The American History Podcast

A Program Of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities


History Behind The Headlines

Recently, Charlottesville City Council voted to rename “Columbus Day,” the second Monday of October, “Indigenous Peoples’ Day.” The resolution, introduced by Councilor Wes Bellamy, says that Charlottesville “shall continue its efforts to promote the well-being and growth of the Charlottesville American Indian and Indigenous community. Indigenous Peoples’ Day shall be used to reflect upon the […]

History Behind The Headlines

This week, Donald Trump laid out his ambitious tax plan, which slashes taxes for individuals and businesses. Right now, it’s difficult to know how all this will look, especially since the nine-page proposal leaves many unanswered questions. Here’s what we know for sure: according to the New York Times, the plan includes just three tax […]

History Behind The Headlines

Last year, American football player and current free agent Colin Kaepernick began quietly taking a knee during the national anthem in protest to police brutality. The response was anything but quiet. The resulting media firestorm questioned everything from if the act was unpatriotic to what style of protest, especially by African Americans, is considered acceptable […]

BackStory Live: Who Speaks for America? 200 Years of Debate

Using Thomas Jefferson’s founding of University of Virginia as a starting point, BackStory’s Ed Ayers, Nathan Connolly, Joanne Freeman, and Brian Balogh will weave together the founder’s ideas about the role of an educated citizenry in a democracy to discuss who has the ability to shape our country and how this group has changed with […]

9/11 Tribute museum offers hopeful take on tragic events

A somber crowd gathered outside the 9/11 Tribute Museum in downtown Manhattan, one block away from the site of the September 11, 2001 attacks, to reflect on a surprising subject: hope. The gathering took place this past June in honor of the official opening of the 9/11 Tribute Museum, a project of the September 11th […]

BookStory’s September Selection

This year, Yale University named a new undergraduate residential college for Pauli Murray. Who is Murray, you might ask? To answer the question, September’s BookStory selection is a new biography of Murray by Rosalind Rosenberg, “Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray.” Rosenberg, a professor of history emerita at Barnard College, Columbia University, sheds light […]

History Behind The Headlines

BackStory’s hosts have been at work, doing what they do best – using history to put the recent events into context. Here’s a running list of what Ed, Brian, Nathan and Joanne have said and written in the last few days. There are also a few links where past episodes have been used in recent […]

History Behind The Headlines

The “Unite the Right” rally, scheduled to kick off at noon in Charlottesville, Va. today, was canceled after violence broke out at approximately 11:35 a.m. (EDT). Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency. To help you place the events into context, BackStory offers the following segments: A FOE WITHOUT HATE is a segment […]