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This Day in Esoteric Political History
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This Day in Esoteric Political History

Author: Jody Avirgan & Radiotopia

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We’re living in unprecedented times. Maybe. In this show, Jody Avirgan, Nicole Hemmer and Kellie Carter Jackson (and guests) take one moment, big or small, from that day in U.S. political history and explore how it might inform our present –– all in about fifteen minutes. New episodes release Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Find us at ThisDayPod.com. We’re also posting about moments from the past @thisdaypod on Twitter and Instagram. If you have a suggestion for a topic, get in touch. This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of the Radiotopia podcast network from PRX.
432 Episodes
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It’s February 2nd. This day in 1929, Laddie Boy died and the country mourned. Jody, NIki, and Kellie discuss Warren Harding’s dog, and why he was such a beloved celebrity. Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later this week. Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
It’s January 31st. This day in 1976, Jimmy Carter is coming out of Iowa having rocketed to the top of the Democratic nomination field. This is in large part because he was the first to recognize the particular way in which the Iowa caucus system favored a certain kind of politics. Jody, NIki, and Kellie discuss why Carter was such a great fit for the Iowa style of campaign politics. Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later this week. Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
It’s January 29th. This day in 2000, the Cuban relatives of Elian Gonzalez are in the United States arguing that the six-year-old child should be returned to Cuba — while his relatives in Miami and many in the Cuban-American community are fighting for him to be kept in the U.S. Jody, Niki, and Kellie are joined by Northwestern history professor Geraldo Cadava to discuss why the Gonzalez story became such a flashpoint, and how it played into the political moment. Be sure to subscribe to Gerry’s excellent newsletter Latinos in Depth! Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later this week. Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
It’s January 26th. This day in 1969, free meals are being handed out to kids in Oakland, California as part of the Black Panther Party Free for Children Breakfast Program. Jody, NIki, and Kellie are joined by Mary Phillips, history professor at Lehman College, to discuss why the panthers started the program, how it reflected the community work they were doing — and how it subverted gender roles within the organization. Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later this week. Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
It’s January 24th. This day in 1909, the administration of William Howard Taft has gone completely possum crazy — and is desperately trying to make “Billy Possum” a mascot along the lines of the Teddy Bear. Jody, Niki, and Kellie discuss why Taft was so infatuated with the possum, and the key differences between the origin stories of the Teddy Bear and Billy Possum marketing campaigns. Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later this week. Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
It’s January 22nd. This day in 1958, near Maxton, North Carolina, a KKK rally was broken up by a group of armed members of the Lumbee tribe. Jody, Niki, and Kellie discuss what came to be known as the “Battle of Hayes Pond,” the relationship between Black, White, and Native Americans in the region, and the role of armed resistance in the Civil Rights era. Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later this week. Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
It’s January 19h. This day in 1870, a political cartoon by Thomas Mast depicts a donkey to represent southern Democrats. Around this same time, Nast also starts to use the elephant for Republicans. Jody, Niki, and Kellie discuss the very convoluted origins of the very strange mascots — and whether the donkey-elephant divide even works anymore. Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later this week. Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
It’s January 16th. This day in 1903, film of the electrocution of an elephant, Topsy, is being viewed in kinetoscopes across the country. Topsy was executed on Coney Island a few weeks earlier. Jody, Niki, and Kellie discuss how the story of Topsy’s death lands at a moment when there are lots of changes in the way Americans thought about electricity, corporal punishment, animal rights — and how the death evokes the spectacle and bloodlust of the lynching era. Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later this week. Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
It’s January 15th. In the winter of 1898-99, at the end of the Spanish-American War, President McKinley is touring the south to drum up support from Southern lawmakers. Jody, Niki, and Kellie discuss how as part of his appeal to Southerners, McKinley embraces a story of the Civil War as virtuous and noble — and makes key concessions about monuments and burial plots to Southern soldiers. In many ways, this starts to plant the seeds for the so-called “Lost Cause” narrative. Thanks to listener David for planting this idea in our heads! Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later this week. Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
Here’s a recent favorite episode — the first part of a four-part series we did on the Church Committee hearings. We’ll be back real soon with new stories! We’ve got a new miniseries for you, looking back at the 1975 Church Committee hearings and report, which disclosed a wide array of shady behavior by the NSA, FBI, and CIA. For the next four episodes, we’ll look at the findings and what the revelations meant for US government and media. We’ll look at Meddling Abroad, Meddling at Home, Meddling with Your Mind, and Meddling in the Press. Our guest for this series is Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland, Reaganland, The Invisible Bridge, and much more. Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later this week. Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
Here’s a recent favorite episode — we’ll be back real soon with new stories! It’s June 2nd. This day in 1993, the very-fake nation known as “The Dominion Of Melchizedek” received official recognition from the Central African Republic. The Dominion was a nation set up to commit bank fraud, but now it was formally recognized as a sovereign state. Jody, Niki, and Kellie discuss how Melchizedek was able to exploit a number of legal loopholes to establish itself — and how the scheme brought up all sorts of deeper questions about politics, religion, and more. Sign up for our newsletter! Find out more at thisdaypod.com And don’t forget about Oprahdemics, hosted by Kellie, out now from Radiotopia. This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Julie Shapiro and Audrey Mardavich, Executive Producers at Radiotopia
This episode, we bring you a favorite conversation from our friends at On The Media. They have a whole new series on the rise and influence of talk radio, particularly on the political right. It’s hosted by Katie Thornton, and this is the first episode. Listen to the full series here: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/divided-dial Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later this week. Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
This episode, we bring you a favorite conversation from our friends at In The Bubble with host Andy Slavitt. Here he talks with filmmaker Ken Burns about Benjamin Franklin, public health, and the work of history. To hear more In the Bubble, head to https://link.chtbl.com/InTheBubble More about In The Bubble, from Lemonada: Every day, the world seems on the brink of crisis. Join Andy Slavitt and experts, policymakers, journalists and thought leaders Monday, Wednesday and Friday to stay informed, safe and … entertained. As a White House advisor, author, crisis response leader, non-partisan counselor to policymakers here and abroad, Andy has been called the ultimate outsider’s insider for a reason. Now, when overlapping crises and a relentless news cycle overwhelm Americans, Andy finds the right helpers to help us move forward together. Smarter. Calmer.  Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later this week. Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
Happy New Year! To kick off 2023, we’re answering a bunch of your questions about things big and small. Thanks for all your great questions and comments this year, and we’re looking forward to many great conversations in the year to come. Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later this week. Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
Happy New Year! To kick of 2023, we’re answering a bunch of your questions about things big and small. Thanks for all your great questions and comments this year, and we’re looking forward to many great conversations in the year to come. Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later this week. Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 *** As 2022 comes to a close, we’re doing a few special episodes talking about favorite work from the year — and ideas that we’ll carry with us into 2023. Today, we talk about more “pop history” work that we loved. Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later this week. Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 *** As 2022 comes to a close, we’re doing a few special episodes talking about favorite work from the year — and ideas that we’ll carry with us into 2023. Today, we talk about more academic work and the current state of historical research and discourse. Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later this week. Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 *** It’s December 25th. Merry Christmas! In 1988, rumors began to swirl about Nancy Reagan using astrology to make decisions within the White House. The Reagans downplayed the story, but soon reporters began to dig into their longstanding use of star charts and numbers, dating back to their time in Hollywood. Jody, Niki, and Kellie are joined by podcast host Mangesh Hattikudur to talk about the Reagan’s relationship with astrology, and other ways in which presidents have sought guidance and comfort. Mangesh’s new series is called “Skyline Drive,” and features an episode on Nancy Reagan. Check it out! Sign up for our newsletter! Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 *** It’s December 22nd. In 2008, Dan Connell, a technology consultant, died in a small plane crash in Ohio. Connell had been a longtime consultant for GOP campaigns, and his death set off all sorts of rumors and conspiracies reaching back to questions about the 2004 presidential election in Ohio. Jody, Niki, and Kellie discuss the ecosystem of left-wing conspiracies, wrapped around kernels of truths, that have lived online since the early 2000s. Sign up for our newsletter! Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 *** It’s December 20th. In 1983, ex-President Gerald Ford appeared on the hit soap opera “Dynasty,” playing himself and delivering a six-word line — which most TV critics still went out of their way to pan. Jody, NIki, and Kellie discuss the appearance and the history of presidential cameos. Sign up for our newsletter! Find out more at thisdaypod.com This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Your support helps foster independent, artist-owned podcasts and award-winning stories. If you want to support the show directly, you can do so on our website: ThisDayPod.com Get in touch if you have any ideas for future topics, or just want to say hello. Our website is thisdaypod.com Follow us on social @thisdaypod Our team: Jacob Feldman, Researcher/Producer; Brittani Brown, Producer; Khawla Nakua, Transcripts; music by Teen Daze and Blue Dot Sessions; Audrey Mardavich is our Executive Producer at Radiotopia
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Comments (3)

D Dd

No beachfront property? You got a case, bud.

Nov 29th
Reply

Joseph Y.

I was under the impression this was going to be a podcast about political history but it turns out that this is just a progressive roundtable that would feel at home on MSNBC primetime.

Sep 11th
Reply

Mermadone

Summary: A bunch of progressives miss the entire point of what happened in Benghazi and only talk about how to right side of politics mentioned it a lot. They completely miss the point of what happened and don't even bother going over the history

Aug 25th
Reply
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