Stuff You Missed In History Class Disaster Episodes

A curated episode list by
Creation Date December 18th, 2019
Updated Date Updated May 7th, 2020
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  1. The Italian Hall disaster happened during a strike in Michigan’s copper country, which lasted from the summer of 1913 to the early spring of 1914. On Christmas Eve, a tragic event played out that claimed the lives of dozens of people in Calumet, Michigan. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  2. On the morning of April 18, 1906, an event that lasted less than a minute changed San Francisco forever. An earthquake and a series of fires devastated much of the city and had long-term ramifications.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  3. Holly and Tracy talk casually about the week's episodes, featuring the photography career of Frances Johnston and the devastation of San Francisco in 1906. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  4. Thalidomide has been described as the biggest man made medical disaster of all time. This first part covers what thalidomide is, the animal testing that lead its manufacturer to market it as safe, and its release into the market. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  5. We’re finishing out our two-parter on thalidomide. This episode covers the response, including criminal trials, changes to drug laws, and debates about the legality of abortion, and how this has continued to evolve for thalidomide survivors until today.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  6. This was the worst stateside disaster in the United States during World War II. Apart from being a horrific tragedy, the disaster itself and its aftermath were threaded through with racism and injustice.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  7. The P.S. General Slocum burned in the East River in New York on June 15, 1904. It had been chartered for a group outing that suddenly became a deadly maritime disaster. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  8. Today we're revisiting one of our scariest episodes of all time, from 2013. From 1916 to about 1927, a strange epidemic spread around the world. It caused unusual symptoms, from drastic behavior changes to a deep, prolonged sleep that could last for months. Between 20 and 40 percent of people who caught the disease died. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  9. The sinking of the SS Princess Sophia was a massive tragedy for both Canada and the United States. But it was also really overshadowed by the end of World War I and the flu pandemic, so it’s been nicknamed the unknown Titanic of the West Coast. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  10. We’re coming up on the 100th anniversary of one of the worst train wrecks in United States history. More than 100 people died. And even though it’s usually noted as the worst train wreck in American history, it was kind of a run-of-the-mill accident for the time.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  11. On June 30, 1908 at approximately 7:15am, the sky over Siberia lit up with what was described by witnesses as a massive fireball, or the sky engulfed in fire. For the last century, scientists have been trying to figure out exactly what happened.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  12. Hurricane San Ciriaco struck Puerto Rico at a precarious point in its history. The United States had just taken possession of the island, and the 40 or so years leading up to the Spanish-American War had also been particularly tumultuous.  Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  13. In 1966, a mining disaster in Aberfan, Wales, killed 144 people. It was a completely preventable tragedy, but none of the victims were in the mine itself, and 116 of them were children. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  14. The loss of the U.S.S. Akron was the biggest single tragedy in aviation history at the time that it happened. But unless you’re an aviation or U.S. Navy history buff, you may not know much about this airborne aircraft carrier. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  15. For a brief window from the late 1800s to the early 1900s, people in the United States were watching train wrecks for fun. These staged spectacles would draw thousands and thousands of paying onlookers, but why exactly were they so popular? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  16. The Eastland disaster was one of the deadliest maritime disasters in American history. And in this particular case, safety regulations actually made things worse. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  17. In 1969, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio caught fire, not for the first time, but for the last time. This event is often credited with helping pass the Clean Water Act and inspire the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  18. This was one of the worst disasters in Texas history, the worst school disaster in U.S. history, and it was a horrific tragedy that stemmed from a huge number of small decisions and moments. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  19. In January of 1700, a tsunami struck the coast of Japan. While the connection between earthquakes and tsunamis was known, it actually took a very long time to figure out where the catalyzing earthquake had taken place. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  20. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, many cities were facing the same issue: so much horse manure, they couldn't keep up with it. It created unhygienic conditions, and very real problems. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  21. In 1973, after a series of earthquakes, a fissure opened up on the eastern side of the Icelandic island of Heimaey. As the eruption developed over time, it became more dangerous, and a variety of measures were undertaken to stop the flow of lava. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  22. On May 30, 1948, a flood destroyed Vanport, Oregon. What really makes the story more than a historical footnote is how it tied in to the racial makeup of both Portland and Oregon at the time. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  23. One of the worst mining tragedies in history, the explosion that sent fire through the Courrières mine tunnels claimed more than a thousand lives. It also created awareness of dangerous issues in mines that hadn't received much focus up to that point. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  24. In 1888, a blizzard so sudden and severe hit the American Midwest and claimed the lives of hundreds, some of whom died just outside the safety of shelter. Weather prediction of the fast-moving storm simply didn't reach people in time to prepare them. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  25. We love to talk about shipwrecks, but Violet Jessop was a shipwreck survivor -- several times over. She traveled the world aboard some of the most famous ocean liners of all time. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  26. In 1918, a U.S. Navy collier vanished without a trace after leaving Barbados. The ultimate fate of the Cyclops remains a mystery almost 100 years later, but there are certainly plenty of theories about what happened. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  27. In 1944, one of the most disastrous fires in U.S. history broke out during a Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus performance. Dozens of lives were lost and hundreds of people were injured as the largest big top in the country was consumed by flames. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  28. In 1816, a volcano eruption in Sumbawa, Indonesia, along with several other factors, created an unusual -- and catastrophic -- series of weather events. Read the show notes here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  29. It's a Christmas episode, a shipwreck and a ghost story rolled into one! It's the story of the the Rouse Simmons, which sank in Lake Michigan while hauling a load of Christmas trees to Chicago. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  30. In 1903, Chicago's newly-opened Iroquois Theater burned, killing at least 600 people. The horrible, incredibly tragic incident was the result of multiple code violations and wrongdoings. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  31. 1920, the S-5 left the Boston Navy Yard on its first mission, with a crew of 36 officers and enlisted men. While performing a crash dive as part of a performance evaluation, the crew found themselves on a sinking vessel. Read the show notes here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  32. In the wake of the Great Leap Forward, issues with supply and demand, variables of weather and labor and a series of poor decisions resulted in a devastating famine. For three years, China struggled, far removed from the utopia Mao had envisioned. Read the show notes here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  33. When the Black Death swept across Europe, it killed an estimated 25 million people -- one third of Europe's total population. Tune in and learn more about the lasting effects of the Black Death in this HowStuffWorks podcast. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  34. Historians agree that Typhoid Mary really existed -- but who was she, and how did she come to infect so many people? Tune in and learn more about Typhoid Mary in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  35. In the summer of 1518, a woman in Strasbourg, France started dancing -- and didn't stop. By the end of the week, the compulsion to dance had spread to hundreds of people. Learn more about the dancing sickness in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  36. In 1916, a series of shark attacks took place along the shores of New Jersey. The media downplayed the first attack as a fluke -- but the attacks continued. Tune in and learn more about the story that inspired Jaws in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  37. Today, people associate molasses with cookies and other sweets. Yet in 1919 molasses was used in munitions as well as food -- and Boston had one of the biggest tanks around. Learn how molasses flooded Boston in this podcast from HowStuffWorks.com. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  38. When Mount Vesuvius erupted in August of 79 AD, Pompeii was buried in volcanic ash and rock. As time passed, Pompeii was forgotten. Learn more about the catastrophe that destroyed Pompeii -- as well as the city's rediscovery -- in this podcast. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  39. When a relief mission left Plymouth in 1609 to assist the troubled colony of Jamestown, an intense storm separated one vessel from the rest of the fleet. Learn how this shipwreck may have saved Jamestown -- and inspired Shakespeare -- in this podcast. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  40. Polio was a terrifying threat in the early 20th century: It often left victims paralyzed or dead. Yet two vaccines caused an immediate drop in polio cases and today they've nearly eradicated the disease. But what exactly happened? Tune in to find out. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  41. After covering the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, Deblina and Sarah return to the topic of disastrous fires in history. Listen in as they recount some of history's most famous fires, comparing and contrasting the factors leading to these catastrophes. Including the Peshtigo Fire, the Great Fire of London, the Great Fire of Meireki, and the Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  42. In the early 1900s, New York City's Triangle Shirtwaist factory was one of the largest blouse factories in the city. It was also incredibly unsafe. Learn how a fire at this factory triggered a national change in attitudes surrounding workplace safety. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  43. Although Herman Melville's opus is a work of fiction, it was inspired by real-life events. In this episode, Katie and Sarah explore the story of the real-life Moby Dick -- and the unfortunate vessel that encountered it in the Pacific. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  44. The Halifax Explosion was one of history's worst man-made, non-nuclear explosions. The disaster killed about 2,000 people, and part of the city was completely leveled. So how and when did Halifax begin to rebuild? Tune in to find out. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  45. 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking. In our own memorial to the Titanic's sinking, we revisit a classic episode from Candace and Jane, in which they explore the ship's tragic history. We'll also explore some recent Titanic research. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  46. Catastrophic storms are almost historical characters in their own right, leaving indelible marks on the places they affect. Here, we cover five of history's most destructive storms, including the Tri-state Tornado of 1925, the Great Hurricane of 1780, the Galveston hurricane of 1900, the Freshwater storm surge at Lake Okeechobee 1928 and the Bhola Cyclone of 1970. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  47. Between in 1917, hundreds of women got jobs applying radium-treated paint to various products. Many experienced severe health problems. Five former workers decided to sue the U.S. Radium corporation, and faced a campaign of misinformation. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  48. On May 31, 1889, the South Fork dam gave way, sending 20 million tons of water rushing toward Johnstown, Pennsylvania. The water swept up everything in its path, and it only took about 10 minutes to wash away Johnstown. But was nature solely to blame? Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  49. By the 1840s, London faced a sanitation crisis. One summer the stench of the Thames drove Parliament to soak their curtains in lime, an experience that led to funding for a modern sewer system. Tune in to learn about modern toilets, germ theory and more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  50. The Hindenburg tragedy is one of the world's most infamous air disasters, but the dirigible had many successful flights prior to its final voyage, including 10 round trips between Germany and the U.S. Tune in to learn more. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  51. In the mid-1800s, the poorest people in Ireland ate almost nothing but potatoes. Other crops were for selling. So when a blight cut a swath through the potato crop, the impact was severe, and politics played a significant role in the tragedy. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  52. The history lesson kids often get on the Irish Potato Famine could be summed up as "a blight destroyed the potato crops, and a lot of people starved or moved away." Most kids ask, "Why didn't they eat something else?" Good question. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  53. When the S.S. Arctic joined the Collins line fleet in the 1850s, it was by all accounts a glorious ship. But in 1854, the steamer collided with another ship in a fog, and the resulting panic led to the deaths of most of the passengers. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  54. It was the biggest shipping disaster in Cayman Islands history -- 10 ships went down together one night in 1794. Why would so many ships be traveling so closely to one another, and how did they all end up in peril? Read the show notes here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  55. The story of the Batavia is a perfect storm of nautical carnage: There's a shipwreck, a mutiny and a massacre. This first of two parts deals with the the first part of the voyage, the shipwreck and the rescue mission. Read the show notes here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  56. The 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, which killed somewhere between 20 million and 50 million people, started just as World War I was winding down. Nobody cured it, or really successfully treated it. A fifth of the people in the world got the flu during the pandemic. Read the show notes here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  57. Sept. 1, 1923 changed Japan forever when a devastating earthquake obliterated Yokohama and much of Tokyo, killing more than 140,000. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  58. Because the Sultana sank the day after John Wilkes Booth was captured and killed for the murder of Abraham Lincoln, it didn't make headline news. But it's considered the biggest maritime disaster in U.S. history. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers
  59. London is no stranger to smog, which is why when the Great London Smog descended in December of 1952, nobody quite realized anything unusual was going on. At its largest, it extended 30 kilometers around London, and it killed thousands of people. Read the show notes here. Learn more about your ad-choices at https://news.iheart.com/podcast-advertisers

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