Category Archives: Historical History

TRR: Episode 84, “The Story of a Thousand-Year Pine”



Trees are among the longest-lived organisms on our planet. In this episode, we share a story about a yellow pine that was over a thousand years old.

“The Story of a Thousand-Year Pine” (1909) by Enos A. Mills

The Reader

TRT: 29:40

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 76, “The Wreck of the Titan”



This week marks the 105th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. In this episode, we take a look at a novel written fourteen years earlier which eerily predicted the disaster.

“Futility, or The Wreck of the Titan” (1898) by Morgan Robertson
“The Titanic Disaster Poem” (1912) by J.H. MacKenzie

The Reader

TRT: 24:39

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 72, “A Bundle of Letters From Over the Sea”



The lost art of letter writing is the subject of this week’s show, as we share a letter about the first leg of a tour of Europe.

In the letter, the author describes a transatlantic crossing aboard the RMS Etruria, a real vessel.

“A Bundle of Letters From Over the Sea” (1890) by Louise B. Robinson

The Reader

TRT: 20:01

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 62, “Early Winter” by Rosalind Richards



There’s no hope for it, so we’ll just have to face up to it… winter is almost here. To that end, this week we have a story of the New England wintertime to share with you. Taken from a book by Rosalind Richards that describes life in New England throughout the year, “Early Winter” based on stories and memories told to her by friends and relatives of what it was like to live in Maine a generation or two previous.

“Early Winter” (1916) by Rosalind Richards

The Reader

TRT: 23:18

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 61, “Mistress Esteem Elliot’s Molasses Cake”



In 1705, the residents of Colchester, CT faced a crisis. No molasses was available for the Thanksgiving holiday! Imagine, no pumpkin pies for the forthcoming feast! What was a colonial housewife to do? Based on a real historical event, we offer you a Thanksgiving story about the Great Colchester Molasses Shortage.

“Mistress Esteem Elliot’s Molasses Cake” (1910) by Kate Upson Clark

The Reader

TRT: 24:17

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com, Archive.org, and Hymnpod.com.


TRR: Episode 50, “Lost Pond”



Many states have a legend of a so-called “lost pond,” a place found by the early pioneers and woodsmen, but never marked properly on a map. All that remained were the stories told by the old-timers, the location itself lost to the wilderness. In this episode, we follow a pair of anglers in search of one such lost pond.

“Lost Pond” (1915) by Henry Abbott

The Reader

TRT: 30:15

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 46, “A Horseman in the Sky”



Journalist, critic, and author Ambrose Bierce penned a collection of short stories about war which was considered one of the best anti-war fiction ever written. Bierce served in the Union army during the Civil War, and his real life experiences helped to lend an air of authenticity to his writings. In this episode, we hear one of his more famous short stories about the personal cost of war.

“A Horseman in the Sky” (1889) by Ambrose Bierce

The Reader

TRT: 23:07

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com.


TRR: Episode 44, “The Election of 1936”



“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” That old saying was never more true than it is in our national politics. For example, the Presidential election of 2016 is strikingly similar to the election of 1936. The rhetoric, the partisanship, the demonization of candidates, the issues of class, fear, and frustration, are at heart not so different. As you listen, keep that old adage in mind and ask yourself, how much, really, have things changed after eighty years?

Selections from the essay “We and I” (1936) by Malcom W. Bingay
An excerpt of John Hamilton’s speech to the GOP convention
“On the Eve of the Election” from “Speaking of Change” (1939) by Edward A. Filene

The Reader

TRT: 35:47

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Archive.org.


TRR: Episode 42, “Will Radio Replace the Phonograph?”



As we, like every generation before us, face a changing world, it pays to look back and see we are not alone in our uncertainty. Seeing the old and familiar fall by the wayside may cause some anxiety, but it is nothing new. At one point in the early 1920’s, there was apprehension that the new technology of radio would threaten the dominance of the phonograph for musical entertainment. Such is the subject of our selection, taken from the November, 1922 issue of Radio Broadcast Magazine.

“Will Radio Replace the Phonograph?” (1922) by Winslow A. Duerr

The Reader

TRT: 17:12

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Archive.org.


TRR: Episode 38, “The Homeburg Telephone Exchange”



George H. Fitch, the “Smile King,” was a humorist who was popular at the turn of the 20th Century. Fitch was part of the tradition of gentle, observational humor later carried on by Will Rogers and Garrison Keillor. In this episode, we share a story from Fitch’s small fictional home town, Homeburg.

“The Homeburg Telephone Exchange” (1915) by George H. Fitch

The Reader

TRT: 27:09

The musical accompaniment for the show is provided through the kind generosity of Incompetech.com and Archive.org.