Dominic Charles

Dominic Charles is a MA candidate in history at the George Washington University.  Before arriving in the DMV two years ago, Dominic received a double major in history and economics at the University of Central Florida.  A Florida native, Dominic’s love for local history was inspired by Patrick D. Smith’s historical fiction novel, A Land Remembered, which follows the transformation of Florida from an east coast backwater to a retirement oasis.  At the University of Central Florida, Dominic’s love for local history continued to grow through his work as an archivist at a local museum, located on the banks of the lazy St. John’s River, which housed the history of one of Florida’s oldest communities, Sanford.  At WETA, Dominic wishes to highlight the historic events which are a part of the DMV’s cultural fabric, and learn more about his new home. 

Posts by Dominic Charles

WHFS Sells Out the Deejay

Damian Einstein and Weasel (Jonathan Gilbert) pose for a photo with other WHFS deejays. (Photo source: handout photo found on the Baltimore Sun's website, http://www.baltimoresun.com/entertainment/movies/bs-fe-whfs-20180110-story.html#)

On June 11, 1989, 8,000 WHFS 99.1 listeners crowded into the parking lot in front of Joe’s Record Paradise’s in Wheaton, Maryland for an eight hour concert to protest, station owner, Duchossois Inc.’s, decision to remove Damian Einstein from the airways.  Damian introduced the DMV to the newest music before it exploded on the national scene, and his sudden absence from the airways shocked WHFS’s most loyal fans who feared that Duchossois intended to move on from the progressive rock format. Centered on the freewheeling deejay, the progressive rock format defined WHFS defined the station since 1968. 

Fans were right to be concerned.  Over the course of the next decade, WHFS ditched the deejay for “gold-throated “on-air personalities who aired songs from corporately manufactured playlists.  While these changes initially earned the station a score of new fans, by the end of the decade, it was clear that WHFS lost the loyal support of their “bumper-stickered fans” who felt as if they lost a friend.    

Gambling with Marion Barry's Summertime Legacy

Students participating in the Summer Jobs Program by preforming in the jazz band.  (Photo Source: Washington Evening Star. Used with permission from the DC Public Library Washingtoniana Special Collection).

For the first time since 1979, the future of the city’s Summer Youth Employment Program was in doubt after Sharon Pratt Dixon took the helm for a disgraced Marion Barry in 1991.  One of Pratt Dixon's main political objectives was to tackle the enormous budget deficit left in Marion Barry's wake.  The Summer Youth Employment Program was one of the first programs to be slashed from the budget which meant, for the first time since 1979, young Washingtonians seeking jobs through the program were not guaranteed a slot.  Sensing the tension around the budget cuts, Dixon appealed to the business community to help fill the void, effectively gambling with what might be considered Marion Barry's signature program.