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HUB History

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We have one beta episode online to validate the feed, with the first real episode going live on 10/30/2016

We have one beta episode online to validate the feed, with the first real episode going live on 10/30/2016
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We have one beta episode online to validate the feed, with the first real episode going live on 10/30/2016






Ep54: The 1747 Boston Impressment Riot (Nov 13, 2017)

In 1747, a British Commodore began kidnapping sailors and working men in Boston, and the people of the city wouldn’t stand for it. Three days of violence followed, in a draft riot that pitted the working class of Boston against the Colonial government and Royal Navy. Show notes:

Duration: 00:37:58

Ep53: The Radical Heywoods (Nov 5, 2017)

This week’s show profiles Angela and Ezra Heywood: writers, activists, free-love advocates, suffragists, socialists, labor reformers, and abolitionists who shocked the sensibilities of Victorian Boston. Show notes:

Duration: 00:37:32

Ep52: Our Year in Review (Oct 30, 2017)

We're celebrating our first "podcastversary" with a look back at our favorite episodes so far, some reflections on podcast production, and our plans for switching things up in the year ahead. Stay tuned for the end, where we ask our listeners an important question about the future of the show. Show notes:

Duration: 00:52:03

Ep51: Confederates on Boston Harbor (Oct 23, 2017)

During the Civil War, thousands of Confederate soldiers, diplomats, and politicians were imprisoned behind the walls of Fort Warren on Georges Island. Today, the fort is home to the only Confederate monument in Massachusetts, but not for much longer. Show notes:

Duration: 00:42:43

Ep50: The Great Brinks Caper (Oct 16, 2017)

The Brinks robbery, an infamous 1950 heist in Boston’s North End, captivated the nation and baffled the FBI. It was the largest robbery in American history up to that time. Show notes:

Duration: 00:28:22

Ep49: The Tong Wars and the Great Chinatown Raid (Oct 9, 2017)

This week's episode takes on the early history of Boston’s Chinatown, two murders that took place there at the turn of the twentieth century, and a terrifying crackdown on Chinese Americans in Boston that sparked an international incident and has parallels in today’s headlines. Show notes:

Duration: 00:40:33

Ep48: The X-Ray Man (Oct 2, 2017)

This episode examines the life of Walter Dodd, who started his career as a janitor at Harvard Medical School before becoming a pharmacist, physician, and the Father of American Radiology. Though as you will hear, his journey was not without great personal sacrifice. Show notes:

Duration: 00:24:27

Ep47: This Week in Boston History (Sep 25, 2017)

Your humble hosts are out of town and off the air this week. Never fear, Jake is here, and he has this week’s historical anniversaries for your enjoyment. Show notes:

Duration: 00:16:48

Episode 46: Aeronauts, Ascents, and the Early History of Ballooning in Boston (Sep 18, 2017)

Early Boston aeronauts used balloons to perform scientific experiments, cross the English channel, take the first aerial photographs, and provide public entertainment. Whether by hot air or hydrogen, these pioneers made their way into the air, and into the history books. Show notes:

Duration: 00:34:32

Ep45: The Skin Book (Sep 11, 2017)

The Skin Book was written by highwayman George Walton and dedicated to the only man to best him in combat. While he was a prisoner at Charlestown Penitentiary, Walton wrote a memoir. According to his wishes, after his death, the book was bound in Walton's own skin and given to the man who defeated him. Today, this example of anthropodermic bibliopegy is a prized possession of the Boston Athenaeum. Show notes:

Duration: 00:35:10

Ep44: Perambulating the Bounds (Sep 4, 2017)

Since 1651, Boston has had a legal responsibility to mark and measure its boundaries every few years. Despite advances in technology, the practice of "perambulating the bounds" means that someone has to go out and walk the town lines. This law is one of the oldest still on the books, but when was the last time Boston perambulated its bounds? Listen now! Show notes:

Duration: 00:34:09

Ep42: Boston's Total Eclipse of the Podcast

While your humble hosts are away chasing the total solar eclipse, enjoy this show about the history of eclipses in Boston. Show notes: (We're aware of some glitches in this recording and trying to fix it with our podcast hosting provider.)

Duration: 00:24:00

Ep41: Canoes and Canoodling on the Charles River (Aug 14, 2017)

During a late nineteenth century canoe craze, recreational canoeing became Boston's hottest leisure time activity. Young lovers took advantage of the privacy and intimacy of a canoe to engage in a little bit of illicit romance, leading a humorless state police agency to ban kissing in canoes on the Charles River. Show notes:

Duration: 00:36:21

Ep40: Banned in Boston! (Aug 7, 2017)

Despite our liberal reputation today, for years Boston was a bastion of official censorship. Authors and playwrights whose works were considered obscene had to create a watered-down "Boston version." The Watch and Ward Society decided what art, theater, and literature was permissible, and what would be Banned in Boston! Show notes:

Duration: 00:33:05

Episode 39: Tragedy at Cocoanut Grove (Jul 31, 2017)

492 people were killed in a 1942 fire at Boston's Cocoanut Grove nightclub that lasted barely a half hour. It was the deadliest disaster in Boston history. Only the smallpox epidemics of the early 1700s and the 1918 Spanish flu rival it for loss of life. Show notes:

Duration: 00:43:42

Episode 36: Boston in the Golden Age of Piracy, Part 2 (Jul 10, 2017)

In this episode, we continue our tale of Boston in the Golden Age of Piracy, picking up at the end of the War of The Spanish Succession. We’ll learn about some of the most fearsome and notorious pirates in history, as well as one of the most ineffective. We’ll see how one of these pirates gave a founding father his start in public life, which US president’s great grandfather bought a former pirate as a slave, and what other president’s great grandfather decapitated a pirate with an axe....

Duration: 00:46:47

Episode 35: The Boston Symphony Orchestra in World War I (Jul 3, 2017)

With a partial "Muslim Ban" in place, it's important to remember that vilifying "enemy aliens" is one of the darkest chapters of our nation's history. A hundred years ago, Americans were all too willing to imprison or even deport their neighbors of German descent. Here in Boston, the preeminent director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra was affected, along with almost a third of the orchestra’s musicians. Show notes:

Duration: 00:28:41

Episode 33: The Four Burials of Joseph Warren (June 19, 2017)

Dr. Joseph Warren was the greatest Patriot leader you've never heard of. His many accomplishments led the royal governor of Massachusetts, General Thomas Gage, to remark that “The death of Joseph Warren is akin to the death of five hundred Patriots.” He was so in demand that his body was moved three times after his death at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Show notes:

Duration: 00:31:47

Episode 32: The Gruesome Tale of the Giggler (June 12, 2017)

Everyone knows the story of the Boston Strangler. Fewer people know the tale of The Giggler, Boston’s lesser known serial killer. The victims fit no pattern, they were a young boy and girl, a grown man, and an old lady. The Giggler would simply feel what he described as an irresistible urge to kill. Show notes at

Duration: 00:25:45

Episode 31: This Week in Boston History (Minisode May 29, 2017)

Your humble hosts weren't able to sit down together and record a full episode this week. However, we wouldn't want you to have to go a whole week without hearing from us. So here's a brief look at what happened this week in Boston history. Show notes:

Duration: 00:16:22

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