European History

By the 1840s, London faced a sanitation crisis. One summer the stench of the Thames drove Parliament to soak their curtains in lime, an experience that led to funding for a modern sewer system. Tune in to learn about modern toilets, germ theory and more.

Who was Good King Wenceslas?

King Wenceslas is best known as a Christmas carol, but he was a real 10th-century Bohemian prince. Wenceslas was known for his kindness to children and promotion of Christianity, but he was murdered at only 22. Listen in to learn more about the Good King.

Why was Juana called "la Loca"? Part 2

In this second part of our series, Juana has become her mother's unlikely heir. Just a few years after inheriting Castile, she is declared insane and imprisoned. But was she actually mad? And why didn't her son free her when he came to power?

Why was Juana called "la Loca"? Part 1

Juana of Castile has gone down in history as "Juana la Loca." But Juana's mental state was likely not as bad as it seemed. Was she instead the victim of conniving relatives? In this episode, we discuss Juana's youth, her marriage and more.

Upset with the prospect of a demotion, the Chevalier d'Eon published his diplomatic correspondence. Worried that d'Eon might reveal the King's Secret, Louis XV desperately negotiated d'Eon's return -- with one catch: the Chevalier had to become a woman.

Recently, London's National Portrait Gallery acquired a portrait of the Chevalier d'Eon, the first oil painting in its collection to feature a man in women's clothing. Learn how Louis XV's underground foreign policy led d'Eon to acquire a female identity.

Johann Konrad Dippel was born in 1673 at Frankenstein Castle. Originally a theology student, Dippel began dabbling in chemistry, medicine and alchemy. Today he's remembered for creating a panacea that was used on a variety of ailments. How did he do it?

Marguerite-Louise d'Orléans was the grandchild of the King of France, cousin of Louis XIV and eventually betrothed to Cosimo III de Medici. Her marriage was (to say the least) unstable. But how did she finally find herself back in France?

The Nazi Games and Jesse Owens

Most people associate the 1936 Berlin Olympics with African-American sprinter Jesse Owens. Yet the games were successful in terms of Nazi propaganda: More nations than ever participated, and the Olympic torch was used for the first time.

After the Nazis invaded Kiev, a bakery owner asked some Ukrainian soccer players to form a team. Their team was pitted against occupying powers. Many say their crucial victory over the Germans led to their deaths. But how much of the story is true?