The American History Podcast

A Program Of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities


How To Be An Advocacy Journalist

The news is often the first line of defense when issues affecting local communities – like the recent numerous threats against Jewish community centers and synagogues – crop up. In BackStory’s recent episode “Behind the Bylines” we learned how journalists Ida B. Wells and Ruben Salazar more effectively covered their communities, and even changed journalistic […]

In With The New

Yorktown’s new museum goes beyond storing historical artifacts. Instead, it aims to tell the story of the American Revolution in an interactive way that engages learners of all ages. The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown holds its grand opening March 23 – April 4, but visitors are already delighting in the new building that replaces […]

Black History Month

“Well this is Black History Month, so this is our little breakfast, our little get together,” said President Donald Trump while surrounded by African American supporters. Trump then made a curious reference to the nineteenth-century abolitionist and ex-slave, Frederick Douglass. “Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job,” he said, “and is […]

Fear of an Immigrant Nation

Many seem startled by the recent maelstrom of political rhetoric on immigration bans, fake news, and “alternative facts” under the Trump administration. Yet, some of these features of 2017 American politics aren’t novel or new, especially regarding immigration. On a recent episode of “Here and Now,” Joanne Freeman and Ed Ayers talked about bans and […]

Celebrate the #NewBackStory!

BackStory relaunches this Friday with our new podcast. Help us celebrate by changing your cover and/or profile photos on Twitter and Facebook. See below for images and further instructions. Also, be sure to subscribe to BackStory so you won’t miss an episode. If you’re new to podcasts, the best way to find BackStory is by searching […]

BackStory’s Year In Review

  As 2016 comes to a close, BackStory takes a look at the stories that resonated most with our audience. Here are the 12 most popular episodes from this year:   12. Judaism In America In this episode, the Guys explore the history of Judaism in America.   11. Watch The Throne: America & Royalty For […]

BackStory’s Year In Review

  As 2016 comes to a close, BackStory takes a look at the stories that resonated most with our audience. Here are the 10 most popular blog stories from this year: Jan. 12, 2016 – Lottery Fever by Diana Williams The lead up to the largest lottery jackpot to date – the $1.6B Powerball jackpot […]

BackStory’s Holiday Reading List

Our goal at BackStory is to look at the history behind the headlines. As the holiday reading season gears up, we’ve compiled a list of engaging and insightful books that will help unpack the backstory to some of this year’s top news stories. Help us add to the list: give us your own recommendations and let […]

The Shaking Quakers

The “United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing,” more commonly known as the Shakers, were founded in the late 1700s. Although scholars disagree on their status as a utopia, the Shakers have created a unique community with wide ranging and long lasting impacts.   Led by Mother Ann Lee, the first Shaker settlement was […]

Buddhists Enemies of the State?

Under the leadership of J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI is rarely remembered for its restrained investigation methods. Yet, one target of its scrutiny is particularly surprising today: Ordained Buddhist priests. After the attacks on Pearl Harbor in 1941, all Japanese-Americans were held under suspicion, but officials considered Buddhism to be a particularly concerning tie between […]

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