History

Retropod

The Washington Post

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Retropod is a show for history lovers, featuring stories about the past, rediscovered. Reporter Mike Rosenwald introduces you to history’s most colorful characters - forgotten heroes, overlooked villains, dreamers, explorers, world changers. Availabl...Show More
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The Wicked Bible

04:27 | Feb 7th

A full year after the King James Bible was printed in 1631, people discovered an error.
A debate that went into extra innings: Can baseballs curve?

07:14 | May 24th

Beginning in the earliest days of baseball, fans, journalists and even physicists disputed whether or not pitchers could make a ball curve.
How food found its way into the freezer

05:49 | May 23rd

While on a research trip to the Arctic in the early 20th century, scientist Clarence Birdseye — a name you might recognize from the frozen food aisle — made an observation that would go on to change the way we eat.
The man who helped create the first measles vaccine didn’t vaccinate his own son

05:07 | May 22nd

In the 1950s, millions of people suffered from measles every year. David Edmonston, an 11-year-old student, became the cure.
Clara Barton, America's most famous nurse, broke boundaries to treat Civil War victims

06:41 | May 21st

The nurse who founded the American Red Cross had no formal training in medicine. She tended to countless wounded soldiers.
Why Naval Academy students climb a greased up obelisk every year

04:04 | May 20th

Every year, freshmen at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis take part in an annual tradition where they must climb a 21 foot high obelisk covered in vegetable shortening and place a hat at the very top.
The forgotten pioneers of the first American utopia

05:41 | May 17th

More than a decade ago, bestselling historian David McCullough stumbled upon an important name from the past that even he’d never come across before. What he discovered was the story of pioneering American idealists.
The game show contestant who cheated his way to fame

06:16 | May 16th

In the 1950s, Charles Van Doren, a quiet professor in New York City, became wrapped up in one of the biggest television quiz show scandals in history.
The unlikely beginning of paint-by-number

05:27 | May 15th

Paint-by-number was a national phenomenon. And then, the paint-sets disappeared from the shelves.
The jazz queen who chose home over fame

06:03 | May 14th

Jazz singer Ethel Ennis’s voice wowed audiences and won praise from critics. But when she was faced with the opportunity to become a superstar, Ennis chose a different path.
The most difficult job Robert Mueller ever had

06:12 | May 13th

Serving as special counsel is probably only the third hardest job Robert Mueller has held. His life in public service started when he just 23 years old, as a Marine lieutenant in the Vietnam War.
John Brown's prophecy

03:45 | May 9th

Abolitionist John Brown made a prophecy before he was executed.
The books presidents read

04:11 | May 8th

People have long been fascinated by the books presidents choose to read. But how much do reading habits actually reveal about a president?
The original Alcoholics Anonymous book was auctioned for millions, but its author was never paid

04:28 | May 7th

The original manuscript was auctioned off for $2.4 million to an NFL owner, after almost a year of legal wrangling.
The invention of sarin

03:35 | May 6th

Weevils, a voracious beetle found in fields and orchards, were the original target of sarin gas.
May the Fourth be with you

05:05 | May 3rd

Mark Hamill, the actor known for playing Luke Skywalker, shares stories from Star Wars history.
Need a job? Ask Ulysses S. Grant.

03:18 | May 2nd

While President Grant had an impressive resume on the battlefield, he was known to be a patsy when it came to helping job hunters. People used to walk right into the White House and ask the president to find them a job.
Meet the Press

03:25 | May 1st

At the beginning of the television age, “Meet the Press” dented the dominance of newspapers and thrilled news junkies with the power of live broadcasting.
The mother who made George Washington miserable

04:28 | Apr 30th

George and his mother had an unusual relationship for the 1700s.
The Sullivan brothers

03:41 | Apr 29th

Five brothers fought and died together on the same ship during World War II. Their final resting place was discovered in 2018.
Elaine Brown, the first and only woman to lead the Black Panther Party

03:34 | Apr 26th

Elaine Brown's takeover in 1974 was a pivotal moment for a woman in the black power movement. Although women had been a dynamic force for social and racial justice, they had often been overshadowed by men.
Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day was once just for daughters

02:44 | Apr 25th

Mike is joined by a special guest to talk about how Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day began.
These guys were college jocks, and then became presidents of the United States

04:02 | Apr 24th

We dug through The Washington Post's archives and consulted the Pro Football Hall of Fame to bring you a rundown of the best presidential ballers.
The truth is out there

04:38 | Apr 23rd

Area 51's secrets may not be alien in nature, but that doesn't make it any less mysterious.
One broadcast helped turn Americans against the Vietnam War

04:45 | Apr 22nd

Walter Cronkite's calm but authoritative voice carried so much weight that in 1968 one single news report helped persuade the American public that we weren't winning the war in Vietnam.
Egg Roll

03:52 | Apr 19th

One day a year, the White House grounds are turned over to kids for the Easter Egg Roll.
Chillicothe, Missouri: The town that invented sliced bread

03:37 | Apr 18th

The town of Chillicothe, Missouri, discovered they have a surprising claim to history: the creation of sliced bread.
The black power protest that shook the world

02:57 | Apr 17th

At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, one of the most iconic moments of that chaotic year unfolded on television screens around the world.
History's most fascinating misquote

03:45 | Apr 16th

The Apollo 13 astronauts never said “Houston we have a problem.” Here’s why you think they did.
Hate the IRS? Blame Abraham Lincoln.

03:36 | Apr 12th

In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln was in a financial bind. Also, he was in a war. To raise money, he pushed for and won passage of an income tax and, a year or so later, established the Internal Revenue Bureau to collect what was owed.
The Mouth of the South

05:54 | Apr 12th

Martha Mitchell was the wife of President Nixon's attorney general. Nixon blamed Mitchell for Watergate.
Hair peace. Bed peace.

05:54 | Apr 11th

On March 25, 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono were a few days into their marriage when they invited the press to join them at their honeymoon suite at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel.
Queen Arawelo

06:39 | Apr 10th

Growing up in Somalia, a country where stories are handed down through generations, one of the first tales that children are told is about an ancient queen who fought to give women power by castrating men.
The man who killed Bonnie and Clyde

06:58 | Apr 9th

It was April of 1934. The multi-state crime spree of Bonnie and Clyde came to an end in an ambush on a winding country road in Louisiana. The man who finally hunted them down was Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, a legendary lawman from the Wild West.
Ketamine in the mainstream

05:56 | Apr 5th

Once a party drug, ketamine has found its way into modern medicine.
From handsaws to parades: D.C.’s cherry blossom trees weren’t always beloved

06:22 | Apr 5th

Over one million people attend the National Cherry Blossom Festival each year. But the cherry blossom trees, and Japanese culture, were not always embraced in the United States.
The day before the Chernobyl disaster

06:50 | Apr 4th

Disasters don’t just happen. Like anything in life, there’s usually a buildup. In the case of the Chernobyl disaster, the series of failures stretched back more than a decade. But what happened the day before the explosion?
Last Seen Ads

06:21 | Apr 3rd

After the Civil War, formerly enslaved people placed notices in black-owned newspapers across the country to find their loved ones.
Earthrise

04:49 | Apr 2nd

On Christmas Eve in 1968, the Apollo 8 astronauts captured an image that symbolizes hope and inspired environmentalism.
George Taliaferro, the first black player drafted to the NFL

05:46 | Apr 1st

He thought being drafted into the National Football League was so unlikely that he signed with an African American league team. Then, the NFL called.
The first 'Queen of the Air'

05:26 | Mar 29th

Four years before Amelia Earhart ever got into a plane, Ruth Law was already making a name for herself in the skies.
A spy in the Confederate White House

06:38 | Mar 28th

During the American Civil War, a former slave smuggled secrets from the Confederate President to help the North to victory. Her name was Mary Bowser.
The nurse who picked up a rifle

04:16 | Mar 27th

During World War I, British nurse Flora Sandes put down her nurses bag to fight with the Serbian Army.
The 'Night Witches'

04:56 | Mar 26th

During World War II, around 80 Russian women took to the skies and risked their lives to fight against the Germans.
The extraordinary life of Civil War veteran Albert Cashier

07:12 | Mar 25th

On August 6, 1862, a shy young man from Belvidere, Illinois, signed up to fight for the North in the Civil War. His name was Albert Cashier.
The first black senator and America’s brief biracial democracy

05:49 | Mar 22nd

Hiram Rhodes Revels came to the Senate after the Civil War in a shining moment of triumph — a black man taking over the seat once held by Jefferson Davis. It didn’t last.
Why isn’t lynching illegal?

06:03 | Mar 21st

It is one of the worst expressions of racism in American history. And there’s no federal law to prevent it.
Robert Morris, the creator of the subpoena

06:05 | Mar 20th

The history of subpoenas, and the fiery congressional hearings that have captivated Americans for centuries began with a Founding Father raising his hand to say, “Investigate me!”
Judy Garland and the long history of 'Me Too' in Hollywood

05:01 | Mar 19th

Sexual harassment has been existed in showbiz as long as there have been bright lights.
A rich piece of scandal

05:44 | Mar 18th

In the 19th century, publications both reputable and scandalous routinely blackmailed society figures caught in compromising circumstances.
The godfather of bracketology

04:06 | Mar 15th

Some 50 million people are projected to fill out a March Madness bracket this year. As you finish filling out yours, you might want to tip your pencil and say thanks to the late and loud Staten Island bar owner Jody Haggerty.
To ban a 'Mockingbird'

04:19 | Mar 14th

Harper Lee's classic novel has been causing controversy for as long as its been in print. Here's a look at the history of banning "To Kill a Mockingbird."
The history of epic North Korean insults

03:05 | Mar 13th

North Korea has long been a superpower when it comes verbal attacks.
Special delivery!

02:46 | Mar 12th

There’s one thing that you can’t have delivered anymore that was totally normal to send by mail in the early 1900s.
Why Thurgood Marshall asked an ex-Klan member to help him make Supreme Court history

03:46 | Mar 11th

Thurgood Marshall, the first African American member of the Supreme Court, took the constitutional oath of office from Hugo Black, a white associate justice who had once been a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
The glass ceiling

03:37 | Mar 8th

In 1978, Marilyn Loden gave new meaning to an image women have fought for decades.
The woman behind Lisa Ben

04:10 | Mar 7th

Edythe Eyde, also known by her pen name Lisa Ben, was a visionary who fought to make lesbians visible in pop culture decades before most others had the guts to do the same.
The night America burned

03:51 | Mar 6th

The deadliest wildfire in U.S. history wasn’t in California.
Was Mary Todd Lincoln a leaker?

04:20 | Mar 5th

President Abraham Lincoln had to worry about the first lady being a leaker, and it was quite a scandal.
The forbidden question

03:34 | Mar 4th

If the order for a nuclear attack is issued, the soldiers operating the launch machine have no choice but to fire. Or do they?
The best birthday card ever

02:52 | Mar 1st

In 1926, the United States received a birthday card signed by 5.5 million Polish people.
The houses built by slaves

03:13 | Feb 28th

Buildings that stand as symbols of American democracy - the White House, Mount Vernon and Monticello, to name a few - were erected with the labor of those who were not free.
How are you, Grandmama?

03:47 | Feb 27th

A dog and a cadaver deserve credit for their contributions to the invention of the telephone.
The crooked picture

04:15 | Feb 26th

Jesse James, the most famous outlaw in history, was eventually foiled by a picture hanging crooked on a wall.
The Limping Lady

03:42 | Feb 25th

President Trump made history when he nominated a woman to become director of the Central Intelligence Agency. But while a woman leading the CIA was once unthinkable, female spies have made enormous, overlooked contributions in espionage.
And the winner is...

05:09 | Feb 22nd

Oscars night is probably the one moment around the world when people become really interested in envelopes.
What hath God wrought?

04:06 | Feb 21st

The history of social media began in 1844, when Samuel F.B. Morse sent a message from Washington to Baltimore. It said, "What hath God wrought?"
The ice queen

04:52 | Feb 20th

Sonja Henie won three Olympic gold medals and 10 world championships, and turned her star power into as career as one of Hollywood's biggest movie stars. Meet figure skating's first megastar.
The electric rivalry

03:47 | Feb 19th

To understand the gruesome history of the death penalty, it is essential to comprehend how badly Thomas Edison wanted to zap George Westinghouse.
All the Presidents' Ghosts

03:38 | Feb 18th

Whether you believe in this stuff or not, the many accounts that have spilled out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue over two centuries give ghosts an undeniable place in the country’s history.
The spy plane

04:09 | Feb 15th

Historians and national security analysts have been re-examining one particular forgotten moment in the history of U.S. and North Korea conflict.
Before the Lovings, another interracial couple fought to marry

03:50 | Feb 14th

The Kinneys married in Washington, D.C., in 1874. Then, they were arrested back home in Virginia for violating the state’s laws. They fought the ruling in higher and higher courts but never won the right to stay married in their home state.
Dr. Spock

04:32 | Feb 13th

Dr. Spock - not the guy from Star Trek - was at one time America's most beloved pediatrician. A whole generation of children was raised on his medical advice. But not even his popularity could save him from being indicted by the federal government.
The first female Marine

03:03 | Feb 12th

During World War I, the Marines Corps needed help on the home front while men were fighting overseas. Opha May Johnson was the first woman in line.
Philadelphia's plumbing revolution: wood pipes

03:35 | Feb 11th

In 1812, Philadelphia was outfitted with the latest in plumbing technology - a network of wooden pipes to carry water throughout the city.
Jim Crow and the rise of blackface

05:15 | Feb 8th

Back in the 1830s, Jim Crow wasn't yet a symbol of inequality. He was a fictional character in minstrel shows who, to entertain his audiences, performed in blackface.
How the State of the Union went from speech to spectacle

06:00 | Feb 6th

The president's State of the Union started as a simple report on the condition on the nation; overtime, the address became a moment to rally Congress and the public.
Winifred Stanley, a forgotten equal pay pioneer

03:28 | Feb 5th

The woman who first introduced equal pay legislation in Congress had to fight to be taken seriously — and often failed.
The Soviet officer who stopped World War III

04:58 | Feb 4th

In 1983, Stanislav Petrov, a lieutenant colonel in the Soviet Union’s Air Defense Forces, trusted his gut and averted a global nuclear catastrophe.
How 'Broadway Joe' redefined the NFL

06:15 | Feb 1st

A few days before his team took the field as huge underdogs in Super Bowl III, New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath made what was seen as an insane prediction at the time: "The Jets will win Sunday," he said. "I guarantee it."
The godmother of the open office

05:44 | Jan 31st

If you work in an office without offices, with just about everyone working in a large spare space full of stylish desks, straight lines and papers stored in a credenza, then you have met Florence Knoll Bassett.
The Confederate spy who evaded capture

07:03 | Jan 30th

After the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, John Surratt traveled across three continents, wore disguises and used fake names for nearly two years to escape authorities.
The rise of supermarkets

03:34 | Jan 29th

If you’re like most Americans, you probably visit a grocery store once or twice a week. But you probably don’t know that one single grocery item is responsible for the rise of supermarkets as we know them.
How the Doomsday Clock came to be

04:15 | Jan 28th

Over the past seven decades, the Doomsday Clock has served as a metaphorical measure of humankind’s proximity to global catastrophe. Every year, scientists and nuclear experts set the clock's time after grappling over the state of geopolitical affair...Show More
Pinball’s sordid past

05:48 | Jan 25th

Pinball was once so vilified that it was banned in cities across the United States.
The man inside the minds of a million consumers

05:29 | Jan 24th

In the 1950s, Lester Wunderman became the king of direct mail advertising — the ancestor of today’s online targeted ads.
A history of hats in the House

05:59 | Jan 23rd

In the early days of the House, some congresspeople thought hats had no place atop the heads of representatives debating the great issues of the day. Hats, they argued, weren’t dignified.
The last person to set foot on the moon

04:41 | Jan 22nd

When Eugene Cernan walked on the moon, he didn’t know he’d be the last astronaut to make the journey.
How Martin Luther King Jr. got his name

06:23 | Jan 21st

The name on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birth certificate was not Martin. Nor did the document include the middle name Luther.
Tenure for life

06:53 | Jan 18th

When Alexander Hamilton argued in favor of lifetime tenures for Supreme Court justices, he probably didn’t foresee them living past their prime.
The hatchet wielding leader of the anti-alcohol movement

06:11 | Jan 17th

More than a century ago, Carry Amelia Nation — hatchet in hand — chopped the country toward temperance.
A bridge of ice at Niagara Falls

05:08 | Jan 16th

Once upon a time, people walked between the U.S. and Canada over a frozen Niagara Falls. But one day, that all changed forever.
The only person Hitler loved

04:52 | Jan 15th

Adolf Hitler's mother may be the only person he genuinely cared for.
A history of the U.S.-Mexico border

06:44 | Jan 14th

For decades, the boundary between Mexico and the United States was little more than an imaginary line in the sand.
A presidential emergency that didn't end well

06:47 | Jan 11th

When a steel industry strike threatened military production during the Korean War, and Congress couldn’t come to an agreement, President Truman had a solution — declare a national emergency.
How Lego took over the toy world

06:32 | Jan 10th

Lego started as a company that made wooden toys, and grew into an empire of plastic building blocks.
The summer men rebelled against their shirts

05:30 | Jan 9th

It doesn't seem like a big deal today, but 1930s America lived in fear of the male nipple.
The researcher whose rats predicted the Internet

06:49 | Jan 8th

John Calhoun’s rodent experiments revolutionized the way we think about social behavior and the impact of growing populations.
One of the greatest astronomers of her generation

05:55 | Jan 7th

Nancy Grace Roman was one of NASA’s first female astronomers and was a key figure in the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope.
How one World War II veteran lived to be a centenarian

05:03 | Jan 4th

At 112-years-old, Richard Overton was the oldest living World War II veteran.
A wooden mallet with a colorful history of being shattered

05:37 | Jan 3rd

Throughout American history, speakers of the House have pounded their gavels so hard in search of order that they wind up smashing the gavel itself into smithereens.
The rabble rouser who inspired Ruth Bader Ginsburg

06:33 | Jan 2nd

Dorothy Kenyon was an early leader in the legal fight for women's rights.
Mourning Bobby Kennedy

06:26 | Jan 1st

We're taking a little break over the holidays to look back on some of the best Retropod episodes from 2018. Today, we look back on the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.
The story of the real Charlotte of ‘Charlotte's Web’

06:32 | Dec 31st, 2018

We're taking a little break over the holidays to look back on some of the best Retropod episodes from 2018. Today, an episode co-hosted by Madeline Daly, who won our Retropod trivia contest at the 2018 National Book Festival.
The day Martin Luther King Jr. died

07:46 | Dec 28th, 2018

We're taking a little break over the holidays to look back on some of the best Retropod episodes from 2018. Today, our episode marking the date Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, 50 years ago this April.
Doughnuts, the most patriotic of the junk foods

04:01 | Dec 27th, 2018

We're taking a little break over the holidays to look back on some of the best Retropod episodes from 2018. Today, doughnuts. They aren’t just delicious. They also helped America win a war.
Ida B. Wells, the woman who never gave up

06:39 | Dec 26th, 2018

We're taking a little break over the holidays to look back on some of the best Retropod episodes from 2018. Today, Ida B. Wells, who was an investigative journalist, an anti-lynching activist, a suffragette and a teacher.
Big Bird and the genius inside

06:43 | Dec 25th, 2018

We're taking a little break over the holidays to look back on some of the best Retropod episodes from 2018. Today, the story of Caroll Spinney and his iconic character Big Bird.
The military’s famous Santa Tracker began with a wrong number

06:10 | Dec 24th, 2018

In the 1950s, a child trying to call Santa Claus accidentally called NORAD and changed Christmas Eve forever.
The Christmas Truce

05:47 | Dec 21st, 2018

During the first Christmas of World War I, a miracle took place all along the Europe’s Western Front.
A piece of punctuation that failed to leave its mark

05:48 | Dec 20th, 2018

A new punctuation mark called the interrobang found its way onto some typewriters in the 1960s, but it never caught on.
President Grant fired his own special prosecutor

06:28 | Dec 19th, 2018

In 1875, Ulysses S. Grant hired a special prosecutor to investigate the Whiskey Ring scandal. Furious with his findings, Grant had him fired.
The first presidential press conference

05:22 | Dec 18th, 2018

Before 1913, the presidential press conference didn’t exist. But a president who liked reporters changed that.
The astronomer who took gay rights to the Supreme Court

05:42 | Dec 17th, 2018

After being fired from his job for being gay, Frank Kameny took his battle for equality to the nation’s highest court.
The policeman who arrested a president

06:16 | Dec 14th, 2018

After receiving complaints about carriages driving too fast, Washington D.C. policeman William H. West arrested a presidential speed demon.
One of the ugliest speaker fights in congressional history

04:58 | Dec 13th, 2018

In 1859, the House went to war over Rep. John Sherman’s bid for leadership.
The evangelist and convicted cat burglar who galvanized gay rights

05:45 | Dec 12th, 2018

In Houston, Ray Hill was a colossal character. He even adopted "citizen provocateur" as a formal title.
In 1939, the 'American Hitler' took the stage at Madison Square Garden

05:54 | Dec 11th, 2018

Fritz Kuhn was the leader of the pro-Nazi group known as the German American Bund. He was a hero to his audience, and a scourge on the world to most others.
The cranberry crisis that changed how we see our food

06:15 | Dec 10th, 2018

Weeks before Thanksgiving, 1959, cranberries were declared unsafe to eat. The race was on to save America’s favorite holiday side dish.
The 'Toy King' who never aspired to the throne.

06:09 | Dec 7th, 2018

Toys R Us founder Charles Lazarus had no idea how big the toy industry would become.
America’s first black Catholic priest

06:17 | Dec 6th, 2018

Augustus Tolton’s miraculous life took him from slavery to the brink of sainthood.
John Adams was eulogized before his son even knew he died

05:59 | Dec 5th, 2018

News traveled so slowly in 1826 that the former president was buried days before his son, sitting president John Quincy Adams, got word of his death.
George H.W. Bush was a president and a prankster

06:09 | Dec 4th, 2018

Bush, who died last week, is being fondly remembered for his cool demeanor and a boundless sense of humor.
The unlikely friendship between George H.W. Bush and Dana Carvey

05:12 | Dec 1st, 2018

George H.W. Bush had a lot of humility. So much that he developed a friendship with the comedian who impersonated him on SNL, Dana Carvey.
William Howard Taft’s housekeeper kept track of his weight

04:39 | Nov 30th, 2018

White House maid Elizabeth Jaffray not only cleaned up after presidents, she had an amazing insight into their appetites.
The National Christmas Tree

04:27 | Nov 29th, 2018

One of the grandest events the president presides over every year is the lighting of the National Christmas Tree.
The trials and tribulations of being a cat

02:57 | Nov 28th, 2018

Cats have endured some really mean stuff throughout history. Dogs should be thankful.
Then they came for me

04:32 | Nov 27th, 2018

Martin Niemoller's simple and haunting words are often quoted in moments of intolerance. The story behind them is much more complicated.
A brief history of presidents visiting troops in combat

05:39 | Nov 26th, 2018

Presidents throughout history have visited battlefields to better grasp conditions, reverse public doubt and signal that the country took war efforts seriously.
Benjamin Franklin’s complicated relationship with turkeys

05:56 | Nov 21st, 2018

Benjamin Franklin, the most colorful of America's Founding Fathers, had a misunderstood, electrical and ultimately homicidal relationship with turkeys.
The Green Book

05:01 | Nov 20th, 2018

In the 1930s, traveling the nation's highways while black was fraught with peril. One postal worker, Victor Green, wrote a guidebook for African Americans after he faced discrimination on a road trip.
The origins of the Unknown Soldier

06:08 | Nov 19th, 2018

The story of how the anonymous soldier came to rest inside the famous tomb is almost as unknown as his identity.
Mark Twain's complicated relationship with the typewriter

05:41 | Nov 16th, 2018

Mark Twain first laid eyes on a “newfangled typing machine,” as he called it, sometime in the early 1870s.
Food stamps were born out of a surplus of food

06:06 | Nov 15th, 2018

The idea of food stamps was born out of a complicated paradox.
The first lady who couldn’t get her memoir published

05:27 | Nov 13th, 2018

Julia Grant didn't a have particularly good experience in the world of publishing. In fact, her memoir wasn’t even published in her lifetime.
Joachim Ronneberg, the saboteur who crippled Nazi atomic bomb project

05:02 | Nov 12th, 2018

Ronneberg started speaking about his experience in history in recent years.
America and warfare were never the same after World War I

04:55 | Nov 9th, 2018

Along with staggering death tolls, the "Great War" generated memorable literature, geopolitical upheaval, hope, disillusion, the Russian Revolution and the seeds of World War II.
Wong Kim Ark's Supreme Court fight for birthright citizenship

06:25 | Nov 8th, 2018

In 1895, the United States tried to deny an American citizen entry to the country even though he was born on U.S. soil.
The makings of an electoral heist

06:48 | Nov 6th, 2018

Gerrymandering became a real electoral cudgel with a project called REDMAP.
Rahm Emanuel, Howard Dean and the midterm elections of 2006

05:37 | Nov 5th, 2018

Rahm Emanuel, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, had two different approaches to taking back the House of Representatives. Their feud wasn't pretty.
Fall back, spring forward

03:00 | Nov 2nd, 2018

Why, oh, why is daylight savings a thing? It's because for roughly two decades after World War II, no one had any clue what time it was.
Mary Ann Van Hoof and the Marian apparitions

06:04 | Nov 1st, 2018

Van Hoof said she also has seen George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Joan of Arc.
Close encounters with the Capitol’s Demon Cat

04:22 | Oct 31st, 2018

From the mid-1800s to well into the 20th century, the Capitol’s Demon Cat was the top dog of Washington ghost stories.
How Pittsburgh's Mister Rogers talked to children about tragedy

06:42 | Oct 30th, 2018

Mister Rogers’s approach to dealing with grief began with an American tragedy.
New York's mad bomber

07:20 | Oct 29th, 2018

In 1956, New York City’s bomb squad used criminal profiling to catch a terrorist known as “The Mad Bomber.”
The sword pulled from history

04:38 | Oct 26th, 2018

An 8-year-old found an ancient sword in a Swedish lake. Does that make her the queen?
A love supreme: Ruth Bader and Martin Ginsburg

06:06 | Oct 25th, 2018

She was short. He was tall. Her family wasn't well off. His was. She was a worrier. He had not a care in the world. If you looked up mismatch in the dictionary, Ruth Bader and Martin D. Ginsburg fit the definition perfectly.
The unstoppable Fannie Lou Hamer

05:42 | Oct 24th, 2018

Civil rights crusader Fannie Lou Hamer rivaled Martin Luther King Jr. in her command of audiences.
The Sultan of Swat wasn’t always known as a slugger

04:21 | Oct 23rd, 2018

Before becoming a legendary big hitter, Babe Ruth was one of baseball’s best from the mound.
Big Bird and the genius inside

06:03 | Oct 22nd, 2018

Caroll Spinney and his iconic character were inseparable for almost 50 years.
Woodrow Wilson's secret letters to another woman

05:55 | Oct 19th, 2018

Family and friends had known about the president’s intimate relationship with Mary Peck for years, but whispers about their involvement were growing.
The metamorphosis of Jackie O

06:04 | Oct 18th, 2018

As Jacqueline Kennedy transitioned from wife-in-chief to widow-in-mourning, there was tension between whom she had been and whom she was allowed to become.
The body of Emmett Till

04:03 | Oct 17th, 2018

Emmett Till’s mother opened his casket and sparked the civil rights movement.
The photographer and the busboy

05:25 | Oct 16th, 2018

Photographer Boris Yaro shot the photo of Bobby Kennedy lying fatally wounded in the arms of Juan Romero, a busboy. The photo would haunt both of them.
The Romanovs, Russia's 'odious' autocratic family

05:55 | Oct 15th, 2018

If you think your family is overrun with controlling lunatics, please meet the Romanovs.
The gory origins of the Waterloo teeth

04:29 | Oct 12th, 2018

More than 50,000 soldiers died during the Battle of Waterloo, but their teeth lived on.
How the teddy bear was born

04:46 | Oct 11th, 2018

In the fall of 1902, a year into his presidency, President Teddy Roosevelt set off to Mississippi for a bear-hunting vacation. It ended differently than planned.
The first black female White House reporter held the powerful accountable on civil rights

05:09 | Oct 10th, 2018

It was rare to be a woman or African American covering the White House in the 1940s. Alice Dunnigan was both.
The teenage girl who caught a Nazi monster

06:06 | Oct 9th, 2018

In the fall of 1957, as the world was moving on from World War II and the extermination of 6 million Jews, Sylvia Hermann knocked on the door of a modest home in Buenos Aires.
The assassin who wore braids and killed Nazis

05:15 | Oct 5th, 2018

Freddie Oversteegen was 14 when she joined the Dutch resistance, though with her long, dark hair in braids she looked at least two years younger.
The surprising history of the 25th Amendment

06:19 | Oct 4th, 2018

The 25th Amendment passed after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
In the 1850s, navigating Ice Alley was deadly for ships

05:21 | Oct 3rd, 2018

Despite warnings of icebergs, the John Rutledge set sail from Liverpool, England, to New York.
America’s forgotten Iranian hostage

04:45 | Oct 2nd, 2018

Nine months before the Iran hostage crisis, Kenneth Kraus was held hostage in Iran for eight days.
The heroine of Lime Rock Lighthouse

03:59 | Oct 1st, 2018

Ida Lewis saved as many as 25 people during her service at the lighthouse. But her deeds have largely been forgotten.
How accusations against Supreme Court nominees were once handled

04:26 | Sep 28th, 2018

In 1890, Henry Brown sailed through the confirmation process after being accused of shooting and killing someone in self defense.
The man and the coconut that saved JFK

04:35 | Sep 27th, 2018

William Liebenow rescued John F. Kennedy from an island filled with coconuts.
Rosie the Riveter isn’t who you think she is

04:28 | Sep 26th, 2018

An American in the 1940s would not recognize the woman from the “We Can Do It!” poster as Rosie the Riveter.
The presidential pardon the country never forgot

05:21 | Sep 25th, 2018

When Gerald Ford took over the presidency after Richard Nixon’s resignation, he soon made a controversial choice: He pardoned Nixon.
How Anita Hill’s testimony led to the "Year of the Woman"

05:53 | Sep 24th, 2018

No women served on the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991. The ugly Anita Hill hearings changed that.
The thin-skinned president who made it illegal to criticize his office

05:07 | Sep 21st, 2018

The Alien and Sedition Acts passed under President John Adams led to the arrests of more than two dozen people.
The photographer who helped end child labor in America

05:23 | Sep 20th, 2018

Lewis Hine posed as a Bible salesman or machinery photographer to expose the hardships of child labor.
Only half of George Washington’s Supreme Court justices showed up on time

05:19 | Sep 19th, 2018

All of George Washington’s Supreme Court nominees were confirmed in only two days, but half of them didn't show up on time.
The day the nation's capital welcomed the KKK

05:02 | Sep 17th, 2018

In 1925, 30,000 Klansmen descended on Washington, D.C. The city cheered their arrival.
The search for the anonymous author of a 1996 political novel

05:47 | Sep 14th, 2018

Before an unnamed senior official in the Trump administration published the opinion piece, “I am part of the resistance inside the Trump administration" in the New York Times, another mysterious anonymous author lit up Washington.
The surprise hurricane that devastated the Florida Keys

04:17 | Sep 13th, 2018

In 1935, the Florida Keys ignored the threat of a looming hurricane. When the Category 5 storm made landfall, it left a wake of death and destruction.
How a solar eclipse made Albert Einstein famous

04:54 | Sep 12th, 2018

It may be hard to believe, but one single event rocketed Einstein to fame.
The rookie pilot who was ready to give her life on Sept. 11

05:08 | Sep 11th, 2018

Heather Penney was among the first female combat pilots in the country. On Sept. 11, 2001, she got a mission: Bring down the fourth hijacked plane hurtling towards Washington.
Abraham Lincoln says he owes everything to his ‘angel mother’ and ‘mama’

05:27 | Sep 10th, 2018

President Abraham Lincoln had two loving and supportive mothers in his lifetime. The second helped him cope with the tragic loss of the first.
The story of the real Charlotte of ‘Charlotte's Web’

05:50 | Sep 7th, 2018

This episode is co-hosted by Madeline Daly, who won Retropod trivia last Saturday at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.
Roe v. Wade’s forgotten loser

04:46 | Sep 6th, 2018

Dallas prosecutor Henry Wade never intended to become a central figure in Supreme Court history.
The French aviators who almost beat Charles Lindbergh

04:30 | Sep 5th, 2018

In 1927, the world watched as two French aviators attempted the world’s first transatlantic flight.
The campus massacre before Kent State

05:09 | Sep 4th, 2018

The first mass police shooting on a U.S. college campus happened two years before the Ohio National Guard opened fire on student protesters at Kent State University.
The time the United States illegally deported 1 million Mexican Americans

05:45 | Sep 3rd, 2018

In 1931, President Herbert Hoover started a program that would result in the illegal deportation of 1.8 million people to Mexico by the end of the 1930s. Of those people, 60 percent were U.S. citizens.
The Quaker abolitionist who was disowned for condemning slave owners

06:48 | Aug 31st, 2018

Benjamin Lay wrote one of the first treatises against slavery in Colonial America, a time when many prosperous Pennsylvania Quakers were slave owners. But for speaking out, the Quakers disowned him.
Ida B. Wells, the woman who never gave up

06:17 | Aug 30th, 2018

Ida B. Wells was an investigative journalist, an anti-lynching activist, a suffragette and a teacher.
How a Supreme Court clerk changed the decision on Clay v. United States

06:06 | Aug 29th, 2018

Muhammad Ali was so close to going to jail for evading the draft. He has a Supreme Court clerk to thank for his freedom.
Colonel Blood, the scoundrel who tried to steal Great Britain's crown jewels

03:53 | Aug 28th, 2018

Thomas Blood had somewhat of a shady past. According to Ireland’s History magazine, he had a reputation for espionage and conducting terrorist campaigns — though many of his plans were foiled just in time.
Being a maverick almost stopped John McCain from becoming a public servant

04:38 | Aug 27th, 2018

At the Naval Academy, McCain was in a group called the “Bad Bunch” as he rebelled against his father’s expectations.
Paul Jennings, the former slave who disputed a legend from history

04:23 | Aug 24th, 2018

According to James Madison’s Virginia mansion Montpelier, Paul Jennings’ account reveals, “how the racial and gender hierarchies of the time complicate the way we understand roles in historic events.”
What Operation Pied Piper taught us about family separations

05:01 | Aug 23rd, 2018

Millions of British children were evacuated from London and other cities to escape the horrors of war. But the family separations seemed to impart long-term trauma that was in many cases as severe as if they had stayed behind and faced the bombs.
Reagan's most historic speech took a few years to make an impact

03:40 | Aug 22nd, 2018

When President Reagan told Mr. Gorbachev to “tear down this wall,” it was not seen as a historic moment. It took the actual fall of the wall to resurrect the speech and drill the quote into our consciousness.
A president’s lions and the emoluments clause

05:15 | Aug 21st, 2018

The greatest emoluments-clause dilemma of the 1800s involved two lions.
How Harry S. Truman went from being a racist to desegregating the military

05:52 | Aug 20th, 2018

When Harry Truman became president in 1945, Southern members of Congress were delighted. They thought he’d be sympathetic to segregationists. He proved them wrong.
The long-lost 'Laws of Baseball'

04:32 | Aug 17th, 2018

On display in Washington, D.C. are the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and another document that details a fundamental institution in American life: baseball.
The congressman who shot a waiter

04:38 | Aug 16th, 2018

A hungry congressman didn’t get the breakfast he ordered. So he shot the waiter.
The time Truman met with Stalin and it went well

04:50 | Aug 15th, 2018

Back in 1941, a get-together that should have been fraught with uneasiness didn't turn out that way, which is surprising given the participants: President Harry S. Truman and Joseph Stalin.
Meet Paul Manafort’s century-old forefather, who also liked fancy suits

04:52 | Aug 14th, 2018

Samuel Cutler Ward, also known as the “King of the Lobby,” is credited with shaping the craft of lobbying. And like lobbyist and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, he also had some seriously expensive tastes.
An aviation flop was a stamp collector’s dream and the U.S. Postal Service’s nightmare

04:53 | Aug 13th, 2018

A stamp collector’s discovery of the “Inverted Jenny” stamp created a headache for the U.S. Postal Service.
How Mister Rogers talked to children and families about tragedy

06:28 | Aug 10th, 2018

Mister Rogers’s approach to dealing with tragedy began with the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy.
The storied past of Alderson federal women’s prison

04:13 | Aug 9th, 2018

The Alderson Federal Prison Camp has a history filled with powerful women who both pushed for the walls to be built there and served time within them.
Rebels, turn out your dead!

04:32 | Aug 8th, 2018

During the American Revolution, more patriots died as prisoners of war in or around New York City than died in combat.
The Saturday Night Massacre

04:46 | Aug 7th, 2018

The one night that changed President Nixon’s fate has stuck with us as a reminder of the limits of presidential power.
The dark history of the pill

04:27 | Aug 6th, 2018

A group of poor women in Puerto Rico were the first test subjects for the birth control pill. Were they guinea pigs or pioneers?
Meet Yvonne Burke, the first congresswoman to give birth in office

03:57 | Aug 3rd, 2018

Sixty years after Congress welcomed its first woman, it welcomed its first baby.
The unlikely start of the Boy Scout movement

04:37 | Aug 2nd, 2018

The Boy Scout movement began 110 years ago on a tiny island just off the southern coast of England.
How the anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about the Rothschilds began

04:48 | Aug 1st, 2018

The anti-Semitic conspiracy theories surrounding the Rothschild family date all the way back to The Battle of Waterloo.
The first campus shooting

04:15 | Jul 31st, 2018

A professor at The University of Virginia was fatally shot by a student in 1840.
How God became part of the pledge

04:25 | Jul 30th, 2018

For over 50 years, the phrase “under God” was not a part of the Pledge of Allegiance. One sermon changed that.
How a textile shortage led to the invention of the bikini

04:27 | Jul 27th, 2018

This episode addresses the history of the bikini in, naturally, two parts.
The complicated story of Linda Brown and the fight for desegregated schools

03:58 | Jul 26th, 2018

Linda Brown and her father Oliver Brown are heroes of the civil rights movement. The backstory of the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education is more complicated than what you learned in school.
The time a senator won an Emmy for grilling witnesses at a hearing

04:40 | Jul 25th, 2018

In 1951, a televised Senate hearing caught America’s attention.
The rainless flood that destroyed a city

04:41 | Jul 24th, 2018

It did not rain, at least not in Ellicott City, Md. That’s what made the 1868 flood so bizarre and unexpected.
How a renovation made the Supreme Court a friendlier place

04:29 | Jul 23rd, 2018

One simple change to how the Supreme Court bench was designed made a world of difference to how the justices communicated.
The Mountaintop

04:48 | Jul 20th, 2018

On April 3, 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was in Memphis to support sanitation workers who were protesting for their civil rights. It was there that King delivered his last speech.
The most romantic day

03:52 | Jul 19th, 2018

From all over the country, couples rushed to Las Vegas to get married. The demand for quickie weddings was at a fever pitch. But it wasn't Cupid's arrow causing the frenzy. It was the Vietnam War.
The night America burned

04:03 | Jul 18th, 2018

The deadliest wildfire in U.S. history wasn’t in California.
All the presidents' ghosts

03:21 | Jul 17th, 2018

Whether you believe in this stuff or not, the many accounts that have spilled out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue over two centuries give ghosts an undeniable place in the country’s history.
Don't mess with Harriet Tubman

04:46 | Jul 16th, 2018

She was just 5 feet tall. There was once a $40,000 bounty on her head. She suffered seizures throughout her life. She never gave up. She never gave in.
The epic bender that launched America

03:47 | Jul 13th, 2018

Washington and his fellow partiers racked up a bill of $15,000 in today’s currency celebrating the completion of the Constitution.
A Supreme Court justice morally opposed abortion, but voted to legalize it

05:36 | Jul 12th, 2018

The justice who helped persuade a majority of the Supreme Court to legalize abortion found the practice unthinkable — personally, but not constitutionally.
Eartha Kitt confronted the first lady and it nearly ruined her career

04:56 | Jul 11th, 2018

At a White House luncheon, actress Eartha Kitt would not let the president or the first lady avoid the issue of the Vietnam War. She paid a heavy price for her boldness.
Oregon, America’s first and only state to begin as "whites-only"

04:53 | Jul 10th, 2018

Oregon’s original constitution banned black people from the state, and the law stayed in the constitution for well over 100 years.
How Eleanor Roosevelt invented the modern idea of a first lady

04:23 | Jul 9th, 2018

Eleanor Roosevelt held news conferences just for female reporters. The men were not impressed.
The teen who tied a Virginia election

03:31 | Jul 5th, 2018

In 1971, Stephen Burns was 18 years old and a newly minted voter. He was so jazzed to be a part of the Democratic process.
Thomas Jefferson's last letter

03:15 | Jul 4th, 2018

Somehow, in the depths of his personal misery towards the end of his life, Thomas Jefferson had found his powerful way with words again.
The U.S. government recruited black men to watch them die

04:09 | Jul 3rd, 2018

The Tuskegee syphilis experiment is a horrific piece of American history.
The deaf men who helped NASA send humans to space

03:55 | Jul 2nd, 2018

In a largely forgotten experiment, a group of students from Gallaudet University spent years helping NASA understand the mechanisms of motion sickness, and how to prevent it.
That time we thought an asteroid might kill us all

03:22 | Jun 29th, 2018

In 1998, the world briefly panicked over an asteroid that seemed headed for a close call with Earth. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.
The femme fatale

04:05 | Jun 28th, 2018

For the past 100 years, Mata Hari has been revered as the quintessential glamorous spy. But the real Mata Hari was much more complicated.
The first congresswoman’s vote

05:02 | Jun 27th, 2018

In April 1917, Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress, faced an agonizing choice. Should she, or should she not, vote for the United States to enter World War I?
How Hollywood’s first major blockbuster revived the KKK

04:35 | Jun 26th, 2018

"The Birth of a Nation" depicted life after the Civil War in a way that glorified Klansmen. The film and its cultural impact led one man to conclude that the time was right to bring back the Klu Klux Klan.
The first pride parade

03:28 | Jun 25th, 2018

The very first pride parade was held in 1964 and was a bit … calmer … than what we think of today.
The oldest surviving banjo recording

05:57 | Jun 22nd, 2018

Charles Asbury’s newly digitized songs serve as a time capsule to the music of the 19th century.
The worst presidents

05:02 | Jun 21st, 2018

Besides President Trump, whom do scholars scorn the most?
Doughnuts, the most patriotic of the junk foods

03:18 | Jun 20th, 2018

Doughnuts aren’t just delicious. They also helped America win a war.
The first shark attacks

04:20 | Jun 19th, 2018

For most of American history, no one was scared of sharks. One week - and one shark - changed that.
Between Lincoln and Washington, only one was a great poet

04:19 | Jun 18th, 2018

George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, two great presidents, had a lot in common: Both lost a parent as a child, both had a serious demeanor, and both dabbled with writing poetry. But only one was any good at poetry.
This security guard discovered the Watergate break-in, but nobody remembers him

03:14 | Jun 15th, 2018

The man who called the police on the Watergate burglars never received the credit he deserved.
Thomas Jefferson’s iftar dinner and the long history of Ramadan at the White House

03:11 | Jun 14th, 2018

In December 1805, a handful of prominent politicians receive invitations to join President Thomas Jefferson for a White House dinner. The occasion was the arrival of a Tunisian envoy to the U.S., Sidi Soliman Mellimelli, who was observing Ramadan.
The biscuit tin

03:21 | Jun 13th, 2018

It’s World War II, and you’re King George VI of England. You fear a Nazi invasion of England could come at any moment. How do you protect the crown jewels? Not even Queen Elizabeth II knew how her dad did it - until recently.
Before Loving, another interracial couple fought to marry

03:50 | Jun 12th, 2018

The Kinneys married in Washington, D.C. in 1874. Then, they were arrested back home in Virginia for violating the state’s laws. They fought the ruling in higher and higher courts, but never won the right to stay married in their home state.
The Jedwabne massacre

03:42 | Jun 11th, 2018

The controversy around the murders of a Polish village's Jewish residents has centered on raw questions of complicity versus compulsion.
Tennis's first goddess

03:08 | Jun 8th, 2018

Suzanne Lenglen was physically ferocious. Always fashionable. A disrupter of convention.
The White House makeover

03:54 | Jun 7th, 2018

When the White House was built over 200 years ago, it lacked certain modern conveniences. They got added in a hodgepodge of improvements over the years.
The Order of the Day

04:08 | Jun 6th, 2018

On the day before D-Day, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe Dwight D. Eisenhower gave a speech to the troops that totally masked how nervous he actually was.
The “temporary insanity” legal defense started with an affair

04:11 | Jun 5th, 2018

If you love gossip, and drama, and D.C. politics - this story is the gift that keeps on giving.
History’s most fascinating misquote

03:45 | Jun 4th, 2018

The Apollo 13 astronauts never said “Houston we have a problem.” Here’s why you think they did.
Mourning Bobby Kennedy

05:30 | Jun 1st, 2018

Robert F. Kennedy's death, which came just weeks after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., shocked the nation, especially those who looked to him to continue the national discussion over racial inequality.
The black power protest that shook the world

02:57 | May 31st, 2018

At the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, one of the most iconic moments of that chaotic year unfolded on television screens around the world.
LBJ's political bombshell

05:04 | May 30th, 2018

By 1968, things were going badly for President Lyndon B. Johnson. Morale around the Vietnam War was sinking, and in Washington, political sharks were circling.
One broadcast helped turn Americans against the Vietnam War

04:45 | May 29th, 2018

Walter Cronkite's reputation, his calm but authoritative voice, carried so much weight that in 1968 one single report helped persuade the American public that we weren’t winning the war in Vietnam.
The performance that saved Johnny Cash's career

04:52 | May 28th, 2018

In a year of extraordinary, chaotic moments this was a hopeful one - a beat-up country music star recording an album live at a troubled maximum security prison in California.
Publishers hated ‘A Wrinkle in Time,' and Madeleine L'Engle never forgot the rejections

04:04 | May 25th, 2018

'A Wrinkle in Time' author Madeleine L'Engle said she received 26 rejection letters from publishers.
When Ronald Reagan visited a family targeted by the KKK

03:48 | May 24th, 2018

In the early 1980s, President Ronald Reagan wasn’t exactly known for his racial sensitivity. But when he read about a family whose house was targeted by the KKK, he and the First Lady flew out to comfort them.
The Nazi stone

04:20 | May 23rd, 2018

A mysterious stone memorial was found in 2006 in Washington, D.C. But who placed a memorial to Nazi spies on government property? And why?
Elaine Brown, the first and only woman to lead the Black Panther Party

03:34 | May 22nd, 2018

Elaine Brown's takeover in 1974 was a pivotal moment for a woman in the black power movement. Although women had been a dynamic force for social and racial justice, they had often been overshadowed by men.
The man who filmed JFK's assassination

03:16 | May 21st, 2018

For many, memories of that devastating day quickly revert to that silent, flickering sequence captured by Abraham Zapruder. It is as chilling as it is familiar: the approaching convertible, the waves of a crowd about to lose its innocence.
Princess Diana's final hours

04:01 | May 18th, 2018

When Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle are married this weekend, there will be one other royal on the world’s minds - Harry’s mother, the beloved Princess Diana.
The enigmatic Prince Philip - separating fact from fiction

04:08 | May 17th, 2018

The British royal wedding puts all eyes on the Windsor family - this time, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. But perhaps no royal is as controversial as Harry's grandfather, Prince Philip.
Wallis Simpson, the last American divorcee who married a British royal

03:37 | May 16th, 2018

Another British royal wedding is coming up, so over the next few days, we'll explore a few moments from the history of royal marriages in Great Britain. Today, we meet Wallis Simpson, the last American divorcee to marry a British royal.
The truth is out there

04:38 | May 15th, 2018

Area 51's secrets may not be alien in nature, but that doesn't make them any less mysterious.
John Brown's prophecy

03:45 | May 14th, 2018

Abolitionist John Brown wrote made a prophecy before he was executed.
The Sullivan brothers

03:41 | May 10th, 2018

Five brothers fought and died together on the same ship during World War II. Their final resting place was discovered earlier this year.
Lee Harvey Oswald's final hours before killing Kennedy

03:54 | May 9th, 2018

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy devastated the nation. But the day before the shooting was just a normal day. It was particularly calm and uneventful for the gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald.
To ban a "Mockingbird"

04:04 | May 8th, 2018

Harper Lee's classic novel has been causing controversy for as long as its been in print. Here's a look at the history of banning "To Kill a Mockingbird."
The original Alcoholics Anonymous book was auctioned for millions, but its author was never paid

04:30 | May 7th, 2018

The original manuscript was auctioned off for $2.4 million this weekend to an NFL owner, after almost a year of legal wrangling.
May the Fourth be with you

05:06 | May 4th, 2018

Mark Hamill himself shares stories from Star Wars history. You can hear the full interview with Hamill on the Cape Up podcast with Jonathan Capehart.
The battle between Old Waddy and the press

03:15 | May 3rd, 2018

Believe it or not, the relationship between politicians and the press has been worse. A lot worse.
Were the Duke of Windsor and Adolf Hitler friends?

03:59 | May 2nd, 2018

Was the duke a Nazi sympathizer? Did he plot to dethrone his brother, King George VI? Did he really suggest more German bombing of Britain might end World War II?
Need a job? Ask Ulysses S. Grant

03:18 | May 1st, 2018

Grant had an impressive resume on the battlefield, he was known to be a patsy when it came to helping job hunters. People used to walk right into the White House and ask the president to find them a job
How the Doomsday Clock came to be

03:53 | Apr 30th, 2018

The Doomsday Clock was created not by a scientist, but by an artist.
Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day was once just for daughters

02:46 | Apr 27th, 2018

Mike is joined by a special guest to talk about how Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day began.
These guys were college jocks - and then became Presidents of the United States

04:02 | Apr 26th, 2018

We dug through The Washington Post's archives and consulted the Pro Football Hall of Fame to bring you a rundown of the best presidential ballers.
The only person Hitler loved

04:37 | Apr 25th, 2018

Adolf Hitler's mother may be the only person he genuinely cared for.
Philadelphia's plumbing revolution: wood pipes

03:08 | Apr 24th, 2018

In 1812, Philadelphia was outfitted with the latest in plumbing technology - a network of wooden pipes to carry water throughout the city.
Chillicothe, Missouri, the town that invented sliced bread

03:37 | Apr 23rd, 2018

The town of Chillicothe, Missouri, recently discovered they have a surprising claim to history: the creation of sliced bread.
Barbara Bush’s remarkable commencement address

04:10 | Apr 20th, 2018

In 1990, students protested the choice of the first lady as their commencement speaker, calling it anti-feminist. Her speech silenced the critics.
The day anti-Vietnam War protesters tried to levitate the Pentagon

03:45 | Apr 19th, 2018

In October 1967, antiwar protesters announced that they would march en masse to the front steps of the Pentagon. and levitate it. And then they would try to levitate it.
The history of epic North Korean insults

02:48 | Apr 18th, 2018

North Korea has long been a superpower when it comes verbal attacks.
Hate the IRS? Blame Abraham Lincoln.

03:36 | Apr 17th, 2018

In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln was in a financial bind. Also, he was in a war. To raise money, he pushed for and won passage of an income tax and, a year or so later, established the Internal Revenue Bureau to collect what was owed.
The mother who made George Washington miserable

04:30 | Apr 16th, 2018

George and his mother had an unusual relationship for the 1700s, more like what you might see in a sitcom from the 1970s. She was indispensable to him, but intolerable.
Why Thurgood Marshall asked an ex-Klan member to help him make Supreme Court history

03:31 | Apr 13th, 2018

Thurgood Marshall, the first African American member of the Supreme Court, took the constitutional oath of office from Hugo Black, a white associate justice who had once been a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
A letter from home

03:31 | Apr 12th, 2018

A German woman discovered that her childhood home was stolen from a Jewish family who fled Nazi Germany. Last year, she tracked down the address of one of the children, and wrote him a letter.
Was Mary Todd Lincoln a leaker?

04:06 | Apr 11th, 2018

President Abraham Lincoln had to worry about the first lady being a leaker, and it was quite a scandal.
Winifred Stanley, a forgotten equal pay pioneer

03:28 | Apr 10th, 2018

The woman who first introduced equal pay legislation in Congress had to fight to be taken seriously -- and often failed.
The invention of sarin

03:35 | Apr 9th, 2018

Weevils, a voracious beetle found in fields and orchards, were the original target of sarin gas.
The spy plane

04:09 | Apr 6th, 2018

Over the past few months, historians and national security analysts have been re-examining one particular forgotten moment in the history of U.S. and North Korea conflict.
The toughest job in politics

02:58 | Apr 5th, 2018

The most thankless job might be that of the White House press secretary. Just ask Ron Ziegler.
The day Martin Luther King Jr. died

07:03 | Apr 4th, 2018

Fifty years ago today, the civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down in Memphis. Riots broke out across the country, but in Indianapolis, there was peace.
The Mountaintop

04:21 | Apr 3rd, 2018

On April 3, 1968, 50 years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr. was in Memphis to support sanitation workers who were protesting for their civil rights. It was there that King delivered his last speech.
The books the presidents read

04:11 | Apr 2nd, 2018

Throughout history, the reading of books has been a sort of armchair way measuring someone's intelligence. Here are stories of three former presidents at opposite ends of the reading spectrum. You can decide for yourself.
Egg Roll

03:52 | Mar 30th, 2018

One day a year, the White House grounds are truly turned over to the people - well, the kids. That day is the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, and it began as the solution to a problem that Victorian children created.
The girl who struck out Babe Ruth

03:09 | Mar 29th, 2018

One of baseball's most enduring mysteries surrounds a 17-year-old girl name Jackie Mitchell.
The first daughters

04:02 | Mar 28th, 2018

Ivanka Trump might be the only first daughter in American history to score a West Wing office, but she’s not the first presidential daughter to wield power in the White House.
Meet the Press

03:26 | Mar 27th, 2018

At the beginning of the television age, “Meet the Press” dented the dominance of newspapers and thrilled news junkies with the you-were-there power of live broadcasting.
The man who won World War II

04:13 | Mar 26th, 2018

Andrew Higgins wasn't in the Army. He wasn't a paratrooper. He was a wild and wily genius, a tough, crafty, businessman. And he built the built the boats that brought troops ashore at Normandy on June 6, 1944.
The children's crusade

04:06 | Mar 23rd, 2018

The movement organized by survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., is not the first time that kids have taken a stand. History shows that kids, with their innocence, honesty and moral urgency, can shame adults into discovering their consci...Show More
The forbidden question

03:34 | Mar 22nd, 2018

If the order for a nuclear attack is issued, the soldiers operating the launch machine have no choice but to fire. Or do they?
The crooked picture

04:00 | Mar 21st, 2018

Jesse James, the most famous outlaw in history, was eventually foiled by a picture hanging crooked on a wall.
Lawn wars

04:46 | Mar 20th, 2018

Lawns have always been more than just grass.
Dr. Spock

04:17 | Mar 19th, 2018

Dr. Spock - not the guy from Star Trek - was at one time America's most beloved pediatrician. A whole generation of children was raised on his medical advice. But not even his popularity could save him from being indicted by the federal government.
Then they came for me

04:32 | Mar 16th, 2018

Martin Niemoller's simple and haunting words are often quoted in moments of intolerance. The story behind them is much more complicated.
The godfather of bracketology

03:51 | Mar 15th, 2018

Some 50 million people are projected to fill out a March Madness bracket this year. As you finish filling out yours, you might want to tip your pencil and say thanks to the late and loud Staten Island bar owner Jody Haggerty.
The Limping Lady

03:44 | Mar 14th, 2018

President Trump made history Tuesday when he nominated a woman to become director of the Central Intelligence Agency. But while a woman leading the CIA was once unthinkable, female spies have made enormous, overlooked contributions in espionage.
The first female marine

02:37 | Mar 13th, 2018

During World War I, the Marines Corps back home needed help while the men were fighting overseas. Opha May Johnson was the first in line.
The trials and tribulations of being a cat

02:52 | Mar 12th, 2018

Cats have endured some really mean stuff throughout history. Dogs should be thankful.
Fall back, spring forward

03:00 | Mar 9th, 2018

Why, oh, why is daylight savings a thing? It's because for roughly two decades after World War II, no one had any clue what time it was.
The glass ceiling

03:22 | Mar 8th, 2018

In 1978, Marilyn Loden coined a phrase that paints very image that women have been fighting for decades.
How are you, Grandmama?

03:33 | Mar 7th, 2018

A dog and a cadaver deserve credit for their contributions to the invention of the telephone.
The night America burned

03:37 | Mar 6th, 2018

The deadliest wildfire in U.S. history wasn’t in California.
And the winner is...

04:51 | Mar 5th, 2018

Oscars night is probably the one moment around the world when people become really interested in envelopes.
Special delivery!

02:31 | Mar 2nd, 2018

There’s one thing that you can’t have delivered anymore that was totally normal to send by mail in the early 1900s.
The woman behind Lisa Ben

03:56 | Mar 1st, 2018

Edythe Eyde, also known by her pen name Lisa Ben, was a visionary who fought to make lesbians visible in pop culture decades before most others had the guts to do the same.
The houses built by slaves

03:13 | Feb 28th, 2018

Buildings that stand as symbols of American democracy - the White House, Mount Vernon and Monticello, to name a few - were erected with the labor of those who were not free.
How the NRA began

04:26 | Feb 27th, 2018

When the NRA was founded in 1871, its primary concern was not gun rights or the Second Amendment.
The rise of supermarkets

03:20 | Feb 26th, 2018

If you’re like most Americans, you probably visit a grocery store once or twice a week. But you probably don’t know that one single grocery item is responsible for the rise of supermarkets as we know them.
The Green Book

04:21 | Feb 23rd, 2018

In the 1930s, traveling the nation's highways while black was fraught with peril. One postal worker, Victor Green, wrote a guidebook for African Americans after he faced discrimination on a road trip.
The ice queen

04:56 | Feb 22nd, 2018

Sonja Henie won three Olympic gold medals and 10 world championships, and turned her star power into as career as one of Hollywood's biggest movie stars. Meet figure skating's first megastar.
Mrs. Graham

04:31 | Feb 21st, 2018

Katherine Graham's leadership in the decision to release the Pentagon Papers was the subject of the Stephen Spielberg film "The Post." But it was her leadership during the pressman's strike in 1975 that is perhaps the most gripping moment of her life...Show More
The electric rivalry

04:08 | Feb 20th, 2018

To understand the gruesome history of the death penalty, it is essential to comprehend how badly Thomas Edison wanted to zap George Westinghouse.