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Political History Episodes

20TH Century Civil Rights Movement Native American History Political History

The 1972 Occupation of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

April 17, 2023

While voters were casting their ballots in the 1972 presidential election, Native demonstrators had taken over the Bureau of Indian Affairs building in Washington, DC, barricading themselves in with office furniture and prep…

20TH Century Political History

The Southern Strategy

April 10, 2023

In the decades following the Civil War, African Americans reliably voted for the Republican Party, which had led the efforts to outlaw slavery and enfranchise Black voters; and white southerners reliably voted for the Democr…

20TH Century Biographical History Black History Chicago History Political History

Harold Washington

April 3, 2023

In 1983, Harold Washington took on the Chicago machine and won, with the help of a multiracial coalition, becoming the first Black mayor of Chicago. Winning the mayoral election was only the first fight, and 29 of the 50 ald…

20TH Century Fashion History Political History Women's History

The 1968 White House Fashion Show

March 27, 2023

On February 29, 1968, Lady Bird Johnson hosted the first–and last–White House Fashion Show. The fashion show, intended both to highlight the fourth largest industry in the United States and to promote domestic tourism, inadv…

20TH Century Political History Women's History

The National Women's Conference of 1977

March 13, 2023

In her 2015 book, Gloria Steinem described the National Women’s Conference of 1977 as “the most important event nobody knows about.” The four-day event in Houston, Texas, which brought together 2,000 delegates and another 15…

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 Political History 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…

18TH Century Political History

Independence Day

July 4, 2022

On July 4, Americans will eat 150 million hot dogs, spend $1 billion on beer, and watch 16,000 fireworks displays (and those are just the official ones). But why do we celebrate on July 4, when did it become a national holid…

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…

18TH Century Political History

The Cabinet

April 18, 2022

Today, when Americans think of it at all, they take for granted the institution of The Cabinet, the heads of the executive departments and other advisors who meet with the President around a big mahogany table in the White H…

19TH Century Biographical History Black History Political 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…

20TH Century Political History Women's History

The Original Fight for the Equal Rights Amendment

Oct. 18, 2021

After the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, enfranchising (some) women, lots of questions remained. If women could vote, could they serve on juries? Could they hold public office? What about the array of state-laws that s…

19TH Century Food & Drink History Political History

Prohibition in the 1850s

Aug. 16, 2021

Popular depictions of prohibition in the United States usually show the speakeasies, bootleggers, flappers, and bathtub gin of the Roaring Twenties, but earlier attempts at prohibition stretch back far into the 19th century.…

Guest: Kyle Volk
20TH Century Black History Civil Rights Movement Political History

Black Teachers & The Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina

July 12, 2021

On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court decided unanimously in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas that that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional. Although the process was slow and conten…