For history lovers who listen to podcasts, History Unplugged is the most comprehensive show of its kind. It's the only show that dedicates episodes to both interviewing experts and answering questions from its audience. First, it features a call-in show where you can ask our resident historian (Scott Rank, PhD) absolutely anything (What was it like to be a Turkish sultan with four wives and twelve concubines? If you were sent back in time, how would you kill Hitler?). Second, it features long-form interviews with best-selling authors who have written about everything. Topics include gruff World War II generals who flew with airmen on bombing raids, a war horse who gained the rank of sergeant, and presidents who gave their best speeches while drunk.
The Most Underrated People in History Include a U.S. President, Soviet Officer, and a Farmer Who Saved 2 Billion Lives
Today’s episode is a round table of the podcasters who make up the Parthenon Podcast Network (Steve Guerra from Beyond the Big Screen; Josh Cohen from Eyewitness History, Richard Lim from This American President, and Scott Rank from History Unplugged). We discuss the most overlooked and underappreciated people in history and get into why they were overlooked and underappreciated in the first place.
"I Sprinted Toward the Gunman": Josh Cohen from Eyewitness History Speaks to the Former Principal of Columbine High School
What you will hear in this episode is a sample from Josh Cohen's fantastic new show Eyewitness History, where he speaks with the witnesses of the most important events in living memory.
In this episode, Josh speaks with the former principal of Columbine High School, Frank DeAngelis. Frank and Josh discuss the events of the tragic shooting, what the police were doing at the time of the shooting, as well as the potential motivations of the two shooters, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. They also discuss the infamous basement tapes, as well as seeing Klebold the previous week at prom, in addition to a lot more.
To continue listening to the episode of Eyewitness History with Frank DeAngelis, check out:
Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3OdJ4Um
Discover more episodes of Eyewitness History:
Queen Keyboardist Spike Edney: https://apple.co/3Ocx6dR / https://spoti.fi/3OhXLGg
Holocaust Survivor Gene Klein: https://apple.co/3EhOIQK / https://spoti.fi/3g7VGQA
Ronald Reagan's Former Assistant Peggy Grande: https://apple.co/3TNHxFI / https://spoti.fi/3OtCKZj
WWII Veteran Vince Speranza: https://apple.co/3gh33VN / https://spoti.fi/3tAxTM2
9/11 FDNY Firefighter Michael O’Connell: https://apple.co/3AppAql / https://spoti.fi/3TJhAHt
How a Founding Father and His Family Went From Slave Owners to Radical Abolitionists
John Jay was a giant in the Founding Fathers generation. He was a diplomat, Supreme Court justice, coauthor of the Federalist Papers, and key negotiator at the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolutionary War. His children and grandchildren were also key players in the Early American Republic. They pushed changes in public opinion about slavery, moving the Overtone window on slavery from support to begrudging acceptance to calls for abolition.
The changes played out over the generations in the family. Jay’s Huguenot grandfather, Augustus Jay, arrived in New York in the 1680s, thought the family’s ownership of enslaved people was a marker of their “social ascendancy.” Jay himself owned slaves and was largely silent on the issue while pushing for the ratification of the U.S. Constitution. But his involvement in foreign affairs fostered his abolitionist leanings, leading him to become the first president of a pioneering antislavery society. He enacted a gradual emancipation law as governor of New York in the 1790s.
Today’s guest is David Gellman, author of Liberty's Chain: Slavery, Abolition, and the Jay Family of New York. He shows how American values were transmitted and transformed from the colonial and revolutionary eras to the Civil War, Reconstruction, and beyond through an extremely important family.
In the 1830s and ’40s, Jay’s son William Jay and grandson John Jay II were radical abolitionists that called for slavery’s immediate end. The scorn of their elite peers—and racist mobs—did not deter their commitment to end southern slavery and to combat northern injustice.
Across the generations, even as prominent Jays decried human servitude, enslaved people and formerly enslaved people served in Jay households. They lived difficult, often isolated, lives that tested their courage and the Jay family's principles. One such servant fell ill and died after she was jailed for running away from John Jay’s household in France
The Jays, as well as those who served them, show the challenges of obtaining and holding onto liberty. This family’s story helps us to grapple with what we mean by patriotism, conservatism, and radicalism.
Growing Up as the Daughter of WW2 Spies
As a child, Elizabeth Winthrop Alsop, along with her five brothers, was raised to revere the tribal legends of the Alsop and Roosevelt families. Her parents’ marriage, lived in the spotlight of 1950s Washington where the author’s father, journalist Stewart Alsop, grew increasingly famous, was not what either of her parents had imagined it would be. Her mother’s strict Catholicism and her father’s restless ambition collided to create a strangely muted and ominous world, one that mirrored the whispered conversations in the living room as the power brokers of Washington came and went through their side door.
Through it all, her mother, trained to keep secrets as a decoding agent with MI5, said very little. Today’s guest is Elizabeth, auth or of her memoir “Daughter of Spies: Wartime Secrets, Family Lies.”
She explores who her mother was, why alcohol played such an important role in her mother’s life, and why her mother held herself apart from all her children, especially her only daughter. In the author’s journey to understand her parents, particularly her mother, she comes to realize that the secrets parents keep are the ones that reverberate most powerfully in the lives of their children.
Entrepreneurs in the Ancient World: From Neolithic Fashion Tycoons to Babylon’s 'Silicon Valley' Startup Founders
Entrepreneurship didn’t begin with Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, or Adam Smith. Depending on how one interprets the archeological record, it goes back at least 9,000 years, when Neolithic tribes set up bead-making factories to transform worthless stones into jewelry, trading them for raw materials.
This culture of business spread and grew more sophisticated. Four thousand years ago the first LLCs appeared in Mesopotamia. Entrepreneurs became a respected and important part of life, and a dynamic entrepreneurial culture that worked like Silicon Valley does today. To discuss this 10,000-year story of business is today’s guest, Derek Lidow, author of “The Entrepreneurs: The Relentless Quest for Value.” We delve into the deep history of innovation to deliver essential new insights into how entrepreneurs have created value throughout history and continue to bring about change.
We explore how the archeological record proves entrepreneurship eventually develops in all urban cultures, how some groups of entrepreneurs have been hidden from history (women, slaves, ethnic and religious minorities, the underclass, and immigrants), and how monopolists like J.P. Morgan or Mark Zuckerberg threaten this entrepreneurial spirit, and what can be done about it.
The Abolitionist Who Was Chaplain to Black Civil War Soldiers and Started a College Burned Down by the KKK
George Richardson (1824-1911) was a traveling Methodist preacher who rode on a circuit across the antebellum Midwestern frontier and became increasingly caught up in the abolitionist movement. He became a “station master” on the Underground Railroad and served as chaplain to a black regiment during the Civil War. The soldiers under his care were survivors of the Ft. Pillow Massacre, in which the Confederates refused to take black soldiers as prisoners of war and unlawfully executed them instead.
In the 1870s, he founded a college in Texas for the formerly enslaved. When the Ku Klux Klan burned the school down, he built another one and rode on a circuit to teach those who were unable to travel to the attend.
Today’s guest is James D. Richardson –an ancestor of George Richardson, and also a retired journalist and Episcopalian priest. He retraced the steps of George across nine states, uncovering letters, diaries, and more memoirs hidden away. He’s the author of the new book, The Abolitionist’s Journal: Memories of an American Antislavery Family
We discuss what motivated George to become an abolitionist, the personal and financial challenges this brought on him and his family, and the incredible hardship that the formerly enslaved faced when they tried to build lives for themselves after emancipation when they had nothing or, thanks to the loansharking nature of sharecropping, less than nothing.