As the famous saying goes, journalism is the first rough draft of history. Over the years, our Public Programs have touched on the world of newspapers, reporting, and media, and how it has helped shape the momentous events in American history. Enjoy two audio recordings with diverse views of the news: first, an exploration of the legendary black newspaper The Chicago Defender and how it battled entrenched racism in the United States, and second, a DiMenna Children’s History Museum program that offers a kid’s-eye view of the Pentagon Papers leak with the son of Daniel Ellsberg, who helped his father secretly photocopy the notorious study.
The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America
Feb. 9, 2017
With articles written by some of America’s most important figures including Ida B. Wells and Martin Luther King, Jr., The Chicago Defender chronicled and influenced the history of the 20th century from Jim Crow and the Great Migration to the elections of Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy. Author Ethan Michaeli and journalist Brent Staples discuss the history of race in America through the lens of this legendary black newspaper.
The Kid Who Helped Leak the Pentagon Papers
Feb. 3, 2018
Acclaimed children’s author Steve Sheinkin (Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War) talks with DiMenna Children’s History Museum Director Alice Stevenson and Robert Ellsberg who, at 13, helped his father Daniel Ellsberg photocopy the Pentagon Papers so they could be distributed to the press. Sheinkin and Ellsberg help families understand one of the biggest scandals of the 20th century, the “leak” that sparked them all.
Top image: A 1941 photo of the linotype operators of the Chicago Defender (Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs Division)