Programming Notes: November 2016

Oct 31, 2016

Tuesday, November 8th is election night! Join the award-winning WAMC News team & NPR for extended special coverage from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday morning. The program will feature speeches, newsmaker interviews, reports from candidate sites, and analysis from WAMC’s reporters and NPR's Political Team. Throughout the night, WAMC will cover the key races of the Northeast. Additionally, the NPR politics team will provide live updates on election returns and analysis of the results. The team includes National Political Correspondent Mara Liasson, NPR Politics podcast host Sam Sanders, Lead Political editor Domenico Montanaro, Sr. Washington Editor and Correspondent Ron Elving, and Congressional Reporter Susan Davis. NPR White House Correspondent Scott Horsley and Demographics Reporter Asma Khalid will provide exit poll analysis. NPR's Tamara Keith will cover the Clinton/Kaine election night event. NPR's Sarah McCammon will be at the Trump/Pence event. NPR correspondents and Member station reporters will join the broadcast from around the country with reaction to the national race, as well as results, interviews and analysis relating to local, Congressional, Senate, and gubernatorial races.

After the much-anticipated election results, join us for a special two-hour Roundtable Panel discussion presented live from the Linda on Wednesday, November 9th from 9 a.m.-11 a.m.

 Also coming up this month we have a cornucopia of special programming for Thanksgiving (11/24/16):

9 a.m.-American as Pumpkin Pie: A History of Thanksgiving

When we sit down to Thanksgiving dinner, we think we know what we're commemorating. After all, the story of Pilgrims and Indians breaking bread together is one of the first history lessons many of us had. But if an actual Pilgrim were to attend your Thanksgiving dinner, chances are he'd be stunned, and not a little disgusted, by what transpired there. On this holiday edition of BackStory, the History Guys search for the true roots of Thanksgiving. They discover that the holiday we celebrate today begins not with the Pilgrims, but with the Victorians, who in the midst of the Civil War sought a national holiday honoring home and family. But did Thanksgiving strengthen the Union, as its proponents had hoped? What relation do Indians have to the holiday in reality — and in myth? And what does football have to do with any of it?

Highlights include:

  • Legendary NFL quarterback Roger Staubach describes what it was like to spend every Thanksgiving on the football field.
  • Historian James McWilliams explains why the Puritans would have turned up their noses at the Thanksgiving foods we consider most traditional.
  • Religion scholar Anne Blue Wills discusses the life of Sarah Hale, the 19th century magazine editor who waged a 30-year campaign to make Thanksgiving a holiday.
  • BackStory listeners —  including experts on the pardoning and the roasting of turkey — weigh in with their thoughts on the holiday.

10 a.m.-The Sporkful: Thanksgiving is for Eaters

"Thanksgiving is for Eaters" is an entertaining combination of in-studio interviews, listener calls, and in-kitchen segments. You’ll learn useful tips about how to make classic Thanksgiving dishes, interesting facts about the science of cooking and the art of eating, and surprising details about the ways in which diverse cultures have adapted Thanksgiving traditions and made them their own.

 Mo Rocca and Amy Sedaris share tips for holiday entertaining, covering everything from what music to play to mediating family disputes. NY Times Magazine drinks columnist Rosie Schaap opens her bar, where she offers the perfect cocktail for a fall day in the kitchen (pro tip: not too many!). Radiolab’s Robert Krulwich discusses the economics of leftovers and tells the story of the time a turkey tried to put the moves on his wife. On the Media’s Brooke Gladstone goes into her kitchen to make her trademark Thanksgiving dessert, a Mennonite dish with saltines in it. (Spoiler alert: Everything goes wrong to hilarious effect, but the dish still comes out just right.) Plus: Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats breaks down the science of bird-brining and basting, and New York Times food editor Sam Sifton explains why cloth napkins on the table are the equivalent of a leather interior in a car.

 Between these lively conversations, you’ll hear from listeners all over the country recounting the sights, smells and tastes that answer the question, “How do you know it’s Thanksgiving in your house?” And we even check in with a real Thanksgiving veteran, a beleaguered but always cheerful Butterball Turkey Talkline Lady.

 11 a.m.-Giving Thanks—or Miigwetch

In this special holiday episode, we're taking a look at the indigenous side of a Thanksgiving table. Minnesota Chef Sean Sherman (the Sioux Chef) gives us a taste of pre-contact American Indian cuisine. We'll also take a look at the complicated history of the most well-known reservation food, fry-bread. And talk with American Indian scholars Anton Treuer and Karenne Wood about their food traditions.

12 p.m.-12:22 a.m.—WAMC’s traditional airing of Alice’s Restaurant

12:22 p.m.—Midday Magazine

2 p.m.-American’s Test Kitchen-Thanksgiving Special: The Crazy History of Thanksgiving Day Parades: Ragamuffins, Hobos, Scary Masks, and Trick or Treat!

Before marching bands, character balloons, and reindeer-driven sleighs began parading down 34th street every Thanksgiving Day, there were beggars, cross-dressers and mischief makers. This week we speak with several historians and experts about the raucous Thanksgiving tradition of ragamuffin parades, and how they gave way to the star-studded parade we are accustomed to today. We'll find out what apple gadgets can make apple pie easier, and we'll taste wine with expert Stephen Meuse. Then we’ll head into the test kitchen to uncover the secrets to making the best Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy for a Crowd.