Biographies

Sojourner Truth, Pt. 1

Sojourner Truth was an abolitionist and women’s rights activist in the 19th century. But because a speech most famously associated with Truth is a version rewritten by someone else, she’s commonly imagined as a different person from who she actually was.

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. 




Interview: Hayley Milliman of Museum Hack

Museum Hack writer Hayley Milliman joins Holly to talk about the company's irreverent approach to getting people excited about history, and discusses the new book "Museum Hack's Guide To History's Fiercest Females."

Nell Donnelly Reed

Nell Donnelly Reed built a successful business starting before women even had the right to vote in the U.S. Her story combines fashion, education, workers’ health and safety, kidnapping, and marital scandal. She is, like any historical figure, complicated. 





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. 



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. 




Dwight Frye

If you don’t know Dwight Frye by name, you’ve probably seen one or two of his performances. He was one of the lesser-known horror actors that helped make the genre Universal’s great success of the 1930s, but he also had a successful Broadway career. 




Shirley Chisholm

From her college years, Chisolm was politically active. Her drive and desire to make positive change led her to many political firsts, including being the first black woman elected to the U.S. Congress.



The Beheading of Sir Walter Raleigh

Among other things, Sir Walter Raleigh was a courtier, an explorer, a historian, a Member of Parliament and a soldier. He was part of England’s defense against the Spanish armada, as well the Tudor conquest of Ireland, some of which was truly horrifying. According to some people, he is now a ghost. 

Charles Addams, Part 1

Charles Addams was a compelling figure. He visited cemeteries for fun, he raced cars, he collected crossbows. But Addams surprised a lot of people in not being a an elusive proto-goth. He was a dapper, sociable, irreverent delight.