World War I

Mary Breckinridge and the Frontier Nursing Service

We have talked before on the show about pioneers who advanced the medical field specifically as it relates to infants, and today’s subject is definitely another to add to that list. But, there are some problematic elements to her story.

Hitler’s Early Rise and the Night of the Long Knives

Over the course of several days in 1934, Adolf Hitler, who was at the time the Nazi Party Leader and Reich Chancellor, directed an action which eliminated all of his political enemies and enabled him to declare himself Fuhrer.

Six Impossible Episodes: Soldiers, Snipers and Spies

This installment of our impossible episodes series features a set of stories that are all about front-line heroism. Most of them are listener requests.

The Gallipoli Campaign

One of the most infamous aspects of World War I was its long, brutal stalemate along the enormous system of trenches known as the Western Front. The powers involved all expected the war to be over quickly, but it reached an impasse almost immediately.

The Harlem Hellfighters and Henry Johnson

In WWI, a black U.S. Army unit became one of the most decorated of the war. When these soldiers returned home, they were greeted as heroes, but were still targets of segregation, discrimination and oppression.

Emmy Noether, Mathematics Trailblazer

In the early 20th century in Germany, Emmy Noether pursued a career in mathematics, despite many obstacles in her path. She became one of the most respected members of her field, and developed mathematical theory that's still important today.

The Unsinkable Violet Jessop

We love to talk about shipwrecks, but Violet Jessop was a shipwreck survivor -- several times over. She traveled the world aboard some of the most famous ocean liners of all time.

Joe Carstairs, Part 1

Marion Carstairs, who preferred the name Joe, was an early 20th-century heiress who bucked traditional gender roles and for a time, hid her wealth from even her closest friends. She also became a very successful speedboat racer.

The Vanishing of the U.S.S. Cyclops

In 1918, a U.S. Navy collier vanished without a trace after leaving Barbados. The ultimate fate of the Cyclops remains a mystery almost 100 years later, but there are certainly plenty of theories about what happened.

Bela Lugosi, Part 1

While he's mostly associated with the role of Dracula, Bela Lugosi's early life was significantly affected by WWI, the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the transition from silent film to talkies. Read the show notes here.