Season 1

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 LGBTQIA+ History Riots

The 1966 Compton's Cafeteria Riot

June 27, 2022

On a hot weekend night in August 1966 trans women fought back against police harassment at Compton’s Cafeteria in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. Although the Compton’s riot didn’t spark a national movement the way…

Guest: Susan Stryker
19TH Century 20TH Century LGBTQIA+ History Native American History

Two-Spirit People in Native American Cultures

June 20, 2022

In the summer of 1990, at the third annual Native American/First Nations gay and lesbian conference, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the term Two Spirit was established. An English translation of the Northern Algonquin term niizh man…

20TH Century LGBTQIA+ History Carceral History

The Women's House of Detention in Greenwich Village

June 13, 2022

The 12-story Women’s House of Detention, situated in the heart of Greenwich Village in New York City, from 1932 to 1974, was central to the queer history of The Village. The House of D, as it was known, housed such inmates a…

Guest: Hugh Ryan
19TH Century 20TH Century LGBTQIA+ History Women's History

The Queer History of the Women's Suffrage Movement

June 6, 2022

Queer suffragists were central to the women’s suffrage movement in the United States from its earliest days. However, in a movement that placed great importance on public image in service of the goal of achieving the vote, q…

19TH Century 20TH Century Asian-American History Immigration

Chinese Grocery Stores in the Mississippi Delta

May 30, 2022

During Reconstruction, cotton planters in the Mississippi Delta recruited Chinese laborers to work on their plantations, to replace the emancipated slaves who had previously done the hard labor. However, the Chinese workers …

Guest: Larissa Lam
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…

19TH Century 20TH Century Asian-American History Immigration

The US-Born Japanese Americans (Nisei) who Migrated to Japan

May 16, 2022

In the decades before World War II, 50,000 of the US-born children of Japanese immigrants (a quarter of their total population) migrated from the United States to the Japanese Empire. Although these second generation Japanes…

Guest: Michael Jin
20TH Century Asian-American History Food & Drink History Immigration

Thai Americans & the Rise of Thai Food in the United States

May 9, 2022

There are around 300,000 Thai Americans but almost 5,000 Thai restaurants in the United States. To understand how Thai restaurants became so ubiquitous in the US, we dive into the history of how Thai cuisine arrived in the U…

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
19TH Century 20TH Century Art History Women's History

French Fashion in Gilded Age America

April 25, 2022

Paris has a long history as the fashion capital of the world. In the late 19th Century, American women, like European women, wanted the latest in French fashion. The wealthiest women traveled to Paris regularly to visit thei…

18TH Century

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 Black History

The Abolition Movement of the 1830s

April 11, 2022

From the founding of the United States, there were people who opposed slavery, but many who grappled with the concept, including slave owner Thomas Jefferson, envisioned a plan of gradual emancipation for the country. In 181…

Guest: J. D. Dickey
20TH Century

The 1913 Ascent of Denali

April 4, 2022

In June 1913, a group of four men ascended to the peak of Denali, the first humans known to have reached the highest point in North America. In a time before ultra lightweight and high-tech equipment, Hudson Stuck, Harry Kar…

Guest: Patrick Dean
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 LGBTQIA+ History Post-WW2 History Sports History Women's History

The National Women's Football League

March 21, 2022

In 1967, a Cleveland talent agent named Sid Friedman decided to capitalize on the popularity of football in the rust belt by launching a women’s football league, which he envisioned as entertainment, complete with mini-skirt…

20TH Century 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 Native American History

Yellowstone National Park

March 7, 2022

One hundred fifty years ago, President Ulysses S. Grant signed an act establishing Yellowstone National Park into law, making it the first national park in the United States, and a cause for celebration in a country still re…

19TH Century 20TH Century Black History Native American History

Freedpeople in Indian Territory

Feb. 28, 2022

When the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muskogee (or Creek), and Seminole Nations – known as “The Five Civilized Tribes” by white settlers – were forcibly moved from their lands in the Southeastern United States to Indian Ter…

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
20TH Century Black History Military History Women's History World War II

The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion

Feb. 14, 2022

On February 14, 1945, after crossing the Atlantic Ocean and surviving a run-in with a Nazi U-Boat, the women of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion disembarked the Île-de-France in Glasgow, Scotland. The task await…

Guest: Kaia Alderson
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…

20TH Century Post-WW2 History Women's History

Who was Carol Lane?

Jan. 31, 2022

In fall 1947 the Shell Oil Company hired a Women’s Travel Director named Carol Lane, who served in the role until she retired in 1974. Lane’s job was to encourage women to travel, showing them the joys of touring the country…

20TH Century

The Amerikadeutscher Volksbund & the Newark Minutemen in the 1930s

Jan. 24, 2022

The rise of Nazism before World War II wasn’t limited to Germany. The German-Americna Bund ( Amerikadeutscher Volksbund ) formed in Buffalo, New York, in 1936, to promote a favorable view of Nazi Germany. It quickly grew to …

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 Labor History

The 1934 Toledo Auto-Lite Strike

Jan. 10, 2022

In February, 1934, in the midst of the Great Depression, a small group of unionized workers at the Electric Auto-Lite company of Toledo, Ohio, went on strike. When management failed to sign a promised contract by the April 1…

20TH Century LGBTQIA+ History Women's History

The Suffrage Road Trip of 1915

Jan. 3, 2022

In September 1915, four suffragists set off from the Panama–Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, California, in a brand-new Overland 6 convertible to make the 3,000-mile drive across the country to deliver a pe…

Guest: Anne Gass
17TH Century Black History Women's History

Women-Led Slave Revolts

Dec. 27, 2021

Enslaved Africans in what is now New York State and in the Middle Passage resisted their enslavement, despite the risk of doing so. In the previously accepted history of these slave revolts, the assumption was that men led t…

Guest: Rebecca Hall
20TH Century Military History Women's History World War II

The Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II

Dec. 20, 2021

From September 1942 to December 1944, over 1000 American women served in the war effort as Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP), flying 80% of all ferrying missions and delivering 12,652 aircraft of 78 types. They also trans…

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 Military History Native American History

The Yakama War

Nov. 29, 2021

In October 1805, the Yakama encountered the Lewis and Clark Expedition near the confluence of the Yakima and Columbia rivers. By fifty years later, so many European and American trappers, traders, and eventually, settlers, h…

17TH Century 20TH Century Native American History

The Wampanoag & the Thanksgiving Myth

Nov. 22, 2021

In Autumn of 1621, a group of Pilgrims from the Mayflower voyage and Wampanoag men, led by their sachem Massasoit, ate a feast together. The existence of that meal, which held little importance to either the Pilgrims or the …

Guest: Kisha James
19TH Century 20TH Century Native American History

Treaty Rights of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe

Nov. 15, 2021

Before the arrival of Europeans, the Ojibwe nation occupied much of the Lake Superior region, including what is now Ontario in Canada and Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota in the United States. In 1850, President Zachary Ta…

20TH Century Military History Native American History World War II

Alaska Territorial Guard in World War II

Nov. 8, 2021

Prior to World War II, most of the US military deemed the territory of Alaska as militarily unimportant, to the point where the Alaska National Guard units were stationed instead in Washington state in August of 1941. That c…

Guest: Holly Guise
18TH Century 19TH Century Native American History

The Stockbridge-Munsee Community & their Removal History

Nov. 1, 2021

The Stockbridge-Munsee Community , the People of the Waters that Are Never Still, were forced to move many times after they first encountered Europeans. In 1609, Dutch trader Henry Hudson sailed up the Mahicannituck, the Riv…

19TH Century 20TH Century Women's History

Fashion, Feminism, and the New Woman of the late 19th Century

Oct. 25, 2021

The late 19th Century ushered in an evolution in women’s fashion from the Victorian “True Woman” whose femininity was displayed in wide skirts and petticoats, the “New Woman” of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was mod…

20TH Century 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…

20TH Century Military History Post-WW2 History Women's History

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

Oct. 4, 2021

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 …

Guest: Tanya Roth
18TH Century 19TH Century Black History

Freedom Suits in Maryland & DC, 1790-1864

Sept. 27, 2021

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 …

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 …

20TH Century Black History History Of Science & Medicine LGBTQIA+ History Post-WW2 History

African American AIDS Activism

Sept. 13, 2021

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. Thi…

Guest: Dan Royles
20TH Century Food & Drink History Labor History Post-WW2 History

The Coors Boycott

Sept. 6, 2021

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…

19TH Century History Of Science & Medicine

Phrenology & Crime in 19th Century America

Aug. 30, 2021

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, l…

19TH Century

Chesapeake Bay Pirates & the 19th Century Oyster Wars

Aug. 23, 2021

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 cou…

19TH Century Food & Drink 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
19TH Century Riots

The Nativist Riots of Philadelphia in 1844

Aug. 9, 2021

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 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
20TH Century Immigration Latino History Post-WW2 History Riots Carceral History

Migrant Incarceration and the 1985 El Centro Hunger Strike

July 19, 2021

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 o…

Guest: Jessica Ordaz