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This Day in Esoteric Political History
This Day in Esoteric Political History
Jody Avirgan & Radiotopia

We’re living in unprecedented times. Maybe. In this show, Jody Avirgan, Nicole Hemmer and Kellie Carter Jackson (and guests) take one moment,... more

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The Textbook Wars Spiral Out of Control (1974)

It’s October 19th. This day in 1974, Kanawha County, West Virginia is embroiled in an increasingly violent battle over a... more

19 Oct 2021 · 22 minutes
Why Lincoln Grew A Beard (1860)

It’s October 17th. This day in 1860, in the run-up to the next month’s presidential election, Abraham Lincoln received a... more

17 Oct 2021 · 17 minutes
The President Who Cried Swine Flu (1976) w/ Jim Hamblin

It’s October 14th. This day in 1976, President Ford invited cameras into the White House as he got his vaccination... more

14 Oct 2021 · 26 minutes
Perot Crashes The Debate (1992)

It’s October 12th. This day in 1992, Ross Perot joined Bill Clinton and incumbent George HW Bush on stage for... more

12 Oct 2021 · 15 minutes
The HoJo Incident (1957)

It’s October 10th. This day in 1957, Ghanaian finance minister Komla Gbedemah was refused service at a Howard Johnson’s restaurant... more

10 Oct 2021 · 14 minutes
The Access Hollywood Tape (2016) w/ Roy Wood, Jr

It’s October 7th. This day in 2016, the Washington Post published excerpts of a tape of Donald Trump talking to... more

07 Oct 2021 · 26 minutes
Borking (1987) w/ Jay Willis

It’s October 5th. This day in 1987, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork to... more

05 Oct 2021 · 24 minutes
Earl "Rusty" Butz Gets Weirdly Racist (1976)

It’s October 3rd. This day in 1976, Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz hands in his resignation after a media firestorm... more

03 Oct 2021 · 13 minutes
The Congressional Page Scandal (2006)

It’s September 30th. This day in 2006, Florida Congressman Mark Foley resigned after inappropriate messages he’d sent to underage congressional... more

30 Sep 2021 · 16 minutes
Lincoln's Spiritualist Stumper (1864)

It’s September 28th. This day in 1864, in the midst of the civil war and the run-up to the election... more

28 Sep 2021 · 16 minutes
The War on Rats (1977)

It’s September 26th. This day in 1977, a Chicago alderman offered a $1 bounty to every one of his constituents... more

26 Sep 2021 · 19 minutes
Atlanta Massacre (1906)

It’s September 23rd. This day in 1906, racialized mob violence broke out in Atlanta, GA, as part of a growing... more

23 Sep 2021 · 19 minutes
DADT No More (2011)

It’s September 21st. This day in 2011, President Obama repealed the Clinton-era policy of “don’t ask don’t tell,” regarding openly... more

21 Sep 2021 · 16 minutes
Charlie Chaplin's Exile (1952)

It’s September 19th. This day in 1952, during a trip abroad, the U.S. attorney general announced an inquiry into whether... more

19 Sep 2021 · 18 minutes
Calendar Confusion (1752)

It’s September 16th. Or is it? We recently got an email from a listener asking us which calendar we are... more

16 Sep 2021 · 12 minutes
Attica (1971) w/ Heather Ann Thompson

It’s September 14th. This day in 1971, the Attica Prison uprising was coming to a close. Over the prior four... more

14 Sep 2021 · 28 minutes
Ship of Gold (1857)

It’s September 12th. This day in 1857, the SS Central America, a ship loaded with 30,000 pounds of gold, sank... more

12 Sep 2021 · 15 minutes
Monkey Business (1987) w/ Matt Bai

It’s September 9th. This day in 1987, former Colorado Senator Gary Hart gave an interview on Nightline where he, finally,... more

09 Sep 2021 · 28 minutes
McKinley Shot (1901)

It’s September 7th. This day in 1901, President William McKinley is in Buffalo, NY when he is shot twice in... more

07 Sep 2021 · 15 minutes
The Condom On Jesse Helms's House (1991)

It’s September 5th. This day in 1991, members of the group ACT UP erected a giant yellow condom over the... more

05 Sep 2021 · 18 minutes
Camp Casey (2005)

It’s September 2nd. This day in 2005, Cindy Sheehan embarks on a tour around the country to protest the Iraq... more

02 Sep 2021 · 19 minutes
Fred Korematsu's Internment (1942)

It’s August 31st. This day in 1942, a judge upholds the arrest of a Japanese-American man named Fred Korematsu. Jody, Niki,... more

31 Aug 2021 · 17 minutes
Teacher In Space (1984)

It’s August 29th. This day in 1984, NASA and the Reagan administration announced a “Teacher in Space” program intended to... more

29 Aug 2021 · 16 minutes
Capitol for A Day (1814)

It’s August 26th. This day in 1814, the small town of Brookeville, MD becomes the Capitol of the United States... more

26 Aug 2021 · 16 minutes
The Battle of Blair Mountain (1921) w/ Anna Sale

It’s August 24th. This day in 1921, tensions are mounting in southwestern West Virginia, where some 10-15,000 miners are going... more

24 Aug 2021 · 17 minutes
Nat Turner's Community (1831) w/ Vanessa Holden

It’s August 22nd. This day in 1831, Nathaniel “Nat” Turner is leading a rebellion in Southampton, Virginia — what would... more

22 Aug 2021 · 18 minutes
Banneker's Sneaky Letter (1791)

It’s August 19th. This day in 1791, Benjamin Banneker sent an advance copy of his almanac to Thomas Jefferson. Along... more

19 Aug 2021 · 19 minutes
Leo Frank and the KKK's Resurgence (1915)

It’s August 17th. This day in 1915, a Jewish man by the name of Leo Frank was kidnapped from jail... more

17 Aug 2021 · 19 minutes
The Flag, Elvis, Aliens (1977) w/ Josh Levin

It’s August 15th. This episode, we discuss three notable events from this day in 1977: a young woman’s protest over... more

15 Aug 2021 · 27 minutes
Lizzie Borden, Axe Murderer, Maybe (1892)

It’s August 12th. This day in 1892, Lizzie Borden is arrested for the murder of her father and step-mother, accused... more

12 Aug 2021 · 13 minutes
"Macaca" (2006) w/ Peter Hamby

It’s August 10th. This day in 2006, Virginia Senator George Allen is caught on tape referring to S.R. Sidarth, a... more

10 Aug 2021 · 26 minutes
East Africa Bombings (1998) w/ Karen Greenberg

It’s August 8th. This day in 1998, two massive truck bombs detonated outside American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar... more

08 Aug 2021 · 21 minutes
Reagan Fires Air Traffic Controllers (1981)

It’s August 5th. This day in 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired more than 11,000 air traffic controllers, who had gone... more

05 Aug 2021 · 15 minutes
Garvey's Great Gathering (1920)

It’s August 3rd. This day in 1920, the Universal Negro Improvement Association is holding a massive convention and rally in... more

03 Aug 2021 · 16 minutes
The Black Tom Explosion (1916)

It’s August 1st. This day in 1916 (July 30th, in fact) a massive explosion rocked New York Harbor, shattering windows... more

01 Aug 2021 · 14 minutes
The U.S. Rewrites the Haitian Constitution (1915) w/ Jelani Cobb

It’s July 29th. This day in 1915, U.S. troops arrived in Haiti as the country’s political leadership is thrown into... more

29 Jul 2021 · 19 minutes
Kerner and the "Long Hot Summer" (1967) w/ Jelani Cobb

It’s July 27th. This day in 1967, LBJ convened the “Kerner Commission” to look into the roots of violence and... more

27 Jul 2021 · 21 minutes
The Beer Summit (2009)

It’s July 25th. This day (July 24th in fact) in 2009, President Obama extended an invitation to Henry Louis Gates,... more

25 Jul 2021 · 19 minutes
The Lost Robert E. Lee Oath Theory (1975) w/ John Reeves

It’s July 22nd. This day in 1975, Congress voted to restore citizenship to Robert E. Lee, more than a hundred... more

22 Jul 2021 · 23 minutes
Vanessa Williams Loses Her Crown (1984)

It’s July 20th. This day in 1984, the Miss America pageant issued an ultimatum to Vanessa Williams, the first Black... more

20 Jul 2021 · 13 minutes
This Day in Esoteric Political History
Kerner and the "Long Hot Summer" (1967) w/ Jelani Cobb
This Day in Esoteric Political History

Available on

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It’s July 27th. This day in 1967, LBJ convened the “Kerner Commission” to look into the roots of violence and unrest in... more