The American History Podcast

A Program Of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities


BookStory Q&A: Renowned scholar David Stevenson on WWI

This November marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War. But according to David Stevenson, who holds the Stevenson Chair of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science, events that happened in 1917 — not 1918 — changed the tide of the global conflict. Stevenson traces this […]

BackStory Op-Ed – Youth Activism

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackStory, its hosts or its staff. On February 14th, 2018, students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida witnessed the horrific murder of their classmates by a shooter in their school. Since […]

Bobby Lee Verdugo and the 1968 East Los Angeles High Schools Walkout

On March 1, 1968, Mexican-American students attending East Los Angeles High Schools staged the first in a series of walkouts. They protested the quality of their education, addressing a range of issues like drop-out rates (then as high as fifty percent), understaffed classrooms and administrations, and classroom topics not reflecting the issues and histories of […]

A Change In Consciousness

Editor’s note: The following is excerpted from a conversation BackStory had with Dr. Robert L. Harris, Jr., a former Chicago school teacher and civil rights advocate. Dr. Harris, who was a resident of Chicago and present during the Open Housing March of 1966, was prompted to move himself and his family to Birmingham, Ala. after […]

More Than A Label

When asked about her public image, Coretta Scott King was once quoted as saying, “Often, I am made to sound like an attachment to a vacuum cleaner: the wife of Martin, then the widow of Martin, all of which I was proud to be. But I was never just a wife, nor a widow. I was always more […]

BackStory Listener Mailbag

In the segment “’A Foe Without Hate’” from BackStory’s “Too Good To Be True,” guest Gary Gallagher and host Brian Balogh discussed celebrated rebel leaders. During the segment, Gallagher said, “I’d love to know any other principle rebel leader in a major civil war who ended up with a National Memorial to him, and his […]

Nice Pipes

Uilleann (pronounced ill-en) pipes are not the instrument the average person visualizes when the word bagpipe is mentioned. Uilleann is the Irish word for elbow. It’s used to describe this style of the instrument because instead of inflating the pipes with a tube held in the mouth, Uilleann bagpipes are blown by a bellows under […]

Harriet Tubman Day

Harriet Tubman Day, celebrated every March 10, honors the life of the anti-slavery activist. Born into slavery in 1822, Tubman escaped bondage and subsequently completed about 13 missions, leading more than 70 people to freedom. This was accomplished with a network of abolitionists and safe-houses known as the Underground Railroad. The railroad extended from the […]

History Behind the Headlines

The Supreme Court temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, on Monday. After two lower courts had stopped the government from ending DACA, the Trump administration attempted to skip the court of appeals and go straight to the Supreme Court. However, SCOTUS ruled that a […]

BackStory’s New Year’s Reading List

Our goal at BackStory is to look at the history behind the headlines. That’s what we do in all the content that we produce. And what we read is no different. As we welcome 2018 and anticipate what stories will break this year, it’s worth reflecting on what captivated us in 2017-and consider which history […]

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