World War II

Jimmy Doolittle and the Doolittle Raid

The Doolittle Raid was an attack on Japan launched by the U.S. in retaliation for Pearl Harbor. But the leader of the mission was a legend long before his daring efforts in WWII.

Sir Christopher Lee

Christopher Lee wasn't just a film star - he was, by any account, an amazing man. He spoke multiple languages, was an incredible singer and had fantastic fencing skills. He also had ties to many important historical events and people.

Macario Garcia

Macario Garcia was a Mexican-born soldier who served in the U.S. military in WWII, earning a Medal of Honor and a Purple Heart. But after his homecoming as a hero, he was involved in an incident which launched a debate about racial discrimination.

Frankie Manning and the Lindy Hop, Part 2

Once Manning became a professional dancer and choreographer, his work took him all over the world. After WWII derailed his swing dancing, he had a hard time returning to a world where musical tastes had changed. Read the show notes here.

The Night Witches

The Night Witches were an all-female bombing regiment in the Soviet Air Force. Flying biplanes meant for dusting crops and training new recruits, they dropped 23,000 tons of bombs on German forces in WWII. Read the show notes here.

The Ghost Army

During WWII, the U.S. Army formed a top-secret military unit with one goal: Use artistic and theatrical skills to confuse the enemy. The 23rd Headquarters Special Troops turned their creativity into incredible strategic trickery. Read the show notes here.

A Culinary History of Spam

This famous Hormel Foods product was invented in the 1930s to make use of a surplus of shoulder meat from pigs. Not only was it an instant hit in the U.S., it also played a huge role in WWII and shaped the cuisines of many Pacific Island nations.

Luis W. Alvarez, Pt. 2

The second part of the Luis Alvarez episode covers his time as part of the Manhattan Project designing detonators for atomic bombs. Beyond his controversial work, Alvarez also contributed to particle physics, mystery solving and paleontology.

Luis Alvarez was a physicist whose broad interests connected him to some of the 20th century's most influential moments, including the bombing of Hiroshima and the assassination of JFK. His diverse work led to the nickname "the wild idea man of physics."

Who was Tokyo Rose?

During World War II, Allied troops often listened to Japanese propaganda, and they nick-named the English-speaking, female broadcasters "Tokyo Rose." After the war, the hunt to find them was on -- and Iva d'Aquino found herself on trial for treason.