The American History Podcast

A Program Of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities


History Behind the Headlines – Prison Strike

Today, prisoners across the country are set to begin a 19-day strike with the intent to end what they’re calling “modern-day slavery.” The inmates plan to stop working and end commissary spending. Those involved in what’s being called Prison Strike 2018 released their list of demands via the Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee’s website. The second […]

History Behind the Headlines – Silent Sam

At the UNC Chapel Hill campus last night, a crowd of protesters tore down a Confederate statue known as “Silent Sam.” The statue has been a source of controversy on the UNC campus for decades, and tensions have been rising in recent years. Calls for its removal increased following the 2017 white supremacist rally in […]

The Legacy of the Children of the Manhattan Project

In 1982 I attended an anti-nuclear march in Manhattan. For me, it was part political statement, part personal milestone. My father, Ellis P. Steinberg, and uncle, Bernard Abraham were both scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project, and I’d struggled to reconcile my personal anti-nuclear convictions with a sense of loyalty to my father, especially. […]

The Journalists: My Hunt For Tokyo Rose pt. 2

This is post #2 in the series. Read post #1. As I further my exploration into the story of Iva Toguri (aka Tokyo Rose), I continue to come across blatant disregard for the truth. One such story is that of Clark Lee and Harry Brundidge. Lee quickly made a name for himself as a eyewitness […]

Spirits in the Albumen

William Mumler was a 19th century ghost photographer who was popular among spiritualists and other Americans seeking solace after the death of a loved one. BackStory, with help from, looks at some of the individuals in front of and behind the lens to learn what they thought of spirit photographs at the time. View […]

History Behind the Headlines

The Supreme Court made two very important rulings today. The first decision upholds President Trump’s travel ban on several mostly-Muslim nations. The second is the Court’s decision to strike down a California Law requiring nonprofit centers that perform abortion to inform clients of alternative options. The decision to uphold the President’s travel ban after months […]

Photographing Lincoln’s Ghost

In BackStory episode “The Camera Never Lies?,” Joanne and Brian looked at the history of photography in America – how the medium and its different forms changed the lives of everyday Americans One form taken was spiritual photography. First popular during the Civil War-era, spiritual photography was a way for people to connect with lost […]

My Hunt For Tokyo Rose

I can’t really remember the first time I was assigned an actual research paper – probably around ninth grade. However, I quickly learned that I enjoyed the process immensely. My love for writing continued to grow as assignments became more intensive (correct citations, primary/secondary sources, etc.). Eventually, these exercises in writing culminated in a 25-page […]

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 […]

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