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Last update: 2013-06-26

Five Historical Robots

2013-06-26 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Long before Czech playwright Karel Capek coined the term “robot” in his 1920 play “R.U.R.,” mechanized creations -- automata -- were being created without electronics or computers. Many were simple, but they paved the way for the robots of today.…

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The Cursed Mary Celeste

2013-06-24 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

She’s often referred to as a cursed ghost ship. The history of the Mary Celeste features one unfortunate incident after another. While this vessel is most famous for an incident involving a disappearing crew, there's much more to the life of this brig.…

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The Irish Potato Famine: An Unnatural Disaster, Pt. 2

2013-06-19 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In the mid-1800s, the poorest people in Ireland ate almost nothing but potatoes. Other crops were for selling. So when a blight cut a swath through the potato crop, the impact was severe, and politics played a significant role in the tragedy.…

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The Irish Potato Famine: An Unnatural Disaster, Pt. 1

2013-06-17 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The history lesson kids often get on the Irish Potato Famine could be summed up as “a blight destroyed the potato crops, and a lot of people starved or moved away.” Most kids ask, “Why didn’t they eat something else?” Good question.…

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Paul Poiret

2013-06-11 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

French designer Paul Poiret's work, which was often avante-garde, changed the fashion world in significant ways. He got rid of corsets, introduced the concept of lifestyle branding, and used draping rather that tailoring to create his dramatic designs.…

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Benjamin Banneker

2013-06-10 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Despite having almost no official schooling and being a man of color in Colonial America, Benjamin Banneker turned out to be such an accomplished scholar that schools and professorships are named after him today.…

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Who was the real Robin Hood?

2013-06-05 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Robin Hood-style characters have been showing up in literature since the 14th century. Historians disagree about whether there was any truth to the legend, and we're wondering: Was Robin Hood real, and if so, who was he?…

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The Phoenician Alphabet

2013-06-03 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The Phoenicians were great ship-builders, sailors and textile experts. But they're most known for developing the alphabet that many modern alphabets are descended from. What drove a merchant culture to switch from cuneiform to a new writing system?…

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Boxer Rebellion

2013-05-28 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

"It was a culture clash of epic proportions. The Boxer Rebellion, also called the Boxer Uprising, was a gruesome, violent slaughter of Chinese Christians and foreigners – followed by a gruesome, violent slaughter of the Boxers. "…

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Heaven on Earth: the Brook Farm Community

2013-05-27 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In the 1840s, Boston’s West Roxbury suburb -- which was completely rural at the time -- was home to an experiment in transcendentalist utopian living: the Brook Farm community. The idea was to create an environment of balance and equality.…

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Russia's Vladimir the Great

2013-05-22 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

"Vladimir I is often credited with bringing Christianity to Russia, though he actually embraced paganism first as Grand Prince of Kievan Rus. Wishing to unite Russia under one religion, Vladimir changed the spiritual path of his country forever. "…

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India’s Karni Mata Rat Temple

2013-05-20 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Though it's most famous for its rats, the story of this temple starts with Hindu goddess Durga and Karni Mata, a 15th-century mystic believed to be her incarnation. The reason for the rats in Karni Mata's temple is a combination of legend and devotion.…

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China’s Empress Dowager Cixi

2013-05-15 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

After becoming a concubine for Emperor Xianfeng at the age of 16, Cixi rose to power when he died and her young son inherited the throne. She governed China from behind a screen for more than 45 years, and eventually sealed the fate of the Qing Dynasty.…

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Cannibalism at Jamestown

2013-05-13 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

On May 1, 2013, forensic evidence confirmed what survivors had reported: Colonists at Jamestown resorted to cannibalism during the winter of 1609-1610, known as the Starving Time. But the colony of Jamestown was troubled from the start.…

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Here, Kitty Kitty: The Domestication of the Cat

2013-05-08 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The human culture shift to an agricultural lifestyle started the domestication of animals. Cats naturally moved in to help with rodents. Today, there are 600 million cats living with humans, and another estimated 600 million living independent of people.…

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The Hindenburg Disaster

2013-05-06 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The Hindenburg tragedy is one of the world’s most infamous air disasters, but the dirigible had many successful flights prior to its final voyage, including 10 round trips between Germany and the U.S. Tune in to learn more.…

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Stede Bonnet, the Gentleman Pirate

2013-05-01 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1717, Stede Bonnet left his family and became a pirate. Despite having no seafaring experience, Bonnet’s brief career as a pirate was eventful, including a stint aboard Blackbeard’s ship and raids along the Atlantic coast of North America.…

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Sarah Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy

2013-04-29 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Though she was Canadian, Sarah Emma Edmonds fought for the Union during the Civil War. She adopted the name Franklin Thompson while traveling. Disguised as a man, she enlisted and began a career as a nurse, courier and spy (if you believe her memoir).…

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The Princess who Swallowed a Glass Piano

2013-04-24 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Princess Alexandra Amelie of Bavaria was part of the House of Wittelsbach. The princess was frail, and she exhibited unusual behavior. She told her parents that she had swallowed a glass piano as a child, and was afraid that she would shatter.…

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Johann Beringer’s Fossils

2013-04-22 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1725, Beringer was the University of Würzburg's chair of natural history and chief physician to the prince bishop. He was also unpopular, and some of his colleagues sought to discredit him. There are two versions of the story -- but which is true?…

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Loving v. Virginia, Part 2

2013-04-17 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Mildred and Richard Loving's relationship went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court when they were arrested for breaking Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws. On June 20, 1963, Mildred wrote a letter to the ACLU asking for help. Tune in to learn more.…

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Loving v. Virginia, Part 1

2013-04-15 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Mildred and Richard Loving's relationship went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court when they were arrested for breaking Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws. On June 20, 1963, Mildred wrote a letter to the ACLU asking for help. Tune in to learn more.…

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The Story of ‘Happy Birthday to You’

2013-04-10 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When teachers Mildred and Patty Hill's song “Good Morning to All” was published in 1893, there was no public performance right for songs. After the tune was paired with the birthday lyrics, its popularity soared and sparked a tremendous copyright battle.…

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The Origin of Cheeses

2013-04-08 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Cheese has been around for more than 9,000 years. But how did humans learn to make it? Journey with Tracy and Holly to ancient Anatolia, where, people had begun to store milk in pottery and take other steps that set the stage for this delicious invention.…

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Albert J. Tirrell, the First Sleepwalking Killer

2013-04-03 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

On Oct. 27, 1845 Mary Ann Bickford’s body was found in her Boston boardinghouse room. Her paramour Albert J. Tirrell was eventually charged with murder. Tirrell hired Rufus Choate to defend him, and Choate claimed his client had episodes of somnambulism.…

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Australia’s Rabbit-proof Fence

2013-04-01 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Many English settlers brought animals and plants to Australia, including rabbits. The rabbit population exploded, and rabbit-controlling fences were started by the 1880s. Work on the State Barrier Fence began in 1901, and it's still maintained today.…

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Emu War of 1932

2013-03-29 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

After World War I, Australian and British soldiers moved to rural Australia. In 1932, about 20,000 emus began making their way through Campion and Walgoolan, severely damaging wheat farms. The military tried to help, but may have just made things worse.…

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The Contentious Invention of the Sewing Machine

2013-03-27 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The mechanization of stitching happened by way a series of inventions, several of which finally came together. Though Elias Howe is often credited with inventing the sewing machine, his invention had more to do with the combination of existing ideas.…

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The Trial of Goody Garlick

2013-03-25 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Decades before the Salem trials, an East Hampton woman was tried for witchcraft. Before Lion Gardiner's daughter died, she accused Goody Garlick of bewitching her. Goody Garlick had hearings in two towns, during which she was accused of other bewitchings.…

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The Famous Speech Chief Seattle Never Made

2013-03-20 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The Suquamish chief is best remembered for a speech he gave upon discovering that Governor Stevens wanted land to build a railroad. However, the speech’s origins are nebulous (and in some quotations completely fabricated). Tune in to learn.…

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The Life of Johnny Appleseed

2013-03-18 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The image of Johnny Appleseed walking around in rags, barefooted with a bindle, planting apple trees and moving on is actually pretty accurate. Join Holly and Tracy to learn how John Chapman struck out for the frontier and became an American legend.…

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The Voynich Manuscript

2013-03-13 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The Voynich manuscript is named after Wilfrid Voynich, who acquired it in 1912 from a Jesuit library. There are many theories as to what this book from the 1400s contains, but no one knows whether it’s a cypher text, a lost language or gibberish.…

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The Mystic Margery Kempe

2013-03-11 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Born in the 1300s, Margery had 14 children with her husband before dedicating her life to God. In her 40s, she began a vision-inspired pilgrimage to visit holy sites, and these travels became the basis for her spiritual autobiography,…

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The Real Al Swearengen: Part 2

2013-03-06 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

While Al Swearengen's notoriety comes from his famous saloon, his early experiences all informed his later life. Join Tracy and Holly as they examine the life and times of Al Swearengen in the second part of this series.…

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The Real Al Swearengen: Part 1

2013-03-04 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Al Swearengen has become a widely-recognized figure in the time of the Black Hills gold rush. While his notoriety comes from his famous saloon, his early experiences as a pioneer child, 100-days man and apprentice barkeep all informed his later life.…

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Unearthed!

2013-02-27 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 2013, experts identified the remains of King Richard III, one of England's most notorious rulers. Shakespeare wrote the king as a nephew-killing, hunchbacked villain, but Richard's real life was a complicated mixture of ambition, ruthlessness and fear.…

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The Other Pope Benedict Who Resigned

2013-02-25 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Long before Benedict XVI’s resignation, Benedict IX resigned. Benedict IX was one of the youngest (and most notorious) men ever to become pope, and his abuse of power was legendary. He became pope three times and sold the title at one point.…

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Pablo Fanque's Fair

2013-02-20 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The Victorian age offered few opportunities for Black-Britons, making Pablo Fanque's circus all the more impressive. Born William Darby, he was a talented equestrian performer, acrobat and show-runner. In fact, one Fanque's playbills inspired John Lennon.…

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Okichi, the Tragic Geisha

2013-02-18 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Okichi's story is filled with embellishment and hazy details. Sent to serve Townsend Harris, the first U.S. Consul to Japan, she was shunned after Harris left. Yet Okichi is now honored with an annual festival and has become a national symbol.…

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Walter Potter’s Wild and Wonderful Taxidermy

2013-02-13 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

By the time he was 19, Potter had preserved and mounted 98 birds. In 1880, his work had grown to a point where it had to be moved to a building, which became his museum. Potter’s museum collection continues to enthrall collectors and enthusiasts.…

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The Fantastic Fitzgeralds

2013-02-11 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

A week after releasing his debut novel, F. Scott Fitzgerald married Southern Belle Zelda Sayre. But Fitzgerald's drinking and Zelda's mental state led to fights, debt and writers' block. Join Sarah and Holly as they trace the lives of F. Scott and Zelda.…

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Nikola Tesla and the War of Currents Revisited: Part 2

2013-02-06 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

By 1887, Nikola Tesla secured seven patents for components of his alternating current system. In 1888, George Westinghouse offered to hire Tesla to develop the AC system, and that’s when the Current War really got underway.…

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Nikola Tesla and the War of Currents Revisited: Part 1

2013-02-04 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1857 Nikola Tesla began work on direct current motor issues. In 1884, he approached Thomas Edison with ideas about alternating current, but Edison championed direct current. Their disagreement led to one of history's most famous scientific rivalries.…

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The Booth Conspiracy

2013-01-30 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Most people know the story of President Lincoln's assassination, but what happened afterward? In this podcast, we cover John Wilkes Booth’s escape, his co-conspirators' attacks against other officials and the strange connections between Booth and Lincoln.…

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Who is D.B. Cooper?

2013-01-28 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1971, a man calling himself Dan Cooper hijacked Northwest Orient Airlines flight 305. He received a ransom of $200,000 -- and then jumped out in midair. Over the years, the FBI has searched for Cooper with little luck. Tune in to learn more.…

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5 War Dogs of History

2013-01-23 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Dogs have been used in war for a long time and are still used today. In this episode, Sarah and Deblina look at five war dogs known for their strength, loyalty and intelligence. Tune in to learn more about war dogs from World War I through Vietnam.…

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Ned Kelly's Last Stand

2013-01-21 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Ned Kelly's cropped up in the news again, but who was he? The bushranger Ned Kelly became an outlaw in 1878, and his gang successfully conducted several raids. Tune in to learn why many Australians think of him as a folk hero in this classic episode.…

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5 Historical Hoaxes

2013-01-16 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Historical hoaxes are surprisingly common. For example, a N.Y. cigar maker once commissioned a gypsum skeleton to pass off as a 10-foot-tall petrified man called the Cardiff Giant. Join Deblina and Sarah as they explore history's most successful hoaxes.…

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The Great Stink of 1858

2013-01-14 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

By the 1840s, London faced a sanitation crisis. One summer the stench of the Thames drove Parliament to soak their curtains in lime, an experience that led to funding for a modern sewer system. Tune in to learn about modern toilets, germ theory and more.…

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The Bone Wars, Part 2

2013-01-09 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In Part 2 of this podcast, we examine the tactics rival paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh used in their battle to achieve preeminence. Ultimately, the men took their war to D.C. and the press. In the end, did either win?…

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Double Agent: James Armistead and the American Revolution

2013-01-07 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

James Armistead was a slave in Virginia, but got his master's approval to enlist when the Revolutionary War came. Armistead worked as a spy, and his story is one of many free and enslaved African-Americans who fought in the Revolutionary War.…

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Unearthed in 2012: Part 2

2013-01-02 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In the second part of this annual episode, we cover historical discoveries made in 2012, from evidence of vampire burials in Bulgaria to discoveries of ancient temples and more. Tune in to learn more about the exciting archaeological discoveries of 2012.…

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The Bone Wars: Part 1

2012-12-31 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this two-part podcast, we explore the rivalry between paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh. Marsh was a farmer's son and Cope grew up in a wealthy household. The two started out as friends, but their friendship soon soured.…

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Unearthed in 2012: Part 1

2012-12-26 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this episode, we look back on some of the biggest historical news of 2012s. Tune in to learn how researchers revealed new theories regarding mercury’s involvement in Tycho Brahe’s death, and startling insights into the Great Wall of China.…

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Who was Good King Wenceslas?

2012-12-21 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

King Wenceslas is best known as a Christmas carol, but he was a real 10th-century Bohemian prince. Wenceslas was known for his kindness to children and promotion of Christianity, but he was murdered at only 22. Listen in to learn more about the Good King.…

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Why was Juana called “la Loca”? Part 2

2012-12-19 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this second part of our series, Juana has become her mother’s unlikely heir. Just a few years after inheriting Castile, she is declared insane and imprisoned. But was she actually mad? And why didn’t her son free her when he came to power?…

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Subterranean Cities

2012-12-17 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this episode, Sarah and Deblina take a world tour of some of the world's most ancient, mysterious and historically influential underground cities. Listen in to learn more about subterranean cities around the globe.…

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Why was Juana called “la Loca”? Part 1

2012-12-12 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Juana of Castile has gone down in history as “Juana la Loca." But Juana’s mental state was likely not as bad as it seemed. Was she instead the victim of conniving relatives? In this episode, we discuss Juana’s youth, her marriage and more.…

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The Johnstown Flood

2012-12-10 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

On May 31, 1889, the South Fork dam gave way, sending 20 million tons of water rushing toward Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The water swept up everything in its path, and it only took about 10 minutes to wash away Johnstown. But was nature solely to blame?…

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A Comanche Story: Quanah Parker

2012-12-05 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this episode, we tell the story of Cynthia Ann Parker's son, the Comanche war chief Quanah Parker. Quanah led Comanche forces until his defeat at Adobe Walls. He then encouraged his people to settle on the reservation, refusing to sacrifice his culture.…

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Mutiny on the Bounty (Update)

2012-12-03 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In an update to this podcast about the mutiny that took place aboard the HMS Bounty in 1789, we discuss the fate of the replica Bounty made in 1962. During Hurricane Sandy, the Bounty was headed from Connecticut to Florida. But what happened next?…

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A Comanche Story: Cynthia Ann Parker, Part 1

2012-11-28 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

A Comanche raiding party kidnapped Cynthia Ann when she was 9 years old. She lived with Comanche parents, marrying a war chief and having children. But her family never stopped searching for her. As word of her story spread, her son Quanah rose to power.…

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Gertrude Bell: The Uncrowned Queen of Iraq, Part 2

2012-11-26 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Part 2 of this series follows Gertrude Bell on her adventures after World War I begins. The British army asked her to help them retain their influence in the Middle East. But how did she get from there to helping found modern Iraq? Tune in to learn more.…

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The True Story of the Chevalier d'Eon: Part 2

2012-11-26 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Upset with the prospect of a demotion, the Chevalier d'Eon published his diplomatic correspondence. Worried that d'Eon might reveal the King's Secret, Louis XV  desperately negotiated d'Eon's return -- with one catch: the Chevalier had to become a woman.…

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Gertrude Bell: The Uncrowned Queen of Iraq

2012-11-19 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Gertrude Bell was the first woman to graduate with a First in Modern History from Oxford. Instead of marrying young, she went to Persia. Inspired, she traveled across the Middle East on numerous exploratory treks. But would it last in a time of war?…

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The True Story of the Chevalier d'Eon: Part 1

2012-11-14 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Recently, London's National Portrait Gallery acquired a portrait of the Chevalier d'Eon, the first oil painting in its collection to feature a man in women's clothing. Learn how Louis XV's underground foreign policy led d'Eon to acquire a female identity.…

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Johann Dippel and the Elixir of Life

2012-11-12 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Johann Konrad Dippel was born in 1673 at Frankenstein Castle. Originally a theology student, Dippel began dabbling in chemistry, medicine and alchemy. Today he's remembered for creating a panacea that was used on a variety of ailments. How did he do it?…

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Who was Tokyo Rose?

2012-11-07 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

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.…

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The Mysterious Disappearance of Agatha Christie

2012-11-05 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In December of 1926, Agatha Christie left her home and vanished: Police found her car crashed and abandoned. An 11-day manhunt commenced and speculation ran rampant -- but when she was finally found – alive – there were more questions than answers.…

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The Case of the Colorado Cannibal

2012-10-31 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In the winter of 1873, Alferd Packer led gold prospectors into the Rockies, but harsh conditions soon set them off course. Packer was the only survivor, and he looked oddly well-fed. He claimed he'd killed in self-defense. But was he guilty of murder?…

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Accused by a Ghost!

2012-10-29 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In the early 1760s, the so-called Cock Lane Ghost haunted a London home, communicating through knocks. The ghost accused her former partner of poisoning her. However, as more details emerged people wondered if the haunting was an act of earthly revenge.…

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What really happened in Salem?

2012-10-24 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1692, girls in Salem Village experienced fevers, pains and strange behavior. A doctor deemed the affliction supernatural, and the girls pinned the blame on several people. These accusations led to a witch hunt -- but what was really to blame?…

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Ghosts of History: A Haunted House Tour

2012-10-22 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Whether or not you believe in ghosts, the tragic histories behind some homes are enough to send a chill down your spine. In this episode, we look into the real stories behind five historic houses that are believed to be haunted. Tune in to learn more.…

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Who was America's Lucrezia Borgia?

2012-10-17 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When Mary Frances Creighton was arrested for poisoning her brother, the tabloids went crazy, comparing her to Lucrezia Borgia. Mary was also accused of poisoning her mother-in-law and her work caught up with her when she struck again, years later.…

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Madame Lalaurie and the Haunting of Royal Street

2012-10-15 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1834 a fire broke out at the Lalaurie house in New Orleans. Firefighters found mistreated slaves inside, and the family was banished. Wild rumors spread afterward, and now it's known as the most haunted house in America -- but are the rumors true?…

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Jim Bowie: Blades, Battles and the Alamo

2012-10-10 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Jim Bowie is known as a hero of the Alamo, but he made his name in a duel-gone-wrong: He came away with several wounds, but also with a reputation as fearsome knife-fighter. So how did he become a Texan legend? And what's the story behind the Bowie knife?…

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A Brief History of Trick-or-Treating

2012-10-08 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Before children went door-to-door, Celts kept out evil spirits during the festival of Samhain. Halloween evolved over time, but trick-or-treating didn't emerge until the 20th century. Join Sarah and guest host Cristen as they trace Halloween's history.…

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Bloomers and Beyond: A History of Underwear

2012-10-03 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this episode, PopStuff co-host Holly Frey joins in to discuss undergarments through the ages, from the utilitarian shirt to the body-changing corset, split bloomers and more. We also talk about a recent discovery that's shaken up costume historians.…

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The Surprising Life of Henry Ford: Part 2

2012-10-01 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this second episode with CarStuff’s Scott Benjamin, we pick up at the height of Ford’s success: The Model T is revolutionizing America. But he also obsessively controls his employees, becomes a noted anti-Semite and capitalizes on wartime contracts.…

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Joseph McCarthy and the Red Scare: Part 2

2012-09-26 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Senator McCarthy's celebrity skyrocketed after he made his name denouncing spies. Fear and intimidation kept many from speaking out against him, but public opinion soon turned. Join Sarah and Ben as they discuss McCarthyism and the Hollywood Blacklist.…

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The Surprising Life of Henry Ford: Part 1

2012-09-24 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this episode, CarStuff’s Scott Benjamin joins the show for a discussion of Henry Ford's early years, inventions and innovations. Yet as Ford's success grew, his willingness to change did not – and ultimately a darker side of his personality emerged.…

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Joseph McCarthy and the Red Scare: Part 1

2012-09-19 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy had a lackluster career – at least, that is, until he claimed the U.S. government was riddled with conspiratorial Communists. In this episode, Sarah and guest host Ben explore the hysteria-fueled rise of Joseph McCarthy.…

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Orson Welles and the War of the Worlds

2012-09-17 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1938 Orson Welles produced a series of radio dramas, including one based on “War of the Worlds." The broadcast caused a mass panic, since many believed it was a real news program. In this episode, we discuss why so many mistook the show as real.…

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Codes! Allied Cryptography in World War II

2012-09-12 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this episode co-hosted by TechStuff’s Jonathan Strickland, the focus is on the codes and cryptologists of World War II. Tune in to learn more about the Enigma Machine, Alan Turing, Code Talkers and more in the conclusion of this two-part episode.…

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Alan Turing: Codebreaker

2012-09-10 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Alan Turing conceived of computers decades before anyone was building one. He also acted as a top-secret code breaker during World War II. Despite his accomplishments, he was prosecuted as a homosexual by the British government. Tune in to learn more.…

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Codes! Axis Cryptography in World War II

2012-09-05 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this special episode co-hosted by TechStuff’s Jonathan Strickland, the focus is on the codes, cipher machines, and cryptologists of World War II. Tune in to learn more about the Enigma Machine, Alan Turing, Code Talkers and more.…

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The Radium Girls

2012-09-03 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Between in 1917, hundreds of women got jobs applying radium-treated paint to various products. Many experienced severe health problems. Five former workers decided to sue the U.S. Radium corporation, and faced a campaign of misinformation.…

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How the Mayan Calendar Works, Revisited

2012-08-29 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this classic episode, former hosts Candace and Jane explain how the Mayan long count calendar works. We also discuss some other doomsday prophesies from 1666 and 1910, when people feared Halley’s Comet would poison them with gasses from its tail.…

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5 Historical Storms

2012-08-27 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Catastrophic storms are almost historical characters in their own right, leaving indelible marks on the places they affect. Here, we cover five of history's most destructive storms, including the Tri-state Tornado of 1925 and the Great Hurricane of 1780.…

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Easter Island (Update)

2012-08-22 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this episode, we revisit theories about the statues of Easter Island: the Moai. New evidence suggests that fewer than 20 people “walked” the Moai to their positions. This idea shakes up existing theories about the destruction of the island's resources.…

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Pretty Boy Floyd and the Kansas City Massacre

2012-08-20 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Pretty Boy Floyd started out doing farm work, but in his late teens he ran off to try his hand at crime. He earned a Robin Hood-like reputation, and became famous for his supposed involvement in the Kansas City Massacre. But did he deserve the credit?…

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Lizzie Borden and her Axe (Update)

2012-08-15 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1892, a Massachusetts couple was brutally murdered; the only serious suspect was their daughter, Lizzie Borden. Borden was acquitted, but people have speculated about the crime ever since. Tune in to learn how new evidence might shed light on her case.…

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The Bloody Benders

2012-08-13 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The Bender clan settled in Kansas in 1870, building a combined store and inn. They weren't popular. Only the comely Kate Bender drew admirers. When people began disappearing, the Benders weren't suspects ‑‑ until a doctor vanished after visiting the inn.…

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How the Titanic Worked

2012-08-08 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking. In our own memorial to the Titanic’s sinking, we revisit a classic episode from Candace and Jane, in which they explore the ship’s tragic history. We’ll also explore some recent Titanic research.…

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A Medici Marriage: Marguerite-Louise d'Orléans

2012-08-06 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Marguerite-Louise d'Orléans was the grandchild of the King of France, cousin of Louis XIV and eventually betrothed to Cosimo III de Medici. Her marriage was (to say the least) unstable. But how did she finally find herself back in France?…

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The Nazi Games and Jesse Owens

2012-08-01 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Most people associate the 1936 Berlin Olympics with African-American sprinter Jesse Owens. Yet the games were successful in terms of Nazi propaganda: More nations than ever participated, and the Olympic torch was used for the first time.…

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The Match of Death

2012-07-30 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

After the Nazis invaded Kiev, a bakery owner asked some Ukrainian soccer players to form a team. Their team was pitted against occupying powers. Many say their crucial victory over the Germans led to their deaths. But how much of the story is true?…

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The Strangest Games: The 1900 Paris Olympics

2012-07-25 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1900 Paris Olympics are considered some of the strangest. Some sport historians don’t even consider them true Olympic Games. Many of the events were so under-promoted, the athletes competing in them didn’t know they were even in the Olympics.…

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The First Olympics, Revisited

2012-07-23 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this episode, we revisit a podcast on the first Olympics. The first Olympics featured familiar events, but also some lethal exhibitions. Married women were barred from watching the games, but victors could sometimes expect to receive meals for life.…

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Listener Mail Roundup: Collector’s Edition

2012-07-18 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In a recent episode on George Arents, we asked listeners what kind of book collections they keep. We heard from people with interests ranging from mixology books to a library dedicated to Disney. We also learned about what these collections inspired.…

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The Amelia Earhart Mystery (Update)

2012-07-16 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this classic episode, former hosts Candace and Katie explore the events surrounding Amelia Earhart’s mysterious disappearance in 1937, and possible theories as to what could have happened. We also cover new developments in this 75-year-old mystery.…

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What happened to the lost colony at Roanoke? (Update)

2012-07-11 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Of all the mysteries we've covered, the lost colony at Roanoke is one of the strangest. In this classic episode, former hosts Candace and Josh recount Roanoke's story -- and there's a new development, one that may finally reveal the fate of the colonists.…

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The Prisoner Princess: Sophia Dorothea of Celle

2012-07-09 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Sophia Dorothea of Celle married her cousin, George I of Great Britain. Sophia had an affair with a Swedish count, and her in-laws decided to stop the couple from running away together. The ensuing events became known as the Königsmarck Affair.…

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The Bombardment of Baltimore

2012-07-04 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

After a night of shelling in the War of 1812, Baltimore was unsure if its fort had survived. At dawn, observers saw an American flag over the fort. Francis Scott Key composed a poem about the night -- and that poem eventually became the national anthem.…

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Ma Barker and the Barker Gang

2012-07-02 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

During the Gangster Era, many believed Ma Barker led the Barker Gang. In the late 1800s, Barker had four sons, two of whom joined the infamous Barker gang. But was Ma really the mastermind behind their criminal activities?…

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Deblina and Sarah's Renaissance Adventure

2012-06-27 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this episode, Sarah and Deblina visit the Georgia Renaissance Festival. Interviews with musician Luca Callo and TechStuff’s Jonathan Strickland give us an understanding of processes they use to recreate Renaissance characters, music and culture.…

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John James Audubon: American Woodsman, Part 2

2012-06-25 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

After John James Audubon finished his book, he sought out a publisher. While his image turned off Philadelphia's intellectuals, he charmed Great Britain. In this episode, curator Michael Inman joins us to explain the publication of Birds of America.…

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Who wore the Pink Triangle?

2012-06-20 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

2012-06-20-symhc-pink-triangle.mp3 21:59 http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/podcasts.howstuffworks.com/hsw/podcasts/symhc/2012-06-20-symhc-pink-triangle.mp3 When Hitler came to power in Germany, gays and lesbians were continually persecuted. Soon, homosexual men also faced prison time. Thousands were eventually arrested, and many wound up in concentration camps, where they were labeled with pink triangles.…

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John James Audubon: American Woodsman, Part 1

2012-06-18 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Though John James Audubon was the son of a French planter, he cultivated the image of an American frontiersman. In this episode, New York Public Library curator Michael Inman joins us for a discussion of Audubon’s early life.…

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The Death of Poe

2012-06-13 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1849, Edgar Allan Poe disappeared for five days before he was found semi-conscious outside of a saloon. He died four days later, presumably from alcohol abuse. Over the years, many alternate cause-of-death theories have emerged. Which is most likely?…

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William Kidd: A Pirate’s Rep for Me

2012-06-11 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

William Kidd had settled down by 1695, but privateering was still in his blood. He struck up a plan to attack pirates plaguing English ships and enlisted investors to back his efforts. Eventually he was declared a pirate. But did he deserve the label?…

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Nikola Tesla and the War of the Currents, Part 2

2012-06-06 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

By 1887, Nikola Tesla secured seven patents for components of his alternating current system. In 1888, George Westinghouse offered to hire Tesla to develop the AC system, and that’s when the Current War really got underway.…

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Laura Bridgman's Education

2012-06-04 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Laura Bridgman was the first deafblind person to be educated -- a feat accomplished by Samuel Gridley Howe in the 1830s. People from around the world came to see her, including Charles Dickens, who wrote about her in his "American Travels."…

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Nikola Tesla and the War of Currents, Part 1

2012-05-30 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1857 Nikola Tesla began work on direct current motor issues. In 1884, he approached Thomas Edison with ideas about alternating current, but Edison championed direct current. Their disagreement led to one of history's most famous scientific rivalries.…

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P.T. Barnum's Biggest Stars

2012-05-28 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

P.T. Barnum worked with many performers. Perhaps the most famous was the diminutive General Tom Thumb. Barnum also promoted Swedish singer Jenny Lind, but his biggest act was Jumbo the Elephant, an African elephant he bought from the London Zoo.…

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Operation Mincemeat, Part 2

2012-05-23 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Operation Mincemeat aimed to relay false information to the Nazis by dropping a corpse where they would find it, along with fake documents. The British agents gave their corpse a backstory to make it more believable. But was the story too good to be true?…

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A Visit to Clybourne Park

2012-05-21 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The Pulitzer-winning play “Clybourne Park” took inspiration from Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin the Sun.” In this episode, we talk to Clybourne Park’s Tony-nominated director Pam MacKinnon about the work and historical research that went into the play.…

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The Prince of Humbug: P.T. Barnum

2012-05-16 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

P.T. Barnum is best known as a circus man, but he spent most of his career running a curiosity museum and staging freak shows. Barnum attracted people to his American Museum through shrewd advertising, or “humbug.” He also wasn’t afraid of a hoax.…

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Operation Mincemeat, Part 1

2012-05-14 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Once the Allies invaded North Africa, the Nazis began planning. Both sides knew Sicily was the obvious choice for the next Allied invasion, so the Allies needed some subterfuge. Luckily, the British had an idea -- and all they needed was a dead body.…

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Freya of Arabia

2012-05-09 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

After a childhood spent roaming Europe, Freya Stark began saving money to take Arabic lessons. Once fluent, she traveled into areas few outsiders had ever been, documenting her travels in best-selling books. Listen in to learn more about Freya of Arabia.…

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The Battle of Sekigahara

2012-05-07 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

After the Japanese ruler Toyotomi Hideyoshi died, regents and bureaucrats scrambled for power. The rivals Tokugawa Ieyasu and Ishida Mitsunari rallied supporters to face off in Sekigahara. Tokugawa emerged victorious. But what happened next?…

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Who was the real Professor Moriarty? Part 2

2012-05-02 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When Adam Worth stole a portrait of the Duchess of Devonshire, he fell in love with the painting. But a botched theft in Belgium landed him in prison, where the story of his life reached Arthur Conan Doyle and inspired the character of Professor Moriarty.…

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Horace Wells and the Gas War

2012-04-30 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Dentist Horace Wells set up shop in Hartford in 1836, before the discovery of anasthesia. At an exhibition in 1844 he became certain that nitrous oxide could revolutionize medicine. He tried to demonstrate his findings... but things didn’t go as planned.…

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Who was the real Professor Moriarty? Part 1

2012-04-25 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Professor Moriarty was based on a real man: Adam Worth. After being falsely reported as dead during the Civil War, Worth began a life of crime. When Worth moved to London he began his Moriarty phase, but his peculiar criminal quirks led to his near ruin.…

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Four Flights of Female Aviators

2012-04-23 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Amelia Earhart is the most well-known female aviator, but there were several notable female aviation pioneers. Raymonde de Laroche was the first woman to earn a pilot's license, and Jacqueline Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier.…

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Who was the Great Imposter?

2012-04-18 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Ferdinand Demara took on several bogus personas throughout his imposter career -- everything from a professor to a monk. Demara stole the identities of regular people, and often performed their job duties. Tune in to learn more about the Great Imposter.…

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Who was the real Indiana Jones?

2012-04-16 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Although Lucas and Spielberg claim Indiana Jones was only inspired by adventure movies and pulp fiction, people have still suggested real-life inspirations. Tune in to learn more about several contenders, including Roy Chapman Andrews and Otto Rahn.…

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Westward Bound: Beryl Markham's Transatlantic Flight

2012-04-11 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Beryl Markham was Africa's first female licensed racehorse trainer, but by the 1920s she'd found a new passion: flying. She went on to become Kenya’s first female commercial pilot, and by 1936 she was ready to fly solo across the Atlantic. Or was she?…

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The Heiress Explorer: Louise Boyd and the Arctic

2012-04-09 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When gold mine heiress Louise Boyd staged her first Arctic expedition in the 1920s, she hunted polar bears with aristocrats. Yet she also met other explorers who encouraged her in more scientific pursuits. Listen in and learn more about her expeditions.…

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George Arents: Hobbies and the Heathenish Weed

2012-04-04 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

How did advice from his great uncle inspire tobacco businessman George Arents to become one of the great contemporary bibliophiles? Listen in as Sarah and Deblina interview Michael Inman, the curator of the New York Public Library Rare Books Division.…

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Belle Starr: A Bad Rap for the Bandit Queen, Part 2

2012-04-02 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

After Jim Reed’s death, Belle eventually married Sam Starr. Rumors circulated: Was Belle a barfly or a mom? In 1883, Belle and Sam served 9 months in prison for stealing horses. Tune in to learn how the Bandit Queen set out to turn her reputation around.…

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Charles Dickens Takes America

2012-03-28 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Charles Dickens is best known for chronicling life in London, but he also wrote about the United States – and not in a flattering light. When touring the U.S. and Canada with his wife, Dickens found many American customs repugnant. Tune in to learn more.…

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Belle Starr: A Bad Rap for the Bandit Queen

2012-03-26 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Belle Starr is often remembered as a notorious outlaw who spent her free time carousing in saloons. But new accounts suggest that, while she wasn't a saint, she also wasn’t the “female Jesse James” some biographers made her out to be. So what’s the truth?…

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From Diplomacy to Black Diaries: Roger Casement

2012-03-21 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Roger Casement was an Irish-born British diplomat. He eventually became an Irish nationalist. After his arrest, he was sentenced to die. To stifle support for Casement, the government also released the "Black Diaries" which outed Casement as gay.…

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Frida Kahlo: An Introspective Life, Part 2

2012-03-19 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Frida Kahlo took pride in caring for her husband Diego. In 1930, the couple went to the United States. When they returned to Mexico, their rocky relationship affected Frida’s health. As her marriage worsened, Frida's star in the art world gradually rose.…

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From Brontë to Bell and Back Again

2012-03-14 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The Brontë sisters quickly rose from obscurity to notoriety after their three novels were published under the Bell pseudonym. Join Sarah and Deblina as they discuss the sisters' rise to fame and the scandalous suggestions about their lives and morals.…

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Frida Kahlo: An Introspective Life, Part 1

2012-03-12 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Frida Kahlo contracted polio at the age of 6. Undeterred, she went on to have an active childhood and adolescence. After a tragic accident left her bedridden for more than three months, she began to pursue painting and politics.…

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Growing Up Brontë

2012-03-07 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The Brontë sisters are considered some of the best writers of the 19th century but their past may surprise you. Join Sarah and Deblina as they discuss the sisters' childhood tragedies, unconventional educations and their imaginary worlds.…

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Mary Anning, Princess of Paleontology

2012-03-05 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Mary Anning started hunting for fossils in Lyme Regis in the early 1800s. Around 1811, she uncovered the complete skeleton of an ichthyosaurus. She made several significant contributions to paleontology, so why didn’t she always get credit for her work?…

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Evliya Çelebi: World Traveler and Companion to Mankind

2012-02-29 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Evliya Çelebi grew up in 17th century Istanbul as the "boon companion" of Sultan Murad IV. In his 20s, Evliya had a prophetic dream and spent decades traveling. During his travels he wrote the Seyahatname, one of history's important travel narratives.…

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The Fairy Tale Life of Hans Christian Andersen

2012-02-27 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Hans Christian Andersen is often considered the father of the modern fairy tale, but his life was not the quiet existence depicted in his photos. His personal life is fairly bizarre, and he is sometimes compared to his own outcast fairy tale figures.…

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Bessie Coleman: Daredevil Aviatrix

2012-02-22 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Bessie Coleman knew that becoming a pilot was her dream. Because she was a black woman, no American flight schools would admit her. Despite the obstacles, Bessie managed to become the first African-American woman in the world to earn a pilot's license.…

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Leading the Charge: The Massachusetts 54th

2012-02-20 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

A 1792 law prevented African Americans from taking up arms in the Civil War. As attitudes against blacks serving changed, black regiments were formed. But prejudices remained until the heroism of black soldiers won the attention of the nation.…

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Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning in Love

2012-02-15 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Robert Browning’s early work wasn’t as well-received as Elizabeth Barrett's poetry. Yet Barrett mentioned his work in one of her poems, and they started a correspondence that blossomed into love. However, Elizabeth's father remained an obstacle.…

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Who was the real Lone Ranger?

2012-02-13 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The Lone Ranger has traditionally been portrayed by white actors, but many believe this character is based on an African-American named Bass Reeves. A former slave, Reeves became one of the most successful lawmen in U.S. history. Tune in to learn more.…

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The Booth Conspiracy

2012-02-08 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Most people know the story of President Lincoln's assassination, but what happened afterward? In this podcast, we cover John Wilkes Booth’s escape, his co-conspirators' attacks against other officials and the strange connections between Booth and Lincoln.…

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Jack Johnson and the Fight of the Century

2012-02-06 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

During Jack Johnson's time, the heavyweight championship was unofficially a whites-only title. Despite discrimination, he fought title-holder Tommy Burns in 1908. Johnson became the first black heavyweight champion, but some questioned his legitimacy.…

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Sir Stamford Raffles and the Conquest of Java

2012-02-01 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

By the early 19th century, the Dutch controlled of most of the East Indies. Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles fought to oust the Dutch from the area. He also tried to enact radical reforms in Java, but he was fired by British East India Company. Why?…

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There’s Always a Seat for Queen Nzinga

2012-01-30 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The warrior queen Nzinga used wily tactics to maintain her kingdom’s independence during colonization. Born in the Ndongo Kingdom, Nzinga staged a coup, harbored runaway slaves, and kept a harem of men. Tune in to learn more about queen Nzinga.…

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H.H. Holmes and the Mysteries of Murder Castle, Part 2

2012-01-25 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In the first part of this episode, Deblina and Sarah covered Herman K. Mudgett's early life, including how he first became known as H.H. Holmes. But how did Holmes manage to complete his murder castle? What happened to him afterwards? Tune in to find out.…

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H.H. Holmes and the Mysteries of Murder Castle, Part 1

2012-01-23 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

As a student, Herman K. Mudgett used corpses to commit insurance fraud. In 1886, he moved to Chicago under the alias H.H. Holmes. In 1888, Holmes started constructing a building with secret passageways and an airtight vault. So, what was it for?…

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Fridtjof Nansen and the Fram: Part 2

2012-01-18 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen was an expert skier, zoologist and artist: By combining these skills, he became one of Norway's earliest heroes. Listen in as Deblina and Sarah look at the life and times of Fridtjof Nansen in the second part of this episode.…

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Fridtjof Nansen and the Fram: Part 1

2012-01-16 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Fridtjof Nansen was an artist, skier, zoologist and one of Norway's earliest heroes. The first part of this episode covers his early adventures, while part two covers his humanitarian career. Tune in to learn more about his first major expeditions.…

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W.C. Minor: Madness, Murder and a Dictionary, Part 2

2012-01-11 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When we last left the story of W.C. Minor, he'd fatally shot a man in London. In the conclusion of this episode, Sarah and Deblina look at the events that led Minor to become one of the Oxford English Dictionary's most prolific contributors.…

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Public Enemies: 5 Gangsters to Know

2012-01-09 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

For every Al Capone, there was a cast of lesser-known men who were often just as dangerous. In this episode, Sarah and Deblina explore the lives of gangsters such as "Machine Gun" Jack McGurn and Roger "The Terrible" Touhy. Tune in to learn more.…

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Ötzi: Everyone's Favorite Copper Age Man

2012-01-04 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1991, two hikers in the Alps found a mysterious body. The frozen mummy turned out to be a 5,300-year-old man -- a discovery that's given researchers an unprecedented peek into the Copper Age. Tune in to learn more about the Iceman.…

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W. C. Minor: Madness, Murder and a Dictionary, Part I

2012-01-02 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In the first part of this episode, we look at the early days of William Chester Minor. Minor originally studied medicine and served and practiced surgery in the Union Army. Eventually he was committed to a hospital for the insane. But what happened next?…

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W. C. Minor: Madness, Murder and a Dictionary, Part I

2012-01-02 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In the first part of this episode, we look at the early days of William Chester Minor. Minor originally studied medicine and served and practiced surgery in the Union Army. Eventually he was committed to a hospital for the insane. But what happened next?…

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Unearthed in 2011: Part 2

2011-12-28 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In part two of this episode, we continue to uncover some of the most interesting historical discoveries of 2011, from the world's oldest winery to France's oldest brewery. Tune in to learn more about the biggest historical discoveries of 2011.…

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Unearthed in 2011: Part 1

2011-12-26 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this two-part episode, we take a look at some of the most interesting historical finds of 2011, from one of Captain Henry Morgan's pirate ships to a rare portrait of Jane Austen discovered by British author Dr. Paula Byrne. Listen in to learn more.…

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The Christmas Truce

2011-12-21 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

During the first Christmas of World War I, British and German soldiers laid down their weapons and celebrated the holiday together. They sang carols, traded insignia and buried their dead. How did the truce start, and why didn't it happen again?…

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The Halifax Explosion

2011-12-19 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The Halifax Explosion was one of history's worst man-made, non-nuclear explosions. The disaster killed about 2,000 people, and part of the city was completely leveled. So how and when did Halifax begin to rebuild? Tune in to find out.…

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Rosalind Franklin: DNA's Dark Lady

2011-12-14 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The men who are usually credited with discerning DNA's structure won the Nobel Prize in 1962, but they used Rosalind Franklin's research. In 1952, she captured the best DNA image available at the time, and the Nobel winners used it without her knowledge.…

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The Kaiser's Chemist: Fritz Haber

2011-12-12 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Fritz Haber has a mixed legacy. The Nobel-Prize-winning Father of Chemical Warfare was responsible for fertilizers that fed billions, as well as poisonous gasses used during World War I. Tune in to learn more about Fritz's complicated life and work.…

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Civil War Medicine: Angels of the Battlefield

2011-12-07 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Women weren’t initially welcome in the Civil War armies, but thousands eventually ended up serving as nurses. We feature five here. Listen in to learn about nurses like Sally Louisa Tompkins, whose hospital became one of the most successful of the war.…

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John Dillinger: Public Enemy Number One

2011-12-05 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

John Dillinger robbery career began when he was paroled in 1933. Several escaped inmates joined Dillinger, and they were arrested in 1934. Dillinger escaped, but was gunned down in July. To this day, conspiracy theories abound about his death.…

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The Empress of Austria and Her Cult of Beauty

2011-11-30 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Empress Elisabeth of Austria, better known as Sissi, is often considered the public’s “favorite” member of the Habsburgs. She only reluctantly carried out her duties, but her murder created an outcry across Europe -- and the story doesn't end there.…

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Mug Shot! Alphonse Bertillon and Criminal Identification

2011-11-28 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In the 19th century, Alphonse Bertillon standardized the mug shot and came up with a system of organizing police records; he also conceived a new way of identifying people. Tune in to learn more about the rise -- and fall -- of Bertillon’s system.…

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The Death of Stonewall Jackson

2011-11-23 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

As a Confederate surgeon, Dr. MacGuire's first assignment was under the command of Lieutenant General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, who became his most famous patient. Tune in to learn what McGuire’s writings reveal about Stonewall's last days.…

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Polio: The Dread Disease

2011-11-21 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Polio was a terrifying threat in the early 20th century: It often left victims paralyzed or dead. Yet two vaccines caused an immediate drop in polio cases and today they’ve nearly eradicated the disease. But what exactly happened? Tune in to find out.…

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How Vincent van Gogh Worked

2011-11-16 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Today, Vincent van Gogh has come to fit our idea of the tortured artist. Aside from his art, he's best known for cutting off his ear and committing suicide. Yet new research debates both of these van Gogh moments. Listen in to learn more about van Gogh.…

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Maximilian, Mexico’s Habsburg Prince

2011-11-14 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

For a time, Mexico was ruled by a Habsburg prince: Ferdinand Maximilian. While Maximilian was unwelcome, he upheld liberal reforms and modernized the government. As his support dwindled, Mexico’s rightful president worked to take back the country.…

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The Gunpowder Plot, Part 2

2011-11-09 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In Part 2 of The Gunpowder Plot, we discuss how a group of English Catholics attempted to carry out their plan. Yet the Plot was discovered days before the event. Were the conspirators betrayed by someone within their own ranks? Tune in to learn more.…

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Bloodwork, Part 2

2011-11-07 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In part two of this interview series, Dr. Holly Tucker discusses the research methods behind her new book, "Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution." Listen in to learn more about the controversial history of transfusions.…

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The Gunpowder Plot, Part 1

2011-11-02 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Under Queen Elizabeth I, English Catholics were subject to discriminatory laws. When King James I took the throne, Catholics unsuccessfully petitioned him for toleration. Tune in to learn how this led a group of Catholics to attempt regicide.…

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Blood Work, Part I

2011-10-31 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In part one of a special author interview, Dr. Holly Tucker talks about her new book, "Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution." Tune in to learn more about the startling history of blood transfusion.…

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Civil War Medicine: Mary Edwards Walker

2011-10-26 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When the Civil War began, Mary Edwards Walker sought work as a surgeon. When the Union refused to give her an appointment, she worked as a volunteer. She became the first woman to win a Medal of Honor. Tune in to learn more about Mary Edwards Walker.…

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Secret Science: Alchemy!

2011-10-24 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Many think of alchemy as a fool’s pursuit, but alchemy has a rich history closely tied to medicine and metallurgy. Additionally, techniques developed by alchemists strongly influenced chemistry. So how come we don’t call chemistry alchemy?…

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Who was the real Dr. Frankenstein?

2011-10-19 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

It's no secret that Mary Shelley's infamous novel has influenced generations of writers, but is completely based on fiction, or was Shelley inspired by real-life events? Tune in to learn more about the real Dr. Frankenstein.…

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Why would you put a cadaver on trial?

2011-10-17 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 897, Pope Stephen VI had his deceased predecessor Formosus exhumed and put on trial. The corpse was found guilty, but this desecration disgusted Romans and made them rebel. Tune in to learn more about the period known as the Papal Pornocracy.…

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The Sisters Fox: They Talked to Dead People

2011-10-12 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1848, the Fox family began hearing strange noises, and sisters Maggie and Kate started communicating with spirits. They built a career as mediums, and today they're credited with launching the modern spiritualist movement. But was it all a hoax?…

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Admiral Yi Sun-sin and the Turtle Ships

2011-10-10 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When Japan invaded Korea in 1592, the Korean forces were unprepared for Japan's troops. The Korean navy, however, was a different story. Commanding Admiral Yi Sun-sin repeatedly defeated the Japanese. But was it enough to end the war? Tune in to find out.…

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John Dee: Her Majesty's Secret Sorcerer

2011-10-05 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Born in 1527 to a Welsh family, John Dee grew to become one of Queen Elizabeth's most memorable advisors. Join Sarah and Deblina as they delve into the life and times of this scholar, statesman and sorcerer.…

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Who is D.B. Cooper?

2011-10-03 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1971, a man calling himself Dan Cooper hijacked Northwest Orient Airlines flight 305. He received a ransom of $200,000 -- and then jumped out in midair. Over the years, the FBI has searched for Cooper with little luck. Tune in to learn more.…

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Who was the Mistress of Murder Hill?

2011-09-28 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1908, a fire leveled the Indiana home of Belle Gunness. Four bodies were found in the cellar, and it seemed possible that Gunnes might have escaped. When about a dozen more bodies were found, Gunness was revealed as a serial killer.…

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The Freedom Rides: Australia Takes Note

2011-09-26 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The final part of this series takes place in Australia, where students were inspired by the Freedom Rides and protested discrimination against Aborigines. Tune in to learn how the group tried to break down racial barriers and empower local Aborigines.…

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Not Ned: Bushrangers in Later Years

2011-09-21 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

After 1853, many bushrangers were native-born. Ben Hall seemed on track for a peaceful life until two wrongful arrests put him on different path. And then there's “Mad” Dan Morgan. who was known for meaningless murders, cruelty and violence.…

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The Freedom Rides: Nashville Steps Up

2011-09-19 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When Nashville college students picked up where CORE riders stopped, they were eventually incarcerated in Mississippi. Yet more riders kept coming. Tune in to learn more about this major victory for the Civil Rights movement in this follow-up episode.…

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Not Ned: Early Australian Bushrangers

2011-09-14 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

While Ned Kelly may be the most famous bushranger, he's certainly not the only one. Join Deblina and Sarah as they explore the lives of early bush rangers in this podcast.…

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The Freedom Riders: CORE's First Wave

2011-09-12 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1961, buses and terminals in the South were illegally segregated. The Civil Rights group CORE sent riders to test the law, riding from D.C., to New Orleans. However, no one was prepared for the violence that waited in Alabama. Tune in to learn more.…

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The Radium Girls

2011-09-07 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Between in 1917, hundreds of women got jobs applying radium-treated paint to various products. Many experienced severe health problems. Five former workers decided to sue the U.S. Radium corporation, and faced a campaign of misinformation.…

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5 War Dogs of History

2011-09-05 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Dogs have been used in war for a long time and are still used today. In this episode, Sarah and Deblina look at five war dogs known for their strength, loyalty and intelligence. Tune in to learn more about war dogs from World War I through Vietnam.…

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A Sampling of Historic Spirits, Part 2

2011-08-31 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The second episode of this two-part podcast covers historic alcohol that’s still (mostly) drinkable. Tune in to learn more about the world’s oldest Champagne, a bottle of beer from the Hindenburg, and whisky from the failed Endurance expedition.…

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Tamerlane and the Battle of Ankara

2011-08-29 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Timur the Lame (that's Tamerlane to the Westerners) conquered areas from Persia to Russia throughout the late 1300s. His last great battle was in Ankara against Sultan Bayezid I. But how exactly did he gain the upper hand? Tune in to find out.…

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A Sampling of Historic Spirits, Part 1

2011-08-24 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Ancient alcohol can tell us a lot about a society. In this episode, Sarah and Deblina cover millennia-old residues left behind in Chinese pottery, Egyptian jars and more. They also explore the science behind identifying the ingredients of these brews.…

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The White Ship and Empress Matilda

2011-08-22 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1120, the heir to the throne, three of the king’s other children, and many of the kingdom's youths drowned at sea. This left a woman named Matilda as heir. Yet her cousin Stephen seized the prize, triggering 19 years of battle called “The Anarchy."…

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5 Historical Hoaxes

2011-08-17 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Historical hoaxes are surprisingly common. For example, a N.Y. cigar maker once commissioned a gypsum skeleton to pass off as a 10-foot-tall petrified man called the Cardiff Giant. Join Deblina and Sarah as they explore history's most successful hoaxes.…

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Orson Welles and the War of the Worlds

2011-08-15 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1938 Orson Welles produced a series of radio dramas, including one based on “War of the Worlds.” The broadcast aired the night before Halloween and caused a mass panic. But why did so many listeners believe the show was real? Tune in to find out.…

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Who was the Indiana Jones of Botany?

2011-08-10 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Nikolai Vavilov traveled to 64 countries gathering seeds and plants and established the first seed bank. Stalin had the botanist sentenced to death, but his seed bank endured: Other scientists guarded the stores from rats, starving Russians and the Nazis.…

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More with David McCullough

2011-08-08 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In the second portion of their interview with author David McCullough, Sarah and Deblina, focus specifically on their favorite parts of his new book "The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris." Tune in to learn more about McCullough's research process.…

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The Trial of Leo Frank

2011-08-03 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1913, 13-year-old Atlanta factory worker Mary Phagan stopped in for her pay -- and was never seen alive again. Authorities charged Jewish superintendent Leo M. Frank with murder. But did Frank kill Mary Phagan, or was he framed? Tune in to learn more.…

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Marian Anderson - The Lady from Philadelphia

2011-08-01 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

An acclaimed African-American contralto, Marian Anderson was barred from singing in Constitution Hall in 1939. She sang at the Lincoln Memorial instead. The concert was broadcast around the country -- and also heard by a young Martin Luther King, Jr.…

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How the Bayeux Tapestry Works

2011-07-27 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The Bayeux Tapestry is considered the one of the most important images of the Medieval Age. It’s a stunning piece of art, and it covers a crucial event in Western history: The Norman Conquest of Britain. Tune in to learn more about the Bayeux Tapestry.…

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A Tale of False Dmitry

2011-07-25 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The false Dmitriy was actually one of three imposters claiming to be the son of Ivan the Terrible. So what made his story seem more believable to the Russian populace? Join Sarah and Deblina as they examine the curious tale of the False Dmitriy.…

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The Rise and Fall of Carthage

2011-07-20 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Carthage was a trading hub of the ancient world, challenging the budding Roman Republic. In 264 B.C., Rome and Carthage began the Punic Wars, which continued for more than a century. Tune in to learn more about the rise -- and fall -- of Carthage.…

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The White Rajahs of Sarawak

2011-07-18 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In the 1830s, James Brooke sailed toward the Malay Archipelago and ended up becoming the Rajah of Sarawak. Brooke governed Sarawak until the 1860s and made several beneficial reforms. But what happened next? Join Sarah and Deblina to learn more.…

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Civil War Spies: Mary-Elizabeth Bowser

2011-07-13 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

After her father died, Elizabeth Van Lew freed the family slaves, including a girl named Mary. When the Civil War began, sources say Mary became an agent in Van Lew’s “Richmond Ring." Join Sarah and Deblina to learn more about Civil War spies.…

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The Darien Disaster

2011-07-11 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In the late 1600s, a financier tried to start a Scottish colony in Panama. Despite English roadblocks, the Scots successfully raised funding. But the expedition faced disease, death and poor trade, taking down the settlers -- and, ultimately, Scotland.…

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Victoria and Albert

2011-07-06 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

She’s one of Britain's best-loved queens, but Victoria’s parentage made her an unlikely heir. When she became queen at 18, she rebelled from her upbringing. But an early marriage to her cousin Albert changed the way she lived and ruled.…

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Civil War Spies: Belle Boyd

2011-07-04 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Belle Boyd got her start as a spy in Martinsburg, Virginia, at the age of 17. In 1862, the "Cleopatra of the Succession" obtained – and risked her life to deliver -- information that may have been pivotal to the outcome of the Battle of Front Royal.…

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The Rite of Spring Riot

2011-06-29 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Riots are a distressingly common part of human history, and the strangest events can trigger widespread violence. In this episode, Deblina and Sarah take a closer look at one of history's strangest riots. Tune in to learn more.…

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Civil War Spies: Allan Pinkerton

2011-06-27 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Allan Pinkerton fell into detective work when he discovered a gang of counterfeiters in Illinois. In 1861, he helped thwart a plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln, which may have led Lincoln to later tap Pinkerton to organize the first Union espionage.…

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Alan Turing: Codebreaker

2011-06-22 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Alan Turing, conceived of computers decades before anyone was building one. He also acted as a top-secret code breaker during World War II. Despite his accomplishments, he was prosecuted as a homosexual by the British government. Tune in to learn more.…

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Ned Kelly's Last Stand

2011-06-20 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Bushrangers, a type of bandit, troubled Australia until the late 1800s. Ned Kelly, the most famous bushranger, became an outlaw in 1878, and his gang successfully conducted several raids. Tune in to learn why many Australians think of him as a folk hero.…

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The Copper Kings and the Recluse Heiress

2011-06-15 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Recently deceased heiress Huguette Clark was reclusive -- she hadn't been photographed since 1930. Her father was the wealthy William Andrews Clark, whose political battles started the War of the Copper Kings. Tune in to learn more about the Clark family.…

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The King of Beaver Island

2011-06-13 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1850, James Strang was crowned king of Michigan's Beaver Island. He got the opportunity to lead after meeting Joseph Smith and converting to Mormonism. After Smith’s death, Strang tried to step in as his successor. Tune in to learn what happened next.…

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Cahokia: North America's First City?

2011-06-08 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Most people have heard of great South and Central American empires, but Mississippian civilizations are more obscure. At its peak, the Mississippian city known as Cahokia was bigger than London. So how did it get so big -- and why was it abandoned?…

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Who was the pride and sorrow of chess?

2011-06-06 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Bobby Fischer called Paul Morphy “the greatest chess genius in history,” By age 20, he earned recognition as America’s best player after winning the nation’s first chess championship tournament in 1857. So why did his career end after only two years?…

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Princess Caraboo: Imposter from Javasu

2011-06-01 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When a mysterious woman sporting a turban showed up in England, people took her for a foreign beggar. But she claimed to be a princess who had been kidnapped by pirates! Eventually, however, the truth proved stranger than fiction. Tune in to learn more.…

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History's Unforgettable Fires

2011-05-30 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

After covering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, Deblina and Sarah return to the topic of disastrous fires in history. Listen in as they recount some of history's most famous fires, comparing and contrasting the factors leading to these catastrophes.…

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An Interview with David McCullough

2011-05-25 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this episode, Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough discusses his book "The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris," which follows the experiences of American expats in the French capital. Tune in to learn more about McCullough's work.…

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Queen Victoria and Abdul Karim

2011-05-23 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Queen Victoria loved two men: Prince Albert, and after his death, her servant, John Brown. Late in life, the Queen had a third partner, a Muslim man named Abdul Karim. So why did Victoria’s children want the records of this relationship destroyed?…

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Fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

2011-05-18 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In the early 1900s, New York City's Triangle Shirtwaist factory was one of the largest blouse factories in the city. It was also incredibly unsafe. Learn how a fire at this factory triggered a national change in attitudes surrounding workplace safety.…

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Sink the Bismarck!

2011-05-16 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The German battleship Bismarck was the most feared warship in the world – a powerful complement to U-boats. But when she sank the pride of the British fleet, the battle cruiser Hood, in a matter of minutes, her fate was sealed. Tune in to learn more.…

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A Pure Food Father and His Poison Squad

2011-05-11 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In the late 1800s, no one really monitored food additives. After Congress refused to regulate food safety, Harvey Wiley had groups of healthy men ingest poisons for six months. Tune in to learn how these "Poison Squads" shed new light on Wiley’s cause.…

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The 300th Episode: The Real

2011-05-09 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

It's the three-hundredth episode of your favorite history podcast, and what better way to celebrate than to take a closer look at real story behind the blockbuster film 300? Listen in and learn more in this episode.…

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More Shipwreck Stories: Battleships!

2011-05-04 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this all-listener-suggested episode, Deblina and Sarah take a look at why four different warships from around the world went down, and why they were built In the first place. Tune in to learn if your suggestion made it on the airwaves.…

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Jimmy Winkfield: Derby Pioneer

2011-05-02 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Jimmy Winkfield won the Kentucky Derby twice, and he was also the last African-American jockey to win the race. Winkfield moved abroad in 1904 to continue his career, but it wasn't until 2005 that Congress honored his work. Tune in to learn more.…

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5 Shipwreck Stories

2011-04-27 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

From the sinking of Black Sam's Wydah to the Medusa's disastrous accident off the African coast, history is rife with tales of shipwrecks. Listen in as Sarah and Deblina as they recount the stories of five shipwrecks that have made their mark on history…

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The Tussaud Test of Popularity

2011-04-25 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Although Madame Tussaud's museum is world-famous, the story of Marie Tussaud herself is less well-known. So who exactly was she, and how did she create one of the world's most popular museums? Tune in and learn more in this episode.…

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Westminster Abbey: Royal Wedding Edition

2011-04-20 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

This year, Prince William and Kate Middleton will be getting married at Westminster Abbey. Listen in to learn more about royal weddings as Sarah and Deblina travel through the centuries to look at the Abbey’s connections to the crown and to the Windsors.…

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The Disappearance of the Lindbergh Baby

2011-04-18 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

On March 1, 1932, 20-month-old Charles Augustus Lindberg Jr. disappeared. The kidnappers left several clues at the crime scene, authorities eventually made an arrest and a trial ensued -- but some still wonder whether the right person was convicted.…

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Who was the real Robinson Crusoe?

2011-04-13 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1695, Alexander Selkirk ran away and joined a band of buccaneers. In 1704, after a fight with his captain, Selkirk was put ashore on an uninhabited island about 400 miles west of Valparaiso. Tune in to learn more about the real-life Robinson Crusoe.…

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How the New York Draft Riots Worked

2011-04-11 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

To recruit troops for the U.S. Civil War, the Federal Congress passed the Union Conscription Act in 1863, which drafted able-bodied men between the ages of 20 and 45. Needless to say, this didn't go over well in New York. Tune in to learn more.…

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The Amistad Mutiny

2011-04-06 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1839, Africans held captive by slavers revolted and ordered the Amistad's crew to return to Africa. However, the ship was captured in Long Island and the slaves were put on trial -- but that's not the end of the story. Tune in to learn more.…

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The Oneida Utopia

2011-04-04 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1848, a preacher named John Humphrey Noyse founded the Oneida community. In this episode, Deblina and Sarah recount the rise and fall of the Oneida community -- including its focus on shared labor, gender equality and free love.…

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Five Real-life Amazons

2011-03-30 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Amazons are a well-known element of mythology, but are there any historical figures that could be considered real-life Amazons? Listen in as Deblina and Sarah traverse the globe to find five examples of historical Amazons.…

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Little Queen for President

2011-03-28 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1872, the Equal Rights Party nominated Victoria Woodhull for president, but her radical views and an personal scandal caused her to lose many supporters. In this episode, Sarah and Deblina recount the life of the first woman to run for U.S. president.…

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Dr. Livingstone, I presume?

2011-03-23 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

David Livingstone was a missionary working in Africa, and for six years he lost contact with the western world. In this episode, Deblina and Sarah recount the adventures of Livingstone and Henry Stanley, the journalist who found Livingstone in Africa.…

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Who is India's Joan of Arc?

2011-03-21 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Lakshmi Bai was born into wealthy family in 1830, but she was far from the typical aristocrat. In this episode, Deblina and Sarah recount the life and work of Lakshmi Bai, from her youth to her instrumental role in the Indian Rebellion of 1857.…

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Lambert the Pretender, Irish-crowned King

2011-03-16 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Lambert Simnel was born into a humble position, but over the course of his life he became both a pretender to the throne and an imposter. Tune in to learn how this young man was used as a pawn in this story of classic royal intrigue.…

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The Mystery of Saint-Ex

2011-03-14 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Since its publication in 1934, The Little Prince has become one of the world's most well-known children's books -- and the story of its author is almost as extraordinary. Tune in to learn more about the life -- and disappearance -- of this author.…

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Don't Cross the Dragon Lady

2011-03-09 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When people think of pirates, they usually picture male, western scoundrels flouting the law throughout the Caribbean. However, piracy is not a solely western pursuit. Listen in as Deblina and Sarah recount the exploits of pirates in the South China Sea.…

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The Riotous Life of Caravaggio

2011-03-07 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Michelangelo da Caravaggio may not be as well-known as Leonardo da Vinci, but this amazing painter has been receiving more and more attention in recent times. Why? Listen in as Deblina and Sarah explore the controversial life of Caravaggio.…

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The Best Mardi Gras Ever

2011-03-02 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Mardi Gras has been a legal holiday in New Orleans since 1875, and the annual Fat Tuesday celebration has become a legendary part of the city's culture. But which Mardi Gras celebration was the best? Listen in as Deblina and Sarah explore Mardi Gras.…

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Who was America's first black millionairess?

2011-02-28 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Sarah Breedlove Walker was born in 1867 and grew up in a shack in a Louisiana. She began working as a washerwoman, but continually worked her way up to become the owner of her own manufacturing company. Listen in to learn more about Madam CJ Walker.…

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How the Stono Rebellion Worked

2011-02-23 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In September of 1739, a slave rebellion shook the foundations of the colony in South Carolina. But how did it happen? Tune in to learn more about the factors leading to the Stono rebellion, as well as its long-term effects.…

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Phillip V, Reluctant King

2011-02-20 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Some historians think Phillip V of Spain was mad, but why? Listen in as Sarah and Deblina recount the strange rule of Phillip V, who abdicated the throne for several months in 1724.…

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The Crafts' Escape to Freedom

2011-02-16 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When Ellen and her husband William made their escape from a life of slavery in Georgia, they traversed over 1,000 miles to reach freedom. In this episode, Deblina and Sarah recount the astonishing journey of the Craft family. Tune in and learn more.…

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The St. Valentine's Day Massacre

2011-02-14 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

During Prohibition, the US was awash in booze-fueled crime. Gangsters feuded savagely to control their turf, especially in Chicago. On Feb. 14th, 1929, these rivalries culminated in one of America's most notorious unsolved crimes. Tune in to learn more.…

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Who was the last French Bourbon?

2011-02-09 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The story of the House of Bourbon is pretty complicated. Luckily, Deblina and Sarah are here to examine the web of people and events leading to the fall of the House. Tune in and learn more about Henri, comte de Chambord, the last French Bourbon.…

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How Tulip Mania Worked

2011-02-07 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

A funny thing happened to the Dutch during the 17th century: They went nuts for tulips, paying exorbitant amounts for a single bulb. But what exactly triggered this commodity bubble? And what do revisionist historians have to say? Tune in and find out.…

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The Last Emperor of Ethiopia

2011-02-02 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Haile Selassie wasn't just the last emperor of Ethiopia -- he is also hailed as a messiah. In this episode, Deblina and Sarah explore the astonishing life of Haile Selassie. Tune in to learn more.…

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5 Unlikely Inventors

2011-01-31 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

From Marlon Brando to Harry Houdini, it's common knowledge that performers are uniquely gifted -- but several have also gained reputations as gifted inventors. Tune in to learn more about five of history's most unlikely inventors.…

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Madame de Pompadour and Louis XV

2011-01-26 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Madame de Pompadour was born in Paris in 1721, and eventually became the mistress of King Louis XV. In this episode, Deblina and Sarah describe Madame de Pompadour's rise to power. Tune in to learn more.…

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Hone Heke's Rebellion

2011-01-24 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Also known as the Northern War, Hone Heke's Rebellion took place between in New Zealand over the course of 1845 and 1846. In this podcast, Sarah and Deblina recount the events leading up to the war -- as well as the consequences of Heke's actions.…

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The Affair of the Poisons

2011-01-19 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

From hemlock to cyanide, poison has unfortunately played an integral part in many of history's great sagas, But in 17th-century France, the scandal over poisoning reached an unprecedented level. Tune in and learn more.…

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El Dorado and the River of Despair

2011-01-17 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Driven by visions of unimaginable riches, Spanish explorers subjugated the cultures of South America and exploit the resources for their masters in Europe. Chief among these visions was the hallowed El Dorado, or the City of Gold. Tune in to learn more.…

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How did a Hollywood starlet invent cellular technology?

2011-01-12 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Hedy Lamarr was an extraordinarily beautiful film star, but she wasn't just another pretty face. In this podcast, Sarah and Deblina recount Hedy's biography and her little-known career as an inventor. Tune in to learn more about Hedy Lamarr.…

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The Last Years of the Red Eminence

2011-01-10 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Cardinal Richelieu wielded tremendous political power, but he also made more than a few enemies. Would they seek revenge in his later years? In this episode, Deblina and Sarah recount the last years of Cardinal Richelieu…

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Why did a riot start over Shakespeare?

2011-01-05 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

As one of the most influential writers in the English language, Shakespeare is typically associated with cultural sophistication rather than violent bouts of near-anarchy. But this wasn't the case during the Astor Place Riot. Tune in to learn more.…

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The Rise and Fall of the Green Gallant

2011-01-03 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

A man of many appellations -- Henry the Great, the Green Gallant -- King Henry IV was a very popular French royal . In this episode, Sarah and Deblina explore the controversial life and reign of Henry of Bourbon, including the surprising fate of his head.…

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Unearthed in 2010: 5 Historical Finds

2010-12-28 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Over the past 12 months, experts have been hard at work hunting down hard evidence of times, places and people lost in the course of history. In this episode, Sarah and Deblina recount 5 of the most important historical finds of 2010.…

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Mansa Musa and the City of Gold

2010-12-27 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Talk about making an impression: When emperor Mansa Musa went on a pilgramage from Timbuktu to Mecca, he gave away so much gold that he crashed the gold market in Cairo. Tune in and learn more about Musa and Timbuktu in this podcast.…

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Did Oliver Cromwell cancel Christmas?

2010-12-22 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Oliver Cromwell was a Puritan, military leader and powerful politician in the 17th-century Parliament, but nowadays he's also known as an inveterate grinch. How did he get this reputation -- and, more importantly, did he deserve it? Tune in to learn more.…

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Did Empress Wu's reign change China?

2010-12-20 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

During the Tong Dynasty, Chinese women were often treated as second-class citizens. This made the rise of Empress Wu even more extraordinary. But did her work have a lasting effect? Learn more about how -- or if -- Empress Wu permanently changed China.…

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What have we learned from gladiator graveyards?

2010-12-15 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Although most people are familiar with gladiators, movies have skewed popular understanding of these fighters. So how can we separate the fact from the fiction? Tune in to learn how gladiator graveyards have changed the way we regard gladiators today.…

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5 Amazing Astronomical Discoveries

2010-12-13 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The study of the heavens is one of humanity's oldest pursuits, and it's still a work in progress. In this episode, Deblina and Sarah explore the details of five amazing astronomical discoveries, beginning with the work of Copernicus.…

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Why is there a "graveyard of ships" near Naples?

2010-12-08 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 2008, the Aurora Trust began a survey around an island named Ventotone, off the coast of Naples. They found an astonishing group of Roman shipwrecks, and they also found a mystery. How did all these ships sink so close together? Tune in to find out.…

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Tycho Brahe: An Astronomer's Untimely Demise

2010-12-06 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Tycho Brahe is hailed as an influential astronomer, but why? Tune in and learn how this groundbreaking astronomer lost his nose, built the world's first observatory and met with an untimely demise in this podcast.…

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The Mysterious Death of Christopher Marlowe

2010-12-01 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Christopher Marlowe was one of the most talented writers of the Elizabethan era, but his career was cut short when he was stabbed to death at the age of 29. In this episode, Deblina and Sarah take a closer look at the mystery surrounding Marlowe's death.…

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Why did Augustus exile his own daughter?

2010-11-29 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Exile is never a pleasant experience, and meting it out on a family member is positively brutal. So what could drive Augustus to exile his own daughter? Tune in and find out -- the answer might surprise you.…

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Who was the real Sherlock Holmes?

2010-11-24 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Arthur Conan Doyle wasn't the first person to write a mystery novel, but his focus on scientific methods and brilliant protagonist made the stories of Sherlock Holmes world-famous. Yet is Sherlock Holmes based on a real person? Tune in to find out.…

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Tagore, Erstwhile Knight

2010-11-22 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In addition to being the first Asian Nobel laureate, the multitalented Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore was known for his political influence. In this episode, Sarah and Deblina trace the life of Tagore through his childhood to knighthood and beyond.…

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George Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate

2010-11-17 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

With four acres of floor space and over thirty bedrooms, the opulent Biltmore Estate occupies a unique place in the history of the United States. In this episode, Candace and Sarah trace the history of the Vanderbilt family and their magnificent estate.…

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Historical Name-dropping in Lost

2010-11-15 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The hit show "Lost" is replete with historical name-dropping, but who are all these people mentioned in the show? In this episode, our resident history buffs crack the case and track down some of the historical names used in "Lost."…

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5 Show-stopping Historical Weddings

2010-11-10 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

History is full of astonishing events, and the history of marriage is no exception. Listen in as Sarah and our special guest, Candace, explore five of the most show-stopping, opulent weddings in history.…

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A Jewish Pirate's Life for Me!

2010-11-08 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

During the golden age of Caribbean piracy, people from all walks of life set sail in search of gold. Yet you may be surprised to hear that some of the pirates were Sephardic Jews. Tune in and learn more about the lives of Jewish pirates.…

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The Cinderella of the Harem

2010-11-03 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Roxelana has one of the strangest rags-to-riches stories in history. As a slave who entered Suleyman's harem and rose through the ranks to become the wife of the Sultan, Roxelana became a symbol of the Ottoman empire. Tune in to learn more about Roxelana.…

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La Reconquista and the Alhambra

2010-11-01 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In the early 8th century, Moors occupied most of the Iberian peninsula. During the Reconquista, Christians rallied to conquer the land. Listen in and learn more about this epic conflict, which spans some of the most formative times in Spanish history.…

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He Was Killed by Mesmerism

2010-10-27 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Today, Franz Mesmer is hailed as the father of hypnosis. His original pursuit was called mesmerism, but what exactly was it? How did it (supposedly) work? Listen in as Sarah and Katie explore the strange theories of Franz Mesmer.…

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10 Historical Animals You Should Know: 6 - 10

2010-10-25 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Did Tycho Brahe really own a moose with a drinking problem? Did a U.S. President keep a pet alligator? Tune in as Katie and Sarah take a look at some of history's strangest pets (and their equally bizarre owners).…

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The Battle of Marathon

2010-10-20 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Nowadays marathons are a popular pastime for health buffs across the world, but how did they get started? The origins of the marathon date back to the fifth century B.C., when Greeks depended on messengers to carry news. Tune in to learn more.…

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Spring-heeled Jack, Mystery Assailant!

2010-10-18 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Most people are familiar with Jack the Ripper, but Victorian England was also plagued by an odd character named Spring-Heeled Jack. Were reports of this bounding scoundrel a symptom of mass hysteria, or something factual? Tune in to learn more.…

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10 Historical Animals You Should Know: 1 - 5

2010-10-13 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

History is full of astonishing stories, and not all of them revolve around humans. In the first part of this two-part series, Katie and Sarah cover five of history's most memorable animals. Listen in to learn more about historical animals.…

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Is there a real Macbeth curse?

2010-10-11 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Some actors believe it's bad luck to say 'Macbeth' in the theater unless the play is being performed -- but why? In this episode, Katie and Sarah explore the origins of the Macbeth curse and the life of the historical Macbeth.…

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The History of Chocolate

2010-10-06 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Nowadays chocolate is popular across the world, but it got its start thousands of years ago in Mesoamerica, where it was much more than a mere sweet or ingredient in desserts. Learn more about the history of chocolate in this podcast.…

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Lizzie Borden and Her Axe

2010-10-04 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1892, Abby Borden was brutally murdered in her home in Fall River, Massachusetts. Shortly thereafter her husband Andrew Borden was also murdered, and his daughter Lizzie Borden was the primary suspect. But why was she acquitted? Tune in and learn more.…

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5 Sinners in Dante's Inferno

2010-09-29 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When Dante wrote The Divine Comedy, he consigned several of his real-life enemies to hell. In this podcast, Katie and Sarah examine Dante's habit of putting his enemies in his fiction, focusing on five people the average Florentine would have known.…

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Real-life Moby Dick Sinks a Ship

2010-09-27 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Although Herman Melville's opus is a work of fiction, it was inspired by real-life events. In this episode, Katie and Sarah explore the story of the real-life Moby Dick -- and the unfortunate vessel that encountered it in the Pacific.…

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The Race to the South Pole

2010-09-22 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When Scott and Amundsen launched rival expeditions to the South Pole, they knew that only one group could be the first to reach the pole. Each believed his strategy would prevail, but which explorer won? Tune in and learn more in this podcast.…

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The Curse of the Koh-i-Noor Diamond

2010-09-20 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The Koh-i-noor diamond has a long, storied history -- and a reputation for bringing trouble to its (male) owners. In this episode, Katie and Sarah trace the adventures of the infamous diamond, from its Indian origins to its final resting place in Britain.…

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Who was King Tut... really?

2010-09-15 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When Egyptologists studied King Tutankhamen's DNA, they learned some surprising things: In addition to being disabled, the king was inbred. And this is just the beginning. Learn more about the real King Tut -- and where he came from -- in this podcast.…

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The Death of Mozart

2010-09-13 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in December of 1791, bringing his profound career to an untimely end. But how exactly did he die? Join Katie and Sarah as they examine the life of Mozart -- and the questions surrounding his death -- in this podcast.…

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Who was the "Greatest Traitor?"

2010-09-08 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Sir Roger Mortimer is known as the "greatest traitor," but why? Sarah and Katie explore the life and times of Sir Mortimer in this episode, from his early conflicts, his successful rebellion against Edward II, and his ignominious end.…

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Was there a female pope?

2010-09-06 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

During the Middle Ages, thousands of faithful Catholics believed in the story of a female pope named Joan. But is there any evidence for this story -- not to mention the other stories that grew from the original tale? Listen in and learn more.…

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Napoleon in Egypt: The Savants

2010-09-01 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When Napoleon planned a secret mission to Egypt, he authorized three men to create a Commission of Sciences and Arts. However, the commission's 151 members soon learned the mission wasn't what they'd expected. Tune in and learn more in this podcast.…

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The Trung Sisters vs China

2010-08-30 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The Trung sisters were daughters of a Vietnamese lord in the first century, when Vietnam was occupied by the Han Dynasty. Listen in and learn how these remarkable leaders fought to free their kingdom and why they remain highly revered in Vietnam today.…

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Why is Richard I called the Lionheart?

2010-08-25 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Today, Richard I -- better known as Richard the Lionheart -- is an iconic, legendary figure in European history. But how did he become "the Lionheart" in the first place? Tune in and learn more about Richard I in this podcast.…

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The Lovers of Catherine the Great

2010-08-23 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

It gets lonely at the top, and even larger-than-life monarchs like Catherine the Great needed a bit of romance now and then. Tune in and learn more about Catherine's lovers -- and if she ever found the true love she was looking for -- in this podcast.…

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The Battles of the Pyramids and Nile

2010-08-18 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1798 Napoleon decided to launch an expedition to Egypt instead of leading a direct attack on England -- but why? In this episode, Katie and Sarah explore the Battle of the Pyramids (Napoleon himself came up with the title). Tune in and learn more.…

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Five Stars of the Wild West

2010-08-16 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

It didn't take long for America to romanticize cowboys. Even after most cowboys gave up their spurs, Wild West shows captivated audiences across the country. Tune in and learn more about the stars of Wild West shows, from Buffalo Bill to Annie Oakley.…

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Catherine the Great in Power

2010-08-11 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Katie and Sarah highlight some of the details of Catherine the Great's reign, from wars and rebellions to her Enlightenment ideals and desire to further Westernize Russia, in their continuing series on the influential female ruler.…

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Catherine the Great's Rise to Power

2010-08-09 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Catherine the Great remains one of the most influential female figures in European history, but how did she get her start? In the first segment of this two-part series, Sarah and Katie explore Catherine the Great's rise to power.…

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Medici Murders and a Basket Baby

2010-08-04 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Centuries after the fall of their line, the Medici remain one of history's most powerful -- and notorious -- families. In this episode, Sarah and Katie trace the unfortunate and mysterious deaths of Medici family members.…

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A Crusade Gone Wrong

2010-08-02 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Of all the Crusades, the Fourth Crusade was the least successful: It created a permanent divide between Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches. But what exactly went wrong? Tune in and learn more in this podcast.…

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Did any Germans resist Hitler?

2010-07-28 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

During World War II, the Nazi totalitarian party did not tolerate dissent. Despite the risks involved, some Germans did attempt to resist Hitler's government. In this episode, Katie and Sarah explore the story of the White Rose, a secret resistance group.…

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Who was the infant ruler of Russia?

2010-07-26 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Ivan IV was still an infant when he was proclaimed the Emperor of Russia. In this episode, Katie and Sarah explain how this strange ascension occurred -- and how Anna Leopoldovna became the power behind the throne.…

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Why did Henry Ford build a city in the Amazon?

2010-07-21 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Anxious to control his own rubber company, Henry Ford built a utopian community in the midst of the Amazon. In this episode, Katie and Sarah explore the construction of Fordlandia, the life of its inhabitants and what eventually went wrong.…

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Burke and Hare, Who Didn't Steal Corpses

2010-07-19 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

From 1827 to 1828, Burke and Hare were accused of killing fifteen people and selling their bodies to medical students. But were they really resurrectionists? Tune in to learn the truth about Burke and Hare in this podcast.…

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Mad King Ludwig Dines Alone

2010-07-14 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

From his opulent, solitary dinners to the amazing Neuschwanstein Castle, it's no surprise that King Ludwig II was known as an eccentric. In fact, people thought he was mad. But why? Tune in and learn more about Mad King Ludwig in this podcast.…

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Who was the Last Queen of Hawaii?

2010-07-12 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Born in 1838, Lili'uokalani became the queen of Hawaii in 1891. Unfortunately, she was destined to be Hawaii's last monarch. Listen in and learn how Hawaii became a state in this podcast.…

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Kamehameha The Great

2010-07-07 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Born shortly after the appearance of Halley's comet over Hawai'i in 1758, Kamehameha was hailed as the king who would unite the Hawai'ian islands. But how did he turn this prophecy into reality, and what happened to him in the end? Tune in and learn more.…

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What really happened on Bloody Sunday?

2010-07-05 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1972 the tension between the United Kingdom and the Irish Republican Army rose to a fever pitch as the British Army and Irish protestors clashed. Learn more about the contentious partition of Ireland -- and Bloody Sunday -- in this podcast.…

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Mata Hari, Sinister Salome?

2010-06-30 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Mata Hari was an exotic dancer and a courtesan, but today she's known more for her work as a spy. In this podcast, Katie and Sarah take a look at the extraordinary life of Mata Hari -- and whether the French intelligence community used her as a scapegoat.…

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A Conspiracy Starring Aaron Burr

2010-06-28 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

After Aaron Burr slew Alexander Hamilton in the duel of 1804, his legislative career was over. In March of 1805, Burr left the political sphere and moved west -- but his story doesn't end there. Tune in more about Burr's later adventures in this podcast.…

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How Oscar Wilde Worked

2010-06-23 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The larger-than-life poet and novelist Oscar Wilde remains one of Ireland's most well-known authors, but his life wasn't all accolades and praise. Join Katie and Sarah as they explore the struggles and triumphs of Oscar Wilde in this podcast.…

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A Holocaust Story: Hannah Szenes

2010-06-21 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Amid the anti-Semitic and hostile environment of Hungary, the poet Hannah Szenes joined with resistance forces, risking her life to save Jewish communities. Tune in and learn why Hannah Szenes is known as the "Joan of Arc of Israel" in this podcast.…

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Mutiny on the Bounty

2010-06-16 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The mutiny aboard the HMS Bounty has been popularized in film, but how accurate is this depiction? In this podcast, Sarah and Katie take a closer look at this legendary mutiny -- and figure out whether William Bligh deserves his terrible reputation.…

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How Tecumseh Worked

2010-06-14 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Born in 1768, Tecumseh was a leader of the Shawnee tribe who united several Native American tribes in opposition against the expansionist U.S. forces. But who was this legendary leader? Tune in and learn more about the real Tecumseh in this podcast.…

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The Bombardment of Baltimore

2010-06-09 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Years after the American Revolution, Britain and the United States were still locked in conflict. Listen in as Katie and Sarah explore the British bombardment of Baltimore in 1814 -- and how it inspired a lawyer named Francis Scott Key -- in this podcast.…

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Lillie Langtry, The Jersey Lily

2010-06-07 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In her time, Lillie Langtry was known as the most beautiful woman in the world. But how did she get her start? Listen in and learn how The Jersey Lily became an international celebrity in this podcast.…

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How the Pony Express Worked

2010-06-02 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The Pony Express used a system of riders and horses to safely deliver mail between Missouri and Sacramento -- a distance of over 1900 miles. But how did it work? Join Katie and Sarah as they trace the rise and fall of the Pony Express in this podcast.…

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Who was the Emperor of the United States?

2010-05-31 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When Joshua Norton returned to San Francisco following a disastrous business deal, he was a little bit loopy. Norton went to the newspapers and declared himself emperor of the United States. Here's the crazy part: it worked. Tune in and learn more.…

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Caligula Disentangled

2010-05-26 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

According to most popular accounts, Caligula was an insane, cruel and bizarre emperor. But how reliable are those stories? Join Katie and Sarah as they take a look at Caligula's life -- and try to separate the facts from the rumors -- in this podcast.…

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Nefertiti and the Heretic Pharaoh

2010-05-24 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Today historians know very little about Nefertiti, but during her time as Egypt's queen she was revered as a goddess. In this episode, Sarah and Katie explore the reign of Nefertiti, and why her controversial husband Akhenaton was considered a heretic.…

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The Shipwreck that Saved Jamestown

2010-05-19 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When a relief mission left Plymouth in 1609 to assist the troubled colony of Jamestown, an intense storm separated one vessel from the rest of the fleet. Learn how this shipwreck may have saved Jamestown -- and inspired Shakespeare -- in this podcast.…

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Simon Bolivar, the Liberator

2010-05-17 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Born in 1783, Simon Bolivar grew to become known as the George Washington of South America. But how did this happen? Listen in and learn how Simon Bolivar left a life of luxury to pursue liberation from Spain in this podcast.…

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A Grim Tale: The Brothers Grimm

2010-05-12 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Fairy tales weren't always safe fodder for the latest Disney film. In fact, some were downright macabre. Learn more about the original versions of fairy tales -- and the eccentric brothers responsible for popularizing them -- in this podcast.…

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The 47 Ronin and the Samurai's Code

2010-05-10 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Historically, the samurai were Japanese warriors famous for their loyalty to their feudal lords and adherence to a strict code of honor. Tune in to learn more about the samurai and the legendary tale of the 47 Ronin.…

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What is the highest-value art heist in history?

2010-05-05 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

From cat burglars to immoral, obsessed collectors, we've all heard stories of notorious art thieves. But in terms of loot, which of history's outrageous art heists was the most successful? Listen in and learn more in this podcast.…

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How Charlie Chaplin Worked

2010-05-03 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Charlie Chaplin is perhaps best known for his portrayal of 'The Tramp,' a character with raggedy clothes and a heart of gold. But who was the real Charlie Chaplin? Learn more about one of the most influential actors of silent film in this podcast.…

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Catherine de' Medici and the Scarlet Nuptials

2010-04-28 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In this episode of the continuing Medici super series, Katie and Sarah follow up on the further adventures of Catherine de'Medici. Listen in and learn how the St. Bartholomew Day's massacre contributed to Catherine's notorious reputation in this podcast.…

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Is there a money pit on Oak Island?

2010-04-26 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In 1795, a farm boy named Daniel McGinnis found a strange depression in the ground on an island in Nova Scotia's Mahone Bay. As he and his friends began to dig, they realized they'd stumbled on much more than an ordinary hole. Tune in and learn more.…

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Catherine de' Medici, Italian Orphan

2010-04-21 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Catherine de' Medici remains the most famous female member of the Medici clan. Orphaned at a young age, Catherine survived struggles with childhood illness and eventually became the Queen consort of France. Tune in and learn what happened next.…

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The Second Act: Notable Vaudevillians

2010-04-19 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

In a follow-up to the earlier episode on the history of vaudeville, Katie and Sarah take a closer look at some of the most memorable vaudevillians. Listen in and learn more about everyone from the Marx brothers to Winsor McCay in this episode.…

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Who was Emanuel Swedenborg?

2010-04-14 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When the philosopher Emanuel Swedenborg sought mechanical explanations for nature, he found himself struggling with his faith as he searched for evidence of the human soul. But what happened next? Tune in and learn more in this podcast.…

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How Michelangelo Worked

2010-04-12 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

As a painter and a sculptor, Michelangelo became famous within his own lifetime. But who exactly was this artist, and what compelled him to create his masterpieces? Listen in as Katie and Sarah explore the life of Michelangelo in this podcast.…

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A Brief History of Vaudeville

2010-04-07 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Vaudeville flourished from the late 19th century into the Depression era. It was one of America's most famous forms of entertainment at the time. Tune in as Katie and Sarah take a look at this family-friendly variety show from America's bygone days.…

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Savonarola, the Unarmed Prophet

2010-04-05 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Girolamo Savonarola wasn't the typical Dominican friar. He began protesting moral corruption in the clergy at a young age. Eventually he came to Florence, the dominion of the powerful and decadent Medici clan. Tune in and learn what happened next.…

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Death at the Duomo: The Pazzi Conspiracy

2010-03-31 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

When the Pazzi family became entangled in a plot to assassinate Lorenzo and Giuliano de'Medici, the conspiracy grew until it reached the steps of the Vatican itself. Learn more about this coup attempt -- and its ultimate result -- in this episode.…

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Bar Kokhba vs. The Romans

2010-03-29 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Born Simon ben Kosiba, Simon bar Kokhba led the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman empire. The revolt succeeded momentarily, and the Romans were expelled from Judea -- but the conflict was far from over. Tune in and learn what happened next.…

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Nellie Bly & Stunt Journalism

2010-03-24 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Born in 1864, Nellie Bly wasn't your average journalist -- in fact, she feigned insanity to gain entry into a mental institution. Join Sarah and Katie as they take a closer look at the life of Nellie Bly, America's original stunt journalist.…

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How the Book of Kells Works

2010-03-22 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Created around 800 AD, the Book of Kells is an illuminated manuscript held at Trinity College in Ireland. Listen in to learn more about the Book of Kells -- and how it survived for so long -- in this podcast.…

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Brian Boru, High King of Ireland

2010-03-17 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

As High King of Ireland, Brian Boru fought against -- and ultimately ended -- the rule of Niall Noigiallach's descendents. Tune in as Katie and Sarah take a closer look at the life of Brian Boru in this podcast.…

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Who stole the Amber Room?

2010-03-15 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

Often hailed as "the eighth wonder of the world," the Amber Room is an opulent room adorned with gold and precious amber. History buffs would love to see the room for themselves, but there's one problem: it's missing. Learn more in this episode.…

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What happened to the Romanovs?

2010-03-10 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)

The House of Romanov ruled Russia from 1613 until 1917, when Nicholas II abdicated the throne. But what actually happened to the royal family? Tune in as Katie and Sarah get to the bottom of the mysterious demise of the Romanovs in this episode.…

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Josephine Baker, The Toast of Paris

2010-03-08 :: historypodcast@howstuffworks.com (Stuff You Missed In History Class)