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 American Icon...

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 t...

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...

July 27, 2020 – Video killed the radio star, and the talkies killed Vaudeville, but some legends adapt to changing times. In this episode, we meet one such innovator, who made a series of leaps from New York City’s Hippodrome to Hollywood, with many entertaining stops and in between. Born in the San Francisco of 1883 as Katherine Gertrude Hay, Gertrude Hoffman broke into show business as a mimic, copying highbrow performances from ...

July 13, 2020 – He’s the ultimate Civil War baby gone bad, born in 1866 with the modest handle of Robert Leroy Parker. So how did that dirt-poor son of a Mormon farmer grow up into a horse thief, rustler, and bank robber who ran with the Wild Bunch? Charles Leerhsen explores the origin story of a famous outlaw who never killed a soul in Butch Cassidy: The True Story of an American Outlaw. If you’re familiar with sensationaliz...

June 29, 2020 – Doctor. Major General. Hero of the American Revolution. Martyr who spilled his lifeblood fighting the British at Bunker Hill. And yet most of us have never heard of him. Our guide on this journey is Christian Di Spigna, who brings us Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr. Joseph Warren, the American Revolution’s Lost Hero. Christian Di Spigna is a regular speaker and volunteer at Colonial Williamsburg, and an ex...

INTERVIEWS

H5F: Barry Strauss, Why Murder Caesar?

December 18, 2015 – Today, author Barry Strauss explores the political, military, and social motivations behind history’s most famous murder. Mr. Strauss is professor of history and classics at Cornell University, and a leading expert on ancient military history. Visit him @BarryStrauss on Twitter or at BarryStrauss.com. And don’t miss our full interview on his book, The Death of Caesar, when we upload it on December 21, ...

McGillin’s Olde Ale House, Chris Mullins, Sr.

December 14, 2015 – Ma and Pa McGillin opened the door to their home in 1860, when Abraham Lincoln won the presidency and just after the Liberty Bell cracked. As the decades passed, their tavern endured, tucked away in an alley, as if hiding from old Father Time. Originally called The Bell in Hand, McGillin’s has survived wars, economic panics, challenges from upstart chain restaurants and <shudder> Prohibition. Vis...

H5F: Dianne Hales – Mona Lisa: A Life Discovered

December 11, 2015 – It’s History in Five Friday, presented by Simon & Schuster — kicking off your modern weekend, with people from the past. Today, author Dianne Hales reveals the woman immortalized by the great master, Leonardo Da Vinci. Everybody remembers Mona Lisa’s smile, and has seen her face, but no one knew her full story — until now. You can find Dianne Hales on Twitter @DMHales, at Facebook.com/MonaLisaALife...

Teresa K. Irish – A Thousand Letters Home

December 7, 2015 – On this Pearl Harbor Day, we mark the Japanese attack on Hawaii, and travel back 75 years to meet Aarol W. “Bud” Irish in the European Theater where he fought the Nazis. On the Memorial Day after Bud passed away in 2006, his daughter Teresa opened her father’s mysterious old Army trunk and found stacks and stacks of letters from the front. Through these, she met her father as a young man, and shared him with ...

Betty Boyd Caroli – Lady Bird and Lyndon

November 30, 2015 – Historian of First Ladies Betty Boyd Caroli introduces us to the diminutive, quiet woman who stood behind one of the most controversial presidents of the 20th Century through some of America’s most difficult years. The book is Lady Bird & Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage that Made a President. But Clauda “Lady Bird” Johnson was more than just the flower lady. She was a shrewd busi...

H5F: Betty Boyd Caroli – Lady Bird and Lyndon

November 27, 2015 – It’s History in Five Friday, presented by Simon & Schuster. For the day after Thanksgiving, we’re joined by historian of first ladies Betty Boyd Caroli, whose previous books include The Roosevelt Women: A Portrait In Five Generations, and The First Ladies: From Martha Washington to Michelle Obama. Today, she introduces us to a woman who was at the center of public life for half a century, and yet who few...

The Old ’76 House, Robert Norden

November 23, 2015 – The Old ’76 House in Tappan, New York, is a National Landmark, one where you can eat a meal fit for overthrowing a king. The building itself predates the American Revolution by over a century, and served an active role in the fight for independence. Every major figure including General George Washington spent time at this great American tavern. In 1780, it even served as a make-shift prison for Major J...

H5F: Clint Hill – JFK Assassination

November 20, 2015 – It’s History in Five Friday, presented by Simon & Schuster. Today, author Clint Hill shares his eyewitness account of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination fifty-two years ago on November 22, 1963. Mr. Hill was the Secret Service agent assigned to protect Mrs. Kennedy that day, and the man seen leaping onto the back of the car after the fatal shots rang out in Dealey Plaza. His latest book is titled,...

Kermit Roosevelt – Allegiance

November 16, 2015 – Today, we travel back 75 years to a dark period of the Second World War. But the battlefield where liberty and tyranny clash isn’t Midway or Normandy Beach. It’s the hallowed halls of the United States Supreme Court. Our guide into this world is Kermit Roosevelt. His novel is Allegiance, a legal thriller built around the internment of Americans with Japanese ancestry — 62% of them American ...

H5F: Walter Isaacson – The Innovators

November 13, 2015 – Today we’re going to hear from writer/journalist Walter Isaacson, 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, and the acclaimed biography: Steve Jobs. The Innovators includes names like Grace Hopper, Lord Byron’s daughter, Bletchley Park’s Alan Turing, ENIAC, John Mauchly, J. Presper ...

Jacqueline Wadsworth – Letters from the Trenches

November 9, 2015 – In honor of Veterans Day and Remembrance Day on November 11th, Bristol writer Jacqueline Wadsworth takes us back to “the war to end all wars” in Letters from the Trenches: The First World War by Those Who Were There. We hear from soldiers on the Western Front, Mesopotamia, Gallipoli, Italy, Northern Russia — and, of course, from the women and children suffering through the Great War back hom...

Jennifer Kincheloe – The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

November 2, 2015 – For our first historical fiction author, we’re pleased to introduce Jennifer Kincheloe’s debut novel: The Secret Life of Anna Blanc. Join us in 1907 Los Angeles, where Anna Blanc chafes under the thumb of her controlling father and yearns for a life of crime — solving them that is. Inspired by the wild Santa Anna winds, Anna joins a suffragette protest, lies to everyone in her life, and take...

Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz – Dr. Mütter’s Marvels

October 29, 2015 – In this special, Halloween episode, we’re traveling back to the days before the American Civil War, when doctors would take their scalpels to fully awake patients — the pre-microbial era when the causes of common diseases remained a mystery, and when oil lamps and flammable clothing combined to engulf a staggering number of people in flames. This, was the age of monsters. Yes, monsters. Not costum...

Jordan Harbour’s Twilight Histories

October 26, 2015 – What if John Wilkes Booth’s gun had misfired? And what if we could blast off to a Mars colony founded by the Carthaginians, or head 250,000 years into the past when a race of giants dominate Africa? Writer and archaeologist Jordan Harbour, explores stories like these at the Twilight Histories podcast. And like a David Lynch film, things keep getting weirder. The Twilight Histories is a podcast, Jordan s...

H5F: Harold Holzer – Lincoln and the Press

October 23, 2015 – Today we’re going to hear from Harold Holzer, one of America’s leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln’s life and the politics of the Civil War era. His book is, Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion. Mr. Holzer shows us an activist Lincoln through journalists who covered him from his start through to the night of his assassination — when one reporter ran to the box w...