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History Myths Buzzkilled

Loving Day

It’s June 12th! Loving Day! Loving Day is being celebrated world-wide. You might think that Loving Day is Valentine’s Day, February 14th, but it’s not, it’s today, June 12th. If you don’t know what Loving Day is, let me tell you a story, a love story, in this brief episode. In the 1950s, a 17-year-old young man named Richard fell in love with a neighborhood girl named Mildred. Over the years, they became closer and closer until, in 1958, they married. They were a little uncomfortable getting married at home, so they, essentially, eloped. They went on to have three children, and, all accounts, were completely devoted to each other and remained deeply in love. So, it’s a fairly straight-forward story, probably repeated dozens of [...]

Harriet Tubman on the Currency

The Trump Administration has announced that the plans to replace Andrew Jackson’s portrait on the $20 bill will be delayed yet again, and may not appear until 2028. Since the early days of the Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill movement, this show (and the Buzzkill Institute) has been calling for, and supporting other efforts to increase the diversification of images on American currency. And for the last couple of months, a new citizens movement, led by graphic designer Dano Wall, has come up with a stamp to imprint Tubman’s picture on top of Jackson’s portrait on $20 bills. It’s proving quite a hit, and the stamps sell out as quickly as he can make them. The website is tubmanstamp.com, and people have been repurposing [...]

Violence and Terrorism in American Slavery

Prof Craig Hammond joins us to discuss the violence used in maintaining slavery, both on the farm/plantation, and in broader society before the Civil War. The violence and terror inflicted on slaves is horrific by our 21st standards. Yet, slave-owners did not consider themselves sadistic torturers. But how did they justify the punishments inflicted on insubordinate slaves, or on slaves suspected of rebellion? PLEASE NOTE: At a few places in this episode, Professor Hammond and I referred to "Robert Byrd," when, in fact, we meant "William Byrd." --- Buzzkill Bookshelf John Craig Hammond and Matthew Mason (editors), Contesting Slavery: The Politics of Bondage and Freedom in the New American Nation The essays collected here analyze the Revolutionary era and the early republic on their own [...]

New Civil War Documentary

Dr. Keri Leigh Merritt joins us to argue for a new documentary series about the US Civil War. It’s been nearly 30 years since PBS aired the famous series. We discuss the strengths and weaknesses of that classic series, as well as why PBS’s new series on Reconstruction might serve as a template for a new Civil War documentary. Dr. Merritt schools old Professor Buzzkill about the possibilities of new media and new media venues for dynamic historians. Listen and Learn! PBS’s Reconstruction Series may be found on-line at: https://www.pbs.org/show/reconstruction-america-after-civil-war/ Professor Merritt’s website is: kerileighmerritt.com Her article on a New Civil War Documentary in the Smithsonian Magazine, may be found at: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/why-we-need-new-civil-war-documentary-180971996/ --- Buzzkill Bookshelf Geoffrey C. Ward, Ric Burns, and Ken Burns, The Civil [...]

Quote or No Quote: “Liberal When You’re 25, Conservative When You’re 35”

Winston Churchill “If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain.” Quote or No Quote? Well, well, well. Here’s a quote that seems to be as old as the hills (even though it’s only 150 years old at best, and, therefore, it’s a veritable puppy compared to the big dogs of famous quotes and mis-quotations). It’s been attributed to lots of different people -- politicians, playwrights, novelists, and statesmen. It’s been cited as coming from George Bernard Shaw, François Guizot, Benjamin Disraeli, Otto von Bismarck, and Mark Twain. “If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time [...]

Felice and Boudleaux Bryant

It’s Tuesday, and this is a combined Man Crush Monday and Woman Crush Wednesday! Today we’re going to look at a couple, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, who were a driving creative force behind perhaps the biggest popular music revolution in American history in the 1950s. Often called the first professional songwriters in Nashville, the Byants wrote songs for The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, and nearly every aspiring singing act of the 1950s. Younger Buzzkillers will just have to ask their grandparents who the Everly Brothers were, and who Buddy Holly was. In some cases, their grandparents will respond, “they were popular when your great-grandparents were young.” If your grandparents or great-grandparents are in the house somewhere while you’re listening to me on the radio, call [...]

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American History, British History, and World History Myths Busted by Professor Buzzkill
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