Archive for the Episode Category

Episode 126: Lydia Pinkham 2019

Posted 18 May 2019 by
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Women’s health is in the news these days but this is hardly a 20teens issue, we talk about it all the time when we hop in our WayBack machine. Lydia Pinkham did her part to get women access to safe medical care during her lifetime (and revolutionized marketing in the process!) We’ve refreshed the 2015 audio and thought it was a good time for us all to realize that everything old is new again.

For media recommendations and general shownotes click


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Episode 125: Babe Didrikson Zaharias

Posted 6 May 2019 by
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Babe Didrikson Zaharias was many things and, although quiet and humble weren’t two of them, her contributions to women’s sports made her a role model for anyone who has ever strapped on a pair of sneakers or golf shoes. Her drive and large personality made her someone we all need to know.

Babe in her All American jacket, courtesy Lamar University’s Babe Didrikson Zaharias Collection

How many sports do you play well? One? Two? How many do you play well enough to be a top adult competitor? If you’re like either of us, right now you’re hearing crickets chirping…but Babe competitively played *deep breath* basketball, track and field, baseball, golf, tennis, bowling, billiards…the list is long, and Babe was mighty in all of them. Heck, she even sold out shows on the vaudeville stage!

Born Mildred Ella Didriksen (not a typo, she changed the spelling in grade school) (also not a typo…grade school) on June 26, 1911, in Port Arthur, Texas, the 6th of seven children of Norwegian immigrants Ole and Hannah Didricksen. Babe was a wild child of the family, the neighborhood, her schools….but she also knew how to work hard to master any sport and overcome a very strong “girls can’t do that” attitude from others- she knew she could.

Honestly! What couldn’t she do? Circa 1933, courtesy Lamar University’s Babe Didrikson Zaharias Collection

Babe was recruited out of high school to play semi-pro basketball, but one sport led to another and within just a couple of years she was standing on the medal platform for track and field at the 1932 Olympics… three times! She was only 21 (despite claiming otherwise) and had a lot of sports left in her–soon she possessed a lifetime of skill and was playing competitive golf.

Babe is the closest to the camera still working the style she used to clear a 2′ wide hedge!


And she types, too!

Not only were her athletics top notch, her Working the Crowd and Charming the Press game was epically strong despite rampant sexism and gross, unnecessary questioning of her gender and sexual orientation. Take that, Sissy Lady Buttercups!

Courtesy Library of Congress


Babe spent some time barnstorming with the House of David baseball team. There’s a story worth learning about, here. Courtesy, Lamar University’s Babe Didrikson Zaharias Collection.


Glamour Babe CourtesLamar University’s Babe Didrikson Zaharias Collection.

The only audio in this short video is Babe speaking…but you can also see her at the Olympics, doing the Highland Jig with George, some at home video and her playing golf.

While her life ended at the age of 45, she went out strong spreading the word about cancer awareness in an era when the word “cancer” wasn’t used in polite conversation. Babe didn’t care. She was in a fight for her life and wanted others to fight for theirs as well.

Babe and Betty Dodd in the hospital after her operation. Courtesy Lamar University’s Babe Didrikson Zaharias Collection

Babe Didrikson Zaharias died on September 27, 1956, with her husband George at her side and her best friend/probably lover, Betty Dodd doing what Babe wanted her to do: playing in a golf tournament.




The two biographies that we would recommend are:

By Don Van Natta, Jr. Thorough and well researched.


By Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace. More YA level reading but PACKED FULL of images (that we are too cheap to spring for on our website.)


Babe’s autobiography was written right before her death. You can read it online.


Well, honestly, this field is wide open! Movie-makers! We’re giving you the best stories here, get on it! Chop, chop!

There is a documentary called, The Founders, about the 13 original PPGA members (“The L is for Ladies”). It’s not streaming anyplace, but you can rent it for cheap on YouTube or Amazon Prime. Here is a link to the website for the documentary, you know what to do from there.

There is a Drunk History episode with Emily Deschanel as Babe. It’s not free on YouTube, but you can find it at this link for Comedy Central. 

1952’s thinly-veiled biopic of Babe and George’s relationship with Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy with a cameo (and win) by Babe herself.


The Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum and Visitor Center is in Beaumont, Texas. If you visit, can you find out where her harmonica is, please and thank you!

An article from On the Issues magazine that takes a look at lesbian relationships in sports, specifically Babe’s. Is it our place to share this information if the woman didn’t?

The transcript from The American Life podcast about testosterone,

and an article from Live Science about the testosterone testing of Olympian Caster Semenya. 

She could do aaaanything!!!!


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Break music, Only the Missle by Robin Gray; end music, Play the Game by Lilly Wolf

both used with permission from iLicense

Episode 124: Mary Anning

Posted 20 April 2019 by
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Mary Anning’s grueling, dangerous, and meticulous toiling enabled many men of science to do their own work and furthered the study of times long past…but she was mostly omitted from the narrative. Thankfully, like the fossils that she discovered, she left enough of an evidence trail to help write her back in. (more…)

Episode 123: Annie Londonderry (Kopchovsky)

Posted 7 April 2019 by
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One of the publicity photos Annie had made on her adventure, 1894.

Her moments in the spotlight may have been limited, but Annie Cohen Kopchovsky lived them hard and bright as a marketer, adventurer, storyteller, and the first woman to bicycle* around the world.

(*or possibly, “around the world with a bicycle”- she played a little loose with the rules at points.)


Episode 122: Ching Shih

Posted 24 March 2019 by
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We have only a general idea of what she looked like, this is as good a guess as any…except she wasn’t much for the fighting, more a behind the scenes pirate-master.

History knows her by many names: Shi Xiang Gu, Shi Yang, Cheng I Sao, Zheng Yi Sao, Ching Shih and no one knows what her original name was! We had to pick one to use so we went with the easiest for our American accents: Ching Shih. (more…)

Episode 121: Audrey Hepburn Part Two

Posted 11 March 2019 by
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Right before Audrey set a new high for superstar status in Breakfast at Tiffany’s

When we left Audrey in Part One she had finished her first Hollywood starring role in Roman Holiday, filmed her second in Sabrina, done a Broadway play, Ondine, with beau hunky Mel Ferrer, and had just won an Academy Award for Roman Holiday AND a Tony Award for Ondine!


Episode 120: Audrey Hepburn, Part One

Posted 24 February 2019 by
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Circa 1956

Audrey Hepburn’s life had more turmoil, sadness, disappointment and some very hard years than her calm demeanor would suggest. She’s thought of as a movie star of the highest order, a style icon and a classic beauty, and she was all of those things, but she was also a wife (a couple times) a mother (also a couple times) and a humanitarian who was compelled to repay kindnesses she had experienced.


Episode 119: Phillis Wheatley

Posted 11 February 2019 by
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Phillis Wheatley was an accomplished poet and the first African American to have a book published. Her work chronicles Revolutionary War era America, focuses on the people she knew and explains the faith that she held dear. The fact that she was ripped from her family, sold into slavery and grew up in an unusual situation gave depth and a unique perspective to her work but, most importantly, makes her someone we all need to know.


Episode 118: Elizabeth Báthory

Posted 27 January 2019 by
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The only original painting of her disappeared, this is a copy of that painting done when she was about 25. Courtesy

We step away from our usual stories of remarkable women who overcame obstacles to create admirable good in the world to discuss this remarkable woman who overcame obstacles and created a whole lot of chaos in her world. And not the good kind. Her true story is still being debated, myths and legends swirl through it, but the facts alone are pretty horrifying.

This episode has a really loud NO LITTLE EARS warning. Also if violence, sexual assault, and blood are your triggers, you might want to go listen to Beatrix Potter or Lillian Gilbreth and skip this one. (Wow, podcasters who tell you to skip their show?! We love you, we want you to come back, so yes…or at the very least we can say that we warned you.) (more…)

Episode 117: Harriet Tubman

Posted 6 January 2019 by
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Most grade school kids will tell you that Harriet Tubman was an escaped slave and conductor on the Underground Railroad which is a great start–but she was so much more! A nurse, a spy, a military leader, a public speaker, a humanitarian, a wife and mother who did everything in her power to keep her family together…and she did it all with a traumatic brain injury.

She was a hero in every sense of the word.