Last week I recommended Ben Franklin’s World, one of the history podcasts that I listen to regularly. This week I want to talk about another history podcast, In the Past Lane: The Podcast About History and Why It Matters. This podcast is hosted by Edward T. O’Donnell, Associate Professor of History at Holy Cross College in Massachusetts. If you’re a fan of The Great Courses and lifelong learning, O’Donnell has a couple of courses available you can check out here.

Like the podcast from last week, the host interviews experts about American history. However, In the Past Lane includes all periods in American history, not just the early years. The topics covered are generally the same (politics, war, individuals, culture, slavery, daily life, and religion), except they may be discussed in different eras. Episodes are generally 40-50 minutes long.

The Senate as a Court of Impeachment for the Trial of President Andrew Johnson.
Illustration in Harper’s Weekly, April 11, 1868 via Wikimedia Commons.

If you subscribe to In the Past Lane, you also get a weekly download on Mondays called “The Pit Stop”. This is approximately five minutes of information about events that happened or people who were born during each week in American history.

One of my favorite things about this particular podcast is that O’Donnell gives us more than just facts about history. He explains how events and laws from our shared history affect the way things are now and may affect us in the future. He also uses current events to inform the topics he chooses to discuss. History impacts our lives and it matters.

Here are links to some In the Past Lane episodes that I enjoyed.

Episode 169 The Myth of Black Confederates

Episode 160 The History of Impeachment

Episode 127 The History of Ice and Refrigeration in the US

Episode 105 The Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1920

Episode 100 The Eugenics Movement: The Effort to Create a Pure American Race

Episode 094 The Founders, The Constitution, & the Fallacy of Original Intent

I hope you have a chance to listen and enjoy, and I would love comments letting me know what you think of these two podcasts.