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  • “Thanksgiving, 1933. That was the year that devil’s brew touched my lips.” —Studs Terkel

    “Thanksgiving, 1933. That was the year that devil’s brew touched my lips.” —Studs Terkel

    This Thanksgiving, we’re sharing with you a classic from the archive. In this video from 1990, Studs Terkel recalls the end of prohibition and his first taste of alcohol when his mother, the operator of a men’s hotel at Wells and Grand, shared a bottle of whiskey with the patrons to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. We have the world’s largest collection of videos featuring Studs Terkel, and you can watch them all for free on our website.

  • Freedom Fighters in Myanmar

    Freedom Fighters in Myanmar

    On November 7, the people of Myanmar (known as Burma until 1989) voted out their military rulers in the first free election in 25 years. So far, official election results have given the National League for Democracy, the opposition party headed by Aung San Suu Kyi, enough votes to form a majority in the Myanmar parliament, and they are on track to win 80 percent of the vote. While Suu Kyi has been committed to bring democracy to Myanmar through … Continue reading

  • Veteran’s Day and Militarism

    Veteran’s Day and Militarism

    Please, spare a moment to help us out by taking our survey: We’ve been working with a talented group of graduate and undergraduate students at Northwestern University this quarter, who are researching ways to improve our organization and make it stronger financially. It would thus be a big help if you could take 5 minutes to tell us about how you discovered us and why you value the work we do at Media Burn. Thank you. Take the survey Veterans … Continue reading

  • Remembering Gus Savage (1925–2015)

    Remembering Gus Savage (1925–2015)

    Augustus Alexander (Gus) Savage, prominent Chicago civil rights advocate, newspaper editor/publisher and Democratic U.S. Congressman died last weekend. He was 90. He and Harold Washington were friends for decades. Savage managed Washington’s unsuccessful campaign for mayor in 1977. Three years later, both were elected for the first time to the U.S. Congress. In the first of the two Media Burn archival video excerpts, Savage tells his priorities as a Congressman on his first day at the Capitol in 1980. The … Continue reading

  • The World Series and Memories of Casey Stengel

    The World Series and Memories of Casey Stengel

    It’s World Series time. It makes some of us think of Casey Stengel, who managed seven world champion New York Yankee teams from 1949-1958. He also played in three World Series as a player. In 1962, Stengel came out of retirement to manage the worst team in baseball, the New York Mets, who are now trying to win their first World Series since 1980. But, during Stengel’s three years, it was lots more about showmanship than winning.  In this video … Continue reading

  • Another Millionaire + we’re in Newcity!

    Another Millionaire + we’re in Newcity!

    This month, WGN-TV broadcast the last live televised Illinois lottery drawing. It is the end of an era in which “lottery ladies” announced the winning numbers as they popped up on ping pong balls during the nightly news. From now on, the the winning number will be selected by a random number generator, and the results will be posted on the Illinois Lottery‘s web site. Read about the final live lottery draw in the Chicago Tribune. Today we look back … Continue reading

  • “I’ve got a future. My people have got a future.” —Native American activist Mike Chosa

    “I’ve got a future. My people have got a future.” —Native American activist Mike Chosa

    Yesterday was Columbus Day, a holiday celebrating Columbus’s discovery of the Americas, which continues to face opposition from those who feel it ignores much of the troubled history between Native Americans and the European explorers and colonists. With respect to this history, we present this recently preserved footage of Mike Chosa, a member of the Chippewa tribe who worked as a Native American activist for much of his life within the Midwest, particularly in Chicago and from his home in … Continue reading

  • 60th anniversary of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”

    60th anniversary of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”

    “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked….” October 7, 2015 is the 60th anniversary of the first public reading of poet Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl,” at the now legendary Six Gallery Reading in San Francisco. The poem became a defining anthem for the Beat Generation, speaking of drug use, homosexuality, and cultural alienation. This clip from 1991 features Ginsberg describing “the end of the American century.” It was produced for THE 90’s. Audio of … Continue reading