The Weird History Podcast

The Weird History Podcast


Latest Episodes

219 Patient Zero
July 11, 2020

In 1987 journalist Randy Shilts chronicled the early years of AIDS in North America in his book And the Band Played On. Shilts’ reporting was mostly concerned with the failures of the U.S. government and healthcare infrastructure to respond to […]

218 Juneteenth
June 19, 2020

Slavery in the United States did not end all at once. Even though the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect in 1863, the last enslaved persons in the United States didn’t know they were legally free until June 19th, 1865 when […]

An Update From Joe
April 26, 2020

Hello everyone. We’re all dealing with a lot right now. This is an update on how I’ve been doing, and the state of the show.

217 The War of 1812 Part Two: Other Causes
March 22, 2020

British impressment of American sailors and restrictions on maritime trade are only part of the story in the run-up to the War of 1812. Another major factor was American expansionism. The British, at the time, were supplying munitions to Native […]

216 The War of 1812, Part One: Surface Causes
March 01, 2020

America doesn’t talk much about the War of 1812. In the historical narrative that the U.S. likes to construct for itself, its first official, declared war might as well not exist. The war’s been ignored for a variety of reasons […]

215 Vortex One: An Excerpt From Storied and Scandalous Portland, Oregon
February 16, 2020

In 1970 Oregon governor Tom McCall had a problem: An American Legion convention was descending on Portland in August of that year, with a potential visit by then-president Richard Nixon. A group called the People’s Army Jamboree promised to protest […]

214 In Which Loki Ruins a Dinner Party
January 26, 2020

The Poetic Edda is one of our main sources for Norse mythology, and the poems in it feature tales of gods, heroes, giants, and (of course) Ragnarok. However, not everything in the Poetic Edda focuses on quests, battles, heroes, or […]

213 Where Does Santa Claus Come From?
December 23, 2019

Santa Claus is the result of cultural crossover and exchange. Historical and folkloric figures like St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas, and Father Christmas combined in various ways over several generations to create the English-speaking world’s most popular pe...

212 St. Nicholas
December 12, 2019

Saint Nicholas is not Santa Claus, but he’s now inescapably bound up with Santa’s story and identity. Nicholas was the bishop of Myra, a town in what we no call Turkey, and we don’t have any surviving sources about him […]