History

American Experience producer Sharon Grimberg discusses “The Circus”

Aerialist La NormaStep right up! American Experience: The Circus is a four-hour, two-part documentary airs 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 8-9 on WPT. Exploring the colorful history of this distinctly American entertainment, this fascinating film includes extensive historical material from and about Wisconsin, the home of the famed Ringling Bros. and other major acts.

In our exclusive Q&A, writer/producer/director Sharon Grimberg shares her thoughts on the film’s production, as well as the circus itself.

Step right up!

Continue reading American Experience producer Sharon Grimberg discusses “The Circus”

Director’s Cut: Jim Theres, “The Hello Girls”

This week on Director’s Cut, it’s our pleasure to welcome the final guest of our 11th season: director Jim Theres, discussing his documentary The Hello Girls.

In a year which has seen some of the best guests and films we’ve ever had on our show, Theres is under serious pressure! But he rises to the challenge, bringing his A game in both his interview and his film.

They were known as the “Hello Girls” – American women fluent in French and English who answered the urgent call for telephone operators needed in France during World War I.

They took oaths to join the U.S. Army Signal Corps, underwent training by AT&T before boarding ships to Europe, heading to war before most of the American doughboys arrived in France, connected 26 million calls and ultimately proved to be a significant factor in winning the war.

And then they were forgotten.

Read on for more about this film, and about my interview with filmmaker Jim Theres.

Continue reading Director’s Cut: Jim Theres, “The Hello Girls”

You’re Invited to a Royal Wedding!

Aerial view of the wedding of Victoria and Albert from Victoria on MasterpieceFrom Victoria and Albert to Harry and Meghan, nobody does royal weddings like the BBC. Join our partners across the pond for five nights of front-row coverage – live from London! – leading up to live coverage of the wedding of Prince Harry of Wales and American actress Meghan Markle.

Each episode of Royal Wedding Watch unpacks the history, tradition and ceremony surrounding a royal wedding, as well as insight into the union of two very different families. Featuring experts such as historian Lucy Worsley and reporter Anita Rani, the program is hosted by Meredith Vieira and the UK’s Matt Baker.

Read on for all the details!

Continue reading You’re Invited to a Royal Wedding!

WPT Education Brings Hmong History to Wisconsin Classrooms

Becky Marburger

The Wisconsin Hometown Stories project offers a fantastic opportunity for in-depth exploration of the local histories and stories that showcase communities around our state.

WPT Education works side-by-side with teachers in each community to build content and pathways connecting students with the history and stories around them.

Wisconsin Hometown Stories: Eau Claire will premiere later in 2018. As we began our research in that region, an educator survey revealed the need for more digital learning resources – especially biographies and materials that highlight the Hmong community.

Read on to see how WPT’s work in Eau Claire is resulting in new, community-specific digital learning resources – including the history and culture of Hmong residents.

Continue reading WPT Education Brings Hmong History to Wisconsin Classrooms

Earth Day, Every Day – And All Through April on WPT

Wisconsin has a lot to celebrate as we think about Earth Day – now and all through the month of April. We’re the home of Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson and pioneering wildlife ecologist Aldo Leopold, as well as the members of Native nations who continue to care for the land they still inhabit.

Check out these suggestions for programs airing on WPT in the coming weeks – some of which are also available for viewing anytime online or on your digital device.

Read on for our top picks!

Continue reading Earth Day, Every Day – And All Through April on WPT

Top 5 Most-Watched Videos From Wisconsin Life’s Fifth Season

Season five of Wisconsin Life produced some of our most memorable stories yet. On our Facebook page, we had over 137,000 views from our top five most-viewed stories alone. In celebration of the completion of season five, we’ve compiled our top five most-watched stories: Continue reading Top 5 Most-Watched Videos From Wisconsin Life’s Fifth Season

Celebrate Women’s History Month on WPT! Part 2

There’s just so much to share this month about amazing women and the fascinating lives they’ve led. So we’ve broken our highlight post into two parts. (See Part 1 here for some TV highlights throughout the month).

In a vintage photo from the early 1900s, a woman holds an On Wisconsin flagThis round, we’re introducing some of the most inspiring women from Wisconsin – women whose efforts continue to make an impact around the world. Even if some of these names sound familiar, why not meet a few more?

Read on for even more – then, tell us which Wisconsin women, past and present, inspire YOU!

Continue reading Celebrate Women’s History Month on WPT! Part 2

Celebrate Women’s History Month on WPT! Part 1

Anne Morrow Lindbergh poses in a leather aviators capFighters, feminists and “firsts” take the screen this month, showcasing the contributions of women in the modern world.

As we created this post, we actually got overwhelmed by the amount of amazing content out there – what a nice problem to have! So we’ve broken these offerings into two posts.

Read on for Part 1: broadcast highlights in the month to come. And keep your eyes open for Part 2: online resources, podcasts, interactive media and more!

Continue reading Celebrate Women’s History Month on WPT! Part 1

Susan Apps-Bodilly Talks “One-Room School”

Jerry Apps, Wisconsin’s favorite chronicler of rural life, returns to WPT with his fifth special this March, celebrating the life and lessons learned in some of Wisconsin’s 6,000 one-room schools.

Jerry Apps: One-Room School premieres 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 6 on Wisconsin Public Television.

Susan Apps-Bodilly
Photo by Steve Apps

Just as the exceptional education her father received in a one-room school inspired him to become an educator, the dedicated teachers who led his daughter Susan Apps-Bodilly’s classes inspired her do the same.

Now a second-grade teacher at Madison’s Falk Elementary School, Apps-Bodilly spoke with us to discuss some of the lessons that both she and her father continue to share. 

Read on for more!

Continue reading Susan Apps-Bodilly Talks “One-Room School”

Guest Post from WPT Education: How I Became a Game Designer

John Dollar

As an education specialist at WPT, and a former teacher at Sauk Prairie High School, I’m always excited to discover new ways that we can collaborate with teachers to make education come alive for students of all ages.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to the amazing Nikki Lutzke, who teaches fourth grade in southern Wisconsin’s Parkview School District. She and some of her fellow teachers recently joined some of the brightest local minds in history and game design to create something special – something that we know teachers and students all across Wisconsin will love.

Read on for Nikki’s thoughts on her new side gig in video game design – and enjoy!

Continue reading Guest Post from WPT Education: How I Became a Game Designer