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The Year That Was

26 EpisodesProduced by Elizabeth LundayWebsite

A look at history one year at a time, from as many angles as possible. Famous people, infamous people, obscure people; wars, revolutions, peace treaties, art, science, sports, religion. The big picture, in an entertaining podcast package.

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Welcome to The Year That Was

August 12th, 2019

Welcome to the The Year That Was: 1919.

I'm so excited to announce this new project. I've always been fascinated by year-by-year approach to history, and I'm thrilled to be taking a close look at 1919. Over the course …

Through Cloud, Hopeful: Eddington, Einstein, and the Eclipse of 1919

July 4th, 2021


Arthur Eddington was committed to testing Einstein's General Theory of Relativity during the 1919 Solar Eclipse, not only to remove all doubts about …

The Pursuit of Truth: Eddington, Einstein, and the Eclipse of 1919

June 28th, 2021


In 1914, most scientists claimed their work knew no borders, but the Great War slammed the door on international scientific cooperation. So when a obscure German physicist named Albert Einstein presented a radical new …

Dulce Et Decorum Est: The Legacies of Fritz Haber

May 29th, 2021


Note: This episode contains a description of a poison gas attack in World War I and a discussion of the injuries caused by different gases. I do not dwell on the details, but even the bare facts can be disturbing. …

The Last Night of the Bubbling Glass: The Passage of the 18th Amendment

September 24th, 2020


By 1914, the temperance movement had achieved significant gains in its goal to outlaw the sale of alcohol in the United States. But every push for …

Do You Expect Us to Turn Back Now: Alice Paul and the Fight for Woman Suffrage

June 28th, 2020


Women in the United States began fighting for the right to vote in 1848, and by 1910 they had achieved a few hard-won victories. But success …

Flu Fences and Chin Sails: Answering New Questions about the Spanish Flu

May 26th, 2020


Living through the COVID-19 pandemic raises all sorts of new questions about the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1919. This episode seeks to answer …

Say It Ain't So: The Black Sox Scandal and Baseball in 1919

May 5th, 2020


Baseball was the only truly national American sport in 1919, loved by fans across the United States. But the mood among players was grim--team owners …

Radical and Agitator: William Monroe Trotter and the Fight for Justice

February 17th, 2020


William Monroe Trotter was among the richest, best-educated, and most-well-connected African-American men in the United States--and he dedicated every ounce of his privilege into helping his fellow black Americans. By …

There Is No Justice Here: The Red Summer of 1919

January 22nd, 2020


A constant threat of violence hung over the lives of African Americans in the early 20th century, an unrelenting terror that served to deter economic …

Reign of Terror: The First Red Scare

December 19th, 2019


Americans felt under attack in 1919 as a series of riots, strikes, disasters, and bombings hit the country. After radicals attempted to blow up the house of Attorney General Mitchell Palmer, he decided enough was …

Pie in the Sky: The Wobblies and the Fight for Labor

December 10th, 2019


The I.W.W. was a tough, militant, radical union, and its very existence terrified business owners, factory bosses, and the entire U.S. government. Since its founding, the law had been out to get the Wobblies. In 1919, …

Send All Available Personnel: The United States and the Great Molasses Flood

November 26th, 2019


The Purity Distilling Company molasses tank dominated the North End of Boston, standing 50 feet tall over the surrounding tenements. Residents of the …

The Great Tide of Our Age: Colonies, Mandates and the Failed Promise of Self-Determination

November 19th, 2019


Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points promised self-determination to colonies around the globe, raising hopes of independence and freedom for millions. …

A Grubby Little War: The Collapse of the Ottoman Empire

November 12th, 2019


The collapse of the Ottoman Empire set off a mad scramble for territory. No one paid any attention to what the people who actually lived in the …

No Question of Undue Severity: The India Independence Movement

October 29th, 2019


At the end of World War I, Great Britain promised India increased autonomy with one hand and took civil rights away with another. The furious …

Giving the Natives a Free Hand: The Irish Fight for Independence

October 22nd, 2019


The Irish had tried to free themselves from British control for centuries, always to fail. But in 1922, the Irish Free State took its place among the …

No Cause for Panic: The Spanish Flu Pandemic

October 15th, 2019


The emergence of the flu virus that swept the globe between 1918 and 1920 was entirely unexpected, but the resulting pandemic can't be called an …

Eggshells Loaded with Dynamite: Allied Intervention in the Russian Revolution

October 8th, 2019


In 1919, thousands of American soldiers fought Russian troops on Russian soil--despite the fact President Woodrow Wilson had promised to allow Russia …

The Object of Power: The Russian Revolution and Conflict in Eastern Europe, Part II

October 1st, 2019


The world has been obsessed with the tragedy of the Romanov family for more than a century. It's easy to forget that the Tsar's family were among …

Incident at Chelyabinsk: The Russian Revolution and Conflict in Eastern Europe, Part I

September 24th, 2019


One of the strangest conflicts of the Great War happened 1000 miles east of Moscow between two units of Czech and Hungarian former POWs. What these troops were doing on the edge of Siberia is a fascinating tale of …

A Gladiator's Gesture: Art after the Great War

September 24th, 2019


In 1919, two competing art movements went head-to-head in Paris. One was the Return to Order, a movement about purity and harmony. The other was …

Bring in the Germans: The Fate of the Losers at the Paris Peace Conference

September 17th, 2019


The most important task at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference was the drafting of peace terms for the losers of the war. Germany and Austria assumed …

Burdened with Glorious Purpose: Woodrow Wilson and the League of Nations

September 10th, 2019


Woodrow Wilson believed he and he alone could end war--forever. His plan for the League of Nations would usher in an era of eternal peace. So it …

Our Fathers Lied: The Origins of World War I

September 5th, 2019


Welcome to the World Bar. It's a tough locale, with scratched tables and angry patrons, and you won't find it on Yelp. But it's here that the most …

1919: A Time of Hope or a Time of Dread?

September 3rd, 2019


Lucy Maud Montgomery became one of Canada's most successful and beloved authors with the publication of the Anne of Green Gables series. After …

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