Immigration

The General Slocum Disaster

The P.S. General Slocum burned in the East River in New York on June 15, 1904. It had been chartered for a group outing that suddenly became a deadly maritime disaster.

Evil May-day Riots

On May Day in 1517 a riot was carried out by apprentices, journeymen and other workers. While this was an uprising of laborers, this incident, called the Evil May-day or Ill May-day, was also rooted in immigration and xenophobia in Tudor London.

Fanny Brice, Part 2

Comedian Fanny Brice's personal life was often a mess even though her onstage personas were all about laughter. Even as her beloved, Nick Arnstein, was in deep legal trouble, she supported him, started a family, and kept her career going. 

Fanny Brice, Part 1

Fanny made a space for herself on stage as a comedian because she felt she could never be pretty enough to be an actress. And her personal life was a complete roller coaster. But she remains the original funny girl, making awkward her brand from the time she was a teenager.



Raphael Lemkin and the Genocide Convention

Dr. Raphael Lemkin is often described as the person who coined the term “genocide.” And he did do that – but was also the driving force behind the existence of the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

Six Impossible Episodes: Deja Vu in the U.S. and Canada

Several times over the past few years, we’ve done an episode on something from U.S. history, and afterward we’ve gotten notes from listeners about the same thing happening in Canada – although this episode starts with one that’s the reverse. 

Levi Strauss

Levi’s story is historically interesting because it touches on a lot of important moments in U.S. history. His business was tied to the California Gold Rush, the U.S. Civil War and American clothing culture.

The Bisbee Deportation

The 1917 Bisbee Deportation has elements of a labor strike, a wartime hysteria, a vigilante mob, and a mass propaganda effort, all rolled into one. It took place in Bisbee, Arizona, southeast of Tucson and close to the U.S. border with Mexico.

A Brief History of Foreign Food in the U.S.

One of the most diverse things about the U.S. is its food industry. Foodies obsessively seek out the “authentic” flavors of any given culture. But many of the foods brought to the U.S. via immigration were initially viewed with suspicion and disdain.

Executive Order 9066 & Japanese Internments, Part 1

Roughly 122,000 Japanese immigrants and American citizens of Japanese ancestry were removed from their homes on the West Coast and incarcerated for much of the U.S. involvement in WWII. About two-thirds of them were U.S. citizens.