The American History Podcast

A Program Of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities


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 […]

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 […]

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