Forever Ago

American Public Media

Brains On presents Forever Ago®, a history show for the whole family! Every episode looks into the surprising and fascinating history of things we think are ordinary, but they’re not -- like ice cream flavors, video games, baths and more. We make learning about the past fun while teaching listeners to think critically about history. read less

Our Editor's Take

Forever Ago is a family podcast that uncovers the surprising origins of everyday things. Joy Dolo, a Minnesota-based performer, teacher, and writer, hosts the show. Each week, Joy has a different guest cohost-a kid who assists her in exploring that episode's topic. The podcast is a production of American Public Media. This means listeners can be sure they're getting well-researched and accurate information.

The podcast aims to foster a love of history in children. The show does this in several ways. It uses a playful tone with lots of silly banter. The show ties in historical events and discoveries with present-day reality. It also focuses on events that children might not have heard about elsewhere. Using storytelling to make history more engaging is an old and effective trick. Forever Ago elevates it and adds its distinctive flair.

Joy and her cohost are careful to choose topics that reflect the perspectives of all Americans. They devote one episode to cornrows. They explore why the lawn is symbolic of the American dream and how that affects the environment. They learn about Cheng I Sao, a female Chinese pirate from the early 1800s who was in charge of the South China Sea. They explore the historical reasons why many African Americans dislike swimming. A guest historian often comes on to talk about a topic in more detail.

Lovers of trivia will enjoy playing along with "First Things First!" It's a segment where Joy and her cohost guess which of three items came first. What came first-neon clothes, baseball caps, or bell-bottom pants? What about cheese, juggling, or written language? Listeners will get to find out the answers.

Forever Ago is an excellent choice for kids who like to know where things come from. Parents and big kids will also appreciate learning about little-known people and events. Episodes come out once a week and each one lasts about half an hour. Fans of podcasts like Smash Boom Best may appreciate this show.

read less
Do scientists have superpowers?
Feb 13 2023
Do scientists have superpowers?
Hi! It’s Joy Dolo here. Forever Ago will be back in your feed with new episodes in May! But to tide you over until then, I wanted to share this episode with you that I made with my friends at Brains On. You’ll get to meet some incredible scientists, play the mystery sound game and listen to me contemplate whether tacos are sandwiches! It’s so much fun. Thanks, Friends! Enjoy the show!It's just a normal day at Brains On headquarters, until Molly and co-host Aaliyah find Forever Ago host Joy Dolo in the midst of a full-blown stress attack. She has a lot on her agenda: it's her birthday month and Black History Month, she's producing a one-woman show, she's got episodes to host, parades to plan and a self-portrait made entirely out of found objects due for her art class! Joy isn't sure which way is up, if tacos are sandwiches and if she should re-think her entire life. Luckily, there are all sorts of amazing scientists who just happen to be hanging out at Brains On HQ happy to help. Chemist Joya Cooley, urban ecologist Jasmin Green, roboticist Randi Williams, entomologist Jessica Ware and space suit technician Sharon McDougle are on the case, ready to share their wisdom and superpowers with Joy.This episode is sponsored by Disney Channel and Disney+. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur premieres Friday, February 10 at 8p on Disney Channel and available on Disney+ Wednesday, February 15. Visit for more info.
The lawn con: A history of grass
Oct 26 2022
The lawn con: A history of grass
Grab your hedge clippers and don’t forget to feed your plastic flamingos! Joy and cohost Max are exploring the surprising history—and even more surprising legacy—of the American lawn. The clean, green front lawn has been synonymous with the American Dream for decades, but…why do we like lawns so much? A green-year-round carpet of grass takes a lot of water and other resources to maintain, and can pollute local ecosystems. How can we get the pleasant sanctuary of a traditional lawn without harming the environment? Joy and Max climb a massive hill and find some donkeys, and lawnfluencer superstar Ry-Ry the Lawn Guy experiences a revelation. We hear from local wildlife, and environmental conservationist and tall-grass enthusiast Neil Diboll encourages us to let our lawn’s wild side come out to play. Naturally, the biggest question is: Will Joy construct the perfect topiary self-portrait?Once you’ve gotten the grass stains out of your pants, see if you can put this First Things First in the correct order: Plastic lawn flamingoes, the gas-powered lawnmower, and AstroTurf. Also--what summer shoe is one of the oldest styles of footwear in the whole world? Didja Know has the deets!This episode was sponsored by:Fabric Insurance ( - Apply today in just 10 minutes at meet fabric dot com slash forever. Policies issued by Western-Southern Life Assurance Company. Not available in certain states. Prices subject to underwriting and health questions.)