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The Quaker abolitionist who was disowned for condemning slave owners

Episode description

Benjamin Lay wrote one of the first treatises against slavery in Colonial America, a time when many prosperous Pennsylvania Quakers were slave owners. But for speaking out, the Quakers disowned him.

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Paul Jennings, the former slave who disputed a legend from history

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August 9th, 2018

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August 8th, 2018

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July 9th, 2018

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July 6th, 2018

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July 5th, 2018

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July 4th, 2018

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July 3rd, 2018

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July 2nd, 2018

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June 22nd, 2018

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June 21st, 2018

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Doughnuts, the most patriotic of the junk foods

June 20th, 2018

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A mysterious stone memorial was found in 2006 in Washington, D.C. But who placed a memorial to Nazi spies on government property? And why?

Elaine Brown, the first and only woman to lead the Black Panther Party

May 22nd, 2018

Elaine Brown's takeover in 1974 was a pivotal moment for a woman in the black power movement. Although women had been a dynamic force for social and racial justice, they had often been overshadowed by men.

The man who filmed JFK's assassination

May 21st, 2018

For many, memories of that devastating day quickly revert to that silent, flickering sequence captured by Abraham Zapruder. It is as chilling as it is familiar: the approaching convertible, the waves of a crowd about to …

Princess Diana's final hours

May 18th, 2018

When Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle are married this weekend, there will be one other royal on the world’s minds - Harry’s mother, the beloved Princess Diana.

The enigmatic Prince Philip - separating fact from fiction

May 17th, 2018

The British royal wedding puts all eyes on the Windsor family - this time, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. But perhaps no royal is as controversial as Harry's grandfather, Prince Philip.

Wallis Simpson, the last American divorcee who married a British royal

May 16th, 2018

Another British royal wedding is coming up, so over the next few days, we'll explore a few moments from the history of royal marriages in Great Britain. Today, we meet Wallis Simpson, the last American divorcee to marry …

The truth is out there

May 15th, 2018

Area 51's secrets may not be alien in nature, but that doesn't make them any less mysterious.

John Brown's prophecy

May 14th, 2018

Abolitionist John Brown wrote made a prophecy before he was executed.

She spent years fighting to create Mother's Day, then lost everything trying to protect it

May 11th, 2018

Anna Jarvis would absolutely hate what Mother's Day has become.

The Sullivan brothers

May 10th, 2018

Five brothers fought and died together on the same ship during World War II. Their final resting place was discovered earlier this year.

Lee Harvey Oswald's final hours before killing Kennedy

May 9th, 2018

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy devastated the nation. But the day before the shooting was just a normal day. It was particularly calm …

To ban a "Mockingbird"

May 8th, 2018

Harper Lee's classic novel has been causing controversy for as long as its been in print. Here's a look at the history of banning "To Kill a Mockingbird."

The original Alcoholics Anonymous book was auctioned for millions, but its author was never paid

May 7th, 2018

The original manuscript was auctioned off for $2.4 million this weekend to an NFL owner, after almost a year of legal wrangling.

May the Fourth be with you

May 4th, 2018

Mark Hamill himself shares stories from Star Wars history. You can hear the full interview with Hamill on the Cape Up podcast with Jonathan Capehart.

The battle between Old Waddy and the press

May 3rd, 2018

Believe it or not, the relationship between politicians and the press has been worse. A lot worse.

Were the Duke of Windsor and Adolf Hitler friends?

May 2nd, 2018

Was the duke a Nazi sympathizer? Did he plot to dethrone his brother, King George VI? Did he really suggest more German bombing of Britain might end World War II?

Need a job? Ask Ulysses S. Grant

May 1st, 2018

Grant had an impressive resume on the battlefield, he was known to be a patsy when it came to helping job hunters. People used to walk right into the White House and ask the president to find them a job

How the Doomsday Clock came to be

April 30th, 2018

The Doomsday Clock was created not by a scientist, but by an artist.

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day was once just for daughters

April 27th, 2018

Mike is joined by a special guest to talk about how Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day began.

These guys were college jocks - and then became Presidents of the United States

April 26th, 2018

We dug through The Washington Post's archives and consulted the Pro Football Hall of Fame to bring you a rundown of the best presidential ballers.

The only person Hitler loved

April 25th, 2018

Adolf Hitler's mother may be the only person he genuinely cared for.

Philadelphia's plumbing revolution: wood pipes

April 24th, 2018

In 1812, Philadelphia was outfitted with the latest in plumbing technology - a network of wooden pipes to carry water throughout the city.

Chillicothe, Missouri, the town that invented sliced bread

April 23rd, 2018

The town of Chillicothe, Missouri, recently discovered they have a surprising claim to history: the creation of sliced bread.

Barbara Bush’s remarkable commencement address

April 20th, 2018

In 1990, students protested the choice of the first lady as their commencement speaker, calling it anti-feminist. Her speech silenced the critics.

The day anti-Vietnam War protesters tried to levitate the Pentagon

April 19th, 2018

In October 1967, antiwar protesters announced that they would march en masse to the front steps of the Pentagon. and levitate it. And then they …

The history of epic North Korean insults

April 18th, 2018

North Korea has long been a superpower when it comes verbal attacks.

Hate the IRS? Blame Abraham Lincoln.

April 17th, 2018

In 1861, President Abraham Lincoln was in a financial bind. Also, he was in a war. To raise money, he pushed for and won passage of an income tax …

The mother who made George Washington miserable

April 16th, 2018

George and his mother had an unusual relationship for the 1700s, more like what you might see in a sitcom from the 1970s. She was indispensable to …

Why Thurgood Marshall asked an ex-Klan member to help him make Supreme Court history

April 13th, 2018

Thurgood Marshall, the first African American member of the Supreme Court, took the constitutional oath of office from Hugo Black, a white associate justice who had once been a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

A letter from home

April 12th, 2018

A German woman discovered that her childhood home was stolen from a Jewish family who fled Nazi Germany. Last year, she tracked down the address of …

Was Mary Todd Lincoln a leaker?

April 11th, 2018

President Abraham Lincoln had to worry about the first lady being a leaker, and it was quite a scandal.

Winifred Stanley, a forgotten equal pay pioneer

April 10th, 2018

The woman who first introduced equal pay legislation in Congress had to fight to be taken seriously -- and often failed.

The invention of sarin

April 9th, 2018

Weevils, a voracious beetle found in fields and orchards, were the original target of sarin gas.

The spy plane

April 6th, 2018

Over the past few months, historians and national security analysts have been re-examining one particular forgotten moment in the history of U.S. and …

The toughest job in politics

April 5th, 2018

The most thankless job might be that of the White House press secretary. Just ask Ron Ziegler.

The day Martin Luther King Jr. died

April 4th, 2018

Fifty years ago today, the civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down in Memphis. Riots broke out across the country, but in …

The Mountaintop

April 3rd, 2018

On April 3, 1968, 50 years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr. was in Memphis to support sanitation workers who were protesting for their civil rights. It was there that King delivered his last speech.

The books the presidents read

April 2nd, 2018

Throughout history, the reading of books has been a sort of armchair way measuring someone's intelligence. Here are stories of three former presidents at opposite ends of the reading spectrum. You can decide for …

Egg Roll

March 30th, 2018

One day a year, the White House grounds are truly turned over to the people - well, the kids. That day is the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, and …

The girl who struck out Babe Ruth

March 29th, 2018

One of baseball's most enduring mysteries surrounds a 17-year-old girl name Jackie Mitchell.

The first daughters

March 28th, 2018

Ivanka Trump might be the only first daughter in American history to score a West Wing office, but she’s not the first presidential daughter to wield power in the White House.

Meet the Press

March 27th, 2018

At the beginning of the television age, “Meet the Press” dented the dominance of newspapers and thrilled news junkies with the you-were-there power of live broadcasting.

The man who won World War II

March 26th, 2018

Andrew Higgins wasn't in the Army. He wasn't a paratrooper. He was a wild and wily genius, a tough, crafty, businessman. And he built the built the boats that brought troops ashore at Normandy on June 6, 1944.

The children's crusade

March 23rd, 2018

The movement organized by survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., is not the first time that kids have taken a stand. History shows that …

The forbidden question

March 22nd, 2018

If the order for a nuclear attack is issued, the soldiers operating the launch machine have no choice but to fire. Or do they?

The crooked picture

March 21st, 2018

Jesse James, the most famous outlaw in history, was eventually foiled by a picture hanging crooked on a wall.

Lawn wars

March 20th, 2018

Lawns have always been more than just grass.

Dr. Spock

March 19th, 2018

Dr. Spock - not the guy from Star Trek - was at one time America's most beloved pediatrician. A whole generation of children was raised on his …

Then they came for me

March 16th, 2018

Martin Niemoller's simple and haunting words are often quoted in moments of intolerance. The story behind them is much more complicated.

The godfather of bracketology

March 15th, 2018

Some 50 million people are projected to fill out a March Madness bracket this year. As you finish filling out yours, you might want to tip your pencil and say thanks to the late and loud Staten Island bar owner Jody …

The Limping Lady

March 14th, 2018

President Trump made history Tuesday when he nominated a woman to become director of the Central Intelligence Agency. But while a woman leading the CIA was once unthinkable, female spies have made enormous, overlooked …

The first female marine

March 13th, 2018

During World War I, the Marines Corps back home needed help while the men were fighting overseas. Opha May Johnson was the first in line.

The trials and tribulations of being a cat

March 12th, 2018

Cats have endured some really mean stuff throughout history. Dogs should be thankful.

Fall back, spring forward

March 9th, 2018

Why, oh, why is daylight savings a thing? It's because for roughly two decades after World War II, no one had any clue what time it was.

The glass ceiling

March 8th, 2018

In 1978, Marilyn Loden coined a phrase that paints very image that women have been fighting for decades.

How are you, Grandmama?

March 7th, 2018

A dog and a cadaver deserve credit for their contributions to the invention of the telephone.

The night America burned

March 6th, 2018

The deadliest wildfire in U.S. history wasn’t in California.

And the winner is...

March 5th, 2018

Oscars night is probably the one moment around the world when people become really interested in envelopes.

Special delivery!

March 2nd, 2018

There’s one thing that you can’t have delivered anymore that was totally normal to send by mail in the early 1900s.

The woman behind Lisa Ben

March 1st, 2018

Edythe Eyde, also known by her pen name Lisa Ben, was a visionary who fought to make lesbians visible in pop culture decades before most others had …

The houses built by slaves

February 28th, 2018

Buildings that stand as symbols of American democracy - the White House, Mount Vernon and Monticello, to name a few - were erected with the labor of …

How the NRA began

February 27th, 2018

When the NRA was founded in 1871, its primary concern was not gun rights or the Second Amendment.

The rise of supermarkets

February 26th, 2018

If you’re like most Americans, you probably visit a grocery store once or twice a week. But you probably don’t know that one single grocery item is responsible for the rise of supermarkets as we know them.

The Green Book

February 23rd, 2018

In the 1930s, traveling the nation's highways while black was fraught with peril. One postal worker, Victor Green, wrote a guidebook for African Americans after he faced discrimination on a road trip.

The ice queen

February 22nd, 2018

Sonja Henie won three Olympic gold medals and 10 world championships, and turned her star power into as career as one of Hollywood's biggest movie …

Mrs. Graham

February 21st, 2018

Katherine Graham's leadership in the decision to release the Pentagon Papers was the subject of the Stephen Spielberg film "The Post." But it was her leadership during the pressman's strike in 1975 that is perhaps the …

The electric rivalry

February 20th, 2018

To understand the gruesome history of the death penalty, it is essential to comprehend how badly Thomas Edison wanted to zap George Westinghouse.

All the president's ghosts

February 19th, 2018

Whether you believe in this stuff or not, the many accounts that have spilled out of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue over two centuries give ghosts an undeniable place in the country’s history.

Don't mess with Harriet Tubman

February 16th, 2018

She was just 5 feet tall. There was once a $40,000 bounty on her head. She suffered seizures throughout her life. She never gave up. She never gave in.

When Olympic silver beats gold

February 15th, 2018

Ski jumping involves flying more than 800 feet in the air and then landing on two feet, without dying. Where on earth did this sport come from?

The most romantic day

February 14th, 2018

From all over the country, couples rushed to Las Vegas to get married. The demand for quickie weddings was at a fever pitch. But it wasn't Cupid's arrow causing the frenzy. It was the Vietnam War.

The best birthday card ever

February 13th, 2018

In 1926, the United States received a birthday card signed by 5.5 million Polish people.

What hath God wrought?

February 12th, 2018

The history of social media began in 1844, when Samuel F.B. Morse sent a message from Washington to Baltimore. It said, "What hath God wrought?"

Introducing 'Retropod'

February 7th, 2018

Preview The Washington Post's newest daily podcast, a show about the past, rediscovered. Subscribe now to get the first episode when it launches February 12.
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