Right Now in Stuff You Missed in History Class

Today's episode revisits a Sarah and Deblina episode that revisits a tale of incredible wealth. When emperor Mansa Musa went on a pilgramage from Timbuktu to Mecca, he gave away so much gold that he crashed the gold market in Cairo.

Six Impossible Episodes: Evacuating Children

All six of today’s topics are mass evacuations of children and youth because of a war or other unrest, and include Kindertransport, Operation Pedro Pan, and Operation Babylift. 

The Tunguska Event

On June 30, 1908 at approximately 7:15am, the sky over Siberia lit up with what was described by witnesses as a massive fireball, or the sky engulfed in fire. For the last century, scientists have been trying to figure out exactly what happened. 

SYMHC Classics: Alan Turing, Codebreaker

This is a revisit of a Sarah and Deblina episode on Alan Turing, who conceived of computers decades before anyone was building one. He also acted as a top-secret code breaker during World War II. Despite his accomplishments, he was prosecuted as a homosexual by the British government.

Hurricane San Ciriaco

Hurricane San Ciriaco struck Puerto Rico at a precarious point in its history. The United States had just taken possession of the island, and the 40 or so years leading up to the Spanish-American War had also been particularly tumultuous. 

Julian Eltinge, Greatest of All Impersonators of Women

Eltinge was one of the highest-paid and most famous actors of the early 20th century, and acted alongside Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Rudolph Valentino. What made him famous was his skill at female impersonation.

SYMHC Classics: The Mystic Margery Kempe

We're traveling back to a 2013 episode about Margery Kempe. Born in the 1300s, Margery had 14 children with her husband before dedicating her life to God. In her 40s, she began a vision-inspired pilgrimage to visit holy sites, and these travels became the basis for her spiritual autobiography. 

The Colorful Life of Carmen Miranda

Carmen Miranda is one of those historical figures who remains hugely iconic – we STILL see her image, or some derivative of it, on a regular basis. She was luminous on camera and an excellent singer, with a personality much larger than her small stature.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Ida B. Wells-Barnett connects to a lot of episodes in our archive. She fought against lynching for decades, at a time when it wasn’t common at all for a woman, especially a woman of color, to become such a prominent journalist and a speaker.

SYMHC Classics: We All Scream for Ice Cream

We're revisiting a yummy topic from 2013! There is actually some disagreement about the actual origin point of ice cream, but almost everyone agrees it's delicious. The real origin story is a culmination of many cultures and ingredients coming together to fill the need for a frosty treat.

Winsor McCay, Part 2

Even as his career in comics was at its zenith, Winsor McCay continued to explore other business ventures for his art. He added vaudeville performances to his busy schedule, and then became an animation pioneer. 

Winsor McCay, Part 1

McCay is credited as a pioneer in early animation. But before he made drawings come to life, he worked as a billboard artist, an artist-journalist, and then a comics creator for newspapers. 

SYMHC Classics: Five Historical Robots

Today we revisit an episode on the technology of yesteryear. Long before Czech playwright Karel Capek coined the term "robot" in his 1920 play "R.U.R.," mechanized creations - automata - were being created without electronics or computers. Many were simple, but they paved the way for the robots of today.

James Whale

James Whale created iconic films in the early half of the 20th century. He's one of the main reasons that Universal Pictures became synonymous with the horror genre. But his interests as a creator were far wider than creating gothic spook stories.

The Defenestrations of Prague

“Defenestrate” just means “to throw out of a window.” And apart from sounding like the punch line to a joke about Daleks … there has been a surprising amount of defenestration in Czech history. And almost all of it has been connected religious wars.

SYMHC Classics: From Brontë to Bell and Back Again

We're revisiting another episode from Sarah and Deblina., in which they talk about how the Brontë sisters quickly rose from obscurity to notoriety after their three novels were published under the Bell pseudonym. 

Frank Lenz, the Cyclist Who Vanished

In the 1890s, Frank Lenz started a bicycle tour around the world. He never finished, and his ultimate fate remains uncertain, though there are pretty solid clues indicating how he met his end. 

Nisei in World War II: The MIS, 100th and 442nd

The 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team were segregated units for soldiers of Japanese descent that were created during WWII. The story of these units is closely intertwined with the Military Intelligence Service as well. 

SYMHC Classics: Growing Up Brontë

This classic revisits the Brontë sisters. They're considered some of the best writers of the 19th century but their past may surprise you. Join Sarah and Deblina as they discuss the sisters' childhood tragedies, unconventional educations and their imaginary worlds.

Henry Every, Successful Pyrate

Every carried out what’s been described as the most profitable and brutal pirate raid in history. It became a massive international incident, and Britain tried to repair its relationship with the Mughal Empire through a highly publicized series of trials.