Unsung History

Kelly Therese Pollock

A podcast about people and events in American history you may not know much about. Yet.

The Women who Programmed the ENIAC
4d ago
The Women who Programmed the ENIAC
During World War II, the United States Army contracted with a group of engineers at the University of Pennsylvania Moore School of Electrical Engineering to build the ENIAC, the world’s first programmable general-purpose electronic digital computer in order to more quickly calculate numbers for ballistics tables. Once the top-secret device was built, someone needed to figure out how to program the more than 17,000 vacuum tubes, 70,000 resistors, 10,000 capacitors, 6,000 switches, and 1,500 mechanical relays so that the calculations could be run. Six women mathematicians who had been manually calculating the figures, were chosen to develop the programming, which they worked out before they were even allowed to see the machine. Joining me to help us learn more about the ENIAC six is Kathy Kleiman, a leader in Internet law and policy, founder of the ENIAC Programmers Project, and author of the 2022 book, Proving Ground: The Untold Story of the Six Women Who Programmed the World's First Modern Computer. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The episode image is “Photograph of World's First Computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator,” National Archives at College Park, ARC Identifier 594262. Sources: Proving Ground: The Untold Story of the Six Women Who Programmed the World’s First Modern Computer by Kathy Kleiman The ENIAC Programmers Project “Jean Bartik, Software Pioneer, Dies at 86,” by Steve Lohr, The New York Times, April 7, 2011. “Frances E. Holberton, 84, Early Computer Programmer,” by Steve Lohr, The New York Times, December 17, 2001. The Computers: The Remarkable Story of the ENIAC Programmers, 2016, Vimeo On-Demand. “ENIAC Accumulator #2,” Smithsonian National Museum of American History. “The world’s first general purpose computer turns 75,” by Erica K. Brockmeier, Penn Today, February 11, 2021. “The Brief History of the ENIAC Computer,” by Steven Levy, Smithsonian Magazine, November 2013. “ENIAC: First computer makes history,” by Michael Kanellos, ZDNet, February 13, 2006. “ENIAC Programmers,” Women in Technology Hall of Fame Awards. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Filipino Nurses in the United States
Aug 1 2022
Filipino Nurses in the United States
A February 2021 report by National Nurses United found that while Filipinos make up 4% of RNs in the United States, they accounted for a stunning 26.4% of the registered nurses who had died of COVID-19 and related complications. Why are there so many Filipino nurses in the United States and especially so many of the frontlines of healthcare? To answer that question, we need to look at the history of American colonization of The Philippines, United States immigration policies, and the establishment of the Medicare and Medicaid programs in the US.  Joining me to help us learn more about Filipino nurses is Dr. Catherine Ceniza Choy, Professor of Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies and Comparative Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of the 2003 book, Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History, and the new book, Asian American Histories of the United States. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The episode image is “Baby show arranged by Red Cross nurse, Phillipines [sic] Chapter, P.I. Philippines, 1922,” Courtesy of the Library of Congress, No known restrictions on publication. Additional Sources: When the Reporter Asks You Why There Are So Many Filipino Nurses in the U.S.: You want more than the count of their lives lost,” by Catherine Ceniza Choy, The Margins, May 17, 2021. “Why are there so many Filipino nurses in the U.S.?” by Anne Brice, Berkeley News, May 28, 2019. “Why are there so many Filipino Nurses in California? After Filling a Nursing Shortage in the 1960s, Immigrant Caregivers Have Changed the Practice and the Politics of Health Care” by Catherine Ceniza Choy, Zocalo, September 20, 2019 “Sins of Omission How Government Failures to Track Covid-19 Data Have Led to More Than 3,200 Health Care Worker Deaths and Jeopardize Public Health,” National Nurses United, Updated March 2021. “COVID-19 takes heavy toll on Filipino health care workers,” PBS News Weekend, May 9, 2020. “The History of Medicare,” National Academy of Social Insurance.  “History, Philippines,” by Gregorio C. Borlaza, Britannica.  “Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965,” History, Art, & Archives, United States House of Representatives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Townsend Family Legacy
Jul 25 2022
The Townsend Family Legacy
When Alabama plantation owner Samuel Townsend died in 1856, he willed his vast fortune to his children and his nieces. What seems like an ordinary bequest was anything but, since Townsend’s children and nieces were his enslaved property. Townsend, who knew the will would be challenged in court, left nothing to chance, hiring the best lawyer he could find to ensure that his legatees received both their freedom and the resources they would need to survive in a country that was often hostile to free African Americans. To learn more about the Townsend Family, I’m joined in this episode by ​public historian Dr. R. Isabela Morales, the Editor and Project Manager of The Princeton & Slavery Project, and author of Happy Dreams of Liberty: An American Family in Slavery and Freedom. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The episode image is “Fugitive African Americans fording the Rappahannock,” photographed by Timothy H. O’Sullivan in August 1862. The image is in the public domain and available via the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division Additional Sources: “An enslaved Alabama family and the question of generational wealth in the US,” by Isabela Morales, OUP Blog, June 15, 2022. “Estate of Samuel Townsend,” The University of Alabama Libraries Special Collections, Septimus D. Cabiness papers. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Unusual Codicil in Benjamin Franklin's Will
Jul 18 2022
The Unusual Codicil in Benjamin Franklin's Will
When Benjamin Franklin died in April 1790, his last will contained an unusual codicil, leaving 1000 pounds sterling each to Philadelphia and Boston, to be used in a very specific way that he hoped would both help tradesmen in the two cities and eventually leave the cities, and their respective states, with fortunes to spend on public works 200 years later. At a moment when it wasn’t clear whether the United States would survive at all, Franklin made a gamble on the American spirit. To learn more about the fascinating tale of Ben Franklin’s will, I’m joined by Michael Meyer, Professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, and author of Benjamin Franklin's Last Bet: The Favorite Founder's Divisive Death, Enduring Afterlife, and Blueprint for American Prosperity. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The episode image is a painting of Benjamin Franklin, by Joseph-Siffred Duplessis. It is available in the Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons. Additional Sources: Library of Congress Benjamin Franklin Papers Franklin Timeline, The Benjamin Franklin House Last WIll & Testament of Benjamin Franklin, Living Trust Network “​​From Ben Franklin, a Gift That's Worth Two Fights,” by Fox Butterfield, The New York Times, April 21, 1990 “How a 200-Year-Old Gift From Benjamin Franklin Made Boston and Philadelphia a Fortune,” by Jake Rossen, Mental Floss, August 20, 2020 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Dale Evans, Queen of the West
Jul 11 2022
Dale Evans, Queen of the West
Dale Evans is probably best known as the Queen of the West, the wife and co-star of the King of Cowboys, Roy Rogers. But before she ever met Roy, Dale had a successful career in singing, songwriting, and acting, and she had plans to be an even bigger star in musicals, which to Dale, meant not Westerns.  This week we do a deep dive into the life of Dale Evans and how she became a cowgirl, with historian Dr. Theresa Kaminski, author of the new book, Queen of the West: The Life and Times of Dale Evans. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The episode image is a photograph of Dale Evans taken by Harry Warnecke in 1947. It is in the public domain and available via the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. The musical interludes are “Don’t Ever Fall in Love with a Cowboy,” written and performed by Dale Evans in 1949; and “Cowgirl Polka,” written and performed by Dale Evans in 1950. The audio for both is in the public domain and available via the Internet Archive.  Additional Sources: “Dale Evans (1912–2001),” by Nancy Hendricks, Encyclopedia of Arkansas, February 6, 2018. “Dale Evans, the Queen of the West, Is Dead at 88,” by James Barron, The New York TImes, February 8, 2001 “Roy Rogers + Dale Evans: A Love Story Made in the West,” by Courtney Fox, Wide Open Country, May 30, 2022 “Dale Evans,” RoyRogers.com “The story of Roy Rogers, the man behind the ‘King of the Cowboys,’” by Jeff Suess, Cincinnati Enquirer, June 19, 2022 “The Legacy Lives On: Meet Roy Rogers’ Children,” by Kim C, Country Rebel, November 2, 2020 Videos: Dale Evans Sings "I Love the West" (From "Bells of San Angelo", 1947) “Dale Evans: Beyond The Happy Trails: Dusty Rogers Interview” Roy Rogers & Dale Evans "They Call The Wind Maria & Wand'rin' Star" on The Ed Sullivan Show, 1970 Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Biography - Happy Trails Theatre Feature  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Independence Day
Jul 4 2022
Independence Day
On July 4, Americans will eat 150 million hot dogs, spend $1 billion on beer, and watch 16,000 fireworks displays (and those are just the official ones). But why do we celebrate on July 4, when did it become a national holiday, and did John Adams eat hot dogs? Joining me for the story of the Declaration of Independence, why July 4th might not be the right date to be celebrating, and who the signers actually were, is historian, podcaster, and DC tour guide, Rebecca Fachner. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. The musical interlude is “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” written by John Philip Sousa and performed by the United States Navy Band in 1929. The recording is in the public domain and is housed in the Internet Archive. The image is a photograph of “The Declaration of Independence: One of two ‘exact’ facsimiles given to James Madison on June 30, 1824, sent by John Quincy Adams as Secretary of State, according to Congressional Resolution. Copperplate engraving printed on vellum, William J. Stone, 1823.” Declaration is in the collection of David M. Rubenstein and is displayed in Chicago, Illinois. The photograph of the Declaration was taken by Kelly Therese Pollock on July 1, 2022.  Sources: “Declaration of Independence: A Transcription,” National Archives. “Opinion: Independence Day on July 2? John Adams got it right,” by David Cutler, PBS NewsHour, July 3, 2018. “Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, 3 July 1776,” Massachusetts Historical Society. “Fourth of July – Independence Day,” History.com, December 16, 2009; Updated June 21, 2022. “Where Did the Term ‘Gerrymander’ Come From?” by Erick Trickey, Smithsonian Magazine, July 20, 2017. “Forgotten Founders: Elbridge Gerry, The ‘Brusque Maverick,’” by Nicholas Mosvick, Constitution Daily, August 3, 2020. “10 Things You Didn't Know About the Fourth of July,” by Jason Serafino, Mental Floss, July 4, 2018; Updated June 28, 2022. “What's the History of July 4th? Plus, 22 Surprising 4th of July Facts,” by Linsay Lowe, Parade Magazine, July 2, 2022. “25 Fun 4th of July Trivia Facts to Spark Your Red, White, and Blue Spirit,” by Josiah Soto, The Pioneer Woman, June 17, 2022. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The 1966 Compton's Cafeteria Riot
Jun 27 2022
The 1966 Compton's Cafeteria Riot
On a hot weekend night in August 1966 trans women fought back against police harassment at Compton’s Cafeteria in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. Although the Compton’s riot didn’t spark a national movement the way Stonewall would three years later, it did have an effect, leading to the creation of support services for transgender people in San Francisco, and a reduction in police brutality against the trans community. Joining me to discuss the riot, its causes, and its aftermath, is historian Dr. Susan Stryker, co-writer and co-director of the Emmy-winning 2005 documentary, Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria, and author of several books, including Transgender History: The Roots of Today's Revolution. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Image origin is unknown; it is used as the cover image of the documentary, and appears in many related news stories without attribution. Additional sources: “At the Crossroads of Turk and Taylor: Resisting carceral power in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District,” by Susan Stryker, Places Journal, October 2021. “Compton's Cafeteria riot: a historic act of trans resistance, three years before Stonewall,” by Sam Levin, The Guardian, June 21, 2019. “Ladies In The Streets: Before Stonewall, Transgender Uprising Changed Lives,” by Nicole Pasulka, NPR Code Switch, May 5, 2015. “Don't Let History Forget About Compton's Cafeteria Riot,” by Neal Broverman, Advocate, August 2, 2018. “Compton's Cafeteria Riot,” by Andrea Borchert, Los Angeles Public Library, April 16, 2021. “How lost photos of a defining landmark in LGBTQ history were rediscovered on Facebook,” by Ryan Kost, San Francisco Chronicle, May 25, 2021. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Two-Spirit People in Native American Cultures
Jun 20 2022
Two-Spirit People in Native American Cultures
In the summer of 1990, at the third annual Native American/First Nations gay and lesbian conference, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the term Two Spirit was established. An English translation of the Northern Algonquin term niizh manitoag, Two Spirit describes masculine and feminine qualities within a single person. As a pan tribal term, Two Spirit both connected organizers across different Native nations and also helped them re-discover the traditional terminology used in their own cultural history. Joining me to help us understand more about the Two-Spirit people is Dr. Gregory Smithers, a American history at Virginia Commonwealth University, and author of the new book, Reclaiming Two-Spirits: Sexuality, Spiritual Renewal & Sovereignty in Native America. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Image Credit: “We-Wa, a Zuni berdache, full length portrait,” photographed between circa 1871 and circa 1907 by John K. Hillers, National Archives at College Park, Public domain. Additional sources: “What does 'Two-Spirit' mean? What to know about Two-Spirit, indigenous LGBTQ identities,” by David Oliver, USA Today, December 10, 2021. “8 Things You Should Know About Two Spirit People,” by Tony Enos, Indian Country Today, September 13, 2018. “Two Spirit and LGBTQ+ Identities: Today and Centuries Ago,” Human Rights Campaign, November 23, 2020. “The 'two-spirit' people of indigenous North Americans,” by Walter L. Williams, The Guardian, October 11, 2010. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Women's House of Detention in Greenwich Village
Jun 13 2022
The Women's House of Detention in Greenwich Village
The 12-story Women’s House of Detention, situated in the heart of Greenwich Village in New York City, from 1932 to 1974, was central to the queer history of The Village. The House of D, as it was known, housed such inmates as Angela Davis, Afeni Shakur, Andrea Dworkin, and Valerie Solanas, and was formative in their thinking and writing. On the night of the Stonewall Riots, the incarcerated women and transmaculaine people in the House of D, a few hundred feet away from The Stonewall Inn, joined in, chanting “Gay power!” and lighting their possessions on fire and throwing them out the windows onto the street in solidarity. Joining me to help us understand more about the Women’s House of Detention and its role in queer history is historian and writer Hugh Ryan, author of the 2022 book, The Women's House of Detention: A Queer History of a Forgotten Prison. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Image Credit: “Women’s House of Detention, Jefferson Market Courthouse, View Northwest from West 8th Street, at Sixth and Greenwich Avenues, 1943,” Municipal Archives, Department of Public Works Collection. Additional Sources: “Prison Memoirs: The New York Women’s House of Detention,” by Angela Davis,The Village Voice, Originally published October 10, 1974. “The Women’s House of Detention,” by Sarah Bean Apmann, Village Preservation, January 29, 2018. “Women’s House of Detention,” 1931-1974, by Joan Nestle, Out History, Historical Musings 2008. “'The Women's House of Detention' Illuminates a Horrific Prison That 'Helped Define Queerness for America',” by Gabrielle Bruney, Jezebel, May 9, 2022. “Site of the Women's House of Detention (1932-1974),” by Rebecca Woodham and Clio Admin,” Clio: Your Guide to History. February 26, 2021. “The Queer History of the Women’s House of Detention,” by Hugh Ryan, The Activist History Review, May 31, 2019. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Queer History of the Women's Suffrage Movement
Jun 6 2022
The Queer History of the Women's Suffrage Movement
Queer suffragists were central to the women’s suffrage movement in the United States from its earliest days. However, in a movement that placed great importance on public image in service of the goal of achieving the vote, queer suffragists who pushed the boundaries of “respectability” were sometimes ostracized, and others hid their queerness, or had it erased by others. Joining me to help us learn about queer suffragists is historian Dr. Wendy Rouse, Associate Professor in History at San Jose State University. Dr. Rouse is the author of a new book from New York University Press, Public Faces, Secret Lives: A Queer History of the Women's Suffrage Movement.  Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Image Credit: “Carrie Chapman Catt (1859–1947) and Mary Garrett Hay (1857–1928) casting ballots, presumably during the midterm elections, November 5, 1918.” Carrie Chapman Catt Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress (128.00.00) Additional Sources: “When lesbians led the women’s suffrage movement,” by Anya Jabour, The Conversation, January 24, 2020. “How Queer Women Powered the Suffrage Movement,” by Maya Salam, The New York Times, August 14, 2020. “Carrie & Mollie & Anna & Lucy: Queering the Women’s Suffrage Movement,” by Susan War, American Experience, PBS, October 23, 2020. “The Very Queer History of the Suffrage Movement,” by Wendy Rouse, National Park Service. “The Queer Suffragists Who Fought for Women’s Right to Vote: New research shows that women’s right to vote, now a century old, was won by a distinctly LGBTQ+ group of activists,” by Sarah D. Collins, Them, August 14, 2020. “When American Suffragists Tried to ‘Wear the Pants,” by Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, The Atlantic, June 12, 2019. “The Unconventional Life of Mary Walker, the Only Woman to Have Received the U.S. Medal of Honor: Dress reformer, women’s rights activist, and all-around pioneer,” by Anika Burgess, Atlas Obscura, September 27, 2017. “Annie Rensselaer Tinker (1884-1924) Of East Setauket And NYC: Philanthropist, Suffragist, WWI Volunteer In Europe,” by Catherine Tinker, Long Island History Journal, 2017. Related Episodes: Sophonisba Breckinridge Alice Dunbar-Nelson Mary Ann Shadd Cary Mabel Ping-Hua Lee Zitkála-Šá The Suffrage Road Trip of 1915 Fashion, Feminism, and the New Woman of the late 19th Century Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Chinese Grocery Stores in the Mississippi Delta
May 30 2022
Chinese Grocery Stores in the Mississippi Delta
During Reconstruction, cotton planters in the Mississippi Delta recruited Chinese laborers to work on their plantations, to replace the emancipated slaves who had previously done the hard labor. However, the Chinese workers quickly learned that they couldn’t earn enough money picking cotton to send back to their families, and they turned instead to running small grocery stores, filling a niche in the market of the Deep South. At one point, the city of Greenville, Mississippi, had 40,000 residents and 50 Chinese-owned grocery stores. Although the numbers of Chinese Americans living in the Mississippi Delta region had dwindled now, their legacy remains. Joining me to help us learn about this history is filmmaker and musician Larissa Lam, director of the 2021 documentary Far East Deep South, which follows her husband’s family as they search for their own lost family history in the Mississippi Delta.  Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Image Credit: “In the Mississippi Delta. There is an ever-increasing number of Chinese grocerymen and merchants.” Marion Post Wolcott, photographer.  Leland, Mississippi, 1939. The photograph is courtesy of the Library of Congress and is in the Public Domain. Audio Credit: “The First Day,” by Larissa Lam, from the 2015 album Love & Discovery, Label: LOG Records/Del Oro Music. Song clip used with permission of the artist. Additional Sources: “The Legacy Of The Mississippi Delta Chinese,” Melissa Block and Elissa Nadworny, NPR, March 18, 2017. “Chinese in Mississippi: An Ethnic People in a Biracial Society,” Charles Reagan Wilson, Mississippi History Now, November 2022. “Neither Black Nor White in the Mississippi Delta: Two photographers document a community of Chinese-Americans in the birthplace of the blues,” James Estrin, The New York Times, March 13, 2018. “The Grocery Story of the Mississippi Delta Chinese,” Victoria Bouloubasis, Somewhere South, April 13, 2020. Mississippi Delta Chinese: Life in Chinese Grocery Stores. “Op-Ed: How African Americans and Chinese immigrants forged a community in the Delta generations ago,” by Larissa Lam, Los Angeles Times, April 4, 2021. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Patsy Mink
May 23 2022
Patsy Mink
In Patsy Mink’s first term in Congress in 1965, she was one of only 11 women serving in the US House of Representatives, and she was the first woman of color to ever serve in Congress. Mink was no stranger to firsts, being the first Japanese-American woman licensed to practice law in Hawaii, after being one of only two women in her graduating class at the University of Chicago Law School. She would later be the first Asian American to run for President.  Mink leaned on her own experiences of sexism and racism in writing and supporting legislation to help women, especially women of color and women in poverty. MInk co-authored and supported the landmark Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act,  that stated that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” After Mink’s death in 2002, Title IX was renamed the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act. Joining me to help us learn about Patsy Mink are Dr. Judy Tzu-Chun Wu, Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Irvine, and Patsy Mink’s daughter, Dr. Gwendolyn (Wendy) Mink, former Professor of Politics at the University of California, Santa Cruz and former Professor of Women and Gender Studies at Smith College. Drs. Wu and Mink have co-authored a new book, Fierce and Fearless: Patsy Takemoto Mink, First Woman of Color in Congress.  Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Image Credit: “1972 campaign poster image from the Patsy Mink for President Committee,” Congressional Portrait File, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-122137) - Patsy T. Mink Papers at the Library of Congress. Image is in the Public Domain. Audio Credit: “The National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year 1975 sponsored this conversation with Rep. Martha Griffith (D-Michigan), Rep. Patsy Mink (D-Hawaii) and Wendy Ross of the U.S. Information Service.” November 26, 1974. Video/Audio is in the Public Domain. Additional Sources: “MINK, Patsy Takemoto,” United States House of Representatives Archives. “Patsy T. Mink Papers” at the Library of Congress “Women who made legal history: Patsy Mink,” University of Chicago Law School, March 31, 2021. “Rewriting the Rules: Celebrating 50 Years of Title IX,” The William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii at Manoa.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The US-Born Japanese Americans (Nisei) who Migrated to Japan
May 16 2022
The US-Born Japanese Americans (Nisei) who Migrated to Japan
In the decades before World War II, 50,000 of the US-born children of Japanese immigrants (a quarter of their total population) migrated from the United States to the Japanese Empire. Although these second generation Japanese Americans (called Nisei) were US citizens, they faced prejudice and discrimination in the US and went to Japan in search of a better life.  Joining me to help us learn about the Nisei who returned to Japan, what motivated them, and the challenges they faced both in Japan and back in the US is Dr. Michael Jin, Assistant Professor of Global Asian Studies and History at the University of Illinois Chicago and author of Citizens, Immigrants, and the Stateless: A Japanese American Diaspora in the Pacific. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Image Credit: “Two students pose outisde a building. Phillip Okano attended school in Japan from 1923-1933,” Courtesy of Okano Family Collection, Densho, This work is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Audio Credit: “Tanko Bushi (Coal Miners Dance),” performed by Masao Suzuki, 1956. Courtesy of the Internet Archive. Audio is in the Public Domain. Additional Sources: “Stranded: Nisei in Japan Before, During, and After World War II,” by Brian Niiya, Densho, July 28, 2016. “Immigration and Relocation in U.S. History: Japanese,” Library of Congress. “Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II,” Smithsonian National Museum of American History. “First Japanese immigrant arrives in the U.S.” History.com, March 26, 2021. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Thai Americans & the Rise of Thai Food in the United States
May 9 2022
Thai Americans & the Rise of Thai Food in the United States
There are around 300,000 Thai Americans but almost 5,000 Thai restaurants in the United States. To understand how Thai restaurants became so ubiquitous in the US, we dive into the history of how Thai cuisine arrived in the US before Thai immigrants started to arrive in large numbers, and how Thai Americans capitalized on the popularity of their food to find their niche in the US economy. I’m joined in this episode by Associate Professor of Asian and Asian American Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Dr. Mark Padoongpatt, author of Flavors of Empire: Food and the Making of Thai America. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Image Credit: “Thai chef Salapirom Phanita, from Pattaya Marriot hotel catering, prepares food in the forward-deployed amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga's (LSD 46) galley during a cooking exchange with U.S. Navy chefs as a part of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Thailand 2013. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amanda S. Kitchner/Released).” Please consider a donation to the Thai Community Development Center. Additional Sources: “How Thai food took over America,” by Francis Lam, The Splendid Table, January 10, 2019. “The Surprising Reason that There Are So Many Thai Restaurants in America,” by Myles Karp, Vice, March 29, 2018. “Jet Tila on the Evolution of Thai Food in America,” by Gowri Chandra, Food and Wine, April 27, 2018. “Thai Food, Constructed and Deconstructed,” by Raegen Pietrucha, UNLV News Center, September 19, 2019. “The Decades-Long Evolution of Thai Cuisine in Los Angeles,” by Jean Trinhm KCET, December 12, 2018. “Thai Cusine’s Right Time and Place,” by Mimi Sheraton, New York Times, May 20, 1981. “Pad Thai Diplomacy,” by Savannah Wallace, Medium, August 9, 2020. “You Call This Thai Food? The Robotic Taster Will Be the Judge,” by Thomas Fuller, New York Times, September 28, 2014. “The Oddly Autocratic Roots of Pad Thai,” by Alex Mayyasi, Atlas Obscura, November 7, 2019. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Mary Paik Lee
May 2 2022
Mary Paik Lee
Mary Paik Lee (Paik Kuang Sun) was born in the Korean Empire on August 17, 1900, and was baptized by American Presbyterian minister Dr. Samuel Austin Moffett, one of the first American Presbyterian missionaries to come to Korea. In 1905, her family left Korea for Hawaii, fleeing the Japanese occupation of the Korean Peninsula. Late in her life, Mary wrote a memoir, recounting her family’s struggles in Hawaii and then California, where they faced discrimination and poverty, all while striving to make a better life and holding firm to their Presbyterian faith. I’m joined in this episode by historian Dr. Jane Hong, author of Opening the Gates to Asia: A Transpacific History of How America Repealed Asian Exclusion, who helps contextualize Mary’s story in the larger story of Asian immigration to the United States in the 20th Century. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Image Credit: “Mr. and Mrs. H. M. Lee with their first son, Henry, in Anaheim, 1926,” from family photo albums.  Sources: Quiet Odyssey: A Pioneer Korean Woman in America, by Mary Paik Lee and Sucheng Chan, with a Forward by David K. Yoo, University of Washington Press, 2019. “History of Korean Immigration to America, from 1903 to Present,” Boston University School of Theology: Boston Korean Diaspora Project. “Russo-Japanese War,” History.com, March 23, 2018 (Updated April 9, 2021). Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
French Fashion in Gilded Age America
Apr 25 2022
French Fashion in Gilded Age America
Paris has a long history as the fashion capital of the world. In the late 19th Century, American women, like European women, wanted the latest in French fashion. The wealthiest women traveled to Paris regularly to visit their favorite couturiers, like the House of Worth and Maison Félix, to update their wardrobes. For those women who couldn’t afford to travel, Paris came to them, via international expositions, magazines, and department stores.  I’m joined in this episode by art historian Dr. Elizabeth L. Block, author of Dressing Up: The Women Who Influenced French Fashion, who helps us understand how the American women who were purchasing gowns and dresses helped transform the fashion industry. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Image Credit: “Mrs. William Astor (Caroline Webster Schermerhorn, 1831–1908),” painted by Carolus-Duran, 1890. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image is in the Public Domain. Audio Credit: “Nuit d'Etoiles (Starry Night),” written by Théodore de Banville and Claude Debussy; performed by Julia Culp and Coenraad V. Bos, 1917. Courtesy of the Internet Archive. Audio is in the Public Domain. Additional Sources: “Charles Frederick Worth (1825–1895) and the House of Worth,” Metropolitan Museum of Art. “‘The Gilded Age’ Costumes are Like a Late-19th Century High-Fashion Street Style Editorial,” by Fawnia Soo Hoo, Fashionista, February 7, 2022. “How America’s Gilded Age Paved The Way For Fashion Today,” by Eilidh Hargreaves, Vogue, January 30, 2022. “Downtown, Uptown: From The Dry Goods Store To The Palace Of Consumption,” by Keren Ben-Horin, Fashion History Timeline, Fashion Institute of New York, Mary 16, 2018. “The history of haute couture,” Harper’s Bazaar, January 19, 2017. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Cabinet
Apr 18 2022
The Cabinet
Today, when Americans think of it at all, they take for granted the institution of The Cabinet, the heads of the executive departments and other advisors who meet with the President around a big mahogany table in the White House. But how did The Cabinet come into being? It’s not established in the Constitution, and the writers of The Constitution were explicitly opposed to creating a private executive advisory body. I’m joined in this episode by presidential historian Dr. Lindsay M. Chervinsky, author of The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, who helps us answer the question of how – and why – President George Washington formed the first Cabinet, and why it continued. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Image Credit: “Washington and his cabinet [lithograph],” New York : Published by Currier & Ives, c1876. Via the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Image is in the Public domain. Additional Sources: “The President’s Cabinet Was an Invention of America’s First President,” by Karin Wulf, Smithsonian Magazine, April 7, 2020. “Cabinet Members,” George Washington’s Mount Vernon. “The Cabinet,” The White House. “First Cabinet Confirmation,” United States Senate.  “The changing faces of Cabinet diversity, George Washington through Joe Biden,” by Lindsay Chervinsky and Kathryn Dunn Tenpas, FixGov, The Brookings Institution, April 13, 2021. “The Cabinet of President Washington,” by By James Parton, The Atlantic, January 1873. “The Constitution of the United States: A Transcription,” America’s Founding Documents, National Archives. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The Abolition Movement of the 1830s
Apr 11 2022
The Abolition Movement of the 1830s
From the founding of the United States, there were people who opposed slavery, but many who grappled with the concept, including slave owner Thomas Jefferson, envisioned a plan of gradual emancipation for the country. In 1817, after the establishment of the American Colonization Society, free Blacks in Philadelphia and elsewhere began to fight for immediate abolition for all enslaved people in the United States. By the 1830s, they were joined in these efforts by white allies. Although not as well known as later abolitionists like Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and Frederick Douglass, the abolitionists of the 1830s played a crucial role in building and popularizing the movement. These abolitionists, including William Lloyd Garrison, David Ruggles, Arthur and Lewis Tappan, the Forten Family, and the Grimké sisters, faced personal violence, destruction of property, financial ruin, and physical maladies as they raised their voices and put their bodies on the line for the cause. I’m joined in this episode by J.D. Dickey, author of The Republic of Violence: The Tormented Rise of Abolition in Andrew Jackson's America. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Image Credit: “Anti-Slavery Meeting on the [Boston] Common” From Gleason's Pictorial, May 3, 1851. Photomural from woodcut. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Additional Sources: “Jan. 15, 1817: The Vote on Colonization of Free Blacks in West Africa,” The Zinn Education Project. “Africans in America,” PBS. “Grimke Sisters,” National Park Service. “The Abolitionists,” American Experience, PBS, Aired January 8, 2013. David Ruggles Center for History and Education. “Friends of Freedom: The Pennsylvania Female Anti-Slavery Society,” Historical Society of Pennsylvania.  Related Episodes: The Nativist Riots of Philadelphia in 1844 Prohibition in the 1850s Freedom Suits in Maryland & DC, 1790-1864 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
The 1913 Ascent of Denali
Apr 4 2022
The 1913 Ascent of Denali
In June 1913, a group of four men ascended to the peak of Denali, the first humans known to have reached the highest point in North America. In a time before ultra lightweight and high-tech equipment, Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens, Robert Tatum, and Walter Harper had to haul heavy loads of food and supplies and books up the mountain with them, battling fire and clearing away earthquake debris along the way. After nearly two months of expedition, they finally stood atop the world. I’m joined in this episode by Patrick Dean, author of A Window to Heaven: The Daring First Ascent of Denali: America's Wildest Peak. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Photo Credit: “Hudson Stuck and Harry Karstens, 1913.” Photo is in the public domain. Book excerpt: “The Ascent of Denali (Mount Mckinley): A Narrative of the First Complete Ascent of the Highest Peak in North America,” by Hudson Stuck. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1918. The book is in the public domain. Additional Sources: “The First Ascent of Denali: Digital Exhibits,” National Park Service. “Expedition Denali: Making History, Building a Legacy,” by Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, National Geographic, March 26, 2012. “What It's Like to Climb Denali, North America's Highest Peak,” by James Barkman, Field Mag, June 11, 2018. “Mt. McKinley Owes Its Name to an Epic Act of Trolling,” by Yoni Appelbaum, The Atlantic, August 31, 2015. “The Long History Behind Renaming Mt. McKinley,” by Ben Railton, Talking Points Memo, September 1, 2015. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Cordelia Dodson Hood
Mar 28 2022
Cordelia Dodson Hood
When German troops invaded Austria in 1938, Cordelia Dodson was visiting Vienna, living with her siblings as they studied German, attended the opera, and marched with Austrian students protesting against Hitler. Even with this experience, Cordelia may have settled into academic life in the United States, but when Pearl Harbor was bombed, and the US entered the war, she felt called to serve her country. In a decades-long career in Europe, Cordelia Dodson Hood combined her linguistic skill, her phenomenal memory, and her ability to connect with people, to gather and analyze intelligence, first about the Germans, and then about the Soviets. Despite the importance of her intelligence work, her story has been largely hidden, overshadowed by the splashier spies of the time. I’m joined in this episode by Kathleen C. Stone, author of They Called Us Girls: Stories of Female Ambition from Suffrage to Mad Men. Our theme song is Frogs Legs Rag, composed by James Scott and performed by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under Creative Commons. Photo Credit: “Cordelia Hood, undated.” Photograph by Nam de Beaufort, courtesy of Sarah Fisher. Audio credit: “Wiener Blut (Vienna Blood),” written by Johann Srauss, and performed by Erna Sack in July 1949, Public Domain. Additional Sources: “Intelligence officer did fieldwork for OSS and CIA: Cordelia Dodson Hood ’36, MA ’41.” Reed Magazine, December 2011. “Cordelia Dodson Hood,” The Lincoln County News, July 31, 2011. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices