Unsung History-logo

Unsung History

History Podcasts

A podcast about people and events in American history you may not know much about. Yet.

Location:

United States

Description:

A podcast about people and events in American history you may not know much about. Yet.

Language:

English

Contact:

7732663131


Episodes

The Combahee River Raid of 1863

2/26/2024
Starting in November 1861, the Union Army held the city of Beaufort, South Carolina, using the Sea Islands as a southern base of operations in the Civil War. Harriet Tubman joined the Army there, debriefing freedom seekers who fled enslavement in nearby regions and ran to seek the Union Army’s protection in Beaufort. With the intelligence Tubman gathered, she and Colonel James Montgomery led 150 Black soldiers on a daring raid along the Combahee RIver in June 1863, destroying seven rice plantations in the heart of the Confederate breadbasket, causing $6 million worth of damages and liberating 756 people from enslavement on the rice fields. Joining me in this episode is Dr. Edda Fields-Black, Associate Professor of HIstory at Carnegie Mellon University and author of COMBEE: Harriet Tubman, the Combahee River Raid, and Black Freedom during the Civil War. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode music is "Dangerous," by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License. The episode image is Mcpherson & Oliver, photographer. “2nd South Carolina Infantry Regiment raid on rice plantation, Combahee, South Carolina,” by Mcpherson and Oliver, published in Harper’s Weekly, July 4, 1863; the image is in the public domain and is available via the Library of Congress. Additional Sources: “Port Royal, Battle of,” by Stephen R. Wise, Encyclopedia of South Carolina, Originally published June 20, 2016, and updated August 22, 2022.“Nov. 7, 1861: The Port Royal Experiment Initiated,” Zinn Education Project.“The Port Royal Experiment,” The Lowcountry Digital History Initiative (LDHI).“Port Royal Experiment: Reconstruction Era in Beaufort, South Carolina with Park Ranger Chris Barr [video],” National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT), August 23, 2022.“Life on the Sea Islands (Part I),” by Charlotte Forten Grimké, The Atlantic, May 1864.“Life on the Sea Islands (Part II),” by Charlotte Forten Grimké, The Atlantic, June 1864.“Harriet Tubman’s Great Raid,” by Paul Donnelly, The New York Times, June 7, 2013.“After the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman Led a Brazen Civil War Raid,” by Alexis Clark, History.com, Originally published November 1, 2019, and updated August 29, 2023.

Duration:00:46:07

The History of Ice in the United States

2/19/2024
Today, Americans consume 400 pounds of ice a year, each. That would have been unfathomable to people in the 18th century, but a number of innovators and ice barons in the 19th and 20th centuries changed the way we think about the slippery substance. Joining me in this episode is writer Dr. Amy Brady, author of Ice: From Mixed Drinks to Skating Rinks–A Cool History of a Hot Commodity. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode music is “All She Gets from the Iceman is Ice,” written by Arthur J. Lamb and Alfred Solman and performed by Ada Jones in 1908; the song is in the public domain and is available via the Internet Archive. The episode image is: “Girls deliver ice. Heavy work that formerly belonged to men only is being done by girls. The ice girls are delivering ice on a route and their work requires brawn as well as the partriotic ambition to help," taken on September 16, 1918; image is in the public domain and is available via the National Archives (NAID: 533758; Local ID: 165-WW-595A(3)). Additional Sources: “The Stubborn American Who Brought Ice to the World,” By Reid Mitenbuler, The Atlantic, February 5, 2013.“Tracing the History of New England’s Ice Trade,” by Devin Hahn and Amy Laskowski, The Brink: Pioneering Research from Boston University, February 4, 2022.“The Bizarre But True Story of America's Obsession With Ice Cubes,” by Reid Mitenbuler, Epicurious, September 26, 2016.“The Surprisingly Cool History of Ice, by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie, Mental Floss, February 10, 2016.“Keeping your (food) cool: From ice harvesting to electric refrigeration,” by Emma Grahn, National Museum of American History, April 29, 2015.“When Everyone Wanted to Be the Iceman,” by Kelly Robinson, Atlas Obscura, August 23, 2019.“The History of Human-Made Ice,” by Amy Brady, Discover Magazine, December 2, 2023.“The Dawn of New York's Ice Age,” by Edward T. O'Donnell, The New York Times, July 21, 2005.“The History of the Refrigerator,” by Mary Bellis, ThoughtCo, Updated on October 31, 2019.“A Chilling History: on the science and technology of portable coolers,” by Laura Prewitt, Science History Institute, July 24, 2023.No chill: A closer look at America’s obsession with ice,” by Haley Chouinard, Business of Home, December 23, 2020.“Climate-Friendly Cocktail Recipes Go Light on Ice,” by Amy Brady, Scientific American, July 1, 2023.

Duration:00:43:19

The History of Blue Jeans

2/12/2024
If you’re like most Americans – or most people on earth – you have a pair of jeans, or maybe five, in your wardrobe. There’s a decent chance you’re wearing jeans right now. These humble pants were invented by a Reno tailor in the 1870s in response to a frustrated customer whose husband kept wearing through his pants too quickly. How, then, did they become a global phenomenon expected to exceed $100 billion in sales by 2025? Joining me to help answer that question is historian, writer, and screenwriter, Dr. Carolyn Purnell, author of Blue Jeans. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode music is “Blue Jeans,” composed by Josef Pasternack and performed by the Peerless Quartet in 1921; audio is in the public domain and available via the Library of Congress National Jukebox. The episode image is “Five Idaho farmers, members of Ola self-help sawmill co-op, in the woods standing against a load of logs ready to go down to their mill about three miles away,” photographed by Dorothea Lange in Gem County, Idaho, in October 1939 for the Farm Security Administration; the image is in the public domain and available via the Library of Congress. Additional Sources: “The Origin of Blue Jeans,” by Joseph Stromberg, Smithsonian Magazine, September 26, 2011.“The History of Denim,” Levi Strauss & Co., July 4, 2019.“Riveted: The History of Jeans [video],” PBS American Experience Season 34, Episode 1, February 7, 2022. “Durable and enduring, blue jeans turn 150,” by Jessica Green, NPR Weekend Edition Sunday, May 23, 2023.“Behind 150 years of the world’s most famous denim jeans,” by Gordon Ng, Vogue Singapore, May 3, 2023.“How Denim Became a Political Symbol of the 1960s,” by Brandon Tensley, Smithsonian Magazine, December 2020.“Throwback Thursday: Levi’s — Right For School?” Levi Strauss & Co., September 24, 2015.

Duration:00:41:26

The History of Pinball

2/5/2024
In January 1942, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia sent New York City police out on an important mission; their objective: to find and destroy tens of thousands of pinball machines. But some of pinball’s most important innovations, including the development of flippers, happened in the decades that it was banned in New York and many other US cities. This week we dig in to the fun – and sometimes surprising – history of pinball. Joining me in this episode is illustrator and cartoonist Jon Chad, author of Pinball: A Graphic History of the Silver Ball. I’m also joined by a special guest co-host, my son, Teddy. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode music is “Caterpillar,” by Gvidon, available for use under the Pixabay content license. The episode image is “Playing the pinball machine at the steelworkers' Serbian Club in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania,” photographed by Jack Delano, 1941, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives. Additional Sources: The Backstory: The Comte d’Artois, pinball’s original wizard, lived life at full tiltBrendan KileyThe Human Side of Louis XVI and Marie AntoinetteBagatelle patent model patented by Montague RedgraveBaffle Ball“Bally MFG Company, est. 1932That Time America Outlawed PinballHow the Mob Made Pinball Public Enemy #1 in the 1940sAllison McNearneyChicago once waged a 40-year war on pinballHow One Perfect Shot Saved Pinball From Being Illegal‘These Things Are Works of Art’: Chicago’s History as the Manufacturing Center for Pinball MachinesAn Industry Suffers as Few People Play a Mean Pinball AnymoreInside America's Last Great Pinball FactoryThe Inside Story of Pinball's Renaissance,A Look At The Unlikely Resurgence Of Pinball In The Mobile Age [video]Pinball Map

Duration:00:51:07

The History of US Foreign Disaster Relief

1/29/2024
In 1812, the United States Congress voted to provide $50,000 to assist victims of a horrific earthquake in the far-away country of Venezuela. It would be another nine decades before the US again provided aid for recovery efforts after a foreign rapid-onset natural disaster, but over time it became much more common for the US to help in such emergencies. This disaster relief, provided via a three-pronged response from the State Department, the military, and the voluntary sector, especially represented by the American Red Cross, serves both humanitarian and diplomatic functions for the United States. Joining me in this episode is Dr. Julia Irwin, the T. Harry Williams Professor of History at Louisiana State University and author of Catastrophic Diplomacy: US Foreign Disaster Assistance in the American Century. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode music is “Palloncini sweet and happy piano song,” by Pastichio_Piano_Music, available for use under the Pixabay Content License. The episode image is “Personnel of Commander Carrier Division 15, showing the prime minister of Ceylon the supplies that the US Navy was delivering to flood victims in his country in early 1958,” Image courtesy of Naval History and Heritage Command. Additional Sources: How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States by Daniel Immerwahr, Picador USA, 2020.“The City of Earthquakes,” by Horace D. Warner, The Atlantic, March 1883.“Founding and early years of the ICRC (1863-1914),” International Committee of the Red Cross, May 12, 2020.“A Brief History of the American Red Cross,” American Red Cross. “American Empire,” American Yawp.“December 28, 1908: The Tsunami of Messina,” by David Bressan, Scientific American History of Geology, December 28, 2012.By David Bressan on December 28, 2012“USAID History,” United States Agency for International Development.“Where We Work,” United States Agency for International Development.

Duration:00:42:43

LSD, the CIA & the History of Psychedelic Science

1/22/2024
In 1938, Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann accidentally developed the potent psychedelic LSD, although it would be several years before Hofmann realized what he’d created. During the Cold War, the CIA launched a top-secret mind control project, code-named MKUltra, experimenting with LSD and other psychedelic substances, drugging military personnel, CIA employees, and civilians, often without their consent or even their knowledge. At the same time, the CIA was funding university research on psychedelics, involving scientists like Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson and counterculture luminaries like Ken Kesey and Allen Ginsberg. Although mid-20th Century scientists had seen therapeutic promise in psychedelics, Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, which classified LSD, along with psilocybin, MDMA, and peyote, as Schedule I drugs, defined by the DEA as having “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Joining me in this episode is Dr. Benjamin Breen, Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and author of Tripping on Utopia: Margaret Mead, the Cold War, and the Troubled Birth of Psychedelic Science. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode music is Psychedelic Atmospheric Dream Guitar, by Sonican, available for use via the Pixabay Content License. The episode image is a photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash; free to use under the Unsplash License. Additional Sources: Your employer may be adding another health benefit to its roster: psychedelic drugsPsychedelics gave terminal patients relief from their intense anxietyPeople were using psychedelic drugs in Bronze Age Europe, study findsPrehistoric peyote use: alkaloid analysis and radiocarbon dating of archaeological specimens of Lophophora from Texas'Apparently Useless': The Accidental Discovery of LSDThe Evolutionary Origins of PsychedelicsA brief history of psychedelic psychiatryMargaret Mead: Human Nature and the Power of CultureHistory of CIAWhat We Know About the CIA’s Midcentury Mind-Control ProjectThe CIA’s Appalling Human Experiments with Mind ControlAmerican Trip: Set, Setting, and the Psychedelic Experience in the Twentieth CenturyWhat to know about Colorado’s psychedelic law

Duration:00:43:37

Clotilda: The Last U.S. Slave Ship

1/15/2024
In 1860, on the eve of the Civil War, the last slave ship landed in the United States from Africa. The transatlantic slave trade had been illegal in the US since 1808, but Alabama enslaver Timothy Meaher and his friends were so sure they could get away with it that they made a bet and hired Meaher’s neighbor, William Foster, to captain a voyage to Africa. Foster and his crew smuggled 110 terrified kidnapped Africans to Mobile Bay, taking them from a homeland they loved to cruel enslavement in the deep South, and changing their lives forever. Joining me in this episode is historian Dr. Hannah Durkin, author of The Survivors of the Clotilda: The Lost Stories of the Last Captives of the American Slave Trade. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode music is “Slow Thoughtful Sad Piano (This Cold Feeling),” by Ashot Danielyan; the music is available via the Pixabay content license. The episode image is “Abaché and Kazoola ‘Cudjoe’ Lewis,” by Emma Langdon Roche from Historic Sketches of the South, published in 1914 and now in the public domain. Additional Sources: Historical Context: The Constitution and SlaveryThe Slave Trade ClauseCongress votes to ban slave trade: March 2, 1807The Execution of Nathaniel GordonSome Economic Aspects of the Domestic Slave Trade, 1830-1860The Atlantic Slave Trade Continued Illegally in America Until the Civil WarHistorical TimelineThe Clotilda Descendants AssociationThe ‘Clotilda,’ the Last Known Slave Ship to Arrive in the U.S., Is FoundLast survivor of transatlantic slave trade discoveredExploring the Clotilda, the last known slave ship in the U.S., brings hopePeñalozaDescendants of Alabama slave owner say they're ‘figuring out next steps’ to make amends

Duration:00:41:44

The History of Mormonism

1/8/2024
In 1830, amid the Second Great Awakening in the burned-over district of New York State, Joseph Smith, Jr., and Oliver Cowdery ordained each other as the first two elders in what they then called the Church of Christ. Within eight years, the Governor of Missouri issued an executive order that members of the church, by then known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints “must be treated as enemies and must be exterminated or driven from the state,” driving 10,000 of the faithful to flee to Illinois. This week we discuss the turbulent–and often violent–history of Mormonism and look at the religion’s complicated relationship with the country in which it originated. Joining me in this episode is Dr. Benjamin E. Park, Associate Professor of History at Sam Houston State University and author of American Zion: A New History of Mormonism. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode music is “O My Father,” Composed by Evan Stephens with lyrics by Eliza R. Snow; performed by Trinity Mixed Quartet on September 18, 1923; the audio is in the public domain and is available via the Library of Congress National Jukebox. The episode image is "The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA,” Photo by David Iliff; License: CC BY-SA 3.0. Additional Sources: Timeline: The Early History of the MormonsThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Fast FactsMormonism: Guide to Materials and ResourcesThe Joseph Smith PapersDoctrine and Covenants 132The Brink of War: One hundred fifty years ago, the U.S. Army marched into Utah prepared to battle Brigham Young and his Mormon militiaHow Mormonism Went MainstreamLatter-day Saint membership passed 17 million in 2023, according to a new church statistical reportThe Mormon Poetess Dead

Duration:00:44:50

The History of College Radio

1/1/2024
Almost as soon as there were radio stations, there were college radio stations. In 1948, to popularize FM radio, the FCC introduced class D non commercial education licenses for low-watt college radio stations. By 1967, 326 FM radio signals in the United States operated as “educational radio,” 220 of which were owned and operated by colleges and universities. The type of programming that these stations offered varied widely, from lectures and sporting events, to various kinds of musical shows, but toward the late 1970s, a new genre of college rock appeared on the scene. Record labels took note as college DJs discovered up-and-coming new artists, although they sometimes stopped playing those artists once they made it big. Joining this week’s episode is historian Dr. Katherine Rye Jewell, a Professor at Fitchburg State University and author of Live from the Underground: A History of College Radio. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode music is “College Days by Charles Hart, et al., 1919, in the public domain and retrieved from the Library of Congress. The episode image is “Don Jackson, a senior, delivering a news broadcast at the Iowa State College radio station,” photographed by Jack Delano at Iowa State College in Ames, Iowa in May 1942; photograph in the public domain and available via the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information. Additional Sources: The Development of RadioMarconi’s First Wireless TransmissionMarconi's first radio broadcast made 125 years agoRadio's First Voice...Canadian!History of Commercial RadioWhich college radio station was the first in the United States?About WRUC 89.7Celebrating 90 Years of Broadcasting at Curry CollegeWhat Is "College" Rock?Shawn PersingerWhen college radio went mainstream—and 20 bands that came with it10 Legendary Bands that Wouldn’t Be Legendary without College RadioU2 Rock Fordham University: On the Ground at the ‘Secret’ SetAll that is left is R.E.M. Steeple – Celebrating the beginning of Athens’ legendary bandJoe Vitale60 Songs That Explain the ’90s’: R.E.M. and the Leap From College-Rock Gods to Mainstream IconsREM: The band that defined, then eclipsed college rockHistory TimelineHistoryLeft of the dial: College radio daysTechnology and the Soul of College RadioThe Enduring Relevance of College RadioCollege Radio Maintains Its Mojo

Duration:00:45:42

Love Actually & the Healing Power of Christmas Films

12/25/2023
What makes a Christmas movie a Christmas movie? How do Christmas movies react to – and help us heal from – collective trauma? How can a British Christmas movie feel quintessentially American? We discuss all that and more this week at the 20th Anniversary of Love Actually, with G. Vaughn Joy, a film historian, writer, podcast host, and PhD candidate at University College London. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The first mid-episode musical selection is “The First Noel,” from Christmas Songs and Carols (1912) by Trinity Choir; in the public domain and available via the Library of Congress National Jukebox. The second mid-episode musical selection is “Jingle Bells,” from Favorite Colleges Songs (1916) by Victor Male Chorus; in the public domain and available via the Library of Congress National Jukebox. The episode image is from a publicity poster for Love Actually. Films Discussed: It’s a Wonderful LifeThe Bishop’s WifeA Christmas StoryDie HardLove ActuallyThe HolidayRed Nose Day ActuallyKlaus Additional Sources: From Fiction to Film: ‘The Greatest Gift’ and ‘It’s a Wonderful LifeHow World War II shaped ‘It’s a Wonderful LifeWhat ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ Teaches Us About American HistoryHow A Christmas Story Went from Low-Budget Fluke to an American TraditionWhat’s That Building? The real-life locations from ‘A Christmas StoryA Christmas Story HouseLove ActuallyFILM REVIEW; Tales of Love, the True and the Not-So-TrueLove Actually Is the Least Romantic Film of All TimeChristopher Orr25 Surprising Facts About ’Love Actually’ for Its 20th AnniversaryThe Visible Magic of Asking ‘Why?’ A Contemporary History Approach to Klaus (2019)

Duration:00:44:44

Mollie Moon

12/18/2023
Stories of the Civil Rights Movement don’t often center the fundraisers, often Black women, whose tireless efforts made the movement possible; today we’re featuring one of those women. Mollie Moon, born in 1907, the founder and first chairperson of the National Council of Urban League Guilds, raised millions of dollars for the Civil Rights Movement, using her charm and connections to throw charity galas, like her famed Beaux Arts Ball, where everyone wanted to be seen. Her long service to the movement eventually earned her the President's Volunteer Action Award from President George H. W. Bush in 1989. Joining this episode to tell us all about Mollie Moon and the funding of the Civil Rights Movement is Dr. Tanisha C. Ford, professor of history in The Graduate Center, at CUNY, and author of Our Secret Society: Mollie Moon and the Glamour, Money, and Power Behind the Civil Rights Movement. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode music is “Crazy Blues,” composed by Perry Bradford and performed by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in 1921; the recording is in the public domain and available via the Library of Congress National Jukebox. The episode image is from the cover of Our Secret Society; Image: Harper Collins. Additional Sources: Socialite Mollie Moon Used Fashion Shows to Fund the Civil Rights MovementMollie Moon, 82, Founding Head Of the Urban League Guild, DiesMollie Moon: A Real VoiceRiver Campus LibrariesHenry Lee Moon (1901-1985)Louise Thompson and the Black and White FilmHarlem Community Art CenterNational Urban League GuildFunding a Social Movement: The Ford Foundation and Civil Rights, 1965-1970

Duration:00:45:49

Jewish War Brides of World War II

12/11/2023
In the ravages of post-World War II Europe, some Jewish women survivors of the Holocaust found the beginnings of a new life when they met – and married – American (and Canadian and British) men serving with the Allied forces. These women were part of a much larger group of war brides, who came to the United States in such large numbers that they required a change in immigration law, but these Jewish war brides faced additional challenges, from language barriers to the memory of the trauma they’d experienced to finding a community in their new home. Dr. Robin Judd, Associate Professor of History at the Ohio State University and author of Between Two Worlds: Jewish War Brides after the Holocaust, joins this episode to help us explore the story of these women. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode music is “Hava Nagila - Orchestra Clarinet,” by JuliusH, available for use via the Pixabay content license. The episode image is “Hanns Ann Alexander wedding 1946,” taken on May 19, 1946, and posted on Flickr by David Lisbona; the image was adapted for use under CC BY 2.0 DEED. Additional Sources: Displaced PersonsComing To America: The War Brides Act of 1945Here Came The War Brides 60 Years Ago, a Vast Wave of British Women Followed Their New Loves to a New LandBand of SistersAmerica Denied Refugees After the End of World War II—Just As We Are TodayStatement by the President Upon Signing the Displaced Persons ActFlory Jagoda: Singer Songwriter, Storyteller, and Composer

Duration:00:45:54

Merze Tate

12/4/2023
Scholar Merze Tate, born in Michigan in 1905, overcame the odds in what she called a “sex and race discriminating world,” to earn graduate degrees from Oxford University and Harvard University on her way to becoming the first Black woman to teach in the History Department at Howard University. During her long career, Tate published 5 books, 34 journal articles and 45 review essays in the fields of diplomatic history and international relations. Her legacy extends beyond her publications, as the fellowships she endowed continue to support students at her alma maters. Joining me in this episode is historian Dr. Barbara Savage, the Geraldine R. Segal Professor Emerita of American Social Thought and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Merze Tate: The Global Odyssey of a Black Woman Scholar. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode music is "Trio for Piano Violin and Viola," by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 4.0 License. The episode image is “Portrait of Merze Tate;” photograph taken by Judith Sedwick in 1982 and housed in the Black Women Oral History Project Collection at the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America; there are no known copyright restrictions. Additional sources: Merze Tate CollectionWho was Dr. Merze Tate?Merze Tate: Her Legacy ContinuesWMU's Merze Tate broke color barriers around the world [video]Merze TateVernie Merze Tate (1905-1996)Merze TateDiplomatic Historian Merze Tate Dies At 91Merze Tate College

Duration:00:47:15

Black Civil Rights before the Civil Rights Movement

11/27/2023
The beginning of the Civil Rights Movement is often dated to sometime in the middle of the 1950s, but the roots of it stretch back much further. The NAACP, which calls itself “the nation's largest and most widely recognized civil rights organization,” was founded near the beginning of the 20th Century, on February 12, 1909. As today’s guest demonstrates, though, Black Americans were exercising civil rights far earlier than that, in many cases even before the Civil War. Joining me in this episode is Dr. Dylan C. Penningroth is a professor of law and history and Associate Dean of the Program in Jurisprudence and Social Policy at the University of California–Berkeley and author of Before the Movement: The Hidden History of Black Civil Rights. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode music is “Hopeful Piano,” by Oleg Kyrylkovv, available via the Pixabay license. The episode image is “Spectators and witnesses on second day of Superior Court during trial of automobile accident case during court week in Granville County Courthouse, Oxford, North Carolina,” by Marion Post Wolcott, photographed in 1939; the photograph is in the public domain and available via the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division, Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives. Additional Sources: 8 Key Laws That Advanced Civil RightsThe Reconstruction Amendments: Official Documents as Social History(1865) Reconstruction Amendments, 1865-187014th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Civil Rights (1868)March 27, 1866: Veto Message on Civil Rights LegislationAndrew Johnson and the veto of the Civil Rights BillGrant signs KKK Act into law, April 20, 1871Looking back at the Ku Klux Klan ActReconstruction and Its Aftermath

Duration:00:48:06

The Long History of the Chicago Portage

11/20/2023
When Europeans arrived in the Great Lakes region, they learned from the Indigenous people living there of a route from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, made possible by a portage connecting the Chicago River and the Des Plaines River. That portage, sometimes called Mud Lake, provided both opportunity and challenge to European powers who struggled to use European naval technology in a region better suited to Indigenous birchbark canoes. In the early 19th century, however, the Americans remade the region with major infrastructure projects, finally controlling the portage not with military power but with engineering, and setting the stage for Chicago’s rapid growth as a major metropolis. Joining me in this episode is Dr. John William Nelson, Assistant Professor of History at Texas Tech University and author of Muddy Ground: Native Peoples, Chicago's Portage, and the Transformation of a Continent. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode music is "Water Droplets on the River," composed and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The episode image is a photograph of a statue that depicts members of the Kaskaskia, a tribe of the Illinois Confederation, leading French explorers Louis Jolliet and Father Jacques Marquette, to the western end of the Chicago Portage in the summer of 1673. The statue was designed by Chicago area artist Ferdinand Rebechini and erected on April 25-26, 1990. The photograph is under the creative commons license CC BY-SA 2.0 and is available via Wikimedia Commons. Additional sources: Chicago Portage National Historic SiteSTORY 1: Chicago Portage National Historic Site/Sitio Histórico Nacional de Chicago PortagePortageThe Chicago PortageMarquette and Jolliet 1673 ExpeditionLouis Jolliet & Jacques Marquette [video]Cadillac, Antoine De La MotheChicago’s Mythical French FortSeven Years’ WarTreaty of Paris (1783)The Northwest and the Ordinances, 1783-1858The Battle Of The Wabash: The Forgotten Disaster Of The Indian WarsThe Battle Of Fallen Timbers, 20 August 1794History of Fort DearbornHow Chicago Transformed From a Midwestern Outpost Town to a Towering CityChicago: 150 Years of Flooding and Excrement

Duration:00:47:00

The Haudenosaunee Confederacy

11/13/2023
Before Europeans landed in North America, five Indigenous nations around what would become New York State came together to form the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. When the Europeans arrived, the French called them the Iroquois Confederacy, and the English called them the League of Five Nations. Those Five Nations were the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas; the Tuscaroras joined the Confederacy in 1722. Some founding father of the United States, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin admired the Haudenosaunee and incorporated their ideas into the U.S. Constitution. Despite that admiration, though, the United States government and the state government of New York did not always treat the Haudenosaunee with respect, and Haudenosaunee leaders had to navigate a difficult terrain in maintaining their sovereignty. Today we’re going to look at the relationship between the Haudenosaunee and the United States through the stories of four individuals: Red Jacket, Ely S. Parker, Harriet Maxwell Converse, and Arthur C. Parker. Joining me in this episode is Dr. John C. Winters, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Southern Mississippi and author of The Amazing Iroquois and the Invention of the Empire State. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode music is “Falling Leaves (Piano),” by Oleksii Holubiev, from Pixabay, used under the Pixabay Content License. The episode image is “Red Jacket (Sagoyewatha),” painted by Thomas Hicks in 1868; the painting is in the public domain and can be found in the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Additional Sources: Haudenosaunee ConfederacyHaudenosaunee Guide For EducatorsThe Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the ConstitutionIndian speech, delivered before a gentleman missionary, from Massachusetts, by a chief, commonly called by the white people Red Jacket. His Indian name is Sagu-ua-what-hath, which being interpreted, is Keeper-awakeThe Graves of Red JacketRed Jacket Medal Returned to Seneca Nation [video]Ely S. ParkerFrom the Stacks‘We Are All Americans:’ Ely S. Parker at Appomattox Court HouseEngineer Became Highest Ranking Native American in Union ArmyBuilding to be Named for Ely S. Parker First Indian Commissioner of the BIA Recognized‘The Great White Mother’: Harriet Maxwell Converse, the Indian Colony of New York City, and the Media, 1885–1903Harriet Maxwell ConverseHarriet Maxwell ConverseResearch and Collections of Arthur C. ParkerArthur C. Parker and the Society of the American Indian, 1911-1916New York History

Duration:00:54:31

Gun Capitalism & Gun Control in the U.S. after World War II

11/6/2023
In 1945, the population of the United States was around 140 million people, and those Americans owned an estimated 45 million guns, or about one gun for every three people. By 2023, the population of the United States stood at just over 330 million people, and according to historical data from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the number of guns produced and imported for the US market since 1899 exceeds 474 million firearms. Even assuming some of those guns have broken or been destroyed or illegally exported, there are easily more guns than people in the United States today. How and why the number of guns rose so precipitously in the US since World War II is our story today. Joining me to help us learn more about guns in the United States in the second half of the 20th Century is Dr. Andrew C. McKevitt, the John D. Winters Endowed Professor of History at Louisiana Tech University and author of Gun Country: Gun Capitalism, Culture, and Control in Cold War America. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode music is “Johnny Get Your Gun,” composed by Monroe H. Rosenfeld and performed by Harry C. Browne, in New York on April 19, 1917; the audio is in the public domain and available via the Library of Congress National Jukebox. The episode image is a Hi-Standard ad from 1957. Additional sources: How Many Guns Are Circulating in the U.S.?The Mysterious Meaning of the Second AmendmentJames C. PhillipsJosh BlackmanTimeline of Gun Control in the United StatesRobert LongleyDo Black People Have Equal Gun Rights?Gun Control Is as Old as the Old WestThe NRA Wasn't Always Against Gun RestrictionsHow NRA’s true believers converted a marksmanship group into a mighty gun lobbyJoel AchenbachScott HighamSari HorwitzOpinion: The reality of gun violence in the US is bleak, but history shows it’s not hopelessFirearms and Federal Law: The Gun Control Act of 1968Remarks Upon Signing the Gun Control Act of 1968The Inside History of How Guns Are Marketed and Sold in AmericaThe Supreme Court will hear a case that could effectively legalize automatic weapons

Duration:00:52:55

The History of the Nutrition Facts Label

10/30/2023
If you go to a grocery store in the United States and pick up a box of cereal, you expect to find a white box on the back of the package with information in Helvetica Black about the food’s macronutrients (things like fat and protein) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). The Nutrition Facts label is so ubiquitous that you may not even notice it. But how did it get there and why does it look the way it does? The history of that label is our story this week. Joining me to discuss the history of food labeling in the United States is Dr. Xaq Frohlich, Associate Professor of History of Technology in the Department of History at Auburn University, and author of From Label to Table: Regulating Food in America in the Information Age. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode music is “Oh, you candy kid,” composed by John L. Golden, with lyrics by Bob Adams, and performed by Ada Jones in 1909; the audio is in the public domain and available via the Library of Congress’s National Jukebox. The episode image is “FDA Label Man,” an ad produced by the FDA for the nutritional label; the image is in the public domain as a United States government work and is available via the FDA Flickr. Additional Sources: Milestones in U.S. Food and Drug LawPure Food and Drug Act of 1906: Topics in Chronicling AmericaThe Pure Food and Drug ActThe American Chamber of Horrors [video]The Accidental Poison That Founded the Modern FDAF. D. A. Proposes Sweeping Change in Food LabelingH.R.3562 - Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts LabelThe FDA wants to change what counts as ‘healthy’ food. Big food makers say that's unfair.FDA to test new package labels that could change how consumers make food choicesThe FDA is attempting to ban partially hydrogenated oils for good. But what in the world are they?Burkey Belser, designer of ubiquitous nutrition facts label, dies at 76

Duration:00:44:40

The History & the Present of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe

10/23/2023
During the 19th Century, the Northern Cheyenne people made a number of treaties with the United States government, but the U.S. repeatedly failed to honor its end of the treaties. In November 1876, the U.S. Army, still fuming over their crushing defeat by the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne at the Battle of Little Bighorn, attacked a village of Northern Cheyenne, destroying 200 lodges and driving the survivors, including women and children, into the freezing cold with few supplies. When the weakened survivors surrendered at Fort Robinson the following spring, believing they would be located on a northern reservation, they were instead forced north to Indian Territory in Oklahoma, where they faced miserable conditions. Finally in 1884, the Northern Cheyenne Reservation was established in what is now southeastern Montana. Joining me in this episode is writer Gerry Robinson, a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, and author of The Cheyenne Story: An Interpretation of Courage. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The episode image is “Little Coyote (Little Wolf) and Morning Star (Dull Knife), Chiefs of the Northern Cheyennes,” photographed by William Henry Jackson in 1873; the image is in the public domain and is available via Wikimedia Commons. Additional Sources: Northern Cheyenne TribeChief Dull Knife CollegeNorthern Cheyenne Reservation TimelineBeyond "Discovery" Lewis & Clark from an Indigenous Perspective: Journal of American Indian Higher EducationTreaty & OccupationIn 1868, Two Nations Made a Treaty, the U.S. Broke It and Plains Indian Tribes are Still Seeking JusticeLittle Wolf and President GrantBattle of the Little BighornTreaty With The Cheyenne Tribe, 1825Treaty Of Fort Laramie With Sioux, Etc., 1851Treaty With The Arapaho And Cheyenne, 1861Treaty With The Northern Cheyenne And Northern Arapaho, 1868

Duration:00:40:05

The Borinqueneers of the Korean War

10/16/2023
In 1950, President Harry Truman ordered US troops to the Korean peninsula to help the South Koreans repel the invading North Korean People’s Army, which was supported by the communist regimes of the Soviet Union and China. One of the regiments shipped overseas to fight was the 65th Infantry Regiment, the Borinqueneers, made up of soldiers from Puerto Rico. In Korea, the Borinqueneers served heroically, despite harsh conditions and racist treatment. Joining me in this episode to help us learn more about the 65th Infantry Regiment is writer Talia Aikens-Nuñez, author of the young adult book Men of the 65th: The Borinqueneers of the Korean War. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The mid-episode audio is “La Borinqueña,” performed by the United States Navy Band in 2003; the audio is in the public domain and available via Wikimedia Commons.The episode image is “Members of the 65th Infantry Regiment pose for a photo after a firefight during the Korean War;“ the photo is by the U.S. Army, in the public domain, and available via the Department of Defense. Additional sources: Puerto Rico’s 65th Infantry Fought Bravely in Korea—Then Had to Fight for RedemptionThe Borinqueneers: The Forgotten Heroes of a Forgotten WarThe 65th Infantry Regiment: A Storied HistoryCongress Honors Puerto Rican Regiment for Heroic Korean War ServiceBloodied in Battle, Now Getting Their Due65th Infantry Regiment ‘Borinqueneers’ Highlight Hispanic Heritage Month

Duration:00:38:17