19th Century

Christmas Triple-Feature: Stille Nacht, St. Nick & Scrooge

We're taking a look at three creative works that have become staples of the Christmas season. All three of them have played a huge part in how people observe and celebrate Christmas in parts of the world, and they all have milestone birthdays this year.

Buddy Bolden and the Birth of Jazz

Bolden is often referred to as the first jazz performer, and his playing is legendary. But his life story, cluttered by lack of documentation and misinformation, played out tragically after his ascension to the apex of the New Orleans music scene. 




Auguste Escoffier

Any chefs in our listening audience undoubtedly know about Auguste Escoffier, but people who haven’t studied cuisine may not realize that this one man revolutionized food preparation and restaurant dining in ways that are still part of almost any meal you may be served today. 



Friedel Klussmann and San Francisco's Cable Cars

San Francisco’s cable cars are the last working system of their kind. The reason they haven’t been completely replaced by more modern modes of transportation is largely the advocacy of a woman named Friedel Klussmann.



Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte

Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte was the first Native American woman to earn a medical degree. She lived at a time when a lot of change was happening in the United States as a whole, and among Native Americans and the Omaha tribe she was part of specifically. 




Vernon Lee

Violet Paget, more often known by her pen name Vernon Lee, was a historian and an art and literary critic, and she wrote on myriad subjects including music, travel, aesthetics, psychology and economics. And she was well known for her ghost stories.

Magnus Hirschfeld and the Institute for Sexual Science

Magnus Hirschfeld was a groundbreaking researcher into gender and sexuality in Germany in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His work was dedicated to scientific study with the hope of dispelling stigma around homosexuality. 




SYMHC Live: Anne Royall

Today we've got our live show from our recent East Coast tour, all about Anne Royall. She was a travel writer and a muckraking journalist way before Theodore Roosevelt coined that term, at a time when there were very few women doing either of those jobs. 

Lady Anne Blunt, Part 2

As Anne matured and her marriage fell apart, she continued to travel between the Arabian desert and England, always working to improve her horse breeding program. Eventually, she and Wilfrid separated, and her final years were devoted entirely to her horses. 

Lady Anne Blunt, Part 1

Anne was the daughter of Ada Lovelace (and the granddaughter of Lord Byron). While she was born into England’s aristocracy in the 19th century, her work breeding horses is what gives her life historical significance.