Nov. 21, 2022
Happy Thanksgiving Week! Join me as I chat with three other super amazing hosts for a history podcast Friendsgiving. Kenny from Abridged Presidential Histories, Howard from Plodding Through the Presidencies and Jerry from the...
Nov. 12, 2022
One of the founders of the city of San Francisco, very little is known about William Alexander Leidesdorff. Born on the island of St. Croix in 1810, Leidesdorff helped pave the way for the sleepy pueblo town known as Yerba Bu...
Nov. 5, 2022
Over the summer I had the wonderful opportunity to present at the virtual conference Intelligent Speech. The theme of the conference was crossings and so I selected a woman from history who crossed gender lines: Sandra Day O'Connor. The first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court, O'Connor helped pave the way for the women who came after her. But just who was O'Connor? And why was she so polarizing during her tenure? Tune in to find out!
Oct. 29, 2022
In 1978, a young unknown director put together a small independent horror movie that took place on one of the scariest nights of the year: Halloween. The film, named after the holiday it takes place on, went on to become one of the biggest horror movie franchises is movie history. Join me this week as I wrap up October with a look at the history of Halloween. How did the film come about? Why does it have such staying power? And what influence did it have on movies?
Oct. 22, 2022
One of the most notorious horror writers in history, Edgar Allan Poe produced a voluminous collection of work before his untimely death at the age of forty. His life was a series of sad events and lost opportunities. From being orphaned before he could walk, to losing the love of his life to the same disease that killed his mother, it is no wonder Poe took to writing about the dark and creepy to help get him through the trauma. But just who was Poe? And was he is as spooky and aloof as …
Oct. 15, 2022
Join me this week as I wrap up the story of the infamous serial killer who terrorized the Bay Area in late sixties. In this episode, I discuss the crimes against Cecelia Ann Shephard, Bryan Hartnell and Paul Stine. I also discuss the ongoing desire for media attention by the Zodiac and the other crimes he may be linked to.
Oct. 8, 2022
One of the most infamous crime sprees in United States history, the man who would be known as the Zodiac terrified the sleepy Northern California community in the late sixties. Taunting police with letters and coded messages, the Zodiac has never been caught. A topic that was one of my first listener requests, I thought it fitting to discuss the details of this case and review why the Zodiac continues to fascinate people over fifty years later. Thanks to Amanda for making the request and I …
Oct. 1, 2022
Hannah Van Buren never lived to see her husband take the oath of office as the eighth president of the United States. Passing away decades before he hit the national stage, very little is known about the woman who would have become the first First Lady to be born a United States citizen. Instead, Van Buren came to rely on his daughter in-law, Angelica Singleton Van Buren. Both of these women played important roles in Van Buren's life, however very little is known about either of them. …
Sept. 24, 2022
The eighth president of the United States is likely a mystery to most casual history lovers, however his impact and legacy can be felt today. So just who was Martin Van Buren? How did he get into politics? And how did his work lead to the creation of party politics? Tune in to learn all of this and more.
Sept. 17, 2022
Women were a dominating and powerful force when it came to abolition. Though they were largely overlooked in male driven abolitionist societies, women pushed ahead and established their own networks and organizations aimed at ending the practice of slavery. As groups popped up throughout the country, they decided to meet as a collective and streamline their efforts. These meetings, held between 1837 and 1839 are historic for a number of reasons.
Sept. 10, 2022
At the height for the push to relocate thousands of indigenous Americans, a conflict erupted between the Seminole of central Florida and the United States. Known as the Second Seminole War, this conflict took place between 1835 and 1842. So what was the Second Seminole War? Tune in to find out.
Sept. 3, 2022
This week I am joined by Holley Snaith, public historian and writer who has participated in projects with the National Park Service, The Richard Nixon Foundation and much more. In this episode, she and I discuss the field of public history and dive into some of her fascinating exhibits. If you want to learn more about Holley, head to her website at www.holleysnaith.com
Aug. 27, 2022
Join me as I wrap up the narrative of Harriet Tubman; abolitionist, Underground Railroad conductor and Civil War spy. In this episode I dive into her time on the railroad, her efforts to help the Union Army achieve victory in the Civil War and her later efforts at establishing a home to care for the elderly in her home of upstate New York.
Aug. 20, 2022
One of the most mythical women found in American history, the name Harriet Tubman is synonymous with the Underground Railroad. But Tubman, who singlehandedly liberated over one hundred slaves during her time as a conductor, is so much more than what we learned in school. Join me this week as I dive into part one of the life of this amazing woman.
Aug. 13, 2022
In the early days of the republic, thousands of European settlers made the journey to the new world, often without any money with which to support themselves or the costs associated with crossing The Atlantic. To pay for this cost, many individuals entered into indenture service contracts to work it off until their balance was paid in full. However, as credit expanded and debts soared, so too did the punishment for failure to pay. Debtors prisons, as they became known, were a product of…
Aug. 6, 2022
One August night, under the cover of darkness, a small band of enslaved men quietly struck a blow against the system that claimed ownership of their bodies. As they moved from house to house, silently killing the families who lorded over them, they instigated in one of the bloodiest slave uprisings in American history. Join me this week as I dive into the history of Nat Turner's rebellion. Who was Nat Turner? What was his rebellion? And what were its impacts?
July 30, 2022
Many learned about the Underground Railroad in their history classes. Often described as a super secret network filled with tunnels and various stops along the route to freedom, the Underground Railroad has become a thing of mythic proportions. But would you believe me if I told you the railroad was not all that secret? Join me this week as I dive into the history of the Underground Railroad. How did it come about? How successful was it?
July 23, 2022
Sarah and Angelina Grimké were well known abolitionist activists who not only worked tirelessly in their pursuit to end the institution of slavery, but also advocated for the rights of women. However, much of the legacy and story of The Grimke Sisters remains untold. Join me as I welcome Kristyn from Broadly Underestimated as we dive into the lives, influences and impacts of these two amazing women in history. You can find more of Kristyn on her amazing show, Broadly Underestimated.
July 16, 2022
The topic of reparations has been a contentious debate since the end of the Civil War over a century ago. But in the immediate aftermath of the war, one woman successfully sued a man she claimed illegally kidnapped her and forced into servitude. Her name? Henrietta Wood. Join me this week as I dive into the history of Henrietta Wood and her judgment as the largest reparations payment ever awarded in United States history.
July 9, 2022
In May, news leaked of a draft Supreme Court decision regarding a Mississippi ban on abortion. As written, the opinion seeks to overturn two landmark Supreme Court cases regarding women's healthcare rights: Planned Parenthood v Casey and Roe v Wade. As the opinion hit the news, I received several requests to cover the topic of abortion in the United States. As I mention in the episode, I think the topic is too nuanced and far reaching to cover adequately in one episode. However, I felt it wa…
July 2, 2022
Join me this week as I sit down and chat with author, historian and educator A.J. Schenkman about his recent book, Unexpected Bravery. His book tells the stories of women and children who made the commitment to join in the fight of the Civil War and the steps they took to serve their country, despite the societal and sometimes legal norms of the time. A.J. Schenkman is the author of several books and historical articles. You can find more information about him, including how to order hi…
June 25, 2022
In the final edition of the Andrew Jackson series, I am taking a look at the life of his wife and soulmate, Rachel Donelson Jackson. Though she passed away before Jackson assumed office, the marriage between Rachel and Andrew Jackson was one for the ages. Though their relationship started in scandal, a scandal that would came to haunt them as Jackson pursued national politics, it was also one of true dedication and admiration of one another. So tune in and hear about just who Rachel Jac…
June 18, 2022
This week is a continuation of the series on Andrew Jackson and this time I am welcoming a special guest, Jerry from the Presidencies of the United States Podcast. Andrew Jackson has a complicated and nuanced legacy. He was the original outsider and man of the people; he was a man who held tightly to his sense of honor and was unafraid to fight for what he believed in. His was also the administration that put a mighty steak through the heart of the indigenous tribes who lived within territo…
June 11, 2022
During his eight years as president of the United States, Andrew Jackson passed one major piece of legislation: the Indian Removal Act of 1830. A bill set up to allow negotiations between the federal government and tribal nations for land exchanges, it quickly set the precedent of forced indigenous removal. So what was the Indian Removal Act? And what were its impacts? Don't forget the Intelligent Speech Conference is just a few weeks away - be sure to grab your tickets at www.intelligen…
June 4, 2022
Happy June Peeps! This month is going to be all about Andrew Jackson. I knew when I started plotting out my coverage of the seventh president of the United States a single episode just wasn't going to cut it - so get ready for a Jackson bonanza. This week, I am starting with the life and political rise of the man himself. Who was Andrew Jackson? Why was he so popular? And what impacts did he leave on the nation? Tune in to find out all of this and more. As a reminder, this is th…
May 28, 2022
Although the international slave trade was outlawed in 1808, the demand for free labor continued to escalate as the country expanded and the cotton crop overtook tobacco as the country's most in demand export. When the domestic slave trade proved insufficient, or too expensive, many planters resorted to purchasing their labor on the black market. These individuals were often free young men and women who were kidnapped from their homes in the north and forced into a life of servitude. Jo…
May 21, 2022
Join me this week as I dive into another listener request: the history of the epic music festival, Woodstock. In the summer of 1969, four young men put on what came to be the most memorable music festival of a generation. For four days, thousands of young Americans enjoyed the performances of the artists that came to define sixties: Jefferson Airplane, Credence Clearwater Revival and Jimi Hendrix. But what was the inspiration of Woodstock? How did it come together? And why does it still rem…
May 14, 2022
Join me this week as I dive into the history of the Freedom's Journal, the first black owned and operated newspaper in American history. Started by two free men in 1828, The Freedom's Journal influenced a generation of writers, editors and artists by providing a platform for black voices. For the first time in history, their newspaper was nonpartisan and strove to provide both sides of an argument. What was the Freedom's Journal? And who were the men behind the pages? Find all of that o…
May 7, 2022
Welcome to episode 100 peeps! Join me this week as I chat with presidential history podcast host extraordinaire, Kenny Ryan, about John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams. Both men had strikingly similar careers and both go mostly unrecognized in popular culture, despite their immense contributions to history. Kenny Ryan is the host of Abridged Presidential Histories, a podcast dedicated to sharing the life and impacts of our past presidents. He expertly weaves a concise narrative and …
April 30, 2022
John Quincy Adams was the sixth president of the United States, elected in a "corrupt bargain" when the House of Representatives voted him into office, despite Andrew Jackson winning both the popular and electoral votes. Adams' presidency was not one for the record books, but his diplomatic career was one for the ages. Join me this week as I dive into the life and career of John Quincy Adams. From the Treaty of Ghent to his opposition to the annexation of Texas, John Quincy Adams was a man …
April 23, 2022
Join me as I wrap up the life of Louisa Catherine Adams. In this episode, I explore her time overseas with her husband while he served as Minister to Russia and her efforts to get John Quincy Adams elected president. I also cover her time as First Lady, what her thoughts were about Adams' resurgence in the House of Representatives and her legacy.
April 16, 2022
Often lost in the shadows of the family she married into, Louisa Catherine Adams had a life filled with trials and tribulations. She was the first foreign born First Lady and journeyed throughout Europe, first as a daughter of a wealthy merchant and then as the wife of famed diplomat and future president, John Quincy Adams. Join me as I start the story of the life of Louisa Adams. In this episode, I discuss her early childhood, the volatile courtship between her and John Quincy and the firs…
April 9, 2022
Join me this week as I chat with author, historian and educator Dr. Rebecca DeWolf about her analysis of the early development of the Equal Rights Amendment. Dr. DeWolf wrote about the fight of the ERA in her book, Gendered Citizenship, which was one of my favorite books of 2021. In this episode, we discuss how the right to vote for women via the 19th amendment created a sense of constitutional uncertainty for the status of women and how various groups, coined as protectionists and emancipa…
April 2, 2022
Join me as I dive into another listener request! This week's topic comes thanks to long time listener Sam, who requested I dive into the history of the California Missions. Those of us who grew up in California likely remember learning about, and potentially even visiting, the Missions spread throughout the state. But what prompted their creation? Who lived in the Missions? And why do they continue to loom so large in California history?
March 26, 2022
Women have exerted influence in American politics since the country's founding. Though initially through individual acts to bring attention to their cause, they eventually organized into unions and societies who commanded attention and effectuate change. Join me as I jump into the history of women in politics in the United States.
March 19, 2022
Joining me for a special discussion about one of my favorite periods in history, Dr. Einav Rabinovitch-Fox breaks down the Gilded Age in America and specifically how the period shaped the idea of women. If you've been enjoying the HBO series, The Gilded Age, you'll enjoy our conversation as we discuss the era, its impact on the role of women and how material culture impacted the period. Dr. Einav Rabinovitch-Fox is a historian who recently published a book, Dressed for Freedom, which ex…
March 12, 2022
Baseball is often referred to as America's favorite pastime. Millions watch their favorite sports teams battle it out for position and, hopefully, a championship. But why aren't there more women in baseball? Join me this week as I dive into the history of women in baseball.
March 5, 2022
Happy Women's History Month! Join me this week as I interview historian and author Dr. Tanya Roth about her analysis of women in the United States history, Her Cold War. Roth weaved an engaging and informative story about how women's roles in the military evolved in a post World War II nation and how slowly but surely they worked towards providing an equitable place at the table.
Feb. 26, 2022
Join me this week as I wrap up the life of famed abolitionist and ex-slave, Frederick Douglass. In this episode, we pick up with Douglass venturing into national politics and announcing his support for women's suffrage. This episode also discusses how Douglass evolved in the aftermath of the Civil War and where he focused his attention once slavery was abolished.
Feb. 19, 2022
Abolitionist, author, newspaper editor. Frederick Douglass was many things in his 77 years and continues to be a powerful historic figure. Join me this week as I begin a dive into the life of one of the greatest and most respected fighters in history, Fredrick Douglass.
Feb. 12, 2022
Religion has been intertwined in American history since its founding. There have been several religious revivals aimed at increasing church membership and devotion to God. The Second Great Awakening was one of the largest and most consequential religious movements in American history. It was during this movement that revivalism and social activism became part of the religious experience. Join me as I dive into what the Second Great Awakening was and just how it impacted the country.
Feb. 5, 2022
One of the most forceful voices in the abolitionist movement came from the words of a free man named David Walker. While he may be overshadowed by the likes of Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison, Walker left his mark on the push for ending slavery and pulled no punches in his rebuke of the white enslavers who used paternalistic verbiage in excusing their behavior. Walker's life was cut short and I think this, in part, has led to his faded memory when reviewing the abolitionis…
Jan. 29, 2022
This week I am diving into the first listener request of 2022 - The Filibuster. A complicated and confusing piece of senate procedure, the filibuster has been in the news for the last few years as political pundits discuss why our current Congress seems unable to achieve any legislative progress. What exactly is the filibuster? How did it originate? Tune into this episode to find out.
Jan. 22, 2022
The women behind the great men in history are often forgotten and overlooked. No one quite exemplifies this as much as Elizabeth Monroe, the wife of the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe. Join me this week as I discuss her life and her impact - and why her story isn't well known.
Jan. 15, 2022
The last of the founding era presidents, James Monroe sometimes is seen as somehow less illustrious than his predecessors. However, the fifth president of the United States oversaw a key transition in the country and undoubtedly left his mark on the country. Join me this week as I dive into the presidency of James Monroe.
Jan. 8, 2022
This week I am finishing up the life of Sojourner Truth. As the country prepared for Civil War, Truth continued in her mission of preaching and advocating for what she believed was right. She became a national figure and was able to meet with several sitting presidents. Truth became a national symbol of abolition, women's suffrage and the ills of slavery. However she was committed to ensuring the betterment of her fellow former slaves and spent her later years working towards that goal. …
Jan. 1, 2022
Happy 2022! I wanted to start the year off by sharing the story of a strong woman from history. Born a slave in New York in 1797, Sojourner Truth lived what seems like ten lifetimes. From self emancipation to suing to rectify wrongs, Truth was a woman strong in her convictions and dedicated to her faith. So this week I am starting the life and times of Sojourner Truth.
Dec. 25, 2021
Happy Holidays Peeps! Join me this week as I dive into the history of the Christmas in America. From the Candy Cane to the Ugly Sweater, America has plenty of odd and interesting traditions during the holiday season, but where in the heck did they all come from? Tune in and find out! I also took some time in the episode to send love to some of my favorite shows - I hope you check them out.