Biographical History Episodes

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…

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

Julia Chinn

Feb. 7, 2022

Julia Chinn was born into slavery in Kentucky at the tail end of the 18th Century. Despite laws against interracial marriage, Richard Mentor Johnson, the ninth Vice President of the United States, called Julia Chinn his wife…

19TH Century Biographical History Black History Women's History

Mary Ann Shadd Cary

Jan. 17, 2022

Mary Ann Shadd Cary, born in Delaware in 1823, was a teacher, a writer, an abolitionist, a suffragist, and a lawyer, and is considered to be the first Black woman to publish and edit a newspaper in North America, The Provinc…

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

Mabel Ping-Hua Lee

Dec. 13, 2021

Mabel Ping-Hua Lee was born in China in 1896 but lived most of her life in the United States, where, due to the Chinese Exclusion Act, she had no path to naturalization until the law changed in 1943. Even though it would not…

20TH Century Art History Biographical History Black History Post-WW2 History Women's History

Loïs Mailou Jones

Dec. 6, 2021

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1905, artist Loïs Mailou Jones’s career spanned much of the 20th Century as both a painter and a teacher of generations of Black artists at Howard University. Jones faced racial discriminati…

19TH Century 20TH Century Biographical History Native American History Women's History

Zitkála-Šá

Oct. 11, 2021

Writer, musician, and political activist Zitkála-Šá, also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, was born on February 22, 1876, on the Yankton Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where she lived until she was eight. When Zitkála-…

Guest: P. Jane Hafen
20TH Century Biographical History Black History Food & Drink History Post-WW2 History Women's History

Chef Lena Richard

Sept. 20, 2021

Over a decade before Julia Child’s The French Chef appeared on TV, a Black woman chef hosted her own, very popular cooking show on WDSU-TV in New Orleans. At a time when families were just beginning to own televisions, Chef …

19TH Century Biographical History Women's History

Elizabeth Packard

Aug. 2, 2021

Elizabeth Packard was born in Massachusetts in 1816 into a comfortable home where her parents were able to provide for her education. She taught briefly at a girls’ school before at age 23 agreeing at her parents’ urging to …

Guest: Kate Moore
20TH Century Biographical History History Of Science & Medicine

Mary Mallon (The Sad & Complicated Story of "Typhoid Mary")

July 26, 2021

Mary Mallon, known to history as Typhoid Mary, immigrated from Northern Ireland to New York City at age 15, around 1883. She found work as a cook, a well paying job for an immigrant woman and worked for number of different f…

Guest: Kari Nixon
19TH Century 20TH Century Biographical History LGBTQIA+ History Women's History

Sophonisba Breckinridge

June 28, 2021

Sophonisba “Nisba” Preston Breckinridge, born April 1, 1866, was a woman of firsts. Breckinridge was the first woman admitted to the Kentucky bar to practice law in 1895; the first woman to earn a PhD in Political Science at…

Guest: Anya Jabour
19TH Century 20TH Century Biographical History Black History Civil War Military History Women's History

Susie King Taylor

June 21, 2021

Susie King Taylor was born into slavery in Georgia in 1848. With the help of family members, she was educated and escaped, joining the Union army at the age of 14, to serve ostensibly as a laundress, but in reality as a nurs…

Guest: Ben Railton