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Interviews with innovative educators, self-directed young people, and others who think differently about learning, teaching, and schooling. Hosted by Blake Boles (blakeboles.com), author of "Why Are You Still Sending Your Kids to School?" and founder of Unschool Adventures.
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Sports History This Week

The HISTORY® Channel

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Sports History This Week brings to life moments in competition that redefined sports and our culture. Every week, host Kaelen Jones will unpack one sporting event that occurred within that calendar week sometime in the past. Through gripping narratives, illustrative archival and interviews with athletes and experts, Jones will guide listeners through the pivotal triumphs, failures and turning points that shaped today’s sports world and beyond. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more ...
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August 16th, 2023. Over the past 16 months, Sports History This Week has covered sporting events from football to baseball to roller derby to a man skydiving from outer space. It has been an absolute joy working on the show, and we've loved hearing from the listeners along the way. In this episode, you'll hear from the team who produces and writes …
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August 9, 1988: Coming off their fourth Stanley Cup win in the last five seasons, the Edmonton Oilers do the unthinkable: trade Wayne Gretzky, hockey’s biggest superstar. Just as he’s entering his competitive peak, Gretzky departs a team where he looked like the centerpiece of a budding dynasty. And his destination is the Los Angeles Kings… in a ci…
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August 1, 2004. Before esports became a billion-dollar industry, a few college halls in Southern California hosted a video game tournament: the Evolution Championship Series. Justin Wong is facing Daigo Umehara in the semifinals in Street Fighter III. Surprisingly, Wong has Umehara on the ropes. He goes in for a game-ending move when something unim…
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July 27, 1999. Barry Sanders, star running back of the Detroit Lions, writes a letter announcing his intentions to abruptly retire from the NFL. At just 31 years old, one of the game’s top players is ready to hang it up and walk away — on his own terms. Today, Barry Sanders stuns his teammates, his fans, and the entire football world. How did Barry…
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July 18, 2006. The owner of the Seattle SuperSonics, Howard Schultz, calls a press conference. Ever since the Starbucks chairman took over the team, he's been hemorrhaging money. Now, Schultz has run out of patience too. He's selling the team... to out-of-town buyers. Today, the SuperSonics are sold out. The franchise delivered Seattle its first pr…
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July 10, 1999. It’s 107 degrees on the soccer field in Pasadena, California, at third-ever Women’s World Cup. The US Women’s National Team is stuck in a scoreless tie against China. Just a few years earlier, these teams were playing in stadiums that looked like they belonged to the local high school. Now? They’re playing in front of 90,000 screamin…
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July 4, 2010. Nathan’s Famous is holding its annual hot dog eating competition on Coney Island. But this year, one perennial champion is not taking the stage: Takeru Kobayashi. The legendary eater destroyed competition for six years in a row, launching him into international stardom. But then, things start to go wrong. Today, Takeru Kobayashi looks…
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July 2, 1997. Atlanta Braves ace Greg Maddux takes the mound for a regular-season start against the defending champion New York Yankees. And in typical Maddux fashion, he starts making quick work of the Yankees lineup. In fact, he gets through the game so quickly, that Major League Baseball would eventually add a new stat into its official glossary…
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June 19, 2005. Formula 1 is hosting its U.S. Grand Prix at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway. For years, F1 has desperately tried to establish a foothold in America, and heading into this race, there’s real momentum — until there’s a major problem. Today, F1’s nightmare at the U.S. Grand Prix. More than a 100,000 spectators show up to a race t…
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June 16, 1996. Michael Jordan leads the Chicago Bulls to their fourth NBA Championship. Many basketball fans consider 1995-96 to be Jordan’s best individual season, and that Bulls squad as perhaps the greatest in the history of team sports. But behind the scenes, Jordan is still grieving over the death of his father, a traumatic event that led to h…
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June 11, 1999. Inside Madison Square Garden, Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals tips off between the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers. Hardly anyone expected this Knicks squad to be here — a lockout and a roster overhaul created a season of chaos. Yet somehow, New York stands just one win away from a shot at the title. Today, the Knicks …
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May 29, 2003. Every year, a little island off the English coast is home to the world’s most dangerous race: the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy. Motorcyclists zip through the course going more than 200 miles per hour, navigating hairpin turns — all on public roads. Today, one of the greatest racers in Isle of Man TT history passes away, when nine-time c…
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May 23, 2003. Chris Moneymaker is the last amateur standing. The 28-year-old Tennessee accountant has defied the odds and outlasted over 800 of the best players on the planet at the World Series of Poker, but that’s not enough. He finds himself at the Final Table, going for poker immortality. Today, Chris Moneymaker wins the $2.5 million prize at t…
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May 16, 2023. If you were watching TV last night, you may have seen NBA history being made. A few ping-pong balls bounced around a lottery machine, and suddenly, the San Antonio Spurs won the first pick at the 2023 NBA Draft, which they’ll almost certainly use to draft a potential superstar from France named Victor Wembanyama. Today, a look back at…
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May 11th, 1997. The eyes of the world are focused on a chessboard. It's the decisive game of one of the most highly anticipated chess matches of the 20th century. The reigning world champion, Garry Kasparov, is agitated, furrowing his brow and clutching his face while he considers his next move. His opponent—unphased by the pressure—hums loudly fro…
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May 3rd, 2007. Oracle Arena is rocking. In Oakland, 20,000 fans, all wearing mustard-yellow t-shirts with the slogan “We Believe,” are amped. It’s so loud that the opposing players can’t even hear each other in the huddle. That’s because the 2007 Golden State Warriors are on the verge of pulling off the greatest upset in the history of the NBA play…
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April 29, 1980. An upstart media company has proposed a strange idea to the NFL: broadcast the pro football draft live on TV. Nobody really paid much attention to the NFL Draft before, but with the young ESPN still finding its voice, it was a perfect opportunity. Today, ESPN broadcasts the NFL Draft for the first time. How did a guy reading a list …
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April 21, 1980. The Boston Marathon, the oldest and arguably most prestigious marathon in the world, attracts the sport’s top professional runners. So, when a completely unknown woman named Rosie Ruiz, with barely any marathoning experience, crosses the finish line first, many in the media and racing community are shocked… and more than a little su…
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April 13, 1986. In honor of the Masters Invitational Tournament, we revisit two of its most famous finishes. First, an aging Jack Nicklaus attempts to become the Masters' oldest champion. Then, 11 years later to the day, Tiger Woods seeks to become the youngest ever to win the Masters' coveted green jacket. Today, two of the greatest golfers ever a…
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April 10, 1971. A team of ping pong players leaves Hong Kong to step across a border and become the first group of Americans welcomed to China in over 20 years. These competitors find themselves becoming unlikely diplomats at the center of a media frenzy, and at the heart of one of the 20th century’s major geopolitical shifts. How did table tennis …
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March 27, 1986. Decades before pitch clocks and bigger bases, Peter Ueberroth, the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, has to make a decision. He knows he’s going to upset players and fans, but something has to change. The World Series, the biggest baseball stage, should be fair for both sides. They need to play by the same rules. With all the M…
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March 26, 1979. Magic Johnson. Larry Bird. The pair of basketball superstars have reached the biggest moment in their young careers: the NCAA Tournament championship. Magic goes to greet Bird with a pre-game hug… but he’s not having it. “It’s on now,” says Johnson. Today, two of the greatest basketball players ever face off for college hoops’ crown…
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March 17, 2001. Serena Williams is getting booed. She’s trying to prepare to face Kim Clijsters in the finals of the prestigious annual tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, but when her name is announced before the match, 14,000-plus audience members begin loudly jeering her every move. This angry mob mentality continues throughout …
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March 12, 1996. The Denver Nugget's leading scorer, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, is shooting around before the big game tonight. Strangely, a large crowd of reporters is gathering. It turns out, they’re here to ask him one big question: what do you think about the American Flag? Today, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf faces consequences for not standing during the nation…
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A new History Channel podcast, American Football is the untold tale of the rough-and-tumble origins of the National Football League. Produced and presented by Michael Strahan and narrated by actress and pro football enthusiast Kate Mara, this podcast reaches back into the past to explain the dirty, bloody, and tumultuous beginnings of America's mos…
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March 2, 1962. Wilt Chamberlain, the NBA’s biggest star, makes the long drive out to Hershey, PA. There’s no pro basketball team in Hershey, but tonight, the town made famous for its chocolate is hosting a matchup between the Philadelphia Warriors and the New York Knicks. Chamberlain is Philly’s biggest star and he’s having a great season, but he p…
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February 20, 1951 (or July 1951). Emmett Ashford is waiting inside the ballpark of the Mexicali Eagles. At 36 years old, he's toiled around the United States, working toward his goal of becoming a professional umpire. Finally, he lands a tryout just south of the border to make it happen. But there's a problem: the other umpires needed to play the g…
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Feb 13, 1920. For over thirty years, Black baseball players have been locked out of the major leagues. So on this day in Kansas City, Rube Foster, a former pitcher and now a team owner, is trying to make his own league just for Black players. He has gathered owners of other Black baseball teams, who currently play each other in one-off matchups or …
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February 7, 1969. Diane Crump arrives at Hialeah Racetrack in Miami, Florida, and all eyes are on her. She’s a jockey, someone who races horses, but now she’s hoping to become the first woman in American history to ride in an officially sanctioned, professional pari-mutuel horse race. For decades, women have been barred from the sport. And over the…
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January 31, 1988. Quarterback Doug Williams steps onto the field in San Diego, California for the biggest game of his life. He's moments away from leading Washington into Super Bowl XXII against the John Elway-led Denver Broncos. Today, Doug Williams becomes the first Black quarterback to start a Super Bowl. Can he win it, too? His breakthrough has…
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January 23rd, 1983. Björn Borg, one of the top tennis players in the world, has become a global icon. But Borg hasn’t played in any of the sport’s major tournaments for the last year, and while on vacation in Nepal with his family, rumors in the media circulate about everything from his health to the status of his marriage. Today, Borg decides that…
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Under the harsh lights of Madison Square Garden, the Manhattan College basketball team loses to DePaul University. But this loss means that all is going to plan for law enforcement, as they make their next move. Later that night, police arrest three gamblers and two men affiliated with Manhattan College. These arrests are just the beginning of an e…
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January 14, 1964. Thousands of basketball fans have braved a massive snowstorm in Boston to watch the biggest names in basketball – from Bill Russell to Oscar Robertson to Elgin Baylor – in the 14th annual NBA All-Star Game. But just ten minutes before the game is supposed to start, the players are nowhere to be found. The court is empty. Fans stom…
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January 6, 1925. Cigar smoke thickens the air inside Madison Square Garden. The New York City arena is packed to the brim, ready to watch the greatest runner in the world. 27-year-old Paavo Nurmi exploded onto the scene at the 1920 Olympics, winning three gold medals for Finland. In 1924, he did even better, winning five more. In the process, he be…
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December 26th, 1993. It feels like 20 below zero on the “Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field”. The Packers stand on the verge of making the playoffs for the first time in years. Though it might surprise fans now, back in the early 90s, this team and its loyal fans are desperate for even a taste of the postseason. But after decades of mishaps, bad luck, …
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December 24, 1914. Soldiers are stuck in cold, wet trenches on either side of the conflict across the Western Front. The Great War has just begun and it’s their first Christmas away from home. On the holiday’s eve, one man sees a light coming from the German’s side. A British soldier recalled, “With ears strained, I listened, and then all down our …
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December 19, 1931. Walter Crickmer, the team secretary for a struggling Manchester United, is making the lonely walk up a long driveway to meet with a local businessman by the name of James W. Gibson. Though Gibson has no affiliation with the team and isn't even a fan of the sport, he's been targeted as the man to save Manchester United. But Gibson…
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December 9, 1953. In downtown Toronto, the only two Canadian squads in the NHL face off. The Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs have a long and bitter rivalry, and this game is no exception. It’s already testy as players on both sides rack up penalty after penalty in the first two periods. But by the third, all hell breaks loose. Today, Can…
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November 29, 1948. Thousands of screaming fans are packed inside New York City’s 69th Regiment Armory, eyes peeled on the wooden oval track, shining under the spotlights. Roller derby is just a few years old, but this new sport already has a huge fan base. And now, for the first time ever, roller derby will be broadcast to the masses – on televisio…
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November 22, 1965. In downtown Las Vegas, thousands of fans come inside from a rare rainstorm to watch a boxing match featuring young superstar Muhammad Ali. But the lopsided crowd isn’t cheering for Ali; it’s backing two-time heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson. The two men have come to symbolize more than boxing, but an entire societal struggle.…
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November 14, 1970. Dozens of football players, coaches, and local boosters from Marshall University board an airplane to return home after a 17-14 loss to East Carolina. But at 7:36pm, while trying to land at Tri-State Airport in Huntingon, West Virginia, the plane crashes, killing all 75 people on board. It’s still the deadliest tragedy to affect …
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April 16, 1945. Jackie Robinson is ready. He’s won a tryout with the Boston Red Sox, and if he makes the team, he will become the first player to break baseball’s long-standing racial divide. Robinson puts his supreme athletic skills on full display… but never hears back from the Red Sox. The tryout was just for show. It’s not the first deception o…
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November 6, 1869. 25 Princeton students hop on the 10 o’clock train to Rutgers. They’re heading to compete in the first-ever intercollegiate football game. This isn’t just a milestone in the history of American sports—it also marks the birth of football culture on the sidelines. Because a group of Princeton students, watching the game, breaks into …
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October 24, 1992. It's Game 6 of the World Series: Atlanta Braves versus the Toronto Blue Jays. The Canadian Squad is just a few outs from winning their first-ever major sports championship outside of hockey. Can they pull it off? The Toronto Blue Jays have gained a reputation in the past decade as chokers. After its rocky early years, the lovable …
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October 17, 2005. The NBA is going through massive changes. Michael Jordan is retired (again), and the league is getting younger. Stars like Allen Iverson represent the rise of hip-hop culture, which David Stern blames for the league’s dwindling viewership. His solution? Today, Stern enacts a dress code, including collared shirts and sports coats –…
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October 13, 1982. The announcement came from Switzerland, across the world from where Jim Thorpe was raised on Indian territory in Oklahoma. In his time, Thorpe was the most popular athlete in the world, winning two gold medals at the 1912 Olympics. But for a variety of reasons—including his Native American heritage—those medals were stripped away.…
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October 6, 1965. For baseball fans, it’s the most sacred time of the year: the World Series. The Dodgers are in Minneapolis to face off against the Minnesota Twins in Game 1. But their star pitcher, Sandy Koufax, isn’t on the mound. Because October 6 is sacred for another reason—it’s Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement. Who is Sandy Koufax? And…
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September 29, 1999. Mario Kart 64, The Legend of Zelda, and Donkey Kong sit atop the gaming world. A new franchise, though, is about to explode onto the scene: Tony Hawk Pro Skater. The hype wave has been building thanks to a free demo. And then at the X-Games – Tony Hawk lands the 900. All of the sudden, Hawk and skateboarding are thrust into the …
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September 23, 2001. In his first game back after the tragic events of September 11th, Drew Bledsoe -- the highest paid quarterback in the NFL and the undisputed face of the New England Patriots -- is hoping to lead his team to his second Super Bowl appearance. But a brutal fourth quarter hit lands Bledsoe in the hospital, and his backup -- a relati…
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