May 27, 2023
In recent years, much has been written about the political theater involved in Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearings. Many Americans report feeling frustrated at both the question asked by Senators and the answers provi...
May 20, 2023
Earlier this year I attended to annual Society for Military History academic conference in San Diego. I was invited to participate in a panel on podcasting, aptly named Making Airwaves. Fellow podcaster Philip Shackelford not...
May 13, 2023
After the murder of two white men in the Clear Lake region of California, the United States government responded by launching a campaign to exact revenge. This campaign came to be known as the Bloody Island Massacre. But what...
May 6, 2023
Join me this week as I chat with speechwriter, consultant, and former journalist Dana Rubin to discuss her book, Speaking While Female. Our conversation covers her book, the value of learning about women's voices from our past, and an inside look into what it is like to self publish.
April 29, 2023
Experiencing a new wave of interest thanks to the HBO series Warrior, Ah Toy is a fascinating woman from history. She immigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area during the California Gold Rush and quickly made a name for herself as a courtesan and, eventually, madam. Who was Ah Toy? How did she become so successful? And what does her experience tell us about women in California during this time period? Tune in to find out.
April 22, 2023
Earlier this year, many watched as California Representative Kevin McCarthy waited out multiple ballots to secure his position as Speaker of the House. The week-long series of votes led many to wonder what was happening and whether there was any historical precedent for this. In fact, so many of you reached out to ask about this and request I do an episode covering it that I felt duty bound to push this to the front of the line. So join me as I talk about what the House of Representatives a…
April 15, 2023
Joining me this week is military historian, podcaster, and newly published author Philip C Shackelford to discuss his brand new book The Rise of the Mavericks: The U.S. Air Force Security Service and the Cold War. In this episode we focus on his scholarship including how he became interested in this facet of military history, how his grandfather influenced his studies, and what it is like working with an academic press.
April 8, 2023
The discovery of gold in California's waterways is one of the most consequential moments in United States history. Not only did it put the newly acquired territory on the fast track towards statehood, it also prompted a massive influx of immigrants, and provided new economic opportunities for women. But the Gold Rush also proved devastating. Tune in this week as I dive into the Gold Rush. What happened? And what is its legacy?
April 1, 2023
In the summer of 1848, women from across the country gathered in Seneca Falls, New York to discuss their rights. Included in their demands was a right that would launch a massive coalition - the right to vote. Tune in as I dive into the details of Seneca Falls. How did it come together? And what is its legacy?
March 25, 2023
Wife to eleventh president James Polk, Sarah Childress Polk enjoyed much more freedom than her contemporaries. Without children and more educated that many other women, Mrs. Polk used her charms in furtherance of her husband's political agenda. However, she was aware of - and believed in - the social norms of the time. This made Polk work diligently behind the scenes in support of her spouse.
March 18, 2023
Join me this week as I sit down with educator and author Jessica Lander to review her new book Making Americans: Stories of Historic Struggles, New Ideas, and Inspiration in Immigrant Education. Lander takes readers on a historical journey through the ways in which education for immigrants has evolved in the United States and contrasts it with some of the amazing work still being done by educators and students alike. To learn more about Jessica, please head to her website at www.jessica…
March 11, 2023
Touted as the Happiest Place on Earth, Disneyland is one of the most iconic and well known amusement parks in history. Originally opening in 1955, the Disney brand has gone through a massive expansion to include parks throughout the world. But how did it all start? Tune in as I dive into the history of Disneyland. How did the idea originate? How did Walt get the funding? And how has it evolved over the years?
March 4, 2023
Joining me this week is presidential historian and author, Dr. Lindsay M Chervinsky to discuss her latest work, Mourning the Presidents: Loss and Legacy in American Culture. In this episode we talk about how national mourning practices have evolved, what we can learn about our reactions to various presidential deaths and what the role of the media has meant to our understanding of their legacy.
Feb. 25, 2023
In the 1840s, the United States was in a mad dash to expand its borders under the guise of manifest destiny, or the belief that it was God's will for the United States to extend its territory and spread democracy far and wide. In 1846 this desire for increased territorial control led to military conflict with Mexico over the area including what would become California, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and New Mexico which ended with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and Mexico ceding nearly half …
Feb. 18, 2023
Join me this week as I interview historian, surfer, and author Steve Estes about his latest book, Surfing the South. In this episode we talk about oral history, what you can learn about United States history by studying the evolution of surfing, and how a historian puts together his material. Steve Estes is a Professor of History at Sonoma State University and is a trained oral historian. Surfing the South is available at all fine bookstores.
Feb. 11, 2023
Eleventh President James K Polk is often touted as America's first "dark horse" candidate. Considered a man who was plucked from relative obscurity to command the republic, Polk's administration not only oversaw one of the last pushes for territorial expansion for the United States, but also fulfilled his campaign promises by accomplishing his stated priorities all in a single term. Tune in as I dive into the presidential administration of James Polk. Was he really a dark horse? And what doe…
Feb. 4, 2023
A prolific writer, essayist, and poet, Alice Walker's career spans over five decades. Her most famous work to date, The Color Purple, won her both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award and made her one of the most famous authors of her time. Despite her fame and influence, Walker has come under fire for her controversial statements. This week, I am diving into a listener request and covering the work and life of Alice Walker. How did she get into writing? And what comments put her …
Jan. 28, 2023
The largest museum complex in the world, The Smithsonian boasts over twenty museums, a zoo, and several archives open to scholars and researchers. But how did the Smithsonian begin? How has it evolved? And what is next for the educational institution? Tune in to find out.
Jan. 21, 2023
Widowed while in office, John Tyler remarried just a few short years after his wife passed at the age of 51. Though he'd been courting Julia Gardiner for several months, it was a catastrophic accident aboard the warship the USS Princeton that prompted Julia to reconsider. So just what happened on board the USS Princeton? And how did it lead to marital bliss? Tune in to find out.
Jan. 14, 2023
The first First Lady to die in the White House and the first of two wives of tenth President John Tyler, Letitia Tyler was pivotal in her husband's success. Staying behind to manage their plantation and raise their large family, Letitia Tyler oversaw the finances and ensured the Tyler children were well cared for. Suffering a series of strokes, her time as First Lady was limited. So just who was Letitia Tyler? Tune in to find out.
Jan. 7, 2023
Despite our fascination with presidents and their administrations, historically little attention was paid to the transition process -- what happens between election night and Inauguration Day. The delays witnessed after the 2020 election brought to light the need for an effective, streamlined, and productive presidential transition process. But just what does that entail? Join me this week as I chat with David Marchick about his book, The Peaceful Transfer of Power: An Oral History of Am…
Dec. 31, 2022
The first Vice President to assume the Presidency in the aftermath of the death of William Henry Harrison, John Tyler made a significant contribution to the functions of American democracy. Amidst the chaos over the death of the president while in office, Tyler asserted his authority in a plain and steadfast manner, much to the chagrin of his critics. So just who was John Tyler? And what did his actions mean for future accidental presidents? Tune in to find out.
Dec. 24, 2022
Happy Holidays! In December 1965, CBS aired a Peanuts holiday special they were sure was going to bomb with audiences. It was considered so bad there was doubt as to whether it would ever see the light of day. Instead, A Charlie Brown Christmas has become one of the most treasured holiday specials in cultural history. So why was everyone convinced the children's holiday special would fail? And how did Peanuts originate? Tune in to find out all of this and more.
Dec. 17, 2022
This week I welcome fellow graduate student and good friend Ethan Healey to the show. In this episode we provide a peek behind the curtain at the trials, tribulations, and high points of pursuing a Master's degree in the humanities. Tune in to hear why we consider historians like Dr. Lindsay Chervinsky celebrities, how reading has forever changed for us, and what advice we would give ourselves having survived our first semester.