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BackStory with the American History Guys

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BackStory is a public radio program & podcast that brings historical perspective to the events happening around us today. On each show, renowned U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh tear a topic from the headlines and plumb its historical depths.

BackStory is a public radio program & podcast that brings historical perspective to the events happening around us today. On each show, renowned U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh tear a topic from the headlines and plumb its historical depths.
More Information

Location:

Charlottesville, VA

Description:

BackStory is a public radio program & podcast that brings historical perspective to the events happening around us today. On each show, renowned U.S. historians Ed Ayers, Peter Onuf, and Brian Balogh tear a topic from the headlines and plumb its historical depths.

Language:

English

Contact:

145 Ednam Drive, Charlottesville, VA 434 924 3296


Episodes

Out of the Closet: The LGBTQ Community in American History

12/7/2018
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Brian, Nathan and Joanne explore the history of the LGBTQ community in the US, from tales of gender fluidity in the Old West to early gay liberation, and from the political career of Harvey Milk to the barrier breaking career of one SFPD cop. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:01:19:37

Forgotten Flu: America & the 1918 Pandemic

11/30/2018
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The CDC recommended flu shots for all this year after more than 80,000 Americans succumbed to influenza in 2017 - a four-decade high. But 100 years ago, a strain of H1N1 that was first found in soldiers in the spring of 1918 rapidly spread across the United States killing about 675,000 by 1919 and making it “the most severe pandemic in recent history,” according to the CDC. Brian, Nathan, and Joanne look back at the so-called “Spanish Flu,” how it affected the U.S., and why it’s often...

Duration:00:43:40

Stuffed: Taxidermy in the History of America

11/23/2018
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This Thanksgiving week BackStory is all about stuffing and being stuffed. We’ll find out about the father of American natural history dioramas, talk to a man with a condor in his freezer, discover how a mischievous raven connects Edgar Allan Poe to Charles Dickens and unravel the extraordinary story of the man who proposed stuffing the Founding Fathers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:01:09:25

Divided States of America? The History of An Often Disjointed Union

11/16/2018
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Google the phrase “divided America” and you’ll find numerous, stories, opinion pieces and even psychological theories on why we’re so disconnected. From race and class to gender and politics, it seems that Americans can’t see eye-to-eye - to the point that a recent NBC News headline stated, “Americans are divided over everything except division.” On this episode, Ed, Nathan and Joanne look at other times in history when Americans were split. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit...

Duration:00:57:06

Lincoln the Lawyer: Abraham Lincoln’s Early Life and Career

11/9/2018
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Abraham Lincoln wasn’t the first lawyer to occupy the Oval Office (and he wouldn’t be the last). Lincoln came to national prominence after a long career settling disputes between farmers and representing litigious railway companies. So what did this enterprising lawyer pick up along the way and how did his legal career influence the President he became? Ed and guest host Lindsay Graham of the American History Tellers podcast explore the career of Lincoln the Lawyer. Learn more about your ad...

Duration:00:54:43

Border Patrols: Policing Immigration in America

11/2/2018
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Thousands of Central American migrants, dubbed the “migrant caravan,” have traveled north on foot towards the U.S. border since mid-October. Originating in Honduras, the group includes men, women and children attempting to escape high poverty, violence and corruption. In response, President Trump deployed 5,200 active duty troops to the U.S. border with Mexico this week and indicates that number could reach 15,000. On this episode of BackStory, Brian, Nathan and Joanne consider the origins...

Duration:00:37:37

The War to End All Wars: Remembering WWI

10/26/2018
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On November 11, 1918, Germany formally surrendered to the Allied Powers, about 19 months after the United States entered the conflict. On this episode, Brian and Nathan reflect on how, 100 years later, “the war to end all wars” is still with Americans. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:49:23

To be a Citizen? The History of Becoming American

10/19/2018
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Around three quarters of a million people applied to be American Citizens in 2017. But what does citizenship actually mean? The way Americans have defined citizenship has changed over time and many have found their citizenship challenged, undermined, resisted and even revoked. On this episode of BackStory, Brian, Nathan and Joanne discover the path to citizenship has never been easy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:54:00

Thar She Blows Again: The History of Whales and America (Part 2)

10/12/2018
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BackStory shoots up from the depths and spouts another great episode exploring the extraordinary tale of whales and whaling in America. Brian, Nathan, Joanne and Ed uncover the story of Cabin Boys who were women in disguise, find out why a decomposing whale was turned away from a Midwestern Town, and learn all about the Black whaler and entrepreneur who became one of the wealthiest men in America. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:01:04:18

Thar She Blows: The History of Whales and America

10/5/2018
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Whale deaths are defying yearly averages on the East Coast according to the New England Aquarium, once again increasing concerns about our conservation responsibilities and the continued recovery of the species after nearly two centuries of whaling. Americans romanticized whaling through books like “Moby Dick,” even though whale hunting nearly led to the extinction of the sperm whale. On this episode, Brian, Nathan and Joanne explore how Native American whalers faced stereotypes within the...

Duration:00:44:06

Land of the Free? The History of Incarceration in the U.S.

9/28/2018
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(Contains archival audio in segments 1 and 3 (see backstoryradio.org for details).) The United States imprisons more of its citizens than any other nation in the world. This month prisoners across the U.S. took part in a National Prison strike protesting how they are used as cheap labor, and calling for an end to “prison slavery.” In this episode, Brian, Nathan and Joanne reflect on the history of prison labor and learn more about the challenges facing those behind bars. Learn more about...

Duration:00:40:29

Close Encounters: UFOs in American History

9/21/2018
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The national Sunspot Solar Observatory was mysteriously shut down on Sept. 6. Located near Almagordo, New Mexico, local law enforcement reported that the FBI was behind the closure that lasted approximately one week. However, the FBI would neither confirm nor deny the reports. The shutdown sparked numerous rumors across the internet with many believing that alien activity was involved. So, on this week’s episode, Nathan, Brian and Ed discuss things in the sky we can’t explain - unidentified...

Duration:01:02:19

Who Wants to be a Millionaire? The History of America’s Wealthy Elite

9/14/2018
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It’s been ten years since the collapse of Lehman Brothers shook the world’s economy. Today Ed, Nathan and Brian explore the iconic figure of the American Millionaire, telling the story of one of the first African American Millionaires, delving into the ambiguities around Andrew Carnegie’s philanthropy, and finding out that there is more to the board game Monopoly than just rolling the dice and passing “Go.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:47:12

After Hurricane Maria: The History of Puerto Rico and the United States

9/7/2018
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In August of 2018, officials in Puerto Rico reported that over 3,000 people died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. One year after the disaster, Brian, Ed and Nathan take a look at the historical relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States. Are Puerto Ricans really Americans in the eyes of the federal government? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:54:13

Fit to Print?: A History of Fake News

8/31/2018
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As we approach the midterm elections, concerns about fake news - widely circulated news stories that are inaccurate, misleading, or completely made-up – continue to dominate the headlines. The topics, targets, and sources of this content continues to expand, while labelling stories as “fake news” has become a commonplace tactic to blur the lines between fiction and reality. On this episode, Nathan, Joanne and Ed will look at other times in history when Americans had to be a bit more careful...

Duration:00:33:59

Hot Enough For You? The History of Climate Change

8/24/2018
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According to data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2018 is on pace to be the fourth hottest year on record. So, on this week’s episode, Nathan, Brian and Joanne talk about how Americans understood climate and weather in centuries past. They also explore how the invention of air conditioning changed America forever. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:32:36

In the Shadow of the Mushroom Cloud: A History of the Atomic Age

8/17/2018
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In 1942, American scientists created the first sustained, controlled nuclear reaction, under the bleachers of a football field. Needless to say, it was the beginning of a new era. On this week’s show, Brian, Joanne and Ed talk atomic power, and the indelible mark it left on American culture. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:55:39

A More Perfect Union? The Reconstruction Era

8/10/2018
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Lately, Americans feel the country is more divided (at least politically) than ever and often wonder how to go about repairing our divisions. Those same questions were asked when the nation started to come back together after the very real split of the Civil War. When Congress passed the first Reconstruction Acts, paving the way for Confederate states to rejoin the Union after the war, many also asked who belonged in the country and what rights they would have. So, in this episode, Ed,...

Duration:00:44:12

The Battle for Charlottesville's Soul: One Year Later, A Community Looks Back

8/3/2018
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On August 11 & 12, 2017, a “Unite the Right” rally brought chaos, violence and death to the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia. To mark the anniversary, BackStory broadcasts an episode of “A12,” a new podcast series presented by historian, writer and podcaster Nicole Hemmer. “A12” looks at the legacy of August 12th in Charlottesville and beyond. In it Hemmer, who witnessed the rally and attack, brings together city leaders, activists, scholars, and witnesses to make sense of all the...

Duration:00:47:00

Elementary Mr. President: Sherlock Holmes, the Supreme Court and Dr. Spock

7/27/2018
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Ed, Joanne and Brian explore the history of filling vacant seats on the Supreme Court, discover the secret connections between 221B Baker Street and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and find out why the publication date of a successful child rearing manual is a Day that Changed America. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:39:06