Episode 49: Under Your Feet
This episode is about places that used to be and which are now covered up by something new.
Yarrow Mamout was an unusual man in early America, but the black business leader's story was literally buried by buildings near Washington DC. In the 2000s, his story came to light.
Also, the Los Angeles communities of La Loma, Palo Verde, and Bishop were often grouped together under the name Chavez Ravine. The people of these communities were uprooted, and now Dodger stadium stands where they once lived.
Episode 48: Great Moments in Communication!
The Transatlantic Cable connected North America and Europe, allowing for communication like never before (at least for a few weeks). It sure wasn't easy - told by Greg and Abigail Maupin.
Likewise, Alexander Graham Bell's invention changed the world of communication. He also had a pretty interesting life. Sometimes things just work out.
All this and more!
Episode 47 Leonardo!
Leonardo da Vinci had some wins and some losses, but his impact was enormous. He kinda sorta finished a painting of a lady named Lisa that wound up in the King of France's bathroom.
Centuries later a man named Vincenzo Peruggia stole it and hid it next to his underwear.
This episode also features the triumphant return of Dr. Awkward
Episode 46 Deliveries!
Mary Fields was known as Stagecoach Mary, and her story is one of the great tales of the West.
Likewise, Owney the dog, always captures the imagination.
Michael Fleming, reads the story of Owney, and Melly Victor of Stoopkids Stories joins us as Stagecoach Mary.
Stories written by Mick Sullivan
Episode 45: Parents!
Parents can be pretty amazing sometimes - these two stories feature parents who went above and beyond for their kids and their community. Ada Blackjack was an Inupiat woman who was the only survivor of an extreme Arctic expedition, and she did it all for her son.
The McCoy Family of Michigan had escaped enslavement in the South, but as their daughter Anna would find out, that wasn't the end of their story.
This episode features the esteemed voice talents of Greg and Abigail Maupin.
Episode 44: Freight Train
Elizabeth Cotten became a music star pretty late in her life. In fact, she was a grandmother. But when she was 11 she wrote a song that made it's way across the ocean and was learned by a band called The Quarrymen, who later became The Beatles.
Enjoy the story of both, along with Mick's performance of "Freight Train" and more!
Episode 43: Hands!
A Special Episode for April of 2020. Join us as we meet Ignaz Semmelweis, Florence Nightingale, John Snow, and also a woman named Mary Mallon, who - for better or for worse - is now remembered as "Typhoid Mary."
Episode 42: Bears!
Join Mick Sullivan for a story about the first bear in Theodore Roosevelt's life, a bear named Jonathan Edwards, and then the second bear in his life - one which gave rise to a cuddly creature in your bedroom.
Then Hugh McNeal, a man joining Lewis and Clark gets treed by an angry bear and plays a boring game of chicken.
All this, and Dr. Rush's Thunderclapper Pills
Episode 41: OK BLOOMER!
Amelia Bloomer helped change the world with a pair of underpants (which she didn't even invent). Among other things, it helped women ride bikes, and this led to a new independence in the late 1800's. Many women (even Susan B. Anthony) said the bike had more to to with women's independence than nearly anything else.
So Melinda Beck is going to tell you her original telling of Tillie Anderson, a true life, turn-of-the-century bicycle racer ("scorchers" in the day) who might have been the fastest woman in America!
Be sure to check out our Kids Listen Friends, including Timestorm and Girl Tales, for their Women's History episodes this month!
Episode 40 Robert Smalls And Basketballs
The Harlem Globetrotters were more than a show. They were an incredible barnstorming team who helped integrate the NBA.
Told by Mick Sullivan with help from Dustin Baron
Robert Smalls was responsible for one of the most daring escapes during the Civil War, helped convince Lincoln that African Americans should be allowed to serve as Union soldiers, and ultimately was an important politician. Told by Jermaine Fowler of the Humanity Archive (www.thehumanityarchive.com)
All this and more!
Episode 39 The Astronomer and the Photographer
Eadweard Muybridge made history with his photos, including one of a running horse. It's more interesting than it sounds.
Tycho Brahe lost his nose, but made some wild discoveries about our solar system - before he could even get a telescope.
Mick performs his version of Tico Tico, which he calls "Tycho Tycho."
All this and more in this funny episode of The Past and The Curious!
Episode 38 Store Windows and Old Underwear
L. Frank Baum, an author of a classic book (which became a classic movie) was also partially responsible for our love of fancy holiday shop windows.
Also, Meriwether Lewis gives his pal William Clark a re-gift he probably could've done without.
Episode 37 Sewer Water and Water Water
John Wesley Powell is the first American of European descent to conquer the Grand Canyon, and he did it with one arm!
Also, Paris was a pretty stinky place until they upgraded the sewers. Learn about poop, nightmen, and a couple of clever civil engineers who eventually got people to dress their best as they toured the stinky sewers in boats.
All this and more!
Episode 36 Mechanical Monsters!
Mary Shelley didn't just create one of the most memorable characters and important books in history, she also pretty-much invented science fiction. Heather Gotlib tells her original story on the author of Frankenstein.
Have you ever heard about the chess playing robot that beat Napoleon in chess? The automaton shocked the world in many ways! written and told by Mick Sullivan
All this and more!
Episode 35: Polymaths!
A polymath is a person of wide ranging knowledge or ability, and in this episode we're telling the stories of two unsung polymaths.
Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de St. Georges, was a world class fencer, composer, conductor and musician who spent time in the royal courts of France and tutored Marie Antoinette. He was also the son of an enslaved woman.
Ziryab is a mysterious man from medieval Spain, when Muslim culture dominated the area. He was a musician, scholar, and pioneer of food and fashion. Pretty much a rock star before rock stars were a thing.
You'll hear Ms. Lynn from The Good Words Podcast and music from Mick Sullivan and Todd Armstrong.
Episode written and produced by Mick Sullivan.
Somebody give us a book deal already.
Special Episode Otzi and Tumble!
We’re sharing this special episode with our friends from Tumble, A Science Podcast for Kids.
First you’ll hear Mick’s telling of the discovery and disagreement about Otzi the Iceman.
Then we turn it over to Lindsay and Marshall from Tumble for a story they produced called Underground Astronauts.
Episode 34: Museum Tales!
Isabella Stewart Gardner was a very unusual lady who created an incredible museum in Boston. Unfortunately some of her paintings have gone missing.
Charles Wilson Peale painted people, but he also created America's first museum - right upstairs from where they signed the Declaration of Independence.
Also features Quiztime, You Have 30 Seconds, "All of Me" and more.
Written and produced by Mick Sullivan. Isabella's story read by Jason Lawrence.
Episode 33: Prairie Dogs and Animal Bands
Mick Sullivan tells a story of the Prairie Dog who wound up on the Lewis and Clark Journey and had one of the most eventful lives imaginable.
Heather Funk tells her story about the popular cartoon "Bremenskie Muzykanty" which infuriated the government of the Soviet Union, but captured the imagination of its people and introduced many of them to Rock and Roll.
Also features the gang from our podcast pals "Cool Facts about Animals," and music from Da Da Da and the Dinos!
Episode 32: Strange Things
The long awaited episode to coincide with the release of our book "The Meatshower!"
Mr. Eric from What If World tells he's tory of Boston's Great Molasses Disaster and Mick Sullivan tells the story of the Kentucky Meatshower of 1876.
To purchase the book visit www.earlyworkspress.com/shop
Ep. 31 April Fooling!
It's Kids Listen Sweeps Month and we're joining the April Fool's fun (though pretty late).
This episode features Heather Gotlib's original story of the real-life, classic prank called the Berner's Street Hoax, in which an unsuspecting family's home becomes the most popular destination in London. Also featured is Mick Sullivan's telling of Count Fortsas Book Hoax, which began with rare book collectors receiving notice of an incredible auction. Spoiler Alert: not what they think.
Also "Deed I Do," Quiztime, and "You Have 30 Seconds!"
Want more April Fool's fun? Check out our Kids Listen pals Composer Dad and What If World!
Ep. 30 Underwater!
Celebrate the big 3-0 with us as we head underwater. Brian West tells the story of Garrett Morgan, an inventor and brave man who created some really important things which are still around today.
Mick Sullivan tells the story of Ezra Lee and the the long lost 18th Century submarine known as the Turtle.
Also features a visit from Dr. Awkward, the Palindrome professor, quiz time and more info about our new book, The Meatshower.
Ep. 29 Happy Birthday, Athena!
Patty Hill (with the help of her sister Margaret) did much more than just write Happy Birthday, but that'd be achievement enough. Story by Heather Gotlib
Their Friend Enid Yandell happened to be a world-class Sculptor. and in our telling of the tales, we'll weave in the Mars Rover, Athena's birth, and the coolest Bon Voyage Party ever!
Incredible song courtesy of Dan Saks, from one of our favorite podcasts, Noodleloaf!
Ep. 28: Trains And Movies!
In this episode, Mr. Eric of What If World joins us to share the story of early moving pictures, including an often told (but probably untrue) story of the first train on film. The Lumiere Brothers revolutionized our world, find out why!
Also, funny man Buster Keaton did some amazing things in his life, but nothing quite like a spectacular train crash that was the most expensive scene of the Silent Film Era.
We debut our new "You Have 30 Seconds" segment with the help of our young friend Lucy, and Mick sings "Bringing in The Georgia Mail."
And Quiz Time!
Ep. 27: Toys And Games
We're digging through the inductees of the Toy Hall of Fame to find great stories that span Abraham Lincoln to Frank Lloyd Wright and beyond.
Learn the stories of Milton Bradley's Game of Life (with a bit of Lincoln's beard, the Wright family of architects' creation, Lincoln Logs and so much more.
Featuring the many talents of Brigid Kaelin! www.brigidkaelin.com
Ep. 26: Lily May, Clara, and Leon
The people of the late 1930's saw some fun music made by some remarkable women.
Lily May Ledford and her band from Pinchem Tight Holler, KY (YEOW!!) play for President Roosevelt, First Lady Eleanor and the King and Queen of England. She almost hugs the queen.
Clara Rockmore almost gives up music entirely until she meets Leon Theremin and literally writes the book on a new instrument.
Featuring the voices of Julia Purcell, Mick Sullivan and sounds by Todd Hildreth.
Ep. 25: Fakes And Frauds!
Some people just can't be honest, and some try to pass off something phony as something real. This episode is about a would-be Shakespeare named William Henry Ireland, and a gang of body snatchers who try to pilfer a president's dead body - gross!
Featuring Rhea Pechter, Jonathan Messinger, and more. Written and produced by Mick Sullivan.
Ep. 24: Shipwrecks! Ep. 24: Shipwrecks! Ida Lewis, Marquis de Lafayette, Sail Away Ladies
Join host Mick Sullivan and friend Hanna Zimmerman of Locust Grove as we share the stories of Marquis de Lafayette's steamboat shipwreck, and Rhode Island lifesaver Ida Lewis.
Also features a performance of the song "Sail Away Ladies," Quiztime and more!
Ep. 23: Hot Dog! A Tale of Kings, Queens, Dead Whales, and Johnny Verbek's Machine
From the electric bathers of Coney Island to the King of England, no food has been as satisfying as a hot dog. You won't believe it as we weave a tale of dead whales, muckrakers, publicity stunts, and President Roosevelt. Who knew the hot dog was so interesting?
With music by Big Momma Thorazine and featuring the voices of Mr. Eric from What If World, along with AJ Cornell.
Ep. 22: Play Ball! Jackie Mitchell, Moe Berg, Summertime and more
You don't have to like baseball to like this episode!
First, Kelly Moore shares the story of Jackie Mitchell, a young woman who struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
Next, Bailey Mazik of the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory sheds some light on the baseball playing spy, Moe Berg.
Amber Estes Thieneman and Mick Sullivan perform "Summertime," plus a summery quiz-time!
Episode written and produced by Mick Sullivan
Ep. 21: Journeys! Horatio and Bud, John Ledyard and more!
The history podcast for kids and adults joins the Kids Listen Sweeps party and tells two stories about two great adventures. Melinda Beck tells the tale of Horatio Jackson and the first drive across the country (and his dog Bud), while Will Oldham/Bonnie Prince Billy shares the story of John Ledyard - who would've made it around the globe if it wasn't for that touchy queen, Catherine the Great.
Also features quiz time and a performance of "Long Journey Home" by Mick Sullivan. Stories written by Mick Sullivan. Someone hire him to write stuff, please.
Ep. 20: Bridges - Emily Roebling, Sonny Rollins and more!
Join us for two tales connected by bridges. First, Emily Roebling winds up as a lead engineer in the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, the first American woman to find herself in such a position.
Second, Sonny Rollins, one fo the greatest saxophonists in history isn't happy with his playing, despite the fame he receives. His days on a bridge change his life.
Also quiz time, and a new segment with Dr. Awkward, the Palindrome Professor.
Featuring Mick Sullivan, Meg Samples, Graeme Gardiner, and Lani Powers.
Ep.19 The Statue Of Liberty!
The Statue of Liberty could have wound up in Egypt, Philadelphia, or the bottom of the ocean. Once she wound up in New York she had to wait for America to raise a lot of money - which they did in many different ways.
Four quick, funny, and poignant stories will fill you on on the history of the most American of Symbols.
Featuring Melinda Beck and Mr. Eric (What If World - Podcast)
"New Colossus" poem read by the Kids Listen Players:
Andrew and Polly (Ear Snacks)
Joey Mascio (ImagiNate)
Rebecca Weaver (Cozy Corner)
Chaska, Mirabel, Leilani and Brennan (Book Power for Kids)
Also includes "Lady Be Good" performed by Mick Sullivan.
Episode written by Mick Sullivan
Ep. 18: Music! Marian Anderson, The Great Caruso and more!
Episode 18 of the most engaging history podcast for kids!
Did the invention of the record player make an opera singer named Enrique Caruso the first superstar of music? It might just have.
What did Marian Anderson do when she was denied the stage at a theatre because of the color of her skin? She found a bigger audience and a bigger stage.
Featuring the voices of Jason Lawrence, Meg Samples, and Chaska, Mirabel, and Leilani from Book Power for Kids Podcast.
Ep. 17 Spies!
Kate Warne saved Abraham Lincoln's life on the way to his inauguration. John Honeyman may (or may not)have been a double agent who helped George Washington's famous Crossing of the Delaware. We'll hear these stories and much more!
You'll hear hear Amber Estes-Theineman sing the classic "I'm Confessin'" while you're here, too!
Christmas Special 2018 - Mummies and Bladders!
Christmastime means two things to us: mummies and bladders.
Join us as we meet a young William Clark, an accidental and enterprising watch salesman named Sears, and the hottest gift of the 1971 holiday season.
Featuring "Kashmir of the Bells" by Squeeze-bot
Ep. 16 Up In The Air!
Have you ever heard about the time Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt ducked out of a dinner to take a flight over Washington DC?
Or about how Bessie Coleman had to go all the way to France to learn how to fly an airplane because no one would teach her in America?
This episode also features the Fred Fischer and Alfred Bryan song from 1910, "Come Josephine In My Flying Machine," which is performed by Mick Sullivan and Suki Anderson.
"Bessie Coleman" read by Kelly Moore (featuring the voice of AJ Cornell)
"Amelia and Eleanor" read by Amber Estes-Thieneman
Production, music and stories by Mick Sullivan
Also featuring incidental music from Squeeze-bot
Bonus Episode: Curious Names
There are a lot of really great names in the past - like, just really cool sounding names. So we're picking a few of our favorites and telling a story or two about them.
This episode features American Revolution figure Button Gwinnet and Harlem Renaissance artist Zora Neale Hurston.But there's a lot more ground we cover than just those two!
Ep. 15 Cartoons!
Everyone loves cartoons! So we’re taking an unusual look at two big moments in cartoon history – when a vaudeville performer and comic-strip writer made animation history on a cold Chicago night, and also the time a cheeky political cartoonist brought down one of the most crooked politicians in history.
Gertie the Dinosaur and Winsor McCay read by Amber Estes-Thieneman
Thomas Nast and Boss Tweed read by Jason Lawrence
On the Sunny Side of the Street performed by Mick Sullivan
The Past and the Curious is a history podcast for kids, families and adults created by a professional museum educator with the help of brilliant friends. We are a proud Kids Listen member and dedicated to nurturing curiosity of the past in everyone.
Written and produced by Mick Sullivan. Don’t steal things you didn’t create.
Bonus Episode: Ghost Ships! A Kids Listen Halloween Sweep
Have you heard of the Mary Celeste? If you've heard of a ghost ship, this is probably the one. In 1872 it was found under sail in the Atlantic Ocean but with absolutely no one on board. What gives? And was this completely unique? It wasn't, but it is certainly the most famous case and we wanted to know more!
Also featuring and original performance of one of our favorite songs "Devil and the Deep Blue Sea," written by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler in 1932. Mick Sullivan plays mandolin, guitar, banjo, washboard, bass harmonica and probably some other stuff too.
Ep. 14 Nature Pokers & Women of Science
Women of Science! Join us for some 19th Century STEM stories. Heather Funk tells you about Mary Anning and the origins of "She Sells Sea Shells." Mick Sullivan shares the story of Mary Somerville and the origin of the the word "scientist."
Both ladies did remarkable things in the science world at a time when it was pretty uncommon.
In addition, Squeeze-bot plays "She Blinded Me with Science," quiz time and more.
From Kids Listen member, a History and Music Podcast for young and old alike!
Ep. 13 The Cheesiest
Your favorite history show for the whole family is back and we're bringing the cheese! First, Graham Shelby reads "Andrew Jackson's Big Cheese," while Mick Sullivan shares some fun stories of hardtack, followed by the Civil War parody song "Hard Tack Come Again No More."
There's Quiztime, Music and more!
Ep. 12: Shaking Hands with Presidents
When Washington first became president, no one knew what to call him, and he certainly didn't want to shake EVERYONE'S hand. There were some growing pains in Presidential cordiality.
Later, Lincoln wishes Jefferson never started the whole "handshake thing."
Also, Quiztime and the old song "Lulu's Back in Town"
Stories written and music performed by Mick Sullivan. Also featuring the voices of Chaska and Mirabel Power (from Book Power for Kids Podcast)
Ep. 11 Hittin' the Road: Niagara
It's time for the July Kids Listen Sweep! This episode features the story of Annie Edson Taylor, who was the first person to successfully survive Niagara Falls in a barrel.
Also, how'd they even start building the first suspension bridge over Niagara? You might be surprised.
And if Cole Porter's song "Don't Fence Me In" doesn't make you feel like "Hittin' The Road," what will?
Voices: Victoria Reibel and Mick Sullivan.
All Music and Instruments: Mick Sullivan.
Bad Ideas: Mick Sullivan
Good Ideas: also, Mick Sullivan
Ep. 10 Underwear: Washington and Charles Lee, Lincoln's Drawers and more
George Washington's frenemy Charles Lee, who you might remember from Hamilton, gets caught in his skivvies, the guy who built the Brooklyn Bridge remembers seeing Abraham Lincoln's undies, Mick sings a song about long underwear and more.
Produced by Mick Sullivan, read by Victoria Reibel and Jason Lawrence. "Long Handle Time" song by Homer and Jethro performed by Mick Sullivan.
Ep. 9 On The Move: Nelly Bly, Henry Box Brown, All Around this World
Nelly Bly decides to travel around the world in less than 80 days, much like Phileas Fogg, the fictional character from Jules Verne's "Around the Wolrd in 80 Days" Also Henry Brown escapes enslavement in a dramatic way, earning the nickname "Box" Brown, and he later finds a career on the stage. Also, musician Chris Rodahaffer (Will Oldham/Bonnie Prince Billy) joins us for the song "I've Been All Around This World." Created by Mick Sullivan. Readings by Victoria Reibel and Jason Lawrence. Oh Yeah, and Quiz Time!
Kids Listen Sweep Episode - Family Trees
Family Trees sure seem daunting, don't they? Once you get past your grandparents or great-grandparents it can quickly get confusing. Rae Anne Sauer from the Sons of the American Revolution National Headquarters in Louisville, KY has seen tons of people work to discover their family trees. According to her it's easier than you think - and you might discover some interesting things.
If nothing else, you'll surely realize how connected we all are, so be nice to your brothers and your sisters!
Enjoy our special episode, and while you're at it you can check out the list of Kids Listen Family Tree participants at the KidsListen.org Blog. Many Podcasts, One Theme! Check out our friends!
Ep. 8: Magic? Mesmer, Fox Sisters, Robert-Houdin, I'll See you In My Dreams
Join host Mick Sullivan for some true tales of magic, or at least what appeared to be magic. Learn Franz Mesmer's gift to your vocabulary, hear about some young sisters who fooled America, and discover how a French Magician stopped a rebellion with his magic tricks.
Along with Quiz Time you'll hear Tory Fisher, Brandon Johnson and Mick Sullivan perform "I'll See You In My Dreams."
Mesmer and Fox sisters story written and read by Heather Funk; Houdin story written by Mick Sullivan and read by Victoria Reibel.
Ep. 7: Food Tales - Potatoes, Tomatoes, Ice Cream Cornucopias and Chicken Pie
This episode is fast paced and broken into small bites! We’ve squeezed in THREE great stories along with a song and quiz time! Really packed it in there - like sausage in a casing!
Victoria Reibel wonders, did George Crumb invent potato chips?
Jason Lawrence imagines a delicious new way to eat ice cream at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis.
Food Network Star, Chef Damaris Phillips joins us for a fun story about everyone’s favorite red vegetable - or is it a fruit?
Chris Rodahaffer and Rob Collier join host and creator Mick Sullivan for a fun old song about chicken pie.
WARNING: You might get hungry listening to this episode.
Ep. 6 Heights: Ferris Wheel, Charles Blondin, East of the Sun and more!
Episode 6 is all about Heights!
Victoria Reibel reads a story about the time The Chicago World's Fair had to build something to top the Eiffel Tower.
Jason Lawrence tells the tale of the the world's leading antebellum funambulist.
The Tamerlane Trio performs "East of the Sun and West of the Moon"
Episode written by Mick Sullivan. Steal it and you are lame.
Ep. 5 Birds: Moon Migration, Cher Ami, Cluck Old Hen and more!
In honor of National Bird Day, this episode features some great bird stories from history.
Victoria Reibel reads the story of Charles Morton, a man who tried to explain the mystery of bird migration with an otherworldly hypothesis.
Jason Lawrence reads the tale of Cher Ami, one of the bravest little birds the world has ever known.
Mick Sullivan performs the traditional folk song Cluck Old Hen.
All this and more!
The Past And The Curious Holiday Short 2016
In this quick Holiday Short, we explore a few of the stories people offer as explanations for the unusual Christmas Pickle Tradition.
We also found a Christmas Pickle recipe you probably won't want to try, and you'll love our 2016 Holiday gift pick.
And if that isn't enough, we also have an unusual interpretation of a holiday classic song by Squeeze-bot (probably the best Accordion, Banjo Tuba and Tiny Drum band in the world).
Ep. 4: Mail Tales: Pony Express, Air Powered Subway, and more
The Pony Express lives in legend, but didn't last long. Find out what it took to be join the team. (read by Victoria Reibel)
Alfred Ely Beach kept a secret from New York City and built a Pneumatic Subway underneath it in the 1800's! (read by Jason Lawrence)
This episode also features an original performance of "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter." All of the instruments were played and overdubbed by Mick Sullivan.
Ep. 3 Anne Bonny, The Western Engineer, "Big Ol' Boat" and more
The origin of Port and Starboard
Victoria Reibel reads stories about Anne Bonny, and Stephen Long's unusual dragon-like steamboat, the Western Engineer.
Tamerlane Trio performs original song "Big Ol' Boat" (song recorded by Rob Collier)
Quiz time and more!
**Correction: in Anne Bonny, in regards to her death, we say 1881, but we mean 1781, as you'd probably guess from our framing it around the American Revolution - sorry!**
Ep. 2: Barnum, Banvard, Paper Moon and more
Victoria Reibel tells the story of P.T. Barnum and an Egress.
Also featured is the tale of John Banvard and his Mississippi Panorama, which was the longest painting in the world.
The Tamerlane Trio performs their version of "It's Only a Paper Moon" (song recorded by Rob Collier)
Quiztime and more!
Written by Mick Sullivan - 2016
Ep. 1 The Past and The Curious: An Introduction
Teachers, parents, adults who love good stories: check us out.
This is just so you know what we're about, who we are and what we're planning to bring you. The real good stuff will follow, but you might appreciate knowing what we do and why we do it.
We'll make it brief - we promise.