My History Can Beat Up Your Politics

Since 2006, bringing historical context to the politics of today. TV pundits discuss politics in a vacuum. Cable news tells you everything is 'breaking news' but in most cases, events have long roots in history. In this podcast, we smash and bash the politics of today with a healthy dose of history

The History Behind a Holiday: Martin Luther Kin...
This was a holiday that was not obtained without struggle including strikes, shaming and strange political bedfellows. In one of the first casts on MHCBUYP from 2007, We took a look at this history and some well-known and lesser known actors in its occurrence.
8 min
Drug Legalization Before it Was Cool: The Story...
timore Mayor Kurt Schmoke was called a madman, a "brilliant spokesman for a bad idea," and e even the most dangerous man in America when he called for drug legalization in the late 80s and early 90s. Those were forbidden ideas then. Yet Schmoke's statements seem prophetic now, and his radical plans are the basis of drug policy in many cities.
40 min
Disorder at the Capitol in History
Comments from Jan 7, 2021 about the events of 1/6 and the historical context of the Capitol and safety of the government on this episode, previously unreleased.
50 min
The Forgotten Forage War of 1777: Realities of ...
Did New Jersey Save the Revolutionary Cause? Maybe. Amid a sea of troubles, irregular units fight off the British and make their stay less than hospitable. A bit about George Washington's offensive campaign to be sure that the new nation would not be garrisoned. And it happened in New Jersey (we should be clear with a large contingent of soldiers from all across the Eastern Seaboard).
21 min
Tricornes and Tomahawks - Realities of the Revo...
Previously only available to premium subscribers, this podcast on the Revolution talks about the everyday equipment. Including the piece of clothing that just scared the heck out of the enemy.
25 min
About Those Hessians: Realities of the Revolution
It's easy to forget that Hessians were people too, with the way they are discussed in history. A bit about the German "mercenaries" for the British Side in the Revolution in this episode. We discuss their true purpose and story, the impact on the Revolution and American motives. How some Hessians switched sides, or just settled down in the country they were assigned to conquer. And we tell one Hessian's story, found in his diary by German relatives. Since Hessians figure prominently in the Battle of Trenton, a special treat: Bob Crawford and Ben Sawyer make a brief appearance on the show. Their podcast Road to Now is a favorite of My History Can Beat Up Your Politics. Check 'em out at Road to Now ( And Road to Now Theology - We are part of Airwave Media Network. To advertise on this podcast, contact
50 min
Shooting Behind Trees? Realities of The Revolu...
We look at a unsung Revolutionary War battle, The Battle of Camden, a loss for the American side that would nonetheless have some positive long-term effects, and demonstrate a common theory about the Revolution is wrong.
31 min
What Would Cicero Say? Interview with Professo...
Through most of American history, calling someone a Cicero was the highest democratic honor. John Adams wrote of the Roman orator, that “as all the ages of the world have not produced a greater statesman and philosopher united in the same character, his authority should have great weight.” Thomas Jefferson said Cicero was “the father of eloquence and philosophy” John Quincy Adams dramatically said that if he did not have book of Cicero at hand it was having to live without "of one of my limbs.” And a young Abraham Lincoln reading from a borrowed library benefited greatly from his works, as well as others. We talk to Ryerson University professor of politics and author of Words on Fire Rob Goodman about these topics. Through close readings of Cicero – and his predecessors, rivals, and successors – political theorist and former speechwriter Rob Goodman tracks the development of this ideal, in which speech is both spontaneous and stylized, and in which the pursuit of eloquence mitigates political inequalities. For cicero, speech was essential. More than just talking or Cicero referred to speech as “what has united us in the bonds of justice, law, and civil order, this that has separated us from savagery and barbarism”. Speech was to Cicero a sign of humanity’s inherently communal and cooperative nature and one of our greatest tools in creating a prosperous life for ourselves. "Be no Atticus," John Quincy Adams told his good friend Charles Sumner when he thought he got to reclusive and too bookish and didn't get out there in the debate. He almost could of said, be more like Atticus's friend Cicero. Cicero got out and spoke, took controversial positions in defense of republic and eventually was executed. Rob Goodman's book Words on Fire is available here - We are part of Airwave Media Network. Check out the other shows there - airwave
38 min
Lincoln on Infrastructure
Known in history for his role in ending slavery and prosecuting the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln's most important issue in his time as an elected official was infrastructure. And in that, he was little different than his pioneer constituents. In this episode, we talk about Lincoln's roots, his arguments countering objections to improvement projects (that have relevance today), and how it shaped slavery and other political issues of his time.
43 min
Harris and the Vice Presidency in a Historical ...
Office or incumbent? The office has been described as a nullity and a spare tire. The historic incumbents include many 'also-rans' and some did very little to speak of in office. Some didn't even get to talk to the President. So can you judge an occupant? The media certainly has made Kamala Harris a topic of attention. Is this fair? On one hand, there's an overall critical tinge to coverage that seems to have started January 21st. On the other there are some historic facts behind it, as Harris has the best predictable chance of becoming President of any modern VP, and comes from less years experience in Washington than recent incumbents? Spurred on by an article from Bill Scher in Washington Monthly - check it out [] we look at this question. Is it, as Scher suggests, the office and we need to cut its newest incumbent slack? Or does the incumbent drive? Is there any way to judge a Vice President? Short answer - We think there can be VP success and failure, but in the end, it's a political job with political goals, and that's what watchers of politics should be focused on.
37 min
The 1890's Part IV: Imperialism Just Happened
112 min
Near-President Bob Dole? Biden v. Dukakis, Gar...
Bob Dole's passing has us thinking again about the fateful 1988 election and its consequences. Extra's from a series of podcasts we did on that election that were not aired to the main audience. After the series of episodes on the 1988 election, Bruce discussed the making of those episodes and some leftover stories that didn't make it in. Among them - the Kitty Dukakis story, one that focuses needed attention on the personal toll of politics. Also a re-emphasis on the forgotten fact that it was Dukakis who beat Biden in that primary, in a way that made Biden supporters mad - and they let him know it. Also more about Gary Hart, and what may have been the reason for his woes, put together decades after the election.
40 min
The 1890's Part III: No, Not That Winston Churc...
A look at the cultural 1890's decade. Science fiction, A new form of voiced patriotism, Exploding growth in cities. And an American Winston Churchill.
58 min
The 1890's Part II: Tin Man
In this second look at the decade of the 1890's. Economic disaster and marching citizens. Pitchfork and tin making rebellion. Competing metals and ideas. An election only makes clearer the divisions in society - it does not create them. An author struggle to captures these modern conflicts and develop a new fairy tale. Music by the excellent Kevin MacLeod (find him on free music and Lee Rosevere (find him on Bandcamp). We are part of Airwave Media Podcast Network We have a patreon if you'd like to support us; Want to advertise on this podcast? Contact
61 min
The 1890's: Part I : Mauve Decade
How did things get modern in America? The popularity of a color derived from coal tar is just one of the ways. A look at the 1890's, a decade where America developed in many ways. A look at the 1890's, a decade where America developed in many ways. This is part of a FOUR PART series of podcasts on My History Can Beat Up Your Politics. X-rays, flying machines, oyster pirates and basketball. Also strikes, war, populism and long-forgotten literature. How did things get modern in America? The popularity of a color derived from coal tar is just one of the ways. Of course Modern doesn't mean all upside, necessarily, and we get into the conflicts during the time. This is part of a FOUR PART series of podcasts on My History Can Beat Up Your Politics. Support us on Patreon: Music by the excellent Lee Rosevere - We are part of Airwave Media Network. Interested in advertising on the podcast? Contact
62 min
Inflation Gardens and Other Stories
It's the most abstract of the economic stats and yet, it's the most personal. It's the one that often has turned Presidents into crusaders. And sometimes turned the American people into the critical actors, volunteers or even 'the problem'. Pins, gardens and tough talk on this episode about Presidents, shrinking dollars, and rising prices.
31 min
News Stories From 1921 That Matter Today - with...
Auctioning people for paid jobs, Resisting smoking and liquor bans, Actors in trouble, Fistfight in Congress, Prosperity around the corner and News articles spreading fear and encouraging violence. With Jon Blackwell, Wall Street Journal Editor and creator of the Twitter handle This Day in 1921, we discuss significant news stories of 1921 that have meaning for today involving racism, poor economic times, censorship, government mandates and attacks on science, among others. Jon's twitter publishes every day with a news story from 1921. He's also the author of Notorious New Jersey. We did a 1921 episode earlier in the year, with Jon we cover new ground.
65 min
Introducing "Smoke Screen: The Sellout"
14 min
Ashamed in the Day of Judgment - Resistance to ...
Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren's policy of Indian population removal, which lead to the Trail of Tears and thousands of deaths, was not uncontested or passively allowed at the time. Nearly half of Congress opposed it, as did petition writers all over the nation. So did one of the President's former friends and of course, most of the elected representatives of the Cherokee people. These debates happened not in modern times but then. One of Jackson's friends voted against so he would not be Ashamed in the Day of Judgment and sought the Presidency in his stead. Support our sponsor Inkl - Support the Podcast on Patreon: Music by Lee Rosevere Email to enquire about advertising on the podcast We are part of Airwave Media Podcast Network. -
44 min
The Miserable Daniel D. Tompkins, Vice President
Vice President under Monroe, Tompkins was a popular populist republican governor of New York and symbol of young America. But he had a problem. Tim Pearson's book on Vice Presidents is Second Fiddle - This episode's sponsor - Light Stream credit card consolidation And a unique news service that helps you get through news paywalls. Want to advertise on the program? sales@advertisecast We are part of Airwave Media network.
31 min
The Anti-Masonic Party and Conspiracy Theory Po...
We look at the Anti-Masonic Party of the 1820s and 1830s from backwater movement to national stage and its lasting influence on one of the two major parties today, and on political conventions. Was it truly a conspiracy theory-based movement? What can it say about today's politics. And a candidate who didn't want to run for President. We look at all that.
38 min
Joe Manchins of History, Clinton's 50-50 Senate...
We take a look at a few topics, the "Joe Manchins" of History, Senators who have disagreed with their own parties Presidents, while also helping in some ways. FDR, Clinton and Lyndon Johnson dealt with their own versions of the dynamic in politics today. We are also reminded in telling this story that Clinton had a 50-50 Senate, in a form. And a bit about British Prime Minister Harold Wilson and his idea for a University of The Air, long before today's online learning.
49 min
Biden, Crime Bill, How and Why He Was Elected a...
WIth Matthew Howland from the Political Darkside podcast, Bruce discusses Joe Biden, his story, and the issues of crime, business, busing and more. Find Matthew's podcast at
99 min
Grover Cleveland Cake and Other Stories
Of the many things Grover Cleveland is remembered for, his still extant wedding cake stands out for the few visitors to his birthplace home in Caldwell, N.J. He's not a President much remembered though podcasts have revived knowledge about him a bit. We discuss Cleveland, his legacy, and a great fight of the 1880's that determined executive power. We also look at another President's argument for why Cleveland should be remembered. We also look at Lincoln's coat, Hayes's oysters and dominos, Washington's teeth and the short military career of William Jennings Bryan.
53 min
Andrew Carnegie Questions
Andrew Carnegie went from a bobbin-boy child worker to becoming the richest man in America. He also inspired generations of philanthropists, and his money is still at work today educating minds, funding books and pushing for world peace. But his story raises questions. His attitude towards unions was friendlier than most business people of his day on paper, but his actions differed from his words. And even in his philanthropy, is the model of giving after successful business a good one? We look at these questions, and tell his story.
32 min
Introducing "9/12" from Wondery
6 min
Snack, Dessert, Dinner, Supper: The Paris Peace...
Nixon's first bombing campaigns had the names of mealtimes which seem to also correspond with the years of his first term: 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972. In this episode we look at Nixon, Kissinger and the Paris Peace Accords that ended the Vietnam War. In addition to providing some additional context for the Saigon 1975 situation so much in the news today, we revisit whether the accord was a sham peace or a true deal. The deal left hundreds of thousands of enemy troops in South Vietnam as U.S. troops exited. Could a better deal have been etched? Or could the same deal have been made sooner. And what about those leopard spots? The great debate over the negotiating table? and the dingy carpet? All this and more.
67 min
Mike Duncan on The Marquis de Lafayette and His...
With podcast host of Revolutions and History of Rome Mike Duncan, we talk about the Marquis de Lafayette. He left an aristocratic life in France to fight in the American Revolution, and did so with bravery and zeal. He remains the central figure of American-French cooperation. Mike talks about Lafayette's role not just in American history but in French history. He also talks about his book, Hero of Two Worlds. We also chat about Napoleon and Lafayette, French generals and other stories. Music by Kevin McLeod and Chris Novembrino.
49 min
Saigon Comparisons: The Events of April 29th an...
We look at the 1975 Operation Frequent Wind - the evacuation of Saigon and the comparisons to today's events, the politics at the time and now and more. Also - FOR UNBIASED NEWS (or to have a fair chance at seeing the bias), download the app at Ground.News/myhistory. Support our sponsor. The first thing to know is, despite the image of failure, those days were an operational success in a sea of bad policy decisions. In this episode we look at that and: the original plan that was ditched, what Marines on the ground that day said, how it felt for a journalist, effects on the '76 election if any, the reluctant ambassador, 2022 midterms and burning US dollars.
30 min
Playing Cards With the Signers of The Declarati...
Break your news bubble and see biases in coverage clearly -Download our sponsor Ground News's App at - Ground.News/myhistory All about Signers in this one. We talk to Jason Petri, listener to MHCBUYP about his playing card deck project, and we discuss: :the lives of the signers What can Button Gwinnett, Stephen Hopkins or Thomas Heyward Jr. do for us? The importance of the Declaration, even when the country hasn't lived up always to the aspiration (with help from a former president for a good interpretation). The history of the actual document, and how it was saved from British capture. A reminder - we are part of Airwave Media Podcast Network - Check out great shows at Songs by Lee Rosevere - and Kevin MacLeod who has excellent jazz music opens our episode up.
68 min
Charles Dawes: The Anti-Filibustering Musician ...
Opponent of the filibuster and sometimes a royal pain for the President he served under, Dawes is probably one of the most accomplished Vice Presidents of the United States. In his life time he would win a Nobel Peace Prize, posthumously he would win a Grammy. Friend to both William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan, a banker who could play that piano. We don't know him as well today but in his times, he was oft larger than life.
44 min
Friendly Skies? - The Story of Airline Deregula...
A Democratic President and a liberal Senator push a free-market reform in the late 1970s that affects us all today. We look at the story of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. Among the topics - legroom politics, cold fried chicken, consumer rights, cargo politics, Carter's legislative ability or lack of it, champagne denial, mistreated pets, and the deregulator now wearing a robe at SCOTUS.
51 min
Richard Bey of "The Richard Bey Show" on Cancel...
We are joined by Richard Bey of "The Richard Bey" show and "People are Talking" fame for a talk on a lot of things. We are pleased to have Richard as a long time listener of the show. Richard takes aim at the current depiction of cancel culture as a new thing, which is especially easy for him as he was canceled himself at least twice. Richard and Bruce also talk Iraq War, the 2016 election and what happened, and other topics.
58 min
15th Anniversary Show Part I: Speaking w/ Liste...
Bruce reviews favorite old clips and speaks to two listeners from all the way back at the beginning, Kevin Willis and Tom Morris.
82 min
Afghanistan - The Soviet War
60 min
Vaccines Then and Now
Vaccine history, acceptance and denial.  The man who saved Boston and never got credit.   Law and the citizen and medicine.   FDR's polio - if it was polio - and what it meant for America.  From 2014, with an update for...
70 min
What You May Not Know About Lexington and Conco...
You know about the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the shot heard around the world, the minutemen and their trifold hats and muskets. But how much do you really know about the day's events? This episode we look at the day of fighting at Concord, when a British raiding party turned into a display of American resistance and a trial run for American independence. We look at the stories from that day, and deal with some misconceptions and discuss the impact of the American origin story.
34 min
Dennis Kucinich on Public Service, Public Power...
We speak to Dennis Kucinich about his fight to save Cleveland's municipal power system as mayor of the city in 1970's. He risked not only his career but his life during that battle, and he gives us some of the details from his new book -"The Division of Light and Power"
40 min
The Man in the Cave and Other Stories of the Si...
We know Jefferson and Franklin, but what about the other signers - John Hart, John Penn, William Williams, Richard Stockton, William Whipple, John Morgan, William Floyd, George Read and others. I released this series as its own podcast in 2012, some...
323 min
1866 Mechanics Institute Attack
One violent event, captured in the best media technologies of its time and brought to American living parlors, completely changed American politics during the Reconstruction period.  A convention at the stately Mechanics' Institute in New...
37 min
D.C. Representation: A Love Story
This episode is all about voting in the federal capital we now call the District of Columbia. We talk about a movement to get voting rights that succeeded for a group of (then) D.C. residents 180 years ago, And about the petitions, committees, tea parties, bus trips and statements by Presidents over the years, and the reactions of Congress to them. Why Lincoln and Jefferson Davis found common ground on one issue about D.C. and neither got their wish. And about the rioting soldiers that may have spurred the whole idea of a federal city on a hill in the first place. Plus, about that guy who lived in a tree.
69 min
Hannibal Hamlin Stood Up: A Look At an Overlook...
Known for being Lincoln's first VP and dropped from the ticket, Hamlin was actually as well-known as the President he served under. He was a fighter against the expansion of slavery and an important Senator. It was not out of the question that Hamilin could have been in Lincoln's spot. History has forgotten, but we'll give him a few words in this look at Vice Presidents this summer.
43 min
Terrible Tuesday 1987 (The Ark of Commerce, Par...
For Wall Street Insiders, Black Monday was not the worst day. The next day, Terrible Tuesday was an agonizing test of the financial system. As part of our series on the commercial history of the United States, we examine the events of Tuesday the 20th. And we look at the history of insurance in America, the reasons there is a stock market, what was learned and not learned from 1987 and a few other things.
52 min
On The Lincoln Train: The 13-Day Journey of a P...
Lincoln's turbulent period as President-elect also featured a novel twist: a thirteen-day train ride through the states that had cast their votes for him, and two that had not.  He countered large cheering crowds and some security risks, while he...
78 min
Black Monday 1987 and The Shock of Risk (Final ...
Worried hands gripping phones. Black screens with green digits, going downward. Faces pressed against fancy brokerage office glass. Busy signals. The history of Black Monday 1987 crash and the history of what came before it, from stock commodities and even butter and eggs. This is the first of what will be a two-parter on commerce, risk and the attempts to control that risk, insurance. All of it came together on one day in 1987 which made history, but has been somewhat forgotten about. Don't forget to try out our sponsor Betterhelp -
59 min
American Epidemic: Philadelphia's Yellow Fever ...
Five thousand people died in Philadelphia, then the capital of the United States in just a few months.  Between August and November of 1793.  Thousands of others, including the President, fled the city.   Preachers told of sins...
37 min
We've Got Problems. We've Always Had Problems.
In this episode, no big deal, we just tackle about every significant problem we have in our politics today.  norm-breaking, free-speech and free-speech limits, threats and violence, double impeachments, pushing envelopes and reverse virtue...
102 min
Elephant in the Room: Former Presidents and Th...
About Presidents and their parties, particularly situations where a former President who was not re-elected is still in the political picture. There can be some interesting challenges for the party. We look at four cases in history, Gerald Ford's golfing and soft-pedaling in 1980, Truman's attack on a front-runner in 1956, Bush's largely successful exeunt from the stage in 1993 and Carter's absence in 1981-3 which still became an invisible influence.
40 min
1995: A Story of Politics On The Information Su...
Stealth ads. Secret advice. Kids in uniforms.  Soft money and hard choices in the information age.  As we discuss in this cast, a Presidential election was almost completely settled a year before it happened.  Some knew an election was...
73 min
Leftovers From the Black Monday and Terrible Tu...
Leftovers From the Black Monday and Terrible Tuesday Casts.
22 min
Leftovers from the Mechanics Institute Attack P...
More about New Orleans Mayor Monroe and Louisiana's first black lieutenant governor.
16 min
The Man Behind the UN Who Never Got Credit - Ed...
Edward Stettinius, Jr. served a short but important time as Secretary of State serving F.D.R. and Truman.  Without him, there may not have been a UN.  And because he got very little credit, he was able to be successful.   With...
53 min
Golden Beauty Boss: Madame Sara Spencer Washing...
In this episode, we speak with Cheryl Woodruff Brooks, author of  Washington was a cosmetic entrepreneur whose company turned her into one of of America's first black millionaires. She was founder and president of Apex Enterprises consisting of...
30 min
The Young Dick Cheney
We know the globe-running, meeting master Vice President Cheney, but did you know his parents were hardcore Democrats?  or that he thought his father turned into a bird (albeit at a pretty young age).   As we discuss with Tim Pearson,...
35 min
1921 - One Hundred Years Ago
Events 100 years ago have nothing at all to do with today's events, unless you consider new technologies changing the pace of life, the immigration issue, a new administration changing messaging and policies, racism and racial violence, crime, labor...
38 min
The 25th Amendment, Section Four Explained, w/ ...
The Constitution contains two possible forms of presidential removal outside of election, one is the much-discussed impeachment process. The other is the 25th Amendment's fourth section. We discuss 25 Section 4 with Professor Brian C. Kalt, Professor...
46 min
This is William Rufus King w/ Thomas Balcerski ...
The 13th Vice President of the United States remains obscure. Where King's name does come up, it's often with the wrong picture. Or he's confused with Rufus King.  According to our guest, Thomas Balcerski, Associate Professor of History at...
43 min
Mario Cuomo is Not Running: A Tale of Politics
A look at Governor Andrew Cuomo's father Mario, a classic tale of American politics and the potential campaign for President that he ran. 
32 min
Cholera and Benjamin Harrison
In 1892, a dreaded disease caused a President to navigate local health situation and created a new law.  We look at the precedent-setting quarantine order of the 23rd President, Benjamin Harrison.  While we are at it, we look at Harrison's...
41 min
Unfriending From Jefferson and Adams, to today
A look at the famous series of letters between Jefferson and Adams.  Friends as young diplomats, they 'unfriended' and 'refriended' from the time of their Presidencies and politics to their old age.
51 min
Statue Removal: National Valhalla: Statues, Con...
From the early attempts to depict Washington, to the first Congressional attempts to block Confederate statues, to today's debate.  In this episode Bruce examines the history behind statues in America, and Bruce looks at every debating point and...
58 min
Elvis Meets Nixon - The Insider Story
A look at a frenetic day at the Nixon White House.  
27 min
You Break Everybody's Back Part II: The 1988 El...
Attack videos, apology tours, inoculation ads, presidential circles and glib phrases make up the scuttle for the Presidential race in 1988.  Part II of our series.  Biden's all, Dole's rise, Hart's second coming and  the 3x5 card that...
74 min
You Break Everybody's Back: The 1988 Election -...
The quote from Atwater sums up the race 31 years ago nicely. Gephardt eyes a rusty belt. Dole proto-snarks, Jackson thunders, Biden runs a post route, Bush looks for his soul. Dukakis tries error free ball. Simon finds his inner bow tie and Bruce...
97 min
Enemies: Nixon Goes to China
Nixon Goes to China, and what it might mean for the Iran Deal
62 min
George Romney
A look at the Senator's father, his 1968 run, and time as HUD secretary.
15 min
16 Obscure Facts About Presidents w/ Jeremy And...
Who was Chester Arthur's secret pen pal?  How did Herbert Hoover spend his last day in office?  What was McKinley's obscure accomplishment?  What was Rutherford B. Hayes passionate hobby? What event hurt Taft's Presidency from the...
68 min
Calvin Coolidge Became Somebody
A look at Harding's Vice President and future President
26 min
The Power to Pardon
From Eugene Debs to Richard Nixon, from a previously run episode, the President's power to pardon is examined.  
26 min
Alcatraz: The American Indian Movement
The 1969 occupation of the former federal prison by Native American activists was the beginning of a movement and a shift in perception that lives on today. We discuss: Why Alcatraz? The 1973 Stan
48 min
Why is There an Electoral College?
The Battle in 1787, 1969 and Today
40 min
Democracy w/ Dr. Paul Cartledge of Cambridge Un...
We speak often of Democracy, but do we really know what it is?  We point to Athens as an example.  But what was Greek Democracy really like?  A conversation with Dr. Paul Cartledge, A.G. Leventis Senior Research Fellow at the University...
67 min
The Original Adlai Stevenson, Cleveland's 2nd V...
a bit about Adlai Stevenson I who had an opposite ideology from the President he served.
45 min
Your TV Lied To You...All About Presidential Sc...
Presidential Scandals from Nixon to Grant
60 min
The Story of Samantha Smith
Story of a very young cold warrior for peace.
16 min
Masks Then and Now, 1960 Election Presidents Le...
Host Bruce Carlson reflects on 14 years of the podcast, provides a show update.  Plus some listener questions on masks then and now, Presidents leaving (or not leaving) the Oval, and Kennedy's 1960 election and allegations of fraud.
59 min
Geeks, Orcs and Herbert Hoover
The invention of radio and government intervention in recreation.
28 min
I Don't Want to Trick You: The Lyndon Johnson -...
Nothing starts a good presidential transition like charges of treason, and thus it was in 1968 that a tense election ending started a transition between Presidents of two parties.  Yet all things considering, Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson's...
64 min
There Must Be Some Trick in It - Constitution A...
There Must Be Some Trick in It - Constitution Advocates Take on Conspiracy: Madison, Wilson, "Mr Union" and Others.
47 min
Etiquette and Social Media: Where are Our Manne...
Jessica Weisberg has traced Ben Franklin's early advice-writing, read the "Lord Chesterfield" letters that early Americans read to learn how to act, attended Dale Carnegie workshops and spoke with Miss Manners all in a quest to track down why...
46 min
Pirates and America, w/ Rebecca Simon, Author o...
America's fascination then and now with sea rebels, sea dogs, privateers, smugglers, and pirates by other names is pretty clear.  Books, movies and video games with pirates sell.  We talk with pirate expert and historian Rebecca Simon, Ph.D....
49 min
Why Do Nebraska and Maine Vote for President Th...
It started with one guy's idea.  And nothing happened with it until after he died.  We look at the Maine and Nebraska congressional district system of Presidential elector assignment and its history as both the NE2 and ME2 went for different...
36 min
Did Nixon Win the Popular Vote in 1960? And Ot...
In this episode we look at an enduring mystery, one that didn't matter too much in the 1960 election but has since taken on significance. Could it be that Kennedy lost, and Nixon won, the popular vote nationally in 1960. We looked at it a decade ago,...
73 min
The Creation of Children: Child Labor in the U....
A look at the history of child labor and attempts, mostly unsuccessful for decades, at child labor restrictions.  From 2014.  
61 min
Flotsam and Jetsam of the 2020 Election
Trump's loss and the ensuing court fight is getting the news. There were a few other historical things to note about the election.
24 min
I Am James Buchanan
He's the President that is on the bottom of most lists.  But why?  And is it fair?  What did he think about his place in history?  We talk about POTUS 15 and look at the events of the run-up to the American Civil War, and we hear...
79 min
Post Election Talk w/ Chris Novembrino of Dont ...
a bit about Trump's ex-Presidency and Other Things
88 min
Kent State: After the Bullets
We know that on May 4th, 1970, fifty years ago, four students were killed by the National Guard at Kent State in Ohio.  What is not always known is everything that happened after that.  Opinion wasn't universally with the slain students, the...
63 min
You Must Run if Drafted: Blaine and General She...
Both Blaine and McKinley dodge possible challenges to their Presidential hopes from military generals.  But in different ways.
16 min
Notes of 1884: Thoughts on That Election, and t...
We discuss the tight election that elected the first Democratic President in 25 years and some comparisons and contrasts to the current election.  A President's umbrella, salutes for his "big foot," chain-armor clad parades, and the importance of...
45 min
The 1796 Presidential Election: Placing us in a...
'The public and the public papers have been much occupied lately in placing us in a point of opposition to each other. ' So wrote Jefferson to Adams about the 1796 Presidential Election, America's first with two candidates with true campaigns. ...
34 min
Don't Run for President: Candidates Who Ran, Di...
A candidate who didn't run for President.  A candidate who ran, but didn't know he was running.  A candidate who didn't want to run, but had no choice.  A candidate who ran without seeming to run, and a candidate who ran but died before...
109 min
What You Haven't Been Told About The 1860 Elect...
Abraham Lincoln running against...Sam Houston? It is not a far-fetched idea that Abraham Lincoln might have faced Texas hero Sam Houston in the election of 1860, as he  was under serious consideration to be one of the candidates in what became a...
42 min
The "Gaffe-a-thon" of the 1976 Election
Jimmy Carter's speechwriter said "We were 30 points up, but unfortunately we had to campaign."  A tight race turns to a veritable battle of gaffes between two newbie Presidential candidates.  A surprise challenger and an unelected...
33 min
Dewey Gets Mad: Another Look at the 1948 Election
Truman's high-tech train, Dewey's We Go High optimism and the defeat that made him cling to it, Truman's risky calling of a Session of Congress and how it went badly for him in a few ways, and Dewey's decision to get angry, unfortunately first at an...
48 min
The Fifth Debate That Never Happened - 1960
After the four TV debates between Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy in 1960, there was talk of a fifth.  That talk didn't result in another TV debate, but did provide one more campaign issue for a very tight election, and developed a new thing -...
33 min
Blaine's Faint, Washington's Flu, Defoe's Londo...
From James Blaine's fainting spell days before Republicans chose a candidate, to Washington's extreme flu scare, to the SARS epidemic and a look at the Ever-So-Prescient Defoe's Journal of a Plague Year, Health and Sickness and Politics.
66 min
John W. Davis Also Ran
When an obscure lawyer won a party's nomination for President in a surprise convention choice, he used his platform to take on a hate group. 
29 min
Earl Warren Replacement, Election Year SCOTUS B...
The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg has brought forth a week of mourning but also politics over the Supreme Court.  We discuss the history behind election-year appointments, most notably 1968 and we look at the thorny issue of Court-Packing. ...
47 min
The 1880 Election and The Morey Letter: a Tale ...
The 1880 election was close, with Democrats and Republicans seeking an advantage in its waning days when a letter hits a major city newspaper purporting to be in the hand of a candidate.  It is a letter that could turn the election.  With...
59 min