Archives: Episode

Season 6 – Episode 8: Michigan Central Station: The Ellis Island of Detroit

The Michigan Central Station reopening has given Detroit a great story to tell, specifically: how we took a wreck of a building and turned it into something glorious. The Detroit History Podcast takes a dive into how the place slid into such disrepair. Spoiler alert: maybe the station is a symbol of something bigger. Times…

Read More

Season 6 – Episode 7: Chung’s and Detroit’s Chinatown

As a child growing up in metro Detroit during the 1970s and 1980s, Curtis Chin watched the world go by from an unusual vantage point. His family owned Chung’s, a popular Chinese restaurant in the Cass Corridor, which enjoyed a 60-year run before closing in 2000. Chin, now a nationally recognized author, has written about…

Read More

Season 6 – Episode 6: The Edsel: The Road to Lemonville

The Ford Motor Company had momentum going into the mid-1950s: a young Henry Ford II, who inherited the CEO job from his grandfather roughly a decade earlier, was reversing the company’s fortunes. But then, the company laid the biggest egg in automotive history. It introduced the Edsel in 1957. Despite working with the best brains…

Read More

Season 6 – Episode 5: The Last Hanging in Detroit

On a fall day in 1830, convicted wife killer Stephen Simmons was hung in downtown Detroit. His execution was as public as anything could be. Bleachers were set up on three sides of the scaffold, as people came from miles around to witness the execution. Maybe they didn’t like what they saw, because Michigan soon…

Read More

Season 6 – Episode 4: How the DIA Turned From a Private Art Collection Into a World-Renowned Museum

Here’s where Detroit was, art-wise, in 1917: A middling art museum on the east edge of downtown Detroit, with little to attract notice. We tell the story of the next 10 years, when the entire world began to pay attention. The magnificent Detroit Institute of Arts building on Woodward went up, with paintings by the…

Read More

Season 6 – Episode 3: Bird, Barry and Miles: The Blue Bird Inn during the 1950s

The Blue Bird Inn was a cathedral of musical wonder in 1950s-era Detroit. This now-defunct west side club featured bebop jazz, featuring musicians such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Barry Harris, Thad Jones, and a longer list of jazz masters. The place was pretty much abandoned a few decades ago, but a local preservation group…

Read More

Season 6 – Episode 2: The Polar Bears of World War 1

A group of soldiers from metro Detroit and Michigan boarded a trip ship bound for war-torn Europe during the closing months of World War I. Instead, they were diverted to Russia, just south of the Arctic Circle. They battled the Bolsheviks, who had just deposed Russia’s Czar. They fought in temperatures as low as 40-below…

Read More

Season 6 – Episode 1: The Sheik and Big Time Wrestling

The Sheik (real name: Edward Farhat) was the most feared bad guy in Detroit wrestling during the 1960s and 1970s. He threw fire. He cut his opponent. He bit them, often winning with his “camel clutch.” His business model was simple: to behave in such a vile manner that people would pay money to watch…

Read More

The 1957 NFL Champion Detroit Lions: Revisited

It’s been 5 years since the Detroit History Podcast originally released their podcast on the 1957 NFL champion Detroit Lions. Much has changed with Lions brass in the past few years, and it has finally led to post-season success in the Motor City. The Detroit History Podcast revisits the improbable run the 1957 team made…

Read More

Season 5 Finale- The Development of PCP and Ketamine

Ketamine has found wide uses since the 1960s: as a painkiller, an anesthetic, a street drug consumed at raves, and — now — considered by many to be an exciting new treatment for depression. We explore how ketamine was developed here in Detroit, at the Parke-Davis pharmaceutical company, with help from a Wayne State University…

Read More