Right Now in Stuff You Missed in History Class

Behind the Scenes Minis: Witchfinder and Baby Sideshow

This is a new feature for the show! On these Friday minisodes, Tracy and Holly will talk in more candid terms about the week's episodes and their research. This first one covers Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins and Dr. Couney's Baby Sideshow.

Dr. Couney's Baby Sideshow

Couney ran incubator sideshows, featuring premature babies. This is complicated -Couney was making money from these attractions, and his medical experience was questionable. But at the same time, premature babies weren’t getting a lot of care otherwise.

Matthew Hopkins and The Discovery of Witches

England’s largest and deadliest set of witch trials were largely influenced by one man – Matthew Hopkins, who was known as the Witchfinder General, even though that doesn’t seem to have been an official title given to him in any sort of formal way.

SYMHC Classics: Maria Tallchief

Reaching back to a 2014 episode on Maria Tallchief, a Native American dancer who was the first grand ballerina of the United States. Through her partnership with famed choreographer George Balanchine, she helped shape ballet in America and served as an inspiration for artists from all backgrounds.

SYMHC Live: William Mumler's Spirit Photography

In the 1860s, Mumler rose to fame as a photographer of spirits. Whether Mumler was earnest or was just fleecing people is a tricky question, in part because while evidence mounted against him, he always professed his innocence. 

The Greenbrier Ghost

The story of Zona Heaster Shue's death and subsequent appearances to her mother as an apparition are often referred to as the only case in the U.S. when a ghost’s testimony convicted a murderer. But of course, there’s a lot more to the story. 

SYMHC Classics: Accused by a Ghost!

This 2012 episode is from previous hosts Sarah and Deblina. In the early 1760s, the so-called Cock Lane Ghost haunted a London home, communicating through knocks. The ghost accused her former partner of poisoning her. However, as more details emerged people wondered if the haunting was an act of earthly revenge.

Introducing History VS.

In the podcast History Vs., we’ll explore how larger-than-life historical figures faced off against their greatest foes. In this inaugural season, we’re looking at Theodore Roosevelt’s incredible life using a convention that he, as a boxer, would have appreciated. Each episode, we’ll analyze how Roosevelt took on a particular challenge, from his debilitating childhood asthma and conflict within his family to conquering the hours of the day and preserving the world for the next generation.


History VS. is now available. Listen here

The Catacombs of Paris

The Catacombs contain the bones of an estimated 6 to 7 million people. Their history is really two interconnected stories of mines and human remains, because in the 18th century, Paris was dealing with two huge problems simultaneously.

F.W. Murnau, Director of the Nosferatu

Murnau is most well known for directing the first vampire film, but the German-born creator went on to make a number of influential films before his early death.

SYMHC Classics: The Lady Who Turned to Soap

We're revisiting a 2015 episode on a very fascinating corpse. Saponification is the process of turning to soap, and in certain conditions, cadavers do it. The Soap Lady is one of the most famous cases of an adipocere-covered corpse, but there are many like her.

SYMHC Live: Mysteries of the Color Blue

Blue is the most popular color in many parts of the world, and it can seem like it's everywhere. . But many ancient languages didn’t have a word for blue, and some languages still don’t. This show was recorded live at a National Gallery of Art's NGA Nights event.

Jeanne Baret

Baret was the first woman known to circumnavigate the globe. But her experience wasn’t just about the travel – she was working, and her work took her to places that were totally unexpected for someone of her gender and economic class in the 18th century.  



SYMHC Classics: The Case of the Colorado Cannibal, Alferd Packer

It's an unsettling 2012 episode! In the winter of 1873, Alferd Packer led gold prospectors into the Rockies, but harsh conditions soon set them off course. Packer was the only survivor, and he looked oddly well-fed. He claimed he'd killed in self-defense. But was he guilty of murder?

Commercial Aviation in the U.S., Part 2

In this episode, we’ll go from the international agreement that prepared for a global airline industry up to the deregulation of U.S. commercial aviation in the late 1970s. And then we have a special guest -- John Hodgman came by the studio for a visit!

Commercial Aviation in the U.S., Part 1

Since the possibility of air travel became a reality, many entrepreneurs were trying to figure out a way to make flight into a business. This first of two parts covers those early efforts, and the growth of the airline industry up to WWII.

SYMHC Classics: Beast of Gevaudan

This 2014 episode covers attacks on women and children of Gevaudan in the 1760s, which sparked a huge push to hunt and kill the mystery beast behind them. While efforts to track the animal struggled, France was gripped in terror.

The Black Sox Scandal

Some of the Chicago White Sox players confessed to taking a bribe to lose the 1919 World Series on purpose, but they never admitted to actually underplaying. And the collective memory about this whole scandal is very different from how it all played out.

Unearthed! In Autumn 2019

As promised in July, we have some Unearthed this fall! We've got past episode updates,  cannonballs, things that are oldests and firsts, textiles, edibles and potables, and a little bit of creepy and eerie stuff at the end. 

SYMHC Classics: The Doctors' Riot of 1788

We're revising a 2014 episode today. In the late 1700s, medical colleges needed cadavers for educational dissection, but there were no legal means for obtaining them. This led to some unorthodox dealings in the acquiring of bodies, and brought New York to a fever pitch in 1788.