Culture

The National Memorial Day Concert in Washington, D.C. Photo: Capital Concerts

The Performers of the 2018 National Memorial Day Concert

Every year American troops are honored with a National Memorial Day Concert on the lawn of the Capitol, broadcast live by PBS the day before Memorial Day. Meet the performers, including some famous Chicago natives, in this patriotic special here.
Book covers. Photo: Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Can You Guess the Book by Its Cover?

We're always being told not to judge a book by its cover, but in this case you should: can you identify 20 books from The Great American Read's list of America's 100 favorite novels by just their covers? Test your knowledge here, and get reading!
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, wearing a white belted coat by Canadian brand Line The Label, attend a photocall in the Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace following the announcement of their engagement on November 27, 2017 in London, England. Photo: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Royal Rules: The Odd Restrictions the Royal Family Follows

From who curtsys to whom to the various forms of deference shown to the queen to restrictions regarding travel and dress, the royal family has some unusual strictures that they follow. Brush up on them before the royal wedding this Saturday. 
Kathryn Newton as Amy, Maya Hawke as Jo, Willa Fitzgerald as Meg, and Annes Elwy as Beth, and Emily Watson as Marmee in Little Women

What to Stream This Month

May brings a lot to celebrate: mothers, spring, a royal wedding. Watch two classic American portrayals of mother-daughter relationships, enjoy some spring-themed cooking, and indulge your craving for all things royal with documentaries that go behind the scenes of kings and queens.
Studs Terkel. Photo: Chicago History Museum, iCHi-065438; Stephen Deutch, photographer

Five Extraordinary Conversations from the Studs Terkel Radio Archive

Studs Terkel talked to everyone, from people down on their luck to people at the top of their career. Now many of his insightful conversations are available through the Studs Terkel Radio Archive – discover five exceptional conversations with remarkable people here.
Louisa May Alcott. Photo: Orchard House

Beyond 'Little Women': Louisa May Alcott's Other Writings

Louisa May Alcott may be best-known for her classic Little Women, but she also wrote racy potboilers in which women transgress societal norms under a pseudonym that wasn't traced to her until decades after death, as well as children's fables and moralisti young adult books.
Brandis Friedman at Sun Wah BBQ

Brandis Friedman Wants to Dance (And Eat, And Shop)

She's not just a Chicago Tonight correspondent – Brandis Friedman has also been a beauty and lifestyle writer, considered becoming a professional dancer, and loves eating out. Go behind the scenes with her while she shoots a story and learn why she became a journalist.
Jonah Hauer-King as Laurie in Little Women. Photo: MASTERPIECE on PBS, BBC and Playground

America's Favorite Novels, in TV Form

PBS loves books. From Masterpiece adaptations of classic novels to documentaries about authors, literature plays a big role in our programming. As we celebrate reading with The Great American Read, discover which of America's favorite novels, plus some other worthy books, can be seen on TV.
The Great American Read. Photo by Darwin Vegher on Unsplash

How Many of America's 100 Favorite Books Have You Read?

PBS's The Great American Read has created a list of America's 100 most-loved novels, ranging from classics to sci-fi to romance to humor. See how many you've read, before the series premieres and voting on America's favorite book opens on May 22.
The Chinese Exclusion Act; Little Women; National Memorial Day Concert. Photos: Royal BC Museum; MASTERPIECE on PBS, BBC and Playground; Capital Concerts

What to Watch in May

This month, travel through Southeast Asia with a familiar host, celebrate reading with an adaptation of a classic novel and a book-centric special, learn about a shameful chapter of American history, honor Memorial Day, and meet a Chicagoan who has changed his many students' lives.
Youn Sun Nah, Esperanza Spalding, and Chucho Valdés, and others at International Jazz Day in Havana, Cuba. Photo: Steve Mundinger

The Outstanding Performers of International Jazz Day

Every April 30 for the past six years, some of the world's finest jazz musicians have gathered from around the globe to make music together in celebration of International Jazz Day. Meet some of the performers from last year's concert in Havana, which will be broadcast April 27.
The Chicago "L." Photo: Jackson Hirsch on Unsplash

12 Iconic Works of Chicago Literature

When the rest of the world thinks of Chicago, it's often in terms borrowed from literature: "Hog Butcher for the World," a city of slaughterhouses, a gritty, working-class town. What are some of the most iconic literary depictions of the city?
Pulitzer Prize-winning author and poet Alice Walker

From the Archive: Alice Walker

The Great American Read's list of America's 100 most-loved books has been revealed, and it includes Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1982 The Color Purple. Revisit a 2013 interview with Walker on Chicago Tonight. "I go where my heart says I need to be," she says. 
Carl Kasell on Chicago Tonight

NPR Icon Carl Kasell Dies

Carl Kasell, the beloved NPR newscaster and judge and scorekeeper of the news quiz show Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! died yesterday at age 84. Remember the radio icon with WTTW archival videos: an extended interview, and a behind the scenes look at Wait Wait.
Walled City of Lahore, Pakistan, rebuilt by Emperor Akbar, 16th Century. Photo: Nutopia Ltd

The Story of Humanity Through the Story of Art

The new nine-part series Civilizations surveys the global history of art through a multiplicity of voices. “There is this common bond in humanity, which is the urge to create," says the executive producer. "Art, in a way, is what defines us as humans."
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