Episode 23: The Groundbreaking Grimké Sisters

In March 1870, forty-two women marched into their polling place in Hyde Park and illegally cast ballots in the local election.  They were led by local residents and radical activists Sarah and Angelina Grimké.  The Grimké sisters were born into a slave owning family in South Carolina, but then spent their lives fighting for abolition, suffrage, and equal rights.  Listen to their remarkable story!

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Episode 22: Boston in the American Revolution, Author Interview with Brooke Barbier

This week’s episode features a conversation with Brooke Barbier, founder of Ye Olde Tavern Tours and author of the new book Boston in the American Revolution: A Town Versus an Empire.  We talk about a forgotten Revolutionary War story, why the Revolutionary period isn’t as simple as good guys and bad guys, and which Founding Fathers we’d like to have a beer with.  Stick around after the interview to find out what’s coming up this week in Boston history, and how you can win a private tour of the Back Bay with hosts Nikki and Jake.  Listen to the show!

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Episode 21: The Tremont Street Explosion

On March 4, 1897, a giant explosion rocked the corner of Tremont Street and Boylston across from Boston Common.  Ten people were killed, and dozens were injured.  How did construction of America’s first subway lead to this disaster?  And why was it so difficult for survivors to get compensation for their injuries?  Listen to the show to find out!  And be sure to stay tuned to the end, so you can find out how to win a free walking tour with hosts Nikki and Jake.

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Episode 20: John Hancock’s Private Army

When British General Thomas Gage arrived in Boston in 1774, he was met on Long Wharf by the patriot leader John Hancock at the head of an armed militia unit… But not for the reason you think.  Since 1772, Hancock had been the Captain of The Governor’s Independent Company of Cadets, an elite unit that provided ceremonial bodyguards to the Massachusetts governor.  When Gage took over as military governor of the province, sparks flew.  He summarily fired Hancock, and war broke out soon after.  They have been known through the centuries as the Governor’s Cadets, the Independent Company of Cadets, the Boston Independent Company, and the First Corps of Cadets, and they’ve served Massachusetts and the United States in domestic emergencies, and wars from the Revolution to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.  Learn more about this unique unit, and their role in the lead up to the Revolutionary War, in this week’s show!

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Episode 19: A Tale of Two Hermits

This week’s episode examines two people who chose to live as hermits in and around Boston.  When you think of a hermit, your mental image is probably a monk or an aging eccentric in a cabin in the woods somewhere.  But our subjects this week sought out that kind of solitary existence among the hustle and bustle of the growing city of Boston in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  James Gately was known as the Hermit of Hyde Park, and Ann Winsor Sherwin was the Hermit of Boston Harbor.  Listen to the show to meet these unique characters!

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Episode 18: Dr. Rebecca Crumpler’s Trailblazing Career

This week, we’re going to talk about a woman who studied medicine at a time when very few women could access higher education at all, and an African-American who became a physician at a time when half of this country believed that she could be owned by another American.  Rebecca Davis Lee Crumpler would study in Boston and become America’s first black female doctor.  Listen to this week’s show for her story!

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Episode 17: Vikings on the Charles River (mini-sode)

Your hosts Nikki and Jake are away this week, but through the magic of podcasting, we’re still able to bring you this mini-sode.  Since we’re exploring Iceland, land of the Vikings, it only makes sense to bring you the story of a 19th Century Boston millionaire who was convinced that Vikings had once settled along the Charles River.  Listen to this week’s episode to find out why!

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Episode 16 blooper: Canada isn’t slavery

Most of the time, the bloopers we post are just Jake tripping over his words.  This time, he had simply written a paragraph that means the exact opposite of what it was supposed to mean.  For an enslaved person, escaping to Canada was not the same as being returned to slavery in the South.  The worst part is, Nikki didn’t catch the error until at least the third read through of this paragraph.

(warning: bad words)

Listen to Episode 16 for the real story.