This Day in Esoteric Political History

This Day in Esoteric Political History

We’re living in unprecedented times. Maybe. In this show, Jody Avirgan, Nicole Hemmer and Kellie Carter Jackson (and guests) take one moment, big or small, from that day in U.S. political history and explore how it might inform our present –– all in about fifteen minutes. New episodes release Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Find us at ThisDayPod.com. We’re also posting about moments from the past @thisdaypod on Twitter and Instagram. If you have a suggestion for a topic, get in touch. This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member of the Radiotopia podcast network from PRX.

Episodes

January 26, 2023 25 min

It’s January 26th. This day in 1969, free meals are being handed out to kids in Oakland, California as part of the Black Panther Party Free for Children Breakfast Program.

Jody, NIki, and Kellie are joined by Mary Phillips, history professor at Lehman College, to discuss why the panthers started the program, how it reflected the community work they were doing — and how it subverted gender roles within the organization.

Sign up fo...

Mark as Played

It’s January 24th. This day in 1909, the administration of William Howard Taft has gone completely possum crazy — and is desperately trying to make “Billy Possum” a mascot along the lines of the Teddy Bear.

Jody, Niki, and Kellie discuss why Taft was so infatuated with the possum, and the key differences between the origin stories of the Teddy Bear and Billy Possum marketing campaigns.

Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending...

Mark as Played
January 22, 2023 18 min

It’s January 22nd. This day in 1958, near Maxton, North Carolina, a KKK rally was broken up by a group of armed members of the Lumbee tribe.

Jody, Niki, and Kellie discuss what came to be known as the “Battle of Hayes Pond,” the relationship between Black, White, and Native Americans in the region, and the role of armed resistance in the Civil Rights era.

Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we ...

Mark as Played
January 19, 2023 20 min

It’s January 19h. This day in 1870, a political cartoon by Thomas Mast depicts a donkey to represent southern Democrats. Around this same time, Nast also starts to use the elephant for Republicans.

Jody, Niki, and Kellie discuss the very convoluted origins of the very strange mascots — and whether the donkey-elephant divide even works anymore.

Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended ...

Mark as Played

It’s January 16th. This day in 1903, film of the electrocution of an elephant, Topsy, is being viewed in kinetoscopes across the country. Topsy was executed on Coney Island a few weeks earlier.

Jody, Niki, and Kellie discuss how the story of Topsy’s death lands at a moment when there are lots of changes in the way Americans thought about electricity, corporal punishment, animal rights — and how the death evokes the spectacle and b...

Mark as Played

It’s January 15th. In the winter of 1898-99, at the end of the Spanish-American War, President McKinley is touring the south to drum up support from Southern lawmakers.

Jody, Niki, and Kellie discuss how as part of his appeal to Southerners, McKinley embraces a story of the Civil War as virtuous and noble — and makes key concessions about monuments and burial plots to Southern soldiers. In many ways, this starts to plant the seeds...

Mark as Played

Here’s a recent favorite episode — the first part of a four-part series we did on the Church Committee hearings. We’ll be back real soon with new stories!

We’ve got a new miniseries for you, looking back at the 1975 Church Committee hearings and report, which disclosed a wide array of shady behavior by the NSA, FBI, and CIA.

For the next four episodes, we’ll look at the findings and what the revelations meant for US government an...

Mark as Played

Here’s a recent favorite episode — we’ll be back real soon with new stories!

It’s June 2nd. This day in 1993, the very-fake nation known as “The Dominion Of Melchizedek” received official recognition from the Central African Republic. The Dominion was a nation set up to commit bank fraud, but now it was formally recognized as a sovereign state.

Jody, Niki, and Kellie discuss how Melchizedek was able to exploit a number of legal l...

Mark as Played
January 8, 2023 29 min

This episode, we bring you a favorite conversation from our friends at On The Media. They have a whole new series on the rise and influence of talk radio, particularly on the political right. It’s hosted by Katie Thornton, and this is the first episode.

Listen to the full series here: https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/divided-dial

Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later ...

Mark as Played

This episode, we bring you a favorite conversation from our friends at In The Bubble with host Andy Slavitt. Here he talks with filmmaker Ken Burns about Benjamin Franklin, public health, and the work of history.

To hear more In the Bubble, head to https://link.chtbl.com/InTheBubble

More about In The Bubble, from Lemonada:

Every day, the world seems on the brink of crisis. Join Andy Slavitt and experts, policymakers, journalists...

Mark as Played
January 3, 2023 26 min

Happy New Year! To kick off 2023, we’re answering a bunch of your questions about things big and small. Thanks for all your great questions and comments this year, and we’re looking forward to many great conversations in the year to come.

Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later this week.

Find out more at thisdaypod.com

This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member ...

Mark as Played
January 1, 2023 29 min

Happy New Year! To kick of 2023, we’re answering a bunch of your questions about things big and small. Thanks for all your great questions and comments this year, and we’re looking forward to many great conversations in the year to come.

Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended later this week.

Find out more at thisdaypod.com

This Day In Esoteric Political History is a proud member o...

Mark as Played
December 29, 2022 39 min

*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 ***

As 2022 comes to a close, we’re doing a few special episodes talking about favorite work from the year — and ideas that we’ll carry with us into 2023. Today, we talk about more “pop history” work that we loved.

Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out links to all the stuff we recommended late...

Mark as Played
December 27, 2022 32 min

*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 ***

As 2022 comes to a close, we’re doing a few special episodes talking about favorite work from the year — and ideas that we’ll carry with us into 2023. Today, we talk about more academic work and the current state of historical research and discourse.

Sign up for our newsletter! We’ll be sending out li...

Mark as Played

*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 ***

It’s December 25th. Merry Christmas! In 1988, rumors began to swirl about Nancy Reagan using astrology to make decisions within the White House. The Reagans downplayed the story, but soon reporters began to dig into their longstanding use of star charts and numbers, dating back to their time in Hollywo...

Mark as Played

*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 ***

It’s December 22nd. In 2008, Dan Connell, a technology consultant, died in a small plane crash in Ohio. Connell had been a longtime consultant for GOP campaigns, and his death set off all sorts of rumors and conspiracies reaching back to questions about the 2004 presidential election in Ohio. Jody, Nik...

Mark as Played
December 20, 2022 15 min

*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 ***

It’s December 20th. In 1983, ex-President Gerald Ford appeared on the hit soap opera “Dynasty,” playing himself and delivering a six-word line — which most TV critics still went out of their way to pan. Jody, NIki, and Kellie discuss the appearance and the history of presidential cameos.

Sign up for o...

Mark as Played
December 15, 2022 13 min

*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 ***

It’s December 15th. In 1960, a New Hampshire man lined his car with dynamite and planned to ram in to the limousine in which President-Elect John F Kennedy was riding. He ditched his plan at the last second, and was arrested shortly after. Jody, Niki, and Kellie discuss the plot, the incredible way it ...

Mark as Played
December 13, 2022 20 min

*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 ***

It’s December 13th. In 2008, FBI agents knock on the door of financier Bernie Madoff and arrest him for running a decades-long Ponzi scheme. Jody, Niki, and Kellie discuss how Madoff was able to get away with it for so long, why it all collapsed — and the man people who were hurt as a result of his fra...

Mark as Played
December 11, 2022 23 min

*** The Radiotopia fundraiser is happening right now! Support this show by becoming a member today: https://on.prx.org/3Ehr3B6 ***

On December 14th, 2012, the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School killed 28 people. Almost immediately conspiracy theories about the tragedy began to spread, promulgated in large part by people like Alex Jones. On the 10th anniversary of the event, Jody, Niki, and Kellie look back at how the right-w...

Mark as Played

Popular Podcasts

    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.

    The Piketon Massacre

    The most notorious mass murder in Ohio’s history happened on the night of April 21, 2016 in rural Pike County. Four crime scenes, thirty-two gunshot wounds, eight members of the Rhoden family left dead in their homes. Two years later a local family of four, the Wagners, are arrested and charged with the crimes. As the Wagners await four back-to-back capital murder trials, the KT Studios team revisits Pike County to examine: crime-scene forensics, upcoming legal proceedings, and the ties that bind the victims and the accused. As events unfold and new crimes are uncovered, what will it mean for all involved? What will it mean for Pike County?

    Crime Junkie

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

    Morbid

    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.

Advertise With Us

For You

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

    Connect

    © 2023 iHeartMedia, Inc.