Ballsy History

Ballsy History is a bi-weekly podcast about the big personalities and little-known stories that shape history.

About the show

Ballsy History is a bi-weekly podcast about big personalities and little-known stories. Join us for a tour of the outrageous acts, incredible stories, and outsized characters that shape history.

Your hosts are a four female family with a penchant for uncovering the quirky side of the past (and, sometimes, not so distant past). Ballsy History was born during stay-at-home orders during the COVID pandemic.


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    Episode 11: Born to Become...a Criminal?

    January 25th, 2021  |  10 mins 47 secs
    criminology, history, sociology

    Today on our show we’ll learn about Cesare Lombroso’s biological theories of crime and the ways "the father of criminology" was the first person to make crime and criminals a specific area of study.

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    Episode 10: “The Groundbreaking VP Candidate”

    January 18th, 2021  |  11 mins 12 secs
    black history, history, politics, presidential, women's history

    Today on our show we’ll learn about America’s first black female Vice Presidential candidate.
    Running on a platform of “peace and prosperity” Charlotta Bass and her running mate campaigned with the slogan: "Win or lose, we win by raising the issues."
    She was groundbreaking in many ways, yet isn’t even a household name. In fact, her name isn’t even on her gravestone, it only mentions her husband.

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    Episode 9: "The Bugs of Death" (Bonus Episode!)

    January 14th, 2021  |  10 mins 12 secs
    bugs, crime, entomology, forensics, history

    Learn where zoology and forensic science meet to help solve mysteries and murders.

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    "Spirits Callin': The Ouija Board"

    January 11th, 2021  |  11 mins 27 secs
    game, history, mystery, occult, ouija

    Do spirits want to communicate with the living? Today on our show we’ll learn more about Ouija boards and how people have tried to use them to communicate with those who have passed—as well as to reveal the past and show the future.

    When Spiritualists attempted to contact the deceased they sometimes used “talking Boards” the forerunner to the Parker Brothers’ toy you can purchase for only $19.99.

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    Ep. 7 "Bed of Roses"

    January 4th, 2021  |  9 mins 19 secs
    bed, england, game of thrones, henry vii, history, lancaster, tudors

    Today on our show we’ll learn about the bed that ended the War of the Roses by joining the houses of Lancaster and York.

    When King Henry VII married Elizabeth of York in 1486 he would never have suspected that his marriage bed would show up hundreds of years later in the honeymoon suite of a hotel in Chester, England.

    Shout out to fan Josh Frye for his excellent suggestion that we dig into this topic on our show! Thanks, Josh!

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    Popcorn Saves the Movies

    December 29th, 2020  |  9 mins 25 secs
    concessions, history, lgbtqia, movies, popcorn, trivia

    We’ll learn about how the humble act of popping corn became the thing that kept movie theaters doors open during the Great Depression, besting even Gary Cooper and Greta Garbo as a profitable draw.

    As movie palaces realized they needed to adapt to survive, owners rethought the sanctity of their plush and litter-free spaces by providing the public a treat many could splurge on and afford.

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    In God and Cosmic Rays We Trust

    December 15th, 2020  |  12 mins 43 secs
    #roc, cosmic rays, history, lgbtqia, podcast, science, trivia, william leonard laurence

    Learn how the New York Times’ very first scientific reporter found himself in the middle of one of the greatest scientific feuds of the modern age.

    A disagreement between two Nobel Prize–winning scientists centered not only around the nature and origin of cosmic rays, but also whether God was still on the job.

    Their clash made newspaper headlines and defined the debate about the nature of cosmic rays, while revealing the very human sides of superstar scientists to the public.

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    The Plague Doctors

    December 7th, 2020  |  10 mins 49 secs
    history, lgbtqia, plague, trivia

    we’ll learn about how plague doctors, clad from head to toe in oiled leather, wearing goggles with crystal eyepieces, and beaked masks, came to represent a “costume of death” even as they sought to heal.

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    Cereal Wars

    November 30th, 2020  |  15 mins 44 secs
    cereal, history, lgbtqia, trivia

    We’ll learn how that humble bowl of morning goodness, breakfast cereal, came to be a staple even though it began with a lawsuit.

    How did a food that originated as part of a spa cure knock beefsteak and boiled chicken from the morning menu for Americans in cities, on farms, and in small towns?

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    The Most Haunted Home

    November 30th, 2020  |  16 mins 14 secs
    haunted, history, lgbtqia, trivia

    In this episode we’ll learn about the most haunted house in the United States.

    How did the widow of firearm magnate William Wirt Winchester turn an unfinished farmhouse into a 160-room labyrinth-style mansion that was under construction for thirty-six years?

    This home served as Walt Disney's Inspiration for The Haunted Mansion and was built to confuse evil spirits. But was the owner crazy, haunted, or lonely?

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    The Great Race for Flight

    November 29th, 2020  |  12 mins 46 secs
    history, lgbtqia, trivia

    Today on our show we’ll learn about the man who was supposed to become the first to build a successful flying machine.

    How did a trained astrophysicist with financial backing from the US government end up giving up on his quest just nine days before the Wright brothers successfully flew at Kitty Hawk?