🎧 American History Hit

🎧 American History Hit

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🎧 American History Hit
  • 🎧 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...

  • 🎧 Sleepy Hollow and the Haunted Hudson

    On Halloween, Elizabeth Bradley tells Don about Washington Irving's famous story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, its headless horseman and the influence of European folklore on this famous American gothic tale.

    Produced by Benjie Guy. Mixed by Thomas Ntinas. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long.

  • 🎧 America's Psychedelic '60s: Timothy Leary and LSD

    In 1963, a Gilded Age estate in Millbrook, New York, became a venue for academic research into therapeutic uses for LSD, led by psychologist Timothy Leary. Over the next few years evolved into the home of the psychedelic movement of 1960s America.

    Guests were invited to turn on, tune in, drop o...

  • 🎧 The Oregon Trail

    From the 1830s until the arrival of the transcontinental railroad, hundreds of thousands of people packed their possessions into wagons and headed west, seeking land and opportunity. Following in the footsteps of Native Americans and fur trading β€˜mountain men’, many travelled for several months a...

  • 🎧 CIA: The History

    When the Central Intelligence Agency was created by President Truman in 1947, it was the latest incarnation of an American intelligence-gathering service. Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones tells Don about the evolution that led to the creation of the CIA and the often controversial covert operations it has u...

  • 🎧 The US Marines' Pacific War

    When US Marines landed on the island of Guadalcanal in the Pacific, in August 1942, they were taking part in the first US ground offensive of World War 2.

    As Saul David tells Don, in taking on the Japanese in the Pacific, they would go on to engage in some of the bloodiest fighting of the whole ...

  • 🎧 Edward Rulloff: The Gilded Age Hannibal Lecter

    Edward Rulloff was described as β€œa monster imbued by the spirit of the devil”. In 1844, he murdered his wife, likely killing his daughter at the same time, though he never admitted it.

    He spent the next three decades either incarcerated or on the run, becoming a career criminal. After killing a...

  • 🎧 Cuban Missile Crisis

    In October 1962, the United States confirmed that Soviet missiles were being deployed in Cuba. President John F. Kennedy had to contemplate the consequences of any US response, knowing an escalation of hostilities could end in all-out nuclear war.

    What followed was the period of greatest tension...

  • 🎧 Central Park: What Lies Beneath

    Central Park is an oasis of nature in New York City, amidst the countless skyscrapers and gridded streets of Manhattan. Over 800 acres of sweeping fields, shaded pathways and picturesque vistas attract more than 42 million visitors a year. It was created to give free and equal access to recreatio...

  • 🎧 Pontiac's Rebellion

    In 1763, Native American tribes in the Great Lakes region began fighting British expansion and rule in their territory, attacking forts and settlements. They were led by the Odawa war chief, Pontiac. The conflicts, which continued over the course of 3 years, forced the British to re-examine their...

  • 🎧 The Battle of Midway

    The Battle of Midway took place between the US and Japan in June 1942. The US victory, after 4 days of fighting in the air and sea around the Pacific island of Midway, is widely seen as a turning point in the Pacific War in World War 2. Craig L. Symonds tells Don about the key decisions made by b...

  • 🎧 Hollywood Blacklist

    After World War 2 ended, the Nazis defeated, America feared communist infiltration of its institutions, among them, Hollywood.

    In November 1947, a number of high profile β€˜friendly witnesses’ in the film industry, including Walt Disney and Jack Warner of Warner Brothers, appeared before the House...

  • 🎧 Declaration of Independence

    While the Revolutionary War was being fought in July 1776, the 13 British colonies in America came together to approve their Declaration of Independence, the founding document of the United States of America.

    Shaped by the Enlightenment ideas of liberty, happiness and reason, the document has si...

  • 🎧 The Atomic Bomb & the Secret City

    In 1939 Franklin D Roosevelt received a letter from Albert Einstein, warning him that the Nazis might be developing nuclear weapons. America has to act fast.

    What follows is the creation of a secret city in the rural area of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Around 75,000 people moved to the secret city dur...

  • 🎧 The Queen & US Presidents

    We had plans today to release the first two episodes of American History Hit but due to the news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II last week, we’ve decided to take some time and do something a little different.

    You’ll hear those episodes on Thursday September 22, until then here’s a special min...