From the discovery of Niagara Falls to the War of 1812; from the Underground Railroad to the comedy of Lucille Ball; from the invention of the pacemaker to our struggles with ferocious winter storms; WBFO listeners are trekking through the fascinating history of the Buffalo region.
The station debuted a feature in November 2015 called Niagara Frontier Heritage Moments. This series of one-minute dramatizations showcases significant episodes in the annals of Western New York and the Niagara Peninsula.
Narrated by respected broadcast journalist Susan Banks and featuring the talents of Buffalo-area actors, musicians and sound technicians, each Heritage Moment brings to life the region’s most dramatic events. Some events are famous, some forgotten -- but all are part of the vast historical tapestry that has unfolded in this unique corner of the planet, where the United States meets Canada and the waters of the great inland sea plunge down the world’s most famous cataract.
Jeff Z. Klein, a Buffalo native who left The New York Times after 18 years as a reporter and editor, has been coordinating the Niagara Frontier Heritage Project. He noted that these minute-long “mini-dramas” focus on a variety of topics that range from civil rights and women’s rights, to Native American issues and the influx of immigrants.
“The compelling issues that are explored in these audio vignettes are as important in 2015 as they were one or two centuries ago,” said WBFO News Director Brian Meyer.
More than two dozen milestones in local history will be showcased over the next year.
This is a history of soldiers, housewives, artists and chieftains; drinkers, brawlers, lovers and heroes; immigrants and first responders; spies and athletes. And WBFO listeners can hear it all. The segments air throughout the week on “All Things Considered,” “Here and Now,” and “Weekend Edition.”