159 episodes

More than 154 million treasures fill the Smithsonian’s vaults, but where public view ends, Sidedoor begins. With the help of biologists, artists, historians, archaeologists, zookeepers and astrophysicists, host Lizzie Peabody sneaks listeners through Smithsonian’s side door to search for stories that can’t be found anywhere else. Check out si.edu/sidedoor and follow @SidedoorPod for more info.

Sidedoor Smithsonian Institution

    • Society & Culture

More than 154 million treasures fill the Smithsonian’s vaults, but where public view ends, Sidedoor begins. With the help of biologists, artists, historians, archaeologists, zookeepers and astrophysicists, host Lizzie Peabody sneaks listeners through Smithsonian’s side door to search for stories that can’t be found anywhere else. Check out si.edu/sidedoor and follow @SidedoorPod for more info.

    The Cabbage Patch Kids Riots

    The Cabbage Patch Kids Riots

    In 1983, the Cabbage Patch Kids were released, causing widespread pandemonium in toy stores and in the media. How did a children's toy inspire such bad adult behavior? Slate’s Decoder Ring podcast explores the strange world of the Cabbage Patch Kids to figure out why they hit it so big. The answer involves butt tattoos, slightly grotesque faces, industrial innovations, an origin story in a cabbage patch, and serious accusations of copyright theft.

    We’ll be back with new episodes of Sidedoor soon! If you enjoyed this episode, you can find more episodes of Decoder Ring at Slate.com

    • 34 min
    King's Speech

    King's Speech

    This MLK Day we're digging into the story behind Dr. King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech —from its first draft to a rhyming poem and, finally, to the speech we all know today.

    This episode was previously released in February of 2022. 

    • 36 min
    The Monumental Imagination of Augusta Savage

    The Monumental Imagination of Augusta Savage

    Public monuments to honor Black Americans in the 1930s: that was the vision of Augusta Savage, a Harlem Renaissance sculptor who has been called one of the most influential artists of the 21st century. But the monuments she left behind might not be what you'd expect.

    Guests:

    Karen Lemmey, Lucy S. Rhame Curator of Sculpture at the Smithsonian American Art Museum 
    Grace Yasumura, assistant curator at the Smithsonian American Art Museum 
    Tess Korobkin, Professor of American Art at University of Maryland, College Park

    • 27 min
    A Very Merry Sidedoor

    A Very Merry Sidedoor

    What is it about a mistletoe that says “smooch?” And what the heck is figgy pudding anyway? The holidays are here again, and with them come songs, foods, and rituals so familiar we may not think to ask where they come from...until now! In this holiday special, we track down the origins of some puzzling Christmastime traditions, jingling all the way from Norse mythology to Victorian home cooking, the Emancipation Proclamation, and even out of this world.

    Guests:

    Margaret Weitekamp, chair of the Space History Department of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum; curator of cultural and social history of spaceflight

    Ashley Rose Young, food historian at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

    Teddy Reeves, curator of religion at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

    Jim Deutsch, curator at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

    • 38 min
    Lucy Hicks Anderson

    Lucy Hicks Anderson

    Known for her smashing parties, lighter-than-air souffles and comedic wit, Lucy Hicks Anderson never let anyone tell her how to live her life – not even the courts. When her gender was put on trial in the 1940s, the publicity around her case made her one the first documented Black transgender figures in American history. 

    Guests: 

    Ashleigh Coren, Acting Head of Education for the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative

    C. Riley Snorton, author of Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity

    • 26 min
    Reservation Math: Navigating Love in Native America

    Reservation Math: Navigating Love in Native America

    If you’ve heard the phrase, “full blooded,” you’re already familiar with the concept of blood quantum. But Native Americans are the only peoples in the United States whose identity is defined by it. Through the photography of Tailyr Irvine, displayed at the National Museum of the American Indian, we take a look at the colonial origin story of blood quantum: where it came from, why it endures, and how it continues to impact the most personal decisions many Native Americans make about love and family today.

    Guests:

    Tailyr Irvine, photojournalist; member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes; additional interviewer for this episode
    Michael Irvine, member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and Nizhóní Ajéí's father
    Cecile Ganteaume, curator at the National Museum of the American Indian and author of Officially Indian: Symbols That Define the United States
    Ruth Swaney, Tribal Budget Director for and member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
    Leah Nelson, member of the Navajo Nation and Nizhóní Ajéí's mother
    Desi Rodriguez-Lonebear, social demographer and assistant professor of Sociology and American Indian Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles; citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Nation and Chicana
    David Wilkins, political scientist and professor of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond; member of the Lumbee Nation

    • 33 min

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