Professor Buzzkill History Podcast
Professor Buzzkill is an exciting new blog & podcast that explores history myths in an illuminating, entertaining, and humorous way.
info_outline The Unknown Martin Luther King - Encore Episode! 01/17/2021
The Unknown Martin Luther King - Encore Episode! Martin Luther King did so much more for American society, and wanted so much more from the US government and US elite, than most people realize. Popular history has airbrushed out far too much about his life and work. Professor Phil Nash reminds us of the importance of King’s work, especially during the forgotten period between his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech and his assassination in 1968. Listen and learn.
info_outline Presidential Transitions in American History 01/12/2021
Presidential Transitions in American History Even though nothing tops the 2020-2021 Trump-Biden "transition," presidential transitions have not always been smooth and stable in American history. Professor Philip Nash explains all and puts historical transitions in the context of what's happening now. Episode #402
info_outline Girls to the Rescue! American Series Fiction in WWI 01/05/2021
Girls to the Rescue! American Series Fiction in WWI During World War I, many young American women longed to be part of a larger, more glorious war effort. A new genre of young adult books entered the market, written specifically with the young girls of the war period in mind, and demonstrating the wartime activities of women and girls all over the world. Professors Emily Hamilton-Honey and Susan Ingalls Lewis explain the historical significance of this literature! Episode #401
info_outline Auld Lang Syne 2020 12/30/2020
Auld Lang Syne 2020 Should old acquaintance be forgot? What? Should we forget old friends? What does Auld Lang Syne actually mean? Why do we sing it every New Year’s Eve? Join the Professor as he waxes lyrical and sentimentally about Auld Lang Syne, Scotland, and good auld Robert Burns!
info_outline Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence 12/29/2020
Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence Dr. Kate Lemay from the National Portrait Gallery tells us about the popular historical exhibition, “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence.” She outlines the movement for women to obtain the right to vote as part of the larger struggle for equality, and tells us how that was shown in portraiture. A great show to finish the 1920-2020 centennial! Episode #400.
info_outline The Weemsy Awards! Worst Abuses of U.S. History in 2020! 12/22/2020
The Weemsy Awards! Worst Abuses of U.S. History in 2020! The Weemsy Awards spotlight the most egregious misrepresentations of U.S. History in the past year by politicians, celebrities, executives, and more! Professor Edward T. O'Donnell joins us to unveil the winners! Episode #399.
info_outline “It’s a Wonderful Life” Myths and Urban Legends 12/20/2020
“It’s a Wonderful Life” Myths and Urban Legends One of the most popular movies of all time, “It’s a Wonderful Life” (starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed) is a holiday classic. It has also given us a cornucopia of history myths and urban legends. Lend an ear as the Professor analyzes these stories, talks about how the movie was received when released in 1946, and highlights many overlooked supporting actors and plot devices in the film. And you learn why the Professor thinks he also has a “wonderful life”! Episode #398.
info_outline Christmas: Commercialism, FDR, the Nazis, and Beyond! 12/15/2020
Christmas: Commercialism, FDR, the Nazis, and Beyond! Professor Philip Nash explains the complexities of the celebration and commercialism of Christmas -- from the Roman holiday of Saturnalia to the Victorian era to the Nazi period and beyond! Listen to the best explanation of the history of modern Christmas that you're gonna find this side of Bethlehem! Episode #397
info_outline "I, Eliza Hamilton" and "The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr" - Fiction Friday! 12/04/2020
"I, Eliza Hamilton" and "The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr" - Fiction Friday! Historical novelist, Susan Holloway Scott, joins us to discuss two of her fabulous books -- "I, Eliza Hamilton" and "The Secret Wife of Aaron Burr." We learn a lot about these historical figures, but also how historical novelists are able to create characters from the past. Episode #396 Go to to subscribe to our free newsletter!
info_outline George Washington and the Development of the Cabinet 12/01/2020
George Washington and the Development of the Cabinet How and why did George Washington create the cabinet structure that he used in his Presidency? How did it help create new political norms and traditions in the early United States? What was its long-standing effect? Professor Lindsey Chervinsky explains all! Episode #395. Find out more about The Professor Buzzkill History Podcast at !
info_outline Gustav Stresemann: Man Crush Monday 11/30/2020
Gustav Stresemann: Man Crush Monday Professor Philip Nash explains his man-crush on Gustav Stresemann, the important German politician during the Weimar period. What do Stresemann's career and his hopes for Germany tell us about the strengths that can be found in nationalism? And we engage in some "what if Stresemann had lived" speculation. Would we have seen the rise of Hitler? Episode #394 Go to to learn more about tons of stuff!
info_outline Rallies for "More History" at the Gettysburg Battlefield 11/24/2020
Rallies for "More History" at the Gettysburg Battlefield Professor Scott Hancock from Gettysburg College joins us to explain the development of efforts to contextualize and historicize the Confederate Monuments at the Gettysburg National Military Park. The summer of 2020 saw a great deal of tension and confrontation during these presentations. Dr. Hancock explains how this helped the "We Want More History" movement. One of our best shows ever! Episode #393 Go to to join all the Buzzkill fun!
info_outline Forward and in High Heels: from Ginger Rogers to Ann Richards to Kamala Harris 11/19/2020
Forward and in High Heels: from Ginger Rogers to Ann Richards to Kamala Harris Kamala Harris is just the latest female politician to have her dress sense scrutinized. In this episode, we look at the famous quote about Ginger Rogers doing everything that Fred Astaire did, but backward and in high heels. And the Professor ruminates on what Vice-President-Elect Harris's shoe choices say about her career and contemporary American politics. Episode #392 Go to to subscribe to our free newsletter and support the show!
info_outline Georgian Texel Uprising and Hitler's Revenge, April-May 1945 11/15/2020
Georgian Texel Uprising and Hitler's Revenge, April-May 1945 The Texel insurrection was one of last battles of World War II, but few people know about it. Georgians serving in the Wehrmacht on Texel island off the Dutch coast rose up and slaughtered their German masters. Hitler ordered the island to be retaken and fighting continued for weeks, well after the war's end. A gripping story with multiple meanings, misconceptions, and myths! Episode #391
info_outline The Press and Women Politicians from Victoria Woodhull to Kamala Harris 11/12/2020
The Press and Women Politicians from Victoria Woodhull to Kamala Harris Professor Terri Finneman explains how the press has portrayed women politicians running for high office in the United State. From Victoria Woodhull in the 1870s to Kamala Harris in 2020, she enlightens us about how media discourse of women politicians has and hasn’t changed over this long period! Episode #390.
info_outline Election Polling Errors in US History 11/10/2020
Election Polling Errors in US History The pollsters correctly predicted a Biden win in the 2020 Presidential election. But there was no Blue Wave, and Senate seats didn't flip, as many pollsters predicted. Polling prediction errors are common in American history. Professor W. Joseph Campbell explains why! Episode #389
info_outline Native Americans in Film 1941-1960 11/03/2020
Native Americans in Film 1941-1960 Professor Liza Black enlightens us about her new book, Picturing Indians: Native Americans in Film 1941-1960. She examines many misunderstandings and misconceptions about Native Americans working in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Episode #388
info_outline Halloween Myths! 10/30/2020
Halloween Myths! Halloween is a demonic holiday chock full of sin and endangered by razor blades in trick or treat candy, right? Wrong. Nothing about the origins of Halloween can be called demonic, satanic, or anti-Christian. And the adulterated candy thing is an urban legend. Get the full story from the Buzzkill Institute.
info_outline Bonus! Original 1938 War of the Worlds Radio Drama 10/29/2020
Bonus! Original 1938 War of the Worlds Radio Drama Buzzkillers have asked us to play the original 1938 radio drama, War of the Worlds, that allegedly caused such a panic. Here it is, in all its historic glory, with a short introduction from Professor Buzzkill. Don't panic!
info_outline 1938 War of the Worlds Panic 10/27/2020
1938 War of the Worlds Panic A 1938 radio play based on H.G. Wells' novel, The War of the Worlds, supposedly panicked America. The Martians were invading! People went hysterical and ran for their lives! Or did they? Listen to Professors Jefferson Pooley and Michael Socolow explain what really happened. Episode #387.
info_outline October Surprises in US Presidential Elections 10/22/2020
October Surprises in US Presidential Elections There seem to have been a lot of October Surprises in American Presidential elections since the 1940s. And there have been different types of October Surprises, for different reasons, and with different motivations. But have they ever seriously affected the election results? Our political history genius, Professor Philip Nash, explains all! Episode #386
info_outline How Americans Became Political Junkies 10/20/2020
How Americans Became Political Junkies Dr. Claire Bond Potter explains how Americans became political junkies in the 20th and 21st centuries. From talk radio to Twitter, she shows us how alternative media hooked us on politics and broke our democracy. Listen right away! Episode #385
info_outline PB and Axelbank Reports History Today Interview Each Other! 10/15/2020
PB and Axelbank Reports History Today Interview Each Other! Evan Axelbank from the new podcast "Axelbank Reports History and Today" interviews Professor Buzzkill, and vice versa! We talk about books, history, and podcasting. Fun, fun, fun!! Episode #384
info_outline The Electoral College in US History 10/13/2020
The Electoral College in US History What is the "electoral college" and how does it work? Why was it created? Was it created to protect slavery and slave states in the 18th century? Is the current electoral college what the Founders intended? And what can Americans do about this broken and abused relic? Prof Philip Nash explains all! Episode #383.
info_outline Fake News in American History 10/06/2020
Fake News in American History Professor Michelle Nickerson explains the complicated and compelling history of the news media in US history, and the changing development of "fake news." She also helps us understand what to do about it! Episode #382. Our listeners get a free trial at The Great Courses Plus! Click here to go to !!
info_outline The "Image" Myth from the Kennedy-Nixon 1960 Debates 09/30/2020
The "Image" Myth from the Kennedy-Nixon 1960 Debates The first Biden-Trump debate was called "a sh*t show" immediately when it was over. And the "Kennedy image" myth from the first 1960 Presidential debate was brought up over and over in the pre-debate, during-debate, and post-debate analysis. Here's our original episode about it. Our listeners get a free trial at The Great Courses Plus! Click here to go to !!
info_outline Mark Twain: A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World Before the Truth Puts On its Shoes - Quote or No Quote? 09/30/2020
Mark Twain: A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World Before the Truth Puts On its Shoes - Quote or No Quote? "A Lie Can Travel Halfway Around the World Before the Truth Puts On its Shoes" has been attributed to Mark Twain (and almost everyone else). But who first said it, and why is the quote's history so important during this period of heightened "fake news"? Episode #381 Our listeners get a free trial at The Great Courses Plus! Click here to go to !!
info_outline Churchill's Wartime Speeches: the Untold Story 09/29/2020
Churchill's Wartime Speeches: the Untold Story Professor Richard Toye explains the background and context of Winston Churchill's famous World War II speeches, from how they were written, to how they were delivered, to how the public reacted. It's the "untold story"! Episode #380. Our listeners get a free trial at The Great Courses Plus! Click here to go to !!
info_outline Babe Didrikson Zaharias - Woman Crush Wednesday! 09/23/2020
Babe Didrikson Zaharias - Woman Crush Wednesday! One of the greatest athletes of all time, Babe Didrikson Zaharias has been somewhat forgotten in the 21st Century. An Olympic gold medalist, she excelled in track and field, basketball, baseball, and golf throughout her career. Episode #379. Our listeners get a free trial at The Great Courses Plus! Click here to go to !!
info_outline Churchill Myths in Film and Television 09/22/2020
Churchill Myths in Film and Television Professor Steven Fielding explains Churchill myths in film and television from Mission to Moscow (1943) to Darkest Hour (2017), and everything in between! The new book, “The Churchill Myths” is available on the Buzzkill Bookshelf. Episode #378. Our listeners get a free trial at The Great Courses Plus! Click here to go to !!