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Independence Daze

A History of July Fourth [rebroadcast]


BackStory celebrates Independence Day with a classic episode, tracing how July Fourth went from little more than an also-ran among national holidays to being the holiest day on our secular calendar.

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Where There’s Smoke

A History of Fire


On this episode, BackStory blazes a trail across time in a quest for fire. How have Americans harnessed its power and coped with its dangers?

National Lampoon

Satire in American History


This is no joke: Brian, Ed and Peter are are marking the end of Jon Stewart’s hugely popular run on The Daily Show with stories about satire across the generations.

The Pursuit

A History of Happiness


In July 1776, the signers of Declaration said “the pursuit of Happiness” was an unalienable right. How did Americans define fulfillment in those days — and how has that idea changed ever since?

Pitch a show!

Winter/Spring 2015


Have a topic you’d like to see on air this year? Tell us more.

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Latest Comments

sandra m

Commented on: Pitch a show!

I didn't see this topic in your archives, so here goes: California as the cultural new frontier of the [...]

Mary

Commented on: The Pursuit

Is it true that Jefferson originally wrote "life, liberty, and property," and that Franklin persuaded him to change that last [...]