"History Personified: A Mile in Their Shoes" is a history podcast that takes listeners deeper into different historical stories and eras. From military, to politics, to film, television, and radio, to sports, and more, "History Personified" will help bring listeners closer to the stories behind interesting historical events and figures.
Media Player Error
Update your browser or Flash plugin
*Special thanks to Steve Blizin of the "Drift & Ramble" Old West storytelling podcast for taking care of the audio issues with this episode* The Goat Castle murder case is a tale of eccentrics, a recluse, a killing, an attempted robbery, goats, other livestock, African-Americans in the Jim Crow south, racism, and a push for justice that resulted in injustice. Author Karen L. Cox joins the show to delve into the details, painting a picture of 1930's Mississippi that will shock, disappoint, and interest you. Don't miss this intriguing tale! The episode is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and your favorite podcast app. Remember to download, enjoy, and share! #truecrime #history #podcast www.patreon.com/historypersonified www.twitter/historymile www.facebook.com/groups/historypersonified. . .
After a little more time off to move to Tennessee and get settled in, "History Personified" is back, and we're looking at a long-forgotten, politically-motivated true crime history event...are you ready? On Nov. 20th, 1987, the federal Bureau of Prisons said it would deport about 2,500 Cubans detained in federal penitentiaries. These men had been in the U.S. since arriving after the Mariel boat lift, and had been incarcerated for various offenses, including some jailed for not having proper documentation. On Nov. 21st, the Federal Detention Center in Oakdale, Louisiana was overtaken by Cuban prisoners there. Nov. 23rd saw the U.S. Penitentiary in Atlanta taken over next. Prisoners captured guards and set fire to the 63 year-old structure. On Dec. 4, before daylight, the detainees released 89 people, freeing the last of more than 100 people taken nearly two weeks earlier. The uprising remains the longest takeover of a federal prison in U.S. history. What happened during the uprising? And where does an Aryan Brotherhood prison gang leader fit in? We discuss all this and more with author Mark S. Hamm, who wrote The Abandoned Ones: The Imprisonment and Uprising of the Mariel Boat People. Don't forget to download, enjoy, and share! The episode is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and your favorite podcast app. Remember to download, enjoy, and share! #truecrime #history #podcast www.patreon.com/historypersonified www.twitter/historymile www.facebook.com/groups/historypersonified. . .
On this week's episode of "History Personified," I take a deep look at the intriguing relationship between American Founding Fathers John Adams and Thomas Jefferson with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gordon S. Wood. Adams and Jefferson came from very different backgrounds. Adams was from Massachusetts, and his family was blue collar and working class. Jefferson, meanwhile, was a Southerner whose family was much more aristocratic. They both became involved in the burgeoning American government, and worked together on the Declaration of Independence. A deepening political divide led to a rift that took years to heal, but what resulted was some of the most intriguing personal correspondence in American history. The episode is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and your favorite podcast app. Remember to download, enjoy, and share!. . .
On this week's episode, we interview author/biographer Mike Guardia about the life and career of Lt. Gen. Hal Moore. Gen. Moore is best known as the lieutenant colonel in command of the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, at the Battle of Ia Drang in 1965, during the Vietnam War. He would later be awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, which is the U.S. military's second highest decoration for valor. In addition, Gen. Moore would be portrayed by Mel Gibson in the celebrated war film, "We Were Soldiers." Gen. Moore passed away in February of 2017 at age 94, but, before that, he collaborated on the recently released book co-written with Guardia, entitled Hal Moore on Leadership: Winning When Outgunned and Outmanned. On this episode, which completes a two-part series on the Vietnam War's Battle of Ia Drang, Guardia discusses Gen. Moore's life and times. Remember to download, share, and enjoy! #politics #POTUS #history #podcast www.patreon.com/historypersonified www.twitter/historymile www.facebook.com/groups/historypersonified. . .
Journalist Joe Galloway was a journalist who covered the Vietnam War early on, and specifically the Battle of Ia Drang. But he didn't just write about it...he was right there in the thick of the action. In fact, in 1998, he was awarded a Bronze Star for helping to rescue a badly wounded soldier while under enemy fire. To say that Galloway has a unique perspective on the Vietnam War would be an understatement. In the first of this two-part series on the Battle of Ia Drang, I speak with Mr. Galloway about his experiences in Vietnam, as well as his involvement with the 1998 blockbuster, "We Were Soldiers," in which he was portrayed by Barry Pepper. We chat about this thoughts on the accuracy of the movie, as well as his involvement with Ken Burns' upcoming documentary series on the Vietnam War. Remember to download, share, and enjoy! #politics #POTUS #history #podcast www.patreon.com/historypersonified www.twitter/historymile www.facebook.com/groups/historypersonified. . .
Ted Kaczynski, who would become known as the Unabomber, was a mathematical genius who could seemingly never find his place in society. Angry, isolated, and truly alone, he embarked on a campaign of terror utilizing his calling card, the mail bombing. One of the people most responsible for bringing him down was then-FBI agent Jim Fitzgerald. A "History Personified" alum, Fitz is bringing the story behind the new Discovery Channel eight-part mini-series, "Manhunt: Unabomber," starring Sam Worthington (as Jim Fitzgerald), Paul Bettany, Chris Noth, and Jane Lynch. The debut takes place Tuesday, August 1st at 9 PM, and Fitz is back on our show to discuss the story behind the Unabomber, his involvement in bringing him to justice, whether or not he's had contact with him since, and more. Remember to download, share, and enjoy! #politics #POTUS #history #podcast www.patreon.com/historypersonified www.twitter/historymile www.facebook.com/groups/historypersonified. . .
Abraham Lincoln is known as "The Great Emancipator," and is credited with freeing American slaves in 1863. But just five years earlier, Lincoln, in a debate, said regarding blacks, "He is not my equal in many respects." Regardless of the context of that statement, and others made during that time, Lincoln would be viewed as a racist by today's standards. During Lincoln's debates with Stephen A. Douglas, as they vied for an Illinois senatorial seat, both candidates made statements that would be seen as inflammatory at best today. What else was said? And, besides those statements, what made the debates so memorable? Was Lincoln a racist? We discuss all this and more with Harold Holzer, one of the world's foremost experts on Lincoln. Remember to download, share, and enjoy! #politics #POTUS #history #podcast www.patreon.com/historypersonified www.twitter/historymile www.facebook.com/groups/historypersonified. . .
Ronald Reagan is viewed as one of the most influential U.S. Presidents in history. Loved by many, hated by many, results and consequences from his policies are still being felt in America today. What is his legacy now? How will he be viewed in the years to come? On part II of our series on the life and presidency of Ronald Reagan, we conclude with the Oval Office years of "The Great Communicator." Author/historian H.W. Brands discusses Reagan's early years, including the release of the U.S. hostages in Iran, the assassination attempt survival, and the air controller's strike. We touch on the War on Drugs and the rise of AIDS, as well as the Iran-Contra affair, before ending with Reagan's final years. It's an intriguing look at a man who accomplished so much in his lifetime. Remember to download, enjoy, and share! #politics #truecrime #history #podcast www.patreon.com/historypersonified www.twitter/historymile www.facebook.com/groups/historypersonified. . .
"Reagan"...it's a name that inspires love and hatred at the same time. To some, he was the savior of conservative politics. To others, he was a symbol of greed and dishonesty. What's fact? What's fiction? Regardless, no one can deny that "The Great Communicator" had a major impact on the 1980's, and an immense influence on the 1990's and beyond. On this first episode of a two-part series on #POTUS Ronald Reagan, I chat with noted author and historian H.W. Brands on the man's formative years, his career in Hollywood, and his emergence as a bonafide political force. Remember to download, enjoy, and share! #politics #truecrime #history #podcast www.patreon.com/historypersonified www.twitter/historymile www.facebook.com/groups/historypersonified. . .
Old West outlaw Jesse James is still being talked about 135 years after his death at the young age of 34. Many myths surround this legendary criminal, with many still viewing James as a modern-day Robin Hood of sorts. A defender of the Southern way of life, he is a product of the Civil War in many ways. His lust for blood started early, and combined with his passion for the high life, Jesse James wreaked havoc across the South and Midwest for years. He suffered personal tragedy along the way, and had experienced more than most when he was shot and killed in 1882. We discuss the life, times, and death of Jesse James with author Mark Lee Gardner. Gardner's book on James, Shot to Hell: Jesse James, the Northfield Raid, and the Wild West's Greatest Escape, has been widely-acclaimed. We delve into the fascinating life of one of the Old West's most enduring figures. Remember to download, enjoy, and share! #OldWest #outlaw #history #podcast www.patreon.com/historypersonified www.twitter/historymile www.facebook.com/groups/historypersonified. . .
For seven decades, Red Skelton, regardless of if it was radio, TV, burlesque, vaudeville, films, a nightclub, or casino, always did his best to entertain his fans and make them laugh. "The Red Skelton Show" was a television staple for many years, outlasting many comparable programs. He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in radio and TV...Red Skelton seemingly had the career few would ever even aspire to. Yet, the man who brought "Freddie the Freeloader" to the masses also endured the death of a child and the resulting suicide of an ex-wife. Red Skelton painted, he entertained, he suffered, and he triumphed. I discuss the life and career of Red Skelton with author Wes Gehring, who wrote, Red Skelton: The Mask Behind the Mask. Special thanks to listener Hobie Clapp for the topic suggestion! Remember to download, enjoy, and share! #history #podcast www.patreon.com/historypersonified www.twitter/historymile www.facebook.com/groups/historypersonified. . .
It's a very special mini-episode of "History Personified" this week, and I had the honor of speaking with Joan Howard Maurer, the daughter of the Three Stooges' Moe Howard. In honor of his 120th birthday, we chat about her famous father, how he was at home, how his on-screen persona differed from his private life, his love of the fans, and his legacy. Moe and the Stooges are remembered this week in a special four-day series of short films, features, and a rarely-seen documentary all being shown on DECADES Network. Check out www.decades.com for local listings and all the information! Remember to download, enjoy, and share! #history #podcast www.patreon.com/historypersonified www.twitter/historymile www.facebook.com/groups/historypersonified. . .
Professional wrestling, for better or worse, is part of the fabric of Americana, and still has millions and millions of fans worldwide. On this week's episode, I discuss the life and career of the legendary Jerry "The King" Lawler with Glenn Moore, Lawler's co-host on the new "Dinner with the King" podcast. While you may or may not be a wrestling fan, Lawler never had an issue with crossing over to the mainstream. Whether it was rubbing shoulders with William Shatner, who inducted Lawler into the WWE Hall of Fame, or engaging in his infamous feud with massive TV celebrity Andy Kaufman, which included Lawler slapping Kaufman on David Letterman's show, Lawler was always about the business of making money. Don't miss this fascinating look at the career of a true entertainment pioneer! Remember to download, enjoy, and share! #wrestling #history #podcast www.patreon.com/historypersonified www.twitter/historymile www.facebook.com/groups/historypersonified. . .
It's the conclusion of our two-part series on Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, as author Shaun Attwood, who wrote "Pablo Escobar: Beyond Narcos," joins us once again. In this episode, Shaun talks about Pablo's final years, his fall from the top of the drug game, and his death. So many people wanted Pablo dead by the time he was shot that it's hard to say for sure who really killed him. What is clear is that his legacy is as controversial as his life was, as some remember him as more saint than sinner. Is Colombia better off without him? Why did so many want him dead? We discuss this and more. Remember to download, enjoy, and share! #truecrime #history #podcast www.patreon.com/historypersonified www.twitter/historymile www.facebook.com/groups/historypersonified. . .
Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar built an empire on a mix of intimidation, bribery, politicking, torture, and murder, and leveraged it to become one of the wealthiest men on the earth. He came from nothing, rose to the top of the crime world, and seemingly had it all. Yet, he left a trail of broken lives, broken promises, and broken hearts in his wake. In part one of a two-part series on Escobar, we discuss his life and time with author Shaun Attwood, who wrote "Pablo Escobar: Beyond Narcos." In this episode, Shaun talks about Pablo's formative years, his rise to power, and the height of that power. Remember to download, enjoy, and share! #truecrime #history #podcast www.patreon.com/historypersonified www.twitter/historymile www.facebook.com/groups/historypersonified. . .
John Wilkes Booth might be the most infamous man, the most notorious criminal, in American history. The man that pulled the trigger that ended the life of the 16th U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln, was also a celebrated and famous actor who came from a family of noted performers. In fact, his father, Junius Brutus Booth, Jr., might have been the most famous thespian of their day. So what drove this man, who had all the fame and fortune anyone could have wanted in the 1860s, to participate in and execute a plot to kill the President of the United States of America? On this week's episodes, I talk with Terry Alford, author of "Fortune's Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth." Alford is recognized as a leading authority on Booth's life, and talks to me about his upbringing, his theatrical career, where his passion for the Confederate cause came from, and the events leading up to Lincoln's assassination, as well as the aftermath and the controversy around all of it. Remember to download, enjoy, and share! #truecrime #history #podcast www.patreon.com/historypersonified www.twitter/historymile www.facebook.com/groups/historypersonified. . .
Canadian serial killers Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka have been compared to America's Bonnie and Clyde, but there really is no comparison between the two. The crimes that Bernardo and Homolka committed horrified the world, including assaulting, violating, and killing her sister, but how did they arrive there? Joining us for this week's episode is "1995" podcast host and former journalist Kathy Kenzora. Working for a Toronto radio station, Kenzora covered the trial extensively, sharing a courtroom with both Bernardo and Homolka, and heard the gory details of the rapes, torture, and murders committed by the pair. Homolka made the deal of a lifetime in return for her testimony...you won't want to miss learning about this incredible case. Make sure you check out Kathy's "1995" podcast, which is available on iTunes and your favorite podcast app. She covers many historical events from the year 1995, including the Bernardo/Homolka case in detail. *Listener discretion is advised on this episode, as some details discussed may be disturbing to some listeners* #truecrime #history #podcast www.patreon.com/historypersonified www.twitter/historymile www.facebook.com/groups/historypersonified. . .
For the first time in the history of "History Personified," we're having a return guest! The "Soul Food Scholar," Adrian Miller, is back on the show. Last time, he talked about the history of soul food. This time, he's relating the history of White House chefs. Did you know most White House head chefs have been African-Americans? Adrian talks about how that came to be, while relating interesting anecdotes along the way. The "Soul Food Scholar" talks about FDR's last meal before he died (a cheese souffle he sadly didn't get to eat), Dwight D. Eisenhower's penchant for cooking, and how U.S. Presidents have used food as a political tool. It's White House cuisine history at its finest! Be sure to download, enjoy, and share!. . .
Michael Durant was a part of some of the most important American military missions of the 1980's and 1990's, and he joins me for this week's episode of "History Personified." After joining the military in 1979, Durant became a helicopter pilot, eventually joining the vaunted 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR). After serving in Operation Desert Storm, Durant was deployed to Somalia to help turn the tide on a U.N. peace-keeping mission that had turned violent. During the Battle of Mogadishu, Durant's Black Hawk was shot down, killing his crew mates and severely injuring him. In an incredible act of bravery, Delta Force snipers Randy Shughart and Gary Gordon volunteered to be inserted into the crossfire and protected Durant until they were themselves killed. A crowd of Somalis began to beat Durant, and he thought he would die, too, but he was taken hostage instead and held for 11 days. Mr. Durant, author of "In the Company of Heroes" and "Night Stalkers," shares his experiences in this very special episode...be sure to download, enjoy, and share!. . .
This week marks the 25th anniversary of the commencement of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, which caused incredible damage to life and property. Over 50 lives were lost, over 2,300 injuries were suffered, more than 7,000 fires raged, there was damage to 3,100 businesses, and there were nearly $1 billion in financial losses. Most assume that the beating of Rodney King by LAPD officers and their subsequent acquittal led directly to the riots. But there was so much more, and the tension that erupted had been building for years. Cultural differences, the media, police practices, drugs, poverty, and more gave birth to an atmosphere where the riots were probably inevitable. In this special supersize episode, I speak with former Los Angeles Times reporter Shawn Hubler, who was there in the thick of it, and saw firsthand some of the chaos and carnage. We discuss the confluence of factors that led to the riots, what she witnessed, and what the aftermath was. #history #podcast. . .
How important is charisma and speaking ability when it comes to being a great leader? On this week's show, we're discussing this question, using three-time U.S. presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan as an example. Professor and author Jeremy C. Young's new book, "The Age of Charisma: Leaders, Followers, and Emotions in American Society, 1870–1940," looks at leaders like Bryan, Teddy Roosevelt, Billy Sunday, and others from the 1870-1940 timeframe, which Young has labeled "The Age of Charisma." William Jennings Bryan was known for his stirring speeches and populist platform. Known as "The Great Commoner," Bryan was a two-time member of the House of Representatives, and was also Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson before resigning due to his pacifist stance. He stood against trusts and big banks, promoted "free silver," supported Prohibition, and argued against famous lawyer Clarence Darrow in the noted Scopes Trial. How much did Bryan's speaking ability contribute to his popularity? We break it down. Remember to download, enjoy, and share!. . .
Cynthia Ann Parker was around ten years old when her family's home was attacked by Comanches. Several family members were killed, but Cynthia was kidnapped. Being that she was a child, the Indians chose to raise her as one of their own, and she began to take on their customs, later marrying one of their leaders and having a few children. However, the Texas Rangers caught up with her and brought her back to Anglo society. She was never able to fully re-assimilate. Yet, her story is a fascinating look at the American frontier in the mid-19th Century. Joining us for this week's episode is Sarah McReynolds, the director at the Old Fort Parker historic site in Texas. She's telling us about Cynthia's upbringing, the fateful day when she was taken from her original family, being recaptured, and her remaining days. We also talk about her famous son, Quanah. Remember to download, enjoy, and share! Special thanks to Marlinda Wilson Martinez for the episode request!. . .
Jimmy Stewart is one of the most beloved actors in cinema history. However, one aspect of his life isn't well-known, and that is his military service during World War II. While many other Hollywood actors played a role in the war, Jimmy Stewart was the antithesis of many of his colleagues, as he insisted on actually fighting, and did he ever. With nearly two dozen combat missions on his resume, Stewart risked his life time and again in battle, and nearly lost it during at least one mission. How did these experiences affect the acting legend? And did you know that "It's a Wonderful Life" was Stewart's first film when he got back from the war? We discuss all this and more with Robert Matzen, author of "Mission: Jimmy Stewart and the Fight for Europe." We delve into Stewart's military lineage, his mission to serve, how he prepared, the highs and lows of his time in the military, and how he coped when he got back to the States. Remember to download, enjoy, and share! #cinema #history #podcast. . .
It's Wrestlemania weekend, and in honor of that, we discuss one of wrestling's most legendary characters. But don't worry, non-wrestling fans...there's plenty of history discussed that has nothing to do with the squared circle! Simply put, Andre the Giant is one of the most beloved wrestling superstars of all time. Even non-wrestling fans remember him, as his role as the enormous Fezzik in the cult classic film, "The Princess Bride," has embedded itself in the memories of cinema fans the world over. But how tall was he really? How did he handle the pressures of fame, and the challenges of travel? And could he really eat and drink as much as the legends tell us? Joining us for today's episode is writer Brandon Easton, who wrote "Andre The Giant: Closer To Heaven." Easton spoke with people close to Andre in preparation for his graphic novel, and shares some great stories and tidbits that he learned about one of the most important and influential professional wrestlers in history. #wrestling #history #podcast. . .
William Jefferson Clinton is one of the most polarizing U.S. presidents of the last century, with many loving the man, and many hating him. Regardless of one's perspective, there is no arguing that Clinton presided over a very transitional time in America. With the rise of the so-called "new media," there was a greater spotlight on the presidency than ever before, and its effect on Clinton cannot be disputed. From military activities in Somalia, to Whitewater, to the economy, to immigration, to the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and more, Bill Clinton dealt with a lot, some of it self-inflicted, while in office. How will the man be remembered? What is his legacy? We discuss all of this and more with author Michael Tomasky, who recently released "Bill Clinton: The American Presidents Series: The 42nd President, 1993-2001." Don't miss this riveting discussion on a political firebrand that still evokes a wide range of emotions today, years after leaving his post. #history #podcast #politics. . .
On this week's episode, we talk with longtime FBI veteran Bobby Chacon about his career, and especially his pioneering of the FBI's underwater forensics team. Bobby started his career in 1987 as part of the FBI's organized crime unit. He rubbed shoulders with some big-time mafioso before being transferred to a newly formed squad targeting non-traditional organize crime. In 1995, Chacon became a part-time diver of the FBI New York Field Office’s Dive Team. At that time the NYO Dive Team was the only officially sanctioned dive team in the FBI. Chacon was deployed to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics as an FBI diver and to the 1996 crash of TWA flight 800 in which 230 passengers and crew perished. It was the largest search and recovery effort in the history of US law enforcement and the dive operations lasted for more then four months. Then in 2000, Bobby became the full time team leader of the dive team making him the first full time diver in FBI history. Since retired, he has been named a Technical Advisor for the new television series, "Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders." We discuss this and more with Bobby. As always, download, share, and enjoy! #truecrime #history #podcast. . .
As cult leader Jim Jones becomes more and more deranged and controlling, he hatches a plan to move his Peoples Temple from California to Guyana, where his socialist teachings will finally be on unbridled display for all to see. What develops is a communal way of life that, from the outside, appears to be a utopia of sorts. Unfortunately, the truth is that Jonestown was far from the dream Jim Jones' followers had been promised. A group of mostly urban folks now had to work the land, and Jones, becoming more and more dependent on drugs, begins talking more and more about what he terms "revolutionary suicide." In the end, over 900 people lose their lives in what Julia Scheeres, author of "A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown," calls not mass suicide but mass murder. On the second part of this two-part series on Jonestown, we lay out what life was like in Guyana, what precipitated Jones' final descent into madness, the attempted intervention of congressman Leo Ryan that leads to his death, and the aftermath of a day that will never be forgotten. #truecrime #history #podcast. . .
On November 18, 1978, in northwestern Guyana, 918 people died in what Jim Jones, the leader of the settlement there called Jonestown, deemed "revolutionary suicide." The events of that day resulted in what was the largest single loss of American civilian life in a deliberate act until September 11, 2001. The vast majority of those that died were African-American, and many had cut off communication from their families back home in America. What led these people to a remote area of jungle in South America? What made Jim Jones into the psychotic demagogue he morphed into? And why did so many have to die? We discuss this and more with Julia Scheeres, author of "A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown," in part one of a two-part series on Jonestown. In this episode we talk about Jim Jones' formative years, why he started the Peoples Temple, what life was like for a member of the church, and why so many agreed to move to Guyana. Plus, was Jones a true believer, or simply a charlatan, and was it mass suicide or mass murder? #truecrime #history #podcast. . .
At the end of 2002, Laci Peterson, 8 1/2 months pregnant, disappeared. Her frantic family organized searches as her husband, Scott, made the media rounds. As it came to light that Scott had been involved with another woman, Amber Frey, his actions began to be called into question. The bodies were found in April, 2003, and Scott was arrested a few days later with dyed hair and beard, a large amount of cash, camping equipment, and his brother's ID. Most believed he was on the run. Scott was later convicted of murder in the deaths of his wife Laci (first degree) and his unborn son Conner (second degree) and sentenced to death. More than a decade later, Scott is still appealing and fighting his conviction and sentence. We walk through the case with Modesto Bee reporter Garth Stapley, who covered the case from the beginning, and is still covering developments today. We discuss the details, Scott's actions, the public reaction, and why Garth will not state whether or not he believes Scott is guilty. *Listener discretion is advised, as some details of the Laci Peterson case discussed are explicit* #truecrime #history #podcast. . .
We continue chugging along with our True Crime History month, and on this week's show, American serial killer Ted Bundy is examined. Author and ordained minister Kevin Sullivan just completed a trilogy of books on Bundy, as "The Bundy Secrets" has just been released, and we delve into the crimes and psyche of perhaps the most famous murderer of all time. What were Bundy's formative years like? When did he start committing violent crimes? How did he get away with it for so long? And what was his purpose for pointing to pornography as a cause of his crimes in his very last interview before his execution? We dig into these questions and more, walking through Bundy's trail of death and destruction. *Listener discretion is advised, as some details of Bundy's crimes discussed are explicit* #truecrime #history #podcast. . .
True Crime History Month continues on "History Personified," as we just into part II of our series on the death of boxing legend Sonny Liston. On this show, author and longtime ESPN.com writer Shaun Assael, who wrote "The Murder of Sonny Liston: Las Vegas, Heroin, and Heavyweights," dives into the nuts and bolts of Sonny's death. Liston was found dead in Las Vegas by his wife, Geraldine, on January 5, 1971, though the coroner stated he had died several days earlier. Geraldine didn't call the police for several hours, using the time to contact others, bring in her own doctor, and clean up. Yet, heroin was "found" at the home once the cops did arrive. Was it planted? From drug dealers, to mobsters, to boxing underworld figures, to cops gone bad, to women, there are so many that might have wanted Sonny dead that it boggles the mind. So what really happened to Sonny? We discuss the theories, as well as new information Shaun's investigative research uncovered. #truecrime #boxing #history #podcast. . .
It's True Crime History Month on "History Personified!" In the first episode of a two-part series, we talk with author and longtime ESPN.com writer Shaun Assael on Las Vegas in the late 1960's and the death of boxing legend Sonny Liston, specifically focusing on his formative years and boxing career. Former heavyweight boxing champion Sonny Liston, who fought Muhammad Ali twice, was as polarizing a sports figure as you can will across. Intimidation personified, Liston struck terror in the heart of many an opponent with his hulking frame and stare. And yet, he was brought to his knees by his penchant for associating with the wrong people, and later on by a debilitating heroin addiction. By the time he died of an overdose in 1970, the list of people that would benefit from his death, from local police, to mobsters, to drug dealers and users, to former lovers, was as long as the Vegas Strip. So, what really happened to Sonny Liston? #truecrime #boxing #history #podcast. . .
On last week's episode, we discussed 1930's radio superstar Father Charles Coughlin, and as part of that chat, we touched on the New Deal. Coughlin initially supported the program, but later reversed course. He was not alone in this. On this week's episode, we go more in-depth on FDR's New Deal with long-time Wall Street Journal editor George Melloan. Melloan has a unique perspective on the New Deal and its effects, as he lived through the Great Depression and the subsequent Deal as a young child. How did FDR's signature program affect rural America? Was it all good? All bad? George Melloan's new book is "When the New Deal Came to Town," and is available on Amazon and at various bookstores. Check out our chat on FDR's New Deal, then please share the episode with someone else. Thank you!. . .
A politician builds a massive audience through a mainstream media device, then leverages his followers to spread a populist message that speaks to plight of many in the country...sound familiar? It's happening now in the U.S., but it is a political approach that is as old as democracy itself. Father Charles Coughlin regularly mixed religion and politics to garner himself a radio audience of around 30 million listeners in a time when the population of the U.S. was 130 million. This massively popular priest used the media to spread his message of anti-communism, while also spewing anti-Semitic rhetoric. Early on, he was a supporter of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his New Deal, but later turned on both. By the end of the 1930's, Coughlin was off the radio, but he continued to engage on issues he was passionate about up until his death. The mark he left on society is undeniable. I speak with author Sheldon Marcus on the influence of Father Coughlin, whether or not he was truly an anti-Semite, and his impression of the man, who he interviewed in-person for his book. Remember to download, enjoy, and share!. . .
This year marks 130 years since the passing of Old West legend John "Doc" Holliday. All these years later, he is still an enigma to many. In part II of our series on Doc, we unravel the truth behind Doc's involvement with the infamous shootout at the O.K. Corral (fun fact: the shootout didn't actually take place at the O.K. Corral), his years after Tombstone, and his death. Author Gary Roberts, who wrote "Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend," delves once more into Doc's life, revealing new details and dispelling myths. Don't forget to download, enjoy, and share! *Apologies on the quality of the audio of this episode* #history #OldWest #gunman. . .
John "Doc" Holliday was only 36 when he died of tuberculosis in 1887. Sometimes a outlaw, sometimes a lawman, and always a gambler, Doc developed a legendary reputation as a gunman that made you want to have him on your side in a fight. A close friend of fellow Old West legend Wyatt Earp, Holliday migrated from his native Georgia to the West, hoping its climate would help with his tuberculosis diagnosis. What he found was adventure, trouble, love, hatred, life, and death. We also talk about the accuracy of Val Kilmer's famous portrayal of Doc in "Tombstone" in this episode. In part one of a two-part series, we discuss Doc Holliday with Old West historian Gary L. Roberts, who wrote the definitive work on Holliday, "Doc Holliday: The Life and Legend." Make sure to download, enjoy, and share!. . .
Bandleader Louis Prima was the walking definition of entertainment. While other swing and jazz musicians focused on the art of their craft, Prima's mantra was "play it pretty for the people." He was serious about his songwriting, but when it came time to perform, Prima, Keely Smith, Sam Butera, and the rest of their band came alive with a frivolity and joyfulness matched by few, if any. And this is what set them apart. Known for his charisma, Louis Prima had an "active personal life" as well, with five marriages, plus other relationships. Probably best known today for his role as "King Louie" in Disney's original animated classic "The Jungle Book," there has been a resurgence in interest in Prima's music since Brian Setzer and others revived swing music in the late 90's. Today, Louis Prima stands with the other musical greats of his time. On this week's episode, we discuss the life and times of Louis Prima with author Tom Clavin, who wrote "That Old Black Magic." We cover Prima's early career on into his "second act" as a trailblazing Las Vegas lounge act, as well as his final years. Remember to download, enjoy, and share!. . .
Former Alabama Governor George Wallace is one of the most polarizing political figures in U.S. history. A true populist that played to his base of supporters, Wallace was loved by many and hated by many at the same time. Originally, he held a moderate view of race relations, but when he lost a campaign for governor of Alabama to a hard-line segregationist, Wallace changed his stance. "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" is one of his most famous quotes. He was shot during a U.S. presidential campaign stop, which physically disabled him. This began the change in his views, and later in life, he altered his views and he became a proponent of civil rights for African-Americans. Some questioned his change, but he held to his new viewpoint to the end of his life, proving that people can change. For this episode, I spoke with author Mary Palmer about her book, "George Wallace: An Enigma - The Complex Life of Alabama's Most Divisive and Controversial Governor." We talk about his formative years, his time as governor, his presidential campaigns, the assassination attempt, his change of heart, and his last years. Remember to download, enjoy, and share!. . .
Dorothy Kilgallen was a true media dynamo whose column was read by millions every day, appeared on a popular TV show each week, and was featured on the radio as well. "Breaking glass ceilings" is being talked about today, but Kilgallen was blazing a trail for women decades ago. Her "Voice of Broadway" column was syndicated in nearly 200 newspapers on a daily basis. She appeared each Sunday on the mega-popular TV show, "What's My Line?" But it was her passion for investigative journalism that really drove her. Kilgallen helped get Dr. Sam Sheppard, whose life was the basis for the film "The Fugitive" starring Harrison Ford, released from prison. When she began to dig into the JFK assassination, she may have simply gotten too close. She died soon after claiming she was ready to break the case wide open with her passing being attributed to an overdose on a mix of drugs and alcohol. But questions remain. Why was she found in a bed she didn't sleep in? Why was there no real investigation performed? And most importantly, what really happened to her? We discuss the life and death of Dorothy Kilgallen with author Mark Shaw, who recently released "The Reporter Who Knew Too Much: The Mysterious Death of What's My Line TV Star and Media Icon Dorothy Kilgallen." It's a fascinating discussion on a true pioneer who died too soon. Download, enjoy, and share!. . .
It's part II of our series on the missing persons case of Judge Joseph Crater, and joining us for this week's episode is Marissa Jones, the host of the very popular true crime podcast, "The Vanished." Marissa dove into the theories surrounding Crater's disappearance, which vary wildly. Did he simply walk away, tired of the pressures of his job and his involvement with the underworld? Was he murdered by the mob? Did he die inside a bordello? And what of the post-mortem confession of a NYC cop? We discuss all these theories and more, as Marissa puts her investigative skills to the test. Tell us what you think happened to Judge Crater...tweet me @HistoryMile, and tweet Marissa @TheVanishedPod. Don't forget to download, enjoy, and share!. . .
Judge Joseph Force Crater was a New York State Supreme Court Justice who went missing on August 6, 1930, and has not been seen since. He had gone out to dinner with a lawyer friend and a showgirl, paid the check, then got into a cab, and was never seen again. What happened to him? In the first of a two-part series of episodes, we chat with author Dick Tofel, who wrote, "Vanishing Point: The Disappearance of Judge Crater and the New York He Left Behind." We discuss the circumstances surrounding Crater's disappearance, and touch upon what might have happened to him. There are so many questions still unanswered. Why did he pull out large amounts of cash right before he went missing? Crater had a ticket for a theater show that night...and someone used the ticket, but no one remembers seeing the judge there...how can that be? Why did it take several weeks for the police to get involved? Don't miss this intriguing chat on one of the most notorious missing persons cases of the 20th Century. Don't forget to download, enjoy, and share!. . .
When someone is looking to describe a huge achievement where expectations are greatly surpassed, they can describe it as "Ruthian." The fact that that adjective can be used in American lexicon proves just how massive of a pop culture icon Babe Ruth became, and still is. On this week's supersize episode, we discuss the life and times of the Babe with Baseball Hall of Fame Senior Curator Tom Shieber, who spearheaded the creation of a permanent exhibit on Ruth. Utilizing a unique format to "History Personified," we walk through several displays from the Babe Ruth exhibit, using those artifacts to walk through the life of the "Sultan of Swat." From his formative years at St. Mary's in Baltimore, to his time with the Boston Red Sox, to his incredible years with the New York Yankees, to the close of his career, to his life after baseball, and finally to his death, we talk about the incredible life the Babe led. While he died at only 53, Ruth made a huge impact not just on sports, but on American and global culture as well. Don't forget to download, enjoy, and share this episode with friends and family!. . .
"I knew it was you"...it is one of the most famous lines in cinema history. Uttered by Al Pacino's Michael Corleone to his brother, Fredo, this line from "The Godfather" is also the title of a documentary made by Richard Shepard, who we interview on this week's episode about the actor behind Fredo, John Cazale. Cazale is not an actor remembered by many today, but he had a huge impact in his short career. In fact, he is the only actor to appear exclusively in feature films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Labeled by Pacino as his acting partner, Cazale died at the age of 42 of bone cancer after making only five films, but his impact is still being felt today. Shepard discusses his film, the process it took to get people like Meryl Streep to sit down with him, and why making the film was so important. Download, enjoy, and share!. . .
American historical figure Alexander Hamilton has experienced a recent surge in interest due to the massively popular Broadway musical bearing his name. But what was Hamilton really all about? On this week's episode, we dig deeper into the life of the father of American finance with Museum of Finance President & CEO David Cowen. We discuss Hamilton's early days, his rise to power, so to speak, and his feud with and subsequent death at the hands of Aaron Burr. Why did he have issues with James Madison and Thomas Jefferson? How did he feel about slavery? And where would he stand in today's political climate? We discuss it all.. . .
Think that Alec Baldwin's portrayal of Donald Trump and Kate McKinnon's take on Hillary Clinton for "Saturday Night Live" are funny? Disrespectful? Satire is as much a part of the American political process as voting, and has been for centuries. Whether it was political cartoonists using their renderings to send a message, or Chevy Chase portraying Gerald Ford as a bumbling fool, the media has never shied away from poking fun at American politics. Yet, the question must be asked: truly, how influential are shows such as "The Daily Show" and "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" when it comes to swaying potential voters? In this week's episode we talk with Professor Brian Rosenwald from the University of Pennsylvania about the modern history of political satire. Rosenwald is an expert on the history of conservative media, and reaches into his vast knowledge to help us understand the importance and influence of political satire. Download, enjoy, and share!. . .
Which U.S. President was responsible for the two-party political system and the modern Democratic Party? Very few would answer Martin Van Buren, but those who would, would be correct. The 8th U.S. President only served one term, but he made a lasting impact. Professor Mark Cheathem joins "History Personified" once again to discuss Van Buren, who he terms a "political animal," and also talks about his work in attempting to get this former President's papers transcribed and published. We also chat about the Petticoat Affair, the Panic of 1837, and how the man that founded the two-party political system ended up running as a 3rd party candidate for President later on. It's a fascinating look at a U.S. President you probably don't know much about! Check out Mark Cheathem's work on the Van Buren papers at vanburenpapers.com. We hope that you'll download, enjoy, and share this episode!. . .
Think Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are polarizing? Andrew Jackson wrote the book on it. Jackson, the 7th U.S. President, arguably stirred up more controversy than any Commander-in-Chief before or since. From marrying an already-married woman, to his pro-slavery stance, to his relations with Native Americans, to killing a man in a duel, "Old Hickory" was as strong-willed as they came. He lived his life unabashedly, but paid a dear price for his choices. In this episode, we chat with Jackson scholar Mark Cheathem about the life and times of this President. We delve into his formative years, his involvement in the Revolutionary War, his stance against abolitionism, and more. Check out Cheathem's book entitled, "Andrew Jackson, Southerner," which is available on Amazon. And, as always, if you enjoy the episode, make sure to tell a friend about it!. . .
This week's episode features part two of our discussion with Burt Boyar, biographer and longtime close, personal friend of Sammy Davis, Jr. We discuss the crumbling of Sammy's marriage to May Britt, his relationships with fellow Rat Pack members Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, his friendship with Richard Nixon, and his later money problems. It's an honest look at Sammy's life, for better or worse, and you will come away with a greater understanding of what made the man called "the greatest entertainer who ever lived" tick. Burt Boyar co-wrote several books with Sammy, including "Sammy: The Autobiography of Sammy Davis, Jr.," which is available on Amazon. Check out his works there. And, as always, if you enjoy this episode, make sure to share it with others!. . .
Considered by many to be the greatest entertainer of all time, Sammy Davis, Jr. unquestionably made an indelible mark on history. Dancing, singing, acting, comedy, impressions...simply put, Sammy could do it all. In part one of this two-part series, we talk with Burt Boyar, one of Sammy's closest friends, about the life and times of this icon. Whether he was with his Rat Pack buddies or going solo, Sammy electrified audiences across the globe. But there were many private struggles behind the scenes that helped shape Sammy, for better or worse. In this episode, we talk about Sammy's formative years, his time in the military, which included a horrific incident where he was literally painted by some of his fellow soldiers, the car accident that cost Sammy his eye, and some of his early relationships. Burt co-wrote several books with Sammy, including "Sammy: The Autobiography of Sammy Davis, Jr.," which is available on Amazon. Check out his works there. And, as always, if you enjoy this episode, make sure to share it with others!. . .
Did you know the U.S. Marshal Service is the oldest federal law enforcement agency in the United States? Founded in 1789, the Marshals have served in a variety of roles since their inception, and have been present for some of the most important historical events in American history. They protected civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Medgar Evers, were part of the response to the Native American occupation of Alcatraz, and were involved in the Ruby Ridge incident. U.S. Marshal Service Historian David S. Turk joins "History Personified" to discuss his new book, "Forging the Star: The Official Modern History of the United States Marshal Service." We talk about the Marshals' responsibilities, their involvement in various historical events, and what they're up to now. Download, enjoy, and share!. . .
Sadly, we are seeing mass shootings happen more and more in today's day and age. Some believe stricter gun control will stop it, while others believe better mental health services will deter these events. Regardless, it is an issue that Americans have been dealing with a lot longer than the last couple of decades. In September, 1949, World War II veteran Howard Unruh perpetrated what was later called his "Walk of Death," shooting 16 victims in his New Jersey neighborhood. 13 died, including three children under the age of 10. Some were chosen specifically, and some were random. After the shootings, Unruh engaged in a standoff with police before giving himself up. He was judged to be criminally insane, though there was no trial, and was committed for the rest of his life, dying in 2009 at the age of 88. What precipitated the attacks? Why did Unruh do these terrible things? We discuss this and more with writer Patrick Sauer, who wrote an article on Unruh for the Smithsonian's website. Download, learn, enjoy, and share!. . .
The JonBenét Ramsey murder, the Unabomber, the D.C. snipers...these are all cases FBI legend Jim Fitzgerald worked on during his long and storied law enforcement career. Jim joins "History Personified" to discuss these cases, his formative years with the FBI, and a new CBS docu-series that debuts this Sunday, entitled "The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey." Fitzgerald, who was part of the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, was instrumental in bringing the Unabomber to justice, leveraging forensic linguistics in the process. He also helped guide the sniper case, suggesting the shooters weren't white, and that there was more than one. Listen in as Fitzgerald talks about his time on both cases...it's a fascinating look at the life of a truly legendary FBI lawman. Recommendation of the week: "The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey" debuts on CBS on Sunday, Sept. 18th at 8:30-10:30 PM, ET/8:00-10:00 PM, PT, and concludes on Monday, Sept. 19th at 9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT. Check it out!. . .
This week's episode features a chat with University of Louisville professor Tyler Fleming about international bestselling book "The Power of One," a historical novel. The book, written by Bryce Courtenay, is a semi-autobiographical look at life in South Africa in the mid-20th Century, a time of racial divide and persecution. The main character, a young white Englishman who calls himself Peekay, must navigate through bigotry and bullying while learning about the world around him. Boxing, music, religion, political upheaval...the book has it all. A new segment debuts this week, our "Recommendation of the Week." Each week, we will spotlight a book, documentary, podcast, or other piece of content. For this week, our recommendation is to check out "The Power of One," which is available on Amazon.. . .
Belle La Follette was often overshadowed by her more well-known husband, U.S. Senator Robert La Follette, but she made a huge impact on American society in her own right. During the early 20th Century, she stood against racism and war at a time where taking such a stance was neither popular nor widely shared. Belle was also a big influence in the women's suffrage movement. For this episode, I chat with Santa Clara University Professor Nancy Unger, who has authored a book titled, "Belle La Follette, Progressive Era Reformer." We discuss Belle's life and times, including why she turned down an opportunity to become the first female U.S. Senator. Enjoy! Special thanks this week to Gabriel Simão for creating the new bumper music used this week...check out his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gabrielsimaomusic/. . .
American evangelist Billy Sunday took a very unconventional route to the ministry, leaving behind a successful baseball career for the cloth, so the speak. A conservative Christian who eschewed drinking and carousing, Sunday was an influential preacher who helped bring about Prohibition. Yet, he wasn't always on the straight and narrow, as he his time as a ballplayer was marked with the excesses of the day. Sunday left all that behind, including a high-paying baseball contract, to enter the ministry. His career as a preacher was marked with incredible highs before he seemingly faded into obscurity, losing much of his family in the process. Neil Young, scholar, author, and co-host of history podcast "Past Present," joins us to take us through Sunday's life, discussing his impact on American culture in the early 20th Century. Don't miss out on this entertaining story, and make sure you check out Young's podcast as well!. . .
Nelson Mandela is one of the most well-respected figures in history. Recognized as a major driving force behind the end of apartheid in South Africa, Mandela also helped unite what was a hugely divided nation. For this week's episode, we speak with respected journalist John Carlin, who was in South Africa from 1989, the year before Mandela was released from prison after 27 years, until 1995, the year after he was elected South Africa's first black President. We walk through Mandela's life, highlighting important milestones. Included in this is a discussion on Mandela's involvement with the South African national rugby team, an event that would become the basis for the Morgan Freeman-Matt Damon movie, "Invictus." Carlin wrote the book the movie was based on. Carlin sheds insight on the life of Nelson Mandela that many may not be aware of. It's a journey through the life of an important historical force.. . .
It's part two of our discussion with C3 Entertainment's Eric Lamond, the grandson of Three Stooges legend Larry Fine! On this week's episode, we talk about the Stooges' relationship with notorious Columbia Pictures studio head Harry Cohn, as well as "You Nazty Spy," the very first Hollywood satire film to take on Adolf Hitler. Lamond talks about how proud of the film the Stooges were. We also discuss Larry's home life, his gambling habits, and his final years. Rumors are confirmed, myths are busted, personal details are shared...Stooges and classic cinema fans won't want to miss this historic look into the life of Larry Fine!. . .
Was Larry Fine a major factor in the long-term success of the Three Stooges? Soitenly! Larry is often overlooked, as he was not spotlighted often in Stooges films. That usually fell to Curly, Shemp, Curly Joe, and even Moe. But Larry didn't need the spotlight to shine. He was "the great reactor," as he has been called, and the Stooges wouldn't have been the Stooges without him. On this week's episode, we talk with Larry's grandson, Eric Lamond, who is part of C3 Entertainment, which manages the Stooges brand. In this first episode of a two-part series, we talk about Larry's formative years, including how an acid burn drove him into violin-playing and boxing. We also talk about the night Shemp died (Larry was present), as well as the business behind the Stooges. So, download, watch out for slaps and eye-pokes, and be entertained!. . .
Respected author and Los Angeles Times reporter Del Quentin Wilber has always had a nose for #truecrime stories and the history behind them. He wrote "Rawhide Down," which many view as the definitive account on the Ronald #Reagan assassination attempt. Now, he's written "A Good Month for Murder: The Inside Story of a Homicide Squad." As research for the book, Wilber spent months embedded with a Prince George County homicide squad, where he got to know a motley crew of detectives with quirks as interesting as the cases they sought to solve. He saw murder victims, took calls in the detective bureau, participated investigations, and, most of all, learned. Come along for the ride as Del discusses his experiences, and what he learned about how murder investigation has evolved through the history of the last 20-30 years. Warning: This episode contains content that may be objectionable. Listener discretion is advised.. . .
On this very special bonus episode, I chat with Adrian Miller, AKA the "Soul Food Scholar" about the history of soul food. Specifically, we dig into the history of how fried chicken became a staple of the soul food diet. We also learn some surprising facts, such as the fact that there is such a thing as vegan soul food. What?!?! You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll get hungry...bon appetit!. . .
#LexLuger was part of some of the biggest moments in professional #wrestling #history. From winning multiple world titles, to jumping from #WCW to the #WWF and back to WCW, to debuting on the very first episode of "Monday Nitro," Luger has seen and done it all in the #prowrestling industry. We discuss his transition from pro football to pro wrestling, his time with the #FourHorsemen, leaving WCW for the WWF, whether or not he was supposed to be the next #HulkHogan, and why he went back to WCW for less money. We also discuss the changes in his life over the last ten years, and what he's up to today. Hear Lex's thoughts on being a Horseman, #EricBischoff and #RicFlair, working for the WWF with no contract and the circumstances around his departure, beating #Goldberg, and so much more. Enjoy!. . .
Do you remember the Secret Service agent that climbs into the back of the car seconds after John Kennedy is shot, as shown in the footage? That was Clint Hill. And that's who I spoke with for this week's epic episode. Clint Hill served in the Secret Service under five U.S. Presidents: Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford. He's written a book with Lisa McCubbin, entitled, "Five Presidents: My Extraordinary Journey with Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and Ford," in which he discusses his time in the Service. We cover so many seminal historical events from his view, including the Kennedy assassination, the death of MLK, Vietnam, Watergate and Nixon's subsequent resignation, and more. You will also hear his thoughts on the conspiracy theories that still surround the murder of JFK, as well as what happened when Nixon decided to head to the Lincoln Memorial to meet up with war protesters. Don't miss this amazing conversation with a historical figure and true hero!. . .
Jim Crockett Promotions took the wrestling world by storm in the 1980's, and was growing at a rate that rivaled the World Wrestling Federation. However, they did it in a way that portrayed professional wrestling to its fans as a "real" sport. This capitalized on a fan base that was turned off by the WWF's cartoonish characters and celebrity crossovers. Ted Turner bought the company from JCP in the late 80's, and it took a few years for the new brand to find its footing. Once it did, WCW soared to new heights that even the WWF had never reached. Learn more about what took WCW to the top, and what toppled them, as we finish up our two-part series with author/journalist Graham Cawthon.. . .
World Wrestling Entertainment is the biggest wrestling company in the world, with millions of fans across the globe. The company prefers the term "sports entertainment," and calls its athletes "Superstars" rather than wrestlers. But professional wrestling is undeniably at its core, and has been since its inception in the 1950's. How was the company started? How did it reach the heights it has attained now? How much of its success should be attributed to the red and yellow icon, Hulk Hogan? And what place does professional wrestling and WWE have in American history? Join us as we discuss these questions and more with author/journalist Graham Cawthon.. . .
In 1976, the most famous athlete in the world, Muhammad Ali, squared off with the most famous wrestler in Japan, Antonio Inoki, at the Budokan in Tokyo. According to a new book from our guest, Josh Gross, despite the fact that the fight itself was widely panned and didn't do well financially, this seminal event paved the way for mixed martial arts and UFC, and instigated a shift in pro wrestling, pushing it towards the concept of "sports entertainment." Gross' new book, "Ali vs. Inoki: The Forgotten Fight That Inspired Mixed Martial Arts and Launched Sports Entertainment," gives the fascinating background on how the fight came together, as well as the aftermath. We discuss what led to the fight, how pro wrestlers taught Ali to promote, and just how big of a star Inoki is in Japan.. . .
Presidents usually get most of the attention, but First Ladies have their own legends as well...join us as Feather Foster, author of "Mary Lincoln's Flannel Pajamas," delves into several interesting stories about the wives of American Presidents. Listeners will recognize several familiar names, including Mary Lincoln, Julia Grant, Edith Wilson, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Hear why Lincoln wore flannel pajamas, how Grant accidentally showed support for the Confederacy, whether or not Wilson tracked mud into the White House, and how Roosevelt changed the First Lady role.. . .
This week's episode features part two of our discussion with biographer Douglas Century, the author of "Barney Ross: The Life of a Jewish Fighter." On this show, we talk about how the Pearl Harbor attacks led him into World War II, and why he may have been looking to commit "suicide by war." We also discuss the details of his actions at the Battle of Guadalcanal, where he personally killed 22 enemy soldiers, saving many of his fellow soldiers' lives in the process. Awarded the Silver Star as a result, but also suffering from his injuries, he became a drug addict. He kicked the habit, and become a drug addiction advocate, and later testified at childhood friend Jack Ruby's Warren Commission hearing. And that's not even all of it...enjoy! #tags: boxing, Jewish, war, Ruby, WWII. . .
Though his name has been forgotten by many, Barney Ross packed more into his 57 years than most will ever come close to accomplishing. Born in New York but raised in Chicago, Ross was a childhood friend of Lee Harvey Oswald's killer, Jack Ruby. He later testified at Ruby's murder trial as a character witness. Ross' father was killed in a robbery of the family deli; he was forced to grow up quickly as a result. He later turned to boxing. Ross' amateur career was supported by gangster Al Capone, and he went on to become a three-division world champion and Hall of Famer in boxing. After his retirement, be became a marine, and was awarded a Silver Star for his heroic actions during the Battle of Guadalcanal. While recovering from his wounds, he became addicted to morphine, which developed into a heroin addiction. Ross later kicked the habit and became an advocate before dying of cancer at the age of 57. What an incredible life! You do now want to miss part one of our discussion with Ross biographer Douglas Century, author of "Barney Ross: The Life of a Jewish Fighter." #tags: boxing, war, Jewish. . .
As we enter Memorial Day weekend, we take a look at the history of U.S. national memorials. Dr. Harriet F. Senie has written a book entitled, "Memorials to Shattered Myths: Vietnam to 9/11," which deals with memorials and how they fall short in their intention. Does education take a backseat to emotion? How are the Vietnam War, the Oklahoma City bombings, and 9/11 memorials connect to the Holocaust? We discuss these questions and more on this week's episode. #tags: memorials, Memorial Day, Vietnam, 9/11. . .
This week's episode features a chat with Professor Cliff Williamson, an England-based British culture expert, about "Are You Being Served?," a legendary BBC sitcom from the 1970's. Featuring memorable characters such as Mr. Humphries, Mrs. Slocumb, and Captain Peacock, the show was a true reflection of the clash of the U.K.'s World War Two generation and the burgeoning Rolling Stones generation of the '70's. We look at the class system of that time, and how they progressed into the '80's. It's a unique look into the formation of the show, some of the behind the scenes stories, and more. #tags: British, sitcom, 1970s, John Inman, Mr. Humphries. . .
On today's episode, Phil speaks with renowned author Mark Bowden regarding the conclusion of the Battle of Mogadishu, which was the basis for the book/movie "Black Hawk Down." In part one last week, we talked about the background of the battle, what led the U.S. into becoming involved in Somalia, the situation that President Bill Clinton inherited from President George H.W. Bush, and what went wrong in the fight. On this week's episode, we go over the conclusion of the battle, the aftermath, and Mark's involvement in the blockbuster movie, "Black Hawk Down." #tags: Black Hawk, military, Mogadishu, war. . .
In 1993, the U.S. military was drawn into what started out as a peacekeeping mission in Somalia, as hundreds of thousands of Somalis died of starvation due to warring political factions in the country. Over a two-day battle, 18 U.S. soldiers died, and scores were injured. Hear Phil's conversation with renowned author Mark Bowden, who penned a series of articles that would become the basis for celebrated book and movie, "Black Hawk Down." #tags: Black Hawk, military, Mogadishu, war. . .
"Duh-duh-duh-duh.......duh-duh-duh-duh-DUHHHHHH!" Those famous notes are recognizable to people all over the world as the opening for "Dragnet," starring Jack Webb. On this episode, we speak with author Michael Hayde about this seemingly forgotten star and his impact on the genres of radio, television, and film. You'll hear about how Webb got access to LAPD case files, the transition of the show from radio to television, Webb's love for jazz, and his later shows, "Emergency!" and "Adam-12." Don't miss this show, or Detective Friday might come looking for you! #tags: crime, vintage, Hollywood, classic, TV, film, radio. . .
In part two of this two-part series, Phil once again connects with "Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind the Legend" author Casey Tefertiller to go into more detail on the life and times of Old West legend Wyatt Earp. In this episode, we get into the details of Earp's life, including his friendship with Doc Holliday, his actions towards the end of his life, and more. #tags: Wyatt Earp, Old West, gunfighter, OK Corral, Doc Holliday. . .
In the first episode of a two-part series, Phil discusses the life and times of legendary Old West lawman/outlaw(?) Wyatt Earp with "Wyatt Earp: The Life Behind the Legend" author Casey Tefertiller. We delve into many of the myths that have been perpetuated over the years by Earp authors and TV shows, separating fact from fiction. In addition, we talk about Johnny Ringo's death, and whether or not Wyatt Earp had anything to do with it. #tags: Wyatt Earp, Old West, gunfighter, OK Corral. . .
Trivia question: who appeared in more Three Stooges shorts than any actor besides the Stooges themselves? The answer: Vernon Dent. If you've seen a Stooges film with Curly or Shemp, it's pretty likely that Vernon is in the mix as well. Phil speaks with author Bill Cassara, who wrote the only known biography of Vernon, tracing his roots from San Jose, California, to the silent film era, into the "talkies" era, and beyond. You'll learn more about the Stooges, their films, and more! #tags: Three Stooges, slapstick, Hollywood, classic. . .
It's Wrestlemania week, and Phil chats with "WOOOOO Nation" co-host Conrad Thompson about his co-host and best friend, legendary professional wrestler "Nature Boy" Ric Flair. A 40-plus year veteran of the business, Flair is viewed by many as the greatest pro wrestler of all time. What was it like to walk in his boots when he was at the top of the industry in the 80's? What does walking his daughter down to the ring for one of the main events of Wrestlemania 32 in front of 100,000 fans mean to him? We discuss that and more in this exciting episode. #tags: Wrestling history, Ric Flair, WWE, NWA. . .
Phil discusses the life and times of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley with jazz history expert Cary Ginell. Adderley was a contemporary of fellow legends John Coltrane, Bill Evans, and Miles Davis, yet is not remembered as well as many he played with, which is partially due to his death at the young age of 46, and the styles he chose to play. Phil and Cary dig into Cannonball's life, his impact, and classic jazz as a whole. #tags: jazz, cannonball, miles, legend, sax, saxophone. . .
Phil talks with Beau L'Amour, the son of famed Western writer Louis L'Amour about his father's successes, his struggles, his career, and the future of his work. It's great insight into the Old West's foremost storyteller. #tags: Old West, fiction, L'Amour, writing. . .
Phil continues his conversation with New York Times best-selling author Ronald Kessler about the ramifications of the Ronald Reagan assassination attempt. In this episode they discuss some of resulting consequences of the attack, what it meant to the world and the United States at that time, and how it affected Reagan's presidency. #tags: Ronald Reagan, Hinckley, politics, assassination. . .
Phil talks with New York Times best-selling author Ronald Kessler about the 35th anniversary of the Ronald Reagan assassination attempt, perpetrated by John Hinckley, Jr. We go into the details of just what happened, with inside info on the actions of the Secret Service, as well as the political ramifications of the event. #tags: Ronald Reagan, Hinckley, politics, assassination. . .
Dedicated to helping listeners find new history podcasts.