History Hit


History! The most exciting and important things that have ever happened on the planet! Featuring reports from the weird and wonderful places around the world where history has been made and interviews with some of the best historians writing today. Dan also covers some of the major anniversaries asRead more

Popular episodes

The Real Thomas Cromwell

Jul 28 • 26:03

On this day in 1540, Thomas Cromwell was executed. On the same day Henry VIII married his fifth wife, Catherine Howard. To mark the anniversary we've found an episode from the archives with author, historian and curator at Historic Royal Palaces, Tracy Borman....

The Fight to Save Archaeology

Jul 27 • 26:16

Archaeology is not just about digging, it’s about understanding the human experience of existence. ...

Pathfinders: Bomber Command's Elite

Jul 26 • 27:00

The Pathfinders were ordinary men and women who transformed the efficiency of the Allies' air campaign over mainland Europe and helped deliver victory over Nazi Germany. Journalist and bestselling author Will Iredale joins Dan on the podcast to tell the incredible story of the team who transformed RAF Bomber Command. Find out how the air force was created, how bombing accu...

What is Going on With Democracy?

Jul 25 • 43:25

Democracy is in crisis around the world. Dr Robert Saunders, from Queen Mary University of London, is back on the podcast to discuss why it is under threat. From the changing media landscape, to technological advances and questionable electoral systems, hear why we are facing this global shift and what the future may hold. Are authoritarian regimes dealing with the world’s...

The Woman Who Flew Spitfires in WW2

Jul 24 • 36:32

Mary Ellis was a pioneering and courageous aviator who flew hundreds of fighters and bombers to Britain’s frontline airfields. She was one of the first women to fly Spitfires, heavy bombers and jet aircraft, blazing a trail for female pilots with her passion and skill. Mary sadly passed away aged 101 on this day three years ago, a short time after this interview with Dan w...

The Olympic Games

Jul 23 • 34:24

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are finally here, after being delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. From Ancient Greece to when it was reborn in 1896, the tournament has nearly 3,000 years of history. Sports historian, Professor Martin Polley from De Monfort University, joins Dan on the podcast to tell the, sometimes surprising, story of the competition. How did it become...

Rival Queens: Elizabeth I and Catherine de' Medici

Jul 22 • 45:50

The relationship between Elizabeth I and Catherine de' Medici - the two most powerful Queens of their time - is one of the most intriguing and captivating stories of the 16th century. ...

The Rise of Stalin

Jul 21 • 29:51

How did a young boy from Georgia become a merciless politician who shaped the Soviet Empire in his own brutal image? Historian and bestselling author, Simon Sebag Montifiore, is back on the podcast to talk to Dan about the rise of Joself Stalin, a man who caused the death and suffering of tens of millions under his regime of terror. Find out how Stalin climbed to the top o...

How Timekeeping Changed the World

Jul 20 • 25:19

Accurate timekeeping is at the very root of all of the technological advances in the modern world, but how did it all begin? From Roman sundials to medieval water-clocks, people of all cultures have made and used clocks for thousands of years. Dan speaks to horologist, historian and former curator of timekeeping at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, David Rooney, about the i...

Dancing Mania

Jul 19 • 29:40

In the summer of 1518, one of the most bizarre afflictions in history struck the city of Strasburg; dancing mania. This epidemic of dancing spread, almost like a plague, through the population with many hundreds of people dancing wildly and seemingly uncontrollably often to the point of collapse and even death. Perhaps, even stranger is that the outbreak in Strasbourg is f...

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