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.
This week’s episode takes on the early history of Boston’s Chinatown, two murders that took place there at the turn of the twentieth century, and a terrifying crackdown on Chinese Americans in Boston that sparked an international incident and has parallels in today’s headlines.
This episode examines the life of Walter Dodd, who started his career as a janitor at Harvard Medical School before becoming a pharmacist, physician, and the Father of American Radiology. Though as you will hear, his journey was not without great personal sacrifice.
Your humble hosts are out of town and off the air this week. Never fear, Jake is here, and he has this week’s historical anniversaries for your enjoyment.
Early Boston aeronauts used balloons to perform scientific experiments, cross the English channel, take the first aerial photographs, and provide public entertainment. Whether by hot air or hydrogen, these pioneers made their way into the air, and into the history books.
The Skin Book was written by highwayman George Walton and dedicated to the only man to best him in combat. While he was a prisoner at Charlestown Penitentiary, Walton wrote a memoir. According to his wishes, after his death, the book was bound in Walton’s own skin and given to the man who defeated him. Today, this example of anthropodermic bibliopegy is a prized possession of the Boston Athenaeum.
Since 1651, Boston has had a legal responsibility to mark and measure its boundaries every few years. Despite advances in technology, the practice of “perambulating the bounds” means that someone has to go out and walk the town lines. This law is one of the oldest still on the books, but when was the last time Boston perambulated its bounds? Listen now!
When young Albert Tirrell killed his lover Maria Bickford on Beacon Hill, it sparked a scandal that rocked Victorian Boston in the 1840s. It was a tale of seduction, murder, and the unlikeliest of defenses. In the end, he would be found not guilty, in the first successful use of sleepwalking as a defense against murder.
We apologize for Nikki’s head cold, some rough cuts that resulted from editing out her sniffles, and the couple of sniffles that made it into the final cut.
Your humble hosts are traveling this week, trying to see the first total eclipse of our lifetimes. While we’re gone, listen to the story of the 1806 eclipse, the first total eclipse seen in Boston after European colonization.