Latest Episode: Anything for Speed
People have raced cars in the Green Mountains since 1903. There were racetracks in every corner of the state: at fairgrounds, in farmers’ back fields, and finally at dozens of dedicated racetracks. Thousands of Vermonters have been drivers, mechanics, track officials, and spectators at those tracks over the past 115 years.
About the Show
Before Your Time is presented by the Vermont Historical Society and the Vermont Humanities Council, and edited and distributed by VTDigger. Every episode, we go inside the stacks at the Vermont Historical Society to look at an object from their permanent collection that tells us something unique about our state. Then, we take a closer look at the people, the events, or the ideas that surround each artifact.
People have raced cars in the Green Mountains since 1903. There were racetracks in every corner of the state: at fairgrounds, in farmers’ back fields, and finally at dozens of dedicated racetracks.
More than 600 Vermonters died overseas fighting in World War I. But thousands more brought their unique experiences of battle back to their home state.
Many of Vermont’s cemeteries date back multiple centuries. They’re filled with worn-down stones that may only offer glimpses of the personal histories of the dead. But these cemeteries still hold lessons for the people who visit them today.
Many Vermonters felt a sense of liberation during the nation’s first “bike boom” in the 1890s, when bikes became cheaper and easier to ride. Although the state’s early bike clubs were the province of elites, underrepresented groups soon took up the new technology.
Vermonters love weather. They love bragging about it, complaining about it, hiding inside from it, and playing outside in it. It’s a topic of conversation across the state.
We still need libraries. But what is their role in the age of the internet? And in a state with so many beautiful libraries, why is it such a challenge to keep them going?
Vermont today has no shortage of knitters, crocheters, rug hookers, silkers, sewers and felters. Some are avid hobbyists, and some make a living from their craft. But all are part of a long history of fiber arts in Vermont.
Among its many myths and images, Vermont is now considered a place to get excellent alcohol. Today’s visitors may not know that we used to be one of the driest states in the nation.
While the country grappled with scandals like Vietnam and Watergate, back-to-the-land communes offered settlers an alternative path in Vermont. But the 1970s were also good for business in the state.
In the years after World War II, Vermont transformed the way it sold itself to outsiders. That shift in identity made Vermont a four-season state for travelers. It also changed the state’s landscape.
Memphis has soul, Nashville has country. What is Vermont’s music? You may as well ask, “Who is a Vermonter?” Even in the 1930’s, those questions resisted easy answers.
To this day, the 1927 flood is considered the biggest natural disaster in Vermont’s history. But the flood was an even bigger turning point.