In The Past Lane - The Podcast About History and Why It Matters

Edward T. O'Donnell: Historian, Podcaster, Professor

Each week host and Historian-at-Large, Edward T. O’Donnell, dives into American history with interviews with historians about their new books, feature stories, and discussions of history in the news. Our aim is to be both engaging and entertaining, as well as informative and thought-provoking. We are inspired by the notion that history is not just about the past. History is about us, here and now.

It explains the world we live in and why things are the way they are.

All Episodes

In this episode of ITPL, we focus on Alexander Hamilton. You may have noticed that Hamilton has become the hottest Founder in recent years – and it’s all due to the smash Broadway hit, “Hamilton: The Musical.” So here’s the lineup: 1. First, I provide a brief backgrounder on the remarkable life of Alexander Hamilton. 2. Second, I sit down with historian Stephen F. Knott to discuss his book, Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance that Forged America (Sourcebooks, 2015). He and his co-author Tony Williams argue that the relationship between Washington and Hamilton had a major impact on the outcome of the American Revolution and the subsequent creation of the American republic. 3. Finally, I drop by the one permanent site in Manhattan that’s dedicated to the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury. It’s the Hamilton Grange in Harlem. I speak with National Park Service ranger Liam Strain about the site’s history and how “Hamilton: The Musical” has dramatically increased visitor traffic at the site. You can find show notes for this episode and more information about the podcast at www.InThePastLane.com In The Past Lane is a production of Snoring Beagle International, Ltd. About Stephen F. Knott – website About the Hamilton Grange – website Further Reading Stephen F. Knott and Tony Williams, Washington and Hamilton: The Alliance that Forged America (Sourcebooks, 2015) Ronald Chernow, Alexander Hamilton (Penguin, 2004) Joseph J. Ellis, The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 (2015) Thomas Fleming, The Great Divide: The Conflict between Washington and Jefferson that Defined a Nation (2015) Joanne B. Freeman, Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic Robert Middlekauff, The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 (2005) Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter, Hamilton: The Revolution (2016) John Sedgwick, War of Two: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr, and the Duel that Stunned the Nation (2015) Jim Beckerman, “Hamilton Tourist Sites in New Jersey Ride the Wave of the Hit Musical,” Associated Press, Jun 12, 2016 Linda Flanagan, “How Teachers Are Using ‘Hamilton’ the Musical in the Classroom,” KQED.org Valerie Strauss, “The unusual way Broadway’s ‘Hamilton’ is teaching U.S. history to kids,” Washington Post, June 28, 2016 Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) Kevin McCleod, “Impact Moderato” (Free Music Archive) Doctor Turtle, “Often Outmumbled Never Outpunned” (Free Music Archive) Lee Rosevere, “Going Home” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, ”On The Street,” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Associate Producer, Devyn McHugh Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane 2020 

Jul 2020

52 min 1 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we take a look at a significant but often overlooked event during the Civil War, the Draft Riots of July 1863. Protests against drafting men into the Union Army broke out in many places, but the worst occurred in New York City. For four days rampaging crowds tore the city apart, destroying property and leading to the deaths of more than 100 people, including 11 African Americans who were lynched. To this day, the Draft Riots remain the largest civil uprising in US history. Feature Story: The Civil War Draft Riots On July 13, 1863 - 157 years ago this week - the streets of New York exploded in a violent episode known as the Draft Riots. It lasted four days and claimed the lives of more than one hundred people and destroyed millions of dollars in property – all while the Union struggled to defeat the Confederacy on the battlefield. The event terrified northerners, many of whom were convinced that it was the result of a Confederate plot, and it prompted the Lincoln administration to rush thousands of troops from the battlefield at Gettysburg to NYC. To this day, the Draft Riots remain the greatest civil uprising in American history.       At the outset of the Civil War in 1861, no one in the North or South could have imagined that there would ever be a shortage of volunteers that would necessitate a military draft.  Union and Confederate Army recruiting stations were overwhelmed by men eager to join the fight.  Few men on either side expected the war to last more than a few weeks. But subsequent events made clear just how unrealistic these hopes were.  Beset by a series of incompetent generals and a host of other problems, the Union's Army of the Potomac in the east performed poorly in the field.  By mid-1862 it was clear that the war would be long and very, very bloody. Later that year, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation which effectively announced the abolition of slavery.  Lincoln had deemed emancipation necessary to win the war, but it also produced intense opposition among certain groups of northerners.  War weariness, not to mention anti-war sentiment rose in the North and soon Union Army recruiting stations were empty.  If Lincoln was to make good on his promise to preserve the Union at all costs, a second drastic measure was needed.  In March of 1863 Congress passed the Conscription Act (the first in U.S. history) which declared all male citizens (and immigrants who had applied for citizenship) aged 20-45 eligible to be drafted into the Union Army.  If drafted, a man had several options short of serving in the Union Army.  He could pay a “commutation fee” of $300 to the government; or he could hire a substitute to serve in his place; or he could disappear – something that more than twenty percent of draftees did. The draft, like emancipation, proved intensely controversial. Some protesters denounced the draft as an affront to democratic liberty.  Others focused on what they termed its "aristocratic" provisions that allowed the wealthy to buy their way out of service (the $300 commutation fee exceeded the annual income of many poor laborers). More and more, they argued, it was becoming “a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight.” The draft also incited anger among those northerners, principally Democrats, who initially had been willing to support a war to preserve the Union, but who now balked at fighting a war for emancipation.  Many politicians in the years before the war had used the issue of emancipation and the specter of cheap African American labor flooding northern cities to rally urban workers -- especially the Irish -- to the Democratic Party.  The message to the Irish was clear: if you think it's tough to earn a living now, just wait until you have to compete with hundreds of thousands of black workers willing to work for less money.  It was an opportunistic message of fear that ignored the fact that for the past thirty years it had been Irish immigrants who had taken jobs from free blacks living in northern cities.  Nonetheless, it stoked racist animosity among the Irish and other poor white workers.  When the draft began in July 1863, opposition to it turned violent. Violence broke out in Boston, Troy, New York, Wooster, Ohio, Portsmouth, New Hampshire and other cities. The worst incidents of anti-draft violence, of course, occurred in New York City.  The first day of the draft, Saturday July 11, resulted in 1,236 names drawn.  Despite grumblings and rumors of protest, it ended without incident.  The plan was to resume the draft on Monday morning.  Discontent among working-class New Yorkers was palpable Saturday night and on Sunday (when no draft was held) as people pored over the lists and found names of men they knew.  Conspicuously absent were the names of any wealthy or prominent New Yorker. The mood in the city’s working-class tenement districts grew ugly by Sunday night. Signs that there would be trouble when the draft resumed emerged early Monday morning when crowds of workers – among them a large percentage of Irish immigrants and Irish Americans - formed and began moving north towards the draft office at East 46th Street and Third Ave.  And the weather was hot and humid -- prime conditions, sociologists assert, for a riot.  By the time the draft office opened, an angry crowd of five thousand had gathered in the surrounding streets.  Moments after the first names were drawn, the crowd stormed the office, destroyed the lottery wheel used to draw names, and set the building on fire.  The riot was on. The violence at the draft office at East 46th Street quickly spread throughout the city. To stymie efforts to restore order, crowds built barricades, tore up streetcar tracks, and cut telegraph lines.   As in most riots, the crowds that coursed through the streets did not engage in purely random acts of violence.  Instead, they focused on very carefully chosen targets that symbolized their grievances.  Anything associated with the Union Army came under attack, including recruiting stations and draft offices.  Rioters also attacked anything associated with the Republican party – which they viewed as the party of war, emancipation, and the draft.  Both the New York Times and Tribune, staunchly pro-Republican and pro-war papers (not to mention pro-emancipation), were attacked several times.  In addition, rioters attacked the wealthy – people they derided as “three hundred dollar men” -- who were able to buy their way out of the draft. Mansions on Fifth Avenue were sacked and burned, as was the Brooks Brothers store. Rioters also took out their anger on local symbols of authority, most especially members of the New York Police Department.       And rioters also assaulted and killed African-Americans.  One of the first institutions attacked was the Colored Orphans Asylum, located near the present-day New York Public Library on 42nd Street.  Rioters burned it to the ground, but amazingly none of the children or staff inside was killed. Other African Americans, however, were not so fortunate.  At least eleven blacks were lynched by rioters. Many of these lynchings included particularly savage acts, including burning and dismemberment. One of the reasons the rioting escalated and spread so quickly was that New York City had only a minor military presence made up primarily of injured soldiers recovering from their wounds. When they turned out to quell the violence, they were quickly scattered by the much larger mob.  Squads of police were likewise attacked and driven away.  With the mob in control of the streets of the Union's largest city, officials sent frantic telegrams to Washington, DC pleading for troops.  Late Monday night the heavens opened up and the city was deluged with a most welcomed downpour. The rain extinguished most of the fires and prevented a much larger conflagration from developing. It also drove the rioters indoors for the night. City officials hoped the relatively peaceful night meant the riot was over.  But Tuesday morning brought more steamy weather and renewed rioting.  Again, African Americans, Republicans, soldiers, policemen and the wealthy came under attack. But increasingly the original focus of the rioting -- protest against a class-biased draft  and a war for emancipation – had expanded to include widespread looting and score settling by the city's poor and marginalized underclass who seized on the riot as an opportunity to vent their rage at a system they viewed as oppressive and unjust -- not unlike the rioting we’ve witnessed in 2020. On Wednesday, day 3 of the riots, the tide began to turn as the first of several thousand troops arrived fresh from the smoldering fields of Gettysburg.  All day Wednesday and Thursday, they stormed the rioters' strongholds using howitzers loaded with grape shot to mow down the crowd. In some neighborhoods they engaged in fierce hand-to-hand combat as they moved building to building.  By now the police had also regrouped and began to retake streets and make arrests.  By Thursday night the violence ceased and it appeared the riot might be over. When the sun rose on Friday morning, July 17, New York City awoke wondering if the Draft Riots would resume.  But all was quiet, except for a steady procession of people to the midtown residence of Archbishop John Hughes, the leader of the city’s Irish Catholics.  In handbills distributed all across the city the day before, he announced that he would address the crowd from the balcony outside his residence. Hughes delivered a message that expressed sympathy with the rioter’s grievances, but urged them to cease the violence.  The reputation of the Irish in America, he said, was at stake. When he concluded, the crowd broke up and went home without incident.  The Draft Riots were over. In the aftermath of the riot, city officials tallied up the damage and death toll.  One hundred buildings lay in ashes, part of more than five million dollars in property destroyed.  Of the hundreds arrested for their role in the riot, only sixty-seven were convicted at trial.  None were the primary instigators and rabble-rousers and they received sentences that averaged five years in jail. As for the number killed, some early estimates ranged from several hundred to several thousand.  These exaggerated figures were clearly the result of the shock and horror produced by the riot.  As well as anti-Irish sentiment. But the most accurate assessment of the riot’s death toll, one based on a close reading of the press and death certificates, put the total at 119. Among those killed were at least eleven African Americans.  The racial pogrom aspect of the riot led more than half the city's black residents to flee. It would be years before the city’s black population returned to its pre-war level.  Not surprisingly, the city’s Irish population came in for harsh condemnation in the wake of the riot.  A seething voice of indignation emanated from pulpit, meeting hall, and editorial page denounced the Irish for engaging in a treasonous riot against the government as it struggled to win a civil war.  These critics ignored the fact that many of the rioters were German immigrants and German Americans, not to mention men of American birth. They also ignored the fact that many Irish soldiers, policemen, and priests helped stop the rioting.    But there still was a war to win, so city and state officials came up with a plan that eliminated the draft as a source of social unrest. They appropriated two million dollars to pay the commutation fee of any man who was drafted who did not want to serve. When the draft resumed on August 19, there was no violence. Because there was a war that had to be won, New Yorkers and Americans in general did their best to forget about the Draft Riots.  This became even easier once the war ended in Union victory. No one wanted to be reminded that the path to victory had been marred by disunity, protest, and violence. But the Draft Riots never quite disappeared from public consciousness, especially among America’s wealthy citizens, who viewed it as a nightmarish spectacle of social unrest that haunted their minds for several generations.  For Irish Americans, their widely publicized role in the riots remained a black mark on their collective reputation for decades to come.  For African Americans, the Draft Riots endured as a harrowing reminder of the depths of racial animosity in American life.  It was not the first incident of massive anti-black violence and it would not be the last. Sources: Iver Bernstein, The New York City Draft Riots: Their Significance for American Society and Politics in the Age of the Civil War (Oxford, 1990). Barnet Schecter, The Devil’s Own Work: The Civil War Draft Riots and the Fight to Reconstruct America (Walker, 2005). For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) The Joy Drops, “Track 23,” Not Drunk (Free Music Archive) Sergey Cheremisinov, “Gray Drops” (Free Music Archive) Ondrosik, “Tribute to Louis Braille” (Free Music Archive) Alex Mason, “Cast Away” (Free Music Archive) Squire Tuck, “Nuthin’ Without You” (Free Music Archive) Ketsa, “Multiverse” (Free Music Archive) The Rosen Sisters, “Gravel Walk” (Free Music Archive) Soularflair, “Emotive Beautiful Irish Feel Gala” (Free Music Archive) Dana Boule, “Collective Calm” (Free Music Archive) Ondrosik, “Breakthrough” (Free Music Archive) Cuicuitte, “sultan cintr” (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2020 Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane 2020

Jul 2020

15 min 22 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we take a look at the first great police scandal in US history. It occurred in the mid-1890s in New York City when an investigation into the NYPD exposed widespread corruption and brutality throughout the force, from its highest-ranking officers to the lowly beat cop. To walk us through this scandal, I speak with historian Daniel Czitrom about his book, New York Exposed: The Gilded Age Police Scandal That Launched the Progressive Era (Oxford U Press, 2016). It’s a story that makes clear that policing in the US has always been controversial. Further reading about the history of scandals in American History Daniel Czitrom, New York Exposed: The Gilded Age Police Scandal That Launched the Progressive Era (Oxford U Press, 2016) Andy Hughes, A History of Political Scandals: Sex, Sleaze and Spin (2014) George C. Kohn, The New Encyclopedia of American Scandal(2001) Laton McCartney, The Teapot Dome Scandal: How Big Oil Bought the Harding White House and Tried to Steal the Country (Random House, 2009) Mitchell Zuckoff, Ponzi’s Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend (Random House, 2006) Music for This Episode: Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (courtesy, JayGMusic.com) Kevin McCleod, “Impact Moderato” (Free Music Archive) Lee Rosevere, “Going Home” (Free Music Archive) Andy Cohen, “Trophy Endorphins” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “On The Street” (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Womb, “I Hope That It Hurts” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2020 Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald   © In The Past Lane 2020

Jul 2020

37 min 12 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we take a look at a legendary labor uprising by a mysterious group known as the Molly Maguires. They were Irish and Irish American coal miners in Pennsylvania in the 1870s who used vigilante violence to fight back against the powerful and exploitative mine owners. But in the end, the mine owners used their dominance over the political and legal establishment to see to it that 20 men, most of whom were likely innocent, were executed by hanging.   Feature Story: The Molly Maguires Hanged  On Thursday June 21, 1877 – 143 years ago this week - ten men went to the gallows in Pennsylvania.  They were known as Molly Maguires – members of an ultra-secret society that used violence and intimidation in their bitter struggles with powerful mine owners. Arrested for their alleged role in several murders, they were convicted and sentenced to death on the basis of very thin evidence and questionable testimony.  “Black Thursday” would long be remembered by residents of the Pennsylvania coal fields as an extraordinary example of anti-labor and anti-Irish prejudice.  The story of the Molly Maguires was one very much rooted in two specific places: rural Ireland and the anthracite region of PA. The latter was the main supplier of the nation’s coal, making it a vital component in American’s unfolding industrial revolution. By the 1870s, more than 50,000 miners – more than half of them Irish or Irish American – toiled in the region’s mines. It was hard, brutal work. They worked long hours for low pay in extremely dangerous conditions. Every year cave-ins, floods, and poison gas claimed the lives of hundreds of miners.  In one fire alone in 1869, 110 miners were killed. It was in the struggle of these workers to improve their pay, hours, and conditions that the Molly Maguire saga began.  Irish immigrants and Irish Americans played key roles in virtually every aspect of the conflict, from the lowliest miner to the most powerful capitalist.  Foremost was Franklin B. Gowen, the wealthy Irish American president of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad. Tough and ambitious, he ruthlessly drove his competitors out of business in an effort to dominate the state’s two principle industries, coal and railroads.  The only thing he hated more than rival businessmen was organized labor, especially the main miners union, the Workingmen’s Benevolent Association (WBA). Led by an Irish-born man named John Siney, the WBA had won several strikes in the late 1860s and early 1870s that resulted in wage gains and union recognition. Even though he shared an Irish heritage with most of his miners, Franklin Gowan had little sympathy for them. In industrializing America, class interests trumped everything, including ethnicity and culture, and Gowan treated his workers like they were the enemy.  Gowan waited for the right moment to attack, and that came in 1873 when the nation plunged into a severe economic depression that lasted until 1877.  The hard times hurt his bottom line, but Gowen saw a silver lining: hard times also provided an opportunity to kill the miners’ union. In January 1875, Gowan announced a steep cut in wages, a move quickly followed by the region’s others coal operators. The wage cuts triggered a massive miners’ strike throughout the region that paralyzed coal production. But Gowen and other operators had prepared for the strike by stockpiling huge coal reserves that allowed them to continue to sell coal and wait out the desperate and half-starved striking miners. The “Long Strike,” as it came to be known, was doomed. It ended after five months in June with a total defeat for the workers and the destruction of the Workingmen’s Benevolent Association (WBA).  And here’s where rural Ireland figured into the story. Embittered by their loss, a group of Irish miners turned to an old custom – extra-legal justice, or vigilantism.  Irish tenant farmers had for centuries used tactics of intimidation, vandalism, and murder to protest landlord abuses, primarily rent hikes or evictions. These types of tactics of resistance by powerless peasants have been called by anthropologist James Scott, “the weapons of the weak.” According to tradition, the original “Molly Maguire” had been a woman who thwarted her landlord’s attempts to evict her during the Famine.  Many of the Irish miners in the Pennsylvania coal fields came from counties in Ireland where periodic agrarian vigilantism was a firmly rooted tradition.  Molly Maguire activity first arose in the anthracite region in the labor disputes of the early 1860s. But it subsided with the WBA’s success in gaining better wages and conditions for the miners. Now in the wake of the defeat in the Long Strike, the Mollies returned with a vengeance.  Between June and September 1875, six people were murdered – all carefully targeted as agents of the mine owners and enemies of the miners. Having destroyed the WBA, Franklin Gowen saw in the return of the Mollies an opportunity to permanently wipe out any miner opposition to his plans to consolidate power and wealth.  And so, he unleashed a sweeping campaign against the secret society in which he branded all labor activists “Molly Maguires.” He also accused an Irish fraternal organization known as the Ancient Order of Hibernians of operating as a front for the organization. Eventually over fifty men, women, and children were arrested and indicted for their alleged roles in the Molly Maguire violence and murders. Incredibly, the state of Pennsylvania played almost no role in this process. None other than Franklin Gowan served as the county district attorney and oversaw the investigation and prosecutions. A private company – the Pinkertons – conducted the investigation. A private police force employed by the mining companies carried out the arrests. And Gowan and coal company attorneys conducted the trials. As one historian commented, “The state only provided the courtroom and the hangman.”  The first trials began in January 1876.  They involved ten men accused of murder and were held in the towns of Mauch Chunk and Pottsville, PA.  A vast army of national media descended on the small towns where they wrote dispatches that were uniformly pro-prosecution. In an era of rising hysteria over labor radicalism, and the growing popularity of socialism and anarchism – much of it fueled by sensational stories in the mainstream press - the Molly Maguire story proved irresistible. And the coverage was universally negative. The NYT, for example, wrote about “the snake of Molly Maguire-ism,” while the Philadelphia Inquirer condemned the men as “enemies of social order.” The key witness for the prosecution was yet another Irishman, James McParlan. He was an agent of the infamous Pinkerton Detective Agency, an organization that would be more accurately described as a private army for hire that specialized in labor espionage and strikebreaking. Franklin Gowan had hired the Pinkertons in the early 1870s as part of his masterplan of destroying the WBA. James McParlan had gone under cover to infiltrate the Mollies and gather evidence. And gather he did – or at least he claimed he did during the trials. On the stand he painted a vivid picture of Molly Maguire secrecy, conspiracy, and murder. With this testimony, combined with the fact that Irish Catholics and miners had been excluded from the juries, guilty verdicts were a foregone conclusion. All ten defendants were convicted and sentenced to hang.  And in order to send the most powerful message to the region’s mining communities, authorities staged the executions on the same day -- June 21, 1877 – in two locations.  Alexander Campbell, Michael Doyle, Edward Kelly, and John Donahue were hanged in Mauch Chuck, while James Boyle, Hugh McGehan, James Carroll, James Roarity, Thomas Duffy, and Thomas Munley met a similar fate in Pottsville.  Although the hangings took place behind prison walls, they were nonetheless stages as major spectacles that drew huge crowds and generated international news coverage, nearly all of it condemning the Mollies as murderous monsters who got what they deserved.  Still, the Molly Maguire episode was far from over.  Ten more miners would be tried, convicted, and executed over the next fifteen months, bringing the total to twenty. While evidence suggests that some of them men were guilty of murder, the great majority of those executed were likely victims of hysteria and a profoundly unjust legal process. In the end, Franklin Gowen and his fellow mine operators succeeded in stamping out the Molly Maguires, but not the violent clashes between labor and capital they represented. For more than a generation following the executions, miners in Pennsylvania and many other states would continue to fight -- both legally and extra-legally -- against oppressive conditions in the mines. And the mine owners, as they did with the Mollies, did their best to dismiss the agitation as foreign radicalism brought to America by misguided immigrants who did not understand the inherent goodness and justice of industrial capitalism. The miners, of course, knew better. They understood that unregulated capitalism, backed by the full weight of the law, the government, and the media, was neither just, nor democratic. It was exploitation, pure and simple. Sources: Anthony Bimba. The Molly Maguires (International Publishers, 1932). Wayne G. Broehl, Jr., The Molly Maguires (Harvard University Press, 1964). Kevin Kenny, Making Sense of the Molly Maguires (Oxford University Press, 1998). IrishCentral.com, “Molly Maguires Executed, June 20, 2020 https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/molly-maguires-executed#.XvEIkuOULEA.twitter For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) The Joy Drops, “Track 23,” Not Drunk (Free Music Archive) Sergey Cheremisinov, “Gray Drops” (Free Music Archive) Ondrosik, “Tribute to Louis Braille” (Free Music Archive) Alex Mason, “Cast Away” (Free Music Archive) Squire Tuck, “Nuthin’ Without You” (Free Music Archive) Ketsa, “Multiverse” (Free Music Archive) The Rosen Sisters, “Gravel Walk” (Free Music Archive) Soularflair, “Emotive Beautiful Irish Feel Gala” (Free Music Archive) Dana Boule, “Collective Calm” (Free Music Archive) Ondrosik, “Breakthrough” (Free Music Archive) Cuicuitte, “sultan cintr” (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2020 Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane 2020  

Jun 2020

11 min 30 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the podcast about American history and why it matters, we take a close look at Robert F. Kennedy. Here’s the lineup: 1) First up, it’s a short feature on the basics of the life of RFK. 2) Next, I speak with author Larry Tye about his biography, Bobby Kennedy: The Making of A Liberal Icon (2016, Random House). Tye is the author of many best-selling biographies and he’s at his best in this new look at RFK. One of the myths he’s eager to dispel is the notion that there were two, polar opposite Bobby Kennedys – the bad boy in the 1950s who worked for Sen. Joseph McCarthy and later waged war on organized labor and the saintly good guy in the mid-1960s who fought for social justice. 3. And we bring you two remarkable audio clips from the 1960s. First, an excerpt from RFK’s 1968 speech, “The Mindless Menace of Violence” and second, Ted Kennedy’s eulogy for RFK two months later. About Larry Tye His website  http://larrytye.com/ Further Reading and Links Thurston Clarke, The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America Robert F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy in His Own Words: The Unpublished Recollections of the Kennedy Years Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr., Robert Kennedy and His Times Evan Thomas, Robert Kennedy: His Life Larry Tye, Bobby Kennedy: The Making of A Liberal Icon (2016, Random House). RFK’s 1968 speech, “The Mindless Menace of Violence” Ted Kennedy’s eulogy for RFK, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, June 8, 1968 Music Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (courtesy, JayGMusic.com) Kevin McCleod, “Impact Moderato” (Free Music Archive) The Womb, “I Hope It Hurts” (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Epoch” (Free Music Archive) Hyson, "Signals" (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive)

Jun 2020

45 min 52 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we take a look at one of the most deadly incidents of anti-black violence in US history: The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. White mobs rampaged through Tulsa, Oklahoma’s African American neighborhood and burned it to the ground, killing between 100 and 300 black residents in the process. The incident was quickly covered up and driven from public memory. But in the 1990s activists and scholars began to unearth the shocking truth. Feature Story: The Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 On May 31, 1921 – 99 years ago this week – mobs of heavily armed white residents of Tulsa, Oklahoma rampaged through the city’s African-American district named Greenwood. They stole property, set fire to buildings, and indiscriminately killed black men, women, and children. When it was over, this pogram known as the Tulsa Race Massacre left between 100 and 300 people dead and 35 blocks in smoldering ruins. It was one of the single most deadly incidents of racist violence in American history. And yet, it was quickly driven from public memory. The years between the end of World War I in 1918 and the Tulsa Race Massacre in 1921 were marked by many incidents of extreme anti-black violence. This surge in violence was due to many factors. The end of World War I brought a massive strike wave as millions of workers walked off the job. Fear of socialism, communism, and anarchism surged as the nation plunged into one of its periodic Red Scares. Also contributing to the social tension was the fact that millions of African-Americans had in the previous decade moved to northern cities, part of what historians referred to as the Great Migration. Chicago’s black population, for example, jumped from 44,000 in 1910 to 110,000 in 1920. And on top of this, the Ku Klux Klan had re-emerged in 1915 as a vibrant national organization that by the mid-1920s would have 5 million members. Each of these trends contributed to surging anti-black racism that led to many incidents of violence against African-American individuals and neighborhoods. In 1919 alone, there were 25 major anti-black riots in the US.  One of the worst took place in Chicago in July 1919 that left 38 dead.  There were also 76 African Americans lynched in the South in 1919, including ten black soldiers who had returned from active duty in World War I. Up until May of 1921 Tulsa, Oklahoma had been relatively peaceful. But it was an oil-rich city of 72,000 that was strictly segregated. In fact, when Oklahoma was admitted to the union in 1907, the very first laws passed by the state legislature imposed segregation and disenfranchisement upon its black population. Despite these laws and a climate of racial hostility, Tulsa’s African-American population was one of the most prosperous In the United States. In fact, the Greenwood section of Tulsa where most African-Americans lived, was nicknamed the Negro Wall Street. It was filled with thriving black-owned businesses ranging from barbershops and retails stores to law firms and doctor’s offices. Many white citizens of Tulsa resented this black economic success. And it was this resentment that escalated the situation on May 31, 1921. Like so many incidents of anti-black racial violence in US history, this one began with an incident involving a black male and a white female. On May 30, a 17-year-old girl named Sarah Page, who operated an elevator in downtown Tulsa, accused 19-year-old Dick Rowland of assaulting her. Rowland was taken into custody and brought to the local courthouse. The next day, partly inspired by an inflammatory article about the incident in the local newspaper, a large crowd of angry white men gathered outside the courthouse. It was a scene that was a typical prelude to a lynching. Not surprisingly, rumors that Rowland was about to be lynched raced through the black community, prompting a large group of armed black men to arrive at the courthouse. A standoff ensued, and then shots rang out. Which side fired first remains an unanswered question. Both sides exchanged gunfire before dispersing. The clash left 12 killed, 10 white and two black. Immediately word of the incident spread throughout the city. Within an hour, large crowds of heavily armed white men gathered. It was clear what they were planning to do. And yet, the city’s police force did nothing to stop them. In fact, research would later show that police officials handed out weapons to members of the mob and that many also joined in as it descended upon the black community in Greenwood. As the attack began, many African-Americans managed to flee the district. But many were trapped and murdered by the mob. Some were shot and others stabbed, and still others were  consumed by the flames set by arsonists. Members of the mob also looted homes and businesses before setting them on fire. The violence lasted all night and into the morning hours of June 1. It ended only when a large contingent of the Oklahoma National Guard arrived to impose martial law. Some 35 blocks of Greenwood were completely destroyed. Damages were estimated at $2.25 million, the equivalent of $32 million in 2020. Adding insult to injury, local officials and national guardsmen rounded up nearly every African American in the city and placed them in hastily constructed detention camps. All were treated as perpetrators, rather than innocent victims. Some were held for weeks before being released. And then there was the death toll. The official death toll was 36 African Americans killed. But African-American leaders at the time claimed the number was significantly higher, well over 100 and perhaps as high as 300. They also claimed that white officials, in an effort to cover up the enormity of the massacre, had hastily buried hundreds of black victims in a mass grave. And the cover up worked. The staggering death toll, along with the city’s complicity in allowing the massacre to take place, were soon purged from public memory. At least white public memory. African-Americans certainly didn’t forget the trauma and loss, but in this era of Jim Crow, they were powerless, unable to obtain any justice or public recognition of the incident. And it stayed that way for 75 years. The city of Tulsa never put up a historic plaque or memorial. Its school children never learned about the incident in their history classes. And the nation remained ignorant of this monstrous event. But the silence about the Tulsa Race Massacre began to break in the 1990s as African-Americans gained more political power and begin to push for a full inquiry into the incident. In 1996, The 75th anniversary of the massacre, the state legislature created the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. Note the title of the commission: it referred to the incident as the Tulsa Race Riot. This misnaming was significant and intentional. Nearly every massacre of African-Americans by white mobs in American history has been labeled a “race riot,” a name that suggests an equal culpability between violent whites and violent blacks attacking each other. But in every case, these so-called race riots Involved black communities being attacked by white mobs. Not surprisingly, as a more accurate and complete picture emerged of what occurred in Tulsa and other sites of anti-black violence, these incidents have been renamed to reflect what they really were: massacres. The commission worked for five years, taking testimony and funding research into the massacre. In 2001, it released its official report. Among its many findings, the commission declared that Tulsa’s political leaders had conspired with the leaders of the mob to allow the massacre to unfold without any resistance by law enforcement. It also recommended that reparations be paid to any survivors and their descendants. City and state officials balked at the call for reparations, but the state did establish scholarships for descendants of victims and survivors of the massacre. It also provided funding for historical markers and a memorial park that was completed in 2010. More recently, just a few months ago, the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre was made on official part of the state of Oklahoma’s public school curriculum. And the search for the truth about what actually happened and how many people were murdered that day continues. Just a few months ago, researchers announced that they had found several sites in Tulsa that appear to contain mass graves. Plans are in the works to excavate the sites to determine if they contain victims of the 1921 massacre. If they do, it will likely clarify the true death toll. Finally, the Tulsa Race Massacre drew renewed interest this year when it was featured as the starting point for HBO’s hit TV series, “Watchmen.” So what else of note happened this week in US history? May 25, 1787 - The Constitutional Convention officially opened in Philadelphia with 55 delegates in attendance, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and James Madison. Over the next four months, they drafted a new Constitution for the United States to replace the initial Articles of Confederation which had been deemed weak and ineffective. May 25, 1977 - the blockbuster film “Star Wars” opened in theaters. May 26, 1924 - President Calvin Coolidge signed the National Origins Act that sharply restricted immigration for the next 40 years. It not only shrank the volume of immigration from as many as 1 million immigrants per year to about 200,000, the law also intentionally discriminated against undesirable immigrant groups like Jews and Italians. It was replaced by a more equitable immigration law in 1965. May 30, 1922 - The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington DC.   And what notable people were born this week in American history?   May 26, 1895 - photographer Dorothea Lange. Her most famous photograph is Migrant Mother, which captured the desperate face of a struggling mother and her children during the Great Depression.   May 26, 1926 - jazz trumpeter Miles Davis May 27, 1794 - railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. May 27, 1819 - poet and author Julia Ward Howe who is best known for writing "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" during the Civil War. May 27, 1907 - writer and marine biologist Rachel Carson who helped launch the modern environmental movement with her book, Silent Spring. May 29, 1917 - 35th POTUS John F. Kennedy May 31, 1819 - poet Walt Whitman The Last Word Let’s give it to Walt Whitman, who was born 201 years ago this week. In his preface to his masterful collection of poems, Leaves of Grass, Whitman urged his readers to free themselves of ideas, conventions, and traditions that suppressed their true selves. “re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.” For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) The Joy Drops, “Track 23,” Not Drunk (Free Music Archive) Sergey Cheremisinov, “Gray Drops” (Free Music Archive) Pictures of the Flow, “Horses” (Free Music Archive) Ondrosik, “Tribute to Louis Braille” (Free Music Archive) Alex Mason, “Cast Away” (Free Music Archive) Squire Tuck, “Nuthin’ Without You” (Free Music Archive) Ketsa, “Multiverse” (Free Music Archive) Ketsa, “Memories Renewed” (Free Music Archive) Dana Boule, “Collective Calm” (Free Music Archive) Borrtex, “Motion” (Free Music Archive) Ondrosik, “Breakthrough” (Free Music Archive) Cuicuitte, “sultan cintr” (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane 2020

May 2020

14 min 27 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we take a look at the famous Pullman Strike of 1894. It began as a protest over wage cuts in the midst of a severe economic depression and quickly grew to virtually paralyze the nation’s railroad system. Eventually, President Grover Cleveland sent in the military and smashed the strike. The workers lost the strike, but they did gain a new spokesperson – the socialist Eugene Debs – who would play an influential role in American society in the decades to come. Feature Story: The Pullman Strike of 1894 On May 11, 1894, employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company, located just outside Chicago, went on strike. They walkout was in response to severe wage cuts that came as the nation descended into the worst economic depression in its history. But what started out as a local strike soon blossomed into a nationwide work stoppage that paralyzed the railroad system and caused a national crisis. The Pullman Strike, one of the most famous in US history, marked a sharp turn in the fortunes and reputation of the Pullman Company’s owner. For well over a decade George Pullman had enjoyed a reputation as a benevolent industrialist. He established the Pullman Palace Car Company in 1867 to manufacture luxury railroad cars. Pullman was an idealist who believed that workers and employers could work together in harmony for mutual benefit. Acting on this idea, he established the town of Pullman in 1880. It was a company town, built and owned by the Pullman corporation for its employees, who rented homes and patronized stores owned by the company. They also had to abide by many intrusive regulations imposed by the company on their personal activities. George Pullman earned widespread praise in the media for being a model capitalist who earned a vast fortune, but also provided decent wages and living conditions for his workers. So long as the Pullman Co. remained profitable, its employees considered themselves relatively fortunate. But then a devastating economic depression struck in 1893. Known as the Panic of 1893, it wiped out thousands of businesses and sent the unemployment rate to over 20 percent. The railroad industry was hit especially hard. So Pullman laid off hundreds of workers and announced to the rest a wage cut of 30 percent. On top of this devastating news, workers learned that Pullman had refused to reduce their rents, which were deducted automatically from their paychecks. Some workers soon began receiving paychecks for less than one dollar per week to cover the cost of food, heat, and clothing. And so it was that on May 11, 1894, the fed up and furious workers at Pullman voted to strike. George Pullman responded – as did most employers in that era – by refusing to negotiate with the workers. After six weeks, a man named Eugene Debs, the leader of the American Railway Union (ARU) announced that all of the union’s 125,000 members across the country, as an act of solidarity with the striking Pullman workers, would impose a boycott on the Pullman Company. They would refuse to handle any Pullman cars. Given the ubiquity of the Pullman cars, the ARU’s boycott soon slowed the nation’s railroad system to a crawl. The heads of more than two dozen railroads united to support Pullman and break the ARU by hiring thousands of strikebreakers and pressuring the governor of Illinois, John Altgeld, to send in the state militia. When the governor refused out of sympathy for the strikers and a desire to avoid violence, the railroad magnates turned to Washington, D.C. for help, asking President Grover Cleveland to send in federal troops. Grover Cleveland was not the first president to face the choice of whether to send federal troops to quell a labor dispute. President Andrew Jackson dispatched troops in 1834 to end a strike by disgruntled workers working on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. More recently President Rutherford B. Hayes had sent troops to crush the great railroad strike of 1877. Despite these precedents, however, Cleveland worried about the ideological and political ramifications of military intervention. For one, the use of the army against American citizens seemed to run counter to key republican principles—had not the Founding Fathers established the United States to escape an oppressive British government? Had they not also adopted a Bill of Rights that sharply limited the use of federal power? Cleveland also had to consider the possibility that the public would condemn such use of federal power—especially if violence ensued as it did in 1877. The President spent several agonizing days in late June and early July of, 1894, consulting with advisors and mulling over his options. Despite harboring some misgivings about using federal troops to resolve a domestic dispute, President Grover Cleveland was a pro-business conservative, and his administration reflected his outlook. He authorized his Attorney General, Richard Olney, a man with extensive ties to the railroad industry, to obtain on July 2, 1894, a court injunction declaring the ARU boycott of Pullman cars a “conspiracy in restraint of trade” that unlawfully interfered with the movement of the U.S. mail. This last part about the mail was key – because delivery of the mail was a federal responsibility, the Cleveland administration claimed it had an obligation to the public to stop the boycott. When Debs and the ARU members defied the injunction, Cleveland ordered the U.S. Army to intervene on behalf of the railroads to end the boycott and get the trains moving again. The arrival of federal troops touched off extensive violence. Workers clashed with soldiers and destroyed railroad property and the soldiers responded with rifle fire that left at least 37 workers dead and scores wounded. Federal officials arrested Debs and several other ARU leaders and the boycott collapsed in mid-July. The Pullman strike lasted only a few more weeks before ending in early August in complete defeat for the workers. Public opinion had by then turned against Pullman for his obstinate refusal to negotiate with his workers. As was the case two years earlier in the Homestead Strike involving Andrew Carnegie and his steel workers, the Pullman strike exposed the notion of a benevolent capitalist as a myth. Both Pullman and Carnegie were arguably better employers than many of their capitalist counterparts, but their benevolence ran a distant second behind their primary concern: profit. When profits were threatened by unions or economic downturns, the benevolence was replaced by ruthlessness. In the aftermath, President Cleveland tried to restore his reputation with American workers by making Labor Day, a holiday established in the early 1880s, a federal holiday. He also established a federal commission to investigate the cause of the strike. Its report criticized Pullman for his handling of the strike and it argued that labor unions and government regulation were necessary as a way to curb the unrestrained power of corporations. But one year later, a very conservative and pro-business Supreme Court, ruled that the use of court injunctions to end strikes was constitutional. It would be another 40 years before legislation passed during the New Deal established legal protections for workers and labor unions. There was one positive outcome of the strike for American workers. It launched the storied career of Eugene Debs who became an iconic labor leader and advocate of socialism for the next 30 years. Debs would run for president five times as the nominee of the Socialist Party of America. And he left a lasting influence on American society. What else of note happened this week in US history? May 11, 1934 - A massive dust storm begins to sweep across the Great Plains. Drought and high-level winds carried off from the so-called “Dust Bowl” some 350 million tons of topsoil, causing tens of thousands of poor farmers known as Okies to migrate to the west coast. May 13, 1846 - After a questionable border incident between US and Mexican military forces, the US declares war on Mexico. The subsequent US victory allowed it to seize the northern half of Mexico, land that became the future states of CA, AZ, NM, and parts of NV, UT, TX and CO. May 15, 1970 – 50 years ago this week – city and state police open fire on a crowd of African American students at Jackson State in Mississippi, killing 2 and injuring 12. This incident received a fraction of the attention given killing of 4 white students at Kent State 11 days prior. May 17, 1954 - The SCOTUS issued its Brown v Board decision that declared segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional. Want to know more? Check out ITPL Episode 40 featuring my interview with historian Erin Krutko about her book, Remembering Little Rock. And what notable people were born this week in American history?   Two legends of the silver screen were born this week. May 12, 1907 Katharine Hepburn and May 16, 1905 Henry Fonda May 13, 1914 heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis May 17, 1903 baseball legend and Hall of Famer, James Thomas “Cool Papa” Bell. Bell retired from Negro League baseball in 1946, the year before Jackie Robinson broke the so-called color line. Nonetheless, Cool Papa Bell was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1974 The Last Word Let’s give it to an anonymous Pullman employee who said the following about the problem of living in a town completely controlled by one company: “We are born in a Pullman house, fed from the Pullman shops, taught in the Pullman school, catechized in the Pullman Church, and when we die we shall go to the Pullman Hell. For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) The Joy Drops, “Track 23,” Not Drunk (Free Music Archive) Sergey Cheremisinov, “Gray Drops” (Free Music Archive) Pictures of the Flow, “Horses” (Free Music Archive) Ondrosik, “Tribute to Louis Braille” (Free Music Archive) Alex Mason, “Cast Away” (Free Music Archive) Squire Tuck, “Nuthin’ Without You” (Free Music Archive) Ketsa, “Multiverse” (Free Music Archive) Ketsa, “Memories Renewed” (Free Music Archive) Dana Boule, “Collective Calm” (Free Music Archive) Borrtex, “Motion” (Free Music Archive) Ondrosik, “Breakthrough” (Free Music Archive) Cuicuitte, “sultan cintr” (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2020 Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane 2020

May 2020

12 min 29 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the history podcast, I speak with historian Nancy Bristow  about her book, American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. In November 1918, even as millions of Americans and Europeans celebrated the end of World War I, their communities were being ravaged by a global influenza pandemic.  Over the course of almost three years, somewhere between 50 and 100 million people were killed in the pandemic, including nearly 700,000 Americans. Nancy Bristow takes us back in time to explain the origins of the pandemic and how public health officials struggled to contain it. And she explores the reasons why the pandemic quickly faded from public memory. In the course of our discussion, Nancy Bristow: The origins of the great influenza pandemic that raged across the globe in 1918-1920. How the movement of millions of people during WW1 contributed to the spread of the pandemic. What made this particular strain of influenza so deadly. How public health officials struggled to contain the pandemic by imposing bans on large public gatherings, including church services. How nurses played a pivotal role in caring for the sick and dying. Why the pandemic – which killed nearly 700,000 Americans — was largely forgotten in public memory. Why experts fear the onset of another global influenza pandemic. Recommended reading: Nancy Bristow, American Pandemic: The Lost Worlds of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic (Oxford University Press). Catharine Arnold, Pandemic 1918: Eyewitness Accounts from the Greatest Medical Holocaust in Modern History Alfred W. Crosby, America’s Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918 David M. Kennedy, Over Here: The First World War and American Society More info about Nancy K. Bristow – website  Follow In The Past Lane on Twitter  @InThePastLane Instagram  @InThePastLane Facebook: InThePastLanePodcast YouTube: InThePastLane Related ITPL podcast episodes: 024 Michael Neiberg on World War I and the Making of Modern America Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) Kevin McCleod, “Impact Moderato” (Free Music Archive) Andy Cohen, “Trophy Endorphins” (Free Music Archive) Philipp Weigl, “Even When We Fall” (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Podcasting Consultant: Dave Jackson of the School of Podcasting Podcast Editing: Wildstyle Media Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2018 Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast – the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald

May 2020

40 min 57 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we take a look at the original March on Washington. “Coxey’s Army” was a group of 500 men who amidst a terrible economic depression in 1894, marched from Ohio to the nation’s capital to demand that Congress provide employment through public works projects. They were turned away, but many of the Populist ideas that inspired them were enacted into law in the coming decades.    Feature Story: “Coxey’s Army” Arrives in Washington, DC On April 30, 1894 a man named Jacob Coxey arrived in Washington, DC at the head of a group of about 500 men. By then the whole nation knew them as “Coxey’s Army.” They had set out weeks earlier from Coxey’s hometown of Massillon, Ohio in what was the first ever March On Washington. So what was the fuss all about? The immediate answer was that in the spring of 1894 the United States was in the midst of the most severe economic depression in its history. It was triggered one year earlier by the financial Panic of 1893 which caused tens of thousands of businesses and farms to fail, and the unemployment rate to soar to 20% - and often. Double that in big cities like Chicago and New York. The US had seen its share of economic depressions in the 19th century – the panic of 1837, the panic of 1857, the panic of 1873, just to name a few. In each of these previous cases, political leaders agreed that the best policy was: do nothing. Depressions, the reasoning went, were like bad weather or an illness. Wait long enough, and the good times would return. The most dangerous thing the government could do was provide assistance to the people because, so the logic went, that would only foster dependence and lead the US down the path to socialism. Here’s how President Grover Cleveland put it in his second inaugural address, in March 1893. “The lessons of paternalism ought to be unlearned,” said Cleveland, “and the better lesson taught that while the people should patriotically and cheerfully support their Government its functions do not include the support of the people.” But despite proclamations such as these, there was growing support among many Americans in this period known as the Gilded Age for the government to take a more active role in the economy to protect the vulnerable from exploitation and promote the greatest possible amount of opportunity for all. They argued that laissez-faire might have made sense back in the late-18th century when the US took form. But not anymore in an age of industry, wage work, mass immigration, huge cities, and giant corporations. That was the view that inspired Jacob Coxey. He was no radical, at least compared to the socialists, communists, and anarchists of the day. He was a successful farmer who also bred horses for sale and owned a sand quarry business. But as a farmer in the 1880s, he’d gotten involved in the burgeoning protest movement among farmers that came to be called Populism. Its leaders argued that the only way to effectively battle the power of the monopolies and trusts was to create a political movement that would elect farmers or pro-farmer politicians to office, so they could use political power to curb the power of banks, railroads, and brokers and save the honest American farmer from ruin. And in 1892 they established a new national party called the People’s Party that called for a wide range of new government policies, everything from taking over the railroads and telegraphs, to the adoption of a graduated income tax that would make the rich pay their fair share. Its candidate for president that year polled a million votes and won four states. It was no joke. So his embrace of Populism explains Jacob Coxey’s motivation behind his protest march. He advocated that, given the severity of the depression, the federal government must abandon its traditional commitment to laissez-faire and provide funding to states to create public works projects such as road building to alleviate mass unemployment and stimulate the economy. Now, if this sounds familiar, it’s because Coxey was advocating an approach to economic crisis that 40 years later would be embraced by Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the Great Depression. And succeeding administrations, of course, have turned to varying forms of “stimulus packages” to boost the economy and help workers in times of economic crisis. To draw attention to this idea, Coxey organized his march to Washington, D.C. He actually got the idea from a fellow activist named Carl Browne who was more of a true blue radical. He not only came up with the idea of a march, but also the group’s official name, the “Commonweal of Christ,” which was intended to evoke both the ideals of the common good and Christianity. About 120 men gathered in Massillon, OH and on Easter Sunday 1894 they set off for the nation’s capital. As the press picked up the story, the group acquired a new name, “Coxey’s Army.” It was meant on the one hand to evoke ridicule and on the other to stoke fears of radicalism and civil unrest. The press alternately dismissed them as a bunch of delusional cranks, or a dangerous group of losers who wanted handouts and a socialist revolution. But Coxey dismissed this talk and declared that his army’s campaign was one to save the republic and honest capitalism from the clutches of corporate trusts and the politicians they controlled. Despite the negative press, as they marched, more men joined the ranks, including some African American men. Coxey had hoped to assemble an "army" of 100,000 men. But he had to settle for a peak of 500. In some places they were met by hostile townspeople and policemen who threatened arrest if they set up camp. But in many places Coxey and his growing number of followers were greeted by enthusiastic supporters who offered money, food, clothing, and shoes, as well as words of support. Finally, after walking 400 miles in 35 days, Coxey’s Army arrived in Washington on April 30, 1894. As this was the first ever protest march on Washington, apprehension was in the air as the men set up a makeshift camp. Hundreds of police and 1,500 soldiers stood by, ready for a confrontation. The next day, May 1, Coxey tried to enter the US Capitol to deliver a speech before Congress, but security guards turned him away. So, Coxey tried the next best thing: delivering the speech in front of the Capitol. But before he started speaking, police arrested him and took him off to jail.  He was charged with “disturbing the peace,” but the charges were eventually reduced and he was convicted only for walking on the lawn of the Capitol grounds. Had he spoken, Jacob Coxey would have said, in part: “We stand here to-day in behalf of millions of toilers whose petitions have been buried in committee rooms, whose prayers have been unresponded to, and whose opportunities for honest, remunerative, productive labor have been taken from them by unjust legislation, which protects idlers, speculators, and gamblers.” While Jacob Coxey did not get what he came for in Washington DC, the larger Populist movement to which he belonged did influence a generation of reformers who, in what we now call the Progressive Era, achieved notable successes in enacting many of the Populist Party demands, and so much more, ranging from regulations on trusts to measures to improve working conditions, public health, and political reform. And then there’s this - 50 years later to the day after he was arrested for trying to give a speech on the steps of the US Capitol, in Washington, DC, a 90-year old Jacob Coxey was allowed to deliver that speech. On May 1, 1944, he stood on the Capitol steps and said what had been on his mind back in 1894. But by then, in the wake of the New Deal and its vast array of government programs to alleviate suffering during the Great Depression, Coxey’s speech seemed hardly radical at all. What a difference half a century makes. So what else of note happened this week in US history? April 28, 1967 heavyweight champion boxer Muhammad Ali defies the draft and refuses to be inducted into the US military to fight in Vietnam. Ali argued that his religious beliefs prohibited him from participating in a war against the poor, nonwhite people of Vietnam. He was widely condemned for his stand, and subsequently stripped of his boxing title and sentenced to five years in prison. “I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs,” said Ali. “So I'll go to jail, so what? We've been in jail for 400 years.” The sentence was later overturned. April 30, 1789 The first presidential inauguration took place in New York City. George Washington took the oath of office at Federal Hall on Wall St before a crowd of thousands. April 30, 1975 South Vietnam fell to the forces of North Vietnam, marking the unofficial end of the Vietnam War. For Americans, this moment is captured in the photograph of people boarding a helicopter on the roof of the American embassy in Saigon. If you want to learn more about the Vietnam War, check out ITPL episode 39 featuring my interview with Ken Burns about his documentary on the war. And what notable people were born this week in American history?   April 27, 1822 – Union Army general and 18th POTUS, Ulysses S. Grant April 28, 1758 – 5th POTUS James Monroe April 29, 1899 - composer and jazz orchestra leader Duke Ellington May 2, 1903 - Dr Benjamin Spock, author of the best selling book on baby care May 3, 1919 – folk singer and social justice activist Pete Seeger The Last Word Let’s give it to Jacob Coxey, who 126 years ago this week arrived at the head of the first march on Washington. Here’s a passage from the speech he hoped to deliver that day from the steps of the US Capitol. “We stand here to declare by our march of over 400 miles through difficulties and distress…that we are law-abiding citizens, and as men our actions speak louder than words. We are here to petition for legislation which will furnish employment for every man able and willing to work; for legislation which will bring universal prosperity and emancipate our beloved country from financial bondage to the descendants of King George. We have come to the only source which is competent to aid the people in their day of dire distress. We are here to tell our Representatives, who hold their seats by grace of our ballots, that the struggle for existence has become too fierce and relentless. We come and throw up our defenseless hands, and say, help, or we and our loved ones must perish. We are engaged in a bitter and cruel war with the enemies of all mankind—a war with hunger, wretchedness, and despair, and we ask Congress to heed our petitions and issue for the nation’s good a sufficient volume of the same kind of money which carried the country through one awful war and saved the life of the nation. … we appeal to every peace-loving citizen, every liberty-loving man or woman, every one in whose breast the fires of patriotism and love of country have not died out, to assist us in our efforts toward better laws and general benefits.” For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) The Joy Drops, “Track 23,” Not Drunk (Free Music Archive) Sergey Cheremisinov, “Gray Drops” (Free Music Archive) Pictures of the Flow, “Horses” (Free Music Archive) Ondrosik, “Tribute to Louis Braille” (Free Music Archive) Alex Mason, “Cast Away” (Free Music Archive) Squire Tuck, “Nuthin’ Without You” (Free Music Archive) Ketsa, “Multiverse” (Free Music Archive) Ketsa, “Memories Renewed” (Free Music Archive) Dana Boule, “Collective Calm” (Free Music Archive) Borrtex, “Motion” (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2020 Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane 2020

Apr 2020

14 min 6 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we take a look at the origins of Earth Day 50 years ago this week, and the two high profile environmental disasters in 1969 that helped to inspire it, the Santa Barbara, CA oil spill and the an oil fire on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, OH. Environmental activists took advantage of the media coverage of the events to form organizations like Greenpeace and start an annual conscience raising event called Earth Day. In the years that followed, the US enacted landmark environmental legislation ranging from the Clean Air Act to the Endangered Species Act. But contemporary efforts to roll back these regulations imperil the environment and public health.   Feature Story: The Birth of Earth Day - 50th anniversary On April 22, 1970 – 50 years ago this week – 20 million Americans gathered in places all across the nation to commemorate the first Earth Day. This event was inspired by two high profile environmental disasters that took place the year before in 1969. But before we dive into those stories, let’s first step back to do a quick, History of Environmentalism 101. While there were earlier environmentalist moments in US history, what we would recognize as environmentalism began to emerge in the late 19th century. And as it did, it represented the beginnings of a major shift in how Americans viewed private property rights. So, what do I mean by that? Well, from the colonial period through to the late 19th century, most Americans shared the belief that private property rights were almost sacred. A person could do anything they wanted with their property and no government should have any say in the matter. And that was fine so long as the nation remained rural and its economy based in agriculture. But it didn’t. A little thing called the Industrial Revolution happened and that raised all sorts of questions about property rights. Some Americans began to develop a critique of the absolute sanctity of private property rights. And they did so in response to mounting evidence that unfettered private property rights in a modern industrial capitalist setting had seriously negative consequences for society. They noted, for example, that complete and total freedom from regulation left property owners free to engage in strip mining of mountain ranges for coal, or clearcutting forests for lumber, or hunting various animals into extinction. Unrestrained private property rights also left them free to dump their toxic waste into the waterways that ran through their private property or into the air that hovered above their private property—even when this meant the waste would ultimately end up on someone else’s private property.  These critics were not anti-capitalist radicals. Rather, to make their case, they invoked a key republican ideal: the common good. They argued that societies and governments needed to protect other things besides individual private property rights. They noted the uncomfortable fact that one person’s freedom to use their private property any way they wanted could easily threaten another person’s freedom to live free of poisons.  Or, put another way, they noted that individualism and the common good often came into conflict. And so they developed a philosophy that emphasized what has become a key idea in environmentalism – the idea of connectivity, that people are connected to each other and to the larger ecosystem. That one person’s actions, therefore, have consequences for others, and this fact needs to be taken into account as societies develop their laws and public policy regarding the economy and environment. The first attempts to protect the environment mainly took the form of conservation—essentially saving the wilderness from economic development.  People like Theodore Roosevelt believed it was essential to preserve large tracts of wilderness to allow future generations of Americans to enjoy it by hiking, camping, and hunting. Few people in the late-19th and early 20th century raised concerns over water pollution, air pollution, or endangered species.  By the mid-20th century a few concerns over the environment emerged—things like smog and roadside trash—but these were rare. The first significant change in public attitudes concerning the environment, the shift from merely supporting the idea of conserving nature in wildlife reserves and national parks, came in 1962 when Rachel Carson published her book, Silent Spring that revealed the devastating environmental effects of the widely used pesticide DDT, especially on birds. Carson’s book became a bestseller and it led to the introduction of more than 40 bills to control pesticide use in state legislatures across the country. Another impact of Silent Spring was that it inspired many Americans to become environmentalists or to use the term more in vogue in the 1960s, ecologists.  But it’s important to point out that environmentalism in the mid 1960s was still a fringe movement, one associated with hippies and tree huggers. But Silent Spring had planted a seed that would later blossom with the events of 1969. Now let’s turn to the story of the two environmental disasters of 1969 that helped officially launch the modern environmental movement: the Santa Barbara oil spill and a fire on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, OH. Let’s start with the oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara, CA.  It began on Jan 28, 1969 when workers on an oil rig forcefully extracted a drilling tube that had become stuck in the ocean floor. In so doing, they inadvertently created five gashes in the ocean floor. Over the next few weeks, more than 200,000 gallons of crude oil spilled into Santa Barbara channel.  It took weeks to stop the gusher, and in that time, the incident drew significant television and newspaper coverage.  Americans began to see for the first time what are now familiar scenes to us: oil-soaked birds, dead fish, and miles of blackened beaches. What’s interesting is that this spill was not especially large, even for that time. And it’s absolutely tiny in comparison to the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But even though it wasn’t that big, the Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969 sparked widespread public outrage. Significantly, the anger focused on the lax government oversight of the oil rig, and on the callous attitude of the executives of the company involved, Union Oil. The President of Union Oil, for example, told a TV news reporter. “I am amazed at the publicity for the loss of a few birds” This statement not only reveals the mentality of oil executives at this time, but also the power of imagery in social reform movements. Think about how abolitionists used illustrations of auctions and whippings of enslaved people to draw supporters to their cause. Or how pioneering photographers Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine used their cameras to draw attention to horrific slum housing and child labor. History is clear on this point: social reform movements need pictures. And in 1969 the fledgling environmental movement got their first compelling images. Out of this controversy arose a number of groups committed to environmental activism, including Greenpeace. It also prompted a group of citizens in Santa Barbara to write and issue “The Santa Barbara Declaration of Environmental Rights,” an environmental manifesto modeled on the Declaration of Independence. It began, “All men have the right to an environment capable of sustaining life and promoting happiness.” That same year Americans witnessed another environmental disaster.  This time it was a fire on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland was one of the main oil refining centers in America and its waterways showed it.  In fact, the Cuyahoga River had caught fire many times, but these fires were treated as little more than curious incidents. That finally changed when the river caught fire on June 22, 1969. It lasted only 30 minutes. But as with the Santa Barbara oil spill five months earlier, this fire came with photographs and video. It captured the attention of the national media. Time magazine ran a story in its August 1, 1969 issue - “Some River!  Chocolate-brown, oily, bubbling with subsurface gases, it oozes rather than flows.” The coverage of the fire and the subsequent attention it drew to the dreadful condition of the river led to a famous photo of reporter Richard Ellers holding up his hand after having dunked it in the river.  It looked like he’d dipped it in black paint. The Santa Barbara oil spill and the Cuyahoga River fire helped launch the modern environmental movement, beginning a process that would move environmentalism from the fringes to the center of American society and political discourse. They inspired a small number of environmental activists to stage what they called conscience-raising events, which in turn inspired a major one they decided to call Earth Day. It had many “fathers,” but most people agree that Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin got the ball rolling when he proposed the first nationwide environmental protest to, in his words, “to shake up the political establishment and force this issue onto the national agenda.” The idea caught on and on April 22, 1970 some 20 million people participated in the first Earth Day, which was marked by large rallies, cleanup efforts, and teach-ins. Earth Day became an annual event and one of its most important effects was that it brought together lots of disparate groups that shared concerns about the health of the environment. These included people concerned about air pollution in cities, wildlife and endangered species, protection of wetlands and forests, and cleaning up toxic landfills. Earth Day also raised public awareness of environmental concerns and slowly began to make them mainstream political issues. As with so many social reform movements, over time these environmental activists managed to transform their goal from a radical idea to mainstream one. And some of the most important results occurred relatively quickly. The period from the late 1960s to the early 1970s saw the most environmental legislation passed in the nation’s history. Everything from the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. These and other laws have had an extraordinary impact over the past 50 years, leading to a more healthy environment and the saving of many endangered species, including most famously, the Bald Eagle. But American businesses and property owners have never liked these laws. They claim they hurt business and infringe upon the liberties of property owners. And they’ve waged an unrelenting war on environmental regulations. They achieved some success in the 1980s with the presidency of Ronald Reagan, and in the 20-oughts with George W. Bush. But the most serious and successful efforts to roll back 50 years of environmental protection have occurred under the presidency of Donald Trump. Nearly 100 environmental rules on everything from toxic chemical emissions to fracking have been revoked or seriously limited. These moves all but guarantee that we will have greater environmental damage and harm to human health in the coming years. And because this administration has been mired in controversy from Day 1, few people seem to have noticed. The story of environmentalism and Earth Day remind us that history does not move in a straight line of progress. One generation’s achievements can be undone by a later one.  That’s why it’s never enough to just win a victory for voting rights, or equality before the law, or a healthy environment. Those victories must be maintained and protected by constant vigilance. Otherwise they can be rolled back. So what else of note happened this week in US history? April 20, 1914 – The Ludlow Massacre takes place in Ludlow, CO. Hundreds of Colorado national guard soldiers and a private security force employed by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company - a company owned by the richest man in America, John D Rockefeller - attacked an encampment of 1,200 striking miners and their families. More than 20 people, including wives and children of the minders, were killed. This massacre set off a spiral or violence that left somewhere between 69 and 200 people dead in what came to be called the Colorado Coalfield War. April 21, 1980 – 40 years ago this week – an unknown runner named Rosie Ruiz stunned the world by winning the Boston Marathon and doing so in record time. That is until it was revealed that she ran only the last half mile of the 26.2 mile course. Ruiz was stripped of her medal 8 days after the race. April 22, 1864 - The U.S. Mint issued a 2-cent coin which was the first US currency featuring the slogan, “In God We Trust.” And what notable people were born this week in American history?   April 21, 1838 - Environmental activist and conservationist John Muir April 23, 1791 – President James Buchanan April 26, 1822 – landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead April 26, 1900 - seismologist and physicist Charles F. Richter The Last Word Let’s give it to the pioneering conservationist and environmental activist John Muir, who was born 182 years ago this week: Here’s a passage he wrote that seems remarkably in sync with the idea behind Earth Day: “Man must be made conscious of his origin as a child of Nature. Brought into right relationship with the wilderness he would see that he was not a separate entity endowed with a divine right to subdue his fellow creatures and destroy the common heritage, but rather an integral part of a harmonious whole. He would see that his appropriation of earth's resources beyond his personal needs would only bring imbalance and beget ultimate loss and poverty for all.” For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) The Joy Drops, “Track 23,” Not Drunk (Free Music Archive) Sergey Cheremisinov, “Gray Drops” (Free Music Archive) Pictures of the Flow, “Horses” (Free Music Archive) Ondrosik, “Tribute to Louis Braille” (Free Music Archive) Alex Mason, “Cast Away” (Free Music Archive) Ketsa, “Multiverse” (Free Music Archive) Ketsa, “Memories Renewed” (Free Music Archive) Dana Boule, “Collective Calm” (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2020 Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane 2020

Apr 2020

15 min 46 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we take a look at one of the biggest disasters in US history, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The tremors ripped apart the city’s water system, leaving it nearly defenseless against raging fires that soon broke out. The ensuing inferno destroyed a quarter of the city and killed 3,000 people. In the aftermath, city officials tried to take advantage of the disaster by getting rid of its Chinatown neighborhood that occupied 15 blocks of prime downtown real estate. But Chinatown residents organized and against all odds, forced the city to abandon the plan. Chinatown and the rest of the city were rebuilt.   And we also take a look at some key events that occurred this week in US history, like the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and Battle of Lexington and Concord.   Feature Story: The Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 On April 18, 1906, at 5:13 am, the city of San Francisco was shaken by a tremendous earthquake.  Later estimated as measuring about 7.9 on the Richter scale, it lasted 72 seconds, heaving streets up and down, opening and closing huge chasms, and shaking buildings big and small into piles of rubble.  The city's 200,000 residents tumbled out of bed and into the streets in panicked confusion to survey the damage and find friends and family. The destruction was extensive and already dozens, perhaps hundreds had been killed.  Few knew it at the time, but this was only the beginning of a larger, rapidly unfolding disaster, for fires had broken out everywhere and the city's water mains had been ruptured. To make matters worse, the city lost its Chief Engineer of the Fire Department, Daniel T. Sullivan. He was crushed to death when a hotel collapsed onto the Fire Dept headquarters where he was sleeping. Sullivan was pulled from the wreckage, but he never recovered and died four days later. The significance of the loss of Fire Chief Sullivan was lost on no one.  With fire rapidly spreading throughout the city, the fire department desperately needed his experienced leadership.  Instead, they would have to rely upon his replacement, a man named John Dougherty. One inescapable irony regarding Sullivan's death was that he had spent much of his thirteen years as Fire Chief engaged in a futile crusade to get city officials to improve fire safety and preparedness.  Just six months earlier, the National Board of Fire Underwriters issued a scathing report on the state of affairs in San Francisco.  The refusal of City Hall to fund Chief Sullivan's requests for an improved water system and the establishment of an explosives team to blow up buildings in the path of a big fire had left the city flirting with disaster. “San Francisco has violated all underwriting traditions and precedents by not burning up,” asserted the report.  “That it has not already done so is largely due to the vigilance of the Fire Department, which cannot be relied upon to stave off the inevitable.”  Now the inevitable was upon them and the city's most knowledgeable fireman lay on his deathbed. The earthquake not only destroyed the city's water system, but also its telephone, telegraph, and fire alarm systems. Fires broke out everywhere, started by overturned lamps and coal stoves and fed by ruptured gas lines and winds off the Pacific Ocean.  That 90 percent of the city's housing was of wood frame construction only added to the disaster. Fire crews raced through the rubble strewn streets to extinguish the fires, but everywhere found the same terrifying result: “Not a drop of water was to be had from the hydrants,” the fire department report recalled.  For a while, they pumped water from tanks, pools, and even sewers, but these sources eventually went dry. Unable to fight the flames, firemen concentrated on pulling victims from collapsed buildings before the flames reached them.  Thousands of terrified people looked on in horror as the inferno grew still larger and the city shook with aftershocks. Acting Fire Chief John Dougherty soon decided to use explosives to stop the fire, using munitions from local US Army forts. If they could demolish a line of buildings, he reasoned, they might be able to contain the fire and save much of the city. And here’s where a compelling story-within-the-story emerged, one driven by anti-Chinese racism. While diverting scarce water to wealthy white sections of the city, the mayor and acting Fire Chief chose to deploy the explosives in the city’s Chinatown. Scores of buildings were destroyed, but the explosions actually accelerated the fires. Within a day, all of Chinatown had been reduced to smoldering rubble and ash. This outcome was devastating to the 15,000 Chinese and Chinese American residents of the neighborhood, but it was seen as a godsend by the city’s powerful business and political elites. We’ll soon circle back to this point, but for now, let’s return to the larger story of the disaster. At 3:00 p.m., as reports of looting mounted, Mayor Eugene Schmitz issued a “shoot to kill” proclamation, warning the populace that policemen and soldiers would show no mercy to anyone even suspected of looting. And that proved true, as dozens of people were shot or bayonetted to death, many of them innocent people trying to retrieve their own property. One Chinese American man went to his apartment to retrieve his birth certificate – a document vital to Chinese Americans fearful of deportation – and was bayonetted by a soldier. Thankfully he survived the assault. It took three days and three nights to bring the inferno under control. By then one quarter of the city had burned (498 blocks), leaving 28,000 buildings destroyed. The human toll was originally put at about 700 deaths, but this was pure fiction. It reflected a desperate attempt by city officials to diminish the disaster in the public’s mind, as a way to preserve the commercial future of the city. More extensive research in recent years has raised the death toll to 3,000, making the earthquake one of the deadliest disasters in U.S. history.  It was also one of the most expensive, costing at least $500,000,000 in 1906 dollars. Now would be a good time to pick up the story-within-the-story about the fate of Chinatown and its 15,000 residents. We know that the political and business leaders of San Francisco saw the destruction of Chinatown as a silver lining in the disaster, because they said as much. Chinatown occupied 15 blocks of prime downtown real estate and for years the city’s business and political leaders talked of evicting the residents and turning it into a business district. In 1904, two years before the earthquake, the city’s Mayor, James Phelan, had paid the famed architect Daniel Burnham – the guy who planned the Chicago World’s Fair of 1893 - to draw up a master plan for a newly redesigned San Francisco. The plans’ most striking feature? Chinatown was gone. Burnham somehow made it disappear. The city’s business community loved the idea. Here’s the headline from city’s Merchant’s Association Review, from February 1905: “San Francisco May Be Freed From The Standing Menace of Chinatown: Plans Have Been arranged, and a Corporation Formed to Turn the Chinese Quarter into a Business Section, and Build a New Oriental City on Bay Shore.” That last part was important – Chinatown would be moved to a remote edge of the city. The justification for this plan was that Chinatown was a horrid cancer on the city, a place filled with opium dens, prostitution, and illegal gambling. White Americans had long come to see Chinatowns in US cities in this light. Stories in the popular press and dime novels, and even early versions of sensational walking tours led by white guides perpetuated Chinatowns as immoral spaces where vice and sin proliferated and an alien, unassimilable culture thrived. In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, Mayor Schmitz moved quickly to put into action the plan to get rid of Chinatown. He created a Committee of powerful businessmen and political figures to oversee relief efforts and to put into action the Chinatown removal plan. And he made former mayor James Phelan, the Committee’s chairman. Phelan, you will remember, is the guy who commissioned the plans for a revamped San Francisco that called for the removal of Chinatown. But then something extraordinary happened. The residents of Chinatown, despite the long odds they faced as a despised and disenfranchised minority group, got organized and took action to stop the plan. Those who owned their building lots in Chinatown started rebuilding immediately. Community leaders hired lawyers and protested before city officials. One of them, a minister named Rev. Gee Gam, said, “Why should the Chinese be isolated any more than the people of Tar Flat? Why should they be singled out? The mayor has no power to isolate the Chinese. Chinatown should go back where it was – that would be nothing but justice.... We are objecting to the removal of Chinatown on the grounds that it is the Chinese right to remain where they own land.” Residents of Chinatown also got in touch with the government of China and soon Chinese diplomatic officials were lodging formal complaints with the federal government in Washington, the governor of California, and city officials in San Francisco. And those officials listened, because even back then China was a significant trading partner of the US. And the final and most important card the Chinatown residents played was this: they told San Francisco officials that if the city went forward with the plan to move Chinatown to the outskirts of the city, they would relocate en masse to another city like Los Angeles or Seattle and take with them their businesses. This was a significant threat as Chinese and Chinese American businesses constituted a major part of the city’s economy. And all this resistance to anti-Chinese racism? It worked. Less than a month after the earthquake, the city dropped the plan to eliminate Chinatown from downtown San Francisco. Chinatown was rebuilt, along with the rest of the city. And this new Chinatown had a distinct architectural style, one that would be replicated in other Chinatowns across the US. The merchants hired white architects who designed the district to look like what white Americans imagined China looked like – buildings festooned with brightly colored pagoda style roofs and carvings of dragons. The idea was to attract tourists and to promote a new image of Chinatown as a clean and wholesome place.  It bore no resemblance to China, but the tourists loved it. And there was one more legacy of the earthquake that affected the city’s Chinese population. The fires destroyed City Hall and virtually all vital records like birth certificates. This allowed Chinese immigrants to claim US birth and there was no way city officials could prove they were not. This new status allowed them to avoid deportation and to bring relatives from China to join them. Over time, the city of San Francisco enjoyed a full recovery from the disaster. And as the city was rebuilt, many of Chief Sullivan's ideas for greater fire safety were implemented, as were tough building codes to make structures better able to withstand the next earthquake.  That day came on October 17, 1989 when an earthquake measuring 7.1 of the Richter scale shook the city.  Damage was extensive, but a relatively small number of people, 62, died.     So what else of note happened this week in US history? April 14, 1865 - President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated in Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC by Confederate loyalist John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln lingered on the edge of death through the night and died the following morning on April 15. April 15, 1912 - The ‘unsinkable’ luxury ocean liner, "Titanic," sank at 2:27 a.m. Of the 2,224 passengers and crew aboard, more than 1,500 died in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic. April 19, 1775 – American colonists clash with British troops in the Battle of Lexington and Concord. The "the shot heard 'round the world" announced the start of the American war for independence. And what notable people were born this week in American history?   April 13, 1743 – 3rd POTUS Thomas Jefferson April 13, 1899 – Alfred Butts, the inventor of Scrabble April 13, 1919 – atheism promotor Madelyn Murray O’Hair April 14, 1840 -  art collector Isabella Stewart Gardner April 15, 1889 - labor and civil rights leader, A. Philip Randolph April 18, 1857 - attorney Clarence Darrow The Last Word Let’s give it to Clarence Darrow, who was born 163 years ago this week. He made a career out of defending people in what appeared to be hopeless cases. Here’s how he explained his motivation: “You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free.” For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) The Joy Drops, “Track 23,” Not Drunk (Free Music Archive) Sergey Cheremisinov, “Gray Drops” (Free Music Archive) Pictures of the Flow, “Horses” (Free Music Archive) Ondrosik, “Tribute to Louis Braille” (Free Music Archive) Alex Mason, “Cast Away” (Free Music Archive) Ketsa, “Multiverse” (Free Music Archive) Dana Boule, “Collective Calm” (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2020 Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane 2020

Apr 2020

15 min 3 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we take a look at the Fort Pillow Massacre that took place April 12, 1864 during the Civil War. A Confederate force led by Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest overwhelmed the fort and when the 300 African American Union soldiers tried to surrender, they slaughtered them. It was an extraordinary war crime that was motivated by racist animosity. Not surprisingly, the movement to remove Confederate statues in recent years has taken particular aim at statues honoring Nathan Bedford Forrest, who not only perpetrated the Ft. Pillow Massacre, but after the war became the leader of the Ku Klux Klan. And we also take a look at some key events that occurred this week in US history, like the US entry into World War I and the launch of Apollo 13.   Feature Story: The Fort Pillow Massacre of 1864 On April 12, 1864 Confederate soldiers overran Fort Pillow in Tennessee and massacred hundreds of African-American Union soldiers. It was one of the most egregious war crimes in American history, one for which no one was ever charged or prosecuted. Before diving into this story, it’s important to note the significance of the role played by African-Americans played in helping the Union win the Civil War. In total, about 180,000 African-Americans served in the Union Army. That’s about 1/12 of the Union army. Another 20,000 served in the Union Navy. And keep in mind, this service did not begin until mid-1863 – fully two years into the war. In other words, it came at a crucial moment in the war when the Union desperately needed more soldiers. Over the course of those two years of service, between 1863 and 1865, African-American soldiers would fight in hundreds of battles and skirmishes. And this service came at a high price, as over 1/5 of black soldiers – about 40,000 – were killed either on the field or battle or as a result of disease. In the end, African-American soldiers played a critical role in the Union’s triumph over the Confederacy. And what about black Confederates? Well, hopefully you know that’s a complete and total myth. They never existed. And if you wanna learn more about it check out In The Past Lane episode 169. Alright, on to Fort Pillow. It was an insignificant Union outpost, situated on the Mississippi River in Western Tennessee. But in the spring of 1864, it was attacked by the legendary Confederate cavalry leader, General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Before the war, Forrest had been a wealthy slave trader. He joined the Confederate Army as a private, but rose quickly through the ranks. By the spring of 1864, Forrest was a household name in both the North and South, known widely both for his strategic genius and ruthlessness. In 1864, Forrest led thousands of cavalry on a raiding mission into Western Tennessee and Kentucky. By this time, the Confederacy was in desperate need of supplies, horses, and soldiers, so his primary objective was to capture horses, food, and military supplies, and to recruit new soldiers from among the pro-Confederate populace. In addition, Forrest was to cause maximum havoc in the region by disrupting the huge Union force being assembled by General William Tecumseh Sherman near Chattanooga. Sherman’s objective was obvious – Atlanta – and it was critical to the Confederacy that he be stopped, or at least slowed down. On April 12, 1864, the third anniversary of the firing on Fort Sumter that announced the start of the Civil War – Nathan Bedford Forrest’s force of about 1,500 men set fire to a nearby camp of escaped slaves – mostly women and children – and then surrounded Fort Pillow. Inside the Fort were 600 or so Union soldiers. About half that number were African-American soldiers serving in Union artillery units. From a strictly military standpoint, these black soldiers knew they were in a very precarious position. But these men had an additional reason to be concerned, for one year ago in 1863, when the Union announced that it would recruit black soldiers to fight in the war, Confederate leaders responded by declaring that captured African-American soldiers would be executed or re-enslaved. The Confederate assault begin at 11 AM and soon thereafter the Fort Pillow Garrison was reeling. Confederate snipers killed the fort’s commanding officer, and scores more. At 2 PM, Forrest sent a message demanding the Fort’s surrender. “Should my demand be refused,” he warned ominously, “I cannot be responsible for the fate of your command.” Fort Pillow’s commander tried to buy time – hoping reinforcements would soon arrive – and asked for one hour to consider the demand. Forrest refused and gave him 20 minutes. The moment that deadline passed, Forrest’s men attacked. As they streamed into the fort, many of the outnumbered Union soldiers panicked and ran towards the river. But many other Union soldiers fought valiantly, even after the struggle seemed hopeless. But when it became obvious that they had been defeated, they surrendered. Or at least they tried to. For the attacking Confederates were not about to treat black Union soldiers according to the rules of war. As one Confederate later testified, “The sight of Negro soldiers stirred the bosoms of our soldiers with courageous madness.” This “courageous madness” led them to slaughter wounded and surrendering black soldiers, and to chase down and kill those trying to escape. As one Confederate officer remembered: “The slaughter was awful… Words cannot describe the scene. The poor deluded Negroes would run up to our men[,] fall upon their knees and with uplifted hands scream for mercy. But they were ordered to their feet and then shot down.” Nathan Bedford Forrest and other Confederates would deny claims that they had massacred soldiers that day. But there is abundant historical evidence – including testimony by Confederate eyewitnesses – that a massacre had indeed taken place that day. Just consider these statistics. Half the Fort Pillow Garrison, about 300 men, had been killed. That’s an extraordinary toll, especially when compared to other Civil War battles. Typically, the ratio of killed to wounded was 1:2. That is, for every soldier killed they were two wounded. But at Fort Pillow, the ratio was the reverse – for every wounded soldier, two had been killed. Only a massacre could explain such numbers. The fact that it was a racially motivated massacre is made clear when one considers the statistics concerning those taken prisoner. Some 70% of white Union soldiers were taken prisoner compared to only 35% of black soldiers. The rest – 2/3 of all black soldiers – were killed. And it should be noted that while Fort Pillow was without question the worst instance of Confederates massacring black Union soldiers, it was by no means the only one. Little wonder then, for the duration of the Civil War the Union’s African American soldiers often cried, “Remember Fort Pillow!” when attacking Confederate positions. They did so to honor the dead and to inspire the living on to final victory. One of the reasons why this story is worth remembering is that Nathan Bedford Forrest enjoys an exalted place in Confederate history and memory, and as a consequence, there are many schools, streets, and public parks named in his honor, not to mention scores of statues. Thus, debates over the removal of Confederate monuments in recent years have often involved statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest. Defenders say the statues are a tribute to his brilliance as a cavalry commander and a general pride in southern heritage. Critics point out Forrest’s role in the Fort Pillow massacre, and one more thing – after the Civil War he joined the Ku Klux Klan and became its first Grand Wizard. You will recall that in last week’s episode we noted the major role of violent terrorist organizations like the KKK played in stripping recently freed African Americans of their civil and political rights. So, statues of Nathan Bedford Forrest represent many things, but first and foremost they represent white supremacy and the violence used to achieve it.  So what else of note happened this week in US history? April 6, 1917 - After 2.5 years of remaining officially neutral and on the sidelines of WW1, the US declared war on Germany. President Woodrow Wilson had called for neutrality in the hope that after the war the US could play the role of impartial arbiter to help negotiate a lasting peace settlement. But when it became apparent that the Allies – principally France and England – might lose the war, AND German submarines resumed sinking US ships, Wilson changed his mind. The US must enter the war, the told the American people, “to make the world safe for democracy.” April 9, 1865 - The Confederacy’s most renowned commander, General Robert E. Lee, surrendered his army to the Union’s Gen Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse in VA. Even though the war did not officially end for a few more months, this surrender effectively ended the Civil War, a 4-year conflict that claimed the lives of some 750,000 soldiers and sailors, and brought about the end of slavery. Every now and again someone proposes that April 9 be made a national holiday to celebrate the defeat of the Confederacy and preservation of the Union. And this historian thinks that’s might be a good idea. April 11, 1970 - Apollo 13 blasted off on its mission to the moon. A mechanical malfunction nearly doomed the astronauts, but a little luck and a lot of ingenious improvising on the part of the crew and NASA officials brought them home safely. And what notable people were born this week in American history?   April 6, 1866 – investigative journalist and author of Shame of the Cities, Lincoln Steffens April 7, 1915 – legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday April 7, 1912 - pioneering gay rights activist Harry Hay April 10, 1847 - newspaper magnate Joseph Pulitzer April 12, 1777 - one of the most influential politicians in the antebellum period, Henry Clay of KY The Last Word Let’s give it to Woodrow Wilson, who 103 years ago, asked the US Congress for a declaration of war against Germany. Here’s the key excerpt: “The world must be made safe for democracy. Its peace must be planted upon the tested foundations of political liberty. We have no selfish ends to serve. We desire no conquest, no dominion. We seek no indemnities for ourselves, no material compensation for the sacrifices we shall freely make. We are but one of the champions of the rights of mankind. We shall be satisfied when those rights have been made as secure as the faith and the freedom of nations can make them.” For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) The Joy Drops, “Track 23,” Not Drunk (Free Music Archive) Sergey Cheremisinov, “Gray Drops” (Free Music Archive) Pictures of the Flow, “Horses” (Free Music Archive) Ondrosik, “Tribute to Louis Braille” (Free Music Archive) Alex Mason, “Cast Away” (Free Music Archive) Dana Boule, “Collective Calm” (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2020 Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane 2020

Apr 2020

12 min 58 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we take a look at Reconstruction, specifically the ratification of the 15th Amendment which took place 150 years ago this week. It was the third of three amendments added to the Constitution after the Civil War and it was specifically intended to protect African American voting rights. In these early years of Reconstruction, formerly enslaved people registered to vote, voted, and won election to office, including Congress. But just a few years after the 15th Amendment was ratified, southern whites, with the acquiescence of white northerners, dismantled the accomplishments of Reconstruction, including black political power, and re-imposed white supremacy. And we also take a look at some key events that occurred this week in US history, like the onset of the1918-1919 Spanish Flu Pandemic and Martin Luther King’s 1967 speech against the Vietnam.   Feature Story: The Ratification of the 15th Amendment On March 30, 1870 - 150 years ago this week - the US Secretary of State, Hamilton Fish, certified that the required 3/4 of the states had ratified the 15th amendment to the Constitution and it was now in effect. This was the third of three amendments added to the Constitution in the wake of the Civil War. The 13th amendment abolished slavery. The 14th amendment defined US citizenship, established voting rights for African-Americans, and established the principle of equality before the law. The 15th amendment was intended to strengthen the right of African-Americans to vote. It read: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” For African Americans and their white Republican allies, the 15th amendment was hailed as a key achievement in reshaping the US political system into a multiracial democracy. As President Ulysses S. Grant put it, the 15th amendment “completes the greatest civil change and constitutes the most important event that has occurred since the nation came to life.” Grant and his fellow Republicans were right in celebrating the revolutionary nature of the amendment, but some of them expressed an unfounded and naïve optimism about its ability to empower African Americans. They claimed that with the 14th and 15th Amendments in place, black Americans no longer needed federal protection from vengeful white southerners who bitterly resented the end of slavery and black freedom and equality. Rep. James Garfield of Ohio, the Speaker of the House and future president, said the 15th Amendment “confers upon the African race the care of its own destiny. It places their fortunes in their own hands.” The message was clear: African Americans now had everything they needed to succeed. And if they failed to secure their place in American life then it was their own fault. Well, let’s hold that thought for a moment. We’ll return to it shortly. For now, let’s consider what had already happened in the years leading up to the ratification of the 15th amendment. First, African Americans had already gained the right to vote in 1867 under a Civil Rights Act passed by Congress. And this right was then made permanent in 1868 under the 14th Amendment. Immediately, formerly enslaved people seized this new freedom. Some 700,000 African-Americans registered to vote, nearly all of them as members of the Republican party - the party of Lincoln, emancipation, and now civil rights. And the results were remarkable: More than six hundred formerly enslaved men won seats in state legislatures and to other state and local offices. Still hundreds more served in all manner of posts, from register of deeds to justice of the peace. Some even went to Congress. Between 1869 and 1901 twenty-two African Americans would serve in the U.S. Congress (twenty in the House, and two in the Senate). Let’s note just one example. On December 12, 1870, Joseph Rainey, a man born into slavery in South Carolina in 1832, was sworn in as a member of the US House of Representatives. A man who just a few years earlier was considered property and possessing no rights, was now a citizen and member of Congress. Historical change doesn’t get more revolutionary than that.  That’s why I always refer to the first half of Reconstruction, roughly 1865 to 1872, as the Reconstruction Revolution. The impact of this revolution in the South in the early years of Reconstruction was profound. Under Republican rule, southern states enacted progressive legislation designed to improve the lives of average citizens. Most states, for example, significantly expanded public education which had been woefully underfunded in the past. Many also passed laws protecting the civil rights of citizens and launched public works projects such as road building to boost economic growth. They also changed state tax codes lesson taxes on the poor and middle classes an increase them on the wealthy. Not surprisingly, white southern resistance to these changes was intense, as were efforts to undermine and thwart black political power. The most vivid form of this resistance were vigilante groups like the Ku Klux Klan that used violence and murder to oppress African Americans and their allies. This was the context in which the 15th Amendment was passed and ratified in 1870. It was a recognition by Congress that African American voting rights faced intense opposition. And Congress did something else in 1870 to protect black civil rights: it passed the first of several so-called Force Acts that compelled the federal government to use its power and authority to defeat groups like the KKK. And it worked. Within two years, the federal government succeeded crushing these violent groups throughout the South.   And so, as I always say at this point when talking about Reconstruction, if we stop the clock at this point – say, roughly 1872 - the Reconstruction Revolution had achieved remarkable results. It had won for African-Americans citizenship and full civil rights, including the right to vote. It had seen hundreds of thousands of African Americans vote for the first time and many of them win election to public office. It had seen them join with white allies in the South to form an extraordinary and unprecedented experiment in interracial democracy. It had seen that interracial coalition pass laws and adopt policies in Southern states designed to protect civil rights and expand opportunities for average citizens. But this exercise in "stopping the clock" is just that – an exercise that allows us to take stock of a historical situation. Because history doesn't stop. In marches on. And march on it did during Reconstruction. And it was in the years after 1872 that saw many of the accomplishments of Reconstruction dismantled by a process one might call the Reconstruction Counter-Revolution. Here’s what happened in a nutshell: The single most important thing that allowed the Reconstruction Revolution to occur was the use of federal authority to protect civil rights. So long as the federal government remained committed to upholding civil rights and democracy in the South, the achievements of Reconstruction would endure and grow. What happened, however, is that this commitment on the part of political officials in the north began to waver and eventually disappear altogether after 1872. It did so for several reasons. First, the Grant administration became ensnared in a series of scandals involving high ranking officials, including members of Congress and cabinet officials. Second, the Panic of 1873 touched off five years of the most severe economic depression in US history to that time. Third, many conservatives began to argue that the federal government had done enough for the freedmen and that it was time to remove the US military from the South and leave African Americans to chart their own destiny. Now would be a good time to recall that quote by James A Garfield, who said of the 15th Amendment that it, “confers upon the African race the care of its own destiny. It places their fortunes in their own hands.” The combination of these three factors created a climate in which it became very difficult for Northern politicians to justify a continued federal commitment to protecting the rights of African Americans in the South. As a result, after 1872 organized white resistance to Republican rule – both legal and illegal --  began to rise. This resistance, much of it involving violence by vigilante groups, had two goals: 1. to strip away the freedmen’s hard-won economic, social, and legal rights and 2. to prevent them from voting and holding office. This violence reached full development in Mississippi in 1875 when armed groups of whites allied with the Democratic Party waged a carefully organized campaign of terrorism that came to be known as the Mississippi Plan. Through threats, beatings, and killings, they delivered an unambiguous message: blacks and their white allies who dared vote Republican risked their lives and livelihoods. Alarmed, Mississippi governor Adelbert Ames asked the Grant administration to send troops to keep the peace and protect the polls. His request was rejected. Not surprisingly, more than sixty thousand Mississippi voters—nearly all black and Republican—stayed away from the polls on election day. When fifteen hundred African Americans gathered to vote in Aberdeen, Mississippi, they were informed by the mob that “if they did not leave town within five minutes … the last man would be shot dead.” Democrats swept to victory in Mississippi and took control of the state legislature for the first time since the Civil War. Immediately they threatened Governor Ames with impeachment and forced him to resign. The success of the Mississippi Plan in intimidating black voters and demolishing the base of the Republican Party inspired other Southern states to employ their own version of it. And the political terrorism worked. One by one the remaining Republican state governments fell to a new class of political leaders known as Redeemers. As the name suggests they cast themselves in almost biblical terms as saviors of Southern society. Saviors from black and Republican rule. As one African American Republican named George Arnold put it, “It seems to me that we are drifting, drifting back under the leadership of the slaveholders. Our former masters are fast taking the reins of government.” We can see the success of this counter-revolution in the career of the aforementioned Joseph Rainey, the former slave turned congressman. Rainey served four terms in Congress and played an important role in the debates over Reconstruction. In 1876, however, as the Mississippi Plan and the Redeemer movement gained momentum, Rainey barely won reelection against his white Democratic opponent. Two years later, that same Democratic challenger defeated Rainey, ending his political career. The Counter-revolution was completed in the 1880s and 1890s as southern state governments devised clever ways to undermine the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. They imposed segregation and the US Supreme Court allowed it. They also imposed all manner of things to deprive black citizens of the right to vote, things like the poll tax and literacy tests. By 1900, African American voting in the South had been nearly eliminated. And that would remain the case until the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. And here’s a key takeaway from this story: laws, even constitutional amendments, are only valuable insofar as they are enforced. Laws and amendments that are not enforced are not worth the paper they are printed on. Sadly, we see evidence of this fact in 2020, as many states in recent years have enacted laws and policies intended to diminish the ability of people – especially people of color – to vote. The 15th Amendment and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 say this is illegal. But it’s all about enforcement. That’s something to ponder on this, the 150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment. So what else of note happened in US history this week? March 31, 1776 Abigail Adams wrote her now famous letter to her husband John Adams, urging him and the members of the Continental Congress to “remember the ladies” in the making of laws for a nation that seemed on the verge of declaring its independence from England. Women, she wrote, in so many words, deserved liberty too. April 4, 1967 - The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr delivered his “a time to break silence” speech against the Vietnam war at Riverside Church in New York City. “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” King was vilified by many for this speech, including President Lyndon Johnson. Exactly one year later, on April 4, 1968 King was assassinated in Memphis, TN. April 5, 1918 - The first report was published that noted the rapid spread of a deadly strain of influenza in Haskell, Kansas. It was the first indication in the US of what would come to be known as the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1919, one that killed 700,000 Americans and worldwide between 50 and 100 million people. And if you want to know more about this story, check out ITPL Episode 105.  And how about birthdays of some notable people? March 31, 1927 labor leader Cesar Chavez March 31, 1875 heavy weight boxing champion Jack Johnson April 2, 1875 automobile magnate Walter P. Chrysler April 4, 1802 pioneering advocate for humane treatment of the mentally ill, Dorothea Dix Last word Let’s give it to Abigail Adams, who 244 years ago this week, wrote to her husband John Adams urging him to push for greater rights for women in the soon-to-be independent United States of America. “I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) The Joy Drops, “Track 23,” Not Drunk (Free Music Archive) Sergey Cheremisinov, “Gray Drops” (Free Music Archive) Pictures of the Flow, “Horses” (Free Music Archive) Ondrosik, “Tribute to Louis Braille” (Free Music Archive) Alex Mason, “Cast Away” (Free Music Archive) Dana Boule, “Collective Calm” (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2020 Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane 2020 © In The Past Lane 2020

Mar 2020

16 min 39 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we take a look at one of the signal events in late-19th century America, the opulent Vanderbilt Ball of 1883 that announced the dawning of the Gilded Age. One thousand of the richest people in America attended the costume ball that celebrated the opening of the Vanderbilt’s new mansion on Fifth Avenue. It was a conspicuous display of wealth and power never seen before in the US and it marked a sharp departure from traditional republican values of egalitarianism and restraint in favor of conspicuous consumption and pretensions to aristocracy.    And we also take a look at some key events that occurred this week in US history, like the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire and the 1915 quarantining of Mary Mallon, aka Typhoid. And birthdays, including March 24, 1834 – explorer John Wesley Powell March 24, 1919 – poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti   March 25, 1934 – feminist activist Gloria Steinem Feature Story: The Vanderbilt Ball Ushers in The Gilded Age On March 26, 1883 – 137 years ago this week – Mrs. William K. Vanderbilt hosted a gala ball at her mansion on 5th Avenue in New York City. There had been opulent balls and parties in NYC in the past, but nothing compared to this one. The event was held to celebrate the completion of the Vanderbilt’s new mansion, which in truth was more of a palace in the style of Louis XIV than a mere mansion. And then there was the price tag for the ball - $250,000 – or $6 million in today’s money. The Vanderbilt Ball of 1883 announced a new era in the US, one we now call the Gilded Age. And with this new era came new norms and values, ones that we are now quite familiar with in the 21st century. So who was Mrs. Vanderbilt and what was she up to? Mrs. Vanderbilt was born Alva Erskine Smith in Alabama. She married William K. Vanderbilt, grandson of THE Vanderbilt, that is, the great railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt. Like his grandfather, he was one of the wealthiest men in America. Alva Vanderbilt had it all. Well, not quite. People like the Vanderbilts had one problem. They had boatloads of money, but no elite heritage like the old money families like the Astors and Roosevelts. So one of Mrs. Vanderbilt’s motivations behind her grand ball was to gain entry into elite society. The problem was that elite, old money New Yorkers shunned the nouveau rich like the Vanderbilts. So Mrs. Vanderbilt worked up a plan. New York’s high society was dominated by Mrs. Caroline Schermerhorn Astor, the queen of the old money set. She had taken it upon herself to determine who was “in” and who was “out” in terms of society. Her confidant and consultant in this matter was a guy named Ward McAllister who claimed that the TRUE elite in New York only numbered “Four Hundred.” Mrs. Astor was especially determined to prevent the Vanderbilt’s from entering this inner circle. But then a crisis emerged. Carrie Astor—Mrs. Astor’s daughter – did not receive an invitation to the Vanderbilt Ball, while all her elite friends did. Alarmed over the implications of this snub, Mrs. Astor made some discreet inquiries. It turned out that Mrs. Vanderbilt’s response was that since Mrs. Astor had never formally called upon her, they were not formal acquaintances and thus it would be improper to invite her daughter to the ball. It was a brilliant move, for Mrs. Astor, seeing no alternative, swallowed her pride and called upon Mrs. Vanderbilt. The next day, Carrie Astor’s invitation to the ball arrived. The Vanderbilt’s were IN! Mrs. Vanderbilt’s big bash was a costume ball. She invited 1,000 of New York’s wealthiest citizens to attend and they responded with ingenuity and enthusiasm, spending lavishly on their costumes.  Some came dressed as animals and others as figures from history or literature, but the most popular theme was to dress as European royalty—Louis the XIV, Marie Antoinette, and many more. Now building palaces and dressing up as European royalty signaled a major shift in American political culture. Ever since the American Revolution, American political culture focused obsessively on the need to adhere to republican values and to shun anything that suggested monarchy and aristocracy. These republican values stressed egalitarianism, which explains why Americans in the early 19th century stopped bowing to each other and instead adopted the handshake. Americans also shunned ostentatious displays of wealth and status, valuing instead republican modesty and restraint. For example, the richest people in NYC in the 1830s lived in a nice neighborhood called Gramercy Park. If you walked around it today, you’d be struck by the modest style of the homes of the rich that still stand there. And republican values also permeated American politics where one of the worst things one could say about their adversary is that they harbored aspirations to be a king or an aristocrat, rather than a man of the people. So, clearly something had changed by the 1880s. America’s super rich families tossed aside ideas like restraint and modesty and went all in on aping their European counterparts, working self-consciously to transform themselves into a new American aristocracy. The modest homes of the 1830s rich just a few miles downtown in Gramercy Park looked like tool sheds compared to the palatial mansions being built on Fifth Avenue, a place now nicknamed Millionaires Mile. And it was happening in every major American city, where rows of monumental homes were rising in places like Nob Hill in San Francisco, Lake Shore Drive in Chicago, and the Main Line in Philadelphia. When the Ball took place on March 26, 1883, yet another indication that a new era had dawned became obvious as thousands of everyday New Yorkers gathered on the sidewalks to watch the spectacle. The rich had become celebrities for – being rich. Mrs. Vanderbilt had skillfully cultivated media coverage, providing interviews and inviting reporters in to see the preparations for the big night. And they lapped it up. By the early 1880s the major newspapers had added what they called Society pages that chronicled in breathless detail the European tours of the Belmonts, Astors, and Lodges, the impending weddings of Morgans to the Satterlees and the Vanderbilts to the Whitneys. The scandals of high society—the usual things like affairs, divorces, bankruptcies, and suicides—also received intense media coverage. Basically, you can draw a straight line from this moment in US history right to the Kardashians. Dancing began at 11:00 pm. Dinner—catered by the famous Delmonico’s restaurant—was served at 2am. The event finally concluded as the sun was rising. Some of the press coverage the next day was a little scornful about the excess, but most offered giddy descriptions of the guests and the festivities. Mrs. Vanderbilt had vaulted to the upper echelon of New York society. As the kids say these days, Mrs. Vanderbilt had crushed it. The success of the Vanderbilt Ball inspired other elite families to engage in a competition to see who could outdo everyone in terms of extravagant spending on galas, balls, soirees, parties, and weddings. They also built even bigger mansions in summer resort areas like Newport, RI. It probably won’t surprise to you to learn that it was in this era that the term “conspicuous consumption” was coined by a sociologist named Thorstein Veblen. “Conspicuous consumption of valuable goods,” he wrote, “is a means of reputability to the gentleman of leisure.” And by the way, keep an eye out for a new television series coming to HBO this Fall. It’s called The Gilded Age and it’s the creation of Julien Fellowes, the guy who created Downton Abbey. It’s essentially a DA of an earlier era and set in New York rather than the UK. My bet is it’s going to be a huge hit and you better believe it will feature many of the themes discussed in this piece. I for one, can’t wait. In fact, I’m probably going to start a Gilded Age fan podcast. But more on that later. For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) The Joy Drops, “Track 23,” Not Drunk (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2020 Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane 2020

Mar 2020

15 min 49 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we take a look at a curious but revealing scandal that emerged in New York City on St. Patrick’s Day n 1888. The mayor refused to attend the St. Patrick’s Day parade and to fly the flag of Ireland over City Hall and paid a heavy political price.   And we also take a look at some key events that occurred this week in US history, like the 1968 My Lai massacre in Vietnam, and Amelia Earhart’s final flight. And birthdays, including March 16, 1751 - 4th POTUS James Madison March 18, 1837 - the 22nd and 24th POTUS Grover Cleveland March 17, 1777 - SCOTUS justice Roger B. Taney Feature Story: The St. Patrick’s Day Scandal of 1888 On March 17, 1888 – 132 years ago this week - the mayor of New York City made a huge mistake. It was St. Patrick’s Day and yet, Mayor Abram Hewitt made good on his recent pledge to not review the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and not to fly the Irish flag over City Hall. The Mayor framed his decision as a stand for pure, enlightened political leadership that was above pandering to what he considered petty, special interests. But the city’s enormous Irish population did not see it that way and Hewitt would soon learn a painful lesson in late-nineteenth century urban politics.  Abram Hewitt was a wealthy industrialist and former congressman who had won election as mayor of New York in 1886.  Although a member of the elite, “silk stocking” set, he ran as the candidate of Tammany Hall, the legendary political organization that drew its power from the city’s immigrant masses - especially the Irish.  Tammany officials had selected him out of panic, because the election of 1886 had featured a stunning challenge by an upstart Labor Party that had selected as its candidate the reformer Henry George, a man immensely popular with the city’s laboring masses. Just as Tammany had hoped, Hewitt’s respectable image helped him garner just enough votes to narrowly defeat George. Although elected on the Tammany Hall ticket and to a large degree by the Irish vote, Hewitt was a blueblood who abhorred the idea of ethnic politics.  Unfortunately for him, he lacked the political good sense to keep this disdain to himself.  So when a delegation of representatives of Irish organizations came calling on March 6, he did little to conceal his contempt.  The delegation had come in response to rumors that Hewitt would not review the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “The majority of Irishmen vote the Democratic ticket,” they reminded him, “and your vote came largely from Irishmen, a considerable portion of whom belong to the societies who will parade on St. Patrick’s Day.”             Hewitt was clearly irked by their suggestion that he owed the Irish an appearance at the parade.  He snapped back, “Now let us understand each other.  I am mayor of this city.  You ask me to leave my duties and review your parade –” At that moment he was interrupted by one of the delegation. “But Mr. Mayor, St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday.” “It is not a legal holiday,” continued the mayor testily. “You ask me to leave my duties and review your parade, and you speak of the vote cast by the Irish in your societies for the Democratic candidates.  I may be a candidate for mayor or for President next fall and may want all the votes I can get … But for the purpose of getting this [Irish] vote, I will not come down to the level of reviewing any parade because of the nationality represented.  I will review no parades, whether Irish, German, or Italian as a Democrat.  I will review parades only as mayor of the whole city and irrespective of party considerations.”  The delegation of Irishmen left the meeting angry and empty handed.  When word of the mayor’s refusal to review the parade hit the papers, the city’s huge Irish population reacted angrily.  The tradition of having the mayor review the St. Patrick’s Day parade had begun nearly four decades earlier and since that time no mayor had ever refused the honor. Several critics pointed out that Hewitt actually had reviewed an ethnic parade a year earlier, when Italian societies marched in commemoration of Garibaldi’s defense of Rome.  To the city’s Irish, the mayor’s decision was an insult that reflected elite New York’s low opinion of them. The mayor’s blunt refusal to review the parade immediately called into question a second longstanding tradition in Manhattan: the flying of the Irish flag over City Hall on March 17.  In anticipation of a fight, an Irish American Alderman named Patrick Divver authored a resolution calling for the Irish flag to be flown over City Hall on March 17 and it passed unanimously.  A second resolution, clearly intended to force the mayor’s hand, was also passed, calling for the American flag to be flown at half-staff on March 16 in honor of the Kaiser William I of Germany who had just died. Hewitt tried his best to navigate the political minefield before him, aware of the importance of both the Irish and German vote.  He ordered the American flag flown at half-staff on March 16 as an expression of sympathy for the Kaiser and the following day ordered it raised to full staff in honor of Ireland.  But no Irish flag was raised.  Mentions of Hewitt’s name at the parade that day drew catcalls and hisses from the crowd. That evening, Hewitt tried to mend fences with the Irish by attending the annual dinner of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick.  And he delivered a short address in which he said, “The day will come when you will see the flag of Ireland floating where it ought to float, over a free nation in a free Ireland.”         It was a nice gesture in support of Irish nationhood, but it did little to appease the city’s Irish population. And besides, Hewitt returned to his original form a few days later when the Board of Aldermen passed a law granting them the power to decide what flag would fly over City Hall on any given day. Hewitt vetoed the bill and issued a scathing rebuke to the Irishmen on the Board who were behind it. He noted that while the Irish-born made up 16.4 percent of the city’s population, they constituted an unnaturally high 27 percent of the Board of Aldermen and 28 percent of the police department.  Even worse, continued the mayor, the Irish contributed an even greater percentage to the city’s prison and asylum populations. Apparently, Ireland hadn’t sent its best. “The facts above stated when properly considered,” concluded the mayor, “should impose a modest restraint [on the Irish] in claiming new privileges.” The Board promptly passed the measure over Hewitt’s veto.  Well, mayors in those days served only two-year terms, so Hewitt faced re-election that fall.  Tammany Hall, recognizing that Hewitt threatened to erode their Irish voter base, withdrew its support from him and nominated an Irish-born candidate named Hugh J. Grant. Hewitt nonetheless managed to secure the nomination of several Democratic and independent political organizations. The Irish turned out in droves on election day and sent Hewitt to a third-place finish behind Grant and the Republican candidate. The St. Patrick’s Day affair of 1888 established an absolute rule for New York City politics: politicians who insulted the city’s largest ethnic groups did so at their peril. The dominant ethnic and racial groups have changed in the years since 1888 to include Jews, Italians, Puerto Ricans, Asians, and African Americans, but the rule remains the same.  And here’s a fun fact: While NYC’s St Patrick’s Day parade is huge and gets a lot of attention, it’s no longer the city’s largest ethnic parade. That honor goes to the annual West Indian Day parade that honors people from places like Jamaica, Grenada, and Trinidad. And you better believe the mayor never misses it. Sources: William V. Shannon, The American Irish: A Political and Social Portrait (1964), pp. 75-76; Allan Nevins, Abram S. Hewitt: With Some Account of Peter Cooper (1935), pp. 465-7 For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) The Joy Drops, “Track 23,” Not Drunk (Free Music Archive) Ketsa, “I will Be There” (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2020 Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane 2020

Mar 2020

14 min 30 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we take a look at one of the most perilous moments during the American Revolution: The Newburgh Conspiracy of 1783 that threatened to plunge the new republic into civil war. That is until George Washington intervened and defused the would-be revolt among officers of the Continental Army.   And we also take a look at some key events that occurred this week in US history, like the 1862 battle between the ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia and FDR’s first fireside chat in 1933. And birthdays, including March 10, 1867 - progressive reformer and nurse Lillian Wald March 12, 1922 novelist and poet, Jack Kerouac March 15, 1767 - the seventh President of the United States, Andrew Jackson Feature Story: George Washington Defuses the Newburgh Conspiracy On March 15, 1783 – 237 years ago this week - Gen. George Washington arrived at Newburgh, NY, which was the winter quarters of Continental Army. A peace treaty with England had yet to be signed, but combat between American and British forces had ended sixteen months earlier in October 1781 with the British surrender at Yorktown. But the mood among the men and officers was decidedly not celebratory. They were angry at Congress for not paying them and for providing poor provisions. They felt disrespected and ignored by the national government. But Washington had not come to Newburgh to cheer them up. He had come to thwart a scheme that threatened to destroy the young republic that had just earned its independence.  One of the key figures in that scheme – what came to be called the Newburgh Conspiracy - was Major John Armstrong, aide de camp to Washington’s chief rival, Horatio Gates. Five days earlier, Armstrong had issued an inflammatory address in which he said the time for politely pleading with Congress to fulfill its obligations to the army had come to an end. The officers of the army, said Armstrong, should issue an ultimatum. If Congress did not act, the army would either disband, leaving the nation vulnerable to renewed British attack, or it would refuse to disband once a peace treaty had been signed. This latter option was a thinly veiled threat of a military coup. When Washington learned of Armstrong’s address and talk of mutiny among the officer corps, he sent a message urging the men to keep their cool and not do anything rash. He sympathized with the men and understood their anger, but he also feared that any unauthorized action could lead to civil war and the end of the American republic. Washington, like most of the Founders, knew that many revolutions in history were followed by a civil war, as the factions that had united against a common foe turned on each other. To defuse this perilous situation, Washington called a meeting of the officers at Newburgh for March 15 to discuss the matter, implying that he would not be in attendance. One can only imagine their surprise when, as their meeting was getting under way, in strode General Washington. The atmosphere was tense. A hush fell over the room and Washington began to speak, urging the men to resist the call to mutiny. For if they did act illegally, they would squander all the good will they had accumulated during the war: “Let me entreat you, gentlemen, on your part, not to take any measures, which viewed in the calm light of reason, will lessen the dignity, and sully the glory you have hitherto maintained; let me request you to rely on the plighted faith of your country, and place a full confidence in the purity of the intentions of Congress.… By thus determining — & thus acting, you will pursue the plain & direct road to the attainment of your wishes. You will defeat the insidious designs of our enemies, who are compelled to resort from open force to secret artifice. You will give one more distinguished proof of unexampled patriotism & patient virtue, rising superior to the pressure of the most complicated sufferings…” When he finished, Washington reached into his pocket and pulled out a letter. But as he scanned the text, he fumbled for his reading glasses, saying to the officers, “Gentlemen, you must pardon me. I have grown old in the service of my country and now find that I am growing blind.” With that offhand reference to his personal sacrifice on behalf of the American cause, many in the room began to cry and the anger subsided. Washington had snuffed out the Newburgh Conspiracy. Three days later, Washington wrote to Congress to assure them that the crisis was over. Who exactly was behind the Newburgh Conspiracy and how serious was the talk of mutiny and insurrection, remains a mystery. But the crisis was significant for several reasons. One, it revealed how weak and ineffective the national government was under the Articles of Confederation, and therefore it played a role in spurring on the movement for what became the Constitutional Convention four years later. Second, the crisis provided one of several moments in this period where the leadership of George Washington proved critical. As one biographer put it, Washington was the “indispensable man” who at every critical moment in the nation’s founding, provided the steady hand, dignified demeanor, and selfless leadership that helped maintain unity and dedication to the common cause. For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) The Joy Drops, “Track 23,” Not Drunk (Free Music Archive) Borrtex, “Perception” (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2020 Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane 2020

Mar 2020

11 min 53 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we take a look at the Boston Massacre on its 250th anniversary. In particular, we learn about the stories of two of the five men killed in that famous clash, and why we know their names today.   And we also take a look at some key events that occurred this week in US history, like the 1807 law that ended the US participation in the African slave trade, the controversial election of 1876, and the Bloody Sunday clash that occurred in Selma, Alabama 55 years ago. And birthdays, including March 2, 1904 Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss March 3, 1847 inventor Alexander Graham Bell March 4, 1888 football legend Knute Rockne Feature Story: The Boston Massacre at 250 On March 5, 1770 – 250 years ago this week - British troops stationed in Boston found themselves face to face with a jeering crowd of men. The soldiers had been sent to rescue one of their number who had been cornered by the crowd near the Customs House. Bostonians hurled epithets, as well as snow and ice, at the soldiers, but there was little about the incident to suggest that blood would soon flow.  That changed when one of the soldiers fired his musket – likely by mistake.  Immediately his fellow soldiers, thinking an order to fire had been given, opened fire on the crowd, killing five and wounding six more. The Boston Massacre, as the incident became known, did not come out of nowhere. Tensions had been rising steadily in colonial cities like Boston at least as far back as 1765, the year the British government imposed the Stamp Act to compel the colonies to pay some of the costs of their defense by the British military during the recently concluded French and Indian War. The colonists, having grown accustomed to little British interference in their affairs for most of the eighteenth century, protested the act and the many more that followed. Although the Stamp Act was repealed in 1766, Parliament followed it with the Townsend Acts of 1768 which also imposed taxes and fees.  This act likewise touched off protests and acts of vandalism in Boston. It also led to a boycott of British goods that was organized by the Sons of Liberty. In response to these disturbances, the British government sent 2,000 troops to Boston to maintain order.  For a city of just 16,000 residents, 2,000 soldiers represented a major show of force and intimidation by Parliament. Not surprisingly, Bostonians treated the soldiers with scorn from the very start. Minor altercations on the streets between citizens – usually young tradesmen and dock workers – and soldiers occurred frequently. By early 1770, tensions were running high. In early March several brawls broke out between workers and soldiers, fueling rumors of an impending crackdown by the soldiers on Sons of Liberty activity and a plan to cut down the Liberty Tree in South Boston. This was the essential background to what led to the events of March 5, 1770. The “Boston Massacre,” as the more zealous patriots termed this clash, enraged colonists from New Hampshire to Georgia. This fury was stoked by skilled propagandists who quickly wrote and distributed a pamphlet titled, “A Short Narrative of the Horrid Massacre.” As the title indicates, they framed the incident not as one marked by confusion and miscommunication, but rather one where the British soldiers acted with malice and intentionally murdered the five victims. Paul Revere then added the final touch – an engraving that purported to show what happened on the night of March 5, 1770. It shows a crowd of well-dressed and well-behaved Bostonians on the left being shot – as if by firing squad – by a tightly organized line of British soldiers on the right. Both the pamphlet and image circulated widely throughout the thirteen colonies. In Boston, officials moved quickly to prosecute the soldiers.  The commander of the British soldiers, Captain Thomas Preston, and eight of his men were arrested and charged with murder. Samuel Adams, a leading figure in the Sons of Liberty movement, led the prosecution.  His cousin John Adams defended the soldiers – not because he sympathized with British rule, but rather because he believed the defendants deserved a fair trial. Despite raging public hostility toward the defendants, John Adams succeeded in demonstrating that all the conflicting eye-witness testimony meant that the defendants could not be found guilty. Preston and six soldiers were declared not guilty, while two others were convicted of manslaughter but were soon released.  And soon, despite all the fury and angry talk against “British oppression,” the city of Boston returned to calm, as did the rest of colonial America. The five victims were buried in the Granery cemetery and then kind of forgotten. And here’s where things got interesting. Many decades later – long after the American Revolution - two of the men became famous. Alright, one of them became famous and the other somewhat better known. Let’s start with the case of the better known man, Crispus Attucks. Surely you’ve heard of him. He’s the African American man who was the first to die the night of the Boston Massacre. Little is known about Attucks’ life, except that he likely was a slave who had either earned his freedom or simply run off from his owner. In any case, he was living as a free man in Boston when things between locals and British soldiers got sticky. We know his name today because his story highlighted the contradiction at the heart of the American founding: a nation that professed to be dedicated to liberty was also the world’s largest slaveholding society.  How ironic, many a historian and commentator has noted, that the first blood shed in the cause of liberty was that of a man born into slavery and whose enslaved brothers and sisters represented fully 20% of the American population. But here’s the thing: this observation about the significance of Crispus Attuck’s death did not emerge until the 1840s and 1850s – 70 to 80 years later – when African American abolitionists began to celebrate Attucks as an original American patriot as a way to bolster their demand for an end to slavery and the inclusion of blacks as full citizens of the republic. And from that point forward, through the Civil War and Reconstruction, the return of white supremacy under Jim Crow, and then into the 20th century, the legend of Crispus Attucks continued to grow, as African Americans pushed for civil rights and full membership in American life. If you want the full story about the life and legend of Crispus Attucks, check out ITPL Episode 079 where I speak with historian Mitch Kachun about his book on the topic. The less-well known victim of the Boston Massacre was Patrick Carr. He was born in Ireland and later emigrated to the colonies where he took up the trade of leather work. The reason we know about Patrick Carr is that he was Irish. His name and story remained forgotten until the late-19th century when Irish Americans began digging into the historical record looking for colonial and Revolutionary heroes. Irish immigrants, of course, did not face anything like the oppression experienced by African Americans. Nonetheless, when they began to arrive in massive numbers in the 1840s and 1850s, they were confronted by seething anti-Irish and anti-Catholic nativism. The whole Know Nothing movement of this period was aimed at stopping the influx of Irish immigrants and making life very hard for those already here. The Irish were denounced for bringing crime, poverty, disease, election fraud, and godless popery to America. After a few decades, as an Irish American middle class emerged, the Irish began to enjoy rising levels of income, education, and political power. But the one thing they lacked was respectability. Thus began the quest to find Irish heroes in the American past who would give the Irish a claim on American belonging. Irish American historians discovered that 3 of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence were born in Ireland. They also touted Timothy Murphy as the hero sharpshooter whose helped win the pivotal Battle of Saratoga. They likewise wrote about George Washington’s favorite spy, Hercules Mulligan. And, of course, they celebrated Patrick Carr for his martyrdom at the Boston Massacre. Some writers even went so far as to claim – without any evidence - that as an Irishman and an American, Patrick Carr had TWO reasons for hating British tyranny. These two stories from the Boston Massacre remind us that history has many uses. And one of them is as a tool for group advancement. African Americans and Irish Americans are hardly the only groups in America to seek acceptance by finding representative figures in the American past. German Americans, Jewish Americans, Italian Americans – you name it – have identified and celebrated people and moments in American history that reflect positively on them as early contributors to the American experiment.  ___________ If you live anywhere near Boston, lots of events commemorating the 250th https://revolution250.org/2020-boston-massacre-events/ https://www.masshist.org/features/massacre1770-2020 https://www.bpl.org/blogs/post/250th-anniversary-of-the-boston-massacre-highlights-from-our-collections/ For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) The Joy Drops, “Track 23,” Not Drunk (Free Music Archive) Borrtex, “Perception” (Free Music Archive) John Bartman, "African Bliss" (Free Music Archive) Doc Turtle, "The Talons of Adventure, The Antlers of Romance" (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2020 Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane 2020

Mar 2020

14 min 25 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we learn about the film “Gone With The Wind,” its dark racist themes, and how African Americans organized protests against the film when it debuted in 1939. And we also take a look at some key events that occurred this week in US history, like the landmark Supreme Court decision, Marbury vs. Madison, the 1973 occupation of Wounded Knee by members of the American Indian Movement, and the swearing in of Hiram Revels as the first African American member of the U.S. And birthdays, including February 24, 1928: Michael Harrington February 26, 1846: Buffalo Bill February 27, 1902: Marian Anderson For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Feature Story: Racism, History, and “Gone With The Wind” Eighty years ago this week, on February 29, 1940, the film "Gone with the Wind" swept the Academy Awards. The blockbuster film, one of several classics to come out in the remarkable year of 1939 (which also included "Stagecoach" and "The Wizard of Oz"), was based on the best-selling book by Margaret Mitchell.  Margaret Mitchell was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1900.  Her parents imparted to her very different influences. From her father, a prominent lawyer and president of the Atlanta Historical Society, she grew up listening to stories about old Atlanta and glories of the Confederacy.  From her mother, a women of more radical leanings who was active in the suffrage movement, Mitchell developed her independent personality. After studying briefly at Smith College in Massachusetts, she returned to Atlanta and became one of the first women to land a job as a journalist for the Atlanta Journal.  In 1925 she married John Marsh and one year later, while recovering from an ankle injury, she began writing a work of fiction that became Gone with the Wind. Mitchell actually finished the 1,000-page manuscript in 1926, but had trouble finding a publisher.  The book was finally published in 1935 and became an instant hit, selling one million copies within six months.  The following year it won the Pulitzer Prize.  By the time of her death in 1949, more than eight million copies had been sold in forty different countries. The essential story is by now familiar to most.  In the beginning, the reader is immersed in a idyllic world of the antebellum South and the plantation-owning elite.  But when the Civil War breaks out, the brave sons of the South march off to fight the Yanks and the old South begins to crumble.  Within this drama is the story of the tempestuous Scarlett O'Hara and her fight both to save her family plantation, the much-loved Tara, and to win the heart of the strong and dashing Rhett Butler. With the success of the book, a film adaptation was inevitable.  Mitchell sold the film rights to the producer David O. Selznick for $50,000, and later received another $50,000 in royalties. News of the forthcoming film generated a lot of excited anticipation among fans of the book. But not all Americans were thrilled. African Americans rightly understood Mitchell’s book as a deeply racist depiction of a “Lost Cause” version of slavery, the Confederacy, and Reconstruction. In her telling, enslaved African Americans were simple-minded people who were content with slavery and loved their white owners. And she celebrated the Ku Klux Klan as an organization that rescued the South from the alleged depredations of emancipated blacks and Northern carpetbaggers. African Americans knew that it was this twisted version of the Civil War and Reconstruction that was used by white supremacists to justify Jim Crow, lynching, and segregation. So, they mobilized against GWTW long before the filming began. They wrote letters to David Selznick, the film’s famed producer, urging him to drop the project. "We consider this work to be a glorification of the old rotten system of slavery, propaganda for race-hatreds and bigotry, and incitement of lynching," wrote one group from Pittsburgh. Several African American newspapers threatened to organize a boycott of not just GWTW, but any film made by Selznick. The pressure didn’t stop the film from being made, but it did convince Selznick to – very reluctantly – delete the n-word from the script. GWTW premiered on December 15, 1939 in Atlanta and quickly broke all existing box office records. For white Americans, the film represented a compelling fusion of romance and history. For many African Americans, however, GWTW was just what they feared it would be: a racist technicolor extravaganza that told a white supremacist version of the history of slavery, the Confederacy, and Reconstruction. It was, they charged, nothing more than a milder and prettier version of the original American blockbuster, The Birth of A Nation, which had been released in 1915. That infamous film celebrated the Ku Klux Klan as heroes who saved the South from the horrors of racial equality. GWTW avoided any references to the KKK, but it did present enslaved African Americans as happy and content people who loved their white “owners.” These characteristics are embodied in the role of Mammy, an enslaved woman in the O’Hara household who remains cheerfully devoted to Scarlett and the family through all their travails. In the film, there’s no evidence of the violence, coercion, and exploitation that actual slavery was based upon. Mammy was played by Hattie McDaniel and she received both praise and criticism from African American leaders and writers. Some adopted a practical position, arguing that because there were so few roles in Hollywood available for African Americans, black actors should seize any opportunity that came their way. Others, however, said the portrayal of black characters in GWTW was demeaning and that it played to racist stereotypes. Hattie McDaniel herself admitted she was conflicted, but ultimately decided to make the most of the opportunity. Nonetheless, many African Americans participated in protests outside of theaters showing GWTW. They carried signs that took aim at its rosy depiction of slavery. "YOU'D BE SWEET TOO UNDER A WHIP!" read one sign carried outside a Washington, DC theater. "Gone With the Wind glorifies slavery" read another. At the Academy Award ceremonies in 1940, "Gone with the Wind" won 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.  Its director, Victor Fleming, earned Best Director honors, while Vivien Leigh won Best Actress for her portrayal of Scarlett. And here’s where things got complicated: Best Supporting Actress went to Hattie McDaniel for her portrayal of Mammy. On the one hand, McDaniel made history by becoming the first African American to win an Academy Award. On the other, she did so by playing what critics then and now saw as a racist caricature of an enslaved woman.  Hattie McDaniel responded to the criticism by arguing that Hollywood would have found someone to play the role, if not her. And, she said, she did her best to portray Mammy as a positive character. As she put it: “You can best fight any existing evil from the inside.” The next black woman to win an Academy Award? Halle Berry more than 60 years later in 2001. As for Margaret Mitchell, she never wrote another novel (hence the expression, "that's all she wrote") and despite her fame, lived a quiet life with her husband.  "Gone with the Wind," however, lived on. The book remained in print year after year through countless editions.  The film likewise enjoyed several revivals.  But with the civil rights movement of 1960s and 1970s came more scrutiny of the racism in the book and film. This scrutiny intensified as a new generation of historians rejected the Lost Cause version of slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction, in favor of an interpretation that exposed the violence and cruelty of slavery and the remarkable success of Reconstruction that was ultimately overthrown by a white supremacist counter-revolution that imposed the Jim Crow racial order. GWTW still has fans – including, apparently, President Trump who just a few days ago slammed the Academy Awards for awarding a South Korean film, Parasite, the Best Picture honor. Trump said, “Can we get ‘Gone With the Wind’ back, please?” But GWTW is now increasingly seen as a relic of a time when the nation was thoroughly segregated, when most African Americans could not vote, and when most white Americans considered the South’s defeat in the Civil War, not a victory for human rights and democracy, but rather a tragedy unjustly visited upon a noble people. Some links:  https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1999/12/gone-with-the-wind-and-hollywoods-racial-politics/377919/ https://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/99dec/9912leff2.htm https://www.flickr.com/photos/washington_area_spark/15186756096 https://www.flickr.com/photos/washington_area_spark/sets/72157647077464017/ So what else of note happened this week in US history? February 24, 1803 Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court John Marshall issued his landmark ruling, “Marbury vs Madison.” The specifics of the case are almost irrelevant. What mattered was that Marshall claimed – largely out of thin air – that the Supreme Court had the power of “judicial review” that is, the power to declare laws constitutional or unconstitutional. No such power is mentioned in the Constitution, but Marshall’s declaration went unchallenged and over time came to be accepted as fact. This, by the way, is a bit of history that will make any so-called “originalist” very uncomfortable. And if you want to learn more on this topic, check out ITPL Episode 94.   February 25, 1870 – 150 years ago – Hiram Revels of Mississippi became the first African American sworn in as a member of the US Senate. Revels had been born a free man in 1827 and grew up to be an educator and minister. He settled in Mississippi after the Civil War and entered politics. His arrival in the Senate symbolized the revolution of multiracial democracy that was taking hold in the post-Civil War South during Reconstruction as millions of emancipated African Americans voted and hundreds won political office. But the racist opposition that Revels and the other African American members of Congress faced foretold the eventual counter-revolution that eventually re-imposed white supremacy in the South. February 27, 1973 - some 200 members of the American Indian Movement occupied the town of Wounded Knee in South Dakota. They were demanding justice for Native Americans and chose Wounded Knee – the site of an 1890 massacre of hundreds of Native Americans by the US military – for its symbolic value. Police and federal marshals soon surrounded the protestors, beginning a prolonged standoff that involved frequent exchanges of gunfire. The protestors eventually surrendered after 71 days. Their demands were not met, but the incident did bring attention to the deplorable state of affairs on many reservations.  Quick Events Feb 24, 1868 The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Andrew Johnson Feb 25, 1836 Samuel Colt received a patent for his repeating revolver Mar 1, 1961 President JFK established the Peace Corps Notable people were born this week in American history   Feb 24, 1836 - artist Winslow Homer was born in Boston, MA. Homer is one of this historian’s top two favorite American artists. He painted and drew some really important works in the post-Civil War American South, especially scenes depicting the lives of emancipated African Americans. Later he focused on seascapes along the New England coast. And I know you’re wondering – who’s my other top two artist? Edward Hopper, of course. And here’s a fun fact that might explain my affinities: both Homer and Hopper painted some of their most remarkable works in my hometown, the seaside city of Gloucester, MA. February 24, 1928 - writer, social activist, and socialist leader Michael Harrington, was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Harrington – who incidentally graduated from the college where I work – College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA - is best known for his landmark book about the extensive but hidden poverty in the United States, The Other America (1962). This work was a major inspiration for the anti-poverty measures undertaken by the JFK and LBJ administrations in the mid-1960s. February 26, 1846 - western scout, buffalo hunter, and showman William Cody, aka “Buffalo Bill,” was born in LeClaire, Iowa. Cody was working in the west as a guide in the 1870s when a writer in NYC named Ned Buntline began publishing dime novels of western adventures featuring a character loosely based on him named Buffalo Bill. Cody eventually went to NYC to perform on stage as Buffalo Bill. And in 1883, now keenly aware of the insatiable appetite among Americans for tales of the Old West, he founded Buffalo Bill’s Wild West. Essentially a western-themed circus, it dazzled audiences for the next 35 years, playing a major role in popularizing many myths about the American west and the frontier. Feb 27, 1902 the great African American singer Marian Anderson was born in Philadelphia. Anderson was a world-famous contralto in the late 1930s when an effort to schedule one of her performances at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC was blocked by the group that controlled the venue: The Daughters of the American Revolution. They refused to allow an African-American to sing at the historic site. So, in stepped Eleanor Roosevelt, who arranged to have Anderson sing an outdoor, Easter Sunday concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Thousands turned out for the concert and millions listened to it on national radio. Years later, Marion Anderson said, “I forgave the DAR many years ago. You lose a lot of time hating people.” Quick birthdays:   Feb 24, 1885 Admiral of the US Navy Chester Nimitz Feb 25, 1888 diplomat and Sec of State John Foster Dulles Feb 28, 1901 Nobel Prize winning chemist, Linus Pauling The Last Word Let’s give it to Hiram Revels, who 150 years ago this week became the first African American to serve in the US Congress. Here’s an excerpt from a speech he gave in 1871 in which he noted the bitter racism that African Americans faced during Reconstruction: “I find that the prejudice in this country to color is very great, and I sometimes fear that it is on the increase. For example, let me remark that it matters not how colored people act, it matters not how they behave themselves, how well they deport themselves, how intelligent they may be, how refined they may be—for there are some colored persons who are persons of refinement; this must be admitted—the prejudice against them is equally as great as it is against the most low and degraded man you can find in the streets of this city or in any other place. This Mr. President, I do seriously regret. And is this prejudice right? Have the colored people done anything to justify the prejudice against them that does exist in the hearts of so many white persons, and generally of one great political party in this country? Have they done anything to justify it? No, sir.” Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) The Joy Drops, “Track 23,” Not Drunk (Free Music Archive)Borrtex, “Perception” (Free Music Archive) Andy G Cohen, “Bathed in Fine Dust” (Free Music Archive)Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive)The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2020 Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane 2020

Feb 2020

15 min 41 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we learn about the February 20, 1939 Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It was organized by a pro-Nazi, pro-fascist organization called the German American Bund and it drew a capacity crowd of 20,000. The event fused professions of American patriotism with vile antisemitism and pro-Nazi sentiment. But the Bund’s rally did not go unchallenged. As many as 100,000 anti-Nazis filled the streets around MSG to register their outrage. The negative publicity caused the Bund to lose members. Then six months later World War II started and the Bund was on its way into the dustbin of history.   And we also take a look at some key events that occurred this week in US history, like John Glenn’s history making orbit of the earth, the assassination of Malcolm X, and the publication of The Feminine Mystique. And birthdays, including February 17, 1942: Huey Newton February 21, 1936: Congressman Barbara Jordan February 22, 1732: George Washington Feature story:  On February 20, 1939 – 81 years ago this week – 20,000 people gathered in New York City‘s Madison Square Garden for what was billed as a “Pro American Rally.“ Upon entering the stadium, attendees saw a 30-foot tall banner featuring the image of George Washington. Red, white, and blue American flags were everywhere and the festivities began with a rousing rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.” But this was no ordinary political gathering. Indeed, interspersed among all the symbols of American patriotism were swastikas, Nazi uniforms, and banners that read: Stop Jewish Domination of Christian Americans. It was 1939, six months before the start of World War II, and 20,000 American Nazis had come together to praise Hitler, pledge loyalty to America, and denounce Jews as a threat to white Christian America. It was one of the most flagrant and vile displays of anti-Semitism in U.S. history. The group behind the rally was the German American Bund – bund being the German word for federation. This German American organization had been founded in 1936 by a man named Fritz Kuhn. It wrapped its pro-fascist, pro-Nazi, anti-Semitism in the mantle of American patriotism. They presented themselves as defenders of America from subversive communists and Jews who were plotting to undermine American values and Christianity. The Bund held summer camps for families, published pamphlets and magazines, and held high profile public events like parades and rallies. Within a few years, the organization boasted tens of thousands of members, and countless more supporters and sympathizers. But in 1939, as American opposition to Hitler and the Nazi regime grew, Bund membership began to decline. So, in an effort to boost its fortunes, the German American Bund booked a rally in the nation’s premier venue: Madison Square Garden. The Bund’s founder, Fritz Kuhn, knew the event would spark outrage and protest. But he didn’t care. Controversy was just what he wanted. It was free advertising and, he thought, it would surely bring more Americans to support Nazism and fascism. New York City officials were less than thrilled about the event. Nonetheless, they rebuffed calls to stop the rally. Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia reasoned that the negative publicity from the event would actually hurt the Bund’s popularity. So instead of cancelling the event, the city put 1500 policeman in and around Madison Square Garden on the night of the rally. The heavy police presence proved a wise move, as tens of thousands of anti-Nazi protesters showed up, many looking for a fight. Inside Madison Square Garden, the rally went off perfectly – just as Fritz Kuhn had planned. There was music and speeches, interspersed by frenzied cheering, emphatic Nazi salutes, and shouts of Heil Hitler! The grand finale was a speech by Fritz Kuhn himself. He denounced Jews and communists as menaces to America. He likewise denounced President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, referring to him repeatedly as "Franklin Rosenfeld," and his popular New Deal programs as the "Jew Deal." Roosevelt, of course, wasn’t Jewish, but fascists like Kuhn saw him as an agent of Jewish-inspired socialism. “We, with American ideals,” shouted Kuehne, “demand that our government shall be returned to the American people who founded it” - implying, of course, that Jews were in control of the country and that they were not then, and never could be, true Americans. He continued, “If you ask what we are actively fighting for under our charter: First, a socially just, white, Gentile-ruled United States. Second, Gentile-controlled labor unions, free from Jewish Moscow-directed domination.” The crowd roared in approval and thousands of arms shot fourth in the Nazi salute. But then, something extraordinary occurred. A Jewish American man named Isador Greenbaum jumped on stage to denounce Kuhn and his hateful movement. Policemen and Bund guards pounced on Greenbaum and pummeled him with their fists before dragging him off stage. Greenbaum’s newly suicidal act of protest didn’t stop the rally.  But it stands out as an incredibly courageous and selfless act in defense of America’s ideals of democracy, tolerance, and inclusion. For his troubles, Greenbaum was arrested and fined $25 for disorderly conduct. Several dozen more protesters outside were also arrested for scuffling with police and Nazis. The Bund’s membership declined rapidly as the American public became more and more aware of the evil actions of the Nazi regime and as a full-blown anti-Nazi movement took hold in the US. Fritz Kuhn was soon arrested for embezzlement of Bund funds and sent to prison. During World War II, he was stripped of his US citizenship, and following the war, deported to Germany. To most 21st-century Americans, this story of American Nazis is alarming and hard to believe. Photographs of Bund events are especially shocking. I’ll post a link in the show notes to a photo essay that appeared in The Atlantic that shows thousands of Americans in suburban New York and New Jersey giving the Nazi salute as a German American Bond parade goes by. This story of the 1939 Madison Square Garden rally and these photos reveal a dark truth about American history: that forms of fascism, authoritarianism, white supremacy, and anti-Semitism have long attracted large followings, even if they’ve remained out of sight. We all became aware of that in 2017 when thousands of neo-Nazis marched in Charlottesville, Virginia. But this story also reveals a brighter side of American history: that brave Americans - like Isador Greenbaum and the thousands of anti-Nazi protesters who showed up outside Madison Square Garden – have always stood up in the face of injustice. If you want to know more about the 1939 Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden, I highly recommend an episode by the magnificent podcast, The Memory Palace. It’s titled, Episode 109: The Year Hank Greenberg Hit 58 Home Runs. I also recommend the 2017 documentary about the rally titled “A Night at the Garden.” I’ll put links in the show notes to both these things. Links: The Memory Palace - Episode 109: The Year Hank Greenberg Hit 58 Home Runs “A Night at the Garden” https://anightatthegarden.com/ “American Nazis in the 1930s—The German American Bund,” The Atlantic, June 5, 2017 For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) The Joy Drops, “Track 23,” Not Drunk (Free Music Archive) Borrtex, “Perception” (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2020 Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald   © In The Past Lane 2020

Feb 2020

15 min 30 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we learn about the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and one incredible rescue of a man who had escaped slavery, Shadrach Minkins. In 1850, Minkins was seized by federal marshals in Boston as an escaped slave. But a group of black abolitionists stormed the courtroom, took hold of Minkins, and spirited him away to freedom in Canada. It was one of many such dramatic rescues and attempted rescues in those years leading up to the Civil War.    And we also take a look at some key events that occurred this week in US history, like the origins of gerrymandering, the founding of the NAACP, and the sinking of the naval vessel, the Maine in 1898. And birthdays, including Feb 12, 1809 Abraham Lincoln Feb 15, 1820 Susan B. Anthony For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) The Joy Drops, “Track 23,” Not Drunk (Free Music Archive) Borrtex, “Perception” (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane 2020

Feb 2020

12 min 52 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we learn about the strange election of President John Quincy Adams in 1824. His presidency was a bust, but then he did something remarkable – he won a seat in the House of Representatives and served for 17 years where he earned distinction for his opposition to slavery. And we also take a look at some key events that occurred this week in US history, like the FDR’s court packing scheme and Margaret Sanger’s arrest. And birthdays, including Rosa Parks, Tom Paine, and William Tecumseh Sherman. For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) The Joy Drops, “Track 23,” Not Drunk (Free Music Archive) Borrtex, “Perception” (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2020 Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald

Feb 2020

11 min 36 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, we learn about Fred Korematsu, the courageous young man who in 1942 stood up the US government to oppose Japanese Internment during World War II. He ultimately lost his case, which went all the way to the US Supreme Court. But over time, as the nation eventually confronted the terrible harm done by Japanese Internment, Fred Korematsu was vindicated. He dedicated the rest of his life to fighting for civil rights. And we also take a look at some key events that occurred this week in US history, like the 1960 civil rights sit-ins in Greensboro, NC and the 1990 opening of the first McDonald’s fast food restaurant in the Soviet Union. And birthdays, including -   Jan 30, 1882: Franklin D. Roosevelt Jan 30, 1909: Saul Alinsky Jan 31, 1919: Jackie Robinson Feb 1, 1902: Langston Hughes Main Story: Fred Korematsu and the Fight Against Internment  On May 30, 1942, 23-year old Fred Korematsu was walking with his girlfriend on a street in San Leandro California. A police officer approached, asked to see his papers, and then announced he had to come with him to the police station for questioning. Hours later Korematsu was arrested for violating a federal law that mandated that all persons of Japanese ancestry voluntarily surrender to the government to be sent to internment camps. Just six months earlier, the United States Naval base at Pearl Harbor Hawaii had been attacked by Japanese forces, plunging the US into World War II. It also plunged it into a fit of racist fear and paranoia about Japanese Americans. Baseless rumors, many of them put forth by government officials and spread by the media, suggested that Japanese Americans could not be trusted – that they were likely loyal to the enemy Japanese government and therefore posed a security threat. And so on February 19, 1942, just 10 weeks after Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 that called for all persons of Japanese ancestry to be sent to so-called Relocation Centers for the duration of the war. Significantly, even though the US was also at war with Germany and Italy, no such relocation order was applied to Americans of German or Italian ancestry. Leaders in the Japanese American community urged cooperation. They argued that resistance to internment would only validate claims by white Americans that they were disloyal. And so in the coming months, more than 110,000 people – a majority of them American citizens - were sent to one of 10 internment camps, each surrounded by barbed wire and patrolled by armed guards. Many Japanese Americans lost everything – their homes, businesses, and farms. – and never recovered from it. They also experienced humiliation and a sense of rejection by their country. As Korematsu put it, “I lost everything when they put us in prison. I was an enemy alien, a man without a country.” It was one of the greatest violations of civil liberties in American history. And that’s the way an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union saw it at the time. Ernest Besig read about Fred Korematsu’s case and went to visit him in jail. He asked him: Would you be willing to fight your conviction? Even all the way to the supreme court if necessary? Yes, said Fred Korematsu. As he later recalled thinking, “I was an American citizen, and I had as many rights as anyone else.” Besig filed a case on June 12, 1942, arguing that executive order 9066 violated the constitutional rights of Japanese Americans because it was based on racism. The state court summarily rejected their effort to overturn Korematsu’s earlier guilty verdict. So they appealed in federal court and lost again. The last stop was the US Supreme Court. The High Court heard the case in October, and issued their ruling on December 18, 1944. By a margin of 6-3, the majority rejected Fred Korematsu’s appeal and upheld the constitutionality of internment, saying it wasn’t motivated by racism, but rather “military necessity.” While the decision was disappointing, the three dissenting justices – doubtless recognizing that this case, Korematsu versus US, would one day be ranked with other ignominious Supreme Court decisions like Dred Scott and Plessy vs. Ferguson, issued a blistering dissent. Justice Frank Murphy wrote: "I dissent, therefore, from this legalization of racism. Racial discrimination in any form and in any degree has no justifiable part whatever in our democratic way of life.” And Justice Robert H. Jackson concurred: “The Court for all time has validated the principle of racial discrimination in criminal procedure and of transplanting American citizens. The principle then lies about like a loaded weapon, ready for the hand of any authority that can bring forward a plausible claim of an urgent need.” World War II came to an end the following year, and eventually Japanese Americans were released to begin the process of rebuilding the shattered lives. Fred Korematsu get married, found work as a draftsman, and fell out of public consciousness - a forgotten civil rights hero. In fact, Korematsu told no one about his experience, including his children. They learned about his fight against Internment and his US Supreme Court case when one of them read about it in a US history textbook in school in the 1960s.  But in the 1970s, as a new generation of Japanese Americans begin to break the silence over their mistreatment at the hands of the US government - and eventually seek reparations - Fred Korematsu was rediscovered. In 1983, with the help of a legal scholar who had unearthed a mountain of evidence about the racist motives behind internment - evidence the US government had suppressed during the trials - Fred Korematsu had his conviction overturned in federal court. He was vindicated. Empowered by this turn of events, Fred Korematsu became a vocal civil rights activist for the rest of his life. In 1998, President Bill Clinton awarded him the presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Fred Koremastu died in 2004. Seven years later in 2011, the state of California named January 30 – Fred Korematsu’s birthday – as Fred Korematsu Day. It was the first instance in US history that a day had been named in honor of an Asian American. Since then, five more states have recognized named January 30 as Fred Korematsu Day. Fred Korematsu once said, “It may take time to prove you're right, but you have to stick to it.” Further Reading: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/fred-korematsu-fought-against-japanese-internment-supreme-court-and-lost-180961967/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Korematsu https://www.zinnedproject.org/news/tdih/fred-korematsu-arrested/   For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) The Joy Drops, “Track 23,” Not Drunk (Free Music Archive) Borrtex, “Perception” (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2020

Jan 2020

13 min 50 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, I speak with Holly Jackson about her new book, American Radicals: How 19th Century Protest Shaped The Nation.” Jackson is an associate professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She has written widely on US cultural history for scholarly journals, as well as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe. In the course of our discussion, Holly Jackson explains: How American radicals – from abolitionists and free thinkers, to women’s rights advocates to socialists – reshaped American society in the 19th century. How these radicals justified their critique of US society by invoking the Founders and calling upon Americans to live up to their high ideals of liberty, equality, and justice. How some Americans resisted the emerging capitalist economy by forming cooperative societies based on socialist principles – places like Brook Farm and New Harmony. Why some radicals attacked mainstream religion as an impediment to social progress, either for advocating superstitious ideas or upholding evil practices like slavery of women’s subjugation. Why it’s important to acknowledge that the American past – just like the present – has been rocked by radicals demanding major social change. Recommended reading:  Holly Jackson, American Radicals: How 19th Century Protest Shaped The Nation (Crown, 2019) Howard Brick and Christopher Phelps, Radicals in America: The U.S. Left since the Second World War Michael Kazin, American Dreamers: How the Left Changed a Nation Timothy Patrick McCarthy, John Campbell McMillian, et al., The Radical Reader: A Documentary History of the American Radical Tradition Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States More info about Holly Jackson - website Follow In The Past Lane on -  Twitter  @InThePastLane Instagram  @InThePastLane Facebook: InThePastLanePodcast YouTube: InThePastLane Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) Kevin McCleod, “Impact Moderato” (Free Music Archive) Andy Cohen, “Trophy Endorphins” (Free Music Archive) Borrtex, “Perception” (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Podcasting Consultant: Dave Jackson of the School of Podcasting Podcast Editing: Wildstyle Media Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too  Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane, 2019

Nov 2019

40 min 18 sec

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened in American history this week - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019  

Oct 2019

5 min 22 sec

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened in American history this week - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019

Oct 2019

6 min 10 sec

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened in American history this week - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019

Oct 2019

5 min 7 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, I speak with historian Ryan Swanson about his new book, The Strenuous Life: Theodore Roosevelt in the Making of the American Athlete. To say that the US is a sports-obsessed nation would be an understatement to say the least. Just consider some numbers: * In 2019 the four major sports leagues – NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL - will rake in revenues in excess of $28 billion. * Americans will illegally bet more than $150 billion on college and professional sports. * And this year about 45 million children in the US will participate in competitive sports. I could go on, but you get the point. All this obsession with sports raises an interesting question: How did it happen? Well, historical trends are always driven by multiple causes. And in the case of our obsession with sports, one of those factors was the influence of Theodore Roosevelt. While we often associate Theodore Roosevelt with military exploits in the Spanish American War, efforts to conserve the environment and natural resources, and struggles to enact progressive social legislation, Theodore Roosevelt should also be remembered for his promotion of sports and physical fitness. Ryan Swanson is an associate professor of history at the University of New Mexico. He’s the author of several books on sports history, including When Baseball Went White: Reconstruction, Reconciliation, and Dreams of a National Past Time. He’s with me today to discuss his latest work, The Strenuous Life: Theodore Roosevelt in the Making of the American Athlete. In the course of our discussion, Ryan Swanson explains: How Theodore Roosevelt used athletics to overcome childhood infirmity including asthma. How the story of Roosevelt remaking his body became a key part of his public persona as a man of zeal, courage, and accomplishment. Why Theodore Roosevelt and many other Americans in the Gilded Age grew concerned that the nation was growing soft and effeminate, and that one solution – short of a war -  was athletics. How Roosevelt used tennis during his presidency as a way to stay fit and to conduct his personal brand of politics. How Roosevelt’s love of football helped save the game when critics condemned it as dangerous and called for its abolition. And how in this era, promoters of physical fitness created the bond between education and sports that exist to this day. Recommended reading:  Ryan Swanson, The Strenuous Life: Theodore Roosevelt in the Making of the American Athlete (Diversion Books, 2019) Richard O. Davies, Sports in American Life: A History Elliott J. Gorn, The Manly Art: Bare-Knuckle Prize Fighting in America Michael MacCambridge, America's Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation John J. Miller, The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football Dave Revsine, The Opening Kickoff: The Tumultuous Birth of a Football Nation Steven A. Riess and Thomas G. Paterson, eds., Major Problems in American Sport History More info about Ryan Swanson - website Follow In The Past Lane on Twitter  @InThePastLane Instagram  @InThePastLane Facebook: InThePastLanePodcast YouTube: InThePastLane   Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) Kevin McCleod, “Impact Moderato” (Free Music Archive) Andy Cohen, “Trophy Endorphins” (Free Music Archive) Jason Shaw, “Acoustic Meditation” (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Podcasting Consultant: Dave Jackson of the School of Podcasting Podcast Editing: Wildstyle Media Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too  Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane, 2019

Oct 2019

36 min 45 sec

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened in American history this week - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019

Sep 2019

6 min 36 sec

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened in American history this week - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019

Sep 2019

4 min 27 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, I speak with historian Kevin Levin about his new book, Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth. The story behind this myth that tens of thousands of free and enslaved black men fought on behalf of the Confederacy is fascinating. And in light of recent conflicts over the Confederate flag and Confederate monuments, it’s a very timely and important book that examines why the myth was developed in the late 1970s and how it has been used to argue that slavery was not the cause of the Civil War. In the course of our discussion, Kevin Levin explains: How the Black Confederate myth emerged in the 1970s in response to the civil rights movement and new historical scholarship that emphasized slavery as the cause of the Civil War. How the Confederate military effort relied on the labor of tens of thousands of African Americans – but as enslaved workers, not soldiers. Why many white Confederates brought enslaved men to accompany them as servants during their service in the Civil War. How and why historic photographs and official government records are either misinterpreted or willfully misrepresented as “evidence” of Black Confederate soldiers.  How the Black Confederate myth has found its way into history textbooks and public history exhibitions. And why the current popularity of the Black Confederate myth reveals how Americans have not yet come to terms with race, slavery, and the Civil War. Recommended reading:  Kevin Levin, Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth (UNC Press, 2019)  Douglas R Egerton, Thunder at the Gates: The Black Civil War Regiments That Redeemed America Stephanie McCurry, Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South James M. McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era Amy Murrell Taylor, Embattled Freedom: Journeys through the Civil War’s Slave Refugee Camps More info about Kevin Levin - website Follow In The Past Lane on Twitter  @InThePastLane Instagram  @InThePastLane Facebook: InThePastLanePodcast YouTube: InThePastLane   Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) Kevin McCleod, “Impact Moderato” (Free Music Archive) Andy Cohen, “Trophy Endorphins” (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, “Sage the Hunter” (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Podcasting Consultant: Dave Jackson of the School of Podcasting Podcast Editing: Wildstyle Media Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane, 2019

Sep 2019

32 min 41 sec

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened in American history this week - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019

Sep 2019

4 min 51 sec

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened in American history this week - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019

Sep 2019

6 min 49 sec

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened in American history this week - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019

Sep 2019

7 min 13 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, it’s time for a special Labor Day episode where I speak with historian Erik Loomis about his new book, “A History of America in Ten Strikes.” The annual Labor Day holiday is often marked by last trips to the beach and backyard barbecues. But Labor Day was established by American workers in 1882 to draw attention to three things: First, the essential role of workers in creating all of the nation’s wealth and abundance. Second, that American workers faced constant threats to their well-being by abusive and greedy employers who forced them work long hours for inadequate pay. And third, that if workers succumbed to this oppression, America would cease to be a democracy. Rather, it would gradually resemble an old world society ruled by a small aristocracy. Long before 1882 and certainly ever since, American workers have had to fight for fairness, justice, equality, and dignity in the workplace. And these concerns are very much alive in 2019. So, as we debate issues like the $15 minimum wage, Medicare for all, Social Security, corporate taxation, automation and robots, and so on, we’d do well to look into the long history of workers and their struggles for a slice of the American dream. In the course of our discussion, Erik Loomis explains: Why the history of work and workers is central to US history. How the onset of the industrial revolution created new conditions for the exploitation of workers – and as a consequence – the first strikes. Why We should think of the groundswell of self-emancipation of enslaved people during the Civil War as, in the words of WEB DuBois, a general strike. Why laissez-faire is a myth that obscures the fact that the role of the government in labor-capital conflicts nearly always determines their outcome.   How and why racism has been a persistent obstacle to workers of different racial and ethnic backgrounds uniting along class lines against their employers.  Why workers in the Gilded Age believed in capitalism, but also believed that it had become rigged in favor of business over workers. How small but influential groups of socialists, anarchists, and communists within the labor movement have benefited workers, but also exposed the labor movement to persecution in the name of anti-communism. How federal policies and court decisions since the 1950s – especially Ronald Reagan’s firing of 11,000 Air Traffic Controllers in 1981 - have dramatically weakened the American labor movement. And, finally, what are we to make of recent labor actions – especially walkouts and strikes by teachers.  Recommended reading:  Erik Loomis, A History of America in Ten Strikes (The New Press, 2018) Philip Dray, There Is Power in a Union: The Epic Story of Labor in America Melvyn Dubofsky, We Shall Be All: A History of the Industrial Workers of the World Steven Greenhouse, Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor Emily Guendelsberger, On the Clock: What Low-Wage Work Did to Me and How It Drives America Insane David Montgomery, The Fall of the House of Labor Edward T. O’Donnell, Henry George and the Crisis of Inequality: Progress and Poverty in the Gilded Age   More info about Erik Loomis - website   Follow In The Past Lane on Twitter  @InThePastLane Instagram  @InThePastLane Facebook: InThePastLanePodcast YouTube: InThePastLane   Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) Kevin McCleod, “Impact Moderato” (Free Music Archive) Andy Cohen, “Trophy Endorphins” (Free Music Archive) Borrtex, “Perception” (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Podcasting Consultant: Dave Jackson of the School of Podcasting Podcast Editing: Wildstyle Media Photographer: John Buckingham  Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight   Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane, 2019

Aug 2019

1 hr

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about American history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened this week in American history - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019

Aug 2019

6 min 43 sec

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened in American history this week - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019

Aug 2019

5 min 39 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, I speak with historian Saul Cornell, author of “A Well-Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America.” The recent mass shootings in Dayton, OH and El Paso, TX have reignited the national debate over gun control, so this seemed like a good time to do an episode on the history of the Second Amendment. Because plunging into this history makes clear that there is a great deal of mythology around what the Founders had in mind when they wrote the Second Amendment. Exposing this mythology as something at odds with the historical record reveals that the Second Amendment does not prohibit gun control.   In the course of our discussion, Saul Cornell explains: The two main myths about the Second Amendment that gun rights advocates invoke, namely: 1) that the amendment was intended to allow the citizenry to rise up and overthrow the federal government by force of arms if they deemed it tyrannical and 2) that it established an individual’s right to possess and bear arms. Why the framers of the Constitution were chiefly concerned about the need for strong state militias and not an individual’s right to arms.    How gun control in the late-18th and early 19th century was both extensive and intrusive. How this regulation was justified in the name of an ideal the Founders subscribed to: the right of citizens to live in a peaceful society.   How the Second Amendment underwent a radical reinterpretation in the 1970s, one that emphasized a libertarian claim to a near absolute right of an individual to possess and bear arms.   And, finally, an assessment of the current state of the gun control movement. Recommended reading:  Saul Cornell, A Well-Regulated Militia: The Founding Fathers and the Origins of Gun Control in America (Oxford U. Press) Saul Cornell, Whose Right to Bear Arms Did the Second Amendment Protect? Saul Cornell, “The Second Amendment Case for Gun Control,” The New Republic, August 4, 2019 Saul Cornell, “Gun Anarchy and the Unfree State: The real history of the Second Amendment,” The Baffler, October 3, 2017. Jeffrey Toobin, “Politics Changed the Reading of the Second Amendment—and Can Change It Again” The New Yorker, August 5, 2019 More info about Saul Cornell - website    Follow In The Past Lane on Twitter  @InThePastLane Instagram  @InThePastLane Facebook: InThePastLanePodcast YouTube: InThePastLane   Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) Kevin McCleod, “Impact Moderato” (Free Music Archive) Andy Cohen, “Trophy Endorphins” (Free Music Archive) Hyson, “Signals” (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Podcasting Consultant: Dave Jackson of the School of Podcasting Podcast Editing: Wildstyle Media Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight Recommended History Podcasts  Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald © In The Past Lane, 2019

Aug 2019

31 min 5 sec

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened in American history this week - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019

Aug 2019

5 min 53 sec

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened in American history this week - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019

Aug 2019

4 min 31 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, I speak with historian Jeffrey A. Engel, co-author of “Impeachment: An American History.” With all the talk about impeachment over the past two years, this seems like a superb moment to do an episode on the history of this rarely-used constitutional mechanism. In the course of our discussion, Jeffrey Engel explains: Why the Founders’ fear of potential abuse of power by a president or high government official led them to include an impeachment provision in the US Constitution.  Why the Founders made a key distinction between maladministration – essentially doing a bad job as president – and actions taken by the president that harm the nation. Only the latter required impeachment. How the Founders meant by “high crimes and misdemeanors” actions that might not be illegal, but are judged to be harmful to the nation. Why Republicans decided to impeach President Andrew Johnson in 1868 and how Johnson’s own actions and personality played a key role in his near removal from office. What Richard Nixon did to merit the commencement of impeachment proceedings against him – a process he avoided by resigning. How in the aftermath of Watergate, Congress changed the rules to allow future special prosecutors investigating alleged presidential wrongdoing greater freedom and independence. And how that reform led to the wide-ranging investigation of President Bill Clinton that started with a sketchy land deal in Arkansas and ended up focused on an affair between the president and a 22-year old intern named Monica Lewinsky. And in turn, how that experience led to new rules that restricted the independence of special prosecutors, leading to the current day complaints by some that SC Robert Mueller was not allowed to fully investigate the many charges against President Trump. And, finally, what it means that we might soon witness the third impeachment effort in the last 50 years, after having only one impeachment in the first 185 years of the nation’s history. Recommended reading:  Jeffrey Engel, et al, Impeachment: An American History (Modern Library Press) Howard Fields, High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Nixon Impeachment— Roadmap for the Next One Richard A. Posner, An Affair of State: The Investigation, Impeachment, and Trial of President Clinton David O. Stewart, Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln's Legacy Cass R. Sunstein, Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide Jeffrey Toobin, A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz, To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment Brenda Wineapple, The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation More info about Jeffrey Engel - website    Follow In The Past Lane on Twitter  @InThePastLane Instagram  @InThePastLane Facebook: InThePastLanePodcast YouTube: InThePastLane   Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) Kevin McCleod, “Impact Moderato” (Free Music Archive) Andy Cohen, “Trophy Endorphins” (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, “Sage the Hunter” (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Podcasting Consultant: Dave Jackson of the School of Podcasting Podcast Editing: Wildstyle Media Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019 Recommended History Podcasts  Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald

Jul 2019

39 min 27 sec

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened in American history this week - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019

Jul 2019

5 min 47 sec

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened in American history this week - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019

Jul 2019

5 min 18 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, I speak with historian Joshua Specht, author of Red Meat Republic: A Hoof-to-Table History of How Beef Changed America. It’s a fascinating history of the beef industry and how it changed not just America’s diet, but also its culture and politics. Beef was not always a centerpiece of the US diet. Prior to the Civil War, the most common meat source was pork. But after the Civil War, as white migrants, the railroads, and the US Army spread out across the Great Plains, cattle ranching emerged as a major industry. Over time, as entrepreneurs and investors figured out how to get cattle from Texas onto the Great Plains, then to the great slaughterhouse operations in Chicago, and then how to move large slabs of beef to regional wholesalers, who then sold to local butchers, who in turn sold retail cuts of beef to local customers, beef became affordable and widely available. Americans came to expect beef several times a week. So, too, did immigrants, who wrote letters home to their homelands in Europe extolling America as a place of freedom, opportunity, and beef. Today, even though beef consumption has declined by about one third since the mid-1970s, Americans still consume more red meat than any nation in the world. In the course of our conversation Joshua Specht explains: How beef went from a special occasion food that was raised locally, to an everyday staple produced by a vast, national market. How dispossessing Native Americans of their land was a crucial early step in the formation of a booming beef industry. How that process relied not on plucky pioneers, but rather the raw power of the federal government via the US military and support for a national railroad network. How and why massive, heavily capitalized industrial ranching in the Gilded Age failed, causing investors to shift capital to the meat processing industry, centered in Chicago. How as beef became cheap and plentiful in the late 19th century, it became a key cultural marker for white middle-class success, especially along immigrants to the US. The emergence of the four great beef packing companies, including Swift and Armour, and how they used new technology and government policy to revolutionize their industry. How the insistence on low prices led the beef packers to ruthlessly exploit their workers, a process famously chronicled by Upton Sinclair in The Jungle. How one of the great challenges today is to reconnect the costs of low beef prices to the conditions that make them possible – exploited workers, government subsidies, and environmental damage. Recommended reading:  Joshua Specht, Red Meat Republic: A Hoof-to-Table History of How Beef Changed America (Princeton University Press) James R. Barrett, Work and Community in the Jungle: Chicago's Packinghouse Workers, 1894–1922. Patricia Nelson Limerick, The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West Jimmy K. Skaggs, Prime Cut: Livestock Raising and Meatpacking in the United States, 1607–1983. Louise C. Wade, Chicago's Pride: The Stockyards, Packingtown, and Environs in the 19th Century. Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (1906)   More info about Joshua Specht http://joshuaspecht.com/   Follow In The Past Lane on Twitter  @InThePastLane Instagram  @InThePastLane Facebook: InThePastLanePodcast YouTube: InThePastLane     Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) Kevin McCleod, “Impact Moderato” (Free Music Archive) Andy Cohen, “Trophy Endorphins” (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, “Sage the Hunter” (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson  Podcasting Consultant: Dave Jackson of the School of Podcasting Podcast Editing: Wildstyle Media Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design  Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019 Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald 

Jul 2019

40 min 34 sec

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened in American history this week - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019

Jul 2019

5 min 9 sec

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened in American history this week - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019

Jul 2019

5 min 14 sec

It's Independence Day! The perfect occasion for a special episode of In The Past Lane!  This week, we take a close look at the document at the heart of the July 4th celebration -- the Declaration of Independence. There's a lot more to this patriotic piece of parchment than you might think. So here's the lineup: we'll start with a look at three key things about the Declaration and how it came to be -- including the fact that America's actual Independence Day is July 2, not July 4. Next, we examine the fascinating story of how American's understanding of the Declaration changed after 1800 and as a consequence, how it has inspired countless rights movements in the US (women's rights, labor rights, civil rights, etc) and around the world for more than 200 years. Happy July 4th to all! Episode 154 notes and credits Recommended Reading Pauline Maier, American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence Edmund S. Morgan, The Birth of the Republic, 1763-89 Backstory podcast, "Pursuits of Happiness" - especially the feature on Frederick Douglass and his famous speech, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (courtesy, JayGMusic.com) Kevin McCleod, "Impact Moderato" (Free Music Archive) The Bell, "I Am History" (Free Music Archive)

Jul 2019

28 min 16 sec

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened in American history this week - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019

Jun 2019

5 min 1 sec

This week at In The Past Lane, the American History podcast, I speak with historian Jill Lepore, author of a one-volume history of the United States titled, These Truths: A History of the United States. Lepore is one of the nation’s most prolific and widely read historians. She combines a brilliant and engaging writing style, with extraordinary reading, research, and analysis. Over the past 20 years she’s written books on everything from King Philip’s War that tore apart New England in the 1670s to the history of Wonder Woman. She also writes insightful essays on history for the New Yorker. This latest work, a sweeping, 900-page one volume history of the United States, has garnered widespread praise and a spot on the NY Times bestseller list. In the course of our discussion, Jill Lepore explains: Why she chose the phrase, “These Truths” from the Declaration of Independence as the book’s title. What those three key truths are – political equality, natural rights, and consent of the governed. How concepts of rights like liberty and equality develop over time. How these key American ideals were defined and codified to guarantee them to some Americans, while at the same time denying them to others.  Why she chose to emphasize and weave together both political and social history, rather than treating them separately. How US history has been shaped by famous people like Thomas Jefferson, as well as lesser known people who lacked formal political rights like Maria Stewart. How developments in technology has played a key – and often underappreciated – role in US history. How social media and a 24/7 news cycle in contemporary society has diminished Americans’ sense of the past.  Recommended reading:  Jill Lepore, These Truths: A History of the United States (WW Norton) Jill Lepore, The Story of America: Essays on Origins James West Davidson, A Little History of the United States Robert V. Remini, A Short History of the United States: From the Arrival of Native American Tribes to the Obama Presidency Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States  More info about Jill Lepore - website   Follow In The Past Lane on Twitter  @InThePastLane Instagram  @InThePastLane Facebook: InThePastLanePodcast YouTube: InThePastLane   Music for This Episode Jay Graham, ITPL Intro (JayGMusic.com) Kevin McCleod, “Impact Moderato” (Free Music Archive) Andy Cohen, “Trophy Endorphins” (Free Music Archive) Blue Dot Sessions, “Sage the Hunter” (Free Music Archive) Jon Luc Hefferman, “Winter Trek” (Free Music Archive) The Bell, “I Am History” (Free Music Archive) Production Credits Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Podcasting Consultant: Dave Jackson of the School of Podcasting Podcast Editing: Wildstyle Media Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019   Recommended History Podcasts Ben Franklin’s World with Liz Covart @LizCovart The Age of Jackson Podcast @AgeofJacksonPod Backstory podcast – the history behind today’s headlines @BackstoryRadio Past Present podcast with Nicole Hemmer, Neil J. Young, and Natalia Petrzela @PastPresentPod 99 Percent Invisible with Roman Mars @99piorg Slow Burn podcast about Watergate with @leoncrawl The Memory Palace – with Nate DiMeo, story teller extraordinaire @thememorypalace The Conspirators – creepy true crime stories from the American past @Conspiratorcast The History Chicks podcast @Thehistorychix My History Can Beat Up Your Politics @myhist Professor Buzzkill podcast – Prof B takes on myths about the past @buzzkillprof Footnoting History podcast @HistoryFootnote The History Author Show podcast @HistoryDean More Perfect podcast - the history of key US Supreme Court cases @Radiolab Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell @Gladwell Radio Diaries with Joe Richman @RadioDiaries DIG history podcast @dig_history The Story Behind – the hidden histories of everyday things @StoryBehindPod Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen – specifically its American Icons series @Studio360show Uncivil podcast – fascinating takes on the legacy of the Civil War in contemporary US @uncivilshow Stuff You Missed in History Class @MissedinHistory The Whiskey Rebellion – two historians discuss topics from today’s news @WhiskeyRebelPod American History Tellers ‏@ahtellers The Way of Improvement Leads Home with historian John Fea @JohnFea1 The Bowery Boys podcast – all things NYC history @BoweryBoys Ridiculous History @RidiculousHSW The Rogue Historian podcast with historian @MKeithHarris The Road To Now podcast @Road_To_Now Retropod with @mikerosenwald

Jun 2019

32 min 13 sec

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened in American history this week - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019

Jun 2019

7 min 9 sec

The Pit Stop is a weekly mini-episode from In The Past Lane, the podcast about history and why it matters. Every Monday, The Pit Stop tells you what happened in American history this week - in just about 5 minutes. We drop these minis in between our full-length episodes that feature interviews with historians about their latest books, feature pieces, and more.  For more information about the In The Past Lane podcast, head to our website, www.InThePastLane.com  Production Credits for The Pit Stop Original music and Voice Over by Devyn McHugh  Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions, "Pat Dog" via the Free Music Archive  Executive Producer: Lulu Spencer Technical Advisors: Holly Hunt and Jesse Anderson Photographer: John Buckingham Graphic Designer: Maggie Cellucci Website by: ERI Design Legal services: Tippecanoe and Tyler Too Social Media management: The Pony Express Risk Assessment: Little Big Horn Associates Growth strategies: 54 40 or Fight © In The Past Lane, 2019

Jun 2019

6 min 20 sec