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American History Hit

American History Hit

Join Don Wildman twice a week for your hit of American history, as he explores the past to help us understand the United States of today.

 

We?ll hear how codebreakers uncovered secret Japanese plans for the Battle of Midway, visit Chief Powhatan as he prepares for war with the British, see Walt Disney accuse his former colleagues of being communists, and uncover the dark history that lies beneath Central Park.  

 

From pre-colonial America to independence, slavery to civil rights, the gold rush to the space race, join Don as he speaks to leading experts to delve into America?s past.

 

New episodes every Monday and Thursday.

 

Brought to you by History Hit, the award-winning podcast network and world?s best history channel on demand, featuring shows like Dan Snow?s History Hit, Not Just The Tudors and Betwixt the Sheets.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

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The First Thanksgiving

In the fall of 1621, a year after the pilgrim ship the Mayflower landed on the coast of New England, the settlers of the Plymouth Colony celebrated their first successful harvest. Joining them at the three day feast were the Wampanoag people, Native Americans who had to taught the settlers how to grow corn, ensuring the community would survive the coming winter. Richard Pickering tells Don about the difficulties faced by the pilgrims as they made their way from Europe and how the first Thanksgiving forged diplomatic relations with the Wampanoag people. Creating the foundations for the national holiday now celebrated every year in America.


Produced and mixed by Benjie Guy. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long.


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.

If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-11-24
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Ronald Reagan: The Peacemaker

When Ronald Reagan became President in 1981, he was initially written off by many as a reckless B movie cowboy who would lead the US to nuclear war.

However, as William Inboden tells Don, Reagan would go on to defy the odds on the international stage. Navigating complex foreign policy challenges, from Grenada to Lebanon and of course the Cold War. Taking the Soviets and the World to the brink of the unthinkable, while charting an unpredictable path to peace.


Produced by Benjie Guy. Edited & Mixed by Thomas Ntinas. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long. 


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.


If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-11-21
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Who Really Invented the Light Bulb?

While Thomas Edison is widely credited as the inventor of the electric lightbulb in 1879, it had existed in one form or another since the the beginning of the 19th century. But as Hugh Price tells Don, another American - Lewis Latimer - had his own light bulb moment: tweaking Edison?s invention a year later to create a longer-lasting and more affordable light bulb, able to light the buildings and streets of America, and the world. 

 

Produced and mixed by Benjie Guy. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long. 

 

For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.

If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-11-17
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The Whiskey Rebellion

The Whiskey Tax, imposed in 1791, was the first federal tax on a domestic product by a United States government. It was introduced by Alexander Hamilton to pay the interest on war bonds that had been issued to wealthy backers of the the American Revolution. But many Whiskey distillers in Western Pennsylvania refused to pay a tax that would only benefit a few rich bond holders. Over the course of three years, there were attacks on federal and local tax collectors and the region became a law unto itself. A situation only suppressed, as William Hogeland tells Don, by President George Washington gathering together a militia of 12,000 men and marching to Western Pennsylvania .

Produced by Benjie Guy. Mixed by Thomas Ntinas. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long. 


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.

If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-11-14
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African Americans in WW2

The experience of African Americans in World War 2 was, to say the least, a gross double standard. While fascism was confronted in the name of liberty and justice, those same ideals were denied to African Americans, who suffered racism and segregation, at home and on the front line. As Matthew Delmont tells Don, to African Americans, what was happening in Europe and elsewhere was an ugly reminder of the prejudice and bigotry they faced in their own nation.


Produced by Benjie Guy. Mixed by Aidan Lonergan. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long.


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.


If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-11-10
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The Race for the North Pole

On April 6th 1909, deep inside the Artic Circle after months on the ice, Robert Peary, Matthew Henson and their four Inuit guides reached what they thought was the North Pole. But, as Edward J. Larson tells Don, Peary?s measurements and the speed of their journey were immediately called into question. Nonetheless, Congress voted to recognise Peary?s expedition as the first to reach the North Pole, dismissing a rival's claim to have done it a year earlier.


Produced by Benjie Guy. Mixed by Aidan Lonergan. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long.


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.


If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-11-07
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Becoming FDR

In August 1921, when Franklin D. Roosevelt was 39 years old, he contracted Polio, paralysing him from the waist down. Jonathan Darman tells Don how, despite some telling FDR that any political aspirations he might have were over, he went on to become the 32nd President of the United States.


Produced and mixed by Benjie Guy. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long.


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.


If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-11-03
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Sleepy Hollow & the Haunted Hudson

On Halloween, Elizabeth Bradley tells Don about Washington Irving's famous story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, its headless horseman and the influence of European folklore on this famous American gothic tale. 


Produced by Benjie Guy. Mixed by Thomas Ntinas. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long. 


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.


If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-10-31
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America's Psychedelic '60s: Timothy Leary and LSD

In 1963, a Gilded Age estate in Millbrook, New York, became a venue for academic research into therapeutic uses for LSD, led by psychologist Timothy Leary. Over the next few years evolved into the home of the psychedelic movement of 1960s America. 


Guests were invited to turn on, tune in, drop out. Bemused locals first saw their new neighbours as harmless. But, as Devin Lander tells Don, as their number and notoriety grew, so did a moral panic across America.


Produced and mixed by Benjie Guy. Senior producer: Charlotte Long.


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.


If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-10-27
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The Oregon Trail

From the 1830s until the arrival of the transcontinental railroad, hundreds of thousands of people packed their possessions into wagons and headed west, seeking land and opportunity. Following in the footsteps of Native Americans and fur trading ?mountain men?, many travelled for several months along what became known as the Oregon Trail. But as Don hears from YouTube history teacher Mr Beat (youtube.com/c/iammrbeat), not all would succeed. Miles from civilisation, people succumbed to disease, dangerous river crossings and attacks by Native Americans, whose land they were crossing and on which they intended to settle.


Produced by Benjie Guy. Mixed by Thomas Ntinas. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long.


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.


If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-10-24
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CIA: The History

When the Central Intelligence Agency was created by President Truman in 1947, it was the latest incarnation of an American intelligence-gathering service. Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones tells Don about the evolution that led to the creation of the CIA and the often controversial covert operations it has undertaken in the name of US national security.


Produced by Benjie Guy. Mixed by Aidan Lonergan. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long.


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.


If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-10-20
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The US Marines' Pacific War

When US Marines landed on the island of Guadalcanal in the Pacific, in August 1942, they were taking part in the first US ground offensive of World War 2.


As Saul David tells Don, in taking on the Japanese in the Pacific, they would go on to engage in some of the bloodiest fighting of the whole war.


Produced and mixed by Benjie Guy. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long. 


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.


If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-10-17
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Edward Rulloff: The Gilded Age Hannibal Lecter

Edward Rulloff was described as ?a monster imbued by the spirit of the devil?. In 1844, he murdered his wife, likely killing his daughter at the same time, though he never admitted it. He spent the next three decades either incarcerated or on the run, becoming a career criminal. After killing a man during a robbery in 1870, he was sentenced to death.


But Rulloff was thought of at the time as no ?ordinary killer?. A trained doctor, a lawyer and philosopher, he spoke twelve languages. As Don hears from Kate Winkler Dawson, in America?s Gilded Age, academics and journalists speculated on his criminal mind, which some claimed was too intelligent to be killed.


Produced by Benjie Guy. Mixed by Aidan Lonergan. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long.


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.


If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-10-13
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Cuban Missile Crisis

In October 1962, the United States confirmed that Soviet missiles were being deployed in Cuba. President John F. Kennedy had to contemplate the consequences of any US response, knowing an escalation of hostilities could end in all-out nuclear war.


What followed was the period of greatest tension during the Cold War. When journalist and historian Sir Max Hastings started writing Abyss, his new book on the confrontation, he thought he was writing about the threat of nuclear war as history. But, as he tells Don in today?s episode, with Putin?s invasion of Ukraine, it has returned to present day.


Produced by Benjie Guy. Mixed by Aidan Lonergan. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long.


If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-10-10
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Central Park: What Lies Beneath

Central Park is an oasis of nature in New York City, amidst the countless skyscrapers and gridded streets of Manhattan. Over 800 acres of sweeping fields, shaded pathways and picturesque vistas attract more than 42 million visitors a year. It was created to give free and equal access to recreational space for all. But, as Don hears from Leslie Alexander, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Professor of History at Rutgers University, underneath Central Park are the remains of Seneca - a village of African-American, Irish and German communities, whose inhabitants were forced from their homes to make way for the park?s construction in 1857.


Produced by Benjie Guy. Mixed by Thomas Ntinas. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long.


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.


If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-10-06
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Pontiac's Rebellion

In 1763, Native American tribes in the Great Lakes region began fighting British expansion and rule in their territory, attacking forts and settlements. They were led by the Odawa war chief, Pontiac. The conflicts, which continued over the course of 3 years, forced the British to re-examine their policies towards Native Americans, banning settlements west of the Appalachians. Ned Blackhawk, professor of History and American Studies at Yale, explains how this fuelled the colonists? desire for independence from Britain.


Produced by Benjie Guy. Mixed by Thomas Ntinas. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long.


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.

If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


For your chance to win 5 Historical Non-Fiction Books (including a signed copy of Dan Snow's On This Day in History), please fill out this short survey.


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-10-03
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Battle of Midway

The Battle of Midway took place between the US and Japan in June 1942. The US victory, after 4 days of fighting in the air and sea around the Pacific island of Midway, is widely seen as a turning point in the Pacific War in World War 2. Craig L. Symonds tells Don about the key decisions made by both sides and the important role played by American code breakers in discovering what was meant to be Japan?s surprise attack.


Produced by Benjie Guy. Mixed by Anisha Deva. Senior Producer: Charlotte Long.


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.


If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-09-29
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Hollywood Blacklist

After World War 2 ended, the Nazis defeated, America feared communist infiltration of its institutions, among them, Hollywood.


In November 1947, a number of high profile ?friendly witnesses? in the film industry, including Walt Disney and Jack Warner of Warner Brothers, appeared before the House Un-American Activities Committee and named people and organisations they believed were associated with communists.


As Don hears from Dr. Kathleen Feeley - Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Redlands, this began a witch hunt for communists in the entertainment industry, which lasted more than a decade.


Hundreds of writers, producers and actors - many with no affiliation with communism - were left unable to work.


Senior Producer: Charlotte Long. Producer: Benjie Guy. Mixed by Benjie Guy.


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.


If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-09-26
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Declaration of Independence

While the Revolutionary War was being fought in July 1776, the 13 British colonies in America came together to approve their Declaration of Independence, the founding document of the United States of America.


Shaped by the Enlightenment ideas of liberty, happiness and reason, the document has since influenced many causes in America and around the world.


In this episode, Don speaks to Reverend Byron Williams about how the Declaration of Independence came about, its meaning and endurance.


You can find out more about Byron's book here.


Produced and mixed by Benjie Guy. The senior producer was Charlotte Long.


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.


If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-09-22
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The Atomic Bomb & the Secret City

In 1939 Franklin D Roosevelt received a letter from Albert Einstein, warning him that the Nazis might be developing nuclear weapons. America has to act fast.


What follows is the creation of a secret city in the rural area of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Around 75,000 people moved to the secret city during the World War Two, and the first atomic bomb was developed in just 28 months.


Don Wildman is joined by historian, Ray Smith, to find out how it was possible, and to hear about the experiences of the people who worked at Oak Ridge, most of whom didn't know what they were creating.


You can find out more here.


The senior producer was Charlotte Long. The producer was Benjie Guy. Mixed by Thomas Ntinas. Special thanks to Fendall Fulton.


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.


If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-09-22
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The Queen & US Presidents

We had plans today to release the first two episodes of American History Hit but due to the news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II last week, we?ve decided to take some time and do something a little different.


You?ll hear those episodes on Thursday September 22, until then here?s a special mini episode looking into the Queen?s historic meetings with US presidents who served during her 70 years on the throne. As she reminded George W Bush in 2003, "unlike in the United States, the British head of state is not limited to two terms of four years, and I have met no less that seven of your predecessors".


Elizabeth?s reign saw her meet thirteen of the last fourteen presidents, from dinner with Kennedy, to touring Buckingham Palace with Nixon. Dancing with Ford, to watching baseball with Bush Senior. Dining with Obama to banqueting with Trump - she?s likely to have met more American presidents than anyone else in history. 


American History Hit will officially launch on Thursday 22nd September.


Senior Producer: Charlotte Long. Producer: Benjie Guy. Mixed by Charlotte Long.


For more History Hit content, subscribe to our newsletters here.


If you'd like to learn even more, we have hundreds of history documentaries, ad-free podcasts, and audiobooks at History Hit - subscribe today!


This episode includes music from Epidemic Sound


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-09-12
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Welcome to American History Hit

Join Don Wildman twice a week for your hit of American history, as he explores the past to help us understand the United States of today.

 

We?ll hear how codebreakers uncovered secret Japanese plans for the Battle of Midway, visit Chief Powhatan as he prepares for war with the British, see Walt Disney accuse his former colleagues of being communists, and uncover the hidden history that lies beneath Central Park.  

 

From pre-colonial America to independence, slavery to civil rights, the gold rush to the space race, join Don as he speaks to leading experts to delve into America?s past.

 

New episodes every Monday and Thursday, from September 22nd.

 

Brought to you by History Hit, the award-winning podcast network and world?s best history channel on demand, featuring shows like Dan Snow?s History Hit, Not Just The Tudors and Betwixt the Sheets.


This episode includes music from Epidemic Sound.


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

2022-08-23
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