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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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Episodes

Jews To Alaska (1938)

*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 *** It’s November 29th.... more

29 Nov 2022 · 13 minutes
401 Episodes! w/ Jacob Feldman

*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 *** It’s November 27th.... more

27 Nov 2022 · 12 minutes
400 Episodes! (pt 1) w/ Jacob Feldman

*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 *** It’s November 24th.... more

24 Nov 2022 · 17 minutes
The Jekyll Island Secret Meeting (1910) w/ Jacob Goldstein

*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 *** It’s November 22nd.... more

22 Nov 2022 · 23 minutes
Jaywalking (1923) w/ Doug Gordon

*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 *** It’s November 20th.... more

20 Nov 2022 · 25 minutes
Trotter Confronts Wilson (1914)

*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 *** It’s November 17th.... more

17 Nov 2022 · 17 minutes
Denver Rejects The Olympics (1972)

*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 *** It’s November 15th.... more

15 Nov 2022 · 18 minutes
The GOP Reckoning Report (2012)

*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 *** It’s November 12th.... more

13 Nov 2022 · 26 minutes
Election Day Special: Reporting The Results w/ Jad Abumrad

It’s election day here in the United States. We hope you’ve already voted, or maybe are reading this while you’re... more

08 Nov 2022 · 37 minutes
Mid-Terms Week: NJ Voter Intimidation (1981)

In the run-up to the November election, we’re doing a number of episodes that may help you track and process... more

06 Nov 2022 · 24 minutes
Mid-Terms Week: The First Blue Wave (1826)

In the run-up to the November election, we’re doing a number of episodes that may help you track and process... more

03 Nov 2022 · 12 minutes
Mid-Terms Week: 1946 Changes Everything (1946)

In the run-up to the November election, we’re doing a number of episodes that may help you track and process... more

01 Nov 2022 · 15 minutes
Mid-Terms Week: I'm Not A Witch (2010)

In the run-up to the November election, we’re doing a number of episodes that may help you track and process... more

30 Oct 2022 · 19 minutes
Polling Week: Let's Get Thermostatic w/ Harry Enten

In the run-up to the November election, we’re doing a number of episodes that may help you track and process... more

27 Oct 2022 · 20 minutes
Polling Week: The Red Wave (1994) w/ Harry Enten

In the run-up to the November election, we’re doing a number of episodes that may help you track and process... more

25 Oct 2022 · 17 minutes
Polling Week: Harry Reid's Upset (2010) w/ Harry Enten

In the run-up to the November election, we’re doing a number of episodes that may help you track and process... more

23 Oct 2022 · 19 minutes
Referendum Week: Prop 13 (1978)

In the run-up to the November election, we’re doing a number of episodes that may help you track and process... more

20 Oct 2022 · 15 minutes
Referendum Week: The Badass Grandmas of North Dakota (2018) w/ Joshua Graham Lynn

In the run-up to the November election, we’re doing a number of episodes that may help you track and process... more

18 Oct 2022 · 14 minutes
Referendum Week: Direct Democracy In Action (1778) w/ Joshua Graham Lynn

In the run-up to the November election, we’re doing a number of episodes that may help you track and process... more

16 Oct 2022 · 26 minutes
Mid-Term Favorites: The Murkowski Write-In (2010)

In the run-up to the November election, we’re taking on and revisiting some of our favorite mid-term related topics. Today,... more

13 Oct 2022 · 14 minutes
Mid-Term Favorites: Paul Wellstone Plane Crash (2002)

In the run-up to the November election, we’re taking on and revisiting some of our favorite mid-term related topics. Today,... more

11 Oct 2022 · 20 minutes
Mid-Term Favorites: Contract with America (1994) w/ Kirsten Soltis Anderson

In the run-up to the November election, we’re taking on and revisiting some of our favorite mid-term related topics. Today,... more

09 Oct 2022 · 22 minutes
The Whiskey Rebellion and the Fear Of The Tax Collector (1794)

It’s October 6th. In 1794, violent skirmishes are breaking out in Western Pennsylvania as the newly formed country tries to... more

06 Oct 2022 · 22 minutes
Franklin in France (1776) w/ Mike Duncan

It’s October 4th. In 1776, Benjamin Franklin is headed to France as the Continental Congress’s first diplomat, looking to secure... more

04 Oct 2022 · 32 minutes
Rudy vs Brooklyn Museum (1999) w/ Harry Siegel

It’s October 2nd. This day in 1999, a First Amendment battle is brewing between New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani... more

02 Oct 2022 · 28 minutes
Rural Free Delivery (1896)

It’s September 29th. This day in 1896, a postal worker sets out to deliver the mail to ten rural towns... more

29 Sep 2022 · 18 minutes
No Crime Day (1986) w/ Josh Levin

It’s September 27th. This day in 1986, NBA star Isaiah Thomas promoted “No Crime Day” in the city of Detroit. Jody,... more

27 Sep 2022 · 23 minutes
Pauli Murray Shoots Her Shot (1971)

It’s September 25th. In 1971, the longtime activist and law professor Pauli Murray wrote a letter to Richard Nixon nominating... more

25 Sep 2022 · 17 minutes
Dogs as Deflection: Fala and Checkers (1944/1952)

It’s September 22nd. Today, we visit two speeches that used anecdotes about dogs to deflect and charm. In 1944, FDR... more

22 Sep 2022 · 21 minutes
The Cleveland BalloonFest Fiasco (1986) w/ Clare Malone

It’s September 19th. In 1986, the city of Cleveland decided to stage a charity event in which they released millions... more

20 Sep 2022 · 24 minutes
Romney's Secret 47% Tape (2012) w/ David Corn

It’s September 17th. In 2012, durig the home stretch of the presidential election, a secretly-recorded tape of Mitt Romney at... more

18 Sep 2022 · 36 minutes
The Christiana Resistance (1851)

It’s September 15th. This day in 1851, a dramatic showdown takes place in Christiana, Pennsylvania over four fugitive enslaved people... more

15 Sep 2022 · 19 minutes
The Basket Of Deplorables (2016)

It’s September 13th. This day in 2016, comments from Hillary Clinton about how half of Trump supporters can be put... more

13 Sep 2022 · 23 minutes
Partisans Week: Clinton Chronicles VHS (1994)

Nicole Hemmer has a new book out! It’s called “Partisans: The Conservative Revolutionaries Who Remade American Politics in the 1990s.”... more

11 Sep 2022 · 16 minutes
Partisans Week: Buchanan at Smuggler's Gulch (1992)

Nicole Hemmer has a new book out! It’s called “Partisans: The Conservative Revolutionaries Who Remade American Politics in the 1990s.”... more

08 Sep 2022 · 16 minutes
Partisans Week: Black Helicopters (1995)

Nicole Hemmer has a new book out! It’s called “Partisans: The Conservative Revolutionaries Who Remade American Politics in the 1990s.”... more

06 Sep 2022 · 17 minutes
The Mystery of LBJ's "Box 13" (1948) w/ Mark Lawrence

It’s September 4th. In 1948, a heated Texas Senate primary comes down to a very mysterious box of ballots found... more

04 Sep 2022 · 29 minutes
Brownie, Heckuva Job (2005)

It’s September 1st. In 2005, in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, George W Bush offered praise to the... more

01 Sep 2022 · 18 minutes
Lincoln's Avenger (1894)

It’s August 30th. This day in 1894, a man by the name of Thomas H “Boston” Corbett is presumed dead... more

30 Aug 2022 · 17 minutes
Biden Bites Kinnock (1987)

It’s August 27th. This day in 1987, rumors are building that Joe Biden had plagiarized remarks from British politician Neil... more

28 Aug 2022 · 20 minutes
Port Chicago Mutiny (1944)

It’s August 25th. In 1944, a group of sailors at Port Chicago in California are facing mutiny charges, after refusing... more

25 Aug 2022 · 17 minutes
Wooed By Mussolini (1926)

It’s August 22nd. Throughout the late summer of 1926, legendary journalist Ida Tarbell is publishing a series of flattering profiles... more

23 Aug 2022 · 16 minutes
Hoover Feeds Russia (1922)

It’s August 19th. This day in 1922, a massive food relief program is underway, with tons of American supplies headed... more

21 Aug 2022 · 15 minutes
The Roots of "Roots" (1976)

It’s August 18th. This day in 1976, Alex Haley’s sprawling epic Roots hits the bookshelves. It quickly caused a sensation... more

18 Aug 2022 · 15 minutes
The Acquittal of Joan Little (1975)

It’s August 16th. This day in 1975, a woman by the name of Joan Little was acquitted of murder —... more

16 Aug 2022 · 14 minutes
The Benghazi Memo (2012) w/ Leon Neyfakh

It’s August 14th. In 2012, on August 16th, a State Department memo was sent regarding the security of the U.S.... more

14 Aug 2022 · 26 minutes
The Irish-American Gun-Runners (1973) w/ Nate Lavey

It’s August 11th. This day in 1973, a group of Irish-Americans known as “The Fort Worth Five” are caught up... more

11 Aug 2022 · 31 minutes
TN Week: Elvis, Cash, and Tricky Dick (1972) w/ Jane Carr

Big news! Niki Hemmer is moving to Vanderbilt University to teach and found a center on the presidency. To help... more

09 Aug 2022 · 20 minutes
TN Week: State of Franklin (1784) w/ Jane Carr

Big news! Niki Hemmer is moving to Vanderbilt University to teach and found a center on the presidency. To help... more

07 Aug 2022 · 20 minutes
TN Week: Saint Dolly w/ Jad Abumrad

Big news! Niki Hemmer is moving to Vanderbilt University to teach and found a center on the presidency. To help... more

04 Aug 2022 · 27 minutes
What About Your Gaffes (2012)

It’s July 31st, 2012. This day, on the campaign trail, a reporter shouts a question at Mitt Romney: “What about... more

02 Aug 2022 · 17 minutes
The Sinking of Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior (1985) w/ Adam McKay

It’s July 31st. This day in 1985, two divers acting on behalf of the French government planted bombs on the... more

31 Jul 2022 · 22 minutes
Morris The Cat And Adam McKay's Big Break (1992) w/ Adam McKay

It’s July 28th. This day in 1992, “Morris The Cat,” the feline spokesperson for Nine Lives cat food, is in... more

28 Jul 2022 · 24 minutes
Bush Gets Stuck In A Bog (1995)

It’s July 26th. This day in 1995, former President George HW Bush gets stuck neck-deep in a Canadian bog while... more

26 Jul 2022 · 13 minutes
The ADA Changes Everything (1990)

It’s July 24th. This day in 1990, President George HW Bush signed the American with Disabilities Act, after decades of... more

24 Jul 2022 · 15 minutes
DC's Red Summer (1919)

It’s July 21st. This day in Washington, DC, racialized violence is sweeping the city, part of what is known as... more

21 Jul 2022 · 18 minutes
The McDonald's Massacre (1984) w/ Cari Babitzke

It’s July 19th. This day in 1984, a gunman killed 21 people at a McDonald’s in San Isidro, California. It... more

19 Jul 2022 · 19 minutes
The Wallace What-If (1944)

It’s July 17th. This day in 1944, there are real questions about who will be the Vice Presidential nominee going... more

17 Jul 2022 · 17 minutes
Nelson Hackett's Escape -- and Return -- from Canada (1844)

It’s July 14th. This day in 1844, a formerly enslaved man by the name of Nelson Hackett is being sent... more

14 Jul 2022 · 15 minutes
The Great Upheaval (Railroad Strike Version) (1877)

It’s July 12th. This day in 1877, a railroad worker strike is starting in West Virginia and will soon spread... more

12 Jul 2022 · 15 minutes
Nativists vs Catholics in Philadelphia (1844)

It’s July 10th. This day in 1844, riots and violence are breaking out in Philadelphia as nativist groups coalesce around... more

10 Jul 2022 · 17 minutes
Harriet Jacobs, Budding Author (1853)

It’s July 7th. This day in 1853, Harriet Jacobs, a formerly enslaved woman, writes her first letter to the editor,... more

07 Jul 2022 · 17 minutes
Texas Opts In (1845)

It’s July 5th. This day in 1845, the Texas legislature votes to ratify a decision to join the United States... more

05 Jul 2022 · 18 minutes
The Great American Road Trip (1956) w/ Eddie Alterman

It’s July 3rd. This day in 1956, President Eisenhower signed the National Highway Act, the largest infrastructure project in American... more

03 Jul 2022 · 24 minutes
The Wrights Make Might (1909)

It’s June 30th. This day in 1909, the Wright Brothers are at Fort Meyer, Virginia, to demonstrate their latest airplane... more

30 Jun 2022 · 18 minutes
The Abramoff Scandal (2005) w/ Philip Bump

It’s June 27th. This day in 2006, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee released a report about the breadth and depth... more

28 Jun 2022 · 14 minutes
Stuck On 435 (1929) w/ Philip Bump

It’s June 26th. In 1929, Congress passed the “Permanent Reapportionment Act,” which capped the number of representatives in the house. Jody,... more

26 Jun 2022 · 16 minutes
The Solar Panels On The White House Roof (1979)

It’s June 20th. This day in 1979, Jimmy Carter held a ceremony to celebrate the new solar panels that had... more

23 Jun 2022 · 12 minutes
The Dinner Where It Happened (1790)

It’s June 21st. This day in 1790, in lower Manhattan, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison sit down in a meeting... more

21 Jun 2022 · 16 minutes
The Pig War (1859)

It’s June 19th. This day in 1859, a skirmish on the San Juan Islands over a pig that intruded on... more

19 Jun 2022 · 11 minutes
Paired: HBCUs (w/ The Stoop)

For the next few episodes, we’re re-posting some of our favorite recent conversations — alongside episodes from fellow Radiotopia shows... more

16 Jun 2022 · 47 minutes
Paired: Attica and San Quentin (w/ Ear Hustle)

For the next few episodes, we’re re-posting some of our favorite recent conversations — alongside episodes from fellow Radiotopia shows... more

14 Jun 2022 · 1 hour, 25 minutes
Paired: The Moton School Strike (w/ Memory Palace)

For the next few episodes, we’re re-posting some of our favorite recent conversations — alongside episodes from fellow Radiotopia shows... more

12 Jun 2022 · 29 minutes
Paired: Nuclear Mishaps (w/ Radio Diaries)

For the next few episodes, we’re re-posting some of our favorite recent conversations — alongside episodes from fellow Radiotopia shows... more

09 Jun 2022 · 56 minutes
The Oprah-Oz Conundrum (from Oprahdemics)

Dr. Mehmet Oz has secured the GOP nomination for Senate in Pennsylvania. On our sister show Oprahdemics, Kellie Carter Jackson... more

07 Jun 2022 · 36 minutes
Rosey Grier's Needlepoint for Men (1968)

It’s June 6th. This day in 1968, Robert Kennedy is assassinated, and the gunman is first tackled by former NFL... more

05 Jun 2022 · 18 minutes
The Dominion of Melchizedek (1993)

It’s June 2nd. This day in 1993, the very-fake nation known as “The Dominion Of Melchizedek” received official recognition from... more

02 Jun 2022 · 14 minutes
The Night Of The Johnstown Flood (1889)

It’s May 31st. This day in 1889, a wall of water rushing down the Conemaugh River wiped out the mountain... more

31 May 2022 · 17 minutes
The Randolph Freedpeople (1846)

It’s May 29th. This day in 1846, 13 years after being granted their freedom, a group of formerly-enslaved Virginians arrive... more

29 May 2022 · 15 minutes
Obama Apologizes, Sort Of, For Hiroshima (2016)

It’s May 26th. This day in 2016, President Obama offered remarks at a memorial ceremony in Hiroshima, Japan. Jody, NIki, and... more

26 May 2022 · 15 minutes
Nellie Taft's Stroke (1909)

It’s May 23rd. This day in 1909, Helen “Nellie” Taft, wife of President William Howard Taft, suffered a stroke that... more

24 May 2022 · 14 minutes
The Potato Beetle Wars (1950)

It’s May 22nd. This day in 1950, East German farmers begin to report that the Colorado Potato Beetle has invaded... more

22 May 2022 · 13 minutes
Tennessee Finally Teaches Evolution (1967)

It’s May 19th. This day in 1967, the Tennessee state legislature finally repealed the Butler Act, the law that had... more

19 May 2022 · 15 minutes
Tuskegee Study Apology (1997)

It’s May 16th. This day in 1997, President Clinton offered a formal apology for the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis... more

17 May 2022 · 22 minutes
Family Jewels Pt 4: Meddling In The Press (1975) w/ Rick Perlstein

We wrap up our four-part series on the 1975/76 Church Committee hearings with a look at the contentious, cozy, and... more

15 May 2022 · 17 minutes
Family Jewels Pt 3: Meddling In Your Mind (1975)

Our miniseries on the 1975/76 Church Committee findings on CIA and FBI operations continues. This episode, we re-visit our conversation... more

12 May 2022 · 19 minutes
Family Jewels Pt 2: Meddling At Home (1975) w/ Rick Perlstein

Our miniseries on the 1975/76 Church Committee findings on CIA and FBI operations continues. This episode, we look at what... more

10 May 2022 · 24 minutes
Family Jewels Pt 1: Meddling Abroad (1975) w/ Rick Perlstein

We’ve got a new miniseries for you, looking back at the 1975 Church Committee hearings and report, which disclosed a... more

08 May 2022 · 27 minutes
Our Bodies, Ourselves (1969)

It’s May 5th, 1969. In Boston, a group of women are meeting to share information about women’s health, which would... more

05 May 2022 · 14 minutes
Haymarket and the Roots of May Day (1886)

It’s May 4th. This day in 1886, a deadly riot between police and protesters broke out in Haymarket Square in... more

03 May 2022 · 15 minutes
The She She She Camps (1934)

It’s May 1st. This day in 1934, Eleanor Roosevelt is holding a series of meetings at the White House to... more

01 May 2022 · 12 minutes
The Monkey Mayor of Hartlepool (2002) w/ Tim Harford

It’s April 28th. This day in 2002, the northeastern English town of Hartlepool is gearing up for a mayoral election,... more

28 Apr 2022 · 27 minutes
Henrietta Wood Sues For Reparations (1878)

It’s April 26th. This day in 1878, a verdict is delivered in a suit brought by the formerly-enslaved woman Henrietta... more

26 Apr 2022 · 18 minutes
The Moton Walkout and the "Lost Generation" (1951)

It’s April 24th. This day in 1951, Black students at Robert Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia have walked out... more

24 Apr 2022 · 17 minutes
They're Trying To Wash Us Away (1927) w/ Wright Thompson

It’s April 21st. This day in 1927, the Mississippi River is in beginning to breach levies and overflows the banks... more

21 Apr 2022 · 22 minutes
The Mystery of 420's Origins (1986?) w/ Ellen Scanlon

It’s April 20th. 4-20 is a de facto holiday in weed culture, with murky origins and an interesting future as... more

19 Apr 2022 · 17 minutes
Japanese Balloon Bombs Over U.S. Skies (1945)

It’s April 17th. This day in 1945, a balloon bomb exploded over Omaha, Nebraska. This was one of thousands of... more

17 Apr 2022 · 12 minutes
Eugene Debs: Lock Him Up (1919)

It’s April 14th. This day in 1919, Socialist leader Eugene V Debs is sent to prison for violating the Espionage... more

14 Apr 2022 · 12 minutes
Eleanor Roosevelt's Tuskegee Plane Ride (1941)

It’s April 12th. This day in 1941, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt took an airplane ride in a small plane piloted... more

12 Apr 2022 · 12 minutes
Gloria Richardson, Connector (1964)

It’s April 10th. This day in 1964, activist Gloria Richardson is forging deep ties with other civil rights leaders, particularly... more

10 Apr 2022 · 16 minutes
The Forgotten Massacre at Dartmoor Prison (1815) w/ Nick Guyatt

It’s April 7th. This day in 1815, a chaotic attack at Dartmoor prison in England killled and injured dozens of... more

07 Apr 2022 · 23 minutes
Nixon's Weird-Ass White House Uniforms (1970) w/ Avery Trufelman

It’s April 4th. This day in 1970, Richard Nixon’s great White House uniform experiment is coming to an end. Jody, Niki,... more

05 Apr 2022 · 19 minutes
The Roots of Intersectionality (1979)

It’s April 3rd. This day in 1979, community organizations in Boston such as the Combahee River Collective are raising the... more

03 Apr 2022 · 17 minutes
Our 300th Episode, and Something New

It’s March 31st. Turns out, it’s our 300th episode, and the second anniversary of the show! What better way to... more

31 Mar 2022 · 19 minutes
Washington Asserts His Privilege (1796) w/ Lindsay M. Chervinsky

It’s March 28th. This day in 1796, President Washington cited executive privilege in refusing a request for documents from Congress.... more

29 Mar 2022 · 22 minutes
Brando and Littlefeather Refuse The Oscar (1973) w/ Amy Nicholson

It’s March 27th. On Oscar Sunday in 1973, Marlon Brando refused to attend the ceremony and accept is Best Actor... more

27 Mar 2022 · 21 minutes
Gerry + Mander (1812) w/ Harry Enten

It’s March 24th. This day in 1812, a political cartoon appeared in a Boston newspaper lampooning a newly proposed election... more

24 Mar 2022 · 25 minutes
Monopoly's Secret History (1903)

It’s March 22nd. This day in 1903, a woman by the name of Lizzie Maggie filed for a patent for... more

22 Mar 2022 · 19 minutes
US Boycotts Russian Games (1980)

It’s March 20th. This day in 1980, President Jimmy Carter is about to issue a decree that U.S. Sign up... more

20 Mar 2022 · 17 minutes
The Cornerstone of the Confederacy (1861)

It’s March 16th. In 1861, Alexander Stephens, Vice President of the Confederate States of America, delivered a speech that came... more

17 Mar 2022 · 17 minutes
Latasha Harlins and the LA Riots (1991)

It’s March 15th. On March 16th, 1991, a young girl, Latasha Harlins, was killed by a shopkeeper in South Central... more

15 Mar 2022 · 15 minutes
The US Hunts Pancho Villa (1916)

It’s March 13th. This day in 1916, some 6,000 US troops are getting ready to enter Mexico to track down... more

13 Mar 2022 · 13 minutes
A Raisin In The Sun (1959)

It’s March 10th. This day in 1959, “A Raisin In The Sun” debuted on Broadway. It was the first Broadway... more

10 Mar 2022 · 18 minutes
We Are The World (1985)

It’s March 8th. This day in 1985, a song was released featuring virtually every major American music star, to raise... more

08 Mar 2022 · 22 minutes
The War on Pinball (1948) w/ Harry Siegel

It’s March 6th. This day in 1948, New York City’s war on pinball was raging, with police smashing machines Jody, Niki,... more

06 Mar 2022 · 25 minutes
The Woman Behind The New Deal (1933) w/ Jenny Kaplan

It’s March 3rd. This day in 1933, Frances Perkins is appointed Secretary of Labor, the first woman to hold a... more

03 Mar 2022 · 18 minutes
Mixing at Mardi Gras (1992) w/ Oliver Thomas

It’s March 1st, the first day of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. This day in 1992, a city ordinance mandating... more

01 Mar 2022 · 24 minutes
Lincoln At Cooper Union, The Speech That Changed Everything (1860)

It’s February 27th. This day in 1860, Abraham Lincoln gave a speech at the Cooper Union in New York City.... more

27 Feb 2022 · 15 minutes
Our Favorite "Making Trouble" Stories

All this week, shows across the Radiotopia network are doing special episodes around the theme of “making trouble.” It’s being... more

24 Feb 2022 · 21 minutes
Birth of The Peace Symbol (1958) w/ Ian Chillag

It’s the Radiotopia fundraiser! We couldn’t make this show without your support. Become a member now at radiotopia.fm It’s February 22nd.... more

22 Feb 2022 · 18 minutes
The Long Telegram (1946)

It’s February 20th. This day in 1946, diplomat George Kennan, stationed in Moscow, sent a 5,000 word telegram to the... more

20 Feb 2022 · 18 minutes
Black History Month Week: Baldwin v Buckley (1965) w/ Nick Buccola

This week, we’re doing a number of episodes around the history of… Black History Month. In 1965, two of America’s leading... more

17 Feb 2022 · 31 minutes
Black History Month Week: Capital B w/ Jelani Cobb

This week, we’re doing a number of episodes around the history of… Black History Month. Over the course of this country’s... more

15 Feb 2022 · 31 minutes
Black History Month Week: Where BHM Came From (1924)

This week, we’re doing a number of episodes around the history of… Black History Month. Today, February 13th — the roots... more

13 Feb 2022 · 19 minutes
The Anarchist Soup Plot (1916)

It’s February 10th. This day in 1916, at an event attended by much of Chicago’s political and religious elite, an... more

10 Feb 2022 · 19 minutes
"Birth Of A Nation" (1915) w/ Tyler Parry

It’s February 8th. This day in 1915, at Clune’s Auditorium in Los Angeles, “The Birth of a Nation” premiered. Jody,... more

08 Feb 2022 · 27 minutes
The Smoking Section (1987) w/ Sarah Milov

It’s February 6th. This day in 1987, federal regulations go into effect limiting where federal workers can smoke cigarettes. Smoking... more

06 Feb 2022 · 27 minutes
The SPAM Strike (1986) w/ Julia Longoria

It’s February 3rd. This day, 1986, the town of Austin, Minnesota is being torn apart by an ongoing strike at... more

03 Feb 2022 · 26 minutes
McDonald's Comes to Moscow (1990)

It’s February 1st. This day in 1990, the very first McDonald’s opened in Moscow, after 14 years of negotiations and... more

01 Feb 2022 · 15 minutes
Here Come the AKAs (1908)

It’s January 30th. This day in 1913, the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority was formally incorporated, five years after its... more

30 Jan 2022 · 20 minutes
Early Prohibition and The Rise of Weird Liquor Laws (1838)

IT’s January 27th. This day in 1838, some 80 years before national prohibition, the country’s first liquor restriction was passed. Jody,... more

27 Jan 2022 · 15 minutes
The U.S. Almost Nukes Itself (1961)

It’s December 25th. In 1961, on the night of January 23rd, a bomber carrying two massive nuclear weapons broke up... more

25 Jan 2022 · 17 minutes
Carter Pardons Draft Dodgers (1977)

It’s January 23rd. This day in 1977, on his first day in office, President Jimmy Carter pardoned Americans who had... more

23 Jan 2022 · 18 minutes
Lurleen Wallace, Proxy Governor (1967)

It’s January 20th. This day in 1967, Lurleen Wallace took office as the Govenor of Alabama, only the third female... more

20 Jan 2022 · 19 minutes
Silver Shenanigans (1980) w/ Bijan Stephen

It’s January 18th. This day in 1980, a group of Texas oil billionaires were in the middle of a scheme... more

18 Jan 2022 · 22 minutes
The Great Boston Molasses Flood (1919) w/ Cara Giaimo

It’s January 16th. This day in 1919, the North End neighborhood of Boston is digging out from under 2.3 million... more

16 Jan 2022 · 18 minutes
The Hawaii (False) Missile Alert (2018)

It’s January 13th. This day in 2018, at 8:07am, residents of Hawaii received a disturbing alert on their phones: BALLISTIC... more

13 Jan 2022 · 19 minutes
The Harrisburg Seven's Plot to Kidnap Kissinger (1971)

It’s January 11th. This day in 1971, the federal government charged a group of anti-war activists, led by Catholic priest... more

11 Jan 2022 · 16 minutes
Declaring "War" on Poverty (1964)

It’s January 9th. In 1964, in his State of the Union speech, president Johnson declared “war on poverty.” It was... more

09 Jan 2022 · 19 minutes
January 6th, In Context (2021)

This episode, a conversation about the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol one year ago, and how the stories and themes... more

06 Jan 2022 · 30 minutes
"The Body" Becomes Governor (1999)

It’s January 4th. This day in 1999, former wrestler Jesse Ventura is sworn in as Governor of Minnesota. Jody, Niki, and... more

04 Jan 2022 · 20 minutes
'21 Favorite: The Cussing Parrot (1845)

Heading into 2022, we’re re-airing a couple favorite episodes from the year, and bringing you a couple special episodes. We’ll... more

30 Dec 2021 · 14 minutes
'21 Favorite: NYC Slavery Revolt (1712)

Heading into 2022, we’re re-airing a couple favorite episodes from the year, and bringing you a couple special episodes. We’ll... more

28 Dec 2021 · 18 minutes
'21 Favorite: Zoot Suit Riots (1943) w/ Emily Spivack

Heading into 2022, we’re re-airing a couple favorite episodes from the year, and bringing you a couple special episodes. We’ll... more

26 Dec 2021 · 22 minutes
Favorite: A History of the War On Christmas (Part 2) w/ Michael Hobbes

Part 2 of one of our favorite — and most timely — episodes ever. We’ll be back with live episodes... more

23 Dec 2021 · 27 minutes
Favorite: A History of the War On Christmas (Part 1) w/ Michael Hobbes

We’re re-airing one of our favorite — and most timely — episodes ever. Part 1 of our conversation about the... more

21 Dec 2021 · 28 minutes
The Calumet Christmas Tragedy (1913) w/ Erik Loomis

It’s December 19th. In 1913, on Christmas Eve, 73 people, 59 of them children, died during a stampede at a... more

19 Dec 2021 · 24 minutes
Grant Expels Jews (1860)

It’s December 16th. This day in 1860, Union General Ulysses Grant issued Order Number 11, which expelled Jews from Tennessee,... more

16 Dec 2021 · 14 minutes
Bush, Meet Shoe (2008)

It’s December 14th. This day in 2008, at a press conference in Baghdad, an Iraqi journalist flung his shoes at... more

14 Dec 2021 · 16 minutes
A Vote Against Entering WWII (1941)

It’s December 12th. This day in 1941, the US Congress provides an overwhelming vote in support of Roosevelt’s declaration of... more

12 Dec 2021 · 15 minutes
The John Birch Society Is Born (1958) w/ John S Huntington

It’s December 9th. This day in 1958, a group of twelve men met in Indianapolis to found the “John Birch... more

09 Dec 2021 · 31 minutes
The Coup in Wilmington (1898)

It’s December 7th. In 1898, a white supremacist coup took place in Wilmington, NC — in which white leaders overthrew... more

07 Dec 2021 · 16 minutes
Lenny Bruce Is Not Afraid (1962)

It’s December 5th. This day in 1962, comedian Lenny Bruce is arrested in Chicago during a performance at a nightclub.... more

05 Dec 2021 · 16 minutes
NYC Almost Burns to the Ground (1864)

It’s December 2nd. This day in 1864, a plot to burn down New York City just barely fails. A group... more

02 Dec 2021 · 16 minutes
The Battle In Seattle (1999)

It’s November 30th. This day in 1999, the city of Seattle was the site of massive protests during the meeting... more

30 Nov 2021 · 19 minutes
'21 Favorite: Drafting the Confederate Constitution (1861)

This Thanksgiving week, we’re running some favorite episodes from the year that you may have missed. We’ll be back with... more

28 Nov 2021 · 17 minutes
'21 Favorite: Oprah's Beef Beef (1996)

This Thanksgiving week, we’re running some favorite episodes from the year that you may have missed. We’ll be back the... more

25 Nov 2021 · 21 minutes
'21 Favorite: Instant City (1889) w/ Sam Anderson

This Thanksgiving week, we’re running some favorite episodes from the year that you may have missed. We’ll be back the... more

23 Nov 2021 · 27 minutes
'21 Favorite: The Kerner Alarm (1967) w/ Jelani Cobb

This Thanksgiving week, we’re running some favorite episodes from the year that you may have missed. We’ll be back the... more

21 Nov 2021 · 21 minutes
Milhouse's Missing Minutes (1973)

It’s November 18th. This day in 1973, the major revelation that there are 18 1/2 minutes missing from the secret... more

18 Nov 2021 · 12 minutes
Murkowski's Write-In Surprise (2010)

It’s November 16th. This day in 2010, Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski prevailed in her re-election effort — one in which... more

16 Nov 2021 · 14 minutes
Why Sherman Marched (1864) w/ Anne Sara Rubin

It’s November 14th. This day in 1864, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman left Atlanta and began destructive march to the... more

14 Nov 2021 · 27 minutes
Bootlegger Biplane Bombings (1926)

It’s November 11th. This day in 1926, members of the Shelton gang in southern Illinois commandeered a biplane to drop... more

11 Nov 2021 · 14 minutes
"The Enemy Is The Knife" (1974)

It’s November 9th. This day in 1974, Dr. Connie Redbird Uri testified at a hearing about the practice of forced... more

09 Nov 2021 · 16 minutes
Snatching Lincoln's Body (1876)

It’s November 7th. This day in 1876, a group of Chicago-area men attempt to steal Abraham Lincoln’s body from his... more

07 Nov 2021 · 16 minutes
Carol Moseley-Braun Wears Pants (1992)

It’s November 4th. This day in 1992, Carol Moseley-Braun of Illinois is elected Senator, becoming the first Black woman elected... more

04 Nov 2021 · 16 minutes
A Minimum Minimum Wage Increase (1977)

It’s November 2nd. This day in 1977, Jimmy Carter signed legislation to raise the minimum wage to $3.35. Jody, Niki, and... more

02 Nov 2021 · 16 minutes
Spy vs. Spy in Louisiana (2015)

It’s October 31st. This day in 2015, the campaign of Louisiana Senator David Vitter is in a tailspin after reports... more

31 Oct 2021 · 20 minutes
Godless Americans (2008)

It’s October 27th. This day in 2008, an ad endorsed by Elizabeth Dole is running in North Carolina accusing Senate... more

28 Oct 2021 · 16 minutes
Central Park's Black Village is Demolished (1857) w/ Bobby Wooten

It’s October 26th. In October of 1857, the residents of Seneca Village, a community mostly comprised of formerly enslaved African-Americans,... more

26 Oct 2021 · 20 minutes
Lennon's FBI File (1971) w/ Hrishikesh Hirway

It’s October 24th. This day in 1973, former Beatle John Lennon sued the U.S. government, demanding to know whether he... more

24 Oct 2021 · 27 minutes
Billy Beer (1978)

It’s October 21st. In October 1978, the Falls City Brewing Company ceased production of Billy Beer, a cheap brew endorsed... more

21 Oct 2021 · 22 minutes
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
This Day in Esoteric Political History
Kerner and the "Long Hot Summer" (1967) w/ Jelani Cobb
This Day in Esoteric Political History
0:00
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Description

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