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BackStory with the American History Guys

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BackStory is a weekly one-hour public radio show that provides a national broadcast audience with an enjoyable and accessible way of engaging challenging themes in American history and how they connect with today. The show is hosted by renowned historians Peter Onuf, Ed Ayers, and Brian Balogh. BackStory’s signature sound and spirit of inquiry emanates from the hearts and minds of its genial hosts, whose unscripted brilliance reflects a warmth and rapport that comes from their longtime friendship.

Please confirm carriage of BackStory with the American History Guys by contacting Andrew Parsons at (434) 982-2955 or andrewparsons@virginia.edu.

Moving from current headlines to drill down into U.S. history, each surprising BackStory episode features lively interviews with a diverse roster of scholars, experts, and ordinary citizens from around the country; listener calls; host discussions; and produced pieces. Topics are as diverse as college sports, reenactments, sugar, memorials, domestic terrorism, birthing, homeownership, the post office, philanthropy, protests, privacy, marriage, revivalism, and childhood—all in the context of American history.

Since BackStory first began as a monthly show in 2008, episodes have been broadcast by more than 130 primary stations in 39 states, 29 in the top 50 markets by population. Podcasts have been downloaded 1.4 million times.

BackStory is produced by VFH Radio at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. Major funding is provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities with additional corporate, foundation, institutional, and individual support.

Please visit our station landing page for upcoming episodes, promotional photos, and other information.

 


Pieces

Caption: BackStory with the American History Guys logo
30-second promo for "Best Of BackStory Pt. 1” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

  • Added: Jan 20, 2017
  • Length: 54:00
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We’ll spend our last regularly scheduled broadcasts reviewing some of BackStory’s most memorable moments. We’ll revisit BackStory interviews with h...

Bought by WRGY, WMUU-LP, and WYAP


  • Added: Jan 20, 2017
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: BackStory with the American History Guys logo
30-second promo for "Best Of BackStory Pt. 1” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

  • Added: Jan 17, 2017
  • Length: :30
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Samples of BackStory's new short format, meant for morning, midday and afternoon news holes. Backstory is currently soliciting feedback from statio...

Bought by WEZU


  • Added: Jan 17, 2017
  • Length: 11:22
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: President Grant taking the oath of office, March 4, 1873., Credit: Source: Library of Congress
As Washington prepares for the next four years, BackStory looks back at some of the more dramatic presidential transitions from the past. On this s...

  • Added: Jan 13, 2017
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: President Grant taking the oath of office, March 4, 1873., Credit: Source: Library of Congress
As Washington prepares for the next four years, BackStory looks back at some of the more dramatic presidential transitions from the past. On this s...

Bought by RadioFreePalmer, XRAY.fm, KMXT, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, KVSC and more


  • Added: Jan 13, 2017
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 10
Caption: President Grant taking the oath of office, March 4, 1873., Credit: Source: Library of Congress
30-second promo for "Four More Years: Presidential Inaugurations [rebroadcast]” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

  • Added: Jan 10, 2017
  • Length: :30
Caption: Student nurses being trained in nutrition, New York, 1942 – photographed by Fritz Henle , Credit: Source: Library of Congress
Good fats vs. bad fats, milk chocolate vs. dark chocolate, red meat, red wine, carbs, sugar -- all have been the subject of conflicting nutritional...

Bought by KREV-LP, XRAY.fm, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, WRGY, WRIR and more


  • Added: Jan 06, 2017
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 8
Caption: Student nurses being trained in nutrition, New York, 1942 – photographed by Fritz Henle , Credit: Source: Library of Congress
Good fats vs. bad fats, milk chocolate vs. dark chocolate, red meat, red wine, carbs, sugar -- all have been the subject of conflicting nutritional...

  • Added: Jan 06, 2017
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Student nurses being trained in nutrition, New York, 1942 – photographed by Fritz Henle , Credit: Source: Library of Congress
30-second promo for "Health Nuts: A History of Nutritional Advice [rebroadcast]” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

  • Added: Jan 03, 2017
  • Length: :30
Caption: Group reading newspapers with news of death of Woodrow Wilson, Feb. 1924, Credit: Source: Library of Congress
As 2016 comes to a close, we’re turning back the clock and looking back on the history behind some of the year’s biggest headlines. From the parti...

  • Added: Dec 30, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Group reading newspapers with news of death of Woodrow Wilson, Feb. 1924, Credit: Source: Library of Congress
As 2016 comes to a close, we’re turning back the clock and looking back on the history behind some of the year’s biggest headlines. From the parti...

Bought by KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, XRAY.fm, WRGY, WEZU, RadioFreePalmer and more


  • Added: Dec 30, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 7
Caption: Group reading newspapers with news of death of Woodrow Wilson, Feb. 1924, Credit: Source: Library of Congress
30-second promo for "History For The Headlines: 2016 In Review” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

Bought by WPCA-LP


  • Added: Dec 27, 2016
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: Boy in prayer shawl, 1911.
On Dec. 24th, Jewish communities across the country begin celebrating Hanukkah. The annual holiday celebrates the victory of the Jews over the Gree...

Bought by XRAY.fm, WRIR, KQAL, RadioFreePalmer, and WMUU-LP


  • Added: Dec 23, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 5
Caption: Boy in prayer shawl, 1911., Credit: Source: Library of Congress
On Dec. 24th, Jewish communities across the country begin celebrating Hanukkah. The annual holiday celebrates the victory of the Jews over the Gree...

  • Added: Dec 23, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: Boy in prayer shawl, 1911., Credit: Source: Library of Congress
30-second promo for "Judaism In America [rebroadcast]” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

  • Added: Dec 20, 2016
  • Length: :30
Caption: 1899 illustration from Puck magazine, reading "The greatest department store on Earth; —and every day a bargain day.", Credit: Source: Library of Congress
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or is it? The holiday season is notorious for bringing out the beast in shoppers. On this episode of Back...

  • Added: Dec 16, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
Caption: 1899 illustration from Puck magazine, reading "The greatest department store on Earth; —and every day a bargain day.", Credit: Source: Library of Congress
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Or is it? The holiday season is notorious for bringing out the beast in shoppers. On this episode of Back...

Bought by XRAY.fm, KSVR Studios: Skagit Valley Radio, RadioFreePalmer, WMUU-LP, 90.1 WFYI Public Radio and more


  • Added: Dec 16, 2016
  • Length: 54:00
  • Purchases: 6
Caption: 1899 illustration from Puck magazine, reading "The greatest department store on Earth; —and every day a bargain day.", Credit: Source: Library of Congress
30-second promo for "Counter Culture: A History Of Shopping [rebroadcast]” with 5-second music bed at end for station-specific time/date tag

Bought by 90.1 WFYI Public Radio


  • Added: Dec 13, 2016
  • Length: :30
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: “Church and state – No Union upon any terms” by Thomas Nast in Harper’s Weekly, Feb. 25, 1871. , Credit: Source: Library of Congress
From the persecution of Quakers in colonial Massachusetts, to 21st century battles over nativity scenes in public squares, the wall separating chur...

  • Added: Dec 09, 2016
  • Length: 54:00