Season 1

July 2, 2022

Unexpected Bravery: A Conversation with A.J. Schenkman

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…

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June 25, 2022

The Almost First Lady: Rachel Jackson

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…

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June 18, 2022

Andrew Jackson: A Discussion with Presidencies of the United States

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…

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June 11, 2022

The Indian Removal Act of 1830

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…

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June 4, 2022

The Original Outsider: Andrew Jackson

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…

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May 28, 2022

Missing: The Kidnapping of Black Americans

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…

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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…

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May 14, 2022

The Freedom's Journal

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…

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May 7, 2022

The Adams Men (with Abridged Presidential Histories)

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 …

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April 30, 2022

The Chosen Son: John Quincy Adams

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 …

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April 23, 2022

Resilient: Louisa Adams (Part Two)

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.

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April 16, 2022

Resilient: Louisa Adams (Part One)

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…

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April 9, 2022

Gendered Citizenship with Dr. Rebecca DeWolf

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…

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April 2, 2022

California Missions (Listener Request)

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?

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March 26, 2022

Women in Politics

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.

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March 19, 2022

The Gilded Age: A Conversation with Dr. Einav Rabinovitch-Fox

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…

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March 12, 2022

Women in Baseball

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.

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March 5, 2022

Her Cold War with Dr. Tanya Roth

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.

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Feb. 26, 2022

Frederick Douglass: Part Two

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.

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Feb. 19, 2022

Frederick Douglass: Part One

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.

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Feb. 12, 2022

The Second Great Awakening

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.

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Feb. 5, 2022

David Walker's Appeal

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…

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Jan. 29, 2022

The Filibuster (Listener Request)

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.

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Jan. 22, 2022

The Elusive Mrs. Monroe

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.

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Jan. 15, 2022

The Monroe Presidency

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.

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Jan. 8, 2022

Sojourner Truth: Part Two

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. …

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Jan. 1, 2022

Sojourner Truth: Part One

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.

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Dec. 25, 2021

Christmas in America

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.

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Dec. 18, 2021

The Alamo (Listener Request)

Let me just say - I love when you peeps give me topics to dive into! The Battle of the Alamo; likely one of the most iconic events in United States History. Filled with stories of patriotic duty, heroism and fighting against tyranny. Most people know about the thirteen day siege, however there is much more than meets the eye. Grab your cup of coffee and sit back as I chat about The Alamo. Thanks again to longtime listener Mike for the suggestion!

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Dec. 11, 2021

Immigration & The Steerage Act of 1819

Immigration policy in the United States is a hotly debated and discussed topic. However, as the country who proudly professes to be a nation of immigrants, just how did U.S. Immigration policy develop? This week, I start discussing the evolution go immigration policy in the United States with the passage and impact of the Steerage Act of 1819.

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Dec. 4, 2021

The Seminole War

As the United States continued to be dedicated to expanding its borders and territory, many indigenous and escaped enslaved individuals sought refuge in the Spanish held territory of Florida. Uncomfortable with the alliances made and desperate to attain the landmass to the south, the United States began a dedicated campaign to destroy indigenous settlements and led the Spanish to relinquish their control of the territory. Tune in as I dive into the Seminole War of 1818 and what impacts …

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Nov. 27, 2021

Watergate (with Hashtag History)

It is one of the most infamous political scandals in United States history; a massive conspiracy to spy on political rivals, influence voters and secure the presidential victory of one man, leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon. Watergate is such a large and widespread political cover up, I couldn't possibly do it on my own. So this week, I asked the fabulous ladies Rachel and Leah from Hashtag History to help break down this infamous piece of political history. And follo…

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Nov. 13, 2021

James Madison: The Presidency

Tune in this week as I chat about the presidency of one of the most gifted political minds of the founding era, James Madison. Given all the work he put into the creation of the republic, it was never a question of if but when Madison would take the reins. So why is his presidency seen as kind of a dud? Tune in as I dive into this and more.

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Oct. 30, 2021

The Donner Party

It's almost Halloween, which means - it's time for a haunted edition of Civics & Coffee. This week I am diving into the trials, tribulations and downright horror that was the cross country journey of the Donner Party. There is cannibalism, sure. But there is also so much more.

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Oct. 23, 2021

The Great Quakes

Did you know the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was not the largest to hit the United States? Tune in as I discover a series of devastating earthquakes, known as the New Madrid Earthquake Sequence. For a few months in 1811 and 1812, residents of the small community were left helpless as the ground beneath their feet shook violently, destroying property and altering the geological landscape.

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Oct. 16, 2021

Black Cemeteries (Listener Request)

This week's episode comes as the result of a listener request! Someone asked me to review the history of black cemeteries in the United States. As Africans were imported to this country, their dead bodies were often discarded in undesirable locations of the property of those who claimed ownership of them. While their place of rest may have changed, the overall treatment of their remains remained questionable at best.  These historic burial plots have gone mostly unprotected and poorly m…

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Oct. 9, 2021

The Uprising: The Slave Revolt of 1811

Can you name the largest slave revolt in United States history? If you're thinking Nat Turner, try again. This week I am diving into the little known revolt of 1811, the largest slave revolt in American history. Estimated forces of up to 500 strong marched towards New Orleans, determined to free themselves and their brethren from the chains of slavery. Episode marked explicit due to the violence covered in the episode. Exercise caution with younger listeners.

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Oct. 2, 2021

Banning the Trade, Not the Practice

This week I am discussing Congress' decision to eliminate the international slave trade in 1808. While a key first step in the abolition of chattel slavery, the federal law did little to blunt the spread of slavery throughout the country. Protected by federal law, the domestic slave trade flourished, leading to the forced migration of millions of human beings.

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Sept. 25, 2021

The Presidency of Thomas Jefferson

Join me this week as I dive into the presidential administration of one of our most complicated and controversial figures, Thomas Jefferson. A man filled with contradictions, Jefferson could be both a brilliant visionary and a walking hypocrite. He supported limited government, until the Louisiana Purchase; opposed the Alien and Sedition Acts until he was attacked. Complex and challenging, Jefferson remains one of the most interesting and controversial figures in American history.

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Sept. 18, 2021

The Library of Congress

Join me as I chat about the nation's largest public library - the Library of Congress. From its establishment to its current collection, I share all about this fabulous institution.

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Sept. 11, 2021

Twenty Years Later: Memories of September 11th

It's been twenty years since the September 11th terrorist attacks. As one of the defining moments of a generation, this episode is walkthrough of the events of that day and memories by a few people who were kind enough to sit down with me and discuss their memories.

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Sept. 4, 2021

Sally Hemings

Tune in as I tackle the mystery surrounding Sally Hemings, the enslaved woman who had a decades long affair with Thomas Jefferson. While so much of her story remains unknown, the story of Sally Hemings remains a critical piece of the American story. Who was Sally Hemings? How did their relationship begin? And what evidence exists regarding their relationship? I attempt to tackle all of this and more with this episode.

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Aug. 28, 2021

Marbury v Madison

The Supreme Court is considered the ultimate arbiter of whether laws are in line with the United States Constitution. But how did they achieve this power? It isn't outlined in the original document. Judicial review, or the authority to determine whether a law is constitutional, came as the result of one of the most infamous court cases in United States history: Marbury v. Madison. So tune in as I discuss how we got judicial review and how John Marshall set the court on a historic journe…

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Aug. 21, 2021

Sacagawea & New Discovery

This week I dive into the Lewis and Clark expedition and the only woman to join the Corps of Discovery,  Sacagawea. Much of Sacagawea's life remains a mystery, but one thing that is certain is her impact and influence over the 5,000 mile journey undertaken by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and the Corps of Discovery. In this episode I cover the history of the Louisiana Purchase, the origins of Sacagawea and provide an overview of the journey to survey the new land.

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Aug. 14, 2021

Happy Podcast Anniversary

Civics & Coffee is officially one! Thanks everyone for the adventure. In this episode, I answer questions from YOU!

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Aug. 7, 2021

The Little Rock Nine - Part Two

Note: I was contacted regarding potential inaccuracies to my episodes about the Little Rock Nine. Thanks to their feedback, this episode now contains an edit. This week I dive into the lives of the Little Rock Nine after their first year at Central High School. Learn what happened to Ernest Green, Jefferson Thomas, Terrence Roberts, Elizabeth Eckford, Gloria Ray Karlmark, Minnijean Brown, Melba Pattillo Beals, Thelma Mothershed and Carlotta Walls LaNier after that tumultuous school year and…

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July 31, 2021

The Little Rock Nine - Part One

Join me this week as I start a series on the nine children who were the first to desegregate schools in the south. Elizabeth Eckford, Ernest Green, Terrence Roberts, Minniejean Brown, Jefferson Allison Thomas, Gloria Ray, Thelma Mothershed and Melba Pattillo were all just teenagers seeking the best education possible. History has dubbed them the Little Rock Nine; this week I provide the background to their story, including touching a little of the Supreme Court decision in Brown v Board of …

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July 24, 2021

Dirty Tricks: The Election of 1800

Infighting, attacking the opposition, secret compromises. While this may sound like a headline from today, it was actually all part of one of the most scandalous elections in history: the presidential election of 1800. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson went head to head in a contest that led to a mini constitutional crisis and influenced the development of the twelfth amendment to the constitution. Tune in this week as I dive into the election and its long term impacts to current politica…

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July 23, 2021

Two Songs One Couple / Civics & Coffee Crossover - Part TWO

Hey Peeps! Welcome to a special BONUS episode of the pod! I had the opportunity to chat with Peter and Sam from the epic podcast, Two Songs One Couple, and we decided to do a crossover event for the masses. Our crossover is a blend of both of our shows - a little bit of rock and roll, a little bit of history. Peter and Sam have part one - so go listen to it now so you have the context and know just exactly how this came to be. This episode is part two! Picking up where our conversat…

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July 17, 2021

Miss Independent: Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams is one of the most infamous first ladies in American history. She is known for her sharp tongue and her partnership with "dear friend" John Adams. Supporter of education for women, opposed to slavery and unafraid to share her thoughts, Abigail was definitely a feminist of the moment. But did you know she also was a business owner? Tune in this week as I cover some of the more interesting tidbits of our second first lady, Abigail Smith Adams.

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