Archives: Podcast

Season 4 – Finale: Jeff Montgomery, Detroit’s Fierce LGBTQ+ Rights Activist

Jeff Montgomery was a born activist who played an important role in saving Orchestra Hall. When a hate crime brought tragedy to his personal life, he channeled his talent and drive to working on behalf of the LBGTQ+ community. His stellar career and sad decline are documented in America You Kill Me, which lost its major…

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Season 4 – Episode 9: When The Cold War Seemed Hot: Nike Missiles Around Metro Detroit, And A Nuclear Warhead On Belle Isle

Between 1955 and 1974, a nuclear war with the Soviet Union seemed like a possibility. We armed ourselves by placing Nike Missiles around many major cities across the U.S. — including 16 in and around metro Detroit. Six of them — including one on Belle Isle — were outfitted with nuclear warheads. A nuke on…

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Season 4 – Episode 8: Hammerin’ Hank Greenberg, How a Jewish Kid from the Bronx became a Detroit Tiger Great

Hank Greenberg, who entered the Hall of Fame as one of the greatest hitters in the game’s history, was the first Jewish star in team sports. He interrupted his baseball career to serve longer in World War II than any other major league player, and led the Tigers to World Series championships before and after…

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Season 4 – Episode 7: The 1960s and General Motors: Consumerism Hits The Big Three

GM spied on a gadfly and got caught. It was the ’60s, and it changed the auto industry forever. When consumer advocate Ralph Nader began hounding Detroit to produce safer cars, the world’s largest corporation took affront and went snooping. Its chairman, James Roche, had to apologize in the U.S. Senate chambers. Ralph Nader’s rise…

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Season 4 – Episode 6: No-No Boy and the Japanese-American Migration to Detroit

Barely two months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order #9066. Some 120,000 Japanese Americans in this country’s western states were ordered into internment camps. We report on the order, and the post-war period. When the camps were finally emptied out after the war, some 1,000 came to Detroit. We…

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Season 4 – Episode 5: Vernors, The Nectar of the Gods

James Vernor invented his ginger ale in downtown Detroit just after the Civil War. More than 15 decades later, we’re still fans. The Detroit History Podcast tells the story of this enduringly popular soft drink. You thought Vernor Highway in southwest Detroit was named after the drink? Actually (spoiler alert), it was his work in…

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Season 4 – Episode 4: Black Bottom: The Rise, the Fall, and the Rise of a Detroit Neighborhood

For decades, segregation forced African-Americans migrating from the South to Detroit into one neighborhood: “Black “Bottom,” an area just east of downtown, which is now Lafayette Park. Urban renewal plowed the neighborhood under in the 1950s, destroying what had been a thriving place that gave the world Joe Louis and Coleman Young. But the memory…

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Season 4 – Episode 3: The Haunting of The Whitney

Waiter, is there a ghost in my soup? The Whitney, one of Detroit’s great restaurants, began life as a grand 19th Century mansion. David Whitney, one of Michigan’s richest lumber barons, would be startled to learn not only that the public is dining on Faroe Island salmon and shrimp and scallop sauté in his Woodward…

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Season 4 – Episode 2: The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, The Sub-Aquatic Ambassador

An underwater tale of two cities. With the auto industry booming and with Detroit’s population surging in the 1920s, we needed a way to get people and car parts back and forth between Detroit and Windsor.  The solution: Just dig a massive trench beneath the Detroit River current, drop massive concrete tubes into the trench,…

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Season 4 – Episode 1: The Scene, The Hippest Show in Detroit in the 70s and 80s

Black Detroiters were invisible on local TV then . . . ‘The Scene’ changed it all    The low-budget, upstart and, to some, shocking dance show on a pioneering African-American-owned TV station put a screenful of Detroit teenagers on the air every day. If you were of an age in the 1970s and 1980s, you watched….

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