World War II

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. 

Six Impossible Episodes: Evacuating Children

All six of today’s topics are mass evacuations of children and youth because of a war or other unrest, and include Kindertransport, Operation Pedro Pan, and Operation Babylift. 

Nisei in World War II: The MIS, 100th and 442nd

The 100th Infantry Battalion and the 442nd Regimental Combat Team were segregated units for soldiers of Japanese descent that were created during WWII. The story of these units is closely intertwined with the Military Intelligence Service as well. 

Sadako Sasaki’s 1000 Cranes, Part 1

At the end of World War II, the United States used atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A young girl named Sadako Sasaki eventually developed A-bomb disease as a result of her exposure, and the origami crane became a symbol of her story.

Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas

Gertrude Stein is an icon in the world of modernist literature. Alice B. Toklas is often described as her partner and assistant, but she was also published writer, and “assistant” really doesn't cover how important she was to Stein’s life and work.

Unearthed!: The USS Indianapolis

Today, the U.S.S. Indianapolis is most known for its crew’s horrifying wait for rescue after being torpedoed following a secret mission at the end of World War II. But the ship’s history goes back much farther than that.

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, Part 2

The exploits of the Special Operations Executive are the stuff of legend. This episode continues to look at a few of the group's missions, and what became of the SOE after WWII.