The American History Podcast

A Program Of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities


Keeping Kosher

This evening, Jewish communities across the world will begin celebrating Passover. Like many other cultures, food is a central part of Jewish celebrations. However, unlike some cultures, many Jews observe rules that inform what types of food they can consume and how that food should be prepared. “The literal translation of the word kosher means […]

Best Passover Recipes

We asked new and longtime BackStory listeners to submit some of their best recipes for Jewish cuisine. Just in time for Passover, we’re highlighting a few of those submissions on our blog. If you have a recipe you’d like to submit, just use the form below. Max & Sally’s Gefilte Fish About the recipe: Ziggy Gruber is […]

What We’re Reading [Spring 2016]

In celebration of National Library Week, we asked the Guys, past guests, and BackStory producers: what are you reading?   Brian Balogh, 20th Century History Guy and author of the forthcoming book, In the Nation’s Backyard: How History Preserved Rural Life in Green Springs, 1970 to the Present   “The book I am listening to […]

The Best Little Whorehouse in NOLA

  Today, the house at 1026 Conti looks quiet and unassuming but 100 years ago, it was one of the most popular brothels in New Orleans. In the early twentieth-century, Norma Wallace, now known as the Last Madam of New Orleans, lived and ran her prostitution business from this house. The house came with a […]

Integrated Solutions

In the late 1940s, the US Supreme Court struck down restrictive covenants—rules that barred people of certain races from living in particular neighborhoods. This, combined with a booming post-war housing market, fueled a massive movement of people in Chicago. Over the next two decades, black Chicagoans increasingly moved out of the South Side to white neighborhoods on […]

Diverse podcasts hook listeners

Editor’s note: Rachel Isralowitz is a student reporter for Summit High School in Summit, NJ. This story originally appeared in Summit’s student newspaper, The Verve. Three historians analyze the true story behind “The Revenant.” A reporter investigates a military court-martial. A “Seinfeld” star reads an essay about a dying goldfish. These diverse topics are all […]

The Soldier of U Street

  The late winter day was overcast and nippy with the feel of pending snow in the air as I walked around the African American Civil War Memorial I snapped some pictures of the bronze soldiers known as the Spirit of Freedom, read a few of the names on the wall and looked around for the […]

Facing the Real World: Millennials and Unemployment

Recent studies have found that as of May 2015, 13.8 percent of millennials (aged 18 to 29) don’t have jobs. This is significantly higher than the national average of 5.4 percent. Many more millennials are underemployed. “The conditions of unemployment and job security are changing dramatically,” said Peter Onuf, co-host of BackStory and history professor […]

“To My Old Master”

  In September of 1848, Frederick Douglass wrote to his former slave master, Thomas Auld. The open letter, which was also published in Douglass’s newspaper “The North Star,” talked about his life since his escape and inquired about the welfare of his sisters and grandmother. Douglass thought the women were still in Auld’s possession and […]

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