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HISTORY This Week

Author: HISTORY

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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.

40 Episodes
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Grapes for Change

Grapes for Change

2020-09-1429:402

September 16, 1965. Cesar Chavez and the National Farmworkers Association have been plotting a Mexican-American labor strike for years, concentrating their efforts in the farming community of Delano, California. But just one week earlier, Filipino farmworkers decided to strike on their own, disrupting these carefully organized plans. So Mexican-American farmworkers and their families gather at a local church in Delano to hear whether Chavez has made a decision: will they join the Filipinos and strike, even if they might not be ready? The answer is a resounding yes. What happened when the Filipinos and Mexicans joined forces? And how did a labor movement started by farmworkers in a small California town take the nation by storm? Special thanks to Matthew Garcia, author of "From the Jaws of Victory: The Triumph and Tragedy of Cesar Chavez and the Farm Worker Movement."  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Global Seed Vault

Global Seed Vault

2020-09-0733:041

September 10, 2002. Thieves have broken into basements in two cities in Afghanistan to steal plastic containers. Those containers were holding seeds – extremely vital seeds. But the thieves didn’t want the seeds and so they dump them. With that, a critical natural resource, one of the most important on Earth, is lost forever. Today, we are in a race to save the world’s seeds. How has an international coalition of scientists worked to conserve the world’s seeds? And why might they be the key to protecting the future of humanity? Thank you to our guest, Cary Fowler, former executive director for the Global Crop Trust and one of the founders of the Global Seed Vault.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Words move humankind for good and for ill, and in the American experience, our most important public speeches have been both mirrors and makers of the nation's manners and morals at key moments in our common life. Written and narrated by Pulitzer-Prize winning author, Jon Meacham, It Was Said tells the stories of those crucial words, taking listeners back to inflection points ranging from the McCarthy era to our present time through the real-time rhetoric that shaped and suffused America as the country struggled through storm and strife. It Was Said captures the nation we've been, and points ahead to the nation we hope to become.   Created and produced by the Peabody-Award nominated documentary studio C13Originals, in partnership with HISTORY.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Shaving Russia

Shaving Russia

2020-08-3130:262

Sept 5, 1698. Tsar Peter the Great of Russia returns home from a year-long European tour. When noblemen, religious figures and friends gather to welcome him home, Peter pulls out a straight razor, holds it to their throats and…forcibly shaves their beards. This event will go down in history as a first step toward Russian geopolitical power. Before Peter’s reign, Russia was an isolated nation that was largely ignored by the rest of the world. How did Peter the Great almost single-handedly drag Russia onto the world stage? And how did his great beard-shaving endeavor lead to the Russia we know today? Special thank you to our guest Lynne Hartnett, Ph.D., professor of History, Villanova University and Understanding Russia: A Cultural History.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
August 25, 1797. Alexander Hamilton, the former Secretary of the Treasury, has published a new pamphlet. At first, readers assume this is going to be another one of Hamilton’s pro-Federalist, ideological screeds. But soon, the whole country will realize that this is something very different: an admission of guilt. This wasn’t about a crime, but an affair – the first sex scandal in the history of American politics. Why did Alexander Hamilton openly confess to his extramarital activities? And if he hadn’t, how might American History have unfolded differently?   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Suffrage isn't Simple

Suffrage isn't Simple

2020-08-1733:08

August 18, 1920. In the third row of the legislative chamber in Nashville, Tennessee, 24 year-old Harry Burn sits with a red rose pinned to his lapel. He's there to vote on the 19th Amendment, which will determine if women nationwide will be able to vote. Burn’s shocking, unexpected vote, “yes,” will turn the tides of history. But women had already been voting for decades before 1920, and many women still won't be able to vote for decades after 1920. So, what did the 19th Amendment actually do for women in America? And what, on this 100th anniversary, does it show us about our own right to vote today? Thank you to our guest, Professor Lisa Tetrault, author of The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women's Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898 (University of North Carolina Press, 2014) https://bit.ly/33pmYZR To our listeners, thank you for subscribing to History This Week. We want to hear your feedback: https://bit.ly/3a4FGqJ  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Birth of Hip Hop

The Birth of Hip Hop

2020-08-1029:542

August 11, 1973. At 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx, 18-year-old DJ Kool Herc plays his first New York City party. The dance floor is packed, the energy is wild, and Herc gives the performance of a lifetime featuring one very specific innovation on the turntables. Herc and the partygoers don’t know it yet, but this event will go down in history as the birth of one of the most popular musical genres—hip hop. How did this party give way to a multi-billion dollar industry? And how has hip hop become so much more than the music? Special thanks to DJ Silva Sirfa and D-Nasty Tha Master for the music in this episode. To our listeners, thank you for subscribing to History This Week. We want to hear your feedback: https://bit.ly/3a4FGqJ  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Killing Fairness

Killing Fairness

2020-08-0330:59

August 4, 1987. The Federal Communication Commission’s leadership has come together in Washington D.C. to decide the fate of a vital issue: fairness. For the previous 40 years, the FCC has attempted to ensure that TV and radio broadcasters present both sides of the political issues discussed on their airwaves. But by the 1980s, the political landscape has changed, and the Fairness Doctrine will soon be no more. Today, we talk to two of the major players who fought on both sides of this great debate to explain what the Fairness Doctrine actually did, why it died, and where exactly that leaves us today. To our listeners, thank you for subscribing to History This Week. We want to hear your feedback: https://bit.ly/3a4FGqJ  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Convert or Leave

Convert or Leave

2020-07-2729:391

July 31, 1492. In cities, towns and villages across late medieval Spain, whole districts have emptied out. Houses abandoned, stores closed, and synagogues—which until recently had been alive with singing and prayer—now sit quiet. Exactly four months earlier, the King and Queen of Spain issued an edict: by royal decree, all Jewish people in Spain must convert to Catholicism or leave the country -- for good. Why were the Jews expelled from Spain? How did Spaniards, and then the world, start to think of religion as something inherited, not just by tradition, but by blood? And how does this moment help us understand the challenge of assimilation today? Thank you to our guest, Professor Jonathan Ray from Georgetown University and author of "After Expulsion: 1492 and the Making of Sephardic Jewry" (2013). To our listeners, thank you for subscribing to History This Week. We want to hear your feedback: https://bit.ly/3a4FGqJ  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Public Enemy #1

Public Enemy #1

2020-07-2027:074

July 22, 1934. John Dillinger, America's most famous outlaw, is gunned down by federal agents outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago. Dillinger's death is the final act in a crime spree that involved multiple prison breaks, dozens of bank robberies, and more than one violent shootout. But despite all the money Dillinger stole and the deaths he caused along the way, the public still adored him. How did a man named “Public Enemy #1” become a national darling? And how did the pursuit of John Dillinger make way for the modern FBI? Special thanks to Elliott Gorn, author of Dillinger's Wild Ride. To our listeners, thank you for subscribing to History This Week. We want to hear your feedback: https://bit.ly/3a4FGqJ  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Destroyer of Worlds

Destroyer of Worlds

2020-07-1329:182

July 16, 1945. It happened within a millionth of a second. In the New Mexico desert in the early morning hours, a group of scientists watched in anticipation as the countdown began. It was silent at first, yet hot and unbelievably bright. Then came the sound. The first-ever atomic bomb explosion... was a success. How did scientists working on the Manhattan Project create what was then the most powerful weapon in history? And how did the bomb’s existence forever change our sense of what human beings are capable of? Thank you to our guest Dr. Jon Hunner, a professor emeritus of U.S. history at New Mexico State University and author of Inventing Los Alamos: The Growth of an Atomic Community and J. Robert Oppenheimer, the Cold War, and the Atomic West. To our listeners, thank you for subscribing to History This Week. We want to hear your feedback: https://bit.ly/3a4FGqJ  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Operation Mincemeat

Operation Mincemeat

2020-07-0627:123

July 10, 1943. 150,000 British and American soldiers storm the beaches of Sicily in the first Allied invasion of Nazi-controlled Europe. But the Nazis…aren’t really there to put up a fight. Hitler thought the invasion was coming for Greece. The Nazis have been tricked by two British Intelligence officers and a covert deception plan. How did their operation— which involved a corpse, a false identity and a single eyelash—change the course of WWII?   Special thanks to Nicholas Reed, author of The Spy Runner. To our listeners, thank you for subscribing to History This Week. We want to hear your feedback: https://bit.ly/3a4FGqJ  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Great Stink

The Great Stink

2020-06-2925:241

June 30th, 1858. London is a world city, a global center of trade and commerce. But there’s something less glamorous going on in this bustling metropolis: the smell. Every inch of the city smells like rotting, human waste. And this smell is actually killing people. But no one is doing anything about it – until today. How did short-term thinking lead to a deadly problem? And how did an unlikely leader finally get London out of this very literal mess?  Thank you to our guest, Professor Rosemary Ashton, author of One Hot Summer: Dickens, Darwin, Disraeli, and the Great Stink of 1858. To our listeners, thank you for subscribing to History This Week. We want to hear your feedback: https://bit.ly/3a4FGqJ  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Pride & Protest

Pride & Protest

2020-06-2224:491

June 28, 1970. Hundreds of people start to gather on Christopher Street in Manhattan’s West Village for an anniversary celebration. One year earlier, in that very same spot, the Stonewall Inn was raided by police, sparking a revolution. Now, LGBTQ+ people have come here again, not to riot but to march in celebration of who they are and just how far they have come – something that might have been unthinkable if Stonewall hadn’t taken place. How did the Stonewall riot have such a huge impact on queer activism, and how did the community go from raid to parade in just a year? Archival sound taken from the film "Gay & Proud" – produced and directed by Lilli Vincenz, part of the Library of Congress' Lilli M. Vincenz Collection, with permission from the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C. To our listeners, thank you for subscribing to History This Week. We want to hear your feedback: https://bit.ly/3a4FGqJ  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Freedom Summer, 1964

Freedom Summer, 1964

2020-06-1529:482

June 21, 1964. James Chaney, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, three civil rights activists in their early twenties, are reported missing in Mississippi. They are part of the first wave of Freedom Summer, a massive voter registration campaign in the racist heart of the South, Mississippi. The first interracial movement of its kind, the project was led by black southern organizers and staffed by both black and white volunteers. The movement’s leader, Bob Moses, joins this episode to explain how the disappearance of those three men brought the Civil Rights movement into the homes of white Americans – and what Freedom Summer can teach us about moving the wheels of progress today. To our listeners, thank you for subscribing to History This Week. We want to hear your feedback: https://bit.ly/3a4FGqJ  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
June 9, 1954. Senator Joseph McCarthy has accused the United States Army of having communists within its midst. After rising to power during a time of great fear in America, McCarthy's name has become synonymous with anti-communism – and with baseless, life-ruining accusations. But today, five simple words will take down one of the most notorious men in American political history. What made McCarthy so powerful in the first place? And how did that very same thing eventually bring him down? Thank you to our guest, Ellen Schrecker, historian, author and expert on McCarthyism. https://www.ellenschrecker.com/ Thank you to Thomas Doherty, Professor of American Studies at Brandeis University, for speaking with us for this episode. He is the author of "Cold War, Cool Medium: Television, McCarthyism, and American Culture".  To our listeners, thank you for subscribing to History This Week. We want to hear your feedback: https://bit.ly/3a4FGqJ  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
June 1, 1840. U.S. Marshals are going door to door conducting the sixth-ever census in the United States. This year something is different – this is the very first time the U.S. government is asking a question about mental health. But the results are tragic, and long-lasting. Twenty-one years before the Civil War, with over two million slaves in America, this question will uphold a racist and pernicious lie that is already spreading throughout America: that freedom causes black people to go insane. Special thanks to our guest Dr. King Davis, Research Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and Former Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health, Virginia.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
A Gilded Age Apocalypse

A Gilded Age Apocalypse

2020-05-2525:463

May 31, 1889. It’s raining in Johnstown, PA, causing some small flooding. But the townsfolk were used to it – this city of 30,000 was nestled in a valley between two rivers. What happened next was something every person in Johnstown feared, but hoped would never come true. The old dam at the millionaires’ resort, high up in the mountains, had failed... and unimaginable destruction was on its way. Special thanks to Neil M. Coleman, author of Johnstown’s Flood of 1889: Power Over Truth and The Science Behind the Disaster (https://amzn.to/2LY8B4N) --- "Antonín Dvořák - Humoresque Op. 101 No. 7" arranged for piano and viola by Elias Goldstein is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://bit.ly/36qEMmK)  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
May 23, 1701. Captain William Kidd is hanged at Execution Dock in London. His death sentence cements his legacy as one of history’s most notorious pirates, but he went to the gallows claiming to be an innocent man. And he may have been telling the truth. Nonetheless, his execution began a worldwide ripple effect that would change the high seas forever and ultimately help prosecute one of the most infamous Nazis that ever lived. Special thanks to Richard Zacks, author of The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd. To our listeners, thank you for subscribing to History This Week. We want to hear your feedback: https://bit.ly/3a4FGqJ  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
May 14, 1796. Edward Jenner puts a theory to the test: can contracting one disease save you from another? Jenner goes down in history as the man who brought us one of the greatest advances in modern medicine: the vaccine. Its discovery led to the eradication of smallpox, a virus that killed an estimated 300 million people in the 20th century alone and one of two diseases to ever be defeated. But the story of that first vaccine begins long before Jenner was even born. How did an unlikely trio in colonial America pave the way for Jenner’s life-saving innovation? And how did a strange sequence of events help us defeat one of the oldest and deadliest diseases in human history? Special thanks to our guest, Stephen Coss. You can find his book here: http://www.stephencoss.com/ Thank you also to Dr. Nathaniel Hupert for speaking with us about vaccines and epidemics. To our listeners, thank you for subscribing to History This Week. We want to hear your feedback: https://bit.ly/3a4FGqJ  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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Comments (16)

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
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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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