“COVID-19 has altered our lives in numerous ways: from work to school to staying connected to friends and family. While the country processes a year of loss and uncertainty, many are reflecting on how the pandemic has changed them. For BPR and Foxfire’s COVID oral history project, we hear from Asheville resident Ann Goosmann, interviewed by her son George, a student at UNC-Chapel Hill.” Read full story and listen to the interview here.
“March 2021 marks the 60th anniversary of the start of the Peace Corps and in this latest edition of WUKY’s award winning history series Saving Stories, Doug Boyd with the Nunn Center for Oral History in the UK Libraries shares audio from a Kentuckian who was one of the program’s earliest participants. Angene Hopkins Wilson and her then fiancee Jack Hopkins got accepted into the program and in 1962 were sent to Liberia.
On March 1, 1961, President Kennedy issued an executive order establishing the Peace Corps as a federal agency within the State Department. By June, 1961 the Peace corps had received about 11,000 completed applications. By September of 1961, Kennedy signed legislation that gave permanence to the Peace Corps.” Read full story with link to oral history audio here.
“Jason Burt, of Clarksburg, Calif., knew his grandfather played the trumpet in World War II. He had listened to stories about the 746th Far East Air Force Band boosting morale for servicemen on the front lines of the Philippines theater. But, for decades, the family hadn’t seen his grandfather’s vinyl recordings of the ensemble until 2019, when they were clearing out their grandparents’ house. “I knew they were around, and I was kind of hoping they would turn up at some point. And we found them in the attic,” Burt told NPR’s Morning Edition.” Read full story and listen to an excerpt of the music here.
“In early spring of 2020, something was in the air—both literally and figuratively. For a good portion of the new year, news had been circulating amongst friend groups, families, and in classrooms about a mysterious, pneumonia-like virus ravaging southern China and parts of Europe. For a while, the idea of this disease, now commonly known as COVID-19, stayed in those far-away lands. Here, we didn’t think much of it—for a while, it was chalked up as no more than the flu. Then, something changed. All of a sudden, Americans coming home from the most affected areas of the world began spreading the disease in their communities. People were dying, and at alarming rates.” Read full article here.
“A collaboration project between Auckland Libraries and Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage launches a five-part podcast series today to commemorate one year since the level four lockdown. Called ‘Kei Roto I Te Miru: Inside the Bubble’, the podcast series is a culmination of short oral histories that were collected by oral historians from various communities around the country.” Read full article with links to interviews here.
“Glynn S. Lunney, one of NASA’s first flight directors, who had a major role in guiding astronauts to the moon and whose cool decision-making under pressure helped save the Apollo 13 mission in 1970 after an onboard explosion, died March 19 at his home in Clear Lake, Tex. He was 84.” Read the full article which includes a link to a documentary about Apollo 13, and also an oral history with Lunney, here.
“The Commonwealth, an association of 54 countries in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and the Pacific, has always been a rather mysterious organisation. It evolved gradually over the course of the 20th Century, making it difficult to pinpoint a precise starting date.” Read full story here and see the website here.
“The White House Historical Association has released the latest episode of its podcast, the 1600 Sessions: The First White House Guidebook: Mrs. Kennedy, National Geographic, and the White House Historical Association. In this episode, host and Association President Stewart McLaurin speaks with National Geographic Society’s Senior Director of Library and Archives, Renee Braden, who shares an oral history recorded with Bob Breeden, who was instrumental in the creation of the first White House Guidebook. The first Guidebook was published in 1962 as collaboration between First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, the new White House Historical Association, and the National Geographic Society.” Read full story here and click on the link above to listen to the podcast or watch the video of the story.
“A brutal period in Victoria’s history is set to be retold as part of the Yoo-rrook Justice Commission, the state government’s truth-telling inquiry into the wrongs committed against Aboriginal people after white settlement. One of the most difficult of these truths to confront will be the wave of slaughter unleashed in the mid-1800s, when Indigenous people were massacred by white pastoralists and explorers across the state’s frontiers.” Read full story here.
“A project that began shortly after the coronavirus pandemic emerged is detailing stories of what people, businesses and communities went through to survive the pandemic. A group of students at Fordham University have spent time documenting the stories of Bronx residents. It’s called the Bronx COVID-19 Oral History Project.” Read full story here and see the website, with video interviews here.