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Hometown History


Hometown History shares little known history from America's hometowns.

Hometown History shares little known history from America's hometowns.


United States


Hometown History shares little known history from America's hometowns.




Robert Smalls

How have I never heard of Robert Smalls? I’m betting you haven’t either. Smalls was an antebellum slave and real-life action hero who fought without permission in the Civil War and pulled off one of the most daring heists in American military history. Support the show by becoming a Patron at Patreon.com/itshometownhistory Visit us online at itshometownhistory.com Episode Sponsors: Mintmobile.com/hometown


The Dumb Blonde Stereotype

Does Blonde hair make you dumb? No, seriously does it? Let’s track the history of this stereotype and find out if it’s true. Visit us online at itshometownhistory.com Episode Sponsors:


Dear H.H. Holmes, Part 2

This is the 2nd half of our Dear H.H. Holmes episode. Meet Almeda Huiet, of Wabash County, Indiana. Possibly the first Chicago victim of infamous serial killer H.H. Holmes. Visit us online at itshometownhistory.com Support our show by becoming a Patron! Episode Sponsors: MintMobile.com/hometown Indeed.com/hometown


Dear H.H. Holmes, Part 1

Could this be the first Chicago victim of infamous serial killer H.H. Holmes? In Chicago on a cold November morning in 1888, the body of a young lady is found in a lake with her throat slit. The story of this young lady, and her untimely death, was quickly forgotten as her body was shipped back to her hometown of Wabash County, Indiana. Join Shane while he tries to unravel the mysterious death and tragic life of a young girl who very well could be the first Chicago victim of H.H....


Black Like Me

Blackface is a form of theatrical makeup that white performers have used throughout history to portray, and demean, black people. The dark substance white performers would put on their faces was typically shoe polish, grease paint, or burnt cork, and the end result was as ridiculous and off-putting as you might imagine. Throughout history has there ever been an appropriate time someone wore blackface? Visit us online at itshometownhistory.com Episode Sponsor: LiquidIV.com



Have you ever heard of The Landlord's Game, created by Elizabeth Magie? Well if you haven't, you certainly aren't alone. Elizabeth Magie's creation looked like Monopoly, but it was anti-Monopoly - more accurately, it's the original Monopoly, that was renamed and repackaged in 1906 in one of the greatest intellectual property thefts of the 20th century. Episode Sponsors: Mintmobile.com/hometownIndeed.com/hometown


The Cadaver Synod

World history is filled with strange occurrences, from deadly fashion trends to wars fought on baseless grounds. However, none are as weird as the Cadaver Synod, which saw the decaying corpse of a pope being screamed at for hours on end by one of his successors during a bizarre posthumous trial. The Cadaver Synod continues to haunt the Catholic Church, mainly due to the fact that it took place at a time when the papacy was subject to political intrigue, controversy, and murder. Indeed, even...


Abraham Lincoln's Springfield Home

The centerpiece of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site is the former home of our 16th president, where he lived with his young family for seventeen years. After moving to the White House in 1861, Abraham and Mary kept this as a rental with plans of returning after serving in Washington. Following his assassination in 1865, she refused to come back, and the house was later donated to the State of Illinois. In the 1970s, the state transferred ownership to the National Park...


April Fools' Day

The first of April is widely regarded as an unofficial holiday reserved for pranks and hoaxes that seem too ridiculous to be believed yet are surprisingly enough to fool several hundreds of people. The pages of history are littered with such incidents, from claims of a flying saucer to news reports of a shocking theft. For decades now, individuals – and even, reputable organizations – have been trying to outdo each other with the craziest yet most believable tales. These may not always...


Liberty's First Crisis

When the founding fathers of the United States began adding amendments to the U.S. Constitution to help secure rights and safeguard a free society, the first thing they focused on was the most fundamental: free speech. Autho Charles Slack joins us again for this episode. Check out his book "Liberty's First Crisis" which you can find on Amazon. Visit us online at itshometownhistory.com Episode Sponsors: Stereo.com/hometownhistory


Benjamin Franklin and the Bald Eagle

I think since the very beginning, America has struggled with the question of whether it was a turkey or an eagle. Visit us online at itshometownhistory.com Episode Sponsors: Ritual.com/hometownStereo.com/hometownhistoryIndeed.com/Hometown


The Two-Party System

Those of you who have listened to my podcasts over the past few years will know how I feel about the discipline of history. It’s been one of the great joys in my life and I believe it’s made me a better thinker, a better person, and a more responsible citizen. I think it does that for all of us when we’re willing to set aside our assumptions and look frankly and interrogatingly at the past. I’ve invited a personal friend and a professor at a nearby university, Dr. Mark Smith, onto the...


Black Powder Explosions

If you lived outside the town of Wilmington, Delaware during the 19th century you probably found yourself, at some point during the week, sitting at the Burning Rag Inn, downing a glass of lukewarm ale. You’d be there with friends from work, shooting the breeze, maybe having a meal with the faint smell of gunpowder in the air. Episode Sponsorships: Stereo.com/hometownhistoryDick's book is "Across the Creek: Black Powder Explosions On the Brandywine"


Misfits, Part 5: Hetty Green

Nicknamed the Witch of Wall Street, Hetty Green was an American businesswoman and financier known as the richest woman in America during the late 19th century. She was known for her wealth and was named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the "greatest miser," which meant that even when being incredibly rich, she was a renowned cheapskate. Interview featuring author Charles Slack, his book on Hetty Green can be found at https://www.charlesslackauthor.com/ Sponsorship: - Get key...


Misfits, Part 4: Diogenes

The 4th person we are highlighting in our misfits series is Diogenes the Cynic, known more commonly as Diogenes. He was born in Sinope (modern day Turkey) around 404BC (or 412BC, its not exactly clear) and died at Corinth in 323 BC. Diogenes was a very controversial figure - let us tell you why. Visit us online at itshometownhistory.com Episode Sponsors: Best Fiends FREESupport the show by becoming a Patreon, check out the perks! patreon.com/itshometownhistory


Misfits, Part 3: George Dibbern

Born in 1889, George Dibbern was an author, adventurer, and sailor-philosopher. He was a free thinker, self-declared citizen of the world and is our 3rd Misfits in our series. Visit us online at itshometownhistory.com Episode Sponsors: Best Fiends FREERitual.com/HometownSupport the show by becoming a Patreon, check out the perks! patreon.com/itshometownhistory


Misfits, Part 2: Tarrare

Tarrare was born in 1772 in rural France. He was born hungry, and seemingly that hunger never went away. This 2nd episode in our Misfits series is focused on one of history's most fascinating people - a man noted for his unusual eating habits. Episode Sponsors: Swanson.comSupport us at Patreon.com/itshometownhistory Visit us online at itshometownhistory.com Check out Shane's other podcast - Foul Play


Misfits, Part 1: Emperor Norton

Introducing Part 1 of our Misfits mini-series. Joshua Norton proclaimed himself "Norton I, Emperor of the United States" in 1859 from his home in San Francisco, California. If you've never heard of the only US Emperor, let us explain why in this episode. *Note: The anti-“Frisco” proclamation to Emperor Norton is unproven and disputed Learn about The Emperor Norton Trust Episode Sponsors: Swanson.com Support us at Patreon.com/itshometownhistory Visit us online at...


Islands of Michigan, Part 6: Belle Isle

Belle Isle is a 982-acre island park located immediately east of Detroit, Michigan, in the Detroit River. Connected to Detroit by the MacArthur Bridge, Belle Isle is the larked city-owned island park in the United States. Episode Sponsors: Swanson.comIndeed.com/hometown Support us at Patreon.com/itshometownhistory Visit us online at itshometownhistory.com Check out Shane's other podcast - Foul Play We made this top 40 list of history podcasts!


Islands of Michigan, Part 5: The Manitou Islands

North and South Manitou Island can be found around 14 miles northwest of the Michigan mainland in Lake Michigan. The islands are very rich in history and are part of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Episode Sponsors: TakeCareOf.comSwanson.comVisit us at itshometownhistory.com Support the show at Patreon.com/itshometownhistory