The past is never past. Every headline has a history. Join us every week as we go back in time to understand the present. These are stories you can feel and sounds you can see from the moments that shaped our world.
Here's the Latest Episode from Throughline:
The U.S. and Iran have had a tense relationship for decades — but when did that begin? Over the next two weeks, we're exploring the history. This week, we feature our very first episode about an event from August 1953 — when the CIA helped to overthrow Iran's Prime Minister.
The Star-Spangled Banner is the official anthem for the United States, but there are plenty of songs that have become informal American anthems for millions of people. This week, we share three stories from NPR Music's American Anthem series that highlight the origins of songs that have become ingrained in American culture.
Fifty years ago, a gay bar in New York City called The Stonewall Inn was raided by police, and what followed were days of rebellion where protesters and police clashed. Today, that event is seen as the start of the gay civil rights movement, but gay activists and organizations were standing up to harassment and discrimination years before. On this episode, the fight for gay rights before Stonewall.
In 1965, Jimmie Lee Jackson was an unarmed black civil rights activist who was murdered in Marion, Ala., after a peaceful protest. His murder brought newfound energy to the civil rights movement, leading to the march to Montgomery that ended in "Bloody Sunday." This week, we share an episode we loved from White Lies as they look for answers to a murder that happened more than half a century ago.
Evangelicals have played an important role in modern day American politics - from supporting President Trump to helping elect Jimmy Carter back in 1976. How and when did this religious group become so intertwined with today's political issues? In this episode, what it means to be an evangelical today and how it has changed over time.
Mitch McConnell has been described as "opaque," "drab," and even "dull." He is one of the least popular - and most polarizing - politicians in the country. So how did he win eight consecutive elections? And what does it tell us about how he operates? This week, we share an episode we loved from Embedded that traces McConnell's political history.
Right-wing Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi has won reelection as India's Prime Minister. As the political philosophy of Hindu nationalism gains ground in India we look back at one of its architects - Vinayak Savarkar.
China is a world superpower today. But just over a century ago, the country was in complete turmoil — foreign powers had carved up the country, the ruling dynasty was losing control, and millions of citizens were struggling to survive. However, that political chaos inspired a nationalist movement that reshaped China as we know it, and it was led by one man - Sun Yat-sen.
Venezuela is facing an economic and humanitarian crisis as extreme poverty and violence have forced many to flee the country in recent years. How did a country once wealthy with oil resources fall into such turmoil? Through the lives of two revolutionaries turned authoritarian leaders separated by two centuries, we look back at the rise and fall of Venezuela.
The white nationalist ideas of Madison Grant influenced Congress in the 1920s, leaders in Nazi Germany, and members of the Trump administration. This week, we share an episode we loved from It's Been A Minute with Sam Sanders that explores a throughline of white nationalism in American politics from the early 20th century to today.
More than 700 measles cases have been recorded in the U.S. in the recent outbreak, the worst being in New York. This past April, Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a public health emergency that required residents in parts of Brooklyn to get vaccinated or face a fine of $1,000. In this episode, we look back at a 1905 Supreme Court case that set a precedent for enforcing compulsory vaccinations.
Artificial intelligence, gene modification, and self-driving cars are causing fear and uncertainty about how technology is changing our lives. But humans have struggled to accept innovations throughout history. In this episode, we explore three innovations that transformed the world and show how people have adapted — and ask whether we can do the same today.
The Sunni-Shia divide is a conflict that most people have heard about - two sects with Sunni Islam being in the majority and Shia Islam the minority. Exactly how did this conflict originate and when? We go through 1400 years of history to find the moment this divide first turned deadly and how it has evolved since.
Nancy Pelosi is the highest-ranking woman in American politics. She made her first run for public office at 47 years old and went on to become Speaker of the House twice. How has she had such an enduring career, and where does her power lie? On this episode, we trace the rise of the Speaker.
A record number of Americans have died from opioid overdoses in recent years. But how did we get here? And is this the first time Americans have faced this crisis? The short answer: no.
Have you ever wondered why your smartphone or toaster oven doesn't seem to last very long, even though technology is becoming better and better? This week, in a special collaboration with Planet Money, we bring you the history of planned obsolescence – the idea that products are designed to break.
In February, President Trump declared a national emergency at the US-Mexico border. Last year, he ordered thousands of National Guard troops to the border. Is this the first time an American president has responded with this level of force? In this week's episode, the history of militarization at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Vladimir Putin has been running Russia since 2000 when he was first elected as President. How did a former KGB officer make his way up to the top seat — was it political prowess or was he just the recipient of a lot of good fortune? In this episode, we dive into the life of Vladimir Putin and try to understand how he became Russia's new "tsar."
Conspiracy theories are a feature of today's news and politics. But they've really been a part of American life since its founding. In this episode, we'll explore how conspiracy theories helped to create the U.S. and how they became the currency of political opportunists.
When Andrew Johnson became president in 1865, the United States was in the middle of one of its most volatile chapters. The country was divided after fighting a bloody civil war and had just experienced the first presidential assassination. We look at how these factors led to the first presidential impeachment in American history.
President Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un are preparing to meet for a second nuclear summit. What has fueled the hostility between these two countries for decades? On this episode, we look back at the tangled history.
When Colin Kaepernick stopped standing for the national anthem at NFL games it sparked a nationwide conversation about patriotism and police brutality. Black athletes using their platform to protest injustice has long been a tradition in American history. In this episode we explore three stories of protest that are rarely told but essential to understanding the current debate: the heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson, the sprinter Wilma Rudolph, and the basketball player Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf.
It's no secret that Iran and the U.S. have a history of animosity toward each other. But when and how did it begin? This week we look back at four days in August 1953, when the CIA orchestrated a coup of Iran's elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh.
NPR's new history podcast hosted by Ramtin Arablouei and Rund Abdelfatah. New episodes every Thursday starting February 7th.