February 15, 2021 – There has been no more noble fight in all of history than the one guaranteeing equal rights for formerly enslaved people. So how did America forget the Black congressman and a Civil War veteran president to ensure that all those Union soldiers hadn’t died in vain — and more importantly, that the words on those Reconstruction Era amendments to the Constitution guaranteeing rights to the freedmen, wer...

  February 8, 2012 – The U.S. Navy builds modern marvels: 100,000-ton hunks of metal that glide across the ocean rather than sinking like rocks. But how do they do it? The short answer is “computers.” But it was Raye Montague who first designed a ship with that technology, doing so as a single mother during the height of the Cold War, and as a Black woman born into the segregated Little Rock of 1935. She literally let no...

  January 25, 2021 – When George Washington accepted the responsibility of being the first president of a new nation, he felt the weight of history on his broad shoulders, knowing that every step he took, would set precedents for generations. So, how did he pick a team of advisers to keep his path straight on the long march to nationhood? We explore how he pioneered the presidential cabinet with Dr. Lindsay M. Chervinsky. She’...

January 11, 2021 – In 2017, Sports Illustrated named Mike “Doc” Emrick the greatest sportscaster of all time. But how did a kid from a tiny town in the American Midwest, grow up to be a voice synonymous with Canada’s game, the first media member inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, a TV heavyweight, and the winner of eight Sports Emmys? How did Doc sound just as excited about the 10,000th goal he saw, as he did w...

   December 28, 2020 – What’s it like being the great-grandson of one of the greatest leaders of the 20th Century, the man called “the Greatest Briton”? In this episode, we pay tribute to Jonathan Sandys, Winston Churchill’s great-grandson, who passed away at just 43 years old on December 29, 2018. With the two-year remembrance upon us, we reached back into the archives to share a speech he delivered to the ...

  December 14, 2020 – In 1880, Maria Longworth Nichols Storer founded Rookwood Pottery in Cincinnati, aiming to give American artists a place to produce quality pieces to beautify the home, but also practical ceramics and tile. It grew into a world-renowned success, one that endures to this day. Spinning the pottery wheel for us is Bob Batchelor who brings us the illustrated history Rookwood: The Rediscovery and Revival of an Americ...

November 30, 2020 -What are your favorite stories from growing up? Well, make room on your bookshelf for the chickens who dreamed of speaking Yiddish. We dive into a treasure trove of children’s literature, brought together here for the first time by Miriam Udel. Her book is Honey on the Page: A Treasury of Yiddish Children’s Literature.  Perfect for anyone on your Hanukah or Christmas list. That’s right. Santa can clean out ...

November 16, 2020 – “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” The phrase is the stuff of legend, but who wrote that memorable lyric? In this episode, we meet the street poet with a heart of gold, Drew “Bundini” Brown, Jr., one of boxing’s most mysterious and misunderstood figures — and the one who motivated Muhammad Ali to be the greatest. Join us in the corner of Sugar Ray Robinson and the young Cassius C...

November 2, 2020 – One of Europe’s greatest monsters. One of America’s greatest presidents. We’ll dig into the parallel paths that led these men and their nations to very different final destinations with renowned historian David Pietrusza. We sat down at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, N.Y., to discuss his book 1932: The Rise of Hitler and FDR ―Two Tales of Politics, Betrayal, and Unlikely Destiny...

October 19, 2020 – In 1887, the New York World newspaper laughed off 23-year-old Elizabeth Cochrane’s dreams of being a reporter. Today, she’s a New York City legend, known to history by the pen name Nellie Bly. But to sew up that dream job, Nellie had to go undercover in the closest thing Gilded Age Gotham had to hell: The asylums of Blackwell’s Island on the East River. Tonya Mitchell brings us a meticulously research...

October 5, 2020 – In 1881, an assassin shot President James A. Garfield just four months into his term, ending this noble leader’s plans for carrying out Abraham Lincoln’s legacy of equality for formerly enslaved Americans. But how did he get into the big chair? Our time machine heads into the hurly burley of the 1880 election, the only time two Civil War veterans faced off across the Mason-Dixon line of politics. It’s ...

September 21, 2020 – The Great War is over, but the Spanish Influenza continues to deliver the butcher’s bill. Everywhere, children are dying. But in Philadelphia, they’re also disappearing — and they all have one thing in common: They’re immigrants. We dive into a riveting novel set 100 years ago that’s eerily familiar today with acclaimed novelist Ellen Marie Wiseman. She brings us The Orphan Collector, a ...

Sep 7, 2020 – On September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda sought to break the American union, aiming at what they saw as fatal flaws in our democratic system. Two decades later, the man who was governor of the Empire State on that day of infamy dares to ask, “Did the terrorists win?” In this episode, the 53rd governor of New York, George E. Pataki, joins us to discuss Beyond the Great Divide: How a Nation Became a Neighborhood, co-author...

Aug 24, 2020 – What if your grandparents had narrowly escaped a genocide that left one million people dead, just because they shared your faith and ethnic background? That’s part of the Karayanis family story, in the mass murder of Greeks by Ottoman Turkey that followed the Great War. Our guide back to the 20th Century’s first genocide, is Greek-Australian Aris Tsifidis, who brings us The Genocide of the Greeks in Turkey: Sur...

August 10, 2020 – Lizzie Borden has been testified against by generations of children in a nursery rhyme, and continually convicted in the court of public opinion. But did she swing the axe that whacked her parents, or didn’t she? We dig into the 1893 murder trial with first-time author Cara Robertson. She brings us The Trial of Lizzie Borden: A True Story. Based on transcripts of the proceedings, newspaper accounts, unpublished re...

INTERVIEWS

Mark Braude – Making Monte Carlo

April 11, 2016 – Today, our time machine will wend its way through the tight mountain passes of Southern France, and across the blue seas of the Mediterranean to the principality of Monaco. Yes, Monaco. The name itself conjures up images of glamour and gambling, of royalty and race cars. But how did it get that way? It’s about half the size of Central Park, the second-tiniest nation in the world. Yet it’s played a b...

H5F: Jonathan Horn – The Man Who Would Not Be Washington

April 8, 2016 – It’s History in Five Friday, presented by Simon & Schuster — kicking off your modern weekend, with people from the past. Since tomorrow is the 151st anniversary of Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, it’s fitting that today’s history author, former White House speech writer Jonathan Horn, introduces us to a family connection in Lee’s li...

Fergus Bordewich – The First Congress

April 4, 2016 – Today, our time machine is whisking us back to the very earliest days of America’s republic. Our guest is Fergus Bordewich , and his book is, The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington, and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government. It’s the untold story of the most productive Congress in US history, in 1789–1791. Mr. Fergus Bordewich is the author of six previous books inclu...

H5F: Bob Drury, Tom Clavin – The Heart of Everything That Is

April 1, 2016 – Today on History in Five Friday, presented by Simon & Schuster, we’re going to hear from Bob Drury and Tom Clavin, co-authors who bring us: The Heart of Everything That Is — The Untold Story of Red Cloud, An American Legend. Red Cloud was the only American Indian in history to defeat the United States Army. At the peak of Red Cloud’s reign, the Sioux held dominion over one-fifth of what are now the low...

Jay Atkinson – Massacre on the Merrimack

March 28, 2016 – Step through the Guardian of Forever and back in time to colonial North America, in the heat of King William’s War. Our guide on this journey is Jay Atkinson, called “the bard of New England toughness” by Men’s Health magazine for his approach to writing and his topics. He shares the story of another tough New Englander in his new book, Massacre on the Merrimack: Hannah Duston’s Captivit...

H5F: James Shapiro – 5 Things About Shakespeare

March 25, 2016 – It’s History in Five Friday, presented by Simon & Schuster — kicking off your modern weekend, with people from the past.  Today, we offer bring you some new discoveries on one of history’s greatest authors: William Shakespeare. Yes, that Shakespeare. As incredible as it may seem, we’re still learning about the man who brought us Hamlet, Macbeth, The Tempest and so many other immortal plays. The man in...

Don Glickstein – After Yorktown

March 21, 2016 – Today, we time-travel back to the times after the times that tried men’s souls. The date is October 19, 1781, and a combined French and rebel force defeats the Redcoats at the Battle of Yorktown, Virginia. But contrary to two centuries of grade school and academic histories, the war for independence didn’t end with the surrender of General Cornwallis’s sword. The fighting dragged on for men li...

H5F: Walter Isaacson, the Invention of Video Games

March 18, 2016 – Today on History in Five Friday, presented by Simon & Schuster, we’re going to hear from writer/journalist Walter Isaacson. He’s president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, and author of The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution. He also brought us the acclaimed biography: Steve Jobs. You can like his Facebook page, or follow him @WalterIsaacson...

John McCavitt, Christopher T. George – The Man Who Captured Washington

March 14, 2016 – Today, our time machine touches down on one of America’s darkest days: The capture of Washington, DC, and the burning of the White House, Capitol Building and a other public buildings. The man who lit the match? British Major General Robert Ross. A horseman, prankster, loving husband and daring commander who served under Wellington, Ross has fallen into obscurity over the two centuries since the War of 18...

H5F: Jan Jarboe Russell – The Train to Crystal City

March 11, 2016 – Today’s history author, Jan Jarboe Russell, revisits the dark period of World War Two when President Franklin Roosevelt signed the infamous Executive order 9066. You may recall that we interviewed Kermit Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt’s great-great-grandson and a distant cousin to Franklin, about his novel Allegiance, covering the fight over these deportations at the Supreme Court. From 1942 to 1948, train...

Stephen Coss – The Fever of 1721

March 7, 2016 – Today, we’re climbing into the Wayback Machine and setting the dial for the early 1700’s, when temperatures ran high in politics, the press, and from a smallpox epidemic burning through Boston. Leading us on this journey is Stephen Coss: author, ad guy, and “close personal friend of Ben Franklin.” Everything, Stephen says, that Franklin really needed to know, he learned in 1721 (and he...

H5F: Nicholas Griffin – Ping Pong Diplomacy

March 4, 2016 – Nicholas Griffin shares the story of how a little white ball impacted the way we live on this big, blue marble. His book is titled, Ping-Pong Diplomacy: The Secret History Behind the Game That Changed the World. Just how did the United States and communist China go from the icy pictures of Cold War adversaries, to Nixon’s visit and a relationship that shocked the USSR? Well, believe it or not, table tennis...

Paddy Hayes – Queen of Spies

February 29, 2016 – Our time machine for this trip is tricked out like James Bond’s Aston Martin, and we’re speeding back to the height of the Cold War. Our driver on this journey is Paddy Hayes, who was kind enough to call into the show from Dublin, Ireland. His book is Queen of Spies: Daphne Park, Britain’s Cold War Spy Master. Until this book, no biography has been written about Daphne Park’s incredib...

H5F: Matthew Hart – Gold: The Race for the World’s Most Seductive Metal

February 26, 2016 – Today’s history author, Matthew Hart, brings us…gold.  No, he’s not making us rich.  It’s the title of his latest book: Gold: the Race for the World’s Most Seductive Metal.  It follows in the footsteps of his previous book: Diamond – The History of a Cold-Blooded Love Affair. History in Five Friday. It’s the perfect way to kick off your modern weekend…with people fro...

Paul Kahan – The Bank War

February 22, 2016 – This week, we sling-shot around the sun at high warp, sending us tumbling back in time to the Summer of 1832 — and America, at war. It’s not a conflict over land or of arms, but over the fiscal system of the young republic. Our guide on this journey is Paul Kahan, and his book is The Bank War: Andrew Jackson, Nicholas Biddle, and the Fight for American Finance. The fight against the Second Bank o...