Mar 27, 2016

1916: Roger Casement


In August of 1916, Roger Casement was executed for his role in the Easter Rising in Ireland. Before his trial, however, the British government leaked documents to the press and politicians. These were identified as Casement's diaries and ledgers, which chronicled a series of homosexual encounters. Though many immediately denounced the Black Diaries as forgeries, asserting that the British government was trying to tarnish the name of a hero to circumvent public outcry against his execution - which, certainly, the British government was seeking to do - the damage was resounding. The question of forged or not forged has been asked again and again for decades. Why? Because, for many decades after his death, Roger Casement it was assumed by the Irish public and Casement's friends that he could not be both homosexual and a nationalist. Dan and Averill return to the question of Irish identity in this special episode for the 1916 Easter Rising centenary, contemplating who counts, who doesn't, and why.

Mar 20, 2016

Is that lamb made of…butter?


If you live in the Rust Belt, you may have noticed that Easter brings not only jelly beans and chocolate bunnies to the grocery store but also boxes of butter molded into the shape of lambs.  Does it confuse you?  Do you eat it but have no idea why?  Join Tommy, Dan, and Marissa as they dig into the rolicking history of the butter lamb, just in time for Easter!

Mar 13, 2016

Gay & Irish on St. Paddy’s Day in the US


Each year since 1990, the Irish-American Gay and Lesbian Organization of New York City has requested to march in the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade. Each year the parade organizers have refused the request. In 1993, NYC Human Rights Commission mandated that the IGLO had to be included in the parade, a mandate that was overturned as "unconstitutional" by a Federal judge. The court case was predicated on free speech, asserting that the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which had organized the parade for 150 years, had the right to decide what was said in their parade, and what was not said. That legal precedent has had far deeper consequences. Underlying this battle over a quintessential celebration of Irish-Americanness, there was a question of what Irish-(American)ness is, and who gets to define that identity. Join Averill and Marissa for some of the history of the New York City and Boston St. Patrick's Day Parades, the fight for inclusion and exclusion, and the shaping of Irish-American identities. 

Mar 6, 2016

Civil War “Contraband”


We think we know the story of the end of slavery in the United States: Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery with a stroke of his pen, and millions of enslaved men, women and children went forward happily into their new lives as freedpeople. But the reality wasn’t quite so sunny. From the moment the Union Army entered slaveholding territories, enslaved people “voted with their feet,” and fled to the perceived safety of the Union army. These men, women and children came to be known as “contraband,” and the army’s treatment of them reveals a more realistic – but perhaps gloomier – story of emancipation. Join Elizabeth, Dan and Sarah as they discuss “contraband,” rights, and freedom during the American Civil War in this week’s episode of The History Buffs Podcast.