Martin Luther King did so much more for American society, and wanted so much more from the US government and US elite, than most people realize. Popular history has airbrushed out far too much about his life and work. Professor Phil Nash reminds us of the importance of King’s work, especially during the forgotten period between his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech and his assassination in 1968. Listen and learn.
Even though nothing tops the 2020-2021 Trump-Biden "transition," presidential transitions have not always been smooth and stable in American history. Professor Philip Nash explains all and puts historical transitions in the context of what's happening now. Episode #402
During World War I, many young American women longed to be part of a larger, more glorious war effort. A new genre of young adult books entered the market, written specifically with the young girls of the war period in mind, and demonstrating the wartime activities of women and girls all over the world. Professors Emily Hamilton-Honey and Susan Ingalls Lewis explain the historical significance of this literature! Episode #401
Should old acquaintance be forgot? What? Should we forget old friends? What does Auld Lang Syne actually mean? Why do we sing it every New Year’s Eve? Join the Professor as he waxes lyrical and sentimentally about Auld Lang Syne, Scotland, and good auld Robert Burns!
Dr. Kate Lemay from the National Portrait Gallery tells us about the popular historical exhibition, “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence.” She outlines the movement for women to obtain the right to vote as part of the larger struggle for equality, and tells us how that was shown in portraiture. A great show to finish the 1920-2020 centennial! Episode #400.
The Weemsy Awards spotlight the most egregious misrepresentations of U.S. History in the past year by politicians, celebrities, executives, and more! Professor Edward T. O'Donnell joins us to unveil the winners! Episode #399.
One of the most popular movies of all time, “It’s a Wonderful Life” (starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed) is a holiday classic. It has also given us a cornucopia of history myths and urban legends. Lend an ear as the Professor analyzes these stories, talks about how the movie was received when released in 1946, and highlights many overlooked supporting actors and plot devices in the film. And you learn why the Professor thinks he also has a “wonderful life”! Episode #398.
Professor Philip Nash explains the complexities of the celebration and commercialism of Christmas -- from the Roman holiday of Saturnalia to the Victorian era to the Nazi period and beyond! Listen to the best explanation of the history of modern Christmas that you're gonna find this side of Bethlehem! Episode #397
Historical novelist, Susan Holloway Scott, joins us to discuss two of her fabulous books -- "I, Eliza Hamilton" and "The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr." We learn a lot about these historical figures, but also how historical novelists are able to create characters from the past. Episode #396
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How and why did George Washington create the cabinet structure that he used in his Presidency? How did it help create new political norms and traditions in the early United States? What was its long-standing effect? Professor Lindsey Chervinsky explains all! Episode #395.
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Professor Philip Nash explains his man-crush on Gustav Stresemann, the important German politician during the Weimar period. What do Stresemann's career and his hopes for Germany tell us about the strengths that can be found in nationalism? And we engage in some "what if Stresemann had lived" speculation. Would we have seen the rise of Hitler? Episode #394
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Professor Scott Hancock from Gettysburg College joins us to explain the development of efforts to contextualize and historicize the Confederate Monuments at the Gettysburg National Military Park. The summer of 2020 saw a great deal of tension and confrontation during these presentations. Dr. Hancock explains how this helped the "We Want More History" movement. One of our best shows ever! Episode #393
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Kamala Harris is just the latest female politician to have her dress sense scrutinized. In this episode, we look at the famous quote about Ginger Rogers doing everything that Fred Astaire did, but backward and in high heels. And the Professor ruminates on what Vice-President-Elect Harris's shoe choices say about her career and contemporary American politics. Episode #392
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The Texel insurrection was one of last battles of World War II, but few people know about it. Georgians serving in the Wehrmacht on Texel island off the Dutch coast rose up and slaughtered their German masters. Hitler ordered the island to be retaken and fighting continued for weeks, well after the war's end. A gripping story with multiple meanings, misconceptions, and myths! Episode #391
Professor Terri Finneman explains how the press has portrayed women politicians running for high office in the United State. From Victoria Woodhull in the 1870s to Kamala Harris in 2020, she enlightens us about how media discourse of women politicians has and hasn’t changed over this long period! Episode #390.
The pollsters correctly predicted a Biden win in the 2020 Presidential election. But there was no Blue Wave, and Senate seats didn't flip, as many pollsters predicted. Polling prediction errors are common in American history. Professor W. Joseph Campbell explains why! Episode #389
Professor Liza Black enlightens us about her new book, Picturing Indians: Native Americans in Film 1941-1960. She examines many misunderstandings and misconceptions about Native Americans working in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Episode #388
Halloween is a demonic holiday chock full of sin and endangered by razor blades in trick or treat candy, right? Wrong. Nothing about the origins of Halloween can be called demonic, satanic, or anti-Christian. And the adulterated candy thing is an urban legend. Get the full story from the Buzzkill Institute.
Buzzkillers have asked us to play the original 1938 radio drama, War of the Worlds, that allegedly caused such a panic. Here it is, in all its historic glory, with a short introduction from Professor Buzzkill. Don't panic!
A 1938 radio play based on H.G. Wells' novel, The War of the Worlds, supposedly panicked America. The Martians were invading! People went hysterical and ran for their lives! Or did they? Listen to Professors Jefferson Pooley and Michael Socolow explain what really happened. Episode #387.
There seem to have been a lot of October Surprises in American Presidential elections since the 1940s. And there have been different types of October Surprises, for different reasons, and with different motivations. But have they ever seriously affected the election results? Our political history genius, Professor Philip Nash, explains all! Episode #386
Dr. Claire Bond Potter explains how Americans became political junkies in the 20th and 21st centuries. From talk radio to Twitter, she shows us how alternative media hooked us on politics and broke our democracy. Listen right away! Episode #385
Evan Axelbank from the new podcast "Axelbank Reports History and Today" interviews Professor Buzzkill, and vice versa! We talk about books, history, and podcasting. Fun, fun, fun!! Episode #384
What is the "electoral college" and how does it work? Why was it created? Was it created to protect slavery and slave states in the 18th century? Is the current electoral college what the Founders intended? And what can Americans do about this broken and abused relic? Prof Philip Nash explains all! Episode #383.
Professor Michelle Nickerson explains the complicated and compelling history of the news media in US history, and the changing development of "fake news." She also helps us understand what to do about it! Episode #382.
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