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IDs

For those who didn't suffer the thrills of an AP US class, an ID is the who, what, where, when, and SO WHAT?! of the significant figures, decisions, and events comprising United States history – and they're the basis of each episode of Manifest Destiny (plus, astrological insight from Blair).

Below you'll find brief descriptions of all the IDs we've covered so far. Click each title to listen!

The 19th-century justification for the westward expansion of the US – and every other good and bad thing America has ever done.

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Next time you think the Kennedy family is hot, remember Ted Kennedy killed a woman! In 1969, Mary Jo Kopechne, one of Bobby Kennedy's campaign staffers, died after a Ted drove them off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island and fled the scene. Justice for Mary Jo!

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Patty Hearst is not your regular heiress. After being kidnapped by a radical left-wing organization in 1974, Patty renamed herself Tania and enjoyed a short-lived career as a revolutionary bank robber. Stockholm Syndrome or wild Pisces energy? You decide.

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The 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Greenwich Village was one of the deadliest industrial disasters in U.S. history, claiming the lives of 146 young garment workers and resulting in legislation requiring improved safety standards for factory workers.

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An unsung Amerian activist, publisher, and journalist, Daisy Bates played an instrumental role in the American civil rights movement and served as the tough-as-nails mentor to the Little Rock Nine in 1957.

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Writer, nurse, sex educator, early crusader for birth control, and a straight-up eugenicist, Margaret Sanger was both ahead of her time and very much of it. Her legacy is complicated, but we get into it!

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A mid-1800s utopian religious community established by John Humphrey Noyes in upstate New York that embraced complex marriage (see also: male sexual continence), utilitarian haircuts, mutual criticism, and communal property. It's as wildly progressive as it sounds. 

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Our 36th President Lyndon Baines Johnson took Big Stick Diplomacy a little too literally and used his "Jumbo" genitals to justify America's involvement in the Vietnam War, among other things. Toxic masculinity and BDE abound.

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A hippie table tennis player missed his bus during the 1971 World Table Tennis Championship in Japan and facilitated a legitimate turning point in the Cold War – because if there's one thing we can all agree on, it's that ping pong is fun!

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When 49-year-old President Bill Clinton seduced 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinksy in 1995 – leading to his impeachment in 1998 – the nation was captivated by blue dresses, cigars, and the appeal of Bill on sax. Unfortunately, 90s America also slut-shamed Monica. We get into it.

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After failing to use proper farming techniques and a period of severe drought, 100,000,000 acres of Texas and Oklahoma farmland were consumed by dust storms. They called it the "Dirty Thirties," but not in a fun way. 

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A gift of friendship given by the French to the U.S. in 1886, the Statue of Liberty is widely regarded as an iconic symbol of freedom, democracy, and Blair's personal connection to New York City.

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The subject of many of Ronald Reagan's 1976 campaign speeches, Linda Taylor – aka the "Welfare Queen" – used disguises, aliases, and her unbridled charm to secure the bag and successfully defraud the government to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

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In 1925, the ACLU used gym teacher John Scopes to take on Tennessee's Butler Act – which prohibited the teaching of evolution in public schools. Proud Baptist pastor William Jennings Bryan and unbothered agnostic Clarence Darrow proceeded to debate the house down about monkeys and God.

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You learned to say it in school (unless you went to a weird alt school like Rebecca), but did you know the Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist as part of a marketing campaign to sell more U.S. flags?!

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After the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the forced imprisonment of roughly 120,000 Japanese Americans in U.S. concentration camps. History classes don't talk about it enough, but we're talking about it on Manifest Destiny – WTF, FDR?!

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In 1955, 14-year-old Emmett Till was brutally murdered for allegedly flirting with a white woman at a country store in Mississippi. Less than a month later, an all-white jury took less than an hour to return a non-guilty verdict for Till's killers, Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam.

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In 1692, chaotic pre-teens Betty Parris and Abigail Williams started having "fits" and kicked off a witch hunt that saw over 200 colonists accused of witchcraft, 19 of whom were hanged. Urine cakes were consumed. 

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During the Civil War, Robert Smalls commandeered the steamboat CSS Planter, impersonated the ship's captain, and successfully sailed through Confederate waters to freedom. The people deserve a Hollywood blockbuster about Robert Smalls, but in the meantime, listen to this ep.

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On January 6, 2021, President Donald Trump incited a violent insurrection in D.C. Your hosts unpack the attack on the U.S. Capitol Building, the 25th Amendment, presidential impeachment, and the real history of the Don't Tread on Me flag (spoiler: it doesn't mean what MAGA thinks it means).

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In 1968, Shirley Chisholm became the first Black woman elected to Congress. In 1972, she became the first Black candidate to run for president. Her tombstone reads, "Unbought and Unbossed." We have no choice but stan.

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Billed as "an Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music," the Woodstock Music Festival attracted over 400,000 concert-goers to one very groovy dairy farm. Sex, drugs, and rock n' roll ensued.

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Scottish-American John Muir was a pioneering environmentalist, prolific shepherd, amateur clock-maker, and problematic asshole.

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Philip Zimbardo's 1971 experiment attempted to study the psychological effects of power by casting participants as prisoners and officers in a mock prison – but things escalated quickly.

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Historian, author, and chronic academic Carter Woodson founded the Association for the Study of African American Life and History and pioneered what we now know as Black History Month.

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On January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger broke apart seconds into launch, killing all seven crew members – including U.S. school teacher Christa McAuliffe – and traumatizing the generation of children watching it live.

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Founded by college students Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton in October 1966, the Black Panther Party became a powerful political organization advocating for community social programs and challenging police brutality in Oakland, California.

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In the 1960s, the CIA bought the entire world's supply of LSD and started experimenting with it on unsuspecting Americans. If that wasn't unbelievably sketchy enough, they called one of the experiments Operation Midnight Climax.

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America's favorite first-daughter and original political influencer, Alice Roosevelt was fond of clapping back, pet snakes, signature colors, and living an unconventional life ahead of her time.

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In 1967, the ACLU sued the State of Virginia in a landmark Supreme Court case on behalf of the Lovings, an interracial couple imprisoned for their marriage – which violated Virginia's crazy antiquated anti-miscegenation laws. 

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A teacher, lobbyist, and advocate for the mentally ill, Dorthea Dix established the first American mental asylums. During the Civil War she served as a Superintendent of Army Nurses for the Union, but was fired because she didn't hire hot people.

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In1937, the German passenger airship Hindenburg caught fire over Manchester Township, New Jersey killing 13 of the 36 passengers aboard. The history books rarely include the swatsikas emblazoned on the famous blimp, but we certainly do. 

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Walter Raleigh tried to found the first permanent settlement in North America on Roanoke Island, but ill-fated storms, the Anglo-Spanish War, and the egregious mistreatment of the Secotan, Powhatten, and Croatan Indians resulted in Roanoke Colony's not-so-mysterious disappearance.

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You know her as the legendary abolitionist who pioneered the Underground Railroad and freed over 70 people, but did you know Harriet Tubman was also a pivotal activitst for women's suffrage and lived to be over 90-years-old?! Put her on the $20!

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After being gifted to notorious Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Onesimus changed the course of history and science in 1721 by sharing the African technique of inoculation with smallpox riddled Boston. Onesimus invented vaccines, tell everyone you know!

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From 1933 to 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the face of the presidency – and the nature of news media – with his evening radio addresses marketed as intimate "fireside chats." 

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Prohibition marked a constitutional ban on the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages from 1920 to 1933. People were mad – and we're still mad for them a century later!

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On April 19, 1993, a 51-day stand-off between law enforcement and the Branch Davidians – an off-shoot of Seven-Day Adventism led by "Sinful Messiah" David Koresh – ended in tragedy when 76 people were killed in the wake of a fire that claimed the Mount Carmel Center. 

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Sarah Hemings was an enslaved, mixed race woman owned by Founding Father Thomas Jefferson – not cool, T Jeff! Evidence suggests Jefferson had a long-term relationship with Hemings, and fathered her six children. 

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In the early morning of June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village resulting in a series of riots and demonstrations by members of the gay community. A year to the day later, the first gay pride parades took place in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

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Bleeding Kansas was a series of violent, pre-Civil War confrontations concerning the legality of slavery in Kansas. Some in favor of slavery went so far as to intimidate abolitionists attempting to enter Kansas, earning the nickname Border Ruffians. Those against slavery called themselves the Free Soilers. 

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Instituted by the Clinton administration as a compromise policy, "Don't ask, don't tell" stated it was illegal to be an openly gay military service member, but that the military could not ask about sexuality. It stayed in effect until September 20, 2011.

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The American Plan of 1918 was a public health program initially intended to combat the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. Army, but rapidly snowballed into an unhinged campaign to imprison "promiscuous" women that lasted well into the 1960s!  

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Gemini, veteran, Broadway producer, small businessman, and activist Harvey Milk was the first openly gay politician elected in the history of California. On November 27, 1978, Milk and San Franciso Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White following a workplace dispute.

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Freed from the bondage of slavery, William Dorsey Swann moved to our nation's capital and became America's first "Queen of Drag." William and the House of Swann pioneered gay culture by throwing elaborate balls, cake-walking the house down, and refusing to let the police ruin a 30th birthday party. 

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On December 16, 1773, the Sons of Liberty staged an act of political protest by dumping vast quantities of British tea into Boston Harbor. The Boston Tea Party would become a pivotal precursor to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War two years later.

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Inez Burns, aka the Abortion Queen of San Francisco, was a controversial but essential figure in California during the 1920s-40s. Her luxury office catered to her wealthy, well-connected clientele, but also serviced poorer women at a subsidized rate. Fond of fine things and not paying taxes, Inez was ultimately jailed and bankrupt by back taxes.

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The Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 was a month-long confrontation between the US and Russia, nuked – sorry, duked – out by Gemini prince John F. Kennedy and stubborn Aries Nikita Khrushchev. This was the closest the US has ever come to outright nuclear war and it was not a chill time!

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Roger Williams was a Puritan minister – but also a scholar (shout out to John Milton) and a big fan of religious freedom, separation of church and state, and treating the Native Americans like human beings. After being banished from the colonies for these radical beliefs, Williams founded Rhode Island with the help of the Narrangsett Indians, including sachem Canonicus.

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The Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) of June 18, 1934 – aka the Wheeler–Howard Act or the Indian New Deal – was legislation petitioned by John Collier, FDR's Commissioner of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The Indian New Deal intended to reverse harmful assimilation of Native Americans into American society and to preserve the Native American cultures in the United States. 

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The Haymarket massacre – aka the Haymarket affair, or the Haymarket riot – began as a peaceful labor demonstration in support of the 8-hour work day, but escalated into a dramatic bombing that killed one police officer, and injured several protesters.

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Within a hollow of a majestic white oak on Wyllys Hyll in Hartford, Connecticut's Royal Charter of 1662 was hidden from the English governor-general. The Charter Oak went on to become an enduring symbol of American independence and is the subject of Connecticut's state quarter.

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Operation Paperclip was a secret U.S. intelligence program that smuggled over 1,600 German scientists and engineers from Nazi Germany into America after the end of WWII – then gave them government jobs working on U.S. missile and space technology projects! A couple of them even had lunar craters named after them! Literal Nazis!

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Built on stolen land to improve South Dakota tourism, Mountain Rushmore isn't the presidential edifice you think it is. From broken promises to the Lakota Sioux to an unhinged (see also: white supremacist) architect, Mount Rushmore is a mountain filled with drama – and a hidden Hall of Records Nic Cage is dying to get his hands on.

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Sacagawea was a Lemhi Shoshone woman who helped the Lewis and Clark Expedition at the tender age of 16, and with a baby strapped to her back. Though estranged from her people and held against her will, Sacagawea not only persevered, she was instrumental in the mission to explore the Louisiana Territory.

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A watershed moment in the Texas Revolution, a thirteen-day siege by Mexican troops ends in the Alamo being reclaimed and most of the Texians killed. The bravery of Texians lost at the Alamo inspires the Texian army to win the war and establish the Republic of Texas. Texas has never emotionally recovered from this. 

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Cannabis was taxed (and ultimately criminalized) because Henry DuPont was threatened by hemp's potential to make better newspaper than paper milled from the timber he owned. 4/20 was established by a group of stoners who got out of school at 4:20 and met by a statue of Louis Pasteur to toke; they called themselves The Waldos after...a nearby wall.

They are not the same.

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