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Civics & Coffee

Author: Alycia

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The people, events and topics of United States history, shared in the time it takes to enjoy a cup of coffee. Come hang with me as I nerd out a little on America's history.
44 Episodes
Tune in as I continue my month of Washington based shows.  In this week's episode, I am talking all about our first First Lady, Martha Dandridge Custis Washington. We all know her as the first of the firsts, but there is so much more to her story. From outliving all of her children and her two husbands, to her time spent on the fields of battle during the American Revolution, Martha was one interesting character. Be sure to check out for show notes and information about how you can support the pod!Support the show (
Tune in this week as I start on the journey that is the life of Washington. As I mention in the episode, the first president has made several appearances on prior episodes and I think they're worth listening to in preparation to the closing chapter of Washington. Take a listen to the following episodes: Episode 7: First Comes War...Episode 19: The Culper Spy Ring, Part 1Episode 20: The Culper Spy Ring, Part 2Episode 22: The American Revolution - ImpactsEpisode 29: The Madison Dash to the ConstitutionAs always, find more information on the website at www.civicsandcoffee.comSupport the show (
Closing out Women's History Month with a bang ! Tune in as I discuss the infamous Ruth Bader Ginsburg.She is known by many as the Notorious RBG, but Ginsburg life is an example of never giving up on your dreams and always fighting for what you believe.  Check out for show notes, source material and how you can support the shot! Support the show (
This week, I am diving into the first of what is known as the U.S / Indian Wars. Looking to protect their land from American settlers, the tribal nations of the Northwest Territory banned together to attempt negotiations with the new United States government. However, the U.S was interested only in further expanding their borders. The result? A series of skirmishes that took place over a decade. Listen in as I dive into the war, how it came to be and why it is important to American History. Be sure to visit for show notes, source material and information on how you can support the pod! Support the show (
Welcome to another bonus round of Civics & Coffee. This week's Wonder Woman Wednesday is dedicated to the activist, academic and infamous FBI Most Wanted, Angela Davis. From her youth trying to survive living in a place known as Dynamite Hill in Alabama to her acquittal of attempted murder in 1972, Davis has lived in an intense life! Come listen as I dive into Dr. Angela Yvonne Davis. For show notes and source material, please check out the website www.civicsandcoffee.comSupport the show (
The Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights


This week I dive into the creation and ratification of the Bill of Rights. Did you know that when the Bill of Rights were originally ratified they were only meant to cover federal crimes and limit the federal governments authority? Tune in this week as I explain the history of the document and how it got expanded to state law. For show notes, please check www.civicsandcoffee.comSupport the show (
Welcome to another bonus episode! This Wonder Woman Wednesday is in tribute to the famed author, essayist and anthropologist, Zora Neale Hurston. Listen in as I discuss her life and legacy and her contributions to American history. Check out my website for show notes and information about how you can support the pod! Support the show (
We have spent a lot of time going over the run up to the constitution and what exactly took place to make the document a whole. And while the gentlemen present at the Constitutional Convention were proud of their achievement, they still had to get the people to agree. And so the real battle began! Listen this week as I talk about the various ratifying conventions and how two opposing sides each made their case to the people. For more information about this episode - including show notes - please visit the website at www.civicsandcoffee.comSupport the show (
Another bonus episode in celebration of Women's History Month.This week I am diving into the life and presidential run of Shirley Chisholm. Born in Brooklyn during the Great Depression, Shirley would buck convention over and over as she broke barriers and championed women's rights. And while she came back into the conversation during Kamala Harris' presidential run, there is so much more to the story. See show notes - and more information about the Underground Groundbreakers e-book at the website: www.civicsandcoffee.comSupport the show (
I asked - you answered! This week is all about famed scientist, statesmen and printer Benjamin Franklin. Listen to learn all about the amazing accomplishments and achievements this one founding father crammed into his 84 years. From running a newspaper to founding the University of Pennsylvania, Benjamin Franklin can be seen and felt to this day. Sources Used This Episode:Why Is Benjamin Franklin's Head on the Hundred Dollar Bill? (LINK)Benjamin Franklin: American Author, Scientist, and Statesmen. By Gordon S Wood, (LINK)Interesting Facts About Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin Historical Society (LINK)Apology for Printers, Benjamin Franklin. Originally published in the Pennsylvania Gazzette, June 10, 1731. Accessed via the National Archives, Jan 30, 2021. (LINK)Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter IsaacsonSupport the show (
Welcome to another bonus episode! This month I am celebrating women and their accomplishments throughout history. All topics showcased on Wednesdays this month are suggestions from you, my listeners!This week I am talking about the history and impact women have made in the field of technology - primarily computers and programming. Did you know that women computers date back to the 1800's? Tune in to this episode to learn that and more! Sources Used This Episode: The Secret History of Women in Coding by Clive Thompson, New York Times Magazine. February 13, 2019. (LINK)Ada Lovelace, Editiors. Publish April 2, 2014. (LINK)Grace Hooper, Wikipedia (LINK)Mary Clem, Wikitia. September 25, 2020. (LINK)Timeline of Computer History. Computer History Museum. (LINK)When Computers Were Human by David Alan GrierSupport the show (
Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo


This week I am taking a momentary break from covering all the happenings surrounding the constitution and covering a trail blazer: artist, icon and all around bad ass woman, Frida Kahlo. Though this is a United States history focused podcast, Frida made her mark on the United States - and the U.S on her. Some of her most infamous artwork was painted during her time in the United States including Henry Ford Hospital, My Dress Hangs There and Self Portrait on the Border of Mexico and the United States. So this week, in honor of my friend's birthday, I am covering the fierce and formidable Frida Kahlo. Sources Used This Episode:Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera Frida Kahlo: Portrait of Chronic Pain. Carol A. Courtney,  Michael A. O'Hearn,  Carla C. Franck Physical Therapy, Volume 97, Issue 1, January 2017, Pages 90–96 (LINK)The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo, PBS. (LINK)Frida in America: The Creative Awakening of a Great Artist by Celia StahrSupport the show (
This week is all about the document that started it all - the United States Constitution. As much as it is cited in discussions across the country, very few know what it actually says and what powers are stipulated. Come hang with me in a longer episode as I go over the Constitution and cover all seven articles, section by section. Sources Used This Episode: Article III and the Courts, Judicial Learning Center (LINK)The United States Constitution (LINK)Thomas Jefferson to Samuel Kercheval Monticello July 12, 1816. (LINK)The Annenberg Guide to the United States Constitution (LINK)Support the show (
This week I am talking all about the debates and compromises that went into writing the Constitution. From James Madison's Virginia Plan to the Three-Fifths Compromise, tune in this week as I dive into how the framers were able to produce a new form of representative government never before seen. Sources In This Episode:The Virgnia Plan, U.S Senate. (LINK)These Truths by Jill LeporeBuilding the American Republic, Volume 1: A Narrative History History to 1877 by Harry L Watson and Jane Dailey The Quartet by Joseph J EllisFreeman, Joanne. “Creating A Constitution.” YouTube. Uploaded by Yale Courses. March 19, 2011.Day by Day Summary of the Convention, Teaching American History. (LINK) Support the show (
The Articles of Confederation were flawed and in need of a massive rewrite, however support for such an idea was severely lacking. In the newly established country's mind, the tacit partnership agreement found within the articles was the perfect balance of sovereignty and unity. So how did fifty-five delegates manage to get together in Philadelphia over the summer of 1787 and create a brand new document? Tune in this week as I discuss the run up to the Constitutional Convention and some of the key players who would play a pivotal role in the creation of the United States Constitution. Sources Used This Episode:Primary Documents in American History: Northwest Ordinance. Library of Congress. (LINK)1789: Northwest Ordinance guarantees tribal rights and lands. National Library of Medicine, Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness. (LINK)James Madison by Garry WillisOn this day, the Articles of Confederation are approved. National Constitution Center. March 1, 2020. NCC Staff. (LINK)Annapolis Convention. Encyclopedia Britannica. September 19, 2017. The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. (LINK)The Quartet by Joseph J EllisThese Truths by Jill LeporeSupport the show (
Very little is known about the first black inventor, scientist and part time surveyor, Benjamin Banneker. However, what is known is infinitely fascinating. This week, I discuss the life of Benjamin Banneker. From growing up on a tobacco farm in Maryland, to partaking in the survey of the newly established capital city, Banneker defied expectations and was one of the first Black Americans to publish a series of Almanacs. Learn all about the inventor this week on Civics & Coffee. Sources Used This Episode: The Life of Benjamin Banneker by Silvio A. BediniBenjamin Banneker, Astronomer [Video] by Biography. (YouTube)Benjamin Banneker The Inventor/Scientist/Astrologer/Almanac Author/Farmer! [Video] by Black Excellence & Abundance (YouTube)Support the show (
Apollo 11 - Part Two

Apollo 11 - Part Two


This week I wrap up my two part series on the mission to put the first man on the moon, Apollo 11. In this episode, I give you the history of the three man team that made up Apollo 11: Neil Armstrong, Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin and Mike Collins, how they prepared for such a historic mission and an overview of Apollo 11 itself. Tune in! Sources Used for This Episode: Shoot for the Moon by James Donovan Apollo 11. Directed by Todd Douglas Miller. CNN Films. 2019. Hulu. (LINK)Math Invented for Moon Landing Helps Your Flight Arrive on Time by Abigail Tabor, NASA. (LINK)The Apollo Missions. Edited by Sarah Loff. NASA. (LINK)Apollo 11 Mission Overview. Edited by Sarah Loff. NASA. (LINK)Space Program. The John F Kennedy Library. (LINK)May 25, 1961: JFK'S Moonshot Speech to Congress. (LINK)Apollo 11 Moon Landing Timeline: From Liftoff to Splashdown by Dave Roos. (LINK)Support the show (
Another listener request! Brody wanted me to cover the first man on the moon and so this week, I lay the foundation of the Apollo 11 mission including how why we got into the space race to begin with and just went into creating NASA. NASA created a brand new career - astronaut - but just went into being drafted for the new career? And would America ever overcome the Soviet Union in the space race? Tune in and find out. Sources Used This Episode:Shoot for the Moon by James Donovan Apollo 11. Directed by Todd Douglas Miller. CNN Films. 2019. Hulu. (LINK)Math Invented for Moon Landing Helps Your Flight Arrive on Time by Abigail Tabor, NASA. (LINK)The Apollo Missions. Edited by Sarah Loff. NASA. (LINK)Apollo 11 Mission Overview. Edited by Sarah Loff. NASA. (LINK)Space Program. The John F Kennedy Library. (LINK)May 25, 1961: JFK'S Moonshot Speech to Congress. (LINK)Support the show (
This week I talk about the first draft in United States Government - the Articles of Confederation. Banded together in their quest to defeat the British, the colonies established a basic framework to formalize their current power structure. Nervous about centralizing power, the framers were focused on vesting as much authority as possible into the individual states. However, a series of events known as Shays Rebellion helped put into focus just why a centralized government would be needed if the republic was going to remain standing. Sources Used This Episode:The Quartet by Joseph EllisonYou Don't Know Much About History by Kenneth C DavisThe John Dickinson Draft of the Articles of Confederation by Jane E Calvert, The Panorama (LINK)Support the show (
This week I talk about the institution of human bondage in the immediate aftermath of the American Revolution. The colonies had just declared themselves a free and independent republic where all men were created equal. But what about the men and women forced to serve in life long bondage? What did this fight for independence mean for them?As I talk about this week, there was an immediate - albeit short lived - shift in the acceptance of and need for slavery. But as an institution and labor source, slavery would remain as part of the American fabric for another 100 years. Enjoy!Sources Used This Episode:American Slavery by Peter KolchinVermont, the first state to abolish adult slavery, is trying to remove any mention of slavery from its Constitution altogether by Brandon Griggs, CNN. (LINK) Massachusetts Constitution and the Abolition of Slavery (LINK)Revolutionary Changes & Limitations: Slavery, U.S. History Online Textbook (LINK)Support the show (
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