Playlist History


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.
Geoffrey Baer riding a 6000-series CTA car from 1959 on the Purple Line

A Sneak Peek at Geoffrey Baer's Upcoming Special

Geoffrey Baer and a production crew have been riding the rails filming his next special, Chicago by L, and we caught a behind-the-scenes look at the program on a train car built in 1959. Watch Geoffrey speak with the show's producer and a CTA employee. 
An antiwar march in Chicago before the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Photo: David Wilson/Wikimedia Commons

The 1969 Clash Between the Counterculture and the Establishment in a Chicago Courtroom

The Chicago Eight conspiracy trial pitted the counterculture of the late 1960s against the government and the establishment in an era-defining battle that featured everything from Allen Ginsberg engaging in a Hindu chant to the judge ordering a defendant to be bound and gagged.
Country Music writer and producer Dayton Duncan; producer Julie Dunfey; and director and producer Ken Burns. Photo: Evan Barlow

An Interview with the Writer and Producer of Ken Burns's 'Country Music'

“Country music is a different way to look at who we are as people and what our shared history is," says Dayton Duncan, the writer and producer of Ken Burns's upcoming eight-part Country Music documentary series. "It is uniquely American in its origin."
The WLS National Barn Dance Cast, October, 1944. Image: Courtesy Lee Cannon/Flickr

When Chicago Was a Center of Country Music

Chicago is well-known for music: electric blues, gospel, jazz, house. For a couple decades, it was also home to one of the United States' most popular country music radio shows, a program that launched the careers of stars and may have inspired the Grand Ole Opry.
Fans congregate outside Wrigley Field before World Series Game 3 in 2016. Photo: Arturo Pardavila III via Wikimedia Commons

How Chicago's Ballparks Reflect the American City (For Better or Worse)

Wrigley Field is beloved; Guaranteed Rate Field was essentially outdated within a year of construction. The Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger, who wrote a book on American ballparks, discusses the two parks and how they reflect larger trends in American urbanism. 
Violence against a black man during the 1919 Chicago race riot. Photo: Chicago History Museum / The Jun Fujita negatives collection

The Horrific Violence and Continuing Legacy of Chicago's 1919 Race Riot

“1919 represents a moment in time that is not that distant in the past in which you can see the violence of white supremacy enacted all across the country,” says a historian. And its effects still resonate today, in housing and the relationship between police and black communities.
Henry Gerber

The Chicagoan Who Founded the Earliest Gay Rights Group in America

The Society for Human Rights, founded by Chicago postal worker Henry Gerber, didn’t last long, but its legacy inspired various groups in the decades to come. Gerber's Old Town home where he was arrested in 1925 was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2015.
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