Stuff You Missed in History Class

Stuff You Missed in History Class is produced by HowStuffWorks, and aims to share peculiar and overlooked topics in history. In its nearly 10-year run, the podcast has interchanged hosts. Currently, the show is hosted by history enthusiasts Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey.

Each episode opens with a warm introduction by the hosts, including an anecdote that discusses why the episode’s topic or background was chosen. The hosts take turns discussing the given topic. The tone of their conversation feels like two friends having a chat, owing to their laid-back attitudes and their witty banter. By only using music for the introduction and transitions, the show allows the topic to shine through so the listener can focus on the information.

The topics addressed vary immensely. In one episode, Wilson and Frey discuss the 1950s United States Supreme Court decision to rule segregated schools as unconstitutional in the Brown vs. Board of Education case. The hosts analyze this decision, including the resistance it met. Meanwhile, another episode covers the light-hearted subject of the history of peanut butter—which is more complex than you might think.

Stuff You Missed in History Class also features interviews with historians and academics. In a two-part episode, Wilson and Frey interview Dr. Katherine Sharp Landdeck to discuss the forgotten Women Airforce Service Pilots (more commonly known as WASP) in World War Two. The United States was short on non-combat pilots at home because of the fighting overseas, so the government recruited female pilots to complete the task. It’s harrowing to learn the adversity that these women overcame. They undertook the responsibility of test-piloting newly-built combat planes, which placed them in constant danger of mechanical malfunction.

In the conclusion of every episode, the hosts read mail submitted by listeners. It was interesting to hear feedback from fellow listeners about previous episodes and gain insight on opinions from around the world.

With hundreds of episodes available, the podcast’s website provides a helpful directory that categorizes episodes according to subject matter. With categories ranging from medical history, crime, literary history, and even sad royal childhoods, there is an episode for everyone.

Episodes air every Monday and Wednesday on the podcast’s website and various podcast apps.

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