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HISTORY This Week

Author: The HISTORY Channel

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This week, something momentous happened. Whether or not it made the textbooks, it most certainly made history. Join HISTORY This Week as we turn back the clock to meet the people, visit the places and witness the moments that led us to where we are today.

68 Episodes
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Smash, Smash, Smash!

Smash, Smash, Smash!

2021-03-0824:28

March 9, 1901. From a jail cell in Topeka, Kansas, temperance vigilante Carry Nation is hard at work. After her latest arrest for smashing up a bar with her infamous hatchet, Nation decides to spread her message with paper and ink. The first issue of The Smasher’s Mail would be published on this day, with Nation arranging the entire endeavor from behind bars. The newsletter was only a small part of her crusade against “hell-broth,” which included everything from destroying saloons to starring in her own burlesque shows. But when considering how alcohol altered her life’s journey, were her methods really all that extreme?   Special thanks to Fran Grace, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Redlands and author of Carry A. Nation: Retelling the Life.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
A War on Women

A War on Women

2021-03-0128:034

March 2, 1923. In Wichita, Kansas, Mary Irby and Euna Hollowell are being held at the county jail. The two women are charged with “lewdly abiding.” Translation: officials suspect them of carrying a sexually transmitted infection. Hollowell, Irby, and many women like them will go on to be forcibly examined and incarcerated under a public health program known as “The American Plan.” This initiative resulted in decades of mass incarceration of tens of thousands of American women. How was it possible for the U.S. government to publicly wage war on women? And how did those women fight back? Special thank you to our guest Scott W. Stern, author of The Trials of Nina McCall: Sex, Surveillance, and the Decades-Long Government Plan to Imprison "Promiscuous" Women.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Jazz on the Record

Jazz on the Record

2021-02-2228:362

February 26, 1917. At the Victor Talking Machine Company’s studio in Manhattan, five white men gathered to record the first jazz record in history. The Original Dixieland Jass Band’s release was a hit, introducing many listeners across America to this genre for the first time. These musicians even claimed that they invented jazz, but that was far from the truth. Why was jazz, an artform pioneered by black musicians, introduced to the world by an all-white band? And who were the true pioneers who could have made the first jazz record?   Special thanks to Damon J. Phillips, Columbia Business School professor and author of Shaping Jazz: Cities, Labels, and the Global Emergence of an Art Form, and Kevin Whitehead, jazz critic for NPR’s Fresh Air and author of Play the Way You Feel: The Essential Guide to Jazz Stories on Film.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Freedom Rides Down Under

Freedom Rides Down Under

2021-02-1530:343

February 15, 1965. Walgett, Australia. A group of about 30 Sydney students has traveled here on a fact-finding mission – a mission they’ll call a Freedom Ride, inspired by the efforts of Civil Rights activists in America. They’re here to document the unequal treatment of Aboriginal members in Walgett. But after being kicked out of town, their bus is run off the road, and the students brace themselves to face their attackers waiting in the night. How did the U.S. Civil Rights movement spark a wave of student activism on the other side of the world? And how did this dramatic confrontation help catapult this student protest to national importance, changing Australian society forever? Thank you to our guests: Ann Curthoys, student Freedom Rider and Professor Emeritus at ANU; and ANU School of History Professor, Peter Read, author of “Charles Perkins: A Biography."  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
February 13, 1861. The city of Washington DC is waiting. Bracing itself. For weeks, there have been threats that this day is going to get violent because pro-slavery voters feel the recently elected president, Abraham Lincoln, is a threat to their way of life. Today, Lincoln is supposed to be affirmed when the electoral votes are counted in the US Capitol building, but on the morning of the count, hundreds of anti-Lincoln rioters storm the building. Their goal: to stop the electoral count. What happened when a mob of anti-Lincoln rioters tried to take over the US Capitol? And how did American democracy handle the test? Thank you to our guest, Ted Widmer, distinguished lecturer at the Macaulay Honors College at CUNY and author of "Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington."  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
It takes bold visionaries risking everything to create some of the most recognizable brands on the planet. The Food That Built America, based on the hit documentary series from The HISTORY® Channel, tells the extraordinary true stories of industry titans like Henry Heinz, Milton Hershey, the Kellogg brothers and Ray Kroc, who revolutionized the food industry and transformed American life and culture in the process. Subscribe to The Food that Built America wherever you get your podcasts and listen to new episodes every Thursday.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
February 1, 1960. Four young Black men, David Richmond, Franklin McCain, Jibreel Khazan and Joseph McNeil gather outside the Woolworth department store in Greensboro, North Carolina. All four are college freshman, and they have come downtown with a single purpose: to desegregate the department store, one of the most visible embodiments of racism and segregation in America. These teenagers stage a sit in that sparks a youth movement across the nation and reignites the sputtering Civil Rights Movement. How exactly did the Greensboro sit-ins come together? And why did this particular protest spread like wildfire? Special thank you to our guest, Dr. Traci Parker Associate Professor at University of Massachusetts at Amherst and author of Department Stores and the Black Freedom Movement.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Houdini Defies Death

Houdini Defies Death

2021-01-2531:211

January 25, 1908. Harry Houdini is the most famous magician in America. He’s known for his escapes – from handcuffs, boxes, jail cells, even a giant football. But the escape act is getting old, and ticket sales aren’t what they used to be. And on this day, an under-capacity audience at the Columbia Theater in St. Louis is about to witness Houdini’s most dangerous escape yet… from death itself. How did a Hungarian immigrant named Erik Weisz become Harry Houdini? And when his career was fading, how did Houdini embrace death to bring it back to life? Special thanks to our guest, Joe Posnanski (author of The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini). Additional thanks to San Diego magician Tom Interval for providing archival audio of Houdini.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
January 6, 2021. As Congress voted to affirm Joe Biden as the incoming president, rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to thwart the election certification. This insurrection shook the nation to its core, forcing many to question the steadfastness of nearly 250 years of democratic rule. In this special episode, we asked historians to join a discussion about where this moment stands in American history, and what we can learn from the past to show us a path forward. This episode features Sharron Conrad (postdoctoral fellow at SMU’s Center for Presidential History), Beverly Gage (professor of American history and director of the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy at Yale University), and Steve Gillon (scholar-in-residence at The History Channel and professor of history at the University of Oklahoma).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The First VP of Color

The First VP of Color

2021-01-1824:271

January 23, 1907. The Kansas legislature has convened to decide who will be the next US Senator from their state. The vote shakes out as everyone expected: front-runner Charles Curtis wins the seat. Curtis – a member of the Kaw Nation – has just become the first person of color elected to the Senate and will go on to rise even further as Vice President of the United States. This week, Kamala Harris follows Curtis as the second person of color to fill that seat. However, his legacy is a complicated one. How did Charles Curtis rise so high during an era that was arguably the height of American white supremacy? And what does his flawed political legacy tell us about the complexities of representation?  Special thank you to our guest, Brett Chapman.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Off With Her Head

Off With Her Head

2021-01-1131:162

January 15, 1535. King Henry VIII has a decree. As of today, he is “the only supreme head on earth of the Church of England". Which means: the Pope is no longer head of the Church in England for the first time in history. And why? All because of a woman named Anne Boleyn. King Henry VIII moves heaven and earth to marry the woman he loves, but just a thousand days later he will have her executed. Why did he do it? And how is the story we always tell about Anne Boleyn all wrong? Thank you to our guest, Claire Ridgway, the author of TheAnneBoleynFiles.com.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
SEASON TWO PREMIERE – January 8, 1964. In his State of the Union address, Lyndon Johnson unveils his War on Poverty, an effort to tackle subpar living conditions and create jobs across the United States. Johnson discovers that declaring war—even one on an idea—always comes with great costs. Why did LBJ pick poverty as one of his major initiatives? And what is the legacy of the war he started? This episode features Doris Kearns Goodwin (presidential historian and executive producer of The HISTORY Channel’s forthcoming documentary series, Lincoln and Roosevelt) and Guian McKee (associate professor in Presidential Studies at UVA’s Miller Center).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Best Stories of 2020

Best Stories of 2020

2020-12-2828:301

December 28, 2020. In this year-end recap, Sally sits down with HISTORY This Week producers McCamey Lynn, Julie Magruder and Ben Dickstein to discuss their favorite episodes from 2020 and bonus info that didn’t make it into the episodes. Plus, we’ll hear researcher Emma Frederick’s favorite facts from a year’s worth of deep dives. You can find the links to all relevant episodes below. We’re back next week to kick off Season 2 with a very special guest.  Special thank you to our guests in this episode, Jackie Logan and John Uri. Episode links: Houston We've Had a Problem Surviving Auschwitz The Inca's Last Stand  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
A Scrooge for the Ages

A Scrooge for the Ages

2020-12-2129:232

December 27, 1853. On a freezing, snowy night in Birmingham, England, 2,000 people have lined up outside the town hall. They’ve braved the temperatures for a landmark performance, Charles Dickens’ first reading of A Christmas Carol. The tale will become an international sensation and beloved Christmas tradition. In this special episode of HISTORY This Week, we bring you a classic 1949 rendition of the story starring Vincent Price, so you can decide for yourself: What is it about A Christmas Carol that’s endured for over 150 years?   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
A Drug Rushed to Market

A Drug Rushed to Market

2020-12-1429:334

December 18, 1970. Decades after the end of WWII a Nazi doctor is on trial. Today is judgment day in a long, difficult legal battle, but this case isn’t about war crimes. The German pharmaceutical company Grunenthal is charged with the worst medical disaster in history: the Thalidomide scandal. The shoddily tested and hastily approved drug made its way into medicine cabinets around the world, and a decade after its release, the reality is becoming clear: Thalidomide is killing babies. Who are the heroes that brought down Thalidomide? And how did this disaster change pharmaceutical regulations forever? Special thanks to our guest Michael Magazanik, author of Silent Shock.    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Crown Steps Down

The Crown Steps Down

2020-12-0732:231

December 11, 1936. Just yesterday, King Edward VIII of England officially abdicated the throne. And tonight, some ten million people will hear the reason from the man himself. He tells the country in a radio address, “I have found it impossible to carry a heavy burden of responsibility, and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love”. This “woman” is a twice-divorced American. The country is shocked. Edward VIII has become the first monarch to voluntarily abdicate the throne in British history. How did Edward VIII cause trouble for England before, during, and after his reign? And how does his legacy continue to shape the fate of the royals to this day? Thank you to our guests: Adrian Phillips, author of "The King Who Had to Go: Edward Vlll, Mrs Simpson and the Hidden Politics of the Abdication Crisis" Anna Pasternak, author of "The Real Wallis Simpson: A New History of the American Divorcée Who Became the Duchess of Windsor'  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
December 2, 1943. World War II is raging throughout Europe, but in the Allied port city of Bari, Italy, things have remained relatively quiet. The Allies are offloading tanks, guns and other equipment when on this night, the Nazis attack. They bomb the port, killing 2,000 soldiers and civilians, and sinking 28 Allied ships. One of those ships holds a secret cargo, a chemical weapon that leaks into the harbor where soldiers are swimming for their lives. What happened when those soldiers were exposed to this deadly toxin? And how did the investigation of this incident revolutionize the way we treat cancer? Special thanks to Jennet Conant, author of The Great Secret: The Classified World War II Disaster that Launched the War on Cancer  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
A Toxic Turkey Day

A Toxic Turkey Day

2020-11-2327:221

November 24, 1966. Millions of spectators flood Broadway in New York City to watch the Macy’s Day Parade on Thanksgiving morning. The iconic floats – Superman, Popeye, Smokey the Bear – are set against a grey sky that can only be described as noxious. A smog of pollutants is trapped over New York City, and it will ultimately kill nearly 200 people. How did the 1966 Thanksgiving Smog help usher in a new era of environmental protection? And how have we been thinking about environmental disasters all wrong? Special thanks to our guest Professor Frank Uekotter, author of The Age of Smoke.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Inca's Last Stand

The Inca's Last Stand

2020-11-1631:225

November 16, 1532. Atahualpa, the king of the Inca Empire, marches towards the city of Cajamarca in modern-day Peru, surrounded by 80,000 soldiers. Once he arrives, Atahualpa expects the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro to surrender in the town square. But Pizarro has a plan of his own. With just 168 men, he will unleash a trap that destroys the Inca Empire, and brings thousands of years of indigenous rule to a violent end. What was happening in the Andes before Pizarro arrived that allowed this to take place? And when history is written by the victors, how do we know what’s really true? Special thanks to Professor R. Alan Covey, author of "Inca Apocalypse: The Spanish Conquest and the Transformation of the Andean World" (https://bit.ly/2UhbbXw)  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Muppet Revolution

The Muppet Revolution

2020-11-0929:32

November 10, 1969. It’s a Monday. Across the US, parents and babysitters and grandparents and aunts and uncles are turning on the TV, because there's a new show out today for kids: Sesame Street. The show has now been on the air for more than 50 years. It’s been viewed by 80 million Americans, and it’s aired in 120 countries. Some people call it the most influential show in the history of TV. How was Sesame Street born? And how did it help change the way millions of children learn? Thank you to our guest, Michael Davis, author of "Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street." Thank you also to Sesame Street, whose 51st season releases November 12th, 2020 on HBO Max. Sesame Street excerpts provided courtesy of Sesame Workshop, New York, New York. © 2020 Sesame Workshop. Sesame Street® and associated characters, trademarks and design elements are owned and licensed by Sesame Workshop. All Rights Reserved.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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Comments (22)

Tyler Roberts

oh look another podcast FULL of adds

Feb 4th
Reply

Josh Peyatt

not listening to is podcast anymore bunch of left thinking fucks

Jan 31st
Reply

Travis Bagley

yet I still smoke

Dec 3rd
Reply

Noah Pippin

This podcast is pretty much the antithesis of what I want from a podcast. Short, full of ads, and uninspired. Don't get me wrong it's a very well produced, but in that hollow, artificial way. It would've been nice if we had something more like an actual podcast with people sitting down and analyzing/discussing history. This is cable television without video.

Nov 25th
Reply

Richard Breidenbach

episodes are about half an hour long and I'd say at least half of that is just commercials, totally not worth listening to at all

Nov 11th
Reply

Happy🧚‍♀️Heritic

Excellent podcast!

Oct 7th
Reply

Evan Ferris

the seed vault has got to be the most talked about location in the world. it is literally on every form of media and entertainment.

Sep 9th
Reply

Julie A. Fischer

Great Podcast - I look forward to each new episode!

Aug 3rd
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Julie A. Fischer

(Killing Fairness episode) There's a home depot commercial around the middle of the episode. I don't have a problem with this -- BUT how about better timing, not right in the middle of a sentence/thought.

Aug 3rd
Reply

Dionne Lewis

😆❤🇺🇸👍lmao 'we were hoping SOMEBODY would be thinkn about us besides our family' LMAO!!😆👊 smh thats how those men from that era were made! They're certainly cut from a different cloth! They just arent made like him anymore. Men arent as modest as him these days. here this guy is making AMERICAN HISTORY, wondering if anybody aside from his loved ones would care lmao😆 little did he no, ehh?lol

May 1st
Reply (1)

Sadie Lewis

I have throughly enjoyed every episode and can't wait for next weeks!

Apr 14th
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Keith Spiers

Excellent podcasts. My Alexa flash briefings include, History Today which I enjoy. The advertisements got me to start to listening History This Week. Thank you!

Feb 22nd
Reply (2)

Leslie Scott Grossman

commercials stink.

Jan 30th
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Heather Titmus

I loved this episode! Fascinating to learn about and the speakers make this and all of the ones I have heard from them so compelling

Jan 30th
Reply

Jtuite

Excellent episode, well done!

Jan 22nd
Reply

Leslie Grossman

Is it really necessary to have commercials in the middle of the Podcast? I just want to learn about history Selling spots to Candy Crush Saga is a total turn off.

Jan 14th
Reply (3)
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