In August of 1801, a young man named Jason Fairbanks showed up on his sweetheart’s doorstep. He was covered in blood, and telling the story of a suicide pact gone wrong. This tale of a rich kid gone astray could be ripped from today’s tabloid headlines. Fairbanks and his presumed sweetheart Eliza Fales were the center of a sensational trial, a daring escape from jail, and a manhunt that stretched to the Canadian border. Does this story of star crossed lovers have a happy ending? Listen to this week’s show to find out!
There is a long history of shipwrecks in Boston Harbor. Many are terrifying, some are tragic. But one shipwreck is such an oddity that Boston hasn’t stopped talking about it for the past 75 years. When a freighter called The City of Salisbury steamed into Boston Harbor in 1938, it was loaded with exotic, tropical zoo animals. When it ran aground near Graves Light, you’ll never guess what happened next!
Life got in the way this week, and we didn’t have a chance to prepare a full episode. We’re going to do a miniature episode (minisode!), on this week’s historical anniversaries, with a quick discussion of Christmas in Puritan Boston. Enjoy!
In 1901, a woman named Jane Toppan was arrested on Cape Cod for murder. By the time she went on trial, she had confessed to killing 31 people in Boston, Cambridge, on the Cape, and around the region, and she’s suspected of killing 100 or more. From a tragic childhood, she grew up to be a nurse. She tortured and murdered her patients in dark experiments, while being praised for her caring bedside manner. Before she was caught, she had graduated to killing entire families. Learn about the life and crimes of Jane Toppan, Nightmare Nurse in this week’s show.
Early one April morning, Boston rose up in revolt, overthrowing the widely hated royal governor. A provincial militia surrounded the city, while the Royal Navy backed British authorities. But this wasn’t Lexington or Concord. This was the 1689 revolt against Governor Edmund Andros, 86 years to the day before Paul Revere’s ride. Listen to this week’s episode to learn more!
If you recall, Episode 5 deals with Nazis and the holocaust, a pretty somber topic. Still, no matter the subject, recording can be tricky, and in this case, Jake got hung up on just one line. The line in the script seems simple enough…
“While you’re there, be sure to click on Subscribe to see all the ways to subscribe to the show.”
This is what it took to get there:
But through the magic of editing, you’ll hear us sounding, if not like professional podcasters, at least like adults!
At the end of World War II, the Allied powers raced across Germany, competing to capture technology related to Nazi super-weapons and the scientists who developed them. The US military operated a secret program that located high-value scientists, smuggling them into the US and falsifying their wartime records. For many of the scientists who went on to work on the Manhattan Project or the space race, their first stop in America was a secret base in Boston Harbor.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody! This week, we’re doing a mini-sode (miniature episode, get it?) on this week’s historical anniversaries, with a quick discussion of Boston’s first Thanksgiving. Enjoy!
When an industrial tank collapsed in Boston’s North End in 1919, a wave of molasses destroyed the surrounding neighborhood. 21 people were killed and at least 150 were injured, along with an untold number of horses. This tragedy is made all the worse by the fact that it was entirely preventable. Find out more in this week’s episode!
Continue reading Episode 3: Slower Than Molasses
When smallpox threatened Boston in 1721, Cotton Mather was a leading advocate of inoculation. How did this influential Puritan, best known for his role in the Salem witch trials, become an advocate for scientific medicine? Listen to this week’s episode to find out!