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Great Stories in American History-


By Rebecca Price Janney, Feb 11 2019 02:30PM

Born around 1820, Harriet Tubman was a former slave who escaped through the Underground Railroad. Rather than live quietly in her freedom, however, she returned to the South many times to guide over 300 of her people to safety. This accomplishment earned her the nickname "The Moses of Her People." Her self-sacrifice continued after the Civil War as she cared for orphans and the aged.

Here’s one of my favorite stories about her:

By Rebecca Price Janney, Feb 4 2019 03:30PM

We tend to think the abolitionist movement was strongly supported in the non-slave states from its inception. However, early anti-slavery proponents were routinely disparaged, harassed, and physically threatened. It wasn’t until 1837 that Elijah Lovejoy helped bring about widespread support for abolitionism—at great personal cost.

Listen to his moving story on my podcast at:

Elijah Lovejoy (Wikipedia)
Elijah Lovejoy (Wikipedia)

By Rebecca Price Janney, Jan 28 2019 02:52PM

The month of January hasn’t exactly been kind for the United States space program. Way back on January 27, 1967 a fire in the Apollo 1 capsule during a routine test killed three astronauts, Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Edward White II, and Roger Chaffee. Just as the cabin was filled with pure oxygen, a problem in the electrical system sparked a fire which spread devastatingly fast. The crew died of smoke inhalation.

Nineteen years later, almost to the day, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded less than two minutes into its mission, causing the deaths of its seven astronauts: Greg Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Michael J. Smith, and Dick Scobee. The disaster was caused when an O-ring failed on one of the solid rocket boosters.

On February 1, 2003, another shuttle and its crew were destroyed when Columbia re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere after a two-week mission. At the time of lift-off, a piece of insulating foam had broken away from the external tank and struck the orbiter’s left wing, which ultimately resulted in the breaking apart of the shuttle. The astronauts who died were Rick D. Husband, William McCool, Michael P. Anderson, David M. Brown, Kalpana Chawla, Laurel B. Clark, and Ilan Ramon.

Today, on this thirty-third anniversary, I tell the story of the Challenger tragedy.

Challenger Explosion (Courtesy of Pixabay)
Challenger Explosion (Courtesy of Pixabay)

By Rebecca Price Janney, Jan 21 2019 02:40PM

On this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, here’s the story of how he became involved with the modern Civil Rights Movement.

He came to prominence after Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a public bus in December 1955. As a result, a year-long boycott of the Montgomery, Alabama bus system ensued, led by the young pastor. Years later he recalled in his book, Stride Toward Freedom:

"One day after finishing school, I was called to a little church, down in Montgomery,

Alabama. And I started preaching there. Things were going well in that church, it was a marvelous experience. But one day a year later, a lady by the name of Rosa Parks decided that she wasn’t going to take it any longer. . . It was the beginning of a movement."

Listen to the full story on my latest podcast at

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