Hometown History

Hometown History

Welcome to Hometown History, where the forgotten past comes alive. Our mission? To unearth the hidden gems of history that do not make it into the textbooks. Whether it's a local legend that's been overlooked, a historical event that shaped a small town, or a mysterious occurrence lost in the annals of time, we dig deep to bring you the untold stories that deserve to be heard. Tune in as we travel back in time, uncovering the history you thought you knew and introducing you to the stories you never knew existed. Let's rewrite history, one hometown at a time.

Episodes

May 20, 2024 24 mins

In today's episode of Hometown History, we delve into the life of Lewis Howard Latimer, an unsung hero whose inventions and technical skills significantly influenced the development of electric lighting and telecommunications. Despite his crucial work with Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison, Latimer's contributions have often been overshadowed. His innovations in improving lightbulb filament durability and efficiency c...

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In this Hometown History episode, we explore the transformative Fatty Arbuckle scandal of the 1920s, which led to a critical examination of movie censorship. Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle's rise from adversity to comedy stardom and his subsequent fall following Virginia Rappe's death spotlighted Hollywood's darker aspects. Despite his acquittal, Arbuckle's career never recovered, underscoring the scandal's las...

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In this episode of Hometown History, we explore the legacy of Charles Brush, a pioneering inventor whose contributions predate even Edison's lightbulb. Brush's work with arc lighting and dynamos in the late 19th century brought electric light to city streets, laying the groundwork for the widespread use of electricity. From his childhood experiments on a farm in Ohio to revolutionizing public lighting, Brush's journey i...

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April 29, 2024 24 mins

In today's Hometown History episode, we explore the true essence of May Day, an emblem of workers' rights and social justice, born from the strife of the late 19th-century Industrial Revolution. Workers faced daunting challenges: grueling hours, meager pay, and hazardous conditions. This episode dives into the labor movement's rise, galvanized by dire need for change, and the crucial Haymarket Affair of 1886, which beca...

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In this episode of Hometown History, we unravel the enigma of The Philadelphia Experiment, a story shrouded in mystery and conspiracy against the backdrop of World War II. At the center is the USS Eldridge, alleged to possess invisibility amidst a top-secret operation. Through stormy nights and clandestine experiments, we explore the boundaries between ambitious scientific endeavors and their unforeseen consequences, delving into a...

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April 15, 2024 25 mins

In today's episode of Hometown History, we dive deep into the turbulent waters surrounding Alcatraz Island, unearthing the harrowing saga of the Battle of Alcatraz. This tale, far removed from its Hollywood depictions and video game incarnations, reveals the true face of what was considered the most secure prison in America. With its iron-clad security measures, from guard towers armed to the teeth to the remote-operated steel ...

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Welcome to another episode of Hometown History, where we dive deep into the lesser-known corridors of our past, bringing to light the stories that shaped our world in ways we seldom acknowledge. Today, we're setting sail on the turbulent waters of the Caribbean, far from the Hollywood glamorization of pirates, to uncover the real lives of two of the most formidable pirates who ever hoisted the Jolly Roger: Anne Bonny and Mary R...

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April 1, 2024 23 mins

In the shadowy corridors of post-Civil War America, the Whiskey Ring scandal of 1875 emerges as a riveting saga of corruption, intrigue, and the battle for justice. This episode of Hometown History transports listeners to St. Louis, a city pulsing with the spirit of commerce and the undercurrents of political scheming during the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant. As we peel back the layers of this historical event, we delve into a wor...

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In today's episode of Hometown History, we pull back the curtain on the secretive Project Blue Book, an effort by the United States Air Force to explore the unknown: unidentified flying objects (UFOs), from 1952 to 1969. Tucked away at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, this project aimed to shed light on the many mysterious sightings in our skies. While most of these turned out to be everyday objects or natural phenomena...

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March 18, 2024 25 mins

In this episode we delve into the enigmatic world of the Winchester Mystery House, a sprawling Victorian mansion in San Jose, California, shrouded in intrigue and lore. Constructed by Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Wirt Winchester, the mansion is an architectural anomaly, featuring doors that lead to nowhere, staircases ending at the ceiling, and windows overlooking other rooms. Sarah's relentless constructi...

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Welcome to a special bonus episode of Hometown History, where I'm doing something a bit different. Join me for a historical guided audio tour, an immersive journey through the heart of a city that shines bright with tales of innovation, inspiration, and historical milestones.

As the first electrically lighted city in the world, Wabash is not just a place on the map; it's a beacon of human ingenuity and resilience. Whether y...

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March 11, 2024 24 mins

In this episode of Hometown History, we dive into the heart of The Underground Railroad, revealing the struggle for freedom by those enslaved in the United States. Through stories of harrowing escapes and the individuals who risked everything to help, like Harriet Tubman and Levi Coffin, we highlight the bravery, innovation, and solidarity that powered this secret network. This journey not only uncovers the pivotal role of the Rail...

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March 4, 2024 25 mins

In today's episode of Hometown History, we delve into the Lost Colony of Roanoke, a mystery that has puzzled historians and enthusiasts for centuries. This story takes us back to the late 16th century, when a group of English settlers vanished without a trace from Roanoke Island, leaving behind a legacy of questions and the mysterious word "Croatoan" as their only clue. Our journey explores the initial establishment of ...

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February 26, 2024 21 mins

Hello friend, today we are exploring the Scopes ‘Monkey’ trial, a riveting legal battle that erupted in the small town of Dayton, Tennessee, during the sweltering summer of 1925. This episode delves into the heart of a national debate that questioned the intersection of science, religion, and education. The trial, triggered by the Butler Act which prohibited the teaching of human evolution in schools, put a young teacher, John Thom...

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February 19, 2024 25 mins

In this episode we delve into the sinister world of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, two prodigiously intelligent young men from affluent backgrounds who believed themselves to be above the law. Their story unfolds in 1924 Chicago, a city alive with the Jazz Age's vibrancy but also a backdrop to one of the most chilling chapters in American criminal history. With minds sharpened by privilege and education, Leopold and Loeb emba...

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February 12, 2024 21 mins

In this intriguing episode we uncover a forgotten chapter of the American film industry that places Jacksonville, Florida, at the heart of early 20th-century movie-making. Before the glitz and glamour settled in California, Jacksonville was the burgeoning center of silent films, dubbed the "Winter Film Capital of the World." We delve into the reasons filmmakers flocked to this sunny locale, from the advantageous warm climat...

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February 5, 2024 26 mins

In this episode, we dive deep into the murky waters of the Teapot Dome Scandal, a pivotal moment in American history that epitomizes the intersection of politics, greed, and corruption in the early 20th century. As we peel back the layers of this complex story, we explore how the scandal unfolded, from the secretive leasing of oil-rich public lands to private companies, to the intricate web of bribery and deceit that reached the hi...

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Imagine a quiet afternoon turning bizarre as chunks of meat rain down from the blue sky. On March 3, 1876, the residents of Bath County, Kentucky, experienced just that, in an event that would come to be known as the Kentucky Meat Shower. Today on Hometown History, we'll sift through this peculiar precipitation to uncover the truths behind what is, perhaps, one of the strangest meteorological phenomena ever recorded.

What was th...

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Whispers of a 'petticoat government' reverberated through the corridors of the White House during Woodrow Wilson's presidency, but how much truth was there to the rumors? It is said that for a time, the most powerful nation on Earth was steered not by the elected commander-in-chief, but by a woman no one had voted for—Edith Galt Wilson. In today's episode, we unravel the secrecy and speculation that shrouded the twi...

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They say one person's hero is another's villain, and the tale of Hannah Duston embodies this adage with chilling precision. At the dawn of American lore, her story emerges from the shadows of 1697—a frontier mother's ordeal that swerves into a harrowing saga of survival and vengeance. But as we peel back the layers of this historic enigma, we are forced to question: Was Hannah Duston a valiant pioneer survivor or a cold...

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