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20TH Century Black History Military History Vietnam War

Racial Conflict in the U.S. Army During the Vietnam War Era

June 5, 2023

In September 1969, African American journalist Wallace Terry reported on “another war being fought in Vietnam — between black and white Americans.” After the 1948 integration of the military, the U.S. Army had tried to be co…

Guest: Beth Bailey
19TH Century Black History Civil War Military History

Black Soldiers & their Families in the Civil War

May 29, 2023

As soon as the first shots of the Civil War were fired at Fort Sumter, free Black men in the North rushed to enlist, but they were turned away, as President Lincoln worried that arming Black soldiers would lead to secession …

19TH Century Religious History

The Oneida Perfectionist Religious Community

May 22, 2023

In 1848, a group of religious perfectionists, led by John Humphrey Noyes, established a commune in Oneida, New York, where they lived and worked together. Women in the community had certain freedoms compared to the outside w…

Guest: Susan Wels
20TH Century 21ST Century Immigration Legal History

The Diversity Visa Lottery

May 15, 2023

In the 1980s undocumented Irish immigrants convinced United States lawmakers to create a program that would provide a path to citizenship for individuals without family connections in the United States. That program eventual…

Guest: Carly Goodman
18TH Century 19TH Century Legal History Women's History

Women & the Law in Revolutionary America

May 8, 2023

Despite a plea from Abigail Adams to her husband to “Remember the Ladies,” women, especially married women, didn’t have many legal rights in the Early Republic. Even so, women used existing legal structures to advocate for t…

20TH Century Black History Civil Rights Movement

Project Confrontation: The Birmingham Campaign of 1963

May 1, 2023

In 1963, on the heels of a failed desegregation campaign in Albany, Georgia, Martin Luther King., Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference decided to take a stand for Civil Rights in “the Most Segregated City in…

Guest: Paul Kix
19TH Century Environmental History Literary History

The Plant Revolution and 19th Century American Literature

April 24, 2023

During the 19th Century, growing international trade and imperialist conquest combined with new technologies to transport and care for flora led to a burgeoning fascination with plant life. American writers, from Emily Dicki…

Guest: Mary Kuhn
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…

19TH Century Reproductive Justice History Women's History

Madame Restell, "The Wickedest Woman in New York"

March 20, 2023

In 19th Century New York, everyone knew who to go to to end an unwanted pregnancy: the French-trained, sophisticated Madame Restell, who lived in a posh mansion on 5th Avenue. In reality, Madame Restell was English immigrant…

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…

19TH Century Biographical History Literary History Women's History

Lydia Maria Child

March 6, 2023

By 1833, Lydia Maria Child was a popular author, having published both fiction and nonfiction, including the wildly successful advice book The Frugal Housewife: Dedicated to those who are not ashamed of Economy. And she had …

Guest: Lydia Moland
20TH Century Chicago History Immigration

The Eastland Disaster

Feb. 27, 2023

On the morning of July 24, 1915, employees of the Western Electric Company and their families excitedly boarded the SS Eastland near the Clark Street Bridge in Chicago, eager to set off for a day of fun in Michigan City, Ind…

19TH Century 20TH Century Chicago History Immigration

The History of Polish Chicago

Feb. 20, 2023

If you’ve ever lived in Chicago, you’ve probably heard at some point that Chicago has the largest Polish population outside of Warsaw. While that’s an exaggeration it’s certainly the case that the Chicagoland region has a la…

20TH Century Black History Chicago History

John H. Johnson & Ebony Magazine

Feb. 13, 2023

When businessman John H. Johnson died in 2005, Ebony Magazine, the monthly photo-editorial magazine that he launched in 1945, reached an estimated 10 million readers. Under the direction of executive editor Lerone Bennet Jr.…

Guest: E. James West
19TH Century 20TH Century Carceral History Chicago History

The History of the Cook County Jail

Feb. 6, 2023

The first Cook County Jail was a wooden stockade, built in 1833 in Chicago, which was then a town of around 250 people. Today, the Cook County Department of Corrections, which takes up 8 city blocks on the Southwest Side of …

20TH Century Black History

The Green Book

Jan. 30, 2023

In 1936, Victor Hugo Green published the first edition of what he called The Negro Motorist Green Book, a 16-page listing of businesses in the New York metropolitan area that would welcome African American customers. By its …

Guest: Alvin Hall
19TH Century Biographical History Literary 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 Black History Civil Rights Movement

The 1968 Student Uprising at Tuskegee Institute

Jan. 16, 2023

Days after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and after months of increasing tension on campus, the students at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama occupied a building on campus where the Trustees were meeting, demandin…

Guest: Brian Jones
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 Women's History

The Aerobics Craze of the 1980s

Jan. 2, 2023

In the late 1960s, Air Force surgeon Dr. Kenneth Cooper was evaluating military fitness plans when he realized that aerobic activities, what we now call cardio, like running and cycling, was the key to overall physical healt…

18TH Century Atlantic World History Pirate History

Stede Bonnet, the Gentleman Pirate

Dec. 26, 2022

Stede Bonnet lived a life of luxury in Barbados, inheriting from his father an over 400-acre sugarcane plantation, along with 94 slaves. But in late 1716, when he was 29 years old, Bonnet decided to leave behind his plantati…