416 episodes

What happened on this day in history? Curious moments curated each weekday by Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina and Arion McNicoll. It's history, but not as you know it.
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Today In History with The Retrospectors The Retrospectors

    • History
    • 4.6 • 104 Ratings

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What happened on this day in history? Curious moments curated each weekday by Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina and Arion McNicoll. It's history, but not as you know it.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    The 33-day Pope

    The 33-day Pope

    Rerun. The corpse of John Paul I was discovered by a nun in the early hours of 29th September, 1978. His body was embalmed within 24 hours, heightening suspicions that the cause of death may have been unnatural. He had been Pope for just 33 days.
    An unconventional Pope – who had refused to wear the papal tiara, use the Royal ‘we’, or sit on a ceremonial throne – he seemed to have had a weird premonition that he wouldn’t be in office for long, famously responding to his elevation to Popehood by telling the Cardinals, ‘May God forgive you for what you have done’.
    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly review the conspiracies surrounding the Pope’s apparently untimely death; reveal the role of the unfortunately-named Cardinal Sin; and look back on some of his surprising comic journalism…
    Further Reading:
    • ‘Pope John Paul I is dead’ (CBS News, 1978):
    • ‘The Mysterious Death Of Pope John Paul I’ (All Thats Interesting, 2018): https://allthatsinteresting.com/pope-john-paul-i
    • ‘On This Day, 1978: Catholics mourn Pope’s death’ (BBC, 2005): http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/september/29/newsid_2542000/2542375.stm
    ‘Why am I hearing a rerun?’ Every Thursday is 'Throwback Thursday' on Today in History with the Retrospectors: running one repeat per week means we can keep up the quality of our independent podcast. Daily shows like this require a lot of work! But as ever we'll have something new for you tomorrow, so follow us wherever you get your podcasts: podfollow.com/Retrospectors
    Love the show? Join  🌴CLUB RETROSPECTORS🌴 to DITCH THE ADS and get an additional full-length episode every SUNDAY!
    Plus, get weekly bonus bits, unlock over 70 bits of extra content and support our independent podcast.
    Join now via Apple Podcasts or Patreon. Thanks!
    The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.
    Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Sophie King.
    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2022.

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    • 10 min
    King of the Coup

    King of the Coup

    Gilbert Bourgeaud, better known by his nom de guerre “Bob Denard” was shot in the head at least twice, married seven times and had at least three religious conversions. And on September 28th, 1995, he launched his fourth and final attempt to take control of the Comoros islands with his own private army.
    In fact, since gaining its independence from France in 1975, the Comoros islands have experienced more than 20 coups or attempted coups and several assassinations of their heads of state. And Denard was involved with a good proportion of them.
    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly look into Denard’s incredible CV, which ranges from selling kitchen appliances to overthrowing countries; explore how the mercenaries of yesterday turned into the military contractors of today; and consider how Denard’s obituaries show just how far we've come as a society considering how many of them described him as “colourful”.
    Further Reading:
    • ‘Comoros coup leader surrenders to France’ (The Independent, 1995): https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/comoros-coup-leader-surrenders-to-france-1576191.html 
    • ‘Bob Denard obituary’ (The Guardian, 2007): https://www.theguardian.com/news/2007/oct/16/guardianobituaries.france 
    • ‘Bob Denard: French Mercenary Who Caused Chaos in Africa’ (African Biographics, 2021): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qq4lfcJpVGs 
    Love the show? Join 🌴CLUB RETROSPECTORS 🌴 to DITCH THE ADS and get an additional full-length episode every SUNDAY!
    Plus, get weekly bonus bits, unlock over 70 bits of extra content and support our independent podcast.
    Join now via Apple Podcasts or Patreon. Thanks!
    We'll be back tomorrow! Follow us wherever you get your podcasts: podfollow.com/Retrospectors
    The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.
    Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Sophie King.
    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2022.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 10 min
    Hunting Noah's Ark

    Hunting Noah's Ark

    The trend for “Arkeology” was kickstarted on September 27th, 1829, when the German explorer Friedrich Parrot ascended to the top of Mount Ararat in Armenia, which was believed at the time to be the final resting place of Noah’s Ark.
    This was actually Parrot’s third attempt to climb to the top of Ararat. One of the previous two attempts had been scuppered because the climbing party had attempted to bring a huge and unwieldy cross with them to erect on the summit. 
    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly consider whether Parrot actually believed Noah’s Ark was up there, or whether he just wanted an excuse to climb a cool mountain; investigate the biblical basis for why Armenia was thought to be the final resting place of the Ark; and ponder why every evangelical Christian expedition to find the Ark is always so successful. 
    Further Reading:
    • ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ (The Sun, 2021): https://www.the-sun.com/news/3725022/noahs-ark-buried-turkish-mountains-experts-3d-scans-prove/ 
    • ‘Scenes of Modern Travel and Adventure’ (Thomas Nelson, 1851): https://www.google.co.uk/books/edition/Scenes_of_Modern_Travel_and_Adventure/lbNWAAAAcAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0 
    • ‘Irving Finkel | The Ark Before Noah: A Great Adventure’ (The Oriental Institute, 2016): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_fkpZSnz2I 
    Love the show? Join 🌴CLUB RETROSPECTORS 🌴 to DITCH THE ADS and get an additional full-length episode every SUNDAY!
    Plus, get weekly bonus bits, unlock over 70 bits of extra content and support our independent podcast.
    Join now via Apple Podcasts or Patreon. Thanks!
    We'll be back tomorrow! Follow us wherever you get your podcasts: podfollow.com/Retrospectors
    The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill.
    Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders. Edit Producer: Sophie King.
    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2022.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 10 min
    The French King of Sweden

    The French King of Sweden

    Jean Bernadotte’s dad, a local prosecutor in the southwestern French city of Pau, ​​intended for his son to follow in his footsteps as a lawyer. Instead, Jean became heir to the Swedish Crown on September 26th, 1810, and his descendants still sit on the Swedish throne to this day.
    Shortly after he moved to Sweden, the new crown prince was joined by his wife, Désirée, and their 11-year-old son, Oscar. But it's fair to say Désirée wasn’t exactly enamoured with the new land her husband was set to rule; she swiftly returned to France and didn’t come back for another 13 years.
    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly look into why Napoleon became an accidental Swedish kingmaker; explore why it is best to do all your conquering just before declaring yourself to be neutral; and ask why no one has yet made any of us the monarch of their country.
    Further Reading:
    • ‘Centenary of Sweden’s proud Bernadotte dynasty’ (The New York Times, 1910): https://www.nytimes.com/1910/05/15/archives/centenary-of-swedens-proud-bernadotte-dynasty-founded-one-hundred.html 
    • ‘The French Army Officer Who Became a Scandinavian King’ (Real Scandinavia, 2019): http://realscandinavia.com/jean-bernadotte-the-french-soldier-who-became-king-of-sweden/ 
    • ‘A Royal family keeping up with the times’ (The Swedish Royal Palace, 2019): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bTZDGn4SUE 
    Love the show? Join 🌴 CLUB RETROSPECTORS 🌴 to DITCH THE ADS and get an additional full-length episode every SUNDAY!
    Plus, get weekly bonus bits, unlock over 70 bits of extra content and support our independent podcast.
    Join now via Apple Podcasts or Patreon. Thanks!
    We'll be back tomorrow! Follow us wherever you get your podcasts: podfollow.com/Retrospectors

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 10 min
    Thank You For Not Smoking

    Thank You For Not Smoking

    The world did NOT wake up to the dangers of smoking on September 24th, 1878, despite the efforts of Dr. Charles R. Drysdale, who had a letter published in The Times warning that smoking is a practice “deleterious to health and vitality,” noting that a contemporaneous experiment on dogs had led to “palsy of the hind leg, blindness, deafness, and death.”

    But early anti-smoking campaigners like Drysdale were fighting a losing battle anyway because they were up against a formidable enemy: technology itself, which every day was making cigarettes cheaper and cheaper to mass produce.

    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly look into why Nazi Germany was at the forefront of anti-smoking efforts; explain how Hollywood helped make smoking sexy; and reveal why if any of us did smoke, we would definitely choose Marlboro Lights…

    Further Reading:

    • ‘The UK's first anti-smoking films’ (BFI, 2021): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYSNq3Kf074

    Thanks so much for supporting the show! We massively appreciate it.

    The Retrospectors are Olly Mann, Rebecca Messina & Arion McNicoll, with Matt Hill. Edit producer: Sophie King

    Theme Music: Pass The Peas. Announcer: Bob Ravelli. Graphic Design: Terry Saunders.

    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2022.

    Introducing 'Club Retrospectors'

    Introducing 'Club Retrospectors'

    Fancy a brand new, full-length SUNDAY EPISODE of this show, each and every week?
    Of course you do! Become a member of Club Retrospectors and unlock an additional, ad-free episode each weekend. Join now, for less than £1 per week, via Apple Podcasts or Patreon.
     
    Here’s what our members can enjoy:

    Get SUNDAY episodes!Ditch the Ads!Weekly Bonus material!Unlock over 70 bonus bits!Behind-the-scenes contentEarly ticket accessSUPPORT our independent podcast
    In this ‘terms and conditions’ episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain the benefits of signing up to our new club - and how to go about doing it. 
    For just £3.99 per month, you could be listening to the show on your own ad-free feed, wherever you get your podcasts already, with immediate access to all the bonus material we’ve ever published. 
    What are you waiting for? Join the Club!
    AND if you were already a supporter on Apple Podcasts - you don't have to do anything. You've just automatically become a member of Club Retrospectors. Congratulations!
    Here are those all-important links:
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    • 8 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
104 Ratings

104 Ratings

Cat27101 ,

Love it

Absolutely brilliant. Funny, interesting, great short episodes. Perfect for commuting

Wubalubadubdubersun ,

Brilliant!

I just randomly found this podcast and now I’m addicted, listen all the time while gaming my favourite was the episode about defenestration it was hilarious! Would certainly recommend.

Lindy JSN ,

Fascinating and entertaining

Really interesting topics explored in a fun way. Rapport between the hosts is charming, featuring both respect and banter. Highly recommended.

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