what you didn't know you didn't know

Newest Episode

Remember that time a Soviet dictator tried to assassinate an American movie star? Yeah neither do we, let's take a look inside the insidious world of KGB assassins, secret plots, and presumably, lots and lots of cowboy hats.


Episode 17: John Wayne vs. Communism

Remember that time a Soviet dictator tried to assassinate an American movie star? Yeah neither do we, let's take a look inside the insidious world of KGB assassins, secret plots, and presumably, lots and lots of cowboy hats.


Episode 17: Bloody Harlan

Part 3 of a 3 part series on labor relations in industrial America. As the Coal Wars came to a close in the 1930s, there was one conflict that lasted for almost a decade straight. Welcome…to Bloody Harlan County.


Episode 16: Night On Blair Mountain

Part 2 of a 3 part series on labor relations in industrial America. In late August, 1921, West Virginia was rocked by the largest armed uprising since the Civil War. More than one million rounds were fired, and over one hundred people died. So…what happened?


Episode 15: Sixteen Tons

Part 1 of a 3 part series on labor relations in industrial America. Bisbee, Arizona is a quintessential small town, and it often ranked among one of the coolest small towns in America, yet behind it’s vibrant historic downtown and its popular attractions, Bisbee hides a troubled past…


Episode 14: The Blue Bench

100 years ago, the most lethal war in the history of mankind had the side effect of creating the discipline of modern plastic surgery, as well as advancing the art of prosthetic production. In this week's episode, learn about Anna Coleman Ladd, Harold Gillies, the Great War, and of course, the blue bench.


Episode 13: Project Cybersyn

On September 11th, 1973, a military coup in Chile overthrew the world's first democratically elected Marxist president, Salvador Allende. As the new military dictatorship was dismantling Chilean democracy, they came across a small, futuristic room that projected absolute power. Learn about the history and context for Salvador Allende's Project Cybersyn in this week's episode.


Episode 12: Joy To The World

For many Americans, joking is a way of life, and practical jokes are the bread and butter. Tune in this week to hear about the chronology of joking from ancient Rome to now, and learn about the people that made practical joking what it is today.


Episode 11: Yes! We Have No Bananas

Though it may seem unlikely, the simple banana has helped shape the modern world, as well as the modern diet. Tune into this week's episode of Hidden History to learn how a piece of fruit has brought nations to their knees. 


Episode 10: In John We Trust

What happens when people who live in isolation suddenly come into contact with the most powerful military force in the world? More importantly, what happens to the original community's society and economy once those new visitors leave for good? Find out in Hidden History's 10th episode: In John We Trust.


Episode 9: Don't Call Me Shirley

For over fifty years color photographs were developed in accordance with the strict guidelines laid out in Kodak's Shirley Card system. This episode explores the technology behind cameras and photo development, as well as the history of the Shirley Card, the problems it created, and how they were eventually solved.


Episode 8: SCRAM!

Nuclear power has existed, in one form or another, for almost 80 years. In the intervening decades, nuclear science has progressed spectacularly, and sometimes terrifyingly. How did we get from a reactors that output half a watt to reactors that can power entire cities? And what happens when those huge reactors go super critical?

Episode 7: Hardware Wars

Before the .mp3, 8-track, and LP record, people listened to their favorite music on etched wax cylinders. What happened to them, and why don't we use them today? Find out on Hidden History's 7th Episode about the life and death of early music technology.


Episode 6: Dem Bones

From chemotherapy to advanced medical X-rays, radiation has changed the way we live our lives, but it hasn't always been for the better. In this episode of Hidden History, learn about the darker side of early radioactive technology, from the the tragically infamous Radium Girls to the shoe-fitting fluoroscope. 




Episode 5: Time in a Bottle

For over 70 years, the price of a bottle of Coca-Cola was pinned at 5 cents. The nickel coke lasted through a depression, two world wars, massive inflation, the introduction of Pepsi, and much more. Episode 5 goes into one of the most notable examples of psychological branding association in the history of the United States.




Episode 4: The Color Purple

Since its discovery thousands of years ago, up until 1856, the color purple was associated with royalty, power, and wealth. A completely accidental discovery changed all that. Learn about the color of everyday life on this week's episode of Hidden History.

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Episode 3: The Sweetest Place on Earth

Tune in this week to hear about the hidden history behind H.B. Reese and one of America's favorite candies, the Reese's Cup, as well as the local legend Milton Hershey, the pragmatic candy wizard who dreamed of building the sweetest place on earth.


Episode 2: Music From Mathematics

Electronic is among one of the most popular genres of modern music- it's existed in various incarnations since the first electronically synthesized sounds almost 100 years ago. How did it get from a series of primitive beeps and buzzes on a computer the size of a room to the commercially successful genre it is today? Find out on Hidden History's second episode. 




Episode 1: Brother John Birch

Founded in the late 1950s, the radical fringe political group, the John Birch Society, quickly grew to dominate right-wing discourse (and embody midcentury cartoonish McCarthyism) during the height of the Cold War, but... what exactly was it, and what happened to it?