17th Century

The Shipwreck that Saved Jamestown

When a relief mission left Plymouth in 1609 to assist the troubled colony of Jamestown, an intense storm separated one vessel from the rest of the fleet. Learn how this shipwreck may have saved Jamestown -- and inspired Shakespeare -- in this podcast.

Who was Emanuel Swedenborg?

When the philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg sought mechanical explanations for nature, he found himself struggling with his faith as he searched for evidence of the human soul. But what happened next? Tune in and learn more in this podcast.

The Taj Mahal was built by the Mogul ruler Shah Jahan as a memorial to his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. In this episode, Sarah and Katie delve into the stories of one of the world's most opulent mausoleums.

How the First Thanksgiving Worked

Nowadays, Thanksgiving has become an official holiday, complete with its own trappings of tradition and mythology. But how much of the conventional Thanksgiving story is true? Join Sarah and Katie as they take a closer look at the first Thanksgiving.

Pocahontas: An American Princess

Born around 1596, Pocahontas was the daughter of the chief Powhatan. Today she is remembered as an ardent supporter of the Jamestown colonists -- but how much of this story is true? Learn more about Pocahontas in this episode.

As the Sun King, Louis XIV ruled France for over 70 years. Yet even a king can't get everything he wants. Learn about Louis' secret marriage to Madame de Maintenon -- and why it was secret -- in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

It's hard to believe that anyone would trade the thriving island of Manhattan for a spice, but history is full of surprises. Find out why -- and how -- the Dutch traded Manhattan for nutmeg in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

From the Opium Wars to the Boston Tea Party, the British East India Company had a profound effect on the course of history. Tune in and learn more about the influence of the British East India Company in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com.

John Billington was one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact -- he was also the first American murder. Check out our HowStuffWorks article to learn about the fact and fiction surrounding America's first murderer.

Peter the Great was a feared leader but also an intellectual. Learn about Peter the Great and Peter the Great's love of academia and collectibles in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com!