U.S. History

Frederic Tudor, the Ice King

Tudor hatched a clever plan: In cold weather, he would harvest ice for cheap, and then sell it all around the world when it was hot, singlehandedly turning ice into a commodity and becoming vastly wealthy in the process.

Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass was an orator, writer, statesman and social reformer. His early life shaped the truly remarkable advocate he became, and the two primary causes he campaigned for — the abolition of slavery and women's suffrage.

Carry A. Nation, Part 2

After her initial "smashings," Carry A. Nation became a full-time activist, traveling from town to town to destroy saloons and preach temperance. She turned her fame into a good income, and used much of that money to set up women’s shelters.

Carry A. Nation, Part 1

Several events in Carry Nation's early life catalyzed her temperance activism. Her marriages and her faith were particularly important in shaping the woman she became.

NASA History: Chief Historian Bill Barry on Hugh Dryden

The NASA space program likely wouldn't be what it is today without the work Hugh Dryden did before NASA even existed, and his guidance in its early years. NASA's Chief Historian Bill Barry joins Holly for a talk about Dryden's impressive life.

The Eastland Disaster

The Eastland disaster was one of the deadliest maritime disasters in American history. And in this particular case, safety regulations actually made things worse.

The Philadelphia MOVE Bombing

The MOVE organization is often labeled as a black liberation group or a black power group, but it’s more complex than that. After a protracted, contentious relationship with Philadelphia police, MOVE’s home was bombed in 1985.

The Kentucky Derby's First 50 Years

Although horse racing in general has been around much longer than the Kentucky Derby, including in the United States, the Derby itself has become the nation's most famous and prestigious horse racing event.

Walt Whitman, Poet of Democracy

Whitman is often touted as the best and most important poet in U.S. history, but he also worked as a teacher and a journalist. And his poetry career didn't start out particularly well.

A Brief History of Foreign Food in the U.S.

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.