Right Now in Stuff You Missed in History Class

There are multiple contenders when it comes to the question of who invented the traffic light. This episode looks at a few of the moments in traffic light history that got us to where we are today, as well as what made them a necessity in the first place. 

Today we reach back to our 2015 episode on Diogenes of Sinope, the father of the Cynicism school of philosophy. He was also an incredibly eccentric figure who spoke out against pretense, and he used humor to convey his ideals

A Brief History of Thalidomide, Part 2

We’re finishing out our two-parter on thalidomide. This episode covers the response, including criminal trials, changes to drug laws, and debates about the legality of abortion, and how this has continued to evolve for thalidomide survivors until today.
 

A Brief History of Thalidomide, Part 1

Thalidomide has been described as the biggest man made medical disaster of all time. This first part covers what thalidomide is, the animal testing that lead its manufacturer to market it as safe, and its release into the market.

SYMHC Classics: Freya of Arabia

Today revisits a 2012 episode from previous hosts Sarah and Deblina. After a childhood spent roaming Europe, Freya Stark began saving money to take Arabic lessons. Once fluent, she traveled into areas few outsiders had ever been, documenting her travels in best-selling books. 

The Peterloo Massacre

The Peterloo Massacre took place during a peaceful protest for parliamentary reform in Manchester, England. And there was a lot feeding into why people in Britain, and specifically in the region around Manchester, thought that reform was needed.

William Maclure and New Harmony’s Boatload of Knowledge

When Robert Owen founded his utopian community, he wanted to have the best minds he could find running the educational system. He recruited William Maclure, who in turn brought many great minds with him. Their boat was nicknamed the Boatload of Knowledge.

SYMHC Classics: The Klondike Big Inch Land Promotion

Today we revisit a fun 2014 episode. In the mid-20th century, one ad company had a wacky plan to actually dole out land deeds as part of a cereal promotion. How did they manage it? And was the land worth anything?

SYMHC Live: The New Harmony Utopias

We did a live show for the Indiana Historical Society about the town of New Harmony, Indiana in the window from 1815-1827. In that period, two different communal societies occupied the town, one right after the other. But one was far more successful.

Unearthed in July, Part 2

Part two of this year's Unearthed! in July features some longtime listener favorites like edibles, potables and of course shipwrecks.   

SYMHC Classics: Heaven on Earth, the Brook Farm Community

Today we revisit a 2013 episode. In the 1840s, Boston's West Roxbury suburb -- which was completely rural at the time -- was home to an experiment in transcendentalist utopian living: the Brook Farm community. The idea was to create an environment of balance and equality.

Unearthed in July, Part 1

It's time for the July edition of Unearthed! And this one is in two parts! Today, we have updates and connections to previous episodes. Then some things about Neanderthals and early humans, and the unearthed books, letters and works of art. 

Thomas Harriot: Mathematician, Astronomer, Relative Unknown

Harriot's story is tied to SO MANY other notable historic things, including a lot of business with Sir Walter Raleigh. He’s really not a household name like many of his contemporaries, even though he was neck-and-neck with them in terms of discoveries. 

SYMHC Classics: Charles IX of France

Today we revisit a 2015 episode about French royalty. Much like many of the other mad royals that have been discussed on the podcast through the years, Charles IX of France was prone to fits of rage so intense that people at court feared for their lives.

The Port Chicago Disaster

This was the worst stateside disaster in the United States during World War II. Apart from being a horrific tragedy, the disaster itself and its aftermath were threaded through with racism and injustice. 

Ferdinand and Barbara, Married Mad Royals

Despite ascending to power in a court filled with intrigue, juggling relations with Britain and France, and both likely having mental health conditions, the reign of Ferdinand VI of Spain and his wife Barbara was surprisingly stable.

SYMHC Classics: Ibn Battuta, the Traveler of Islam

Today we revisit an episode from 2017 about Ibn Battuta, whose 14th-century travels were extensive. He was away from home for roughly 24 years and during that time traveled through virtually every Muslim nation and territory, becoming the traveler of the age.




Fearless, Feisty and Unflagging: The Women of Gettysburg

Military history rarely focuses on the women who lived through conflict and worked on recovery efforts. This episode covers women who assisted troops, buried the dead, nursed the wounded, and managed to survive the fighting in Gettysburg Pennsylvania.




Thomas Cook, John Cook, and the Rise of the Tourism Industry

Thomas Cook and his son John Mason Cook were pioneers of the idea of a travel agency to manage tourist holidays. But Thomas Cook was initially motivated by his support of the temperance movement and his deeply held religious beliefs. 






SYMHC Classics: Hartford Circus Fire

This 2015 episode covers an event in 1944, when one of the most disastrous fires in U.S. history broke out during a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performance. Dozens of lives were lost and hundreds of people were injured as the largest big top in the country was consumed by flames.