BackStory with the American History Guys
Starry-Eyed: A History of the Heavens [rebroadcast]08/15/14
Americans have had an ongoing fascination with the skies above us, so in this episode, we’re taking on space. How have people made sense of meteors, eclipses, and the stars? What has made us want to travel among them, to go to the moon, to Mars, or...
On the Take: Corruption in America
It’s a worry as old as the Republic: Do politicians look out for the public good, or their own private interests? But what exactly Americans consider the corruption of public office has changed over time. This week, BackStory shines a light on fears...
Straight Shot: Guns in America [Rebroadcast]
On this episode, the History Guys look at who has had access to guns in the U.S., and what those guns have meant to the people who have owned them.
Four More Years: Presidential Inaugurations in America
As the rest of Washington looks forward to the next four years, BackStory is looking back — at the last 224 years of presidential transitions. On today’s show, the History Guys focus in on several of the most high-stakes presidential inaugurations,...
All Hopped Up: Drugs in America
In December, recreational marijuana use became legal in Washington and Colorado. But back in the early 20th century, both states were among the first to ban the drug.If that seems like a radical change, well – it’s hardly the first time a drug has...
Thenceforward and Forever Free [Rebroadcast]
We look at the narratives surrounding the Emancipation Proclamation and try to unpack its legacy. How can we best understand emancipation - as a moral imperative, a military necessity, a political strategy, or all of the above?
Best of Times: BackStory Year in Review
In May of 2012, we re-launched BackStory as a weekly program. In this special year-end episode, we listen back to some of our favorite moments from the show since then. Do you have a favorite BackStory segment that wasn’t included in this show? Let us...
Naughty & Nice: A History of The Holiday Season [rebroadcast]
The History Guys trace the evolution of Christmas in America from a public festival of rowdy excess to a child-centered celebration of church and family.
Apocalypse Now & Then: A History of End-Times
12/21/12 marks the end of the "Mayan Long Count" calendar, and has triggered a round of prophesies about the end of the world. And so we figured we'd take the opportunity to look back on all the good times we've had... worrying about end-times.
You’ve Got Mail: A History of the Post Office [rebroadcast]
For many Americans, the post office has become largely a conduit for bills and junk mail. But for more than 200 years, it played a central role in American life. In this episode, we explore the rise—and fall—of the USPS.
Cheers and Jeers: Alcohol in America [rebroadcast]
The American History Guys explore the twists and turns of our country's relationship with alcohol. From the founding era through the temperance movement, Prohibition, and beyond, they look at when and why drinking has ebbed and flowed.
Three Squares: Mealtime in America
The History Guys recover from their Thanksgiving feasts with a look back at the history of mealtime in America. From Victorian table manners to the school lunch program, how have our ideas about what, when, and how we eat our meals evolved?
Coming Home: A History of War Veterans [rebroadcast]
How have war veterans been treated in the aftermath of America's past wars? How much depends on the politics of the war? Are vets only as popular as the wars they’ve fought in?
Pulling the Curtain: Voting in America
On this special Election Day episode of BackStory, the History Guys put current voting trends in historical perspective, and explore the changing face of voting in America.
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