The American History Podcast

A Program Of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities


Thar She Blows

Whale deaths are reaching record numbers in 2019. According to the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association, gray whale deaths are “notably greater than the average” and have led the NOAA to declare the occurrence an Unusual Mortality Event (UME). In addition, NOAA considers the death rates of North Atlantic right whales an urgent conservation crisis leading the U.S. to begin working with Canada this month to help protect the species.

On this episode, Brian, Nathan and Joanne explore how Native American whalers faced stereotypes within the industry, how whaling went from boom to bust, and learn how a real white whale named Mocha Dick became the inspiration for Herman Melville’s novel.