U.S. History

The Rabbit Test

After the discovery of hormones in the early 20th century, new methods of pregnancy testing were developed. Some of these involved animal use, but how did the rabbit test work, and when did it get replaced?

Mary Winston Jackson, NASA Engineer

Jackson is most well known as the first black woman to become an engineer at NASA. But she also worked to clear the way for other underrepresented people at NASA, in particular black women.



The Regulator War

This episode was inspired by the TV series "Outlander." The Regulator War, aka the War of the Regulation, aka the Regulator Movement, was a North Carolina event which arose in response to unfair taxes, poor representation and corruption.

Sojourner Truth, Pt. 2

Last time, we talked about Sojourner Truth's enslavement and how a religious vision after she was free led her to moving to New York City. Today, we’re picking up with another vision, which marked a huge shift in how she lived her life.

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.

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. 




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. 

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. 





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.