Episodes

October 18, 2021

The Original Fight for the Equal Rights Amendment

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 st...

20TH Century Women's History

October 11, 2021

Zitkála-Šá

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-Š...

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

October 04, 2021

Women in the U.S. Military during the Cold War

Nearly 350,000 American women served in the US military during World War II. Although the women in the military didn’t engage in combat their presence was vital to the American effort, in clerical work as well as in driving t...

20TH Century Women's History

September 27, 2021

Freedom Suits in Maryland & DC, 1790-1864

Slavery was legal in Maryland until November 1, 1864, when a new state constitution prohibited the practice of slavery. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation the year before had declared slaves in the Confederate states to be f...

18TH Century 19TH Century Black History

September 20, 2021

Chef Lena Richard

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 L...

20TH Century Biographical History Black History Food & Drink History Women's History

September 13, 2021

African American AIDS Activism

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), in 2018, 13% of the US population was Black and African American, but 42% of new HIV diagnoses in the US were from Black and African American people. This...

20TH Century Black History LGBTQIA+ History

September 06, 2021

The Coors Boycott

In the mid-1960s, to protest discriminatory hiring practices, Chicano groups in Colorado called for a boycott of the Coors Brewing Company, launching what would become a decades-long boycott that brought together a coalition ...

20TH Century Food & Drink History Labor History

August 30, 2021

Phrenology & Crime in 19th Century America

In Nineteenth Century America there was a strong reformist push to know and improve the self. One key tactic Americans used to learn more about themselves was phrenological readings. They would pay practical phrenologists, li...

19TH Century History Of Science & Medicine

August 23, 2021

Chesapeake Bay Pirates & the 19th Century Oyster Wars

In Chesapeake Bay in the late 19th century, oyster harvesting was a big business. There were so many oyster harvesters harvesting so many oysters that the legislatures of Maryland and Virginia had to start regulating who coul...

19TH Century

August 16, 2021

Prohibition in the 1850s

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. ...

19TH Century Food & Drink History

August 09, 2021

The Nativist Riots of Philadelphia in 1844

In May of 1844, growing tensions between nativists and Irish Catholic immigrants in Philadelphia erupted into violence in the streets of the Irish Catholic Kensington district, prompted in part by a disagreement over whether ...

19TH Century Riots

August 02, 2021

Elizabeth Packard

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 m...

19TH Century Biographical History Women's History

July 26, 2021

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

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 fa...

20TH Century Biographical History History Of Science & Medicine

July 19, 2021

Migrant Incarceration and the 1985 El Centro Hunger Strike

In 1945, United States immigration officials opened the El Centro Immigration Detention Camp in El Centro, California, to be an administrative holding center for unauthorized Mexican migrants, many of whom had been working on...

20TH Century Immigration Latino History Riots

July 12, 2021

Black Teachers & The Civil Rights Movement in South Carolina

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 content...

20TH Century Black History Civil Rights Movement

July 05, 2021

Homosexuality and the Left Before 1960

Political activism of queer people in the United States started long before the Stonewall riots in 1969. One surprising place that queer people found a home for their activism was in the Communist Party. The Communist Party o...

20TH Century LGBTQIA+ History

June 28, 2021

Sophonisba Breckinridge

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 ...

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

June 21, 2021

Susie King Taylor

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 nurse...

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

June 14, 2021

The Jackson State Shootings in May 1970

Just after midnight on May 15, 1970, officers opened fire on a group of unarmed students milling in front of a dorm on the campus of Jackson State College in Jackson, Mississippi, killing two and wounding twelve. Although the...

20TH Century Black History Civil Rights Movement Riots

June 07, 2021

Knitting Brigades of World War I

Between America’s entry into World War I and the end of the war less than two years later, Americans knit 23 million articles of clothing and bandages for soldiers overseas, directed by the American Red Cross. How was this kn...

20TH Century Women's History World War I

June 03, 2021

Introducing Unsung History

A podcast about the people and events in American history you may not know much about. Yet. With host Kelly Therese Pollock. In each episode of Unsung History I’ll start us out with a short narrative answering the Who, What, ...