long those two girls are going to last.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Twenty one years later the sisters still oversee a staff of mostly men between taking orders, &nbsp;balancing the books and greeting customers. Many of those customers are immigrants, like Joe from West Africa.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;In this store here, everything is fresh and that&rsquo;s one of the reasons why I come from miles away to patronize them on a weekly basis,&rdquo; he says holding a bag of goat meat. &ldquo;I eat goat meat and cow tails and I cooked stews, vegetables, some African stuff. Spicy and delicious.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>You don&rsquo;t get delicious meat without a kill floor, but the one at Halsted Packing House is nothing like the massive assembly line kill factories that epitomized the stockyards at their height. Here it&rsquo;s just one small, intense room where young pigs bleed out, tumble in the dehairing machine, and then get disemboweled before heading to a large cooler. There, they join lambs and goats of various sizes.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Although Halsted Packing House offers retail sales to the public, its no-frills presentations and earthy aromas can startle some.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a lot of odd reactions you get when people walk in here,&rdquo; Davos says. &ldquo;They expect everything to be in a beautiful little plastic package and freshly scented smells in here. We actually slaughter and we have live animals come in, so we have all sorts of smells.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Halsted offers customers the option of sacrificing their own animal for special traditional or religious observances. On the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, for instance, she says &ldquo;The place is packed. There are lines out the door waiting to get in and follow their tradition after their prayer.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Still, some animals also have their beginnings at Halsted. Davos says several sheep have been sent to her pregnant and have given birth right there at the packing house. &nbsp;&ldquo;So many times I&rsquo;ve taken a baby lamb home and fed it every two hours, &ldquo; she recalls. &ldquo;Then I find a home for it on a farm.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Despite the support Davos receives from the city&rsquo;s ethnic communities, she&rsquo;s not sure the family business will last after her generation.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;People just don&rsquo;t cook the way they used to, so there&rsquo;s just less demand for what we offer,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s sad. But I&rsquo;m glad that I was a part of it.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="font-size:24px;">Grant Park Packing: Custom cuts</span></div><div>&nbsp;<iframe frameborder="0" height="423" id="iframe" scrolling="no" src="//flickrit.com/slideshowholder.php?height=413&amp;width=620&amp;size=medium&amp;setId=72157660396416863&amp;click=true&amp;caption=true&amp;counter=true&amp;credit=2&amp;trans=1&amp;theme=1&amp;thumbnails=0&amp;transition=0&amp;layoutType=fixed&amp;sort=0" width="620"></iframe></div><div>Just about a mile away from Halsted Packing House is the old Fulton Market area. During a recent visit, Joe Maffei, owner of Grant Park Packing, watches dozens of already-eviscerated hog carcasses glide through his receiving room on hooks from a truck. Although meatpacking can include slaughtering, the meatpackers at Grant Park Packing are just in the packing part of the business: They break down carcasses into cuts for sale to delis, restaurants, stores and even home cooks who want special cuts like coppa or guanciale for curing.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;The meatpacking business that&rsquo;s left in Chicago is on the smaller scale,&rdquo; Maffei says. &ldquo;All the big guys have left the Chicago area. They&rsquo;re out in the boondocks where they have a lot more space and are able to ship a lot more quantities than we do.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Still, he says that rising rents and local and state rules are making it harder to go on. Maffei&rsquo;s been in the Chicago meatpacking business for almost half a century. But he reports with a sigh, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s almost all gone, including us pretty soon.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Really?&rdquo; I ask. &ldquo;How many more years will you be here?&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>He asks back: &ldquo;Months, you mean?&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><span style="font-size:24px;">More about our questioner</span></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Pamela Monaco is a dean of graduate studies at North Central College in Naperville and a fan of public radio. Before coming to Chicago about two years ago, Monaco and her husband lived in Kansas, which also once hosted a big central stockyard.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Today Monaco lives in Naperville with her husband and three cats, but says she spends her free time exploring Chicago&rsquo;s food, theaters and museums. She was a little surprised by the outcome of the investigation she started on meatpacking.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s fascinating that the remaining meatpacking in Chicago is connected to the city&rsquo;s ethnic population and a continuing demand for speciality cuts,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;It all gives me more food for thought and pondering.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ food and health reporter. Follow her at<a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng" target="_blank"> @monicaeng</a> or write to her at meng@wbez.org.</em></div><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Wed, 23 Dec 2015 13:48:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/fall-chicagos-porkopolis-and-rise-niche-meat-114271 Ferry-tale: Could a Chicago-to-Michigan Ferry Return from Extinction? http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/ferry-tale-could-chicago-michigan-ferry-return-extinction-114151 <p><p>Barbara Laing is a vibrant, five-cups-of-coffee-a-day kind of person. And that caffeine does not go to waste; Barbara owns and operates a small <a href="http://paintedlightphotoframing.com/" target="_blank">photography and framing shop</a> in Chicago&rsquo;s West Andersonville neighborhood, and she has to hustle to keep all the balls in the air.</p><p>Come summertime, Barbara needs a breather. An escape. So, occasionally she&rsquo;ll set aside a weekend and venture to Southwestern Michigan to get away from the stress of her business and to-do lists: &ldquo;I just love to kind of poke around. I love to relax ... take walks down by the lake. There&rsquo;s lots of beautiful rocks that you find on Lake Michigan over there on the sands.&rdquo;</p><p>But when Barbara gets in her car to head back to Chicago on Sunday, I-94 looks more like a parking lot than a freeway. That&rsquo;s when her internal dialogue begins: &ldquo;I&#39;m just like, take yourself out of this moment, keep your eyes on the road, but just remember that walk you took on the lake. Remember that nice meal you had ... and remember it will be over in, oh, I don&#39;t know, three or four hours.&rdquo;</p><p>One day while strolling along Lake Michigan, Barbara dreamed of an alternate way to make the trip, and asked us to investigate: &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><em>Has there ever been a ferry between Chicago and Michigan, and why isn&#39;t there one now?</em></p><p>Barbara has always had a certain reverence for Lake Michigan (&ldquo;It&#39;s kind of poetic to be out on the water,&rdquo; she says), but even if you don&rsquo;t share her feelings, you&rsquo;ve probably been stuck in a horrible car trip at some point and can relate to rooting for an alternative.</p><p>So could a lake ferry be that alternative &mdash; a waterborne savior, if you will? Are your finger&rsquo;s crossed?</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">When Lake Michigan was Chicago&rsquo;s superhighway</span></p><p>Turns out, there was an alternative! It&rsquo;s just that, at the time, people called them steamers, not ferries.</p><p>In the mid-19th century, back before cars or trucks paved roads, the Great Lakes were the region&rsquo;s superhighways. Grand steamships darted from harbor to harbor, making money by moving products and people.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FOR%20WEB%20The-excursion-boat-Theodore-Roosevelt-heads-east-under-the-State-Street-bridge-in-1910.jpg" style="height: 395px; width: 620px;" title="The excursion boat Theodore Roosevelt heads east under the State Street bridge in 1910. (Source: The Lost Panoramas, published by CityFiles Press) " /></div><p>Ted Karamanski, a public historian at Loyola University, emphasizes that both revenue streams were vital to the profitability of the steamship industry.</p><p>&ldquo;These were steamships that carried excursionists out for a day of fun on Lake Michigan, or they would carry light manufacturing goods and then, of course &hellip; fresh fruit from Southwest Michigan to the Chicago produce markets,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>In the 1880&rsquo;s, passenger traffic was thriving. There were two different kinds of tourists on the lake: the daytrippers and the overnighters.</p><p>Daytrippers went from &ldquo;Chicago to Michigan City, or Chicago to St. Joseph, relatively short three, four, five hour trips&rdquo; across the lake, says Karamanski. St. Joseph, Michigan, even became known as <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/30/travel/lake-michigan-tour.html" target="_blank">Chicago&rsquo;s Coney Island</a>. People would picnic and lounge and splash about and then jump on the boat at 5:00 p.m. and be back in Chicago by nightfall.</p><p>The overnighters took 12-hour trips up to Northwest Michigan, bringing tourists to destinations like Grand Traverse Bay, Little Traverse Bay, even some to Mackinac Island for longer stays, Karamanski says. These were usually wealthy travelers who could afford to spend weeks or even months away from the city. &nbsp;</p><p>But not all of the region&rsquo;s tourists traveled simply to unwind. Before antihistamines, many Chicagoans escaped their allergies in the crisp air of Northern Michigan. Little tent cities popped up along the shore; they were called &ldquo;achoo clubs.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;They would usually be organized by different religious denominations,&rdquo; Karamanski explains. &ldquo;So the <a href="http://www.bayviewassociation.org/" target="_blank">Methodists</a> would have a club where people could go, and the Presbyterians would be in another place, the Baptists somewhere else.&rdquo; That way, husbands who stayed in the city for the summer to work could rest assured that their wives and children were escaping the heat and histamines in a safe, morally righteous place. Over time the small tent colonies developed into clusters of cottages, and eventually those cottages became enormous Victorian manors.</p><p>At the turn of the last century, Petoskey was just one of the many popular destinations that catered to Chicago tourists along the northern shoreline of Michigan. (Fun fact: In 1882 the Western Hay Fever Association christened Petoskey as its official headquarters.)</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/petoskey%20image2.png" style="height: 366px; width: 620px;" title="A postcard from the New Arlington Hotel, in Petoskey, Michigan, where many Chicagoans flocked in the summer months to escape the summer heat and histamines. (WBEZ/Courtesy of Little Traverse Bay History Museum)" /></div><p>Jane Garver, Co-Executive Director of the Little Traverse Bay Historical Museum in Petoskey, imagines the area offered a literal breath of fresh air to jaded Chicagoans: &ldquo;If I got off the boat from Chicago &hellip; I would be so relieved to arrive here on Little Traverse Bay: cool breezes, a beautiful area, million-dollar sunsets, and plenty to do without being so overwhelming that you wouldn&#39;t know what to do.&rdquo;</p><p>There was an opera house and dance halls and tea rooms &mdash; you name it.</p><p>&ldquo;People might be surprised to know that there were so many well-known names that visited here,&rdquo; Garver says. &ldquo;In fact, I&#39;m surprised when I go through records and see ... &lsquo;Oh yes, Amelia Earhart, she came here and spoke here.&rsquo;&rdquo; <a href="http://twain.lib.virginia.edu/onstage/wrldtr6.html" target="_blank">Mark Twain</a> gave a lecture, and <a href="http://www.petoskeyarea.com/ernest-hemingway-192/" target="_blank">Ernest Hemingway</a> wiled away his childhood summers at his family&rsquo;s cottage. The list goes on.</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">The decline of steamships</span></p><p>But, you should know, a voyage on a steamship was not all fun and games. Karamanski noted that, in high winds, it could get a little bouncy on the lake, &ldquo;which could make this nice little cruise ship what sometimes they used to call a vomit comet.&rdquo;</p><p>And sometimes, the boats were just plain unsafe. Like the <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-eastland-disaster-kc-met-0726-20150725-story.html" target="_blank">S.S. Eastland</a>. You may have heard about this: On July 24, 1915, about 2,500 people boarded the Eastland for Western Electric Company&rsquo;s annual employee picnic when the boat <a href="http://chicagoist.com/2015/02/26/more_graphic_footage_of_eastland_di.php" target="_blank">tipped into the murky Chicago River</a>.</p><p>844 people died in the accident, 20 feet from dry land. &ldquo;You would think that this might be sort of the death knell of steamships,&rdquo; Karamanski explains. &ldquo;But it wasn&#39;t.&rdquo;</p><p>Cars were.</p><p>Steamships took a huge hit after the introduction of the automobile. People and products &mdash; the two legs that the steamship industry stood upon &mdash; were no longer bound to the waterways. Karamanski emphasizes that not everyone defected from the steamers right away: &ldquo;Steamers were still very popular through the early &lsquo;20s, but beginning in about 1925, we see a steep decline in the number of people traveling by steamship, and this is tied to the improvement of roads, particularly in Michigan. Since Michigan was the center for the automotive business, they invested a lot of money in good, modern roads.&rdquo;</p><p>And, over time, it only got worse. During the 1950s, the interstate highway system began to zigzag across the nation. As infrastructure improved, more and more people abandoned lake ferries in favor of their cars.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/ferry-tale-could-chicago-michigan-ferry-return-extinction-114151#mapnotes"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ferry%20graphic5.png" style="height: 444px; width: 620px;" title="This map depicts 1947 and 2015 travel times from Chicago to St. Joseph and South Haven, Michigan, via ferry and car travel. For details on data and sources, click on image. " /></a></div><p>There were consequences for people and communities on both sides of the lake.</p><p>Karamanski believes Chicagoans lost a historic, intimate connection to the lake, which had helped the city develop in the first place.</p><p>&ldquo;Just steps away from the pavement of Chicago, we got three-hundred miles of wilderness, an alien environment, which if you don&#39;t take care, it will kill you,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;Most Chicagoans just don&#39;t appreciate that. It&#39;s just taken for granted like the water in our taps.&rdquo;</p><p>On the Michigan side of the equation, Garver says that the highways drastically changed the face of Petoskey. Back in the day, &ldquo;when travelers arrived by steamship or by train here ... they had their choice of 15 different luxury hotels,&rdquo; all centrally located in the heart of downtown. Since the age of the automobile, all but one of the those 15 hotels either went out of business or burned down and was never rebuilt. Today, plenty of hotels dot the interstate on the way into town, hoping to be the first place you see well before you reach Petoskey&rsquo;s historic city center.</p><p>The ferry-less fate of the Chicago region was sealed in 1958 with the completion of the <a href="http://www.chicagoskyway.org/" target="_blank">Chicago Skyway</a>. As Karmanski explains, the Skyway was &ldquo;designed specifically to get people, fast, from downtown Chicago via the Dan Ryan Expressway to Southwest Michigan. So why take a boat when you can do it in an hour and a half?&rdquo;</p><p>But these days, in bad traffic, that same trip might take closer to three hours. Which leads one to wonder: Could ferries make a comeback?</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">Is there a case to be made for a Chicago lake ferry revival?</span></p><p>Remember: Questioner Barbara Laing&rsquo;s interest in the history of lake ferries is not simply nostalgic. She&rsquo;s a business woman and she knows a money-making opportunity when she sees one.</p><p>&ldquo;Here&#39;s the thing,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;As a small business owner, you look for business ventures, and you think well what else could I do?&rdquo;</p><p>A Chicago ferry came to mind, she says, but, &ldquo;I don&#39;t have a captain&#39;s license, so it&#39;s not within my realm of experience. But somebody should do it.&rdquo;</p><p>After all, there are two ferries that operate on the lake today. <a href="http://www.lake-express.com/">Lake Express</a> runs from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to Muskegon, Michigan. <a href="http://www.ssbadger.com/" target="_blank">The S.S. Badger</a> operates between Manitowoc, Wisconsin and Ludington, Michigan. It stands to reason that Chicago, with its lakeside location and enormous metropolitan population, brimming with potential customers, could have a modern ferry service, too.</p><p>Right?</p><p>Wrong, says Ken Szallai, president and founder of Lake Express. His professional opinion: &ldquo;Running a ferry parallel to the interstate highway system is not a feasible ferry operation.&rdquo;</p><p>Szallai explains that a Chicago ferry would compete with the interstate and <a href="http://www.amtrak.com/michigan-services-train" target="_blank">Amtrak&rsquo;s Pere Marquette line</a>. Milwaukee&rsquo;s ferry doesn&rsquo;t have that problem; the Lake Express&rsquo; route is a straight shot across the water, which helps customers cut out hundreds of miles of travel around the lake.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FOR%20WEB%20lake%20express.jpg" style="height: 413px; width: 620px;" title="The Lake Express is a high-speed ferry from Milwaukee, Wisconsin to Muskegon, Michigan. President and founder Ken Szallai says the business is feasible from Milwaukee, but would compete too much with the Interstate if he opened up shop in Chicago. (Flickr/Lake Express)" /></div><p>Szallai says when you factor in the fierce competition, plus operating expenses and the short operating season thanks to the region&rsquo;s fierce winter &hellip; Well, he&rsquo;s not going to invest in a Chicago ferry anytime soon.</p><p>But that hasn&rsquo;t stopped other people from trying. Douglas Callaghan of Grand Rapids, Michigan, chuckles when asked about a business venture he pioneered over a decade ago: &ldquo;Oh yes, the infamous ferry.&rdquo;</p><p>Why was it infamous, you might be wondering? &ldquo;Well, because it never made it into the water,&rdquo; Callaghan retorts.</p><p>In 2003 and 2004, Callaghan&rsquo;s small company, <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2003-01-12/news/0301120281_1_lake-michigan-passenger-and-vehicle-ferry-new-york-harbor" target="_blank">LEF Corp (Lake Express Ferry)</a>, attempted to reinstate a ferry service between Chicago&rsquo;s Navy Pier and Benton Harbor in St. Joseph, Michigan. They conducted a <a href="http://www.sname.org/HigherLogic/System/DownloadDocumentFile.ashx?DocumentFileKey=b07d8b5d-54a8-4577-9203-a3d728680a19" target="_blank">feasibility study</a>, analyzing travel demand and what type of boat would be best suited to the project. And, as Callaghan puts it, &ldquo;there were about five super-rich lovers of catamarans &mdash; not all American &mdash; who invested in our proposal.&rdquo;</p><p>Kim Gallagher of the <a href="http://www.swmpc.org/" target="_blank">Southwestern Michigan Planning Commission</a> was a consultant on LEF Corp&rsquo;s proposal at the time. She remembers that the local community was delighted when investors were brought in for a tour of the port: &ldquo;The Benton Harbor, St. Joseph area was very supportive of the project because it offered an additional mode of transportation to get around the lake in two and half hours.&rdquo;</p><p>Both Gallagher and Callaghan agree that the primary reason for the proposal&rsquo;s failure originated on the other side of the lake. &ldquo;I think somewhere along the line, a message came down from on high in Chicago that said we&rsquo;re not going to do it,&rdquo; Callaghan recalls. &ldquo;Every time we turned around, another issue would come up.&rdquo;</p><p>After awhile, it became clear to Callaghan that the proposal was dead in the water and LEF Corp disbanded.</p><p>When asked to comment on the reasons that Callaghan&rsquo;s proposal fell through, Nick Shields, Director of Communications for Navy Pier, Inc., has this to say: &ldquo;It is our understanding that the company went out of business in 2004 and we did not receive a final proposal before then.&rdquo;</p><p>Still, Shields affirms that Navy Pier remains open to the idea of a ferry revival: &ldquo;Yes, Navy Pier, Inc. would consider a future investor&rsquo;s proposal. We view the idea as a unique opportunity to bring new visitors to Chicago.&rdquo;</p><p>Who knows? If maritime technology improves and ferries get faster while Chicago-area traffic gets worse, and global warming heats up the planet and eliminates our icy winters, maybe, just maybe, someone will revive a Chicago-Michigan ferry.</p><p>Should that day come, Barbara Laing will be the first in line to go out on the water and float all the way to Michigan, just like the generations of Chicagoans before her: &ldquo;It&#39;s something that people long to do, I think. If there&#39;s water there, you want to go out in it.&rdquo;</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/FOR%20WEB%20chloe%20and%20barbara.jpg" style="height: 414px; width: 620px;" title="Reporter Chloe Prasinos and questioner Barbara Laing at WBEZ. (Logan Jaffe/WBEZ)" /></div><p><em>Chloe Prasinos is an independent reporter and producer based in Chicago. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/chloeprasinos" target="_blank">@chloeprasinos</a>.</em></p><hr /><div><strong><a name="mapnotes"></a>Notes on map:</strong></div><div><p dir="ltr">Ferry travel times for 1947 were calculated with an average speed of 19 mph and based on the routes depicted in <a href="http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1947/04/24/page/7/article/how-ferry-would-cut-mileage/" target="_blank">a related infographic from <em>Chicago Tribune</em> archives</a>. Ferry travel times for 2015 were calculated with an average speed of 35 mph and informed by our interview with Ken Szallai, president and founder of the Lake Express ferry in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Car travel routes from Chicago (Navy Pier) to St. Joseph and South Haven, Michigan, depict general directions, not exact directions over specific streets, highways and interstates. The 1947 route includes US 41 and Red Arrow Highway, with an average speed of 45 mph established in consultation with Joseph Schwieterman of DePaul University&rsquo;s <a href="http://las.depaul.edu/centers-and-institutes/chaddick-institute-for-metropolitan-development/Pages/default.aspx" target="_blank">Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development</a>. The 2015 car travel time was suggested by Google Maps with a route via I-90/94.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated the timeframe during which the U.S. Interstate Highway System affected transportation options and habits. The correct decade for delineating the start of that program is the 1950s. &nbsp;</em></p><div>&nbsp;</div></div><div>&nbsp;</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><p>&nbsp;</p><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Fri, 11 Dec 2015 17:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/ferry-tale-could-chicago-michigan-ferry-return-extinction-114151 Discovery from 3,500 years ago challenges gender roles http://www.wbez.org/news/discovery-3500-years-ago-challenges-gender-roles-113758 <p><div style="text-align: justify;"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/pylos_embed2.jpg" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="One of more than 45 seal stones found within the tomb, each bearing intricate designs. Long-horned bulls and, sometimes, human bull jumpers leaping over their horns are a common relief from the Minoan period. (Credit: Jennifer Stevens)" /></div><div><article about="/stories/2015-11-12/discovery-3500-years-ago-challenges-gender-roles" typeof="sioc:Item foaf:Document"><div><p style="text-align: justify;">Husband-and-wife archaeologist team Jack Davis and Sharon Stocker have just made the biggest archaeological discovery of its kind in at least half a century.</p></div><p style="text-align: justify;">&ldquo;It was kind of a combination of expertise and dumb luck,&rdquo; says Jack Davis, &ldquo;We were not planning to excavate in this area.&rdquo;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">Davis and his wife Stocker, both archaeologists from the University of Cincinnati, had been trying to purchase a plot of land near the ancient city of Pylos in southwestern Greece.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" draggable="true" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_image/public/pylos_embed1.jpg?itok=s77Nihmr" style="height: 539px; width: 400px;" title="University of Cincinnati's Sharon Stocker, left, and Jack Davis led a team of 45 archaeologists and experts in various specialties, as well as students, during this summer's excavations in Pylos, Greece. (University of Cincinnati, Pylos Excavations)" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><div style="text-align: justify;">When plans for that purchase fell through, they turned instead to an adjacent property - a plot located near where the Palace of Nestor, long since destroyed, was built.&nbsp;</div><p style="text-align: justify;">Stocker and Davis first cleared brush away from the plot of land. Then, they and their team noticed five stones above the surface of the earth. At first they thought it was the corner of a Bronze Age house. Then, after some digging, Davis got a phone call: &ldquo;We hit bronze,&rdquo; the area supervisor said.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><img alt="" draggable="true" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_image/public/pylos_embed3.jpg?itok=MKbKnbio" style="height: 349px; width: 620px;" title="An elaborate necklace decorated with ivy leaves and measuring more than thirty inches long was found near the neck of the warrior’s skeleton. (Jennifer Stephens)" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Davis and Stocker rushed back to the site.</p><img alt="" draggable="true" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_image/public/pylos_embed5.jpg?itok=_rmqLk5o" style="text-align: center; height: 509px; width: 300px; float: left; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px;" title="An illustration of the contents and arrangement of the excavated tomb. (Denitsa Nenova)" typeof="foaf:Image" /><p style="text-align: justify;">What&nbsp;had been discovered was the ancient tomb of a warrior who was buried with a sword and a trove of jewelry some 35 centuries ago.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">He likely died &ldquo;several centuries before the time that Homer was writing about, which I think makes it all the more spectacular,&rdquo; Stocker says, &ldquo;This could have been perhaps even the founder of the dynasty Later Nestor who ruled at Pylos.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">In the warrior&rsquo;s grave the archaeologists&nbsp;found a sword, a gold-hilted dagger, and more than 45 seal stones, each bearing intricate designs like long-horned bulls and human bull jumpers.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" draggable="true" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_image/public/Picture35.jpg?itok=NF0tV1Ss" style="text-align: center; height: 372px; width: 620px;" title="One of six ivory combs discovered in the tomb by Sharon Stocker and Jack Davis (University of Cincinnati, Pylos Excavations)" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><p style="text-align: justify;">There were also several combs, a mirror, and an elaborate necklace decorated with ivy leaves near&nbsp;the skeleton&rsquo;s neck.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">The discovery is changing the way archaeologists are interpreting ancient graves, and ancient civilization.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;">&ldquo;Up until now people have speculated that certain artifacts can be ascribed to a particular gender,&rdquo; Stocker says, &ldquo;But now we have one man buried with objects that&nbsp;until now&nbsp;have been thought of as female artifacts. He had six combs, he had a bronze mirror, he had beads, he had necklaces. He had all of these things, and so we&#39;ve learned from this burial that the grave goods now cannot necessarily be attributed along gender lines. That&#39;s one thing that I find really exciting.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><img alt="" draggable="true" src="http://cdn1.pri.org/sites/default/files/styles/gallery_image/public/pylos_embed4.jpg?itok=MFE_-iwg" style="text-align: center; height: 477px; width: 620px;" title="Sharon Stocker with the 3,500 year-old skull found in the warrior's tomb. (University of Cincinnati, Pylos Excavations)" typeof="foaf:Image" /></p><p style="text-align: justify;">Stocker and Davis say they have a lot of work ahead of them to continue studying their discovery.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="text-align: center;">&ldquo;Probably for the rest of our lives will be working on this amazing find. It&#39;s something to look forward to,&rdquo;&nbsp;</span><span style="text-align: center;">Stocker says.&nbsp;</span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><em>This&nbsp;<a href="http://www.studio360.org/story/the-things-they-carried-in-1500-bc/" target="_blank">story</a>&nbsp;first aired on PRI&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.studio360.org/" target="_blank">Studio 360</a>&nbsp;with Kurt Andersen.</em></p></article></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 12 Nov 2015 13:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/discovery-3500-years-ago-challenges-gender-roles-113758