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Unsung History

Author: Kelly Therese Pollock

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A podcast about people and events in American history you may not know much about. Yet.

20 Episodes
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After the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, enfranchising (some) women, lots of questions remained. If women could vote, could they serve on juries? Could they hold public office? What about the array of state-laws that still privileged husbands and fathers over wives and daughters in regard to property and earnings rights?  In February 1921, Alice Paul, head of the National Woman’s Party declared: “Now that political freedom has been won, we hope to wipe out sex discrimination in law, so that the legal status of women will be self-respecting.” Their strategy to accomplish this, on the advice of legal scholar Professor Albert Levitt of George Washington University was to push for a new constitutional amendment, which became known as the Equal Rights Amendment. Between 1923 and 1932, Congress held six hearings on the ERA, but it faced fierce opposition until the mid-1930s. By the mid-1930s, support for the ERA began to increase dramatically, as congressional subcommittees started to report the amendment favorably nearly every year after 1936.  In 1940 the Republican Party added the ERA to its party platform. Four years later the Democratic party did the same.  On October 12, 1971, the House of Representatives finally voted on the ERA, introduced by Michigan Democrat Martha Griffiths. The vote passed 354 to 24, with 51 not voting. On March 22, 1972, the Senate also passed the bill, 84-8, with 8 not voting. Then the fight moved to the states. As of October 2021, 38 states have ratified the amendment, the final three states coming long after the original deadline, but the amendment has not been added to the Constitution. I’m joined in this episode by Dr. Rebecca DeWolf, author of the new book: Gendered Citizenship: The Original Conflict over the Equal Rights Amendment, 1920–1963, who also graciously fact checked the introduction to the episode. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Episode image is: “A group of young members of the National Woman's Party before the Capitol. They are about to invade the offices of the senators and congressmen from their states, to ask them to vote for Equal Rights.“ Washington D.C, ca. 1923. Library of Congress. https://www.loc.gov/item/mnwp000193/. Additional Sources and Links: Equal Rights Amendment, Alice Paul Institute The Equal Rights Amendment Explained, The Brennan Center for Justice “Why the Equal Rights Amendment Is Still Not Part of the Constitution: A brief history of the long battle to pass what would now be the 28th Amendment” by Lila Thulin, Smithsonian Magazine “The Long Road to Equality: What Women Won from the ERA Ratification Effort,” Library of Congress Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Zitkála-Šá

Zitkála-Šá

2021-10-1133:33

Writer, musician, and political activist Zitkála-Šá, also known as Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, was born on February 22, 1876, on the Yankton Indian Reservation in South Dakota, where she lived until she was eight. When Zitkála-Šá was eight years old, missionaries came to the reservation to recruit children to  go to White's Indiana Manual Labor Institute. Despite her mother’s pleading, Zitkála-Šá begged to go to the school with her older brother. She later wrote that she regretted the decision almost immediately, but after three years in the boarding school she no longer felt at home on the reservation either. Throughout her life Zitkála-Šá continued to live in two worlds, using her writing and speaking to advocate for the rights of Native Americans. She taught at Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, the most well-known of the off reservation boarding schools, where she came into conflict with the school’s founder and headmaster Colonel Richard Henry Pratt, whose motto was “Kill the Indian, save the man.” She studied violin and wrote articles in Atlantic Monthly and Harper’s Monthly, critical of the boarding schools and the trauma the children experienced. Prof. William F. Hanson of Brigham Young University she wrote an opera, the Sun Dance Opera, based on the sacred Sioux ritual that had been banned by the federal government.  In 1926, Zitkála-Šá and her husband, Captain Raymond Bonnin, who was also Yankton Dakota, co-founded the National Council of American Indians to "help Indians help themselves" in government relations. Many conflicts had to be resolved by Congress and the Bonnins were instrumental in representing tribal interests. Zitkála-Šá was the council’s president, public speaker, and major fundraiser, until her death in 1938. To help us learn more, I’m joined by Dr. P. Jane Hafen (Taos Pueblo), Professor Emerita of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and the editor of two books of Zitkála-Šá’s writings: ​​Dreams and Thunder: Stories, Poems, and the Sun Dance Opera and "Help Indians Help Themselves": The Later Writings of Gertrude Simmons-Bonnin (Zitkala-Sa), who graciously assisted in fact checking the introduction to this episode. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The episode image is: “Zitkala Sa, Sioux Indian and activist, c. 1898,” by Gertrude Kasebier, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. Recommended Organization for Donation: Native American Rights Fund Additional Sources and Links: American Indian Stories, Zitkála-Šá Impressions of an Indian Childhood by Zitkála-Šá Oklahoma's Poor Rich Indians: An Orgy of Graft and Exploitation of the Five Civilized Tribes, Legalized Robbery by Zitkala-S̈a, Charles H. Fabens, and Matthew K. Sniffen. Office of the Indian Rights Association, 1924.  Red Bird Sings: The Story of Zitkala-Sa, Native American Author, Musician, and Activist by Gina Capaldi (Author) and  Q. L. Pearce (Author) Zitkala-Ša (Red Bird / Gertrude Simmons Bonnin), National Park Service “Zitkála-Šá: Trailblazing American Indian Composer and Writer” [video], UNLADYLIKE2020: THE CHANGEMAKERS, PBS. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Nearly 350,000 American women served in the US military during World War II. Although the women in the military didn’t engage in combat their presence was vital to the American effort, in clerical work as well as in driving trucks, operating radios and telephones, repairing and flying planes, and of course, in nursing. Women’s active duty was a temporary wartime measure, but when the war ended, Secretary of Defense James Forrestal, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and General Omar Bradley, among others, argued for the continued presence of women in the military. Rep. Margaret Chase Smith of Maine introduced the Women's Armed Services Integration Act to Congress in January 1948, and President Truman signed the bill into law on June 12, 1948. From the end of World War II through the Cold War, women in the United States military navigated a space that welcomed and needed their service but put limits on their participation. To help us learn more, I’m joined by Dr. Tanya Roth, author of the new book, Her Cold War: Women in the U.S. Military, 1945–1980. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The episode image is: “WAF Officer candidate salutes in front of US flag. Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. November 1952.” The image source is the U.S. Air Force, and it is in the Public Domain. Additional Sources: “Pregnant Women to Be Allowed To Stay in the Military Forces,” New York Times, July 8, 1975 “Over 200 Years of Service: The History of Women in the U.S. Military,” uso.org. “Women in the Army,” U.S. Army. “Truman and Women’s Rights,” Truman Library Institute. “Women in the Military Academies: 40 Years Later,” Department of Defense. “Women in the Vietnam War,” History.com. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Slavery was legal in Maryland until November 1, 1864, when a new state constitution prohibited the practice of slavery. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation the year before had declared slaves in the Confederate states to be free, but Maryland was in the union and not included in the proclamation. From the late 18th Century until the Civil War, enslaved families in Prince George’s County, Maryland, brought over a thousand legal suits against hundreds of slaveholding families, arguing for their freedom. In these freedom suits, enslaved individuals sued for their freedom based on issues of breach of contract or unjust detainment. When an enslaved person won a freedom suit the individual would be granted their freedom, and it could sometimes provide the basis for future lawsuits by family members, but the institution of slavery persisted. In 1791, Edward Queen, an enslaved man at the White Marsh Plantation in Prince George's County, sued Rev. John Ashton, a Jesuit slaveholder, for his freedom in the Maryland General Court. In Edward Queen’s petition he said he was “descended from a freewoman,” his grandmother, Mary Queen, and thus was being illegally held in bondage. In May 1794 the all-white jury decided that Mary Queen was not a slave, and thus Edward Queen should be freed and awarded 1997 pounds of tobacco, at least a third of which went to Queen’s lawyers. Despite legal maneuvering by slaveholders to make freedom suits more difficult for the enslaved, as many as 50 of Edward Queen’s enslaved relatives won their own freedom suits on the argument that Mary Queen was not a slave, and thus her descendants should not be enslaved. Joining me to help us learn more about freedom suits is William G. Thomas III, the Angle Chair in the Humanities and Professor of History at the University of Nebraska, and author of A Question of Freedom: The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Episode image: "Twenty-eight fugitives escaping from the Eastern Shore of Maryland," Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. The image is in the public domain. Additional Sources: O Say Can You See: Early Washington, D.C., Law & Family. William G. Thomas III, Kaci Nash, Laura Weakly, Karin Dalziel, and Jessica Dussault. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  “Anna: One woman's quest for freedom in early Washington, D.C.,” Animating History, Michael Burton, Kwakiutl Dreher, William G. Thomas III. 2018. The Georgetown Slavery Archive “Rev. John Ashton,” Archives of Maryland. “Missouri’s Dred Scott Case, 1846-1857,” Missouri State Archives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Chef Lena Richard

Chef Lena Richard

2021-09-2042:01

Over a decade before Julia Child’s The French Chef appeared on TV, a Black woman chef hosted her own, very popular cooking show on WDSU-TV in New Orleans. At a time when families were just beginning to own televisions, Chef Lena Richard’s show was so popular that it aired twice a week. Richard started working as a cook as a teenager for the wealthy Vairin family who employed her mom as a domestic servant. When their cook left, Alice Vairin gave Richard a trial run as cook and was so impressed that she hired her on the spot. Vairin later sent Richard to cooking schools, first locally and then at the prestigious eight-week Fannie Farmer Cooking School in Boston. In addition to her television show, Richard’s storied career included launching a catering business; stints as head chef at the Bird and Bottle Inn in Garrison, New York, and the Travis House Restaurant and Inn, in Colonial Williamsburg; two of her own restaurants in New Orleans, Lena’s Eatery and Lena Richard’s Gumbo House; a cooking school; a frozen food business; and a best-selling Creole cookbook, New Orleans Cookbook. Joining me to help us learn more about Chef Lena Richard are two guests: Chef Dee Lavigne of New Orleans, owner of Deelightful Cupcakes and Assistant Production Producer for the Sunday Morning News Food Segment on WWL-TV4; and Dr. Ashley Rose Young, Historian of the American Food History Project at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Episode images Courtesy of Newcomb Archive, Vorhoff Library Special Collections, Tulane University. Sources: “Meet Lena Richard, the Celebrity Chef Who Broke Barriers in the Jim Crow South,” by Lily Katzman, Smithsonian Magazine, June 12, 2020 “The Story of Lena Richard,” by Sarah Nerney, Colonial Williamsburg, August 22, 2020. “Creole Cuisine: Lena Richard,” Google Arts & Culture, based on the exhibit in the Southern Food and Beverage Museum. “Learning from the best: Lena Richard’s Creole Cookbook,” Rachael Garder-Stephen, Adam Matthew: A SAGE Publishing Company Blog, March 12, 2021. “America's Unknown Celebrity Chef,” Sidedoor Podcast, June 9, 2020. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), in 2018, 13% of the US population was Black and African American, but 42% of new HIV diagnoses in the US were from Black and African American people. This discrepancy is not new.  On June 5, 1981, the CDC first published an article in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) titled “Pneumocystis Pneumonia” that suggested that there might be “a cellular-immune dysfunction related to a common exposure that predisposes individuals to opportunistic infections such as pneumocystosis and candidiasis” to explain a number of infections they were seeing among gay men. This early identification of HIV/AIDS as a disease of white gay men colored the response to the epidemic. As gay men organized AIDS education and support networks they built organizations staffed by white volunteers and situated in gay neighborhoods in major urban centers. Because of racism and segregation many of those gay neighborhoods were largely white, and the education and support campaigns didn’t reach the Black and brown communities that were also affected by the disease. In response, African American AIDS activists formed their own organizations from the beginning of the crisis. African American AIDS activism was diverse and creative from the early days of the pandemic, and it continues today, but it’s often been missing from popular media and historical writing about AIDS. In this episode, Kelly briefly tells the background of African American AIDS activism and interviews Dan Royles, Assistant Professor of History at Florida International University and author of To Make the Wounded Whole: The African American Struggle against HIV/AIDS, which was recently named a Finalist in the 2021 Museum of African American History Stone Book Award. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Episode image by Tobe Mokolo on Unsplash. Sources: To Make the Wounded Whole: The African American Struggle Against Hiv/AIDS, by Dan Royles, 2020. “Forty years after first documented AIDS cases, survivors reckon with 'dichotomy of feelings,'” by Alex Berg, NBC News, June 5, 2021. “Pneumocystis Pneumonia --- Los Angeles,” MMWR, Reported by MS Gottlieb, MD, HM Schanker, MD, PT Fan, MD, A Saxon, MD, JD Weisman, DO, Div of Clinical Immunology-Allergy; Dept of Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine; I Pozalski, MD, Cedars-Mt. Sinai Hospital, Los Angeles; Field services Div, Epidemiology Program Office, CDC. June 5, 1981 “HIV and African American People,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Coors Boycott

The Coors Boycott

2021-09-0643:19

In the mid-1960s, to protest discriminatory hiring practices, Chicano groups in Colorado called for a boycott of the Coors Brewing Company, launching what would become a decades-long boycott that brought together a coalition of activists that would include not just Chicano and Latino groups, but also African American groups, union organizers, LGBT activists, students, environmentalists and feminists. These groups had a variety of motivations for their involvement in the boycott and varied success in achieving their goals. Although the formal boycott ended by the late 1980s, some activists continue to boycott Coors beer to today. In this episode, Kelly briefly tells the story of the Coors boycott and interviews Allyson P. Brantley, Assistant Professor of History & Director of Honors and Interdisciplinary Initiatives at the University of La Verne in Southern California, and author of the 2021 book Brewing a Boycott: How a Grassroots Coalition Fought Coors & Remade American Consumer Activism. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Episode image: 1970s-era “Boycott Coors Beer” broadside. Printed by the Howard Quinn Co. Sources: Brewing a Boycott: How a Grassroots Coalition Fought Coors & Remade American Consumer Activism by Allyson P. Brantley. “The Coors Boycott: When A Beer Can Signaled Your Politics,” by B. Erin Cole & Allyson Brantley, Colorado Public Radio, October 3, 2014, “‘A Political Fight Over Beer’: The 1977 Coors Beer Boycott, and the Relationship Between Labour–Gay Alliances and LGBT Social Mobility,” by Kieran Blake, Midland Historical Review, January 24, 2020. “TEAMSTERS PRIDE AT WORK: A LOOK BACK AT THE COORS BOYCOTT,” International Brotherhood of Teamster, June 2, 2017. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/UnsungHistory) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In Nineteenth Century America there was a strong reformist push to know and improve the self. One key tactic Americans used to learn more about themselves was phrenological readings. They would pay practical phrenologists, like Orson Squire Fowler and his younger brother, Lorenzo Niles Fowler for readings of their skulls or their children’s skulls.  In Lorenzo Fowler’s reading of Emily Sawyer, he concluded a thirteen-page analysis by saying: “Cultivate as much as you can the organs marked smallest in your Chart + properly guide and exercise the stronger ones + thus produce a harmony of mental and physical action.” By using the phrenological readings of themselves or their children, Nineteenth Century Americans could apply the advice to become the best version of themselves. Practical phrenologists weren’t interested only in reform of the self, but in larger societal reform as well. For practical phrenologists, prisons were the site of both research and reform; they argued for the elimination of capital punishment and the reform of prisons to include re-education instead of punishment.  Despite the reform impulse of phrenologists, phrenology was also used as a scientific reason to justify racism and gender stereotyping. American phrenologists were sympathetic to liberal causes including the antislavery movement, even while claiming the superiority of the European brain. By the early 20th century phrenology had been largely discredited in the public, but some of the concepts of phrenology, including propensities and physical localization in the brain of different characteristics have persisted. In this episode, Kelly briefly tells the story of phrenology in 19th Century America and interviews Courtney Thompson, Assistant Professor of History at Mississippi State University, and author of the February 2021 book, An Organ of Murder: Crime, Violence, and Phrenology in Nineteenth-Century America. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Episode image: “A head marked with images representing the phrenological faculties, with a key below. Coloured wood engraving, ca. 1845, after H. Bushea and O.S. Fowler.” Wellcome Collection. Public Domain.Transcript available at: https://www.unsunghistorypodcast.com/transcripts/transcript-episode-13. Sources: An Organ of Murder: Crime, Violence, and Phrenology in Nineteenth-Century America by Courtney E. Thompson "Facing a Bumpy History: The much-maligned theory of phrenology gets a tip of the hat from modern neuroscience," by Minna Scherlinder Morse, Smithsonian Magazine, October 1997. "Mesmerism and Phrenology in Antebellum Charleston: 'Enough of the Marvellous'" by Peter McCandless. The Journal of Southern History, 58(2), 199-230. doi:10.2307/2210860. The History of Phrenology on the Web by John van Wyhe Encyclopedia of medical history by Roderick E. McGrew and Margaret P. McGrew, 1985. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/UnsungHistory) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In Chesapeake Bay in the late 19th century, oyster harvesting was a big business. There were so many oyster harvesters harvesting so many oysters that the legislatures of Maryland and Virginia had to start regulating who could harvest oysters and how they could do so. Creating the regulations was the easy part; enforcing them was much harder. The illegal harvesting of oysters by oyster pirates continued, even after the creation of the Maryland State Oyster Police Force in 1868 and a similar force in Virginia in 1884.  The first of the Oyster Wars was in Virginia in 1882 when Governor William E. Cameron himself joined the expedition to raid the pirates. The first raid was a success, but Cameron quickly learned that pirates wouldn’t stay defeated for long, and the oyster wars continued. By the late 1880s the Oyster Wars turned deadly. The Oyster Wars remained an important part of Chesapeake Bay history all the way until the “official” end of the Oyster Wars in 1959, although even that may have not truly been the end. In this episode, Kelly briefly tells the story of the Oyster Wars and (with a little help from her son, Arthur, interviews Jamie Goodall, author of Pirates of the Chesapeake Bay: From the Colonial Era to the Oyster Wars. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Episode image: “The oyster war in Chesapeake Bay,” Drawing by Schell and Hogan. Harper's Weekly, Mar. 1, 1884, p. 136. Library of Congress.Transcript available at: https://www.unsunghistorypodcast.com/transcripts/transcript-episode-12. Sources: Pirates of the Chesapeake Bay: From the Colonial Era to the Oyster Wars by Jamie L. H. Goodall National Geographic Pirates: Shipwrecks, Conquests & Legacy by Jamie L. H. Goodall The Oyster Wars of Chesapeake Bay by John R Wennersten The daily dispatch. (Richmond, VA), 04 March 1883. Library of Congress. "Oyster Wars," Baltimore Sun, February 10, 2015. Oyster Question: Scientists, Watermen, and the Maryland Chesapeake Bay Since 1880 by Christine Keiner "An Evolving Force: Natural Resources Police Celebrates 150th Anniversary," Maryland Department of Natural Resources, March 30, 2018. “Landscapes of Resistance: A View of the Nineteenth-Century Chesapeake Bay Oyster Fishery” by Bradford Botwick and Debra A. McClane. Historical Archaeology, vol. 39, no. 3, 2005, pp. 94–112. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/UnsungHistory) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Popular depictions of prohibition in the United States usually show the speakeasies, bootleggers, flappers, and bathtub gin of the Roaring Twenties, but earlier attempts at prohibition stretch back far into the 19th century. In 1851, Maine passed the first statewide prohibition law, and 12 other states quickly followed as temperance societies preached the evils of alcohol. Anti-prohibitionists, especially liquor dealers and hotel owners, decried the “tyranny of the majority” and fought back with their own PR campaigns and legal challenges. Many of the methods that the anti-prohibitionists used and that were used by other moral minorities of the day (such as those fighting against Sunday Laws and those working toward racial equality) were precursors to the methods used in the Civil Rights Movement in the 20th century. In this episode, Kelly briefly tells the story of the 1850s Maine Laws and interviews Kyle Volk,  Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of HIstory at the University of Montana, and author of Moral Minorities and the Making of American Democracy, which discusses these early attempts at prohibition. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Episode image: “The drunkard's children. A sequel to The bottle” by George Cruikshank, 1848, Wellcome Collection.Transcript available at: https://www.unsunghistorypodcast.com/transcripts/transcript-episode-11. Sources: Moral Minorities and the Making of American Democracy by Kyle Volk, 2017 “When Maine went dry,” by Kelly Bouchard, Portland Press Herald, October 2, 2011 The Maine Liquor Law: Its Origin, History, and Results, Including a Life of Hon. Neal Dow by Henry Stephen Clubb, 1856. “Throwback Thursday: Maine Becomes the First State to Outlaw Alcohol,” by Madline Bilis, Boston Magazine, June 2, 2016 “What if the Fourth of July were dry?” by Kyle Volk, Oxford University Press Blog, July 4, 2014 An inquiry into the effects of ardent spirits upon the human body and mind: with an account of the means of preventing, and of the remedies for curing them by Benjamin Rush, 1784. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/UnsungHistory) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In May of 1844, growing tensions between nativists and Irish Catholic immigrants in Philadelphia erupted into violence in the streets of the Irish Catholic Kensington district, prompted in part by a disagreement over whether the King James Bible should be read in public schools. A citizen posse called by county sheriff Morton McMichael was unable to quell the violence, and the local state militia, under the command of General George Cadwalader stepped in to help, as homes and churches were destroyed, $150,000 in damages (equivalent to over $4 million today). Fourteen people were killed and as many as 50 were injured. After two months of uneasy peace, the violence re-ignited, this time in the nativist district of Southwark where a Catholic church had been stockpiling weapons in anticipation of trouble. After a long stand-off, an hours-long battle between the military presence that arrived and the local nativists took over the streets of Southwark, as they fired at each other with guns and cannons. Another 15 people died, with fifty or more injuries. The riots, which got national attention, had lasting effects in politics and city planning and in the development of the Catholic school system in Philadelphia. In this episode, Kelly briefly tells the story of the Philadelphia riots and interviews George Mason University History Professor Zachary Schrag, author of The Fires of Philadelphia: Citizen-Soldiers, Nativists, and the 1844 Riots Over the Soul of a Nation. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Episode image: Riot in Philadelphia. July 7th 1844. by H. Bucholzer, ca. 1844. New York: James Baillie, July 23.  https://www.loc.gov/item/2003654121/Transcript available at: https://www.unsunghistorypodcast.com/transcripts/transcript-episode-10. Sources: The Fires of Philadelphia: Citizen-Soldiers, Nativists, and the 1844 Riots Over the Soul of a Nation by Zachary M. Schrag  "Nativist Riots of 1844," Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia by Zachary M. Schrag "The Kensington Riots of 1844" by Melissa Mandell of Historical Society of Pennsylvania "Chaos in the Streets: The Philadelphia Riots of 1844," Villanova University A full and complete account of the late awful riots in Philadelphia (1844) by John Perry Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/UnsungHistory) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Elizabeth Packard

Elizabeth Packard

2021-08-0235:31

Elizabeth Packard was born in Massachusetts in 1816 into a comfortable home where her parents were able to provide for her education. She taught briefly at a girls’ school before at age 23 agreeing at her parents’ urging to marry 37-year-old Calvinist minister Theophilus Packard. Over the next 20 years Elizabeth was a devoted mother and housewife who grew the family’s vegetables and sewed clothes for their six children. To the outside world, it appeared to be a contented marriage, until Elizabeth started to publicly express her religious beliefs, which were at odds with her husband’s. Theophilus questioned her sanity and threatened to have her committed if she continued. Elizabeth continued, and Theophilus kept his promise, taking advantage of the law, which allowed a husband to have his wife committed, without either public hearing or her consent. After three years in the Illinois State Asylum and Hospital for the Insane in Jacksonville, Illinois, Elizabeth was deemed incurable and released. Then, after getting the jury trial she’d been requesting for three years, Elizabeth was finally able to share her story with the world, and she began her remarkable career as a writer and social reformer. In this episode, Kelly briefly tells the story of Elizabeth Packard’s life and interviews New York Times bestselling author Kate Moore, who has recently published a wonderfully detailed narrative account of Elizabeth Packard’s life, titled: The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Episode image:  from Elizabeth Packard's 1866 book, Marital Power Exemplified in Mrs. Packard’s Trial. Transcript available at: https://www.unsunghistorypodcast.com/transcripts/transcript-episode-9. Sources:  The Woman They Could Not Silence: One Woman, Her Incredible Fight for Freedom, and the Men Who Tried to Make Her Disappear by Kate Moore "Declared Insane for Speaking Up: The Dark American History of Silencing Women Through Psychiatry," by Kate Moore. Time Magazine, June 22, 2021. "Marital Power Exemplified in Mrs. Packard's Trial, and Self-Defence from the Charge of Insanity" by Elizabeth Parsons Ware Packard "Elizabeth Packard: Nineteenth-Century Crusader for the Rights of Mental Patients," by Myra Samuels Himelhoch and Arthur H. Shaffer, Journal of American Studies, Vol. 13, No. 3 (Dec., 1979), pp. 343-375. "Badass Elizabeth Series," Packed with Packards Blog. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/UnsungHistory) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mary Mallon, known to history as Typhoid Mary, immigrated from Northern Ireland to New York City at age 15, around 1883. She found work as a cook, a well paying job for an immigrant woman and worked for number of different families in the early 20th Century. In March 1907, civil engineer George Soper burst into the kitchen of the home where she was cooking and told her that she was spreading typhoid via her cooking. He demanded samples of her feces, urine, and blood to test. Mallon, who believed she was in perfect health, chased him away with a carving fork. Mallon spent most of the rest of her life in quarantine, on North Brother Island, forced to give regular stool and urine samples. She was briefly released, but knowing no other skills, cooked again and was forced back into quarantine. Although Mallon was the first person in the US identified as a healthy carrier of typhoid, by the time of her second quarantine in 1915, many healthy carriers had been identified, more than 400 in New York alone.  None of the other healthy carriers was forcibly confined, even the other cooks or those who caused more cases and more deaths than Mallon did. In this episode, Kelly briefly tells the history of Mary Mallon’s quarantines, and interviews Kari Nixon, an assistant professor of English at Whitworth University, who teaches medical humanities and Victorian literature. Dr. Nixon is author of the 2021 book Quarantine Life from Cholera to Covid-19: What Pandemics Teach Us about Parenting, Work, Life, and Communities from the 1700s to Today. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Episode image from The New York American (June 20, 1909 issue).Transcript available at: https://www.unsunghistorypodcast.com/transcripts/transcript-episode-8. Sources: Quarantine Life from Cholera to Covid-19: What Pandemics Teach Us about Parenting, Work, Life, and Communities from the 1700s to Today, by Kari Nixon, 2021. Typhoid Mary: Captive to the Public's Health, by Judith Walzer Leavitt, 1997. Contagious: Cultures, Carriers, and the Outbreak Narrative, by Priscilla Wald, 2008. "The Work of a Chronic Typhoid Germ Distributor," by George Soper, JAMA. 1907; XLVIII(24):2019–2022. "The sad and tragic life of Typhoid Mary," by J. Brooks, CMAJ. 1996;154(6):915-916. "The Most Dangerous Woman in America," NOVA. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/UnsungHistory) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In 1945, United States immigration officials opened the El Centro Immigration Detention Camp in El Centro, California, to be an administrative holding center for unauthorized Mexican migrants, many of whom had been working on local farms and ranches. From the beginning, migrants were often detained for long periods of time while they served as the unpaid labor force of the center. Conditions were poor in the facility in the decades that followed, and in 1985 the incarcerated migrants (by this time a multinational group) decided to strike. On May 27, 1985, fifteen detained men stormed the mess hall, inspiring somewhere between 175-300 more men to join them. The group refused to work, to go inside, or to eat until their grievances were met. Their complaints included inhumane conditions in the 120-degree heat of the Imperial Valley, poor food quality, inadequate medical treatment, lack of entertainment, physical abuse, psychological intimidation, solitary confinement, and threats of violence. The strike was put down forcefully by the El Centro Tactical Intervention and Control Unit, in full riot gear. Although some of the conditions that led to the strike improved, rampant violence and inhumane treatment continued. In this episode, Kelly briefly tells the history of the El Centro facility and the 1985 Hunger Strike, and interviews Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Jessica Ordaz, author of The Shadow of El Centro: A History of Migrant Incarceration and Solidarity. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Episode image by Ralph (Ravi) Kayden on Unsplash.Transcript available at: https://www.unsunghistorypodcast.com/transcripts/transcript-episode-7. Sources: The Shadow of El Centro: A History of Migrant Incarceration and Solidarity by Jessica Ordaz. University of North Carolina Press, 2021. "ICE immigration center in El Centro closes," by Tatiana Sanchez. The Desert Sun, October 1, 2014.  "Aliens Staging Hunger Strike at Detention Camp," By Judith Cummings, Special To the New York Times, June 4, 1985. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/UnsungHistory) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
On May 17, 1954, the Supreme Court decided unanimously in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas that that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional. Although the process was slow and contentious, the SCOTUS decisions in Brown and Brown II required that desegregation must occur "with all deliberate speed" to provide Black students with the equal protection under the law required by the 14th Amendment.  Black teachers had no protections or guarantees under the Brown ruling. As Southern states tried to destroy the NAACP using legislatures and courts, they targeted teachers with the belief that, as Candace Cunningham writes, “to dispense with Black teachers was to weaken the NAACP.  To dispose of Black teachers was to destabilize the civil rights movement.” In March 1956, the South Carolina general assembly passed a series of anti-NAACP statutes, including the anti-NAACP oath, which made it illegal for local, county, or state government employees to be NAACP members. In May 1956, in Elloree, South Carolina, 21 Black teachers refused to distance themselves from the NAACP, and the white school officials did not rehire them for the following year. The Elloree teachers, with NAACP lawyers, took their case to court in Bryan v. Austin in September 1956.  In this episode, Kelly tells the story of what happened with Black teachers in Elloree, South Carolina, in aftermath of Brown v. Board, and interviews Assistant Professor of History at Florida Atlantic University, Candace Cunningham. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Episode image: Civil rights march on Washington, D.C. Warren K. Leffler. 1963. https://www.loc.gov/item/2003654393/Transcript available at: https://www.unsunghistorypodcast.com/transcripts/transcript-episode-6. Sources: “Hell Is Popping Here in South Carolina”: Orangeburg County Black Teachers and Their Community in the Immediate Post-Brown Era," by Candace Cunningham, History of Education Quarterly, February 3, 2021. "A Hidden History of Integration and the Shortage of Teachers of Color," by Cindy Long, NEA Today, March 11, 2020 "School Desegregation and Black Teacher Employment," Working Paper by Owen Thompson, National Bureau of Economic Research, June 2019. "65 Years After ‘Brown v. Board,’ Where Are All the Black Educators?" by Madeline Will, EdWeek, May 14, 2019. Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/UnsungHistory) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Political activism of queer people in the United States started long before the Stonewall riots in 1969. One surprising place that queer people found a home for their activism was in the Communist Party. The Communist Party of the United States was established in 1919, and from the 1920s to the 1940s the Party was influential in American politics, at the forefront of labor organizing and opposition to racism. It was the first political party in the US to be racially integrated. Some queer folks embraced the radical politics of the Party and found it to be a place where they could agitate for radical sexual politics as well.  One of the first national gay rights organizations in the United States, The Mattachine Society, was founded in 1950 by prominent Communist Harry Hay and a group of friends in Los Angeles. However, in the early 1950s as Joseph McCarthy and others publicly linked homosexuality and Communism as threats to the 'American way of life,' homosexuals began to distance themselves from the Left to gain acceptance, and the previous links between homosexuals and the Communist Party were lost or suppressed. In 1953 Harry Hay was ousted from the Mattachine Society in part because of his Communist affiliation, which by then was considered a liability. In this episode, Kelly  tells the history of homosexuality and the Communist Party in America in the early 20th Century and interviews Associate Professor of American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston Aaron Lecklider, author of Love’s Next Meeting: The Forgotten History of Homosexuality and the Left in American Culture. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons.  Episode image: Members of Marine Cooks and Stewards Union. Courtesy Black Heritage Society of Washington State. Public domain.Transcript available at: https://www.unsunghistorypodcast.com/transcripts/transcript-episode-5Sources: Love's Next Meeting: The Forgotten History of Homosexuality and the Left in American Culture, by Aaron Lecklider, 2021 "Despite Everything, Queer Leftists Survived," by Scott W. Stern, Jacobin Magazine, June 2021. "Milestones in the American Gay Rights Movement," PBS "Communist Party USA History and Geography," Mapping American Social Movements Project, University of Washington "Homophiles': The LGBTQ rights movement began long before Stonewall," by Ben Kesslen, NBC News, June 10, 2019 Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/UnsungHistory) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Sophonisba “Nisba” Preston Breckinridge, born April 1, 1866, was a woman of firsts. Breckinridge was the first woman admitted to the Kentucky bar to practice law in 1895; the first woman to earn a PhD in Political Science at the University of Chicago in 1901; the first woman to earn a JD at the University of Chicago Law School in 1904; the first woman professor granted a named professorship at the University of Chicago in 1929; and the first woman to serve as U.S. representative to a high-level international conference in 1933. Along the way, Breckinridge co-founded the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Social Service Administration (now the The Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice), was instrumental in the creation and promotion of The Social Security Act of 1935 and The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, and published extensively in the fields of  family, public welfare, and children. Kelly briefly tells Breckinridge’s story and interviews Anya Jabour, Regents Professor of History at the University of Montana, and author of  Sophonisba Breckinridge: Championing Women's Activism in Modern America. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Episode image: By Bain News Service - Library of Congress, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.07524. Public Domain.Transcript available at: https://www.unsunghistorypodcast.com/transcripts/transcript-episode-4 Sources: Sophonisba Breckinridge: Championing Women's Activism in Modern America by Anya Jabour, University of Illinois Press, 2019 "Sophonisba Breckinridge," The Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice "Reclaiming Sophonisba," University of Chicago Law School, by Becky Beaupre Gillespie, January 6, 2020 "‘Forgotten Feminist’ Sophonisba Breckinridge was a Woman of Many Firsts" by Meredith Francis, WTTW, October 7, 2020 "When lesbians led the women’s suffrage movement," The Conversation, by Anya Jabour, January 24, 2020 Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/UnsungHistory) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Susie King Taylor

Susie King Taylor

2021-06-2130:18

Susie King Taylor was born into slavery in Georgia in 1848. With the help of family members, she was educated and escaped, joining the Union army at the age of 14, to serve ostensibly as a laundress, but in reality as a nurse, teacher, and even musket preparer. In 1902, Taylor published Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops, an autobiography that covers not just her experiences during the Civil War, but also her childhood and her later years. Taylor includes in the work her powerful analysis of race relations at the beginning of 20th Century. Kelly briefly tells Taylor’s remarkable story and interviews Ben Railton, Professor of American literature and American Studies at Fitchburg State University, and author of Of Thee I Sing: The Contested History of American Patriotism. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Episode image: Susie King Taylor,  Published by the subject, 1902 [from a photograph taken earlier]. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Public Domain. Transcript available at: https://www.unsunghistorypodcast.com/transcripts/transcript-episode-3.Sources: Reminiscences of My Life in Camp with the 33d United States Colored Troops by Susie King Taylor "Susie King Taylor: An African American Nurse and Teacher in the Civil," Library of Congress  The Susie King Taylor Women's Institute and Ecology Center Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/UnsungHistory) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Just after midnight on May 15, 1970, officers opened fire on a group of unarmed students milling in front of a dorm on the campus of Jackson State College in Jackson, Mississippi, killing two and wounding twelve. Although the shootings took place just a week and a half after the shootings at Kent State University, the Jackson State shootings never got the attention of those at Kent State, and when they did they were often described as a second Kent State, erasing the context of white supremacy and state-based violence that inform what happened in Jackson.  Kelly tells the tragic story of the Jackson State shootings and interviews Nancy Bristow, Professor of History at the University of Puget Sound, and author of Steeped in the Blood of Racism: Black Power, Law and Order, and the 1970 Shootings at Jackson State College to find out more. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Episode image: Alexander Hall, viewed from across Lynch Street, National Archives. Public Domain.Transcript available at: https://www.unsunghistorypodcast.com/transcripts/transcript-episode-2Sources: Steeped in the Blood of Racism: Black Power, Law and Order, and the 1970 Shootings at Jackson State College by Nancy K. Bristow "The Report of the President's Commission on Campus Unrest." Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402, 1970. “Program about the Jackson State Killings, Jackson, Mississippi,” WYSO, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. "50 Years After the Jackson State Killings, America's Crisis of Racial Injustice Continues—and Shows the Danger of Forgetting," Time Magazine, by Nancy K. Bristow, May 14, 2020 "The Jackson State shootings are often overlooked. But Rich Caster still remembers." The Washington Post, by Kevin B. Blackstone, May 14, 2020. "GIBBS/GREEN 51st COMMEMORATION 2021," Jackson State University, May 15, 2021. [Facebook Video] Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/UnsungHistory) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Between America’s entry into World War I and the end of the war less than two years later, Americans knit 23 million articles of clothing and bandages for soldiers overseas, directed by the American Red Cross. How was this knitting organized? Who did the knitting? And why don’t more people know about this impressive feat? Kelly digs into the story of World War I knitting efforts and interviews Holly Korda, author of The Knitting Brigades of World War I: Volunteers for Victory in America and Abroad to find out more. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Episode Image: Women knit at the Red Cross Knitting Booth while waiting for their trains at New York’s Grand Central Station, 1918. NATIONAL ARCHIVES/ 20802094. Episode Transcript available at: https://www.unsunghistorypodcast.com/transcripts/transcript-episode-1Sources: The Knitting Brigades of World War I by Holly Korda. "The Wool Brigades of World War I, When Knitting was a Patriotic Duty," Atlas Obscura. "Knitting for Victory — World War I," History Link. "Showing support for the Great War with knitting needles," Smithsonian. "'Knit Your Bit': The American Red Cross Knitting Program," Center for Knit and Crochet. "Wilson's Sheep," The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum. "Knitted Articles for the American Red Cross," The Delineator, V.91 1917. [Knitting Patterns] Support the show (https://www.buymeacoffee.com/UnsungHistory) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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