History

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

Celebrate African-American History Month with WPT!

A female college graduate smiles in a still from "Tell Them We Are Rising" Any day is a great day to recognize the many contributions that African-Americans have made to American history and culture. But February offers special opportunities to celebrate  and recognize African-Americans, both famous and not-so-famous, who have made a difference.

Read on for a selection of upcoming programs airing on WPT – and don’t forget our many offerings available anytime online.

Continue reading Celebrate African-American History Month with WPT!

My Favorite Things: Erik Ernst

As 2017 winds to a close, we’re looking back on some of our favorite memories of the year. From favorite programs to community events, this was a big year, with fun run-ins and meaningful moments.

Today’s memories come from Erik Ernst, the promotion manager at Wisconsin Public Television. Read on to find out what he’ll remember the most from 2017!

Public Television’s Role in Inspiring Conversation

Continue reading My Favorite Things: Erik Ernst

Tribal Histories Come Full Circle

With the final three of twelve Tribal Histories programs premiering in December on WPT, each of Wisconsin’s sovereign Indian nations has now shared some of their own stories, in their own words, with the state.

Mik Derks

“When you hear the word ‘history,’ you don’t know what to expect,” says series producer Mik Derks. “What you expect is not what you’re going to get.”

Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe History, the first of the new episodes,  airs 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14.

Derks spoke with Airwaves staff about the project’s culmination. Read on to learn more!

Continue reading Tribal Histories Come Full Circle

“Our House: The Wisconsin Capitol” – Coming Nov. 27

Michael Bridgeman hosted Wisconsin Public Television’s Remarkable Homes of Wisconsin in 2015. As an architecture aficionado and history buff, he brought curiosity and appreciation of the homes’ forms as well as their very human functions. Now, Bridgeman returns to television with a portrait of the state’s architectural crown jewel.

Our House: The Wisconsin Capitol premieres 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 27 on WPT.

We asked Bridgeman to share his thoughts on the many reasons this building resonates with the state’s residents. Read on for more!

Continue reading “Our House: The Wisconsin Capitol” – Coming Nov. 27

Legacy of the USS Lagarto

The USS Lagarto began its life in a Manitowoc shipyard and went down fighting in a sea battle against a Japanese convoy. But its fascinating story didn’t end in the depths of the Gulf of Thailand.

Decades later, details have emerged about what happened to the 86 men who vanished along with the submarine.

Tonight on WPT at 8 p.m., Lost and Found: The Legacy of the USS Lagarto explores what happened to the submarine, its crew — and the families they left behind. 

Watch a preview provided by the Wisconsin Maritime Museum:


Continue reading Legacy of the USS Lagarto

WPT Previews: American Experience’s Mark Samels on The Great War

When he visited Wisconsin this past October, American Experience Executive Producer and UW-Madison alumnus Mark Samels talked with us to give a behind-the-scenes perspective on the making of the PBS series’ new film, The Great War – a three-night event that begins 8 p.m. Monday, April 10 on Wisconsin Public Television.

Watch his behind-the-scenes perspective on the film’s creation and then watch a trailer for this powerful three-part documentary, below.

Quiz: Polka in Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, polka is tied to our identity like beer, brats and cheese! But, how much do you actually know about the music and dance?

Test your knowledge with this 10-question quiz!

And tune in Monday at 7 p.m. for Polka! with musician and host Mollie Busta — better known as Mollie B. — as she explores the history and culture surrounding the often misunderstood dance, the memories it conjures, the people who enjoy it … and the fun it invokes across Wisconsin. Watch the preview and read our interview with Mollie B.

Ready to get out your dancing shoes? Find polka across Wisconsin by exploring this map that lists venues with weekly music and annual festivals.

Funding for Polka! is provided in part by the Stanley J. Cottrill Fund, International Polka Association, Wisconsin Dells Polka Fest, and Friends of Wisconsin Public Television.

Enter the Masterpiece 2017 Sweepstakes!

Do you dream of stepping into the worlds of Victoria and Downton Abbey? (I know I do!) Well, here’s your chance: Enter the 2017 Masterpiece Sweepstakes! The grand prize is incredible: A tour of Downton Abbey’s famous Highclere Castle, a visit to Sherlock filming locations in London, and a chance to explore Victoria sites in Yorkshire.

In addition to the amazing grand prize, you can also win awesome PBS merchandise. BUT, time is running out to enter: The deadline is March 15, 2017. Enter daily at pbs.org/sweepstakes

Masterpiece is offering even more chances to win through Twitter! It’s as easy as this: After you enter, click on the Twitter icon below the words “Invite Your Friends” on the “Thanks for your entry” page. Once you share the sweepstakes via Twitter, you will get another entry (up to 5 additional entries) in the Sweepstakes for each friend that enters. 

Details on the Grand Prize From Masterpiece

“With an itinerary arranged by VisitBritain, Great Britain’s national tourism agency, this trip features a visit to world-famous Highclere Castle, tours of historic estates in Yorkshire filmed for Victoria, and a private tour of the Tower of London, used in Sherlock.

The 7-day, 6-night trip includes economy class round-trip travel to London Heathrow Airport on British Airways from any British Airways operated U.S. gateway city at the time of travel, and includes a connecting one-way flight to Leeds Bradford Airport in Leeds. Accommodations are four-star, including The Royal York Hotel and London’s Edwardian Hotel.

The Grand Prize winner will also receive Downton Abbey, Sherlock, and Victoria merchandise, including the Downton Abbey Complete Limited Edition Collector’s Set DVD, Sherlock Seasons 1, 2, and 3 on DVD, a Sherlock action figure, and Victoria Season 1 on DVD, all from shopPBS.org.”

Behind the Scenes – “Jerry Apps: Never Curse the Rain”

WPT producer Mik Derks has worked with Jerry Apps since 2012. Photo credit: James Gill.

“[Jerry Apps] gave permission to his audiences to remember their childhoods fondly.” -Mik Derks

Jerry Apps: Never Curse the Rain premieres 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 8 on WPT

Over the past five years, WPT producer Mik Derks has been sharing the stories of beloved Wisconsin author, historian and storyteller Jerry Apps with television audiences. This month, the tradition continues with a new documentary: Jerry Apps: Never Curse the Rain. Reflecting on water’s importance throughout his life, Apps shares why his father told him, “Jerry, never curse the rain.” Continue reading Behind the Scenes – “Jerry Apps: Never Curse the Rain”