World's Most Remote Island ...1739
(aired January 1, 2015)
A small step in the history of the exploration Antarctica is still a disappointment to the intrepid French explorer.
For more about the island, including beautiful photos, click here.
First NFL Championship ...1932
(aired December 18, 2014)
The precursor of the Super Bowl wasn't planned until the last minute, but it was very popular nonetheless.
To see that $10,000 program, go to www.profootballhof.com/history/release.aspx?release_id=3065
Sam Cooke Killed ...1964
(aired December 11, 2014)
Singer Sam Cooke died of a gunshot wound, under circumstances that remain unclear today.
Listen to a radio interview of Cooke's biographer here: npr.org/2006/01/19/5163408/tracing-the-highs-and-tragic-end-of-sam-cooke
London's Great Smog ...1952
(aired December 4, 2014)
A stalled cold front puts a deadly lid on the London area.
To see photos of the Great Smog, go here.
The Berners Street Hoax...1810
(aired November 27, 2014)
A gigantic practical joke creates a sensation in London's Berners Street.
For more on this and other tomfoolery, check out the Museum of Hoaxes at this link.
Backless Brassiere Patented ...1914
(aired November 13, 2014)
Mary Phelps Jacob's invention of the modern bra was only the start of a wild and eventful life.
Read more about Jacob's life at http://www.phelpsfamilyhistory.com/bios/mary_phelps_jacob.asp
Tycho's Star ...1572
(aired November 6, 2014)
A bright new star appears in the constellation Cassiopeia.
See images of the remnant of the supernova at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SN_1572
John Willis Menard ...1868
(aired October 30, 2014)
John Willis Menard would have been the first African-American in the House of Representatives -- he was elected, but never seated.
You can read the text of his speech at http://www.blackpast.org/1869-john-willis-menard-speech-united-states-house-representatives
The Murder of Jeanne Couc ...1679
(aired October 23, 2014)
A mysterious murder shakes a pioneer family and community..
To read more about the St. Francois community, go to http://www.family.crevier.org/download/free/FrenchCanadianForefathers.pdf
Belle Boyd, Confederate Spy ...1862
(aired July 29, 2014)
The beautiful and spirited heroine of the Confederacy is finally caught.
To read Boyd's autobiography online, go to http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/boyd1/boyd1.html
Battle of Heathrow Airport ...1948
(aired July 28, 2014)
Notorious British mobster Jack Spot and his gang plan a spectacular heist and are foiled by the Flying Squad.
For more stories of the Flying Squad, check out National Geographic's story at https://natgeotv.com/uk/flying-squad.
John Dillinger Dies ...1938
(aired July 22, 2014)
A stakeout and shootout by the FBI yields one dead body, that of Public Enemy #1, the bank robber John Dillinger ... or is it?
To read more about the theory that it wasn't Dillinger, go here.
Temple of Artemis ...356 B.C.
(aired July 21, 2014)
Herostratus sets fire to the Temple of Artemis, solely in the pursuit of fame.
For a virtual visit to the temple site, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PFm7kZkcH4.
The Battle of Neva ...1240
(aired July 15, 2014)
Twenty-year-old Prince Alexander Yaroslavich leads the Novgorod army to victory against the Swedes and earns his fame and his sobriquet, Alexander Nevsky.
To read more about the life of Nevsky, go to here.
Jane Goodall Arrives at Gombe ...1960
(aired July 14, 2014)
Her first day at the Gombe Chimpanzee Reserve convinced Jane Goodall that she's found her life's work.
For the latest on the chimps, visit the Goodall Institute website at http://www.janegoodall.org/
The Best Thing Since ...1928
(aired July 7, 2014)
Something we use every day, something smaller than a bread box, something once banned by the federal government ... it's sliced bread!
For more about the home of sliced bread, visit home page of its birthplace, Chillicothe, Missouri: http://www.chillicothecity.org/bread.html
Bring Back Our Darling ...1874
(aired July 1, 2014)
The first kidnapping for ransom shocks the nation.
To read the whole story of the 2012 discovery of the ransom letters, go here.
La Noche Triste ...1520
(aired June 30, 2014)
Cortes and his conquistadors flee Tenochtitlan.
To see photos of the tree and the mural and other paintings of the event, go here.
Assassination of the French President ...1894
(aired June 24, 2014)
A 20-year-old Italian anarchist stabs the popular president of the 3rd Republic.
The Library of Congress has a page of links to contemporary accounts of anarchist events at http://www.loc.gov/rr/news/topics/anarchy.html
Mutiny on the Discovery ...1611
(aired June 23, 2014)
Henry Hudson is last seen adrift in a small open boat on the treacherous Hudson Bay.
To see and read more about the Hudson Stone, click here.
Mumtaz Mahal ...1631
(aired June 17, 2014)
The beloved wife of the 5th Mughal Emperor of India makes a deathbed wish.
A Smithsonian film clip about the Taj Mahal can be seen here.
(aired June 16, 2014)
On a dark and stormy night in Switzerland, vampires and Frankenstein emerge.
To read Mary Shelley's diary of the summer, go here.
The Villisca Axe Murders ...1912
(aired June 10, 2014)
The newspapers blared the headline, EIGHT SLAIN IN HOME WHILE THEY SLEEP!
To book your overnight at the "museum," go to http://www.villiscaiowa.com/
Emperor Nero Commits Suicide ...68 A.D.
(aired June 9, 2014)
After a tumultuous reign, the last of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty sees no way out but death.
A helpful timeline of the Roman Empire during the first century can be found here.
Wardsend Cemetery Riot ...1852
(aired June 3, 2014)
The good citizens of Sheffield, England, suspect the pastor and sexton of grave-robbing.
To read more of the trial testimony, go to http://www.chrishobbs.com/sheffield/agraveaffair1862.htm
The Portland Rum Riot ...1855
(aired June 2, 2014)
Is the Mayor of Portland Maine keeping illegal booze in the City Hall?!
Maine's place in the history of prohibition is featured in Ken Burns's documentary -- find out about that here.
The Great Match Race ...1823
(aired May 27, 2014)
A horse race pits the Best of the North against the Best of the South.
Find American Eclipse's entry in the National Racing Hall of Fame here http://www.racingmuseum.org/hall-of-fame/horses-view.asp?varID=12
The Bunion Derby ...1928
(aired May 26, 2014)
An Oklahoma farm boy wins the first transcontinental foot race.
A mini-documentary about the race can be seen on YouTube.
The Death of Columbus ...1506
(aired May 20, 2014)
Christopher Columbus dies broke and disappointed at age 55.
To read the story of his remains and DNA testing, go here.
The Bloke with the Donk ...1915
(aired May 19, 2014)
Australia's best-loved war hero saves hundreds at Gallipoli.
To read more about the legendary hero, go to http://www.awm.gov.au/exhibitions/dawn/boat/simpson/
The Girl of Yde ...1897
(aired May 12, 2014)
Peat-cutters in the Netherlands find what they think is the devil in the peat bog -- but it's no devil, it's a 2000-year-old "bog body."
For descriptions of some of the most famous "bog bodies," including the Girl of Yde, go to http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/bog/iron-nf.htm
Japanese Balloon Bombs ...1945
(aired May 5, 2014)
A Sunday-school picnic turns deadly in rural Oregon.
To read more about the documentary "On Paper Wings," click here.
The White Buses...1945
(aired April 28, 2014)
The Swedish Red Cross rescues 15,000 Holocaust survivors. This Flashlight is based largely on Magnus Gertten's documentary, Harbour of Hope.
the movie website has much more information, photos, and newsreel footage at harbourofhope.com
(aired April 21, 2014)
The colonial government of Brazil executes a dentist for the crime of treason.
To read about Tiradentes day, from the perspective of a young Brazilian, go to http://brazigzag.com/events/dia-de-tiradentes-martyr-independence/
Xingu National Park, Brazil...1961
(aired April 14, 2014)
Three brothers set out on an adventure in interior Brazil, and end up staying a lifetime.
To see videos about the park and its people, click here.
(aired April 7, 2014)
A madwoman takes aim at Il Duce...but is she mad?
For more on the would-be assassin and other women who attempted assassinations, go to http://www.kuriositas.com/2013/10/10-female-assassins-and-their-intended.html
(aired March 31, 2014)
The concert that grew into a riot was dubbed the Skandalconzert.
To hear the music that sparked the riot, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6g9zzPhkOU
Robert Koch's Discovery ...1882
(aired March 24, 2014)
Tuberculosis was thought to be inherited until Koch
isolated the bacterium responsible for transmission.
For more about the discovery, and to see a page from his lecture notes, go to http://www.nature.com/nm/focus/tb/historical_perspective.html
Carroll County Courthouse Massacre...1886
(aired March 17, 2014)
One of the small town secrets of the American South.
To read about one man’s experience at the courthouse today, go to http://friendsofjustice.wordpress.com/2011/06/30/truth-crushed-to-earth-rises-again-a-mississippi-town-mirrors-the-soul-of-a-nation/
Axis Sally...1949 (aired March 10, 2014)
She was the voice of German propaganda during World War II.
To listen to part of one of her shows, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49FV-njfp5s
Camels in the Army...1855 (aired March 3, 2014)
Yes, camels in the U. S. Army … but not every soldier would “walk a mile for a camel”!
To read about one of the camel “wranglers, “ go to http://www.scvhistory.com/scvhistory/lw2161a.htm
Jump! ... 1887 (re-aired July 23, 2013)
Did Steve Brodie jump off the Brooklyn Bridge and survive? According to the press, he did.
Peruse digitized copies of the New York Clipper Annual
Szilard Petition ... 1945 (re-aired July 16, 2013)
Szilard and other scientists who worked on the atom bomb had grave concerns about its uses.
To read an earlier, more strongly worded version of the Szilard Petition, click here.
An Event affecting more than 7 million people
around the world ... 1850 (aired July 9, 2012)
The prophet of the Bahá’í faith was executed in Tabriz, Persia. To explore more about the religion he helped to found, visit the international website of Bahá’ís of the world. and here is the link:
What is Celebrated Around the World ... 2001
(re-aired July 2, 2013)
Happy World UFO Day! Want to know more?
A Night in Rio ... 1886 (re-aired June 18, 2013)
Arturo Toscanini makes his conducting debut, filling in after the scheduled conductor quits and his substitute is chucked out by the audience.
For more anecdotes about Toscanini...and many more famous people...check out
Baseball Records ... 1953 (re-aired June 18, 2013)
Bosox outfielder Gene Stephens had one heck of a game against the Detroit Tigers.
See the whole game (and any other game you want) played out at the website:
Back to Baseball.
Captain Cook and the Endeavor... 1770
(re-aired June 11, 2013)
On their first voyage for the Royal Society of London, Captain James Cook and his Endeavor crew “discovered” the Barrier Reef by slamming into it.
Read Captain Cook’s entire journal for the voyage by clicking here.
Capitol Records...1942 (re-aired June 4, 2013)
Capitol Records had hits from day one, with everything from boogie-woogie to comedy, Tex Ritter to Frank
Sinatra … all before rock-n-roll.
Watch a short video about the Capitol Records Building in the History Channel website’s “After People” series.
Thales, Father of Science...585 BC
(aired May 28, 2012)
The Greek philosopher Thales predicted a solar eclipse and shifted paradigms.
Find much more detail at the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
The Velocipede...1819 (re-aired May 21, 2013)
A new form of transportation and recreation made its debut in New York City.
Watch a Toronto artist ride the dandy-horse he built in 2011by clicking here.
A Head of State...1610
(re-aired May 14, 2013)
King Henri IV of France was murdered and buried over 400 years ago, and his missing head showed up a few years ago.
Read the London Telegraph’s article about the head, and see a video about it by clicking here.
Bound for Australia...1787
(Aired May 13, 2013)
The First Fleet heads to the British penal colony of Australia.
To read the journals of some of the First Fleet crew, go to the State Library of New South Wales.
(re-aired May 7, 2013)
Inspired by the words of the prophet Neolin, Ottawa chief Pontiac started an uprising against the British.
Read more about Neolin at Native American Netroots.
The New York Herald ... 1835
(aired May 6, 2013)
James Gordon Bennett publishes the first issue of a paper that would outsell all its rivals for decades.
The library in Ridgewood, New Jersey, has a copy of that first edition ... take a look at it here.
Alderson Federal Women's Prison...1927
(re-aired April 30, 2013)
The first federal women’s prison opened after a long fight for separate and appropriate detention facilities for women.
Read the AFP Inmate Handbook at the Bureau of Prisons website.
(aired April 29, 2013)
Peter George Roget publishes the results of a lifetime of work.
To look at the original manuscript, go to here.
(re-aired April 23, 2013)
Moving pictures first amazed an audience at Koster and Bial's Music Hall in New York City.
Watch the Butterfly Dance that the audience saw that night by clicking here.
The US Recognizes the Congo Free State...1884
(aired April 22, 2013)
King Leopold of Belgium wages a propaganda war to gain control of a huge territory in interior Africa.
To read Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's description of Leopold's atrocities, go to here.
Texas City Disaster...1947
(re-aired April 16, 2013)
That started as a small fire on a ship in Texas City’s harbor became the deadliest industrial accident in U.S. history.
See more photos at the Texas City Firefighters website.
5 Cubans Come to the US ... 1959
(aired April 15, 2013)
Four asylum-seekers and Fidel Castro land in the US on the same day.
To read the memos between the State Department and the Embassy concerning Castro's visit, go to here.
Robert Jenkin's Ear ... 1731
(aired April 9, 2013)
Did England and Spain really fight a war over an ear? Well, listen and find out.
To read a contemporary account of the declaration of war, go to here.
Twin Peaks ... 1990
(aired April 8, 2013)
David Lynch debuts the weirdest tv show ever.
To learn more about the show and Lynch's ideas about it, go to here.
Congressional Egg Fight ... 1882
(aired April 1, 2013)
Did Congress get its knickers in a twist on April Fool's Day? You decide.
To read the official history of the White House Easter Egg Roll, go to here.
Caxton Publishes Aesop ... 1807
(aired March 26, 2013)
The first English printer prints the fables of the freed slave who may, or may not, have written them.
To read a reprint of the 1484 book, go to here.
Am I Not a Man and a Brother? ... 1807
(aired March 25, 2013)
The slave trade is abolished in England and an enduring image of abolitionism is born.
To read a contemporary critique of the image, go to this link.
The SS Georgianna: Lost and Found ... 1863 and 1965
(aired March 19, 2013)
An underwater archeologist finds out the secrets of a Confederate blockade runner.
To read more about the discovery, go to this link.
The Gardner Museum Heist ... 1990
(aired March 18, 2013)
Over 500 million dollars worth of art is still missing from this Boston art museum.
Check out the art that was stolen here -- maybe you know where they are, and you can claim the 5 million dollar reward!
Charlie "Tokahoma" Grant ... 1901
(aired March 11, 2013)
Muggsey McGraw tries to break the color line in baseball - without anyone knowing it.
The Chicago Tribune story, followed by an interesting commentary, can be found here
Voyager 1, Jupiter Flyby ... 1979
(aired March 5, 2013)
Voyager 1 sends back spectacular pictures of Jupiter.
Watch Voyager's pictures of swirling clouds on Jupiter at this link.
Columbus's Return Voyage ... 1493
(aired March 4, 2013)
Columbus fears he will not live to tell of the wonders he has found in the "Indies."
To read the trial documents, go here
Galileo and the Inquisition ... 1616
(aired February 26, 2013)
A special tribunal issues Galileo a warning about his heliocentric theory.
To read the trial documents, go to
The Calavaras Skull... 1866
(aired February 25, 2013)
Miners find proof that humans were in North America two million years ago ... or is it a hoax?
Bret Harte wrote a humorous ode to the skull...read it here.
The Lincoln County War ... 1878
(aired February 18, 2013)
A range war starts when Billy the Kid swears revenge
on his friend's killers.
To read the whole gory story, go to here.
Lieutenant Leftenant... 1948
(aired February 12, 2013)
The US Army integrates its Nurse Corps.
To learn more about black nurses during World War II, go here.
Emma Goldman Arrested... 1916
(aired February 11, 2013)
Though better known as an anarchist and socialist, Goldman also campaigned for birth control rights.
Berkeley has an online exhibit of Goldman's papers here.
Welcome Stranger... 1869
(aired February 5, 2013)
Two prospectors find their fortunes during the Australian Gold Rush.
To read more about the find, and Australia's gold in general, visit http://www.australian-gold.com/welcome-stranger.html
The Philippine Insurrection ... 1899
(aired February 4, 2013)
Private William Walter Grayson fires the first shot in a little known American war.
To watch Thomas Edison's movie treatment of the war,
We Are The World ... 1985
(aired January 28, 2013)
21 soloists, 23 chorus members, 7 musicians, and 1 conductor -- all big musical stars -- can they leave their egos at the door and make a recording together?
Watch a sappy version of the making of We Are the World.
Russia's Bloody Sunday... 1905
(aired January 22, 2013)
Czar Nicholas's guards fired on peaceful protesters, and their shots became the first shots of the Russian Revolution.
To read contemporary press accounts of the massacre, go here
Coalbrook Mine Disaster ... 1960
(aired January 21, 2013)
Mining was the backbone to apartheid in South Africa.
Watch a newsreel segment about the collapse here here.
The Black Dahlia Murder ... 1947
(aired January 15, 2013)
Elizabeth Short's murder was never solved...whodunnit?
To read the whole story and judge for yourself, click here here.
Debut of The Today Show ... 1952
(aired January 14, 2013)
The fifth-longest running TV show was also the first of its kind -- a morning news magazine show.
To watch a 1952 promotion for the new show that appeared on the Fred Allen show, click here.
The First Presidential Election ... 1789
(aired January 7, 2013)
George Washington, first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen -- and also the last US president who didn't want to be president.
The Library of Congress holds a fascinating collection of George Washington's papers, many available online here.
Monopoly ... 1935
(aired December 31, 2012)
Who invented the board game, when, and why?
Click to read more about Lizzie Magie and The Landlord's Game.
Ben Franklin in London ... 1724
(aired December 24, 2012)
Ben Franklin learns a life lesson...nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Read Franklin's autobigraphy as a free e-book download.
General Order #11 ... 1862
(aired December 17, 2012)
Ulysses S. Grant orders the expulsion of Jews from Tennessee, Kentucky, and Mississippi.
Read about Grant's "redemption" here.
WSM Barn Dance ... 1927
(aired December 10, 2012)
In the early days of radio, the WSM Barn Dance was the Saturday night favorite, and one night the host ad libbed a new name for the show and made music history.
To hear more music and patter from Uncle Jimmy Thompson, click here.
Anna Freud... 1895
(aired December 3, 2012)
Martha and Sigmund Freud's daughter followed in her father's footsteps.
Anna Freud's lengthy and fascinating obituary can be read here.
(aired November 26, 2012)
Hawai'i has been called the extinction capital of the world; the Po'Ouli may be the most recent bird to go.
Read avian ecologist David Flaspohler's reports from the Hawai'i.
Rocky and Bullwinkle... 1959
(aired November 19, 2012)
The classic cartoon show still has a following more than fifty years after its debut!
Watch an interview with the voice actors who did Bullwinkle, Natasha, and most of the other characters.
Voting is a Crime? ... 1872
(aired November 5, 2012)
A city newspaper editorialized that "Citizens have no more right to vote than to fly to the moon."
Read more about Susan B. Anthony and other women's rights crusaders here.
Watch the music video that the music was from here.
Runnin' Wild ... 1923
(aired October 29, 2012)
The African American musical theater was part of the Harlem Renaissance and introduced the country to a new blues and jazz-full sound ... plus a dance crazy that would sweep the country.
Click here to see more photos of the cast of Shuffle
Dr. Crippen Convicted ... 1910
(aired October 22, 2012)
England's crime of the century ends in a conviction -- but did he do it?
Review the facts and see photos.
Asher Levy In New Amsterdam ... 1660
(aired October 15, 2012)
One of the first Jews in what would become New York City receives a
license to make a living, but he has
to fight to get it.
For more about the legacy of Jewry
in New York and elsewhere, check
out the Jewish Virtual Library.
The Night America Burned ... 1871
(aired October 8, 2012)
On the same night as the famous Chicago Fire, there were other huge and tragic fires, including the worst in US history, in Peshtigo, Wisconsin.
For more information, photos, and first-hand reports, click here.
The Steamboat New Orleans ... 1811
(aired October 1, 2012)
The first steamboat to make the Pittsburgh to New Orleans journey surprises skeptics in Louisville.
To read more about the New Orleans and Nicholas Roosevelt, including contemporary newspaper articles, click here.
The Protopopovs ... 1979
(aired September 24, 2012)
The first couple of pairs skating defects from the Soviet Union.
Watch the Protopopovs' gold-medal 1968 performance here.
Letter to the Royal Society of
London ... 1683
(aired September 17, 2012)
Using a tiny homemade microscope, the self-taught scientist discoveries bacteria.
General Johathan Wainwright ... 1945
(aired September 10, 2012)
A World War II hero is almost denied a well-earned
Medal of Honor.
To watch a short documentary on the largely forgotten native Filipinos warriers who defended their country, click here.
Nothing Happened? ... 1752
(aired September 3, 2012)
Nothing happened on September 3, 1752...nothing!
For a four-minute speed course in the history of the calendar...check out this video here.
Ye Bare and Ye Cubb ... 1665
(aired August 27, 2012)
Three men get in trouble for the sin of producing a play and are arrested under a charge of licentiousness.
Click here to see a section of God's Plot, the 2011 play based on Ye Bare and Ye Cubb
The Day of a Famous Murder ... 1940
(aired August 20, 2012)
The assassination of Trotsky
For more about Trotsky -- writings, photos, and links to more -- visit the Trotsky Internet Archives.
The Man Who Was King ... 1913
(aired August 13, 2012)
A German circus acrobat is crowned King of Albania.
To read more about Otto, and explore other strange stories, check out the Almanac of Absurdities.
Finding Andree ... 1930 (aired August 6, 2012)
Norwegian hunters making a startling discovery and solve a 33-year-old mystery.
To see a slide show of photos from the ill-fated expedition, Click the YouTube video to the left.
The End of an Era ... 2003 (aired July 30, 2012)
The world's biggest selling car ever, ends its run with #21, 529, 464.
To see a selection of 1960s magazine ads for the VW Beetle click on DesignBeep