The Weird History Podcast focuses on obscure, horrible, and strange corners of history. New episodes appear roughly weekly.
Explore the Archives
192 False Alarm
In 1983 a Soviet satellite system erroneously detected five incoming American nuclear missiles. Stanislav Petrov, the man tasked with reporting the alert to the USSR’s leadership, suddenly had a dire choice: He could do his duty and start a nuclear […]
191 The Black Paintings
Francisco Goya is one of the first modern artist, and toward the end of his life he painted his most well-known works, the Black Paintings, into the walls of his home outside Madrid. The most famous of the Black Paintings […]
190 Faro, the Hottest Game in the West
The image of cowboys playing poker has shown up again and again in Westerns. However, if you walked into a saloon in the late 1800s, you likely wouldn’t find poker, blackjack, or other contemporary casino games. Instead, you’d probably find […]
189 Thom Wall on The History of Juggling
Thom Wall is a professional juggler and who’s known both for his feats of dexterity and his enthusiasm for old-style vaudeville performance. His new book Juggling From Antiquity to the Middle Ages traces the history of the art across time […]
188 Swingin’ on the Flippity-Flop
Find out what a badly-sourced article in the Toronto Sun, a fake list of grunge slang in the New York Times, and an oft-repeated anecdote about a floating bordello can tell us about better evaluating sources and looking at how […]
187 Presidential Pets
This week we look at the animal companions of America’s chief executives, including opossums, eagles, and very good dogs.