About The History Chicks

Posted 7 January 2011 by

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What is this?

First off: This isn’t History 101 and there is no test.

Secondly, our goal is to introduce you to female characters in history, factual or fictional via our podcast and shownotes. An introduction, an overview and a little push to explore and learn more on your own.

The shownotes will give you a short look at the life of the person that we are discussing- basic facts and links to other sources to learn more. The podcast episodes will go into greater detail as we chat about the challenges, failures and successes, times, and all the juicy bits that we find interesting about the  life of our subject. Sometimes, as opportunities present themselves, we will add Special Features here on our website that relate to the person that we are spotlighting.

Tuck away a couple of facts to throw out at dinner parties! Dazzle your kids when they are learning history in school! Dive headfirst into the subcultures that exist for just about anyone! Redecorate a room in homage! Plan a vacation around a woman that existed long before you but, for some reason, you relate to. How you use the resources that we provide is entirely up to you.



Our first logo, it will always hold a special place in our hearts….like a baby picture.




Why should I listen to a couple of chicks talk about women in history?

You want the facts. Simple enough.

You want to know how the women are remembered, how their legacies live on, and how you can learn more. We can do that!

You want a show that is interesting to adults, but appropriate if kids are in the room and listening. Gotcha.

And you like to get your information in a unique, smart, and conversational style. Done, done, and done.

We are just like you. And you. (And even you-yeah, you- the one Googling our names. (That’s BECKETT GRAHAM and SUSAN VOLLENWEIDER) We think that women, females, dames…chicks in history is a perfect topic to sit down and chat about. We don’t claim to know it all, but really? All of it would take more time than any of us have right now. And it would be kinda boring.

In 2011 we sat down in front of a mic at a big dinner table in Beckett’s house (which we lovingly refer to as The House of Wood) and started talking. We’re still sitting at that very table and still talking.

We like to talk. A lot.



What is your episode posting schedule?

Excellent question! We post episodes every two weeks for our History Chicks Bios and every week when we are recapping a series on The Recappery. (Be kind if we are a little late, we’re still juggling day jobs and our shows are very research heavy, and The Recappery is currently on hiatus.)

We always give a heads-up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that a show is about to go up by giving you a clue as to the subject. You should play! It’s fun! Sometimes we give really crappy clues! There is a Pinterest board for every episode and we love it when you hashtag Instagram with #historychicksfieldtrip to show off your visits to historical places!

What do I do between episodes?

Our Shownotes are PACKED with media and books we enjoyed as well as links to museums, websites, and who-knows-what-else related to our subjects.

Click over to the Special Features page drop-down and see related topics that didn’t fit into the episode but we just had to share.

Subscribe to our podcasts on iTunes…er, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher Radio, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, TuneIn…the list is really long–we are everywhere you get your podcasts from.

Better yet: If you like us, spend a few minutes leaving a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts (or anyplace that lets you review, we aren’t picky).

Click the tasteful DONATE button to your right and help us defray our expenses, enter our Zazzle store through the link on the right, or frequent the very smart companies that sponsor our show. 


How do I get ahold of you?

Email us at CHICKS (at) THEHISTORYCHICKS (dot)COM to say “hi” or tell us how one of our subjects touched you. Seriously, we read every email, we simply don’t have time to respond to every email. We do apologize, but if you had a choice between well-researched shows or an email which would you pick? (That was rhetorical.) We also decided that a few personal responses were better than hiring someone to speak/write on our behalf.  Or you can give us a call at 816.943.1234 and leave a message.

We both also pop into our Facebook private group, The Lounge, fairly regularly if you want to chat. Susan is often quite chatty on Twitter, and Beckett manages the Instagram account.


Do you take requests? Can you do a shout-out?

You can send us an email or message regarding a request, however, we have been compiling a list of potential subjects for over ten years and the chances are excellent that she is already on that list and that we already know about her. We’re sad to say that the volume of requests that we get is substantial and we really can’t respond to them (although we do read them all!)

As for how we pick our subjects, we have a highly scientific algorithm…kidding, we generally just listen to our guts and figure that if we want to know about someone (and are willing to put in the research time with her) other people will want to know about her, too.

As for shout-outs, we don’t really do those and any “(So and So) this is for you” are done for personal reasons.


Does someone pay you to say nice things about their products? You seem to really like a lot of things! Can I pay you to say nice things about my (thing)?

We do have very kind, paid sponsors. When we do talk about and thank them for their financial support we are very transparent about their sponsorship of our show. ( And we are selective about our advertisers–we don’t recommend anything we haven’t enjoyed ourselves.) Of course, we would love it if our listeners repaid the kindness by supporting them in return. Love it. A lot. If you would like to be one of those sponsors, contact our friends at Wondery, you can reach them here.

For the body of our podcasts and show notes, we don’t take any product in exchange for a good review- ever. Most of the things we like and recommend we found on our own. Sometimes we do get books but any publisher takes their chances- we will only recommend it if we truly liked it and if we use it to research that particular episode, We’re not a great publication publicity avenue: the subject must line up with a subject already on our schedule and we don’t do author interviews (except for the two that we did that made us decide that interviews aren’t for us.)

Do you ever do live shows?

Yes, when there isn’t a worldwide pandemic although, admittedly, we don’t do a lot of them for the same reason we can’t answer every email. We do post on our social media (Twitter, Facebook, Facebook Private Group The Lounge) and on our website when we announce an upcoming show. We might even remember to mention it on the podcast, but not obsessively, that’s not our style. Announcements like this are always after the “Bye!”

How about awards? 

*sigh* Why is this so important? Your listening, enjoying and sharing our show with your friends and family is the ultimate award for us. We get it, though, some people like to see verification that we are good at what we do. Okay, how about:

The People’s Choice Podcast Award: Finalist in Education 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

The Academy of Podcasters Awards: Finalist 2016

Mixcloud Online Radio Awards, Best Talk Show in the Education Category: 2018

If you would like to see what we look like (we’re podcasters for a reason) or hear what other people think about the podcast, visit our IN THE NEWS page.




Two women.  Half the population. Several thousand years of history. About an hour. Go.

76 Responses to About The History Chicks

  1. Lindsey T says:

    Woot Woot girlies! <3 Lindsey Lou

  2. Mari says:

    Love the idea! Can’t wait to see more!

  3. Shana Segat says:

    Can’t wait ladies!

  4. Jessica Rogers says:

    This is awesome. I LOVE history and women. and you both. FANTASTIC!!!!

  5. Meghan says:

    awww…. this is cool…

  6. Janis Danders says:

    Great idea! Loved the casual style,too.

  7. Adria Smith says:

    Perfect! I was looking for a history podcast with a twist, and I’ve found it. Thank you and I’ll be looking for more!

  8. Jessica Swendson says:

    Just found your podcast and blog and LOVE them! Thank you! I have always been a fan of history, especially involving women. Anxiously awaiting the next, and if I can add a suggestion: Anastasia Romanov and her sisters would be a great topic of discussion!! 🙂

    • The History Chicks says:

      Thanks for the suggestion! We’ve added the Romanovs to our “master list”…

  9. O-Shen Christ says:

    Great job on pdcst.  I would say background on site makes it almost unreadable so maybe change to solid color with small banner on top of artwork IMHO. What about ur pics!! Look forward to Catherine the great and Cleopatra! Mary Magdalene also.
    Ur email doesn’t work also

  10. The History Chicks says:

    Thanks for writing! Just tested the email, and it seems to work. chicks@thehistorychicks.com

  11. Jenny Grandchamp says:

    Great Job!!! Hoping to hear one about Jane Austen and Abigail Adams.

    Also, as relates to Little House, the entire season was filmed in the hills surrounding Simi Valley, CA. It was located North of Tapo Canyon Blvd, but is now gone; it was destroyed by one fo the many California wild fires about 5 years ago. I was able to volunteer as a Guide in 1992, and was able to see the church, schoolhouse and their home. Funny tidbit, as Simi looks absolutely nothing like Wisconsin.

  12. The History Chicks says:

    Excellent tidbit of information! Thank you Jenny–we live for this kind of stuff …er, ok, maybe a slight exaggeration…but it gets us going! Both of those women are on our list!

  13. Tessa says:

    I just found you guys through iTunes and your podcasts are so awesome! I just listened to the Marie and Laura episodes and absolutely love them! I’m going to tell my other history-loving friends about it, for sure.

    I have a minor suggestion (though I know nothing about recording audio) but might it be possible to have both voices at about the same volume level? Right now one of you awesome history ladies is a bit loud and the other is quiet, I find myself adjusting the volume as each of you speaks. However, I would happily adjust my volume to listen to another great show! Hope you’re doing well, and I look forward to the next one!

  14. The History Chicks says:

    Thank you!Not only for listening but for taking the time to write! We just answered this same question on our new Email Box page, but basically the answer is, yes- we are aware and are trying to fix it for future podcasts!

    We are doing well, and quite frankly, blown away by the favorable reactions to our podcasts and website! Thank you for being a part of that!

    Beckett and Susan

  15. Nikki says:

    I LOVE YOUR SHOW!! I’m an avid lover of history and you ladies are bringing something new and exciting to the table! Keep it coming!

  16. The History Chicks says:

    WOW! Thank you, Nikki!

  17. LolaS says:

    Very entertaining. I’m so glad itunes suggested you ladies. I drive a lot for my job and it’s wonderful to have something interesting to listen to. Yesterday I got half way through Marie Antoinette and am looking forward to the other half today. Great job!

  18. Chellerae says:

    Loved your podcast. The audio was a little strange and pitchy. went up and down in spots…but the subjects are great. You ladies really put history into terms I can grasp. Can’t wait till the next one.

  19. I love this site! I am a costumer currently working in the Renaissance era (1400-1700). I would be interested in anything you might know about Grace O’Malley. I am looking forward to savoring the rest of your site. Thanks for all your effort.

  20. The History Chicks says:

    Thank you for writing and we are really glad that you are enjoying our site! Grace O’Malley– now there is an interesting name for our list! Can’t make promises, but that is a life that would make for a great chat! Excellent!

  21. Rosemary Kiladitis says:

    I just discovered this podcast and love it! Thanks so much for, as Abigail Adams would say, “remembering the ladies”!

  22. Andrea says:

    Hm, my email to you came back to me undeliverable. I was wondering if you two would consider also talking about groups of women in addition to a single, powerful woman each episode? Don’t get me wrong; I loved the first two episodes. But I think looking at the lives of average women during particular time periods could also be a fascinating topic. I remember being blown away when I learned about matrilineal Native American culture in an Early American History course, for example, and how much power women wielded in those societies. Or how the caste system in India affects women. Or the indentured servitude system in early colonial America. Obviously the possibilities are endless. I think sometimes the focus is too often placed on the most powerful figures in history and not on the regular folks. Anyway, my two cents.

    • The History Chicks says:

      Thanks -not only for listening but for taking the time to write! Sorry about the undeliverable mail…I just tested it again and it worked.*bang head on keyboard and wail* We have heard that before,and really are unsure as to the reason. hmm…chicks@thehistorychicks.com ? As for the way more interesting aspect of your note…YES! We have collections of women on our master list! When we feel we have enough information to them justice, we plan to sit down and talk– and we will also discuss them as they relate to certain historical (or fictional!) women, if a we feel a collection applies.Great suggestion and we are on it!

  23. ksd says:

    Really enjoyed the podcasts – what a great niche you have tapped into with your interesting presentations – can’t wait to hear more! Only drawback is the audio … goes from too soft and then a shout (I can’t yank the earbud out fast enough!). Keep up the great content, but maybe listen to the podcast yourself with headphones to see how to even out the volume.

    • The History Chicks says:

      Thank you, ksd! We have been working on the audio and apologize for hurting your ears! We know exactly what you are talking about, and we can hear an improvement with each episode. Hope that you do as well. We are having a blast doing this and sometimes our *coughSusan’scough* enthusiasm gets loud.

  24. Holly says:

    Love your podcasts! I’d like to see you tell us about female spies during the civil war. What do you think??

  25. Jessica Swendson says:

    Enjoyed the 2nd podcast, just listened a couple night’s ago, I was a bit confused as I have never read the books and wasn’t sure on characters but have placed holds on the books to read the series. Would have loved to hear a bit more about why Rose wasn’t easy to get along with! For 3: when I heard can’t keep her shoes on I thought Pocahontas but then this new clue with the fish and ocean…no idea!!

    • The History Chicks says:

      Excellent! Make sure you write back when you finish! We would love to hear your take! Also, on the Frontier Girl website ( see: blogroll) there are book discussions about them! You should check it out! We loved re-reading them, and it’s fun to step back in US history through them. Pochahontas IS a good guess! If you follow us on twitter, and on facebook, you can get more clues.

  26. Janine says:

    Love, love, love your podcasts! Really looking forward to more of them! Funnily enough, I just finished Antonia Fraser’s “The Journey” so the timing for Marie Antoinette was perfect.

    My suggestion: Susanna Moodie (awesome Canadian pioneer & writer/fought off bears and housefires).

    • The History Chicks says:

      Confession: I had to look this one up! ( Hey, we can’t have the bios of EVERY amazing woman in history tucked into our brains! Part of the fun of this is that we get to learn, too!) I’m adding her to the list! Thanks Janine! Did you enjoy “The Journey”? ~Susan

  27. Chris R. says:

    Great Podcast

    This is an area where I really don’t know a whole lot and as a student of history I am really excited to learn more. Keep up the great work.

    I had a class on women in the 20th century (and no I did not take it to meet girls) and it was really neat because we did it by decades to see the changes. It was one of my favorite classes in College. And I think it started to make me a more well rounded student.

    • The History Chicks says:

      Thanks, Chris! That would be a very interesting class to take (regardless of your motivation). We are enjoying looking at the decades lived by the women we discuss, so looking at the contributions and lives of the gender as a whole in the context of ALL TIME…well, would be really fascinating!

  28. Megan B. says:

    Love your podcasts! I really appreciate the references to other historical happenings in the same time time period. Does that make sense? Anyway, keep up the great work and I look forward to many more enjoyable hours of listening!

    • The History Chicks says:

      Yes, Megan it makes perfect sense! Thank you for writing and listening!

  29. Miriam says:

    You gals rock! Fantastic job with this podcast. Fun, funny, factual…can I get a yee-hah?! Found you on iTunes. Keep ’em coming. We’re listenin’. p.s. If you had been my history teachers way back when I might have learned more. Well, here’s to lifelong learning!

    • The History Chicks says:

      Yee-hah! Ok, seriously Miriam, I have never said that before in my life…I kinda like it.~ Susan

  30. Angie Adams says:

    I thoroughly enjoy the podcast & LOVE your website. The links & shownotes are an awesome plus to the podcast. I look forward to future “adventures” in learning about the women who made us who we are! 🙂

  31. Lisha Cassibo says:

    I discovered you on itunes, and am fast becoming addicted! Loved the one on Marie A., and Cinderella?!?! Only my most favourite fairy tale of all time! Am looking forward to future “subjects”. Also, I love how you throw your “Mom-ness” into the conversations, too. Being a busy mom myself, I just feel like I’m sharing a grown-up playdate with you two!
    Good work, keep it up. Shall spread the word.

    • The History Chicks says:

      WOW! Thank you! It’s hard to keep our mom-ness…or our woman-ness..out of the conversation, it’s just who we are! Glad that you found us, Lisha. We’ll have another playdate next week!

  32. Alana says:

    Hi ladies,

    I found you through iTunes and I love your podcast. The Little House on the Prairie series was such an integral part of my childhood (in the 90’s – I never actually watched the show so all of the references to dreamy Pa went a little over my head – but the books really do stand on their own.)

    I laughed especially hard when you talked about the poor family dog crossing the river, getting lost and then almost shot by Pa when he comes back – poor little puppy.

    Can’t wait to keep listening and see what else you have in store!

  33. Sarah says:

    Thanks for the podcast. I am walking my way into shape and when I’m listening to your podcast, I don’t want the walk to end. There is one bad part…I have to wait a whole week to download the next one!

    Thank You!

    • The History Chicks says:

      So…maybe we shouldn’t ever chat about the snacks we are munching on off mic? Walk on, Sarah!

  34. Jill says:

    Y’all are doing wonderful things, keep it up! I have a suggestion, two actually. For your topic list, Elizabeth I. Allison Weir wrote a rockin’ biography of her, if you haven’t read it, I suggest it.

    Suggestion Two. Have you heard of Kahn Academy? He did an online tutoring session to help a niece who lived a long way from him with math. It is done conversationally and casually and soon went virual. (Sound like anyone you know?) He is now working with Bill Gates to bring it to the masses. Kids that hate math how like it because they get it. I believe it would work even better with history, mostly because all kids like stories, especially ones with some kind of ‘ugh’ factor in them. Anyway, to make a long story longer, have you considered this? Love to see good people succeed!

  35. Gretchen says:

    What a GREAT podcast your program is…perfect for listening to while walking. All the more impressive because I basically slept through history classes many years ago! You find the most interesting tidbits to share and I hope there will be many more episodes. Thanks for all the effort you put into program and links!

    • The History Chicks says:

      Thank you, Gretchen! Gonna confess that I (Susan) got a D in AP history in high school–however learning for the joy of discovery is so much more enjoyable (and retain-able) as an adult. Walk on!

  36. Nova Emmel says:

    Ladies, I love your podcast. I found it on itunes last month & I am just thrilled. In the last month I have been driving over an hour once a week early in the morning. I make up two cups of espresso to go & can’t wait to listen to your podcast. Okay, so someone mentioned Pochantas which I think you should definitely address the Disney misinformation. What about Sacagawea? I still have a hard time saying her name correctly. I still have to think about what I am saying because I was taught incorrectly. I am certain that I am not the only one. Yes, I did notice an improvement on the sound quality with the Abigail Adams podcast-Thank you both for fixing that issue. Also Surlalune, Wow!

    • The History Chicks says:

      Thanks, Nova! Both of those women are on our list for furture episodes! And, yeah! Sur la lune! We could hang out there all day!

  37. Liz says:

    I listen to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks while I nurse my son, and I was just updating my ipod and saw that there was a new History Chicks episode and got so excited! And I just thought it warranted me coming over here and letting you know how awesome I think your podcasts are. There are some podcasts I subscribe to that sit on my ipod for a looooooong time before \i get around to listening to them, but yours I always listen to right away. I used to get so frustrated in school that we would read a chapter in our history books and there would be a section on “Daily life” and I’d think, “Oh, that’s what life was like” and then I’d get to the end of the chapter and there would be a tiny little section on “Women’s Lives.” And I would get so mad because I would realize that the “Daily Life” section was about what life was like for men at the time, and what womens’ lives were like were an after thought. So frustrating . . . and I went to an all-girls school too! But anyway, I love your show! I love learning about history from the point of view I most relate to — a woman’s.

    • The History Chicks says:

      Thank you, Liz! And because we are women (and moms)– we can honestly say that it’s pretty much an honor that you look forward to nursing with us. Feed on, Little Son, feed on! 🙂

  38. Lisa A says:

    Have been going for a walk every morning and listening to your podcast. It’s SO addictive I have been walking further and further just to hear the ends of the stories. Great job, keep it up!

  39. Amarisse says:

    I am 12 years old and every one at my school HATES history except me. Even my own family hates it. I am writing a historical fiction novel-do you have suggestions on who it could be about-thx.
    PS this is my new fave website-found the podcast on iTunes!!!

    • The History Chicks says:

      LOVE! Thank you for writing and listening! I think you should write about anyone that interests you! (yeah, we like history, but we still talk like parents) Let us know who you pick! ~Susan

  40. Danielle says:

    Love love loved your podcast about Laura Ingalls Wilder and Rose Wilder! I loved that you mentioned the part about the glass plate from Sears & Roebuck…

    I’ve been to the museum in S. Dakota and have seen the pageant and all of the hoopla. Was absolutely in love with the show (even though it was completely historically inaccurate) Melissa Gilbert will always be “Half Pint” in my mind and Michael Landon will always be “Pa”. I think I may need to get my set of her books out and re-read them again.

    The podcast about Marie Antoinette was VERY interesting.

    May I suggest Eleanor Roosevelt or Jackie Kennedy Onassis as a subject for a future podcast?

    Love your show; I listen to it at work on my iPod.

    • The History Chicks says:

      Thank you, Danielle! Both Mrs Roosevelt and Jackie are on our master list–we will definitely be covering them at some point!

      You should check out the special features on this site; it’s a drop-down menu organized by episode subjects. The Laura Ingalls Wilder one has a lot of neat stuff you might enjoy! Also, one of our super listeners brought this to our attention recently–we have not read the book discussed in the article, but if you do, let us know what you thought! http://www.npr.org/2011/05/09/136137419/an-author-returns-to-the-little-house?sc=fb&cc=fp

  41. Clarity says:

    Love these podcasts. In fact, was inspired to get the Antonia Fraser bio of Marie Antoinette. A sad story beautifully researched and written. Thanks History Chicks!

  42. Teresa says:

    I really enjoy all of your podcasts. Do you have a suggestion place to write names of women in history we would like to hear about?

  43. Robyn Dahl says:

    How about posting your “master list”. It would be great to see all the subjects you’re considering. May I add:
    Sylvia Plath
    Anastasia Romanov
    Madame Bovary
    Joan of Arc

    • The History Chicks says:

      We have some really great reasons for keeping our list super secret–but the main one is that we want to hear the names you all want on the list, not just agreementsas to who is already on it. (If that makes any sense at all). Those are four terrific suggestions and they have been noted! Thanks, Robyn!

  44. My 9 year old daughter, Sophia, LOVES your podcasts. She listens to them on her ipod and continually checks for more updates. Thanks for sharing such amazing women of history with her and encouraging her to read and learn more. You two rock!

    • The History Chicks says:

      Love it!! Thanks for sharing that! *waves* Hi, Sophia! Don’t forget to check the Special features pages! We stick A LOT of nifty information in there!

  45. Jen says:

    I discovered you on iTunes a few months ago. I LOVE your podcasts/website, and recommend you to everyone. I’m sure your list for future podcasts is long, but here are a few ladies I’d love to hear about:

    Margaret Mead
    Dr. James Barry (Margaret Ann Bulkley)
    Emily Dickinson
    Elizabeth Ann Seton
    Catherine the Great
    Emma Smith
    the women of the(US)suffrage movement

    Keep up the great work, I can’t wait to hear more!

  46. Jyl says:

    Fantastic podcast! Keep up the great work. I’ll be listening!

  47. Paul Higham says:

    Your Podcast is my absolute favorite. I re-listened to all of them this fall as a put up hay. I loved history in high school and college and the teachers I loved had what you and they have in common. It is simply that you enjoy telling the human stories in a way that transcends fact and illuminates their humanity.
    Look forward to a long relationship. Sincere Thanks!

  48. Michelle Harkins says:

    I love the postcast. You are so enthusiastic about the subject it makes me smile – thank you

  49. Sarah says:

    When the radio in my car died I was beside myself with grief – how would I get the news and entertain myself on the 45 minute drive to and from work? Started looking for podcasts – then low and behold there you were! Now I am hooked. Love the tidbits that you throw in (we never go those in school). Thank You!!!!!

  50. Janice says:

    Just found you on Itunes Podcasts. I have a long commute and I listen while I drive. I am a history buff and/or nut.
    I have a great interest in the Civil War era. Varina Howell Davis (wife of Jefferson Davis) is one of my favorite people. Often I find a very “sanitized” history of her, but she was a strong, accomplised woman and endured many ups and downs.
    As we all do.

    • The History Chicks says:

      Thank you, Janice! Going to add Varina Howell Davis to the list of women that we pick our topics from!