An Ohio History podcast, hosted by Alex Hastie.
Ep. 13: William Howard Taft v. the World
Episode 13: “William Howard Taft v. the World”. The Season 5 finale is here and we end our season on Ohio and the Presidency in a big way. Alex travels to Cincinnati, Ohio to bring you the story of William Howard Taft, the 27th President of the United States. The only person to be the Chief Executive and the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. We examine why Taft is an overlooked and underrated Commander in Chief in the early 20th Century.
Alex speaks with Taft biographer, Jeffrey Rosen about the fascinating life and career of Will Taft. Rosen, the CEO of the National Constitution Center in Philiadelphia, is the author of the 2018 biography, William Howard Taft. An awesome book in the American Presidents Series, buy Jeffrey’s book here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780805069549 Or get the audiobook on Audible https://www.audible.com/pd/William-Howard-Taft-Audiobook/B07CTT1974. Jeffrey discusses the mixed results of Taft’s presidency, his decade as Chief Justice and what President Taft would think of our chaotic politics today.
Alex visits the William Howard Taft National Historic Site in Cincinnati and meets with Reggie Murray and Paula Marett to discuss Taft’s years as a student and judge in the Queen City. We chat about Taft’s years in the White House as a trustbuster and conservationist as well as his complicated relationship with Theodore Roosevelt. Visit the Taft Historic Site in Cincinnati at https://www.nps.gov/wiho/index.htm.
Lastly we’re joined by historians Jim Robenalt and Bruce Carlson to discuss Taft’s presidency and the unprecedented 1912 presidential election. They walk us through Taft’s infamous rift with former President Roosevelt and TR’s 3rd party bid for the White House against Taft in 1912. Bruce, host of the excellent podcast, My History Can Beat Up Your Politics, discusses the ultimate “October Surprise” when Roosevelt is nearly assassinated just before the election. An election that Taft would lose in historic fashion, only garnering 8 electoral votes.
This might be our last episode of 2020 but we’ll still be very active and have new content during our break. Follow us on social media: Facebook, Instagram (ohiovtheworldpodcast) and Twitter @ohiovtheworld. You can email the show at email@example.com with your show ideas or to order an Ohio v. the World t-shirt ($15 free shipping) to support the show. We’ll see everybody in 2021 for Season 6!
Episode 12: Ohio v. First Ladies
Episode 12: Ohio v. First Ladies. Alex travels to Canton to the National First Ladies and Historic Site to speak with President and CEO Jennifer Highfield about Ohio’s 1st Ladies. We look at all 8 spouses of Ohio’s presidents and the evolution of the role of the First Lady. Visit the museum and library at www.firstladies.org in downtown Canton. Jennie shares the stories of Canton’s own Ida Saxton McKinley and Ohio’s last first lady, Florence Harding
Alex is joined by author and historian Cormac O’Brien to discuss his fun and informative book, The Secret Lives of the First Ladies. Cormac leads our discussion on the fascinating Nellie Herron Taft and her life that seemed destined to live in the White House. Cormac also highlights the trailblazing Caroline Harrison and her tragic death in the White House in 1892. Buy Cormac’s awesome book here: http://www.cormachobrien.com/secret_lives_of_the_first_ladies__strange_stories_and_shocking_trivia_from_inside_.htm
We also discuss Ohio’s other First Ladies: Lucretia Garfield, Anna Harrison, Lucy Hayes and the wife of an Ohio President, Julia Grant and her awkward dinner with Queen Victoria in London. Many guests from earlier in the season join us to share stories about Ohio’s First Ladies in our penultimate episode of Season 5: Ohio and the Presidency. Don’t forget to email the show at firstname.lastname@example.org and rate and review us on iTunes.
Episode 11: Ohio v. Debates
Episode 11: Ohio v Debates. It’s presidential debate season! As Trump and Biden prepare to square off this week in Cleveland at the 1st presidential debate of 2020, Alex looks back at the top 5 debates in presidential (and VP) debate history. We also look at the two previous debates that have taken place in the Buckeye State prior to Trump-Biden, Part 1.
We are joined by author, professor and debate expert Alan Schroeder to discuss the history of presidential debates. Schroeder, author of Presidential Debates: 50 Years of High Risk TV, discusses the huge ratings of debates in the US and around the world. He helps us break down all the debates that have occurred in Ohio, including an interesting night in 2015 during the Republican primary. Alan shares his expertise on our top 5 debates of all time. Buy his fantastic book here. http://cup.columbia.edu/book/presidential-debates/9780231141055
Former guests and historians, Jim Robenalt and Bruce Carlson, rejoin the show to talk about two debates from Ohio: the 1980 presidential debate between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter and the 2004 VP debate between Sen. John Edwards and VP Dick Cheney. Both taking place in Cleveland.
Our other debates from the top 5 include the 1st televised presidential debates between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon from 1960, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter’s battle from 1976, George H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis from 1988 and the infamous VP debate from that same year between Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle.
Only two shows left in Season 5: Ohio and the Presidency, thanks so much for listening to Ohio v. the Wold this year. Have fun watching the Trump-Biden debate in Cleveland this week and make sure you vote this fall. Email the show at email@example.com and don’t forget to rate/review us on iTunes.
Ep. 10: Benjamin Harrison v. the World
Episode 10: Benjamin Harrison v. the World. Alex goes to 4 different areas of the country to tell the story of one of America’s most forgotten Presidents, Benjamin Harrison. Our 23rd President was raised and educated in Ohio before moving to Indianapolis in his 20s and is claimed by both states. We discover that Harrison was a strong advocate for African American equality, an early environmentalist and a fantastic public speaker. He even stopped a pandemic as President before it could spread and kill Americans. Those qualities are compared to some of his failings as well. He was a one-term President and the country fell into a terrible depression shortly after he left the White House.
Charles Hyde, President and CEO of the Harrison Presidential Site in Indianapolis, IN joins the show to discuss his youth in Ohio, his career in Indiana and his rise to General in the Union Army during the Civil War. Visit their excellent museum and check out their 3-D collection at www.bhpsite.org.
Alexandra Petri, columnist at the Washington Post and self-proclaimed “Harrison enthusiast” talks about her love of the 23rd President and all of the important things that happened during his Presidency from 1889-1893. Alexandra discusses his cold nature in person, his narrow election win in 1888 and the introduction of electricity by the Harrisons to the White House. Follow Alexandra on Twitter @petridishes and check her hilarious new book Nothing is Wrong and Here is Why. Click link to purchase: https://wwnorton.com/books/9781324006459
Returning guests Zak Taylor from Georgia Tech University and Bruce Carlson of the podcast “My History Can Beat Up Your Politics” come on to discuss the Presidency of Benjamin Harrison. Zak discusses Harrison’s career, how his economic policies lead to the Panic of 1893 and the Cholera Scare of 1892. Bruce joins the show again and looks at Harrison’s campaign, the near war with Chile, the admission of a record 6 states into the Union and why Harrison is considered the “father of the modern navy.”
Dont’ forget to rate and review the show on iTunes and you buy an Ohio v. the World t-shirt by emailing the show at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, check out the PBS documentary “A President at the Crossroads”. Click here to stream https://www.pbs.org/show/president-crossroads/ Only 3 shows left in Season 5: Ohio v. the Presidency!
Episode 9: Warren G. Harding v. the World
Episode 9: “Warren G. Harding v. the World”. Alex gives the 29th President, Warren G. Harding, a thorough reevalutation 100 years after his election. You might be surprised with what he found. Harding, from Marion, OH, is always ranked near the bottom of the presidential rankings. After our research, we have to ask why? There’s scandals but there’s also some huge successes.
We visit Harding’s hometown of Marion and meet with Sherry Hall, site manager of the Harding Home and soon to be open Harding Presidential Center. Sherry discusses his early years, 1st Lady Florence Harding and Harding’s rise to power. Sherry walks us through the front porch campaign of 1920, his election to Presidential and his 2.5 years in the White House. Sherry discusses President Harding’s “Return to Normalcy.” Visit https://www.hardinghome.org for more information about the Harding Home and Memorial. As well as the Harding Presidential Center, opening in March to mark the 100 year anniversary of the inauguration.
We are also joined once again by Jim Robenalt, author of The Harding Affair: Love and Espionage During the Great War. Buy a copy of that great book about President Harding here: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780230609648. Jim discusses why Harding is an underrated President and sheds light on some of the personal and political scandals that have dogged Harding’s legacy for a century.
Two other former guests join us to discuss Harding as well. Kyle Kondik, political analyst from the Virginia Center for Politics comes on to discuss Harding’s landslide win in the 1920 election over Ohio Governor James Cox. Yes, there were two Ohioans running for President in 1920. Political scientist, Zak Taylor from Georgia Tech joins us to discuss Harding’s excellent economic record and helping the country bounce back from a serious economic downturn following World War I and the Spanish Flu pandemic.
We are on the back stretch of Season 5: Ohio and the Presidency. Thanks so much for listening. Don’t forget to go buy Jim Robenalt’s amazing book about Warren G. Harding: The Harding Affair: Love and Espionage During the Great War. https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780230609648.
Episode 8: Ohio v. Conventions
Episode 8: “Ohio v. Conventions”. Alex visits the convention hall floor and the smoke-filled rooms of America’s past political conventions in Ohio. Political conventions are going to look very different in 2020 but usually they’re the Super Bowl for political junkies. We breakdown all six major party political conventions that have taken place in Ohio in American history.
We focus on the first convention to be held in the Buckeye State: the 1856 Democratic Convention in Cincinnati. This first Ohio convention nominates our 15th President, James Buchanan. Journalist and author, Robert Strauss joins us to discuss his book about Buchanan, Worst. President. Ever. Robert shares how Buchanan got the nomination in Cincinnati, won the election and why many historians consider him our worst president. Buy Robert’s book Worst. President. Ever. here https://www.amazon.com/Worst-President-Ever-Buchanan-Presidents/dp/1493030590
We hit two conventions in Cincinnati in 1876 and 1880 with former guests Mike Allbritain, Todd Arrington and Dustin McLochlin. They walk us through the unlikely nomination of Ohioan Rutherford B. Hayes at the 1876 Republican Convention and Winfield Scott Hancock’s almost presidency as the nominee at the 1880 Democratic National Convention.
We are joined by former guest and history professor at Case Western Reserve University, John Grabowski, to discuss the 1924 and 1936 Republican Conventions in Cleveland, OH. The successful presidential run of Calvin Coolidge is discussed as well as why a total of 3 political conventions were held on the shores of Lake Erie in 1924. We visit Depression-era Cleveland and the ill-fated nomination of Alf Landon at the 1936 Republican Convention. John and Alex look at life in Cleveland in the midst of the Great Depression and discuss the reasons behind Landon’s landslide defeat to FDR.
Lastly, we go back to 2016 and the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The unlikely nomination of Donald Trump is analyzed with author and political analyst, Kyle Kondik. Kyle was at the convention in 2016 and discusses Trump’s speech and the mood in the convention hall. We also look forward to President Trump’s re-election bid in 2020 in the ultimate swing state of Ohio.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Making Ohio Proud!
Love continuing my education in this history class for adults. The show has a great pace, compelling and well-sourced guests, and a refreshingly non-partisan take on the events that shaped our state. I always enjoy filling in the gaps from my grade school text books!
Ohio V the Campaign
This podcast is very interesting, moves fast and captures your attention and interest during the whole episode. I learned so much and recommended it to people.
I love to listen
I always come away with a better perspective of Ohio. Ohio was the crossroads of the nation for a huge part of American history.