Attacks on women and children of Gevaudan in the 1760s sparked a huge effort to hunt and kill the mystery beast behind them. While efforts to track the animal struggled, France was gripped in terror. Read the show notes here.
Christina was a smart, learned woman, but not a particularly good ruler. Her entire life was marked by being kind of a contradictory, restless character – starting basically from the moment she was born. Read the show notes here.
While his name instantly conjures an image of the dashing, sophisticated vampire that helped spark an entire horror film genre, Lugosi really lost more than he gained from playing the role.
While he’s mostly associated with the role of Dracula, Bela Lugosi's early life was significantly affected by WWI, the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the transition from silent film to talkies. Read the show notes here.
Transgender activist Sylvia Rivera is often compared to Rosa Parks. She became famous, in part, for participating in the Stonewall riots, and she spent her life campaigning bravely, stridently and vocally for the rights of gay and transgender people. Read the show notes here.
In 1959, nine students ventured into the Ural mountains for a ski hiking trip, and never returned. While much speculation has swirled for more than half a century, no one knows for certain what caused them to abandon their camp to die in the cold.
Allen's later years were marred by some unwise political alliances he made in his effort to gain independence for Vermont. After his political work cooled, he turned instead to writing, though he wasn't a hugely popular author.
Ethan Allen was a huge personality, a founder of Vermont, and an important figure in the Revolutionary War. His story also includes some fascinating side-notes, and some missteps which may account for his hazy spot in historical lore. Read the show notes here.
This famous Hormel Foods product was invented in the 1930s to make use of a surplus of shoulder meat from pigs. Not only was it an instant hit in the U.S., it also played a huge role in WWII and shaped the cuisines of many Pacific Island nations.
Great Britain didn't only send criminals to Australia as punishment; they also wanted to colonize the continent. But to do that, they had to send women in addition to men. This plan involved some unsettling facts, and had some unexpected consequences. Read the show notes here.