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Biographical History Episodes

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 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
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