Headlines of Yore

35 years before ‘Hamilton,’ this legendary DJ was using rap to teach history in Philly middle schools

The “Ace from Outer Space” worked locally at WDAS — when he wasn’t cutting records, running for office, or helping educate kids.

Henderson made an appearance in the 1957 movie 'Jamboree' alongside Dick Clark

Henderson made an appearance in the 1957 movie 'Jamboree' alongside Dick Clark


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Doug “Jocko” Henderson was a man of many talents, and by all accounts, ahead of his time.

Best known as a legendary DJ who heralded the rise of rock and roll, he once ran for Congress and recorded several of his own albums. In the early 1980s, he was able to convince local educators that rap lyrics might be a good vehicle for learning.

Here’s the story of how Jocko partnered with the School District of Philadelphia to use rap to teach history.



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