74 episodes

This week, something momentous happened. Whether or not it made the textbooks, it most certainly made history. Join HISTORY This Week as we turn back the clock to meet the people, visit the places and witness the moments that led us to where we are today.

HISTORY This Week HISTORY

    • History
    • 4.5 • 2.3K Ratings

This week, something momentous happened. Whether or not it made the textbooks, it most certainly made history. Join HISTORY This Week as we turn back the clock to meet the people, visit the places and witness the moments that led us to where we are today.

    The Brink of World War III

    The Brink of World War III

    April 19, 1951. General Douglas MacArthur's plane touches down in DC just after midnight. He’s coming home from fighting the Korean War. Over twelve thousand people are there to greet this person who the American people consider to be a national war hero. It’s quite the welcome for a general who has just been fired by the President of the United States. How, after this triumphant return, does the general end up losing his own party's political support? And could MacArthur have led his country into a nuclear war?


    Thank you to our guests: Professor H.W. Brands, author of The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War, and Professor David Kang, the director of the Korean Studies Institute at USC. Thank you also to Professor James Matray for speaking with us for this episode.
     
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    • 30 min
    Killing the Gold Standard

    Killing the Gold Standard

    April 18, 1933. It’s almost midnight in Washington, DC. Newly-elected President Franklin Delano Roosevelt has gathered his economic advisors for a late-night meeting. He called this meeting to announce his plan to effectively take the US off the gold standard, the system by which every paper dollar is tied to a certain amount of literal gold. To his advisors, this is inconceivable. Money is gold. Without gold backing the dollar, what even is money in the first place? But the president is resolute. The gold standard has driven America into the Great Depression, and he plans to drag it back out. How did FDR’s decision change the way Americans conceived of money? And how did killing the gold standard save the country?


    Special thanks to our guest, Jacob Goldstein, host of the podcast Planet Money and author of Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing.
     
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    • 27 min
    More Than a Home Run

    More Than a Home Run

    April 8, 1974. On a humid night in Atlanta, Hank Aaron is poised to make history. On the all-time home run leaderboard, Aaron is tied with the legendary Babe Ruth. With one swing of the bat, he can break Ruth’s record. But not everyone in America wants to see this happen; the threats against Aaron’s life have warranted FBI protection. Yet in front of 54,000 people in Atlanta and millions more watching at home, Aaron steps up to bat. What was it like to be a Black baseball superstar twenty-five years after Jackie Robinson broke the sport's color barrier? And what is the real story—of threats, fear, and danger—behind Aaron’s record-breaking game?


    Special thanks to Howard Bryant, senior writer for ESPN and author of The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron, and Bob Kendrick, President of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
     
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    • 25 min
    148 Tornadoes in 18 Hours

    148 Tornadoes in 18 Hours

    April 3, 1974. Across America, many people wake up this morning thinking it will be a normal day. But in the next 24 hours, almost 150 tornadoes will hit the United States. It will be then the largest tornado outbreak in the nation's history. Why did so many deadly tornadoes hit on this one day? And how did it spur life-saving changes that are still with us decades later?


    Thank you to our guests Greg Forbes, former severe weather expert with the Weather Channel, and Atmospheric Sciences professor, Jeff Trapp, from the University of Illinois.
     
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    • 22 min
    Surrogacy on the Stand

    Surrogacy on the Stand

    March 27, 1986. Mary Beth Whitehead is in labor. She’s giving birth to a baby girl today, and her husband Richard is by her side. But the Whiteheads are not, contractually-speaking, this child’s parents. Surrogacy is a brand new advancement, and another couple, William and Elizabeth Stern, are contractually owed a baby. When the little girl is born, Mary Beth has a change of heart and runs. This begins a two-year legal battle that launches the complicated question of surrogacy onto the national stage. Who is Baby M’s mother? And how did this case change our understanding of parenthood forever? 
     
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    • 25 min
    Revenge of the Ronin

    Revenge of the Ronin

    March 20, 1703. Today, almost fifty men, scattered around the city of Edo, Japan, are waiting to die. They’re all former samurai who had served the same lord – and they all carried out a deadly revenge attack in his name. Their story will go down in history as the legend of the 47 Ronin. Why did these men decide that to be loyal samurai, they had to die? And how did this moment live on for centuries and become part of the national story of Japan?


    Thank you to our guest, Professor John Tucker, author of "The Forty-Seven Ronin: The Vendetta in History" and "Kumazawa Banzan: Governing the Realm and Bringing Peace to All below Heaven."
     
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    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
2.3K Ratings

2.3K Ratings

FordFinatic ,

Definitely a highlight of my week

I listen to this podcast every Monday during dinner. And I look forward to each new episode. It’s such an educational and entertaining show.

Thank you. Keep it going!

Darlene in Alabama ,

My town was hit!

Enjoyed your podcast, but your pronunciation for the city of Guin was incorrect. I lived in Jasper, which was very heavily damaged. The entire downtown area was devastated.

AdmiralAckbar1983 ,

😘

Good pod, MTFBWYA

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