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20TH Century Episodes

20TH Century

Keeping Secrets in the 1950s

Nov. 21, 2022

Americans in the 1950s, yearning to return to normalcy after the Great Depression and World War II, got married, had lots of kids, and used their newly middle-class status to buy cookie-cutter houses in the suburbs. But not …

20TH Century Biographical History LGBTQIA+ History

Gordon Merrick

Nov. 14, 2022

In 1970, writer Gordon Merrick published The Lord Won’t Mind , advertised as “the first homosexual novel with a happy ending,” his fifth novel but first to focus on a gay romance story. The novel was a hit and stayed on the …

Guest: Joseph Ortiz
20TH Century Biographical History Women's History

Elsie Robinson

Nov. 7, 2022

As a girl born in 1883 to a family who couldn’t afford to send her to college, Elsie Robinson had limited options. To escape the drudgery of small-town life and then a stifling marriage, Elsie wrote. And wrote. And wrote. Wh…

20TH Century Reproductive Justice History Women's History

The Politics of Reproductive Rights in 1960s & 1970s New York

Oct. 31, 2022

Prior to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973, much of the focus of reproductive rights organizing in the US was done in the states, and nowhere was that more effective than in New York, where leftist feminists in groups like Re…

20TH Century Chicago History Latino/a History Riots

The 1966 Division Street Uprising & the Puerto Rican community in Chicago

Oct. 24, 2022

In 1966, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley declared that the first week of June would be known as “Puerto Rican Week,” culminating in the first Puerto Rican Parade, to honor the growing Puerto Rican population in the city. Afte…

20TH Century Biographical History Immigration Labor History Latino/a History

Bert Corona

Oct. 17, 2022

Labor leader and immigrant rights activist Bert Corona viewed Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants in the United States, both with and without documentation, as one people without borders, and he understood that their st…

20TH Century Immigration Latino/a History

The Effect of the Mexican Revolution on Mexican Immigration to the U.S.

Oct. 10, 2022

The Mexican Revolution in the early 20th Century was a pivotal moment in Mexican history, and it was also a pivotal moment in United States history, as huge numbers of Mexicans fled war-torn Mexico and headed to the US borde…

Guest: Alda Dobbs
20TH Century Reproductive Justice History Women's History

The Pacific Coast Abortion Ring

Sept. 26, 2022

In mid-1930s, pregnant women in cities in California, Oregon, and Washington could obtain safe surgical abortions in clean facilities from professionals trained in the latest technique. The only catch? The abortions were ill…

20TH Century Biographical History Reproductive Justice History Women's History

Mary Ware Dennett & the Birth Control Movement

Sept. 19, 2022

For birth control advocate Mary Ware Dennett, the personal was political. After a difficult labor and delivery with her third child, a physician told Mary Ware Dennett she should not have any more children, but he told her n…

20TH Century Biographical History British History Women's History

Agatha Christie

Sept. 5, 2022

Agatha Christie is the best-selling novelist of all time, whose books have been outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. You can probably name several of her books and recurring characters, but how much do you know about A…

Guest: Lucy Worsley
20TH Century Military History Women's History World War II

The Women who Programmed the ENIAC

Aug. 8, 2022

During World War II, the United States Army contracted with a group of engineers at the University of Pennsylvania Moore School of Electrical Engineering to build the ENIAC, the world’s first programmable general-purpose ele…

Guest: Kathy Kleiman
19TH Century 20TH Century Asian-American History

Filipino Nurses in the United States

Aug. 1, 2022

A February 2021 report by National Nurses United found that while Filipinos make up 4% of RNs in the United States, they accounted for a stunning 26.4% of the registered nurses who had died of COVID-19 and related complicati…

19TH Century 20TH Century Black History Legal History

The Townsend Family Legacy

July 25, 2022

When Alabama plantation owner Samuel Townsend died in 1856, he willed his vast fortune to his children and his nieces. What seems like an ordinary bequest was anything but, since Townsend’s children and nieces were his ensla…

20TH Century Biographical History Women's History

Dale Evans, Queen of the West

July 11, 2022

Dale Evans is probably best known as the Queen of the West, the wife and co-star of the King of Cowboys, Roy Rogers. But before she ever met Roy, Dale had a successful career in singing, songwriting, and acting, and she had …

20TH Century LGBTQIA+ History Riots

The 1966 Compton's Cafeteria Riot

June 27, 2022

On a hot weekend night in August 1966 trans women fought back against police harassment at Compton’s Cafeteria in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. Although the Compton’s riot didn’t spark a national movement the way…

Guest: Susan Stryker