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Season 1

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 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…

18TH Century America's Founding History Of Science & Medicine

Smallpox Inoculation & the American Revolution

Dec. 19, 2022

In 1775, a smallpox outbreak struck the Continental Northern Army. With many of the soldiers too sick to fight, their attempted capture of Quebec on December 31, 1775, was a devastating failure, the first major defeat of the…

19TH Century Black History Environmental History

The Sea Islands Hurricane of 1893

Dec. 12, 2022

On August 27, 1893, a massive hurricane struck the coast of South Carolina and Georgia, battering the Sea Islands and Lowcountry through the next morning. Around 2,000 people in the thriving African American community perish…

19TH Century Labor History

The Rise of the Labor Movement & Employer Resistance in the Late 19th Century

Dec. 5, 2022

After the Civil War, the simultaneous shift in the labor economy of the Southern United States and the second industrial revolution led to a growing interest in labor organizing. Newly formed labor organizations led a combin…

Guest: Chad Pearson
19TH Century Immigration Women's History

Single Irish Women & Domestic Service in late 19th Century New York City

Nov. 28, 2022

As many as two million Irish people relocated to North America during the Great Hunger in the mid-19th Century. Even after the famine had ended, Irish families continued to send their teenaged and 20-something children to th…

Guest: Vona Groarke
20TH Century

Keeping Secrets in the 1950s

Nov. 21, 2022

Americans in the 1950s, yearning to return to normalcy after the Great Depression and World War II, got married, had lots of kids, and used their newly middle-class status to buy cookie-cutter houses in the suburbs. But not …

20TH Century Biographical History LGBTQIA+ History

Gordon Merrick

Nov. 14, 2022

In 1970, writer Gordon Merrick published The Lord Won’t Mind , advertised as “the first homosexual novel with a happy ending,” his fifth novel but first to focus on a gay romance story. The novel was a hit and stayed on the …

Guest: Joseph Ortiz
20TH Century Biographical History Women's History

Elsie Robinson

Nov. 7, 2022

As a girl born in 1883 to a family who couldn’t afford to send her to college, Elsie Robinson had limited options. To escape the drudgery of small-town life and then a stifling marriage, Elsie wrote. And wrote. And wrote. Wh…

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…

20TH Century Chicago History Latino/a History Riots

The 1966 Division Street Uprising & the Puerto Rican community in Chicago

Oct. 24, 2022

In 1966, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley declared that the first week of June would be known as “Puerto Rican Week,” culminating in the first Puerto Rican Parade, to honor the growing Puerto Rican population in the city. Afte…

20TH Century Biographical History Immigration Labor History Latino/a History

Bert Corona

Oct. 17, 2022

Labor leader and immigrant rights activist Bert Corona viewed Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants in the United States, both with and without documentation, as one people without borders, and he understood that their st…

20TH Century Immigration Latino/a History

The Effect of the Mexican Revolution on Mexican Immigration to the U.S.

Oct. 10, 2022

The Mexican Revolution in the early 20th Century was a pivotal moment in Mexican history, and it was also a pivotal moment in United States history, as huge numbers of Mexicans fled war-torn Mexico and headed to the US borde…

Guest: Alda Dobbs
19TH Century Immigration Latino/a History

Southwest Borderlands in the 19th Century

Oct. 3, 2022

Through the 19th Century, the US-Mexico border moved repeatedly, and the shifting borderlands were a space of cultural and economic transition that often gave rise to racialized gendered violence. In this episode I speak wit…

20TH Century Reproductive Justice History Women's History

The Pacific Coast Abortion Ring

Sept. 26, 2022

In mid-1930s, pregnant women in cities in California, Oregon, and Washington could obtain safe surgical abortions in clean facilities from professionals trained in the latest technique. The only catch? The abortions were ill…

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…

18TH Century History Of Science & Medicine Legal History Reproductive Justice History Women's History

Abortion in 18th Century New England

Sept. 12, 2022

In 1742, in Pomfret, Connecticut, 19-year-old Sarah Grosvenor discovered she was pregnant, the result of a liaison with 27-year-old Amasa Sessions. Instead of marrying Sarah, Amasa provided her with a physician-prescribed ab…

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…

18TH Century Atlantic World History British History Pirate History Women's History

Anne Bonny & Mary Read, Pirate Queens

Aug. 15, 2022

During the Golden Age of Pirates, two fierce and ruthless pirates stood apart from the rest, despite their brief careers. The only women in their crew, Anne Bonny and Mary Read were aggressive fighters to the end, refusing t…

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

The Women who Programmed the ENIAC

Aug. 8, 2022

During World War II, the United States Army contracted with a group of engineers at the University of Pennsylvania Moore School of Electrical Engineering to build the ENIAC, the world’s first programmable general-purpose ele…

Guest: Kathy Kleiman
19TH Century 20TH Century Asian-American History

Filipino Nurses in the United States

Aug. 1, 2022

A February 2021 report by National Nurses United found that while Filipinos make up 4% of RNs in the United States, they accounted for a stunning 26.4% of the registered nurses who had died of COVID-19 and related complicati…

19TH Century 20TH Century Black History Legal History

The Townsend Family Legacy

July 25, 2022

When Alabama plantation owner Samuel Townsend died in 1856, he willed his vast fortune to his children and his nieces. What seems like an ordinary bequest was anything but, since Townsend’s children and nieces were his ensla…

18TH Century America's Founding Legal History

The Unusual Codicil in Benjamin Franklin's Will

July 18, 2022

When Benjamin Franklin died in April 1790, his last will contained an unusual codicil, leaving 1000 pounds sterling each to Philadelphia and Boston, to be used in a very specific way that he hoped would both help tradesmen i…

Guest: Michael Meyer
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 …

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 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 Carceral History LGBTQIA+ 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 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…

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 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 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 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 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 Environmental History 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