History That Doesn't Suck

History That Doesn't Suck

Prof. Greg Jackson


111 episodes

HTDS is a bi-weekly podcast, delivering a legit, seriously researched, hard-hitting survey of American history through entertaining stories. To keep up with History That Doesn’t Suck news, check us out on Facebook and Instagram: @Historythatdoesntsuck; on Twitter: @HTDSpod; or online at htdspodcast.com. Support the podcast at patreon.com/historythatdoesntsuck.

  • 19 JUL 2021
    93: La Liberté éclairant le monde: Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi’s Statue of Liberty
    1h 13m 57s

    “Vive l’entente fraternelle des deux républiques !” This is the story of the Statue of Liberty. In 1865, Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi (or “Auguste,” as his friends call him), claims to have attended a dinner at which his French colleagues and...

  • 05 JUL 2021
    History That Doesn’t Suck, LIVE: The Boston Massacre, or the Incident at King Street
    58m 16s

    “Damn ye, rascals, what did ye fire for?” This is the story of the Boston Massacre (or, for you loyalists out there, the “incident” at King Street), which the Prof. recounted LIVE this 4th of July weekend for the largest colonial history r...

  • 21 JUN 2021
    92: The Brooklyn Bridge, or the Story of the Roebling Family
    1h 10m 32s

    “John Roebling has not the leisure to wait upon any man.” This is the story of a bridge and a family. John Roebling is weary of the oppressive, bureaucratic Prussian government. He’s heard from his professor–Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel–...

  • 07 JUN 2021
    91: The Gilded Age, Industrialization, and Assassination of President James Garfield
    1h 9s

    “What is the chief end of man? A: To get rich.” This is the story of the Gilded Age and its first three presidents: Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, and Chester A. Arthur. Mark Twain calls this era a “Gilded Age”–that is, a time of g...

  • 24 MAY 2021
    1 (Second Edition): That One Time When George Washington Sort of Triggered an International War
    1h 9m 49s

    “[He] washed his hands with the brains.”  Private John Shaw This is the story of a 22-year-old George Washington as commander of a 400-man army fighting the French. We’ll also hear about his childhood, the deaths, backcountry experience, a...

  • 17 MAY 2021
    Introducing: Real Dictators Podcast
    39m 56s

    Introducing: Real Dictators Podcast! It's exactly what you would expect it to be, and we want to share this episode with you! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • 10 MAY 2021
    90: Epilogue to the Wild West
    1h 18m 8s

    This is the end of the west! Meet two new researchers, Ryan Griffith and Zach Weaver, as they join Greg to discuss the latest inner workings of HTDS, the Transcontinental Railroad, Buffalo Bill, and industrialization. As they wrap up, Greg...

  • 26 APR 2021
    89: Closing the Wild West: (Wounded Knee, Buffalo Bill & the 1893 Colombian Expo)
    1h 6m 46s

    “I wish to impress upon your minds that what you are about to witness is not a performance in the common sense of the term.” This is the story of the Wild West’s end and the close of the frontier. The West is settled. The buffalo are gone...

  • 12 APR 2021
    88: “The Last Frontier:” The Purchase of Alaska and the Klondike Gold Rush
    59m 13s

    “This is my last opportunity to make a big haul. Alaska is the last West.” This is the story of the US purchase of Alaska and the famous Klondike Gold Rush. Russia needs funds and sees its territory of Russian-America as a liability. That...

  • 29 MAR 2021
    87:Gunslingers & Outlaws (pt 2): Pearl Hart, Tombstone, Jesse James, B. Cassidy & The Sundance Kid
    1h 6m 58s

    “The fight’s commenced. Go to fighting or get away!” This is the story of more gunslinging and heists. Pearl Hart needs to see her mother; is a stagecoach robbery the answer? The Earps Brothers and Doc Holiday are on the opposite of a polit...

  • 15 MAR 2021
    86: Gunslingers & Outlaws (pt 1): The Second Industrial Revolution, Sam Bass & Billy the Kid
    1h 1m 46s

    “I am going to hell anyhow.” This is the story of the rise of Western outlaws and gunslingers. From transportation of goods and people, to mining and even the cattle industry, a Second Industrial Revolution has overtaken the United States....

  • 01 MAR 2021
    85: Transcontinental Railroad (pt 3): The Central Pacific, Chinese Workers, & The Golden Spike
    1h 10m 48s

    “Did they not build the Chinese Wall, the biggest piece of masonry in the world?” The Central Pacific Railroad is struggling to find long-term construction workers. Many of them quickly leave the CP’s employ to pursue gold and silver in th...

  • 15 FAB 2021
    84: Transcontinental Railroad (pt 2): Dr. Thomas Durant, The Union Pacific & “Hell on Wheels”
    1h 2m 51s

    “How dare you try to hog all the continent?” This is the story of the Union Pacific Railroad. The US Government has legislated that a private company be organized with government oversight to build a railroad from Nebraska to Nevada. It wil...

  • 08 FAB 2021
    Introducing: Skeptoid!
    7m 30s

    Introducing the Skeptoid podcast! Since 2006, the weekly Skeptoid podcast has been taking on all the most popular myths and revealing the true science, true history, and true lessons we can learn from each. Learn more about your ad choices....

  • 01 FAB 2021
    83: Transcontinental Railroad (pt 1): Industrialization, Ted Judah & The Rise of the Central Pacific
    55m 38s

    “Every great enterprise has been ridiculed in the outset.” This is the story of the rise of the railroad. Travel on land is slow. Arduous. Inhibited by rough terrain like mountains, rivers, and bogs. That reality makes Americans view the co...

  • 18 JAN 2021
    82: Best Mini Episodes and Cold Opens of 2020
    49m 23s

    “Gentlemen, what is the cause of this violence?” This is the story HTDS's 2020. Most people wouldn’t call last year a good one. Doesn’t mean we didn’t have some fun mini episodes and cold opens here on HTDS. Join Greg for a look at some fav...

  • 04 JAN 2021
    81: Epilogue to Volume 6: Reconstruction and The Indian Wars
    1h 52s

    “The older I get the more I’m convinced that it’s the purpose of politicians and journalists to say the world is very simple, whereas it’s the purpose of historians to say, ‘No! It’s very complicated’.” — David Cannadine (British historian...

  • 21 DEC 2020
    80: “Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus:” A History
    22m 34s

    “Church bristled and pooh-poohed at the subject when I suggested that he write a reply to Virginia O’Hanlon.” This is the story of America’s most famous editorial. Virginia O’Hanlon is an inquisitive eight-year-old. She’s debated with her f...

  • 07 DEC 2020
    79: The Indian Wars (Part 3): Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce & Standing Bear’s Fight for Civil Rights
    1h 2m 2s

    “Does this court think an Indian is a competent witness?” This is the story of the start of indigenous civil rights. Since the arrival of Lewis and Clark, the Nez Perce have lived peacefully beside US citizens. The Pacific Northwest indigen...

  • 23 NOV 2020
    78: The Indian Wars (Part 2): The Battle of the Little Bighorn (the Greasy Grass)
    1h 1m 32s

    “There’s a good fight coming over the hill. That’s where the big fight is going to be. We’ll not miss that one.” This is the story of the Battle of the Little Bighorn (or the Greasy Grass).  In 1868, representatives of the US government mee...

  • 09 NOV 2020
    77: The Indian Wars (Part 1): The U.S.-Dakota War
    1h 7m 53s

    “To be hanged by the neck until he is dead.” This is the story of the US-Dakota War. The most eastern of the three major Sioux peoples, the Dakota are indigenous to Minnesota. They’ve lived beside trappers, fur traders, and the like, for qu...

  • 26 OCT 2020
    76: Reconstruction (Part 4): The Battle of Liberty Place and the Mississippi Plan
    1h 7m 18s

    “Hang Kellogg! We’ll fight!” This is the story of the end of Reconstruction. Voter fraud and intimidation has made Louisiana’s 1872 Gubernatorial election a mess. So, when a Federal judge and Republican President Ulysses S. Grant uphold t...

  • 12 OCT 2020
    75: Reconstruction (Part 3): The Rise of the KKK and the First Black Men in Government
    59m 38s

    “Boys, let us get up a club or society of some description.” This is the story Reconstruction peaking and its opponents organizing to fight back. With Radical Republicans at the helm of Reconstruction, the former Confederate states are fo...

  • 06 OCT 2020
    Bonus Episode: Game Changers: Precedent-Setting Presidential Elections
    20m 52s

    Game Changers: Precedent-Setting Presidential Elections takes a look at some of the earliest and most influential presidential elections in US history. Join Greg and Cielle as they highlight the backstory of key players in four early presid...

  • 28 SEP 2020
    74: Reconstruction (Part 2): The Presidency of Ulysses S. Grant
    1h 1m 53s

    "The office has come to me unsought; I commence its duties untrammeled. I bring to it a conscious desire and determination to fill it to the best of my ability to the satisfaction of the people. " This is the story of scandal. Ulysses S. Gr...

  • 14 SEP 2020
    73: Reconstruction (Part 1): The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
    1h 53s

    “You are placed in a position where you have the power to save or destroy us; to bless or blast us--I mean our whole race.” This is the story of the first US Presidency to end in impeachment. This is the story of Andrew Johnson. The post-Ci...

  • 31 AUG 2020
    72: The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
    1h 7m 10s

    “Sic semper tyrannis!” This is the story of deception. Conspiracy. Assassination. The handsome, 26-year-old successful actor John Wilkes Booth has sympathized with the Confederacy since the war began. So when Abraham Lincoln wins reelecti...

  • 17 AUG 2020
    71: Revisiting the Hamilton/Burr Duel: An Affair of Honor
    1h 3m 42s

    "Adieu best of wives and best of women." We’re interrupting our usual chronological walk through US history today to bring you a remastered, new sound design take on Episode 22, “An Affair of Honor: Alexander Hamilton & Aaron Burr.” In thes...

  • 03 AUG 2020
    70: Epilogue: The Civil War Comes to a Close
    1h 24m 12s

    After nearly a full year of covering only four years of US history, we are done with the Civil War. It’s time for an epilogue! Greg and Cielle talk big picture, and bring in some intriguing stories that just didn’t quite make the cut for re...

  • 20 JUL 2020
    69: Surrender at Appomattox: The Last Days of the Civil War
    55m 1s

    “I feel that it is … my duty to shift from myself the responsibility of any further effusion of blood, by asking you to surrender … the army of Northern Virginia. Very respectfully, U. S. Grant.” This is the story of one army surrendering t...

  • 06 JUL 2020
    68: Sherman's March to the Sea and the Thirteenth Amendment
    55m 42s

    “I can make the march, and make Georgia howl!” This is the story of the March to the Sea and the 13th Amendment. William Tecumseh “Cump” Sherman describes war as two things: “cruel.” And “war.” Acting under this philosophy, he takes 60,00...

  • 22 JUN 2020
    67: Ending 1864: The Battles of the Crater, Mobile Bay, Centralia, and Franklin
    52m 55s

    “Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!” This is the story of the Civil War in late-1864. Battles of significance are happening all across the country, and many of them are quite odd or unique: Pennsylvania miners are secretly digging under...

  • 08 JUN 2020
    66: The Election of 1864: Lincoln's Bid for Reelection
    1h 1m 32s

    “Johnson is either drunk or crazy,” This is the story of the fight for the presidency in 1864. No US President since Andrew Jackson has seen a second term. Few are even nominated by their party for a second term. Will the Republicans choo...

  • 25 MAY 2020
    65: Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign & The Free State of Jones
    58m 13s

    “War is war, and not popularity-seeking.” This is the story of the fall of Atlanta. William Tecumseh “Cump” Sherman is leading three armies in an attack against this vital city in the Peach State. His forces are formidable, but so are his o...

  • 18 MAY 2020
    Bonus: A New Sound for HTDS (Farewell to Josh, Hello to Lindsay Graham & Airship)
    28m 22s

    After more than two years of putting his blood, sweat, and tears into HTDS, Sound Designer Josh Beatty is moving on. We'll miss him! But we're also excited to have history podcasting legend Lindsay Graham and his audio production company Ai...

  • 11 MAY 2020
    64: Grant's Overland Campaign: The Battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, & Petersburg
    58m 46s

    “I propose to fight it out on this line if it takes all summer.” This is the story of hard fights and harder losses.  It’s early 1864, and battle-proven, newly promoted Ulysses S. Grant is now over the whole army, and he’s launching an ambi...

  • 06 MAY 2020
    Bonus: A Chat about Southern Accents w/ Jeremy Collins from "Podcasts We Listen To"
    1h 10m 31s

    History can touch on present-day issues, and rather than duck away from such discomforts, Greg has always been stupid enough to try to hit them straight on. Indulging that stupidity today, Greg sat down with born-and-bred Southerner Jeremy...

  • 27 APR 2020
    63: Wounded and Dying: Nurses, Doctors, and Disease in the Civil War
    1h 5m 42s

    “I had never severed the nerves and fibers of human flesh.” This is the story of Civil War medicine. At the start of the war, the wounded sometimes lay on the field of battle for days hoping for help. Some die slowly and painfully from expo...

  • 13 APR 2020
    62: The War in Tennessee: Chickamauga and Chattanooga
    58m 25s

    “Gloom and unspoken despondency hang like a pall everywhere.” This is the story of personalities. Union General William “Old Rosy” Rosecrans takes on Confederate General Braxton Bragg out in Tennessee. Their clash at the battle of Chickamau...

  • 30 MAR 2020
    61: The Louisiana Native Guard, the 54th Massachusetts & On: Black Soldiers in the Civil War
    1h 22s

    “It is hard to believe that Southern soldiers—and Texans at that—have been whipped by a mongrel crew of white and black Yankees … there must be some mistake.” This is the story of Black Soldiers in the Civil War. Black patriots are ready to...

  • 16 MAR 2020
    60: Gettysburg
    59m 35s

    “I shall lead my division forward, sir.” This is the story of Gettysburg. It’s summer, 1863, and Robert E. Lee is making a bold move; he’s leading his Army of Northern Virginia into Union territory. He hopes a victory up north might be the...

  • 11 MAR 2020
    Crossover w/ A Teacher's History of the United States - Christopher Caldwell
    1h 33m 14s

    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • 02 MAR 2020
    59: Stone’s River, Suspending Habeas Corpus, Vicksburg, & Stonewall’s Death at Chancellorsville
    1h 15m 15s

    “Grant is my man and I am his the rest of the war.” This is the story of hard fighting—on the battlefield and in the courts. President Abraham Lincoln is making the controversial decision to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. While the Cons...

  • 17 FAB 2020
    58: Conscription & Riots (“A Rich Man’s War, But a Poor Man’s Fight”)
    52m 32s

    “Here’s a damned abolitionist! … He’s a Tribune man! Hang the son of a b****!” This is the story of Civil War conscription and riots. Conscription is completely foreign to Americans. They’ve never relied on force to fill the military’s rank...

  • 03 FAB 2020
    57: Recap of The Civil War's First Half (1861-63)
    44m 50s

    "Keep the details! We love the stories!"  After 11 episodes covering the first half of the Civil War, it’s time to digest a bit. Greg, Josh, and Cielle attend to the usual roundtable business (pronunciation corrections and talking cotton pr...

  • 20 JAN 2020
    56: The Battle of Fredericksburg and the First Campaign of Vicksburg
    45m 28s

    “If the world had been searched by Burnside for a location in which his army could be best defeated ... he should have selected this very spot.” This is the story of leadership turnover in the Union and total war on the field. US President...

  • 06 JAN 2020
    55: The Road to The Emancipation Proclamation
    56m 58s

    “The Proclamation is the drawing of a sword that can never be sheathed again.” This is the story of the Emancipation Proclamation. Anti-slavery, moderate-Republican President Abraham Lincoln has never liked slavery. He wants to prevent it f...

  • 23 DEC 2019
    54: The Best Opening Scenes in HTDS History
    55m 45s

    “Our top spot goes to …” This is the story of stories (yeah, super “meta”). You know regular HTDS episodes always start with a cold open. You probably have a favorite. So do we. Today, Greg and Cielle count down their top seven favorite ope...

  • 09 DEC 2019
    53: A Civil War Christmas with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
    24m 38s

    “Our dispatches state that Lieut. Longfellow of First Mass. Cavalry was severely wounded.” This is the story of a son nearly lost and a poet in a dark place.  Young, idealistic Charley Longfellow loves his country and is ready to fight and...

  • 25 NOV 2019
    52: From Second Bull Run, or Second Manassas to Antietam, or Sharpsburg
    56m 50s

    “Come on God damn you.” This is the story of the Second Bull Run/Manassas Campaign and the Battle of Antietam. Robert “Bobby” E. Lee isn’t content to run George “Little Mac” McClellan down to the James River. With the help of Thomas “Stonew...

  • 11 NOV 2019
    51: A Change in Command: Seven Days Battles to the Battle of Cedar Mountain
    56m 42s

    “[Malvern Hill] was not war--it was murder.” This is the story of a Confederate comeback.  Union General George “Little Mac” McClellan has an army of 100,000 within a few mere miles of the Confederate Capital: Richmond, Virginia. The city’s...