Archives: Episode

Special Release: Detroit’s Response to the 1918 Spanish Flu

When COVID-19 began to ravage the world, many health experts compared it to the 1918 Spanish Flu. What are the similarities? Nearly 100 years ago, the United States was nearing the end of the First World War. A strange illness appeared overseas that took out soldiers. Not long after, it came to America and created…

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Our Season 2 Finale- How The Klan Almost Elected A Mayor

Detroit was becoming an eclectic mix of cultures during the 1920s — African-Americans from the south, immigrants from southern Europe, and a growing Catholic population. The Ku Klux Klan exploited the fear of outsiders and almost elected a Detroit lawyer named Charles Bowles during that decade. He ran again and won the Detroit mayoral seat…

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Season 2 – Episode 09: The Legend Of The Nain Rouge

There must be some reason behind Detroit’s bad luck in the last three-plus centuries. We have the explanation: Du Nain Rouge in French, or the Red Dwarf in English. Legend has it the creature has been spotted whenever something really awful happens. And now, some fun-loving, creative types in this city have turned it into…

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Season 2 – Episode 08: General Motors in the 1920s: How A Struggling Company Became the Chrome Colossus

In 1920, General Motors was a company in trouble. Its founder was fired – for a second time. Henry Ford was eating GM’s lunch with his Model T. But a decade later, GM had revamped itself into the model of a big business, and would remain so for decades, largely by following the same playbook…

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Season 2 – Episode 07: Milliken v. Bradley, The Case Of Cross-District Busing

The topic of busing proved to be one of the most volatile issues in metro Detroit during the early 1970s. This came to a head in the case of Milliken v. Bradley. Two federal court orders mandated the forced busing of children to remedy segregation in metro Detroit. The reaction: The KKK dynamited buses in…

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Season 2 – Episode 06: The 1957 NFL Champion Detroit Lions

It’s been more than 60 years since the Detroit Lions won an NFL Championship. In the 50s, the Lions were one of the most dominant dynasties in the league, winning three championships in six years. It was a season of comebacks with their coach quitting weeks before the season and star QB Bobby Layne going…

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Season 2 – Episode 05: John Lee Hooker And The Blues on Hastings Street

Bluesman John Lee Hooker’s recording career spanned more than 40 years — from his hit record, Boogie Chillen’, which was recorded in Detroit in 1948, to his Grammy Award-winning LP The Healer. Hooker is a total product of Detroit’s Black Bottom, the city’s African-American neighborhood. We track his career, with help from John Lee Hooker’s…

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Season 2 – Episode 04: 1943, Detroit’s Forgotten Riot

For two days in 1943, Detroit erupted into a flat-out race war. Thirty-four people died as whites and African-Americans battled each other in the streets. People were ripped from street cars and beaten senseless. Of the 25 deceased African-Americans, 17 were killed by police.  It ended only as the U.S. Army came in with rifles…

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Season 2 – Episode 03: The Last Days Of Harry Houdini

Before radio, TV, and the internet magician Harry Houdini was described as the world’s first rock star. So when he died in Detroit after a performance here in 1926, people around the world took note. We unspool Houdini’s death, and his various Detroit connections. That includes his 1906 leap off the Belle Isle Bridge. Veteran…

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Season 2 – Episode 02: Remembering The Anchor, Detroit’s Most Famous Newspaper Bar

The Anchor Bar, situated on the western end of downtown Detroit, was once one of the country’s best-known newspaper bars. As one of the city’s most notorious watering holes, it was also the site of a federal raid because the feds thought one of its patrons was running a $15 million-a-year bookie operation (uh, it…

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