“A History of Firefighting” was originally posted by The History Guy on September 11, 2019. This version of the episode contains a new introduction. The History Guy recalls the forgotten history of the profession of firefighting.
In the 19th century, the Great Wine Blight threatened the very existence of grapes. But the pestilence brought into Europe by American vines was eradicated by the use of those very same vines. The History Guy recalls how American indigenous vines saved the wine industry, and how you can help to preserve its future.
British regiments have a lot of history, and that shows in each regiment’s regimental headdress. The History Guy talks about caps in the British Army, and recalls the forgotten history of the 100-year-old Royal Corps of Signals.
A 2012 survey found that 605 million people play chess regularly, nearly 1500 years after the game was first played. The names of the pieces and the moves may have changed, but the rules that developed over a millennium and a half represent a culmination of many cultures and players that helped to develop the Game of Kings. The forgotten history of the game of chess deserves to be remembered.
The day after Christmas in 1931, a constable with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police went to check on a man named Albert Johnson on suspicion that he was trapping without a license. The confrontation that followed would leave a fiery standoff, an epic manhunt, and an enduring mystery. The History Guy recalls the strange story of “The Mad Trapper of the Rat River.”
Among the strategies for dealing with the U-boat threat to U.S. shipping was a series of small vessels, designed to be built cheaply and quickly, and optimized to find and hunt submarines. The sub chasers were small, but ended up playing out-sized roles along the coasts of the United States and around the world. The History Guy tells the forgotten story of the submarine chasers of the U.S. Navy.
Italy declared war on Germany on August 28, 1916, fifteen months after declaring war on Austria. The strange story of how Italy came to join the Entente, and why they took so long to declare war on Germany, illustrates the complexity of the conflict and the differing motivations of the nations involved. The History Guy recalls one of the least understood and remembered fronts of the Great War.
Germany invaded Norway in April 1940, and defeated the Nordic nation in a 62-day campaign. But Norwegians continued to serve the Allied cause throughout the war. One of the least remembered, most important, and most unique roles was not about strength of arms, but about gross tonnage. The History Guy remembers the critical role played by “the largest shipping company in the world.”
Facing increasing competition from economy cars from Japan and Europe, General Motors roared into the subcompact market with an innovative design based on cutting edge technology. The Chevrolet Vega was the 1971 Motor Trend Car of the Year, but problems were soon to follow. The History Guy recalls the forgotten history of the dawn of “subcompact” cars and “the car that nearly destroyed G.M.”
Stonehenge is an iconic image of the British Isles. The monument is so ancient that the study of its history is ancient history. The History Guy reveals the surprisingly long history of the search for the meaning of perhaps the world’s most famous neolithic monument.