Forever Ago

Forever Ago

Brains On presents Forever Ago®, a history show for the whole family! Every episode looks into the surprising and fascinating history of things we think are ordinary, but they’re not -- like ice cream flavors, video games, baths and more. We make learning about the past fun while teaching listeners to think critically about history.

Episodes

February 19, 2024 1 min

It’s a time-honored Valentine’s Day tradition to hand out conversation hearts - those candies with phrases like “be mine” and “love always” written on them. In this episode, we play a game where contestants come up with conversation candies for made up holidays.





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Forever Ago won’t be back for a few months, but never fear! You can catch up on tons of Forever Ago fun today by signing up for Smarty Pass and accessing a back catalog of bonus episodes. You’ll also get ad-free episodes, discounts on merchandise and event tickets, and an exclusive thank you gift mailed straight to your home!


Plus, this month we’re hosting a super special challenge. If we get 300 new subscribers in Fe...

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January 22, 2024 1 min

Joy hosts the timeless classic Snow Zone Bowl– the game where you guess the rules to odd Winter Olympic sports from history. Join Joy, Sanden Totten and Anna Weggel for some frosty fun you won’t want to miss!

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December 27, 2023 24 mins

Who doesn’t love gum? It’s fun, sticky, and sweet! But did you know people have been chewing on stuff for centuries? Come explore the surprising history of gum with Joy, co-host Aliyah, and their new friend Gumpy (who may or may not be a sculpture made of old gum who magically came alive). Learn how several happy accidents led to the invention of modern chewing gum and why bubble gum is pink. And be sure to stick around fo...

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December 20, 2023 27 mins

Synthesizers are revolutionary instruments. These electronic devices use knobs, buttons and sliders to make different sounds — and you can hear them in all sorts of music, from pop to hip-hop. But that wasn’t always the case. Join Joy and co-host Lilike as they explore the history of the synthesizer and learn one album transformed it from an experimental instrument to an essential hitmaker. We’ll also hear from Switched On...

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Libraries are popular with everyone, but they're especially beloved by kids and their families. They’re places where you can listen to stories, check out books, play with toys -- all for free! What's not to love? But, it wasn't so long ago that kids weren't welcome at all. In this episode, Joy and her cohost Lillike meet a very special wooden doll named Nicholas Knickerbocker, who helps tell the story of th...

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Climate change can feel like an overwhelming problem, so it’s important to shine a light on environmental success stories. One such tale? How the world came together to save the ozone! 


Join Joy and co-host Asa as they whisk listeners from the birth of ozone-depleting chemicals, to the scientific discovery that these chemicals were destroying our atmosphere, to the stunning act of international cooperation that lead to...

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Babies who are born too early often get extra care in the hospital at the NICU, or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. But the NICU didn’t always exist – and it took doctors a long time to figure out how to care for these babies. 


Join Joy, co-host Betty and their pal Ruby Guthrie to hear how one person saved thousands of premature babies by putting them on display at an amusement park in New York City. His boardwalk show, c...

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Today, athletes like Simone Biles and  Katie Ledecky are Olympic rockstars. But did you know that when the Olympics started, women weren’t even allowed to compete? And when they did join the games, female athletes struggled to get the same recognition as men. Join Joy, co-host Elysse and couch coach “Dubs” as they explore the surprising and triumphant history of how female athletes became Olympic stars. Plus, a brand new r...

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In this episode, we examine the real history behind one of the most celebrated holidays: Thanksgiving. It’s a pretty big deal in the U.S., with all the food and big gatherings and special traditions. But why do we celebrate Thanksgiving like we do?


Join Joy and co-host Asa as they explore the history of Thanksgiving. Did the Pilgrims and Native Americans actually sit down for dinner together? Why do we eat turkey? And ...

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November 8, 2023 33 mins

Superman isn’t just any old superhero -- he was the very first costumed superhero! He paved the way for Spiderman, Wonder Woman, Batman and all the other caped, masked and spandexed superheroes. In this episode, join Joy, her cohost Aaliyah, and special guest Molly Bloom to hear how his origin story was written by two teens from Cleveland in the 1930s, inspired by their experiences as children of immigrants. Plus, a brand...

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October 25, 2023 1 min

Are you ready to explore the before?  Forever Ago is a history podcast for the whole family, and it's coming back on November 8th, 2023!  Joy Dolo and her cohosts have all kinds of fascinating stories for you. Tune in to learn all kinds of new stuff, play games like First Things First and hear from listeners like you! New episodes drop Wednesday starting November 8th.

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Do you know the birthday song? We bet you do! People all over the world sing a version of “Happy Birthday to You.” It’s even been played in OUTER SPACE! Way less well-known, though, is the story behind the song, and the sisters who wrote it! Listen in to hear Elysse tell Joy the story, so she can get inspiration for her own quest to write a solar-system famous song.  Plus, an all new birthday themed First Things First feat...

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Electric cars may seem like the latest technology, but they were actually first invented in the late 1880s! So what happened to the electric car? And why aren’t all cars electric today? Buckle your seatbelts and get ready for the ride of a lifetime as Joy and cohost Lilike learn about how the electric car came to be and what the future might hold. Plus, an all new First Things First featuring seatbelts, traffic signals, an...

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Uh oh, Joy has a big problem: too many fun things to do every weekend and not enough time to do them all. In this episode, she and cohost Asa are on a mission to make the weekend longer!

But where did the weekend come from? And why is it two days, instead of one or five? Turns out, it all started when factories began opening up in the 1800s. Tag along with Joy and Asa as they learn how workers pushed for more time o...

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Head down to the ranch with Joy and co-host Aaliyah as they share the stories of three incredible Black cowboys. These cowboys tamed wild horses, arrested bandits and became legends in their own time! The stories of Black people in the Wild West have often been erased from history books, but some people are trying to change that. Plus, a new game of First Things First featuring mechanical bulls, cowboy hats, and ranch dres...

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This week, Joy and co-host Lilike are at a Pride celebration! These celebrations have taken place since 1969, but the rainbow flag is a more recent invention! Tag along to check out all the amazing parade floats, learn about the queer community’s fight for civil rights, and discover how the Pride flag was first created! Plus, a new game of First Things First featuring some of our favorite emojis!

Kiwico.com - Use pr...

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You know Joy Dolo as your favorite ever host of Forever Ago, but she's also a debater on our sister podcast Smash Boom Best. And we're really excited to let you know that on Sunday, July 23rd she'll be performing in Smash Boom Best LIVE at the Parkway Theater in Minneapolis.


She'll be duking it out with actor and comedian Brant Miller in not one, but TWO smash boom smackdowns of epic proportions – topic...

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Hey, Smarty Pal, want more Forever Ago? Check out this sneak peek of Joy playing a brand new game she just invented that bears no resemblance to any other game. Listen as Joy pulls intriguing, silly, stupendous, sounds from her pocket and see if you can guess when the sounds came from and what made them!

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Joy and co-host Asa learn about the year without a summer, and how it led to some amazing inventions! 1816 was a very strange year. In many parts of the world warm summer weather never came, and crops froze.  Scientists now know these were the effects of a volcanic eruption, but back then, people had no idea what was happening. Still, this tragedy kicked off a lot of innovation, from new works of art to new ways of growing...

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