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HISTORY This Week

History Podcasts

This week, something momentous happened. Whether or not it made the textbooks, it most certainly made history. Join HISTORY This Week as we turn back the clock to meet the people, visit the places and witness the moments that led us to where we are today. To get in touch with story ideas or feedback, email us at HistoryThisWeek@History.com, or leave us a voicemail at 212-351-0410.

Location:

United States

Description:

This week, something momentous happened. Whether or not it made the textbooks, it most certainly made history. Join HISTORY This Week as we turn back the clock to meet the people, visit the places and witness the moments that led us to where we are today. To get in touch with story ideas or feedback, email us at HistoryThisWeek@History.com, or leave us a voicemail at 212-351-0410.

Language:

English


Episodes
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Reflecting on History

8/14/2023
August 14, 2023. The HTW team is ready to talk. In a special episode that wraps up Season 4, Sally asks the people behind the scenes about lessons they've learned from telling hundreds of true stories about the past. It’s a great conversation you’re not going to want to miss. And when you’re finished, please fill out our listener survey: bit.ly/htw2023. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:26:42

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History’s Undelivered Speeches

8/7/2023
August 8, 1974. President Richard Nixon sits in the Oval Office, addressing the American people. He tells them: I’m going to resign. The news is shocking, but not unexpected. Today, it might even seem inevitable. But in the days leading up to the big decision, Nixon himself didn’t know what he would do. At night he roamed the halls of the White House, torturously weighing his options. He even ordered a speechwriter to draft a statement announcing his refusal to resign. Sally Helm sits down with political speechwriter Jeff Nussbaum to talk about this curious kind of a document: a speech that could’ve changed history if only it had been given. They discuss what Nixon, and two other speech givers, would have felt preparing multiple drafts, as they faced an uncertain future, and how the world would be different had these speeches been given. Special thanks to our guest: Jeff Nussbaum, author of Undelivered: The Never-Heard Speeches That Would Have Rewritten History. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:35:06

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Special Announcement

8/4/2023
We’ll be back next week with a regular episode, but please listen to this for an important HTW update! Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:00:48

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The Donner Party Turns Deadly

7/31/2023
August 4, 1846. A few months into their journey from Illinois to California, a group of pioneers encounters trouble. They’ve just found a note from their guide. It essentially says, “That shortcut I told you to take through the Wasatch Mountains – don’t.” The setback disastrously delays their trip. Weeks later, when they reach the Sierra Nevada, it’s dangerously late in the season. Soon, a winter storm traps them in the mountains. What did they have to do to survive? And what’s the truth behind the legendary Donner Party? Special thanks to our guest: Daniel James Brown, author of The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:28:22

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Destroyer of Worlds (Replay)

7/25/2023
July 16, 1945. It happened within a millionth of a second. In the New Mexico desert in the early morning hours, a group of scientists watched in anticipation as the countdown began. It was silent at first, yet hot and unbelievably bright. Then came the sound. The first-ever atomic bomb explosion... was a success. How did scientists working on the Manhattan Project create what was then the most powerful weapon in history? And how did the bomb’s existence forever change our sense of what human beings are capable of? Thank you to our guest Dr. Jon Hunner, a professor emeritus of U.S. history at New Mexico State University and author of Inventing Los Alamos: The Growth of an Atomic Community and J. Robert Oppenheimer, the Cold War, and the Atomic West. This episode originally aired July 13, 2020. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:28:16

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Barbie for President!

7/24/2023
July 29th, 1992. The Baltimore Sun runs a feature about a surprise candidate in the upcoming presidential race: Barbie. The 11.5-inch icon of girlhood and glamor is running for office – and flying off the shelves. But how did a plaything become important enough to make national news? To answer that question, we take you on a journey through doll history, from French porcelain beauties to cherubs that stood for women’s suffrage. And of course, the doll who taught us how fun life in plastic could be. How did these dolls revolutionize play and even politics? And what do they have to tell us about ourselves? Special thanks to our guests: Florence Theriault, doll expert and founder of Theriault’s antique auction firm; Pat Wahler, author of The Rose of Washington Square: A Novel of Rose O'Neill, Creator of the Kewpie Doll; and Robin Gerber, author of Barbie and Ruth: The Story of the World's Most Famous Doll and the Woman Who Created Her. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:32:22

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John Muir’s Quest to Save the Great Outdoors

7/17/2023
July 19, 1869. Naturalist John Muir watches the sun rise over the Sierra Nevada mountains. He’ll write in his journal of the stirring birds, glowing treetops, and even rocks that “seem to thrill with life.” He’s so taken with this landscape that he’ll decide to stay in the Yosemite Valley and try to protect it with the only weapon he has: the pen. How did Muir collide with the political forces of his day and help bring about National Parks as we know them? And how did he change the way many Americans think about the natural world? Special thanks to our guest: Dean King, author of Guardians of the Valley: John Muir and the Friendship That Saved Yosemite. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:27:33

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The USS Indianapolis’ Secret Mission Turns into Tragedy

7/10/2023
July 16, 1945. It’s the summer of 1945 and World War II is underway. The USS Indianapolis has just set out from Mare Island on a top-secret mission. The famous vessel is delivering enriched uranium and other components of “Little Boy” to Tinian Island. The mission is technically a success, but for the men aboard the Indianapolis, the challenges are just beginning. On July 30, the ship is struck by two Japanese torpedoes, stranding its sailors at sea. For three and a half days, survivors are left floating in the Pacific Ocean, fending off sun exposure, dehydration, and shark attacks – and waiting for help. Were any able to survive? And could this attack have been prevented? Special thanks to our guest: Sara Vladic, co-author of Indianapolis: The True Story of the Worst Sea Disaster in U.S. Naval History and the Fifty-Year Fight to Exonerate an Innocent Man. She’s also the director of the documentary USS Indianapolis: The Legacy. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:27:12

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Chasing Utopia

7/3/2023
July 8, 1843. Amidst the rolling hills of rural Massachusetts, a group of Transcendentalists come together to form a collective built around self-perfection and reverence for nature. And on this day poet Ralph Waldo Emerson stops by for a visit. Their name for this experimental Eden? Fruitlands. But every Eden has its fall, and by the time autumn winds blow over their 90 acres, the Fruitlanders are in trouble. How did a group of thinkers, writers, and educators come together to form one of the most famous utopian failures of the 19th century? And what can we learn from their attempt? Special thanks to our guests, Richard Francis, author of Fruitlands: The Alcott Family and Their Search for Utopia. And Catherine Shortliffe, Engagement Manager of the Fruitlands Museum and the Old Manse at The Trustees. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:26:47

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The Tupperware Queen

6/26/2023
July 2, 1957. At the annual Tupperware jubilee in Florida, company VP Brownie Wise is admiring her handiwork. 1,200 people have convened on her private island for a luau—complete with live lobsters, orchid leis and prizes for Tupperware’s top sellers. Most of the people here owe their job to her. That's because Brownie perfected a sales strategy that has made the innovative plastic product famous. Not to mention a cash cow. She's famous, too: Fortune and CBS News have hailed her as a savvy corporate leader. But tonight, at this fabulous celebration of the company's glittering success, storm clouds are gathering. How did a single mom from Michigan turn a simple household product into a juggernaut? And how did all go wrong? Special thanks to our guests: Alison Clarke, design history professor at University of Applied Arts - Vienna and author of Tupperware: The Promise of Plastic in 1950s America; and Bob Kealing, author of Life of the Party: The Remarkable Story of How Brownie Wise Built, and Lost, a Tupperware Party Empire. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:29:10

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Two Fathers, One Fight (Replay)

6/19/2023
June 21, 1998. Father's Day. At the Church of the Atonement in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, Jon and Michael Galluccio are ready to tie the knot, in front of family, friends, reporters, and one lone picketer. The Galluccios are already public figures—a few months earlier, they had secured the right for gay and unmarried couples to jointly adopt children. And today, they pull up to their wedding in a minivan, with their son in tow: as a family. How did this family come together? And how did their son's adoption end up changing the lives of other families all across the country? Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:32:12

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Ma Rainey's Mic Drop

6/12/2023
June 12, 1928. The great Blues singer Ma Rainey steps up to the microphone at a studio in Chicago. She’s there to record a scandalous song called “Prove It On Me Blues.” It’s her answer to the rumor that she’d once attended a party with a bunch of other half-clothed women – a party that got busted by the cops. It’s a rumor she doesn’t deny. The song is just the latest of Rainey’s boundary-pushing moves. Her audience, and her record label, eat it up. How did Ma Rainey talk about sex and sexuality through the Blues? And in the America of that time, how was a boldness like hers even possible? Special thanks to our guests: Darryl Bullock, author of Queer Blues: The Hidden Figures of Early Blues Music, which will be published this July; Dr. Steven Lewis, curator of Music and Performing Arts at the National Museum of African American History and Culture; and Dr. Tyina Steptoe, history professor at the University of Arizona and host of “Soul Stories” on KXCI Tucson. Thanks also to Dr. Cookie Woolner, history professor at the University of Memphis and author of ​​The Famous Lady Lovers: Black Women & Queer Desire Before Stonewall, which will be published in September. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:25:17

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Mary Shelley Brings Frankenstein to Life

6/5/2023
June 10, 1816. A storm settles over Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Stuck inside a romantic villa, five writers grow restless. Then one of them issues a challenge: Who among us can write the most terrifying ghost story? The group includes two of the most accomplished poets of the day – Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley. But it’s Percy's lover, Mary, who creates an enduring masterpiece: the novel Frankenstein. How did Mary Shelley draw from her life to write this harrowing story? And why have we been talking about it for more than two hundred years? Special thanks to our guest, Charlotte Gordon, author of Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft & Mary Shelley. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:27:35

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FDR Tries to Pack the Court

5/29/2023
June 1, 1936. The Supreme Court hands down its last decision of the term. The justices have dealt blow after blow to President Roosevelt’s New Deal legislation, and today is no different: they rule against FDR again. It’s the last straw. Roosevelt is going to do something drastic – try to reshape the Supreme Court itself. Will FDR’s bold move get him what he wants? And how will the Court try to stop him? Special thanks to our guests: Laura Kalman, professor of history at the University of California, Santa Barbara and author of FDR’s Gambit: The Court Packing Fight and the Rise of Legal Liberalism; and Michael Nelson, political science professor at Rhodes College and author of Vaulting Ambition: FDR's Campaign to Pack the Supreme Court. Thanks also to Clare Cushman, resident historian at the Supreme Court Historical Society. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:26:14

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Bonnie and Clyde’s Final Ride

5/22/2023
May 23, 1934. On a muggy Louisiana morning, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow speed toward the Texas border. They’ve been on the run for over a year—wanted for robbery and murder—and the lurid news accounts of their exploits have made them famous. But today, Bonnie and Clyde’s legendary crime spree comes to an end … in a hail of bullets. Why did some come to view these Depression Era outlaws as agents of chaos the country needed? And what was the real motivation behind their crimes? Special thanks to our guest, John Neal Phillips, author of Running With Bonnie and Clyde: The Ten Fast Years of Ralph Fults. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:31:38

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A Teenage Girl Saves France

5/15/2023
May 16, 1920. Tens of thousands of people surround St. Peter’s Basilica to honor Joan of Arc, a French peasant girl who died nearly five hundred years before. Joan’s feats in battle—and her visions of God—have become legendary since her heyday during The Hundred Years War. And today, the Catholic Church is making her a saint. But Joan was a real person – and while many supported her during her lifetime, many others wanted her dead. Who was this curious figure? And how did her faith turn the tides of a seemingly endless age of violence? Special thanks to our guests: Nancy Goldstone, author of The Maid and the Queen: The Secret History of Joan of Arc, and Charity Urbanski, associate history professor at the University of Washington. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:30:43

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The Spy Who Fooled the FBI

5/8/2023
May 10, 2002. Former FBI agent Robert Hanssen is sentenced to life in prison without parole. His crime? Selling scads of top-secret information to the Soviets – and later, the Russians – over 22 years. How did Hanssen get away with his deception for so long, which led to the deaths of operatives working for the United States? Was he a criminal mastermind … or just a guy with incredible luck? Special thanks to our guests: Elaine Shannon, author of The Spy Next Door: The Extraordinary Secret Life of Robert Philip Hanssen, the Most Damaging FBI Agent in U.S. History, and Eric O'Neill, author of Gray Day: My Undercover Mission to Expose America's First Cyber Spy. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:30:51

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Bonus: The Coronation of King Charles III (feat. Katie Nicholl)

5/5/2023
May 6, 2023. For the first time in 70 years, Great Britain will crown a new monarch. King Charles III will officially take the throne, and his wife will be named Queen Camilla. The coronation itself is brimming with history, the first at Westminster Abbey held nearly 1,000 years ago. Today, Sally speaks to Katie Nicholl (royal correspondent for Vanity Fair and host of the Dynasty podcast) to unpack how this coronation came to be and what it signifies in the modern world. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:17:58

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The World’s First Budget Airline Takes Off

5/1/2023
May 6, 1949. On the runway at Lindbergh Field in San Diego, a scrappy upstart called Pacific Southwest Airlines, PSA, is about to take its first flight. PSA is a budget airline—the world’s first. Other jet age carriers will offer luxury in the sky, but PSA does not. It’s exploiting a loophole in the American flight system to do things very differently. How did PSA manage to offer flying to ordinary people at prices they could afford? And how did it force an entire industry to reimagine itself? Special thanks to our guests: Mary Boies, former fellow on the Senate Commerce Committee, White House staffer, and general counsel to the Civil Aeronautics Board; Jim Patterson, early PSA employee, and eventually its vice president of operations; and Michael Roach, former lawyer at the Civil Aeronautics Board. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:29:18

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A Concubine Rises to Rule China

4/24/2023
April 27, 1856. In Beijing’s Forbidden City, one of the emperor’s consorts, a woman named Cixi, has given birth to a son – the emperor’s first heir. This landmark event is met with mass celebration. But in just five years time, the emperor will be dead and Cixi will be planning a coup to take power for herself. How will she ever succeed? Special thanks to our guests: Jung Chang, author of Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China and Professor Ying-chen Peng, author of Artful Subversion: Empress Dowager Cixi's Image Making in Art. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information. To learn more about listener data and our privacy practices visit: https://www.audacyinc.com/privacy-policy Learn more about your ad choices. Visit https://podcastchoices.com/adchoices

Duration:00:35:24