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The Pilgrims Weren't So Awesome, One Professor Says


Five stories that have North Texas talking: the Pilgrims weren’t so awesome, about 30 percent of Dallas County children live at or below the poverty line, thousands of pages of JFK investigation documents are now online, and more:

As we approach Thanksgiving, learn about misconceptions about the Pilgrims at 7 p.m. at the Denton Public Library - South Branch. The session is titled: “Sex, Squanto and Separatists: Why (Almost) Everything You Were Taught about the Pilgrims Is Wrong." Guy Litton, a Texas Woman’s University professor who specializes in 19th century American literature, will present tonight’s Professor's Corner. The program states that much of what we think we know about the settlers of the Plymouth Plantation is “a mixture of folklore, myth and urban legend.” Litton will use writings of Puritan settlers to dispel some of the myths. “What did the Pilgrims think about sex, alcohol, witches, the Native Americans, and other matters? The answers may surprise you, and you may never look at Thanksgiving the same way again.”

  • Children’s Medical Center Dallas has released its annual report on children’s health in Dallas County – and the numbers don’t look good. About 30 percent of Dallas County children live at or below the federal poverty line, with an annual income of $23,550 for a family of four. That’s well above the national average of 22 percent.  About 13 percent of Dallas County children were uninsured in 2012 – that’s down from 25 percent in 2008. But many of those children received Medicaid. More Dallas County children than ever — 292,398 — were enrolled in Medicaid in 2012, an increase of 58 percent from 2007, before the recession. In the same period, enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program grew 65 percent, the Children’s report says. “As our economy continues to recover, many families are not sharing in that prosperity, and children are suffering the consequences,” Christopher J. Durovich, president and chief executive officer of Children’s Medical Center said in a news release.

  • A strange new exhibit explores the life of Florence Nightingale, considered the founder of modern nursing. “The Florence Project” features pewter casts of human big toes and thumbs, gold-painted dried animal corpses and a shadow box with dryer lint and human teeth. Fort Worth Weekly describes it as “the magnum opus of North Texas artist, collector and art teacher Tom Sale, who has spent three years and about $10,000 in an obsessive quest to weave historical fact with fantastic fiction” regarding Nightingale’s life. The exhibit is at the Webb Gallery in Waxahachie. It ranges from dioramas in trunks, incredible created artifacts, photographs, artist made handbills, cast body parts, a beautiful decorated dress, to the words of Florence, facts of Florence, an incredible artist leather tooled wheelchair, and taxidermy.

  • The owner of a popular East Dallas bar has died. Louis Canelakes, owner of Louie’s, died Sunday after a short illness. He was 58. He was considered one of the city’s best bartenders, The Dallas Morning News reported. D Magazine named Louis “The Prince of Pour,” and Louie’s was featured on the Food Channel’s popular Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Louie’s was a popular hangout for journalists, politicians and business folks. “Canelakes drew friendships from both the highest and lowest spheres of Dallas, from billionaires to a guy named Jerry, who collected cans out of the trash bin every night,” The News wrote.
Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.