A few weeks ago I was channel surfing when I came across an interview that Brian Lamb, the man who started C-SPAN, did with someone named Jack Doyle. Doyle, it turns out, has a website called The Pop History Dig (as in archaeological dig) which has approximately 170 stories about various items that make up part of the popular culture history of the United States. I watched the interview, which was complete with film clips relevant to the discussion, and then explored the website. It was fascinating! There are articles about authors, actors, historical events, entertainers, and politicians just to name a few of the topics. The articles have wonderful photographs – including vintage magazine covers and movie posters – that give you a feel for the time. And some of the articles have sidebar boxes that delve into particulars that would have been left out of the main article otherwise. For instance, an article about dancer/actress Cyd Charrise contains a sidebar where she compares her two most famous movie dance partners – Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. I won’t tell you what she said; you can read it for yourself here.
Other articles are about Rachel Carson and her groundbreaking book Silent Spring, Edward R. Murrow, a history of the silent movies, Dinah Shore and Chevrolet, Rosie the Riveter (the most popular of Doyles 170 stories – see Rosie below), the tragedy at Kent State in 1970, Billie Holiday, John Kennedy’s book Profiles in Courage, and American Bandstand. Look at any article and you will realize that Doyle spent countless hours putting it together. On the C-SPAN program Doyle tells Brian Lamb that he has ideas for a few hundred more articles. We can only hope that he has the time and resources to be able to complete them. He is creating a great record of many events in our popular culture and they’re all in one place. This is a unique website. Don’t miss it.