World War II

The Port Chicago Disaster

This was the worst stateside disaster in the United States during World War II. Apart from being a horrific tragedy, the disaster itself and its aftermath were threaded through with racism and injustice. 

A Brief History of Doughnuts

Making basic pastes or doughs and frying them has been part of human civilization for centuries. From this, the doughnut eventually evolved, and also caused a number of heated debates along the way. 

Godzilla: The Start of His Story

When Godzilla first hit the big screen, there was no intention that it would launch a film franchise that would run for decades. Director Ishiro Honda intended to make a film warning of the dangers of nuclear testing and man's relationship with nature. 

6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion

The 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion was part of the Women’s Army Corps during World War II. The 6888th was the only battalion of black women from the U.S. to serve in Europe during World War II.

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.

Unearthed: Francisco Franco

We’re taking a look at Francisco Franco and the Spanish Civil War. We've talked about Spain’s parliament voting to exhume the remains of dictator Francisco Franco and relocate them to a state-funded mausoleum, and we’re giving that entire situation more context.

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. 

SYMHC Live: The USO and Bob Hope

This show, performed live at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana, covers a brief overview of USO history, and then delves into Bob Hope's involvement with the organization, which started in the early 1940s and continued for 50 years. 

Magnus Hirschfeld and the Institute for Sexual Science

Magnus Hirschfeld was a groundbreaking researcher into gender and sexuality in Germany in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. His work was dedicated to scientific study with the hope of dispelling stigma around homosexuality. 




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.