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History! The most exciting and important things that have ever happened on the planet. Powerful kings, warrior queens, nomads, empires and expeditions. Historian Dan Snow and his expert guests bring all these stories to life and more in a daily dose of history. Join Dan as he digs into the past to make sense of the headlines and get up close to the biggest discoveries being made around the world today, as they happen. If you want to get in touch with the podcast, you can email us at ds.hh@hi ...
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Join Don Wildman twice a week for your hit of American history, as he explores the past to help us understand the United States of today. We’ll hear how codebreakers uncovered secret Japanese plans for the Battle of Midway, visit Chief Powhatan as he prepares for war with the British, see Walt Disney accuse his former colleagues of being communists, and uncover the dark history that lies beneath Central Park. From pre-colonial America to independence, slavery to civil rights, the gold rush t ...
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What makes a song a smash? Talent? Luck? Timing? All that—and more. Chris Molanphy, pop-chart analyst and author of Slate’s “Why Is This Song No. 1?” series, tells tales from a half-century of chart history. Through storytelling, trivia and song snippets, Chris dissects how that song you love—or hate—dominated the airwaves, made its way to the top of the charts and shaped your memories forever. Want more Hit Parade? Join Slate Plus to unlock monthly early-access episodes. Plus, you’ll get ad ...
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Greetings and Welcome to History 101, A Podcast where we explore the story of mankind beginning from the first stirrings of abstract thought in our hominid ancestor to the first men to the moon, we try and cover it all in an interesting and bite sized podcast.
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“Summer in the City.” “I Feel the Earth Move.” “Bette Davis Eyes.” “Whoomp! There It Is.” “Get Lucky.” “Espresso.” What do these big summer hits all have in common? None of them was Billboard’s official Song of the Summer. Wait…there’s an official Song of the Summer? Isn’t that something that just happens organically? Every year, it seems everybody…
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What caused the economic panic of 1893? In this episode we are delving into the event that made Grover Cleveland's second term so different from his first. Don is joined once again by Professor Mark Zachary Taylor from Georgia Institute of Technology, author of 'Presidential Leadership in Feeble Times.' From the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, to labo…
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During the 1950s, in the remote expanses of Australia's outback, the British government conducted a series of clandestine nuclear tests. These were the early years of the Cold War, and Britain was determined to expand its atomic capabilities and shore up its great power status. But these tests came at a harrowing cost to Aboriginal communities and …
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In the winter of 1911, Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his party set out into the frozen heart of Antarctica. Battling blizzards and treacherous terrain, they were determined to be the first people to reach the South Pole. But when they arrived in early 1912, they discovered that a Norwegian team had beaten them to it. As if that weren't enough, th…
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The history of the United States' relationship with communism is one littered with fear and persecution. So where did the American Communist Party come from? How powerful has it been in the last century? And where is it now? In this episode of American History Hit, Don is joined by Dr. Vernon Pederson, Professor at the American University of Sharja…
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What do you know about Galveston, Texas? Perhaps you've heard about the disastrous hurricane of 1900, perhaps not. This was also likely the case for the thousands of European Jews who migrated to the United States via the city's port in the years preceding the First World War. Don speaks to Rachel Cockerell, whose great-grandfather, David Jochelman…
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Emperor Heraclius took the Byzantine Empire from its lowest ebb to its greatest heights. After years of turmoil at the hands of invading Persian armies, Heraclius led lightning counter-offensives that swept into Mesopotamia and devastated the Sassanid Empire. His battlefield exploits became the stuff of legend, but his success was not to last - in …
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In the long unanswered question of whether the established elite truly support the concerns of ordinary people, a supposed hero arises: Populism. But what is Populism? Where did it come from? And is this political approach from the late 19th century reflected anywhere in today's politics? Don speaks to Steve Babson, author of seven books including …
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Swashbuckling, murder and robbery on the high seas! We're bringing back the fan-favourite episode on Dr Rebecca Simon's 'Pirate Queens: The Lives of Anne Bonny & Mary Read' from our archive. She takes Dan through a dramatic history of piracy in the Caribbean and the Atlantic World. She tells the extraordinary stories of pirates Anne Bonny, and Mary…
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On the eve of the 2024 General Election, we're joined by Tim Shipman, chief political commentator at The Sunday Times, to hear about how things really work in Westminster. Tim draws on his first-hand experience to explain the tumultuous last decade of British politics. How are crucial decisions made in the halls of government? Who can we trust when…
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On the eve of the 2024 General Election, we're tackling one of the UK's most divisive topics; Brexit. The 2016 referendum on EU membership split voters in two, creating two entrenched camps - Brexiteers and Remainers - whose differences show no signs of abating 8 years later. To better understand this political hot potato, we're charting Britain's …
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110 years ago today, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire was struck down by an assassin's bullet. His death triggered one of the most destructive wars in human history, a conflict that set the stage for the 20th century. With the help of historian Sue Woolmans, Dan gives a minute-by-minute account of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinan…
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What took the US from the Boston Tea Party to Lexington and Concord? Where was the turning point for the creation of the republic? Mary Beth Norton joins Don in this episode to take us through the causes of the Revolutionary War, and why the year 1774 is so important in this history. Edited by Aidan Lonergan. Produced by Sophie Gee. Senior Producer…
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What does a music producer do? If his name is Quincy Jones, a little bit of everything: conducting, arranging, composing. Assembling teams of ace session musicians. Sometimes, even picking a catchy title and telling an artist to go write a song about it— would “Thriller” have worked as well if it had been called “Starlight”? Quincy Jones was pop’s …
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Why is the 23rd President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison, remembered as a 'Human Iceberg'? Why did it seem as though he was predestined for the Presidency? And what was it like to have a term sandwiched between the presidencies of Grover Cleveland? Don speaks to humorist Alexandra Petri about Harrison's presidency and legacy. Alexandra is …
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The Silk Road was a pivotal ancient exchange network that connected the grassy steppes of Asia and the Middle East with the Western world. The passage of goods, ideas and technologies along this bustling commercial artery was crucial to the development of the ancient East and West. It was, quite simply, the glue that held the ancient world together…
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Adam Worth was the quintessential criminal mastermind. He faked his own death, robbed banks in the US, stole diamonds in South Africa and amassed a fortune that helped him evade capture for decades. As a gentleman thief in London high society, he infamously stole Thomas Gainsborough's celebrated Portrait of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire. Ben Mac…
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In 1798, the young French General Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Egypt. After successfully taking Alexandria, he ordered the reconstruction of a fort at the nearby city of Rosetta. As his soldiers did the back-breaking work of digging fortifications in the blazing sun, they uncovered an archaeological treasure that would prove to be the key to Egypt's …
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A 34-hour bombardment, one (accidental) death, and the start of the bloodiest war the United States has ever seen. The Battle of Fort Sumter, in April 1861, is often obscured by the more famous battles in the four years of Civil War history, but it is one of the most significant among them. To find out more, Don speaks to the incredible Allen C. Gu…
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Not long after the turn of the first millennium, a Jewish prophet emerged from a period of desert solitude in the Jordan River valley. He wore simple camel hair garments and ate nothing but locusts and wild honey. His name was John the Baptist, and his pre-messianic preachings about repentance and God's final judgement would form the bedrock of the…
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This episode was first released on November 14 2022. The Whiskey Tax, imposed in 1791, was the first federal tax on a domestic product by a United States government. It was introduced by Alexander Hamilton to pay the interest on war bonds that had been issued to wealthy backers of the the American Revolution. But many Whiskey distillers in Western …
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Historian, broadcaster and author Jonathan Dimbleby joins Dan to explain how Hitler's plans in the East went disastrously wrong. 2 weeks after the D-Day landings, a gigantic Soviet offensive tore through the German lines on the Eastern Front. Named for the Russian general who fought Napoleon, Operation Bagration swept through Byelorussia and put th…
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Please note that this episode contains some explicit language. This is the story of Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart, Britain's most extraordinary soldier. The one-handed, one-eyed, walking stick-wielding war hero fought in the Second Boer War, The First World War and the Second World War. He was wounded countless times, awarded prestigious medals for ga…
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This is the story of Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart, Britain's most extraordinary soldier. The one-handed, one-eyed, walking stick-wielding war hero fought in the Second Boer War, The First World War and the Second World War. He was wounded countless times, awarded prestigious medals for gallantry, and made into a figure of legend. Away from the battle…
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In the US Constitution, the President of the United States is granted the right to pardon those convicted of federal crimes. But how do they tend to use these pardons, and when have they been used in the cases of mass insurrection? From Mormons, to conscientious objectors, to the January 6th uprising, Don is joined by Graham Dodds to discuss this h…
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With a sinister hierarchy of "grand wizards" and "dragons," hooded Klansmen concealed their identities as they unleashed a reign of terror on Black Americans and other minorities across America for almost a century. Dan is joined by Professor Kristofer Allerfeldt from the University of Exeter to map out the rise and fall of the KKK founded in 1866 …
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What does a music producer do? If his name is Quincy Jones, a little bit of everything: conducting, arranging, composing. Assembling teams of ace session musicians. Sometimes, even picking a catchy title and telling an artist to go write a song about it— would “Thriller” have worked as well if it had been called “Starlight”? Quincy Jones was pop’s …
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They say that honesty is the best policy, but was this the case for Grover Cleveland? He may be the only president to have served two non-consecutive terms (as of 13 June 2023), but Cleveland was deeply unpopular by the end of his last term. From protecting the interests of the American people and upholding the constitution, to a secret lifesaving …
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100 years ago, in the spring of 1864, the Overland Campaign ignited a ferocious clash between two titans of US military history: Ulysses S. Grant, the rugged and relentless Union general, versus the Confederate general Robert E. Lee, a suave southern officer and master of strategy. Theirs was a hotly-contested rivalry, and the debate still rages on…
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The British weren't always imperial global players with an empire of viceroys, redcoats and industrialised trade systems. The early years of the British Empire were actually pretty chaotic; for the English in the 17th century, it was a period of exploration, rugged individuals, private companies, pirates, misadventure and failure. Dan is joined by …
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On January 28, 1986, the nation watched in horror as the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded just 73 seconds after liftoff, killing all seven crew members aboard, including Christa McAuliffe, the first civilian selected to fly into space. The devastating tragedy unfolded live on television, shattering the dreams of millions of schoolchildren who had …
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Dan unravels the mystery surrounding George Mallory and Andrew Irvine's daring attempt to conquer Mount Everest in 1924 - a feat that could have made them the first to stand atop the world's highest peak. He tells the tale of Irvine and Mallory's ascent into the 'Death Zone' where they embarked on their final summit push amidst biting winds and pun…
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How did the United States go from a country defined by its lawlessness in the 1920s and early 1930s, to one where many political standpoints rest on a War on Crime? What roles did FDR, J. Edgar Hoover and Attorney General Homer S. Cummings play in this? In this episode of American History Hit, Don delves into the transformation of the Federal gover…
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With closed borders, a totalitarian regime, electricity blackouts and widespread poverty, North Korea is a brutal place to survive; even looking at a foreign media outlet can get a North Korean citizen sent to a concentration camp. So why, in 2011 did leader Kim Jong Il allow Jean Lee, a celebrated American journalist to set up a news bureau in Pyo…
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Just after midnight on the 6th of June, 1944, 181 British glider-borne infantry crashed to earth in the Normandy countryside. They clambered out of their gliders and rushed towards their objectives; two German-held bridges near the D-Day landing zones. This was the opening salvo of D-Day, and their mission was vital - if they failed, their comrades…
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Please note that this episode contains explicit language. On the 29th of May, 1944, less than a week before D-Day, General George S. Patton gave a rip-roaring speech to the First US Army Group. He spoke of the indomitable American spirit and the fear that his men would inspire in their enemies. He'd given this expletive-riddled address dozens of ti…
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Dan and military historian Stephen Fischer record a moment by moment play of the dramatic and bloody first crucial hour and a half of D-day, as it happened. They breakdown the assaults across the Normandy Beaches including Sword, Omaha and Gold, where over one hundred thousand British, American and Canadian troops landed under a barrage of German f…
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In the second episode of our D-Day series, we look to the skies. In the build-up to Operation Overlord, thousands of Allied pilots in heavy bombers and fighter planes ground down the Luftwaffe and destroyed vital infrastructure. On D-Day itself, they supported their comrades on the ground and at sea in roles ranging from reconnaissance to close air…
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This is the often forgotten chapter of the D-Day story. To begin our series for the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, we turn to the massive naval operations that made it all happen. On D-Day itself, 7,000 ships and 195,000 sailors undertook the gargantuan challenge of ferrying men, weapons and supplies ashore to begin the liberation of Europ…
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On June 6, 1944, the Allied forces combined their land, air and sea forces into the largest amphibious invasion in history - D-Day. Under Supreme Commander General Dwight D Eisenhower, this attack turned the tide on the second world war, pushing enemy forces out of France and towards surrender in Berlin. 73,000 Americans landed on the beaches of No…
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In the 1950s, the US government conducted a series of nuclear bomb tests in the Mojave desert, right next door to Las Vegas. Tourists flocked to the luxurious hotels of America's gambling capital to watch mushroom clouds billow over the horizon. These tests sparked an obsession with a chemical element that still inspires fear and fascination to thi…
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"I came. I saw. I conquered". Perhaps the most famous Julius Caesar quote of all time. But after hearing all about his bedroom antics, it takes on a slightly...different meaning. From Cleopatra to his three wives, to male lovers, to mistresses - Julius Caesar definitely slept his way around Rome. Today Kate is Betwixt the Ancient Roman Sheets with …
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The history of the United States' relationship with communism is one littered with fear and persecution. So where did the American Communist Party come from? How powerful has it been in the last century? And where is it now? In this episode of American History Hit, Don is joined by Dr. Vernon Pederson, Professor at the American University of Sharja…
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Girl groups have long been underestimated—even by the producers and managers who created them. For women listeners, girl groups narrated profound emotions and expressed personal freedom—even when the singers were not so free themselves. For male listeners, girl groups provided inspiration, and a way to express matters of the heart. And for all list…
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Where did baseball come from? Why is every stadium unique? And how do you make it to the Hall of Fame? For half the year, baseball remains a national pastime in the USA. It is also a game of many myths, and plenty of legends. In this episode, Don speaks to one of them - Joe Posnanski is a two time Emmy Award winner and has been named National Sport…
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Please note, this episode contains discussion of suicide. On 1 April 1945, as the Second World War in Europe was reaching its end, one of the bloodiest battles in the whole conflict commenced on a small island south of mainland Japan. It was the Battle of Okinawa. Saul David joined Dan Snow on our sister podcast, Dan Snow's History Hit, to provide …
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