During an era more associated with the Wild West, a group of women in Cambridge made historic advances in the field of astronomy, discovering new stars and fundamental principles about how our universe works. In the beginning, they were treated as menial clerical workers and paid a fraction of what their male counterparts got. Only decades later did they win academic respect, earning advanced degrees and finally the title Professor. They were the Human Computers of the Harvard University Observatory.
On December 6, 1917, a munitions ship blew up in Halifax Harbor, causing the largest explosion until the atomic bomb was invented. The city was devastated; thousands were killed and injured. Before the day was over, Boston had loaded a train with doctors, nurses, and supplies. The train raced through the night and through a blizzard to bring relief to the desperate city. Today, Nova Scotia gives Boston a Christmas tree each year as a token of thanks.
Nikki reminds us that when you’re describing the horrific torture and murder of a small child, it’s not good to sound so dang chipper. Listen to Jake try to find his somber voice.
Jesse Pomeroy was a Victorian era serial killer who stalked the streets of Boston. He predated Jack the Ripper by a decade, and the Boston Strangler by almost a century. At only 14 years old, he was known as the Boy Fiend, a child who tortured and killed his fellow children, becoming Boston’s youngest serial killer.
In 1747, a British Commodore began kidnapping sailors and working men in Boston, and the people of the city wouldn’t stand for it. Three days of violence followed, in a draft riot that pitted the working class of Boston against the Colonial government and Royal Navy.
This week’s show profiles Angela and Ezra Heywood: writers, activists, free-love advocates, suffragists, socialists, labor reformers, and abolitionists who shocked the sensibilities of Victorian Boston.
We’re celebrating our first “podcastversary” with a look back at our favorite episodes so far, some reflections on podcast production, and our plans for switching things up in the year ahead. Stay tuned for the end, where we ask our listeners an important question about the future of the show.
During the Civil War, thousands of Confederate soldiers, diplomats, and politicians were imprisoned behind the walls of Fort Warren on Georges Island. Today, the fort is home to the only Confederate monument in Massachusetts, but not for much longer.
The Brinks robbery, an infamous 1950 heist in Boston’s North End, captivated the nation and baffled the FBI. It was the largest robbery in American history up to that time.