The Year That Was

The Year That Was

A look at history one year at a time, from as many angles as possible. Famous people, infamous people, obscure people; wars, revolutions, peace treaties, art, science, sports, religion. The big picture, in an entertaining podcast package.

Episodes

July 4, 2021 58 min
Arthur Eddington was committed to testing Einstein's General Theory of Relativity during the 1919 Solar Eclipse, not only to remove all doubts about the theory but also to demonstrate the value of scientific internationalism. But the British Army was determined to send him to the Front. Eddington faced the greatest challenge of his life: proving his opposition to violence and his dedication to science were both a matter of cons...
Share
Mark as Played
In 1914, most scientists claimed their work knew no borders, but the Great War slammed the door on international scientific cooperation. So when a obscure German physicist named Albert Einstein presented a radical new explanation of gravity, he feared no one outside of Germany would be willing to help confirm his theory. He had no idea that his work would come to the attention of the one man able to make the critical observations ...
Share
Mark as Played
Note: This episode contains a description of a poison gas attack in World War I and a discussion of the injuries caused by different gases. I do not dwell on the details, but even the bare facts can be disturbing. There is also a discussion of suicide. Take care of yourself, and thank you. The title of this episode is taken from a famous poem by writer and soldier Wilfred A. Owen. His 1918 poem "Dulce et Decorum Est" quote...
Share
Mark as Played
By 1914, the temperance movement had achieved significant gains in its goal to outlaw the sale of alcohol in the United States. But every push for nationwide prohibition had failed. Would the war--and the accompanying anti-German hysteria--give the Anti-Saloon League enough power to cross the finish line? Was a golden age of sobriety waiting on the other side?
The Temperance Movement began in the 1840s and gained significant mom...
Share
Mark as Played
Women in the United States began fighting for the right to vote in 1848, and by 1910 they had achieved a few hard-won victories. But success nationwide seemed out of reach. Then Alice Paul arrived on the scene with a playbook of radical protest strategies and an indomitable will. She focused in on one target: the president, Woodrow Wilson. How far would Paul and her fellow suffragists have to go to get Wilson's support?
Dora ...
Share
Mark as Played
Living through the COVID-19 pandemic raises all sorts of new questions about the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1919. This episode seeks to answer those questions. We look at the multiple waves of the flu, popular home remedies, who went to the hospital and who stayed home, how the federal government responded to the outbreak, the effect on the economy, resistance to face masks, and how the flu shaped the Roaring Twenties.
Correctio...
Share
Mark as Played
Baseball was the only truly national American sport in 1919, loved by fans across the United States. But the mood among players was grim--team owners kept salaries artificially low. When the Chicago White Sox won their league championship, the temptation to accept hard cash from gamblers to deliberately lose the World Series was irresistible. After all, what could possibly go wrong?
The Wingfoot Express took its maiden voyage aro...
Share
Mark as Played
William Monroe Trotter was among the richest, best-educated, and most-well-connected African-American men in the United States--and he dedicated every ounce of his privilege into helping his fellow black Americans. By 1919, he had fought with the elder statesmen of his community, been arrested in protests over "Birth of a Nation," and denounced Woodrow Wilson's racial policies to president's face. But 1919 would br...
Share
Mark as Played
A constant threat of violence hung over the lives of African Americans in the early 20th century, an unrelenting terror that served to deter economic progress and enforce a racist social order. But 1919 was different: violence spread out of the south into northern and midwestern cities and took the form of random, terrifying riots. But the response of African-American leaders in 1919 was also different. They decided enough was enou...
Share
Mark as Played
December 19, 2019 61 min
Americans felt under attack in 1919 as a series of riots, strikes, disasters, and bombings hit the country. After radicals attempted to blow up the house of Attorney General Mitchell Palmer, he decided enough was enough. It was time to stop the Red Menace using any means possible. But would Americans tolerate the loss of their civil liberties in the pursuit of Bolsheviks?
A. Mitchell Palmer's home was devastated when a bomb ...
Share
Mark as Played
The I.W.W. was a tough, militant, radical union, and its very existence terrified business owners, factory bosses, and the entire U.S. government. Since its founding, the law had been out to get the Wobblies. In 1919, as a record number of Americans went on strike for better wages and working conditions, would the union be able to help them? Would the union even survive?
The Wobblies were so famous for singing that they repeatedl...
Share
Mark as Played
The Purity Distilling Company molasses tank dominated the North End of Boston, standing 50 feet tall over the surrounding tenements. Residents of the area were accustomed to the sight of tank oozing syrup from its seams and making strange rumbling noises from its depths. And one day in January 1919, life changed forever for Bostonians when the walls of the tank suddenly, inexplicably failed. Was it negligence? Or a vicious attack b...
Share
Mark as Played
Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points promised self-determination to colonies around the globe, raising hopes of independence and freedom for millions. But Wilson and the Allies had no intention of letting occupied peoples throw off imperialism. What would be the long-term consequences of raising the hopes and then dashing the dreams of so many people?
Nguyễn Ái Quốc, aka Nguyễn Tất Thành, was born in French Indochina and fled to ...
Share
Mark as Played
The collapse of the Ottoman Empire set off a mad scramble for territory. No one paid any attention to what the people who actually lived in the former empire actually wanted. But in the heart of Anatolia, one Turkish general was determined to preserve his homeland.
In 1914, the Ottoman Empire stretched from the border of Europe all the way to the Arabian Peninsula, although the amount of control actually exerted by Istanbul dimi...
Share
Mark as Played
At the end of World War I, Great Britain promised India increased autonomy with one hand and took civil rights away with another. The furious population welcomed the leadership of a nationalist with a compelling message of non-violence and self-reliance, one Mohandas K. Gandhi. But when Gandhi organized nationwide protests, the British reacted with fear and force, especially in Amritsar, where a mob lashed out against English resid...
Share
Mark as Played
The Irish had tried to free themselves from British control for centuries, always to fail. But in 1922, the Irish Free State took its place among the world's independent nations. Learn how an election, a shadow government, and a key literally baked into a cake brought independence to Ireland--along with a bloody civil war.
Thomas Ash died in a British prison in 1917 after a botched forced feeding when he refused to lift his h...
Share
Mark as Played
The emergence of the flu virus that swept the globe between 1918 and 1920 was entirely unexpected, but the resulting pandemic can't be called an entirely natural disaster. Governments made decisions that made the flu much, much worse, and those decisions would have long-lasting consequences--and leave between 50 and 100 million dead.
Colonel Charles Hagadorn was a respected officer who had served in the Philippines, Northern ...
Share
Mark as Played
In 1919, thousands of American soldiers fought Russian troops on Russian soil--despite the fact President Woodrow Wilson had promised to allow Russia to determine its own political future. Why did the Allies rush to land troops in eastern Siberia and along the Arctic Ocean? And why have we forgotten all about it? General William S. Graves wanted to lead troops in France, but instead he was given confusing and contradictory orders...
Share
Mark as Played
The world has been obsessed with the tragedy of the Romanov family for more than a century. It's easy to forget that the Tsar's family were among hundreds of thousands of people killed in the Revolution as well as in conflicts that swept across Eastern Europe. These conflicts would have lasting implications for the entire world. Notes and Links I have really struggled to find a map that shows what I want a map to show. No...
Share
Mark as Played
In 1919, two competing art movements went head-to-head in Paris. One was the Return to Order, a movement about purity and harmony. The other was Dada, a movement about chaos and destruction. Their collision would change the trajectory of Western art.
Hugo Ball established the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, where Dada came to life in February 1916. In this photo, he's dressed in his "magic bishop" costume. The costume was...
Share
Mark as Played

Popular Podcasts

    If you can never get enough true crime... Congratulations, you’ve found your people.

    Dateline NBC

    Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

    Stuff You Should Know

    If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

    Morbid: A True Crime Podcast

    It’s a lighthearted nightmare in here, weirdos! Morbid is a true crime, creepy history and all things spooky podcast hosted by an autopsy technician and a hairstylist. Join us for a heavy dose of research with a dash of comedy thrown in for flavor.

    The Bobby Bones Show

    Listen to 'The Bobby Bones Show' by downloading the daily full replay.

Advertise With Us

For You

    Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

    Connect

    © 2021 iHeartMedia, Inc.

    • Help
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • AdChoicesAd Choices