U.S. History

The Sinking of the SS Princess Sophia

The sinking of the SS Princess Sophia was a massive tragedy for both Canada and the United States. But it was also really overshadowed by the end of World War I and the flu pandemic, so it’s been nicknamed the unknown Titanic of the West Coast.

Alvin York

We’re coming up on the centennial of the act of heroism that earned Alvin York the Medal of Honor. His name is known thanks to the 1941 film “Sergeant York,” but it takes a lot of liberties, and omits what he believed was his greatest accomplishment. 




Peg Entwistle, Ghost of Hollywood

Her story is often told in a sort of sloppy shorthand: She went to Los Angeles to become an actress, failed, and then became desperate. But that isn’t a really accurate picture of Peg Entwistle at all. 





Interview: Anne Byrn's 'American Cookie'

We're delighted to have Anne Byrn back on the show to talk about her latest book, "American Cookie." Anne shares her vast knowledge of historical baking and how it fits into the cultural history of the U.S. in the form of small, portable treats. 

A Condensed History of Air Conditioning

From hand fans to today’s high-end air conditioning technology, people have always found ways to deal with heat and humidity. And as mechanical cooling became more ubiquitous, some of the cultural practices for keeping cool were made obsolete. 



The Georgia Gold Rush

In the late 1820s, north Georgia became the site of the first gold rush in the United States, predating the more famous California gold rush by two decades. It's also tied to some of the darkest parts of U.S. history regarding the treatment of Native Americans.  




The Battle of Ambos Nogales

Two cities, both named Nogales, were established, one on each side of the U.S.-Mexico border, after the Gadsden Purchase but before Arizona’s statehood. In the summer of 1918, ongoing tension led to a battle at the border between the two.

Lucretia Mott

This is the studio version of our live show from this years Seneca Falls Convention Days at Women's Rights National Historical Park. Lucretia Mott was small of stature, but made a huge impact as an abolition and women's rights activist, guided by her deeply held Quaker beliefs. 

Zoot Suit Riots

The word “riot” here is really a misnomer. This conflict wasn’t so much about property damage as it was about attacking people. It also wasn’t really about the zoot suits – although they had come to symbolize A LOT in Los Angeles when this happened. 

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.