🎧 American History Hit

🎧 American History Hit

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🎧 American History Hit
  • 🎧 Jamestown

    In late April 1607, three ships carrying a hundred men and boys arrived in Chesapeake Bay, having set sail from London four months earlier. They travelled up a river and created what became the first English settlement in North America. Benjamin Woolley tells Don about the many struggles that the...

  • 🎧 The First American in Space

    In Spring 1961, the Space Race between the US and Soviet Union was well underway. Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person in Space in April and the Americans knew his achievement had to be matched. Alan Shepard was chosen as the man for the job. Jay Gallentine tells Don how we went...

  • 🎧 Yellowstone

    For thousands of years, nomadic Native American peoples crossed the Yellowstone River basin, in awe of its stunning landscape andΒ geothermal wonders. Very few colonial Americans had set sight on its mountains, geysers and hot springs before geologist Ferdinand Hayden and his party arrived in the ...

  • 🎧 The Fall of J. Edgar Hoover

    From 1956 to 1971, J. Edgar Hoover ran COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program).
    A series of covert and illegal FBI operations aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting left wing political organisations in America. The leaders of pro-civil rights, anti-Vietnam war and pro-...

  • 🎧 The Rise of J. Edgar Hoover

    J. Edgar Hoover was the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for 48 years. He grew the agency from a small, obscure operation to one that employed thousands of agents, investigating everything from kidnapping and bank robberies to political subversion and international espionage. Bever...

  • 🎧 Ellis Island

    From the 1880s to the 1920s the United States experienced a huge wave of immigration. People fleeing poverty and political instability in Europe, plus a huge demand for labour in the US, meant record numbers of people came to America. Most arrived by ship and were processed on Ellis Island, in Ne...

  • 🎧 Dr Martin Luther King Jr

    Dr Martin Luther King Jr was one of the figureheads of the civil rights movement in America. On 28th August 1963, he made one of the greatest English language speeches of all time, I Have A Dream. A quarter of million people, who had gathered in the National Mall after the Great March on Washingt...

  • 🎧 Inside Benjamin Franklin's House

    Join Don as he visits Benjamin Franklin's home of nearly 16 years: 36 Craven Street, London. Now a museum, its director Marcia Balisciano explains what brought the famous polymath to London, how he lived and the various things the famed scientist, diplomat, philosopher, inventor and Founding Fath...

  • 🎧 Downton Abbey

    It’s December 1912 and we’re joining in with the festivities at Highclere Castle, in London England. The prime minister is Herbert H. Asquith and King George V is on the throne. Across the Atlantic, America has left the Gilded Age behind and elected Woodrow Wilson as president.

    Downton Abbey, th...

  • 🎧 Lessons from the Civil War

    Gone with the Wind, released in 1939, is the highest-grossing film of all time. Based on Margaret Mitchell's novel published a few years earlier, it is a story of romance set against the backdrop of the civil war and reconstruction era. But, as Sarah Churchwell tells Don, it whitewashes the horro...

  • 🎧 The French & Indian War with Dan Snow

    As the British and French colonies in North America expanded in the middle of the 18th century, they inevitably clashed. Fighting between the two sides and their respective Native American allies began in Ohio Country (now western Pennsylvania) in 1754. Dan Snow tells Don how fighting began in 17...

  • 🎧 The War of 1812

    In the early 19th century, amidst the Napoleonic wars, the British began restricting the United States’ trade with Europe. On top of this, the British Navy began recruiting American sailors by force. As a result, on 18th June, 1812, the US declared war. The conflict, between the United States and...

  • 🎧 The Assassination of President McKinley

    On 5th September, 1901, President William McKinley attended a public reception at the Pan American Exposition, a 6-month-long World’s Fair, in Buffalo, New York. He was at the height of his power, having been re-elected at the beginning of the year. But one of the people who stood in line to meet...

  • 🎧 Pearl Harbor

    On the morning of 7th December 1941, hundreds of Japanese planes took off from aircraft carriers and attacked Pearl Harbor, on Oahu island, Hawaii. They took out ships, bombed airfields and killed thousands of Americans. Japan intended to neutralise the US navy, to prevent it from interfering in ...

  • 🎧 Start of the Space Race

    Space historian Jay Gallentine tells Don how World War 2 weapons paved the way for space rockets, igniting a space race between the USA and the USSR that would see the first projectiles, satellites and people leave Earth’s atmosphere.

  • 🎧 Capturing Lincoln’s Assassin

    On shooting President Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth fled Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC on horseback, eventually heading south. But Lincoln’s was not the only assassination planned that night. Michael Kauffman tells Don about the others - attempted and abandoned - on the evening of April 1...

  • 🎧 The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

    On the evening of 14th April, 1865, the Union was celebrating victory in the civil war, won 5 days earlier with General Lee's surrender at Appomattox. President Abraham Lincoln was watching a play at Ford's Theatre in Washington DC. But some Southern sympathisers still thought the Confederacy cou...

  • 🎧 The First Thanksgiving

    In the fall of 1621, a year after the pilgrim ship the Mayflower landed on the coast of New England, the settlers of the Plymouth Colony celebrated their first successful harvest. Joining them at the three day feast were the Wampanoag people, Native Americans who had to taught the settlers how to...

  • 🎧 Ronald Reagan: The Peacemaker

    When Ronald Reagan became President in 1981, he was initially written off by many as a reckless B movie cowboy who would lead the US to nuclear war. However, as William Inboden tells Don, Reagan would go on to defy the odds on the international stage. Navigating complex foreign policy challenges,...

  • 🎧 Who Really Invented the Light Bulb?

    While Thomas Edison is widely credited as the inventor of the electric lightbulb in 1879, it had existed in one form or another since the the beginning of the 19th century. But as Hugh Price tells Don, another American - Lewis Latimer - had his own light bulb moment: tweaking Edison’s invention a...

  • 🎧 The Whiskey Rebellion

    The Whiskey Tax, imposed in 1791, was the first federal tax on a domestic product by a United States government. It was introduced by Alexander Hamilton to pay the interest on war bonds that had been issued to wealthy backers of the the American Revolution. But many Whiskey distillers in Western ...

  • African Americans in WW2

    The experience of African Americans in World War 2 was, to say the least, a gross double standard. While fascism was confronted in the name of liberty and justice, those same ideals were denied to African Americans, who suffered racism and segregation, at home and on the front line. As Matthew De...

  • 🎧 The Race for the North Pole

    On April 6th 1909, deep inside the Artic Circle after months on the ice, Robert Peary, Matthew Henson and their four Inuit guides reached what they thought was the North Pole. But, as Edward J. Larson tells Don, Peary’s measurements and the speed of their journey were immediately called into ques...

  • 🎧 Becoming FDR

    In August 1921, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was 39 years old, he contracted Polio, paralysing him from the waist down. Jonathan Darman tells Don how, despite some telling FDR that any political aspirations he might have were over, he went on to become the 32nd President of the United States.

    Prod...