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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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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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This is the story of a bloody mutiny aboard the Boston-based schooner, the Rising Sun. The ship had been on a routine smuggling voyage before it was violently seized by three opportunistic crew members. They had their sights set on the lucrative cargo she carried, but below decks, the Rising Sun hid an even more sinister secret; 15 terrified enslav…
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June 6th marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day and Dan Snow's History Hit is it by bringing you its biggest series yet. From now until May next year, we'll be marking the pivotal moments from D-Day to VE Day. This was the titanic struggle that saw the Allies advance from East and West to crush the Third Reich and hasten the end of the most terrible w…
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Vice President to a narrow election winner, Chester Arthur was a very unlikely President. But on September 20th 1881 he took his seat as the 21st President of the United States at the dawn of the modern administrative state and presidency. So what kind of President did he become? Was he progressive? What was his role in the creation of the Civil Se…
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Jane Seymour is a paradox. Of Henry VIII’s six wives, she is the one about whom we know perhaps the least. She was the most lowly of the queens, but she had royal blood. She's often described as plain and mousy and lacking opinions, but when we do see her in the sources, she tends to be doing something that shows agency, while wearing some very fla…
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2/2. The British Empire aggressively pursued the opium trade well into the 19th century, fueling an addiction epidemic within China. The Qing government was determined to stamp out this destructive trade, leading to the First and Second Opium Wars. But the British Royal Navy was at its apogee, and re-exerted British control over the Chinese state. …
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1/2. Victorian readers were captivated by descriptions of smoke-filled opium dens among backstreet brothels and pubs in London's East End in Oscar Wilde novels. Opium use in Britain in the 19th century was widespread and while opium dens were scarce, Victorians could buy opium over the counter in chemists as treatments for headaches, coughs and eve…
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11 Tonys, a Grammy, a Pulitzer Prize and broken box office records - there's no denying the impact of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton. Throughout this series on the real Hamilton, we have been trying to uncover the man the musical is based on. But how much of the show and its production is truthful? And how much does this matter? Renee Romano joins D…
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Dating from 1467-1603, the Sengoku or ‘Warring States’ period is known as the bloodiest in Japan’s history; an era of continuous social upheaval and civil war which transformed the country. Shogun-led authority was shattered and 150 years of murder and betrayal followed as fearsome warlords ruled local territories with unflinching ruthlessness. In …
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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…
  continue reading
 
Today we dive into the little-known true story of American castaways abandoned on the Falkland Islands during the War of 1812 ― a tale of treachery, shipwreck, isolation and a desperate struggle for survival. In this fascinating episode, best-selling author Eric Jay Dolan joins Don to explore this wild encounter between an American sealing vessel, …
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A mix of treacherous seas, navigation errors, and historical intrigue led to one of the Royal Navy's darkest nights. Dan travels to the Scilly Isles to tell the tragic tale of Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell and the 1707 naval disaster off the Isles of Scilly that caused a staggering loss of over 2000 men. Dan ventures out to the place where the shi…
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In the summer of 1941, Hitler invaded the Soviet Union. As the Germans drove towards Moscow, a catastrophic Soviet defeat seemed imminent - a defeat that would have made the Allied liberation of Europe virtually impossible. To keep the Allied victory in sight, Roosevelt and Churchill assembled a crack team of diplomats to secretly travel to wartime…
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When Alexander Hamilton took a bullet to the abdomen on the morning of the 11th July 1804, he joined a long list of people who had fallen foul of this very strange practice. So where did duelling come from? And how did these two revolutionary American politicians find themselves with pistols in their hands? Don is joined for this third episode of o…
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The title of Caesar has echoed down the ages as the pinnacle of absolute power and perhaps even tyranny. A single man at the head of a nation or empire with untouchable power. But how powerful were they really and why are they seen as an example to follow when many of the men who became Caesar met a bloody end? Dan is joined by the legendary classi…
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Marshal Pétain emerged from the First World War as a French national hero. His defence of Verdun had set him on course to become one of France's most venerated commanders. But by 1945 the Marshal was on trial for treason, having collaborated with Nazi Germany as the head of the Vichy regime. Dan is joined by Julian Jackson, author of the Pol Roger …
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This may have been the second shortest Presidency in the history of the United States, but the term of James Garfield is definitely not one to miss. From his dark horse nomination to his assassination by Charles Guiteau, Don is speaking with bestselling author of ‘An Assassin in Utopia,' Susan Wels. Produced by Sophie Gee. Edited by Aidan Lonergan.…
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Who was the real Merlin? Dr Francis Young says the closest is John Dee, Elizabeth I's occultist advisor who gave her the idea for a British Empire. Dee believed it was her destiny to rule the New World - from his supposed conversations with angels - and that she could trace her lineage back to King Arthur. His mystical and astrological calculations…
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From Hugh Capet to Eleanor of Aquitaine, the Capetian dynasty considered itself divinely chosen to fulfil a great destiny. From an insecure foothold around Paris, the Capetians built a nation that stretched from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and from the Rhône to the Pyrenees, founding practices and institutions that endured until the French Re…
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Founding Father, first Secretary of the Treasury and focus of one of the world's first political sex scandals - we couldn't do a series about Alexander Hamilton without touching on his personal life. Don is joined by Elizabeth Cobbs in this episode to explore the private lives of the Hamiltons. Who was Elizabeth Schuyler? Did her sister have an aff…
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Is liberal democracy facing an existential crisis? A 2023 poll conducted by the Open Society Barometer found that faith in democracy among young people is waning. But what does this mean? Why might young people become more 'strongman-curious'? To get to the bottom of this, Dan is joined by an all-star cast of experts. We have the renowned journalis…
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We think of history as a neat chain of predictable events; but what if the truth is far wilder than that? Today, we're talking about the pivotal forces of randomness and chance, and how tiny moments can change the course of our human story. Dan is joined by Brian Klaas, associate professor in global politics at University College London and author …
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Theodore Roosevelt is arguably the most masculine president in American history. So how was he influenced by the women around him? And how was he impacted by the deaths of two of them on the same day? In this episode, Edward O'Keefe introduces us to Theodore Roosevelt's mother, two sisters, and two wives: Mittie, Bamie, Conie, Alice and Edith. Edwa…
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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 comes on the show to provide a fascinating rundown of this truly horrific …
  continue reading
 
At the height of the Mongol Empire, Kublai Khan set his sights on the island of Japan. He launched two enormous invasions of that nation in 1274 and 1281 - but both of them were defeated, aided by sudden and disastrous storms that tore his fleets apart. The story of these kamikaze, or 'Divine Winds', would become legend in Japan, and inspire the na…
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Please note, this episode contains discussion of suicide. In 1945, after lengthy delays, the Royal Navy sent a powerful fleet into the Pacific. After the disastrous Japanese invasions in Southeast Asia, Churchill was desperate to reassert British military might in the region. Aboard the carriers of these fleets were elite British and Commonwealth p…
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