Grating the Nutmeg

Grating the Nutmeg

The podcast of Connecticut history. A joint production of the State Historian and Connecticut Explored.... Show More

Episodes

July 9, 2020

In this episode, Natalie Belanger of the Connecticut  Historical Society talks to historians Brittney Yancy and Karen Li Miller about their ongoing project to uncover the suffrage work of women of color in Connecticut. African American women rallied for the woman’s suffrage cause, determined to ensure black women’s inclusion and electoral self-representation.

if you’d like to learn more about this topic,  visit the CHS’s website a...

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State historian Walt Woodward takes a new look at the actions surrounding the Revolutionary War execution of state hero Nathan Hale,  and finds there are still some burning questions left to be answered about this hasty and irregular event. It’s a story from Walt's new book Creating Connecticut: Critical Moments That Shaped a Great State, just out from Globe Pequot Press. As you’ll soon hear, when looking for answers about the ...

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In this episode CT Explored publisher Elizabeth Normen draws inspiration from the haunting words of her great-great grandmother, the wife of a sea captain during the Great Age of Sail. Her ancestor was one of hundreds of women in the 19th century who made the difficult choice to leave all they knew and those they loved for the uncertainly of a life at sea. What were the joys and hardships for women who made that choice? Find out...

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Mary Donohue, Asst. Publisher of Connecticut Explored and co-author of  the book A Life of the Land: Connecticut’s Jewish Farmers  explores the story of Connecticut’s Jewish farmers in the last century. Surprised that there were Jewish farmers? Many people are but scores of newly arrived Jewish immigrants were assisted in making their lives in poultry and dairy farming throughout the state. Some farms developed into resorts cateri...

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State historian Walt Woodward used his recent shelter-in-place time to create a podcast about the deadliest disease to ever hit Connecticut. The influenza pandemic of 1918, like C0VID-19, stopped life as people-knew-it in its tracks.

Emergency Hospital #16 New Haven[Library of Congress] 

He asked the questions we’re asking about today’s pandemic to pandemic of a century ago.

Where did it come from? How did it spread? Who did it aff...

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Architectural historian Mary Donohue digs deep to uncover which local libraries in Connecticut were funded by robber baron, steel tycoon and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie at the beginning of the 20th century. Why did the City of New Haven turn down a generous gift of $300,000 from Carnegie in 1903 meant to build a large public library? How did communities apply for library construction grants from Carnegie and what were the requi...

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Twice a year, restoration carpenter Tom Linsky and his wife Sally Irons host a heart-cooked colonial feast in their historic 18th century Portland home, as a benefit for their favorite charities. For those events Chef Tom Linskey spends an entire week prepping, preparing, and cooking a totally hearth-cooked panoply of colonial dishes to serve for the benefits' guests. Last month (February 2020), State Historian Walt Woodward s...

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  • Bob Steele, the Voice of Connecticut Radio
  • For more than sixty years, Bob Steele was the voice of Southern New England, entertaining listeners of WTIC AM with his wit and humor. Connecticut author Paul Hensler has written the first-ever biography of Steele, chronicling his hardscrabble beginnings in the Midwest, his early career as a boxer, and his almost accidental hiring as an announcer at WTIC in the midst of the Great Depressi...

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    CT Explored publisher Elizabeth Normen sits down with Dr. Benjamin Foster and Connecticut State Representative Bobby Gibson to talk about their efforts to pass legislation requiring teaching African American history in Connecticut, their vision for the curriculum, and why it matters. “When kids  started to say math is for whites,” Foster, a longtime educator says, “I knew we had to do something” to reconnect students with their ri...

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    February 1, 2020

               Anna Mae Duane has written an amazing new book about James McCune Smith and Henry Garnet, two African American boys who met as young students at the New York African Free School on Mulberry street.  

    Their intertwined, but very different lives of antebellum antislavery activism helped define the possibilities for blacks in American Society.  State historian Walt Woodward interviews UCONN English professor Duane, who tal...

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    In the Winter 2019 issue of Connecticut Explored, Museum of Connecticut History curator Dave Corrigan tackles the obsolescence of everyday objects such as typewriters that were replaced by personal computers. With the advent of digital recording, CDs, and streaming music services, perhaps no industry has experienced more rapid change in the last 20 years than the music industry. But as historians, we know that some people value do...

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    In our first episode for 2020, state historian Walt Woodward interviews author and historian Tom Shachtman talks about his just released book, The Founding Fortunes: How America's Wealthy Paid for and Profited From America's Revolution. In this fascinating economic history covering the years from the Birth of the Republic to the end of the War of 1812, Shachtman asks an important question most historians don't consider...

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           For your holiday enjoyment, State Historian Walt Woodward has gathered together three historic Connecticut Christmas stories, and a Christmas Song: Francis S. Parsons "The Christmas Party" (1923), Louise Chandler Moulton's "What Came to Olive Haygarth" (1867), Abby Allin's "Old Santa Claus (1850), and Walt Woodward's own "A Children's Christmas." 

    Happy Holidays From All the Gra...

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    December 16, 2019

    Maps tell stories. In this episode of Grating the Nutmeg, Natalie Belanger and Ben Gammell of the CT Historical Society uncover the little-known story of 18th-century cartographer Bernard Romans. A new exhibit of his maps at the museum pieces together the life story of a bold, talented, and adventurous immigrant to Connecticut who put his considerable skills to work for the American cause and may have paid the ultimate price for i...

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         For more than a generation, Kendall F. Wiggin has been one of the most influential champions of history issues and institutions in Connecticut. At the end of 2019, Ken is retiring after 21 years as Connecticut's State Librarian. In a revealing interview, State Historian Walter Woodward sat down with Ken for a wide-ranging discussion about his agency's complex role in preserving the state's past, the effect of the ...

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    How did Mark Twain aka Samuel Clemons use scrapbooks to fight unscrupulous publishers who reprinted his work
    without paying him? Why did celebrities like Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony keep
    scrapbooks? How did abolitionists, suffragettes, and African Americans use scrapbooks to tell their story? Before the
    era of google and Instagram, how did American use scrapbooks to curate printed stories that containe...

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    November 1, 2019 57 min

     

     

     

    Say the name Wilbur Cross and most Connecticans think of a parkway. Wilbur Cross the man, however, was a Connectican of extraordinary accomplishment. Born in 1862 in the factory village of Gurleyville, he became a world-class scholar, author, educational reformer, founding Dean of the Yale Graduate school, and, starting at age 68, a popular four-term governor who guided Connecticut through the worst years of the Great Depress...

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    Our guest, Elisabeth Petry is a journalist. She knows how to uncover a clue, follow a lead, and tell a good story. Her mother was bestselling novelist Ann Petry, whose 1946 debut novel The Street became the first novel by an African American to sell more than a million copies. In this episode, Liz tells us more about her family tree—the James and Lane Families—four generations of strivers and achievers descended from self-emancipa...

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             Every Governor of our state makes history, but there have been very few who know their history as well as Connecticut’s current governor Edward M. "Ned" Lamont.”

            In this very special episode, Mary Donohue and Walt Woodward, along with Connecticut Explored publisher Elizabeth Normen and producer Patrick O'Sullivan went to the state capitol to talk with Governor Lamont about a speech – and now audio es...

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    Four hundred years ago, in August 1619, more than 20 kidnapped enslaved African people were sold to the Virginia colonists. Slavery was well established in the early Connecticut Colony, too. Traded, sold, given as gifts, and subjected to beatings as documents attest, the enslaved people of Hartford suffered no less than enslaved people anywhere. In today’s episode, Connecticut Explored’s Mary Donohue finds out about an innovative...

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