One of the most diverse things about the U.S. is its food industry. Foodies obsessively seek out the “authentic” flavors of any given culture. But many of the foods brought to the U.S. via immigration were initially viewed with suspicion and disdain.
For parts of the 20th century, the U.S. and Mexico had agreements in place allowing, and even encouraging, Mexican nationals to enter the U.S. to perform agricultural work and other labor in the American Southwest.
Macario Garcia was a Mexican-born soldier who served in the U.S. military in WWII, earning a Medal of Honor and a Purple Heart. But after his homecoming as a hero, he was involved in an incident which launched a debate about racial discrimination.
It's easy to think of globalization as a new invention, but it really has its roots in the 16th century. Museum of Fine Arts Boston curator Dennis Carr talks to us about Asian influences on art in the colonial Americas thanks to this global trade.
The famed Battle of the Alamo was toward the end of the Texas Revolution - a sort of pivot just before the last battle. But at the revolution's beginning, the siege of Béxar played out in almost the opposite way. Here's a link to our show notes, including a correction to our pronunciation of "Bexar."
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.
The second part of the Luis Alvarez episode covers his time as part of the Manhattan Project designing detonators for atomic bombs. Beyond his controversial work, Alvarez also contributed to particle physics, mystery solving and paleontology.
Luis Alvarez was a physicist whose broad interests connected him to some of the 20th century's most influential moments, including the bombing of Hiroshima and the assassination of JFK. His diverse work led to the nickname "the wild idea man of physics."
Mendez v. Westminster fought the segregation of Mexican-American students in the state of California in the 1940s -- and it went on pave the way for the much more famous Brown v. Topeka Board of Education.