204 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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The Retrospectors - Today In History The Retrospectors

    • History

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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.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Brides on the Move

    Brides on the Move

    Sometimes termed ‘The Diaper Run’ due to the large number of babies on-board, the S.S. Argentina set sail from Southampton to New York City on 26th January, 1946 - transporting 456 ‘War Brides’ and their 170 children from Britain to the USA.
    Each was permitted to bring 200lb of luggage, and faced an uncertain future on arrival in the States - some reuniting with their one true love; others finding themselves shacked up with in-laws who resented their existence.
    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how this historic crossing triggered a change in U.S. immigration policy; examine the appeal of clean-cut American servicemen to working-class British women; and recall the much-forgotten additional passenger - ‘the War Groom’...
    Further Reading:
    ‘Coming To America: The War Brides Act of 1945’ (The National WWII Museum, New Orleans, 2020): https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/war-brides-act-1945‘War Brides - America’ (WWII magazine): http://www.americainwwii.com/articles/war-brides/ ‘G.I. Brides Sail’ (Pathé News, 1946) - YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wiUotiD9HI
    For bonus material and to support the show, visit Patreon.com/Retrospectors
    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: Emma Corsham.
    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2021.

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    • 10 min
    Soundtracking the Royal Wedding

    Soundtracking the Royal Wedding

    Walking down the aisle to Wagner’s ‘Here Comes The Bride’ and departing to Mendelssohn’s ‘The Wedding March’ remains a popular choice at wedding ceremonies - a precedent established by the Princess Royal Victoria and Prince Frederick of Prussia, who married at St James’s Palace on 25th January, 1858.
    Unfortunately for Mendelssohn, he’d been dead eleven years by the time his tune became a viral hit - but he treasured his patronage by Victoria and Albert, once describing Buckingham Palace as “the only really nice, comfortable house in England.”
    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly explain how ‘The Wedding March’ had its origins not in Church, but Paganism; reveal how Frederick and Victoria’s union influenced American troops in the Second World War; and, with grim inevitability, give yet another airing to Arion’s execrable Queen Victoria impression. Brace yourself…
    Further Reading:
    • ‘What Is the Story Behind Mendelssohn’s Wedding March?’ (History Hit, 2017): https://www.historyhit.com/1842-mendelssohns-wedding-march-written/
    • ‘How 'Here Comes the Bride' Became a Wedding Music Tradition’ (Time, 2018): https://time.com/5115834/wedding-march-here-comes-the-bride/
    • Felix Mendelssohn - Wedding March: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7_m1om82o4
    For bonus material and to support the show, visit Patreon.com/Retrospectors
    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: Emma Corsham.
    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2021.

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    • 9 min
    Henry VIII's Head Injury

    Henry VIII's Head Injury

    Henry VIII is typically remembered as he was at the end of his life - weighing in at a colossal 28 stone, with ulcerated legs, failing eyesight and an explosive temper. But, prior to the jousting accident he suffered 24th January, 1536, history had recorded him as merry, affable and physically attractive.
    Jousting was his favourite sport, but after being knocked off his horse and falling unconscious for two hours, he appears to have become increasingly erratic, irritable and cruel - not least to his wife Anne Boleyn and her four famous successors.
    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly suggest why the identity of Henry’s jousting opponent was not recorded; explain why the Vatican were really quite excited by Henry’s head injury; and ask whether the King’s demeanour really did change significantly, or whether he was ALWAYS a bit of a jerk… 
    Further Reading:
    • ‘The jousting accident that turned Henry VIII into a tyrant’ (The Independent, 2009): https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/the-jousting-accident-that-turned-henry-viii-into-a-tyrant-1670421.html
    • ‘Henry VIII: ‘brain injury caused by jousting to blame for erratic behaviour and possible impotence'’ (HistoryExtra, 2016): https://www.historyextra.com/period/tudor/henry-viii-brain-injury-caused-by-jousting-to-blame-for-erratic-behaviour-and-possible-impotence/
    • ‘Full Metal Jousting - The Biggest Hits’ (The History Channel, 2012): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWVZgp-eQG8


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    • 10 min
    The Chastity Belt and the Frenchman

    The Chastity Belt and the Frenchman

    Henri Littière and his adulterous wife Suzanne thought they’d come up with a novel way to combat her philandering - by commissioning a custom-made chastity belt. But on 21st January, 1934, Littière was sentenced to three months in prison for cruelty to his spouse.
    It’s a strange story, but not half as weird as how the myth of chastity belts gained traction in the first place - not from medieval days, but in fact thanks to Victorian prudishness.
    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly pick holes in 1934 Parisian court reporting; discover the trend for 21st century chastity belts; and explain how widespread belief in the belts can be traced back to a wacky German author’s offbeat sense of humour… 
    Further Reading:
    • ‘FRANCE: Infibulation’ (TIME, 1934): http://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,787768,00.html
    • ‘Are They Real? The Dubious History Of Chastity Belts’ (Ripleys, 2019): https://www.ripleys.com/weird-news/dubious-history-chastity-belts/
    • ‘10 Myths You Still Believe About Medieval Life’ (Alltime 10s, 2021): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoRqiTlGfGs
    For bonus material and to support the show, visit Patreon.com/Retrospectors
    We'll be back on Monday! 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: Emma Corsham.
    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2021. 

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    • 10 min
    Ozzy vs. Bat

    Ozzy vs. Bat

    Ozzy Osbourne orally decapitated a bat live on stage in Des Moines, Iowa on 20th January, 1982; an act that quickly went down as one of the most outrageous moments in rock n roll history.
    Concertgoer Mark Neal, 17, said the bat was dead long before he threw it on stage. But this was not Osbourne’s first offence: he had previously shocked attendees at a CBS press launch by biting the head away from a live dove.
    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly trace the origins of Osbourne’s bizarre bird-and-bat-beheading behaviour; applaud the ingenuity of his long-suffering wife Sharon; and debate whether Alice Cooper intentionally threw a chicken to a braying mob to be mutilated…
    CONTENT WARNING: animal cruelty, offensive language beeped.
    Further Reading:
    • ‘Everything you need to know about Ozzy Osbourne biting the head off a bat in Des Moines’ (desmoinesregister.com): https://eu.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/local/kyle-munson/2016/01/20/everything-you-need-know-ozzy-osbourne-biting-head-off-bat-des-moines/79055858/
    • ‘When Ozzy Osbourne Bit Off the Heads of Two Doves (ultimateclassicrock.com)’:
    https://ultimateclassicrock.com/ozzy-osbourne-dove-bite-head/
    • ‘Ozzy Osbourne talking to David Letterman about the bat incident’ (NBC, 1982): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uxn2_sO5los
    For bonus material and to support the show, visit Patreon.com/Retrospectors
    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: Emma Corsham.
    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2021.

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 10 min
    Introducing the BlackBerry

    Introducing the BlackBerry

    Research In Motion were once the world’s most popular maker of smartphones, but when they launched the BlackBerry 850 on 19th January, 1999, the device had no phone functionality: it was marketed as a two-way pager.
    However, the gadget’s ability to bounce emails from a desktop server to its users on the move, and its bespoke instant messaging service, BBM, ensured it soon became an essential tool in the executive businessperson’s arsenal. Until the iPhone came along, anyway…
    In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly revisit the ‘CrackBerry’ phenomenon; unpick the role of Al Gore and Barack Obama as ultimate celebrity influencers for the brand; and wonder whether anyone will still be using one, after the company’s recent announcement that their handsets will no longer be supported…
    Further Reading:
    • ‘The one reason why I’ll always miss the BlackBerry’ (Slate, 2013): https://slate.com/technology/2013/10/the-one-reason-why-ill-always-miss-the-blackberry.html
    • ‘The rise and fall of the BlackBerry in popular culture’ (BBC Newsbeat, 2016): https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-37500230
    • ‘Classic BlackBerry Devices To Officially Stop Working After Decades Of Popularity’ (NBC Today, 2022): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWhuVEfDPv8
    For bonus material and to support the show, visit Patreon.com/Retrospectors
    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: Emma Corsham.
    Copyright: Rethink Audio / Olly Mann 2021.


    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 10 min

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