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Biographical History Episodes

19TH Century Biographical History Women's History

American Women Writers in Italy in the 19th Century

Jan. 23, 2023

The second half of the nineteenth century was a momentous time in Italian history, marked by the unification of the peninsula and the formation of the Kingdom of Italy. Three American women writers had a front-seat view of t…

Guest: Etta Madden
20TH Century Biographical History Black History Political History Women's History

Shirley Chisholm

Jan. 9, 2023

Throughout her life, Shirley Chisholm fought for coalitional change. She was the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress in 1968, the first Black woman to run for President of the United States in 1972, co-fo…

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 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 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
19TH Century Atlantic World History Biographical History Black History British History Women's History

Mary Seacole

Aug. 29, 2022

When the United Kingdom joined forces with Turkey and France to declare war on Russia in March 1854, Jamaican-Scottish nurse Mary Seacole decided her help was needed. When the British War Office declined her repeated offers …

17TH Century Biographical History British History Women's History

Henrietta Maria

Aug. 22, 2022

Henrietta Maria, the French Catholic wife of King Charles I of England, Scotland, and Ireland in the 17th Century, was called a “Popish brat of France” by her British subjects, blamed for the English Civil War, and seen as a…

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 Asian-American History Biographical History Political History Women's History

Patsy Mink

May 23, 2022

In Patsy Mink’s first term in Congress in 1965, she was one of only 11 women serving in the US House of Representatives, and she was the first woman of color to ever serve in Congress. Mink was no stranger to firsts, being t…

20TH Century Asian-American History Biographical History Immigration Women's History

Mary Paik Lee

May 2, 2022

Mary Paik Lee (Paik Kuang Sun) was born in the Korean Empire on August 17, 1900, and was baptized by American Presbyterian minister Dr. Samuel Austin Moffett, one of the first American Presbyterian missionaries to come to Ko…

Guest: Jane Hong
20TH Century Biographical History Women's History World War II

Cordelia Dodson Hood

March 28, 2022

When German troops invaded Austria in 1938, Cordelia Dodson was visiting Vienna, living with her siblings as they studied German, attended the opera, and marched with Austrian students protesting against Hitler. Even with th…

20TH Century Biographical History LGBTQIA+ History Sports History Women's History

Babe Didrikson Zaharias

March 14, 2022

Born in 1911, Mildred Ella Didrikson Zaharias, who went by the nickname “Babe,” was a phenomenal, and confident athlete. Babe won Olympic gold in track and field, was an All American player in basketball, pitched in exhibiti…

19TH Century 20TH Century Biographical History Black History LGBTQIA+ History Women's History

Alice Dunbar-Nelson

Feb. 21, 2022

Poet, essayist, and activist Alice Dunbar-Nelson is perhaps best known as the widow of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, but she is a remarkable figure in her own right. Born in New Orleans in 1875 to a mother who had only recently…

Guest: Tara T. Green