Playlist History


Jim Lehrer speaking at the Miller Center of Public Affairs, in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2011. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

'PBS NewsHour' Co-Founder Jim Lehrer Has Died

Jim Lehrer, the co-founder and anchor of PBS NewsHour, died Thursday, January 23 at the age of 85. He covered such earth-shaping events as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the Watergate hearings, and was admired by journalists of all sorts.
Chicago Union Stock Yards

How Upton Sinclair’s 'The Jungle' Unintentionally Spurred Food Safety Laws

Muckraker journalist Upton Sinclair started a national movement for food safety after the publication of his 1906 novel, The Jungle, although that wasn't his aim. “I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach,” he said. 
PBS NewsHour: The Trump Impeachment Trial

PBS's Coverage of the Impeachment Trial

The impeachment trial in the Senate has begun. Find all the ways to watch PBS NewsHour's special live coverage here.
Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Photo: Courtesy of left to right: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images; BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

'America's Great Divide' and the 2020 Election

"This is really the most important political year coming that I have ever experienced," says Michael Kirk, the producer of Frontline's new, two-part documentary America's Great Divide. "I thought these films could be a kind of overture as the curtain goes up on the political year."
Maggie Daley Park in Chicago

A Decade in Review

As we approach a new year and a new decade, take a look back at what was yet to come in 2010, from changes in Chicago's built environment and restaurant industry to tech innovations and other developments.
Fred Hampton. Image: Chicago Defender Archives, from WTTW's Dusable to Obama

The Killing of Fred Hampton

50 years ago, the promising young Black Panther leader Fred Hampton was killed during a police raid. Hampton's organizing and the outcry after his death helped lead to the election of Harold Washington and Bobby Rush, who was a Panther at the time of the raid. 
The Impeachment Hearings. PBS NewsHour

PBS's Coverage of the Impeachment Hearings in December

Find all the ways you can watch the House Judiciary Committee's public impeachment hearings, either over-the-air or digitally, here. 
The Impeachment Hearings - coverage by PBS Newshour

PBS's Special Coverage of the Impeachment Hearings

Find all the ways you can watch, either over-the-air or digitally, here. 
Central Standard Building

How Chicago Played a Major Role in Setting America’s Time Zones

Before our clocks fell back and sprung forward, there were dozens of time zones in the United States. Chicago, once a major railroad hub, played a key part in standardizing time across the country.
James Henry Breasted

The Chicago Archaeologist Who Changed the Way We Study Civilization

In 1919, James Henry Breasted founded the Oriental Instiute with what was at the time "a radical idea," that scholars should look toward the ancient Middle East to understand western civilization. Now, 100 years later, OI is celebrating its past by looking toward its future.
The Chicago Tribune from October 8, 1969, with a headline about the Days of Rage. Image: From WTTW's Chicago Stories

Chicago's Forgotten 'Days of Rage'

50 years ago, a radical chapter of Students for a Democratic Society tried to "bring the war home" in protest of America's continuing involvement in Vietnam by staging militant demonstrations in Chicago that they called the Days of Rage. 
Retro Report on PBS host Masud Olufani, contributor Andy Borowitz and host Celeste Headlee. Photo: Brandon Ogden for PBS

A New Series Providing the History Behind the Headlines

The new series Retro Report on PBS goes behind the headlines to understand the historical roots of today's news. “If we don’t understand where we have been, it’s quite challenging for us to understand where we are fully,” says one of the hosts.
The 1919 Chicago White Sox. Image: Wikimedia Commons

The American Mythology of the Black Sox Scandal

In the 100 years since the Chicago White Sox players fixed games to lose the World Series, lots of myths about the scandal have sprung up. Two experts clear them up, and discuss the scandal's enduring significance. “It’s the power of poetry and fiction to overwhelm history.”
The John Hancock Center, c. 1970. Photo: Chicago History Museum, Hedrich-Blessing collection

X Marks the Sky: 50 Years of the John Hancock Center

Before the John Hancock Center, now 875 N. Michigan, was built 50 years ago, the tallest towers in Chicago were the Daley Center and Lake Point Tower. Soon after, the advances of the Hancock led to the Sears Tower and Standard Oil Building. Discover the influence and legacy of this Chicago icon. 
Midway Airport Airfield

Looking Back At ‘The World’s Busiest Airport’

As both of Chicago's airports look toward the future of air travel, here's a look at the ups and downs of Midway's past. When it was the world's busiest airport, Chicagoans would flock to watch airplanes take off and land in the airfield.
Subscribe to History