Podcasts

Listen to Massachusetts History

Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti

In the spring of 1920, two Italian immigrants were arrested on a Bridgewater- bound streetcar. These working-class men with ties to violent anarchists were accused of a brutal murder and robbery. Decades later, there are still questions about this case. Did they do it? And perhaps more importantly: Did they have a fair trial? The Sacco and Vanzetti case shocked the world in the 1920's, and continues to fascinate legal historians and armchair detectives alike. On this episode of Voices from the Vault, we explore the Sacco and Vanzetti case with Judge Peter Agnes, associate justice on the Massachusetts Appeals Court.

Host: Anna Fisher-Pinkert
Additional voices: Stefanie Fisher-Pinkert, Zach Herman,
Dan Hore, Michael McAfee, Andrew S. Weiss

Ellen and William Craft Ellen Craft in elaborate disguise

Ellen and William Craft; Ellen Craft in elaborate disguise





Fugitive slaves William and Ellen Craft desperately wanted to live as husband and wife in a place where their children could be free. Using disguises, misdirection, and carefully rationed resources, the Crafts narrowly escaped to the North. Their awe-inspiring story made them famous in Boston abolitionist circles — and made them targets for bounty hunters.

Barbara McCaskill, author of Love, Liberation, and Escaping Slavery: William and Ellen Craft in Cultural Memory, shares the story of this daring pair. McCaskill is the Co-Director of the Civil Rights Digital Library Initiative at the University of Georgia.

Anna Fisher-Pinkert hosts this new podcast from the Commonwealth Museum. She is an award-winning multimedia producer. Anna's work has appeared on public radio stations and in exhibit halls around the country. She is also the host of Commonwealth Journal on WUMB.

Image of The Trial of Anne Hutchinson by Edwin Austin Abbey

The Trial of Anne Hutchinson by Edwin Austin Abbey

Running time: 14 minutes

A middle-aged woman, pregnant with what would have been her sixteenth child, is banished from Boston and forced to trudge through thigh-deep snow across the New England countryside. What did she do that resulted in such extreme punishment? What did she say that so offended the ministers of Boston? Find out what really happened to Puritan rebel Anne Hutchinson in this new podcast from the Commonwealth Museum.

Eve LaPlante is our guide. She is the author of five nonfiction books, including American Jezebel, Salem Witch Judge, My Heart is Boundless, and Marmee and Louisa. She resides in New England with her husband and four children. She is a graduate of Harvard and Princeton.

Anna Pinkert creates and narrates Commonwealth Museum podcasts. She is an award-winning multimedia producer based in Boston. Anna's work has appeared on public radio stations and in museum exhibit halls around the country, including WBUR, MPBN, WUMB, the Liberty Science Center, the Commonwealth Museum, the Houston Health Museum, and many more. Anna is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.

Special thanks to our cast: Anne Hutchinson - Abby Machson-Carter;
Thomas Dudley - Teague Hopkins; John Winthrop - DeWayne Lehman

Know Nothings flag

The podcast is produced by the Commonwealth Museum using primary source materials from the Massachusetts Archives.

Run time: 11 minutes, 30 seconds

Our podcast explores the surprising legacy of the Massachusetts Know Nothings. In 1854 this anti-immigrant party swept into power, electing the governor, all members of the state senate, and all but three members of the House of Representatives. What happened next? The story remains fascinating and instructive to this day. Anna Pinkert is our guide.

Anna Pinkert is a multimedia producer based in Boston, MA. Anna's work has appeared on public radio stations and in museum exhibit halls around the country, including WBUR, MPBN, WUMB, the Liberty Science Center, the Commonwealth Museum, the Houston Health Museum, and many more. Anna is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.

Special thanks to our guests: Tyler Anbinder is Professor of History at George Washington University. His book, Nativism and Slavery focused on the role of the Know Nothing party in the years leading to the Civil War. He was a historical consultant for the Martin Scorcese film Gangs of New York. Thomas Whalen is Associate Professor of Social Sciences at Boston University. His teaching interests include nineteenth and twentieth century American social and political history. His commentary is familiar to Boston television viewers as well as readers of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Additional narration: James Fisher. Research: Mirella Blum, Raffaela Kenny-Cincotta, Mary Concannon. Research on the Know Nothings and prohibition: Law Offices of John P. Connell P.C.Thanks to Matt Leonard and WUMB. Executive Producer: Stephen Kenney.