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TV & Radio

TV & Radio

If you are interested in interviewing Walt Woodward for your article or program, please contact the Office of the State Historian at walt@uconn.edu or (860) 570-9089.  If you are interested in a full-length talk or lecture for your organization, please visit the Talks page for more information on available talks and scheduling.


TV Interviews and Recorded Lectures
See the State Historian historyifying his way across the state in LIVING COLOR!  It’s the next best thing to BEING THERE!  In stereo where available.


Screencap - Fundamental Orders CT 1

Hidden History: Why are we called “The Constitution State?”

What’s in a name? The Nutmeg State, The Land of Steady Habits, and The Constitution State are all monikers of our fine state. But the latter is one with a history of its own. Photojournalist Mike Townsend takes a look at the ties between the Constitution State, and the Fundamental Orders in this brief edition of FoxCT’s Hidden History. (Total Running Time: 1:59)


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Updates on Old Newgate Prison

State rep. Tami Zawistowski, State Historian Walter Woodward, and State Historic Preservation Officer Dan Forrest talk about the history of Old Newgate Prison and Copper Mine, and provide a status report on the restoration of the treasured East Granby tourist attraction. (Total Running Time: 26:56)


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Hidden History: Connecticut’s Long, Tragic History of Floods

In this brief news segment, part of FoxCT’s Hidden History series, State Historian Walt Woodward and Rich Malley of the Connecticut Historical Society explain how the number of long rivers in Connecticut have left the state subject to major floods, and how they have affected state history. (Total Running Time: 2:43)


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“Connecticut in 1764: On the Threshold of the Next New World”

In this talk, part of the commemoration of the 250th anniversary of St Mark’s Episcopal Church in New Canaan, State Historian Walt Woodward paints a thorough and fascinating portrait of life in the colony of Connecticut during a pivotal year in its history. From climate and demographics to society, politics, and religion, this talk will give you a new understanding of everyday life in Connecticut in 1764.

After clicking the link, scroll down and click on ‘Walt Woodward’ to see the video of his talk. (Total running time: 43:35.)


Nyberg interview pic

“Connecticut’s Singing Historian” – Interview with Ann Nyberg

Everything you wanted to know about the Office of the State Historian and the current State Historian, Walter Woodward. In this interview with Connecticut news personality Ann Nyberg, he talks about his work at the University of Connecticut, explains how Connecticut came to be known as “The Constitution State,” sheds light on his mysterious past, and even sings (yes, sings!) about what Connecticut means to him.  (Total running time: 27:38)


Screencap - OSH charter talk, May 2012

Connecticut’s Royal Charter of 1662: An Old State House Lunchtime Lecture & Discussion

Connecticut’s Royal Charter of 1662 is arguably the most important document in Connecticut’s history.  On the occasion of its 350th anniversary, State Historian Walter Woodward talks about why it played such a significant role in the state’s past and continues to resonate in the present.

Professor Woodward is joined by attorney Wesley Horton and former congressman and University of New Haven President Emeritus Larry DeNardis, for a lively panel discussion moderated by Diane Smith of CTN. Part of the Connecticut Old State House Lunchtime Lecture & Discussion series. (Total running time: 1:12:00)


Screencap - JWJ medicine talk, Feb 2012 (3)

The Medical Practice of John Winthrop, Jr., and the Nature of Healing in 17th Century Connecticut

John Winthrop, Jr. was the most sought-after physician in colonial America.  Requests for his medical advice and treatment came from as far away as Europe and the West Indies. His medical alchemy provided a unique kind of healing, one that presages the modern pharmaceutical industry. In this illustrated lecture, Walt Woodward talks about what it was like to be ill in colonial America and how early Connecticans found healing.

Part of the Robert U. Massey/Hartford Medical Society History of Medicine Lecture Series at the University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, CT. (Total running time: 1:08:00)


Screencap - Nathan Hale C-SPAN, Aug 2010 (2)

The Capture and Execution of Nathan Hale

In 1776, Revolutionary War soldier Nathan Hale was hanged as a spy in New York City by the British General William Howe. He was twenty-one at the time. Born in Coventry, Connecticut, the state declared him its “State Hero” in 1985. The state historian explored contradictory accounts of Hale’s capture and execution.

This was the keynote address of the Nathan Hale Symposium held by Connecticut Landmarks to explore new research into the life and times of Nathan Hale. The event was held on Saturday, August 7, 2010, in the First Congregational Church of Coventry. (Total running time: 31:18)


Radio Interviews

Public radio is alive and well in Connecticut, and the State Historian is a frequent guest on many of WNPR’s popular programs.  For more information on which AM and FM frequencies to tune into, or to listen to WNPR live via their internet stream, click here. We’ve linked to a few favorite radio appearances below.


The Colin McEnroe Show on WNPR
The Women Who Served In America’s Fields

After witnessing Belgians starve under the harsh treatment of Germany before World War I, Herbert Hoover determined to never let that happen in America. So, when the men marched off to war in both World War I and again in World War II, the women marched out to the fields.

Everyone knows Rosie the Riveter, the iconic symbol of the American women who produced munitions and war supplies in factories during World War II. Few people know that the Woman’s Land Army of America is the rural equivalent of Rosie, producing enough food to feed the troops and project an image of abundance and strength abroad.  In this show, you’ll meet two women who worked on Connecticut farms for the Woman’s Land Army as young teenagers during World War II.


Rising Tides: Brand Consciousness

In February 2016, The Greater Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts launched a video to rebrand the region long known as the “Pioneer Valley” as “West Mass.” The video has since become the target of social media mockery and an online petition to scrap the new brand.

NEXT’s home state of Connecticut has had nine different slogans since 1980. And while “Live Free or Die” has endured in New Hampshire, the state has built on it to create a more cheerful message, like in the video below, which encourages visitors to “Live Free and Climb.” We discuss the ins and outs of place-branding with Connecticut State Historian Walt Woodward. Before becoming a historian, Woodward worked in advertising from 1970 through 1998, creating place-branding campaigns for cities and states around the country. Woodward talks about the struggles and successes of recent branding campaigns in New England, as well as the New England brand itself, an attempt by colonist John Smith to sell this cold, rocky land to folks back home.


Where We Live on WNPR
Why Doesn’t My Town Have A Mayor? Answering Your Questions On Connecticut Town Government

Recently we asked you what questions you have about how your town government works. This hour, two listeners join us to ask their questions and we try to answer them. It’s part of something new that WNPR is doing — we’re calling it Connecticurious — where we find out what you want to know. WNPR’s digital editor joins us to tell us more.

Connecticut’s State Historian joins us, too, to explain how Connecticut ended up with 169 towns. His explanation may help us understand why some towns despise the R word: regionalization.


Where We Live on WNPR
Closed But Not Forgotten: The History And Future Of Connecticut’s Old State House

At 220 years old, Hartford’s Old State House is a relic from the past. It’s even thought to be inhabited by ghosts from our state’s history. But in the summer of 2016, this Connecticut treasure was now closed to the public and it may even lose its historic memorabilia — the result of the state’s ongoing budget problems. This show examines the history of the Old State House and discuss what the future holds for the building.


cmeshow_dec2014The Colin McEnroe Show on WNPR
The Hartford Convention: 200 Years Since We Started the Fight Over States’ Rights

Recorded live in the Senate Chamber of Connecticut’s historic Old State House.

In December 1814, the Hartford Convention brought together prominent, disgruntled Federalists from New England states to air out their bitterness over the War of 1812 and the succession of Virginia presidents who didn’t have the Northeast interests at heart.  The rest of the country screamed treason — but was it?  Come join the debate!


wnpr_typewriterThe Colin McEnroe Show on WNPR
Hartford was the Typewriter Capital of the Country

These were the machines on which the business prose of America was written, but also much of its poetry. Recorded live from the New Britain Museum of American Art at their new exhibit: Click! Clack! Ding! The American Typewriter. Guests include Greg Fudacz, a typewriter collector, enthusiast, and “pseudo typewriter historian,” and Walter Woodward, Connecticut State Historian.


WNPR_ctlegendsThe Colin McEnroe Show on WNPR
The Real Revolutionary Connecticut and Other States’ Theme Songs

As most of you know, the state has just jumped into a $27 million marketing push with the slogan “Still Revolutionary.” The only problem with that is that Connecticut has always appeared to be, at best, a supporting player in the story of that war. We were really good and getting provisions to the troops. We had a couple of largely forgotten battles. We had Israel Putnam, a genuinely badass warrior and Nathan Hale, who was a complete unknown until long after the conflict ended when there was indeed what amounted to a marketing campaign to bring his story to the forefront.

We wanted to talk a little more about all of the preceding, and then we found out that State Historian Walter Woodward actually used to work in advertising. And wrote state jingles.