U.S. History

Wendell Scott: Black NASCAR Driver in the Jim Crow Era, Pt. 1


Wendell Scott was a black driver from the early days of NASCAR. After driving a taxi, working as a mechanic, and hauling moonshine, he started racing in the Dixie Circuit and other non-NASCAR races in Virginia.







Elbridge Gerry’s Monstrous Salamander

Elbridge Gerry signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. Gerrymandering is the drawing of political districts to give a particular party or group an advantage or disadvantage, and it's named after him.

The Life and Magic of Henry 'Box' Brown

Brown was born into slavery and escaped in an astonishing way. His story of gaining his freedom was so sensational that he basically spent the rest of his life making a living talking about it in one form or another.

Andrew Carnegie

Carnegie was a child of poverty who became one of the richest men on Earth. But his life, while largely charmed, had a massive scar of bad judgment on it. He also decided that the most important thing he could do with his money was to give it away.

The Daring Imposter Cassie Chadwick

Cassie Chadwick (born Elizabeth Bigley) committed fraud at a level that would be almost impossible to pull off in today’s world of instant communication. Her biggest con was convincing banks that she was the illegitimate daughter of Andrew Carnegie.

Phillis Wheatley

Perceptions and interpretations of Phillis Wheatley's life and work have shifted since the 18th century. This episode examines Wheatley's published writing while enslaved, and how her place in the world of black literature rose, fell, and rose again.

The Last Carolina Parakeet and Other Endlings

On February 21, 1918, the last known Carolina parakeet died at the Cincinnati Zoo. We examine the stories of this endling and two others to see how abundant species can quickly become extinct.

Pauline Sabin

The battle over Prohibition is often framed as a battle of the sexes, with women serving as the “moral” voice of sobriety. But a woman named Pauline Sabin is often credited as being one of the major activists behind Prohibition’s repeal.

The Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike

Memphis sanitation workers stayed off the job starting January 12, 1968 in a strike that lasted for nine weeks. This was the strike that brought Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Memphis, Tennessee, where he was assassinated on April 4 of that year.

Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton

Mary-Russel Ferrell Colton was a painter, author and educator. But she's most famous for co-founding of the Museum of Northern Arizona and related programs and projects intended to preserve and continue the art traditions of the Colorado Plateau.