In light of the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, we have assembled an assortment of 5 different podcast episodes and series that can be used to teach the United States history of abortion (specifically focusing on the late-twentieth century) as well as the historical significance of the recent bans in women's history and the history of bodily autonomy in the US.
An overview of Japanese Internment (an intro to their Campu series) as told through oral history interviews.
Women’s History Series: The Vagina Museum
With a focus on language surrounding largely women and female genitalia, the main goal of this episode is to show the harsh stigmas and connotations that often come with the descriptive words for typically women's reproductive organs.
Story Corps – Leesburg Stockade Girls
This podcast focuses on the stories of some members of the Leesburg Stockade Girls - a group of teenage girls who were jailed for participating in a Civil Rights Movement protest. These members look back on their traumatic experiences being held in a Civil War stockade, and reflect on how the experience continued to affect their lives many years later.
Theme: Student Protests
Over the past two years, students have increasingly taken to the streets to protest a range of issues, including Donald Trump as president, tolerance of gun violence, and now climate change inaction. This themed post on podcasts covering post-World War II student protest has been inspired by the Backstory podcast’s recent episode (#236) “Teen Activists: A History of Youth Politics and Protest.” Here we briefly outline a few podcast episodes and additional sources you can integrate into your US history classrooms on post-World War II student protesters in high school and college.
Vietnamese Boat People – Riches to Rags
The story revolves around an oral history interview between the host Tracey and her brother Steve as her attempt to understand the traumatic experience of her family's escape from Vietnam by boat. As an immigrant coming of age story, fleeing Vietnam changed Steve, transforming him from a comfortable and rich boy to a reliable provider and man for the family.
Criminal – Lavender Scare
This episode tells the story of the Lavender Scare through the experience of a woman, Helen James, who was serving in the US military when she was dishonorably discharged for accusations that she was a lesbian. The episode situates her experiences within the broader Cold War-era Lavender Scare and concludes by discussing how veterans sharing this experience challenged this institutionalized homophobia.
Radio Diaries – Prisoners of War
The episode uses oral history interviews to describe the context and famous riot at the Long Binh Jail - a prison built by the US military outside of Saigon to house US soldiers during the Vietnam War. The episode focuses on the racial context that precipitated the riot, as more than half of the jail's population were African Americans.