St. Louis on the Air

Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Even before events in Ferguson unfolded last August, the Organization of American Historians (OAH) was planning to hold a session about race relations in St. Louis.

The shooting death of Michael Brown and the ensuing community reaction brought on new meaning for the OAH, as the group convenes its 108th annual meeting April 16-19 in downtown St. Louis.

Author Benjamin Percy
Jennifer Percy

A flu epidemic and nuclear war have wiped out most of America and only a small number of humans survive in an outpost known as the Sanctuary, formerly the city of St. Louis.

This is the premise of Benjamin Percy’s new novel, “The Dead Lands,” which takes place in St. Louis and mirrors the Corps of Discovery in 1804. In the novel, two characters named Lewis Meriwether and Mina Clark lead a small group west to face the dangers of mutant creatures and a brutal army in hopes of discovering a land where civilization thrives.

Former Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.)
Michael Halsband / (Provided by the St. Louis County Library)

Former Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) served in the U.S. House of Representatives for more than 30 years. In 2011, Frank announced he would not seek re-election in 2012.

“I was born with the ability to make people laugh and to enjoy humor. It has served me by keeping me sane,” Frank told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh during an interview recorded last Friday at the St. Louis County Library.

Barney Frank is the author of a new book, “Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage.”

Children from a St. Louis classroom who participate in the Ready Readers program.
Courtesy of Ready Readers

In celebration of D.E.A.R., “Drop Everything And Read,” day on April 12, we are taking a closer look at the importance of reading and getting books into the hands of children.  

Ready Readers is a St. Louis-based nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring preschool age children from low-income communities to love books and develop literacy skills necessary to become readers when they enter kindergarten.

On Thursday, "St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh talked to Lisa Greening and Julia Auch of Ready Readers.

 

Phil Donato is the "Trivia Guy."
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Trivia nights are part of the culture of St. Louis. On weekends it’s not uncommon to find several of the events, which are most often fundraisers for nonprofit organizations.

Phil Donato is St. Louis’ “Trivia Guy.” He’s is also the marketing, events and outreach manager at St. Louis Public Radio.

“It just brings a lot of people together … friends, families and co-workers to unwind. It’s a blue-collar, informal thing,” Donato told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Wednesday.

Missouri Gov. Alexander McNair's residence was at the northwest corner of Main and Spruce Streets. Daguerreotype by Thomas M. Easterly, 1850.
Courtesy of the Missouri History Museum

Many of St. Louis’ buildings have been lost to time, disaster, or destruction. It may seem like an inevitable byproduct of progress, but what do we lose when we lose a historic building? 

“Sometimes what we lose is so much more than the physical structure, it’s our collective, shared memory,” said Andrew Wanko, public historian at the Missouri History Museum, in a conversation with “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Tuesday.

"Lost Buildings of St. Louis" is a new exhibit at the museum that shares the stories behind many of St. Louis’ lost buildings.   

Ophira Eisenberg, host of NPR's "Ask Me Another"
Dan Dion/NPR

Comedian and author Ophira Eisenberg will be in St. Louis April 16, but it won’t be her first time here, she told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Wednesday.

“I’ve done a loop around The Loop, I’ve gone to see the largest replica of the moon on a roof-deck bar,” Eisenberg joked, referring to the giant moon at the Moonrise Hotel.

Eisenberg said she expects to have an “extra good time” because this will be her first appearance in St. Louis with the popular public radio program she hosts, “Ask Me Another.”

Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon, has a large bulge at its equator.
NASA

Something strange has happened on Ganymede, this solar system’s largest moon. Orbiting Jupiter, planetary experts discovered it has a large icy bulge.

“We were basically very surprised,” said William McKinnon, a professor in Washington University's Earth and Planetary Sciences Department. “It’s like looking at old art or an old sculpture. We looked at old images of Ganymede taken by the Voyager spacecraft in the 1970s that had been completely overlooked, an enormous ice plateau, hundreds of miles across and a couple miles high.”

Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

After three decades, Jill McGuire of St. Louis’ Regional Arts Commission will leave her post as executive director on Friday, April 10.

McGuire co-founded RAC in 1985 to help fund and support the arts in St. Louis. Since then, the nonprofit has awarded $90 million to artists and institutions, according to McGuire.

Marathon runner Rae Mohnrmann and Go! St. Louis founder Nancy Lieberman talk about the upcoming Go! marathon with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on April 2, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

At next weekend’s Go! marathon, Rae Mohrmann will run in her 100th marathon.

Mohrmann, of Ferguson, started running competitively when she was a 30-year-old mother. “I needed another goal,” she told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Thursday. But Mohrmann didn’t run in a marathon until she was 49. She’s now a 67-year-old grandmother, and has run marathons in all 50 states.

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