Here's Where It Gets Interesting

By Sharon McMahon

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Category: Education

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Subscribers: 398
Reviews: 6

Sam
 Nov 24, 2022

Merie
 Sep 27, 2021
Such a great podcast! Love how much was talked about!

Lynda
 Jul 20, 2021
I have learned so much from her, and she's hilarious! I can't wait for all of these to come out!

Jenna
 Jul 19, 2021
Sharon's engaging personality make learning about history and government FUN!

Lauren
 Jul 19, 2021
So excited this finally launched! She always has a little known story from history that I didn't know I needed to hear

Description

Here’s Where It Gets Interesting finds the stories of America you probably haven’t heard. Host Sharon McMahon, a longtime teacher and one of today’s most influential voices, will ignite your curiosity about the fascinating stuff that wasn’t in history textbooks. She’s joined by notable thought leaders who share insights about history, culture, and politics, and inspire us to grow into more thoughtful, well-informed citizens.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


Episode Date
The Catastrophic Marriage Scandal of Rachel Jackson
25:21
On this episode of Here’s Where It Gets Interesting, we’re going to talk about a First Lady who never got the opportunity to step foot inside the White House. However, her life had an undeniably major impact on her husband’s two-term presidency. I know we love to hate him, but during this episode, we’re going to discuss the lifelong–and at times scandalous–love and devotion between President Andrew Jackson and his wife, Rachel.

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Nov 25, 2022
The Thanksgiving Episode: From Early Advent to Cranberry Crisis
25:23
Happy Thanksgiving, friends! On today’s episode of Here’s Where It Gets Interesting, we take a look at some of the more unusual November holiday White House happenings–from Coolidge’s Thanksgiving Raccoon to Mamie Eisenhower’s hand in the Great Cranberry Crisis of 1959. And if you’re sitting down to share a meal with family and friends this week, don’t forget to give a nod to the woman who made it all possible: Sarah Josepha Hale.

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Nov 23, 2022
The Networking Strategy of Louisa Adams
32:51
On this episode of Here’s Where It Gets Interesting, we return to the White House to talk about one of a much-requested topic: our nation’s First Ladies. By the time today’s First Lady entered the White House, the era of the Founding Fathers had come to an end and the country’s economy was prospering. But politics was another story and becoming more divisive by the day. Join us as we talk about the first non-American born First Lady who accompanied her husband to the White House after a hard-won election.

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Nov 21, 2022
How the Future Shapes Our National History with Heather Cox Richardson
41:32
On today’s episode of Here’s Where It Gets Interesting, Sharon interviews one of our most-requested guests. Listeners regularly write in and ask to hear a conversation between Sharon and political history expert Heather Cox Richardson. That day is today! Heather Cox Richardson shares how she believes the way we use language shapes how we see our political views, allies, and enemies. Together, Sharon and Heather also touch on the ways that our future may change our past. Tune in to understand what they mean.

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Nov 18, 2022
Live Life in Crescendo with Cynthia Covey Haller
30:06
On this episode of Here’s Where It Gets Interesting, Sharon speaks with author Cynthia Covey Haller. Cynthia shares the mantra that her late father, Steven R. Covey, the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, aspired to during the last decade of his life, and that was to live life in crescendo. Cynthia expands on this concept, defining it as living life with the goal to keep learning, expanding, and growing with the knowledge that your most important work is always ahead of you.

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Nov 16, 2022
Conservation in a Panda Costume with Ami Vitale
31:45
Today on Here’s Where It Gets Interesting, National Geographic wildlife photographer Ami Vitale sits down with Sharon to talk about her adventures around the world. Ami is dedicated to spending time with people, places, and animals and sharing their authentic and intimate stories through her camera lens. She speaks about her passion for creativity and environmental conservation efforts, and the idea that an individual may not have the power to change the world, but a great many people taking patient, determined steps together can turn the tide and make a difference.

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Nov 14, 2022
Brush Up on Your Boundaries with Melissa Urban
37:10
On this episode of Here’s Where It Gets Interesting, Sharon speaks with Whole30 CEO Melissa Urban. But Melissa isn’t here to talk only about food. Instead, the duo tackles the important topic of boundaries and our tendency to struggle with saying one very important word: no. Melissa’s green, yellow, and red light framework for boundaries provides an easy guide to both sharing our boundaries with others and easing our anxiety and dread during difficult conversations. This episode is a must-listen before the holiday season!

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Nov 11, 2022
Persuaders as Meaning Makers with Anand Giridharadas
40:42
Joining Sharon on Here’s Where It Gets Interesting today is author Anand Giridharadas. Anand’s new book, The Persuaders, documents how people persuade others to change their minds and take action. Learn from Anand about how to move from a defeatist attitude of writing one another off. Changing our perspective about “lost causes” may be the exact thing we need to find true connection and repair our fractured relationships and communities.

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Nov 09, 2022
BONUS Episode! Re:Thinking with Adam Grant: If Teachers Took Over the Government with Sharon McMahon
44:37
Listen to Adam Grant's Re:Thinking Podcast interview with Sharon about how we can rethink the qualifications for elected office, who decides to run, and what information voters should weigh. They also address ways to sharpen critical thinking and ponder how to improve Congress with a few thought experiments–including a total takeover of the House and Senate by none other than America’s government teachers. Hear more episodes of Re:Thinking on the TED Network.

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Nov 08, 2022
The History of Our Fears and Obsessions with Kate Summerscale
35:50
Joining Sharon on Here’s Where It Gets Interesting today is author Kate Summerscale. She recently wrote The Book of Phobias & Manias, which highlights the history of our fears and obsessions. How come so many of us find dolls and clowns unnerving? Why do we react with a shriek when we see a mouse skitter across the kitchen floor? And what super famous American entrepreneur suffered from koumpounophobia... the fear of buttons?

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Nov 07, 2022
A Man of Iron with Troy Senik
45:55
On this episode of Here’s Where It Gets Interesting, Sharon shares a conversation with former presidential speechwriter Troy Senik. Troy is now the cofounder of Kite & Key Media and author of the new book, A Man Of Iron, which is a sweeping biography of a nonconsecutive two-term President whose time in public service often flies under the radar. Can you guess who Troy will be talking about today?

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Nov 04, 2022
All That Is Wicked with Kate Dawson
34:55
On today’s episode of Here’s Where It Gets Interesting, author and podcast host Kate Dawson returns! Kate’s new book, All That Is Wicked transports readers to the Gilded Age–a time when money and prestige made it easy to get away with murder. Or almost, in the sensational case of Edward Rulloff. Kate and Sharon talk about the process of researching and telling true stories and how they shaped history. Rulloff’s case forever changed the way we research the criminal mind.

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Nov 02, 2022
An Independent Influencer in a Two-Party System with Evan McMullin
45:13
On today’s episode of Here’s Where It Gets Interesting, Sharon speaks with US Senate candidate Evan McMullin from Utah, who is running as an independent without special interest group donations. Together they discuss the two-party system, campaign reform, and the danger of partisan extremism. They also talk candidly about Evan’s background as a CIA officer and how it prepared him for a career change into public office. Evan is running with the goal to build a cross-party coalition of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents like no other in the country.

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Oct 31, 2022
Resilience: Your Questions Answered
24:56
We asked you to write or call in with your lingering questions about Japanese incarceration, so today, on Resilience, Sharon answers your questions. Join us to hear more about what happened to Japanese Americans in Hawaii after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, what happened to the assets of the incarcerated, and where you can find more resources, like oral histories, photos, and video compilations.

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Oct 28, 2022
Resilience: An Interview with George Takei Pt. 2
25:01
Today on Here's Where It Gets Interesting, Sharon continues her conversation with actor George Takei about his childhood experiences with forced removal and incarcerated camp life.

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Oct 26, 2022
Resilience: An Interview with George Takei Pt. 1
34:08
On today's episode of Here's Where It Gets Interesting, Sharon speaks with actor George Takei about his childhood experiences with forced removal and incarcerated camp life.

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Oct 24, 2022
Resilience: Redress and Reparation
29:55
Today's episode marks the conclusion of our series, Resilience: The Wartime Incarceration of Japanese Americans. During the postwar era, a new generation was born to the Nisei as they returned to their lives outside of incarceration camps. This third generation, the Sansei, were raised by parents who endured years of discrimination and incarceration, but they themselves came of age during the 1960s and 70s–a time in America’s history that saw the of both civil unrest… and transformation.

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Oct 21, 2022
Resilience: The Fear of What Comes Next
21:12

Today, on Resilience, we explore what happened when Japanese Americans were told they were free citizens once again. Given only a train ticket and twenty-five dollars, the incarcerated did not know what awaited them once they left. Would they be able to return to their West Coast homes and communities? Or perhaps it would be easier to make a fresh start in a new city. But who would give them jobs? Were there people willing to help an entire population of people who had been, for so long, vilified by their neighbors, the media, and the government? Kimi Cunningham Grant joins us again to read from Silver Like Dust.





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Oct 19, 2022
Resilience: All the Way to the Supreme Court
37:32
On today’s episode of Resilience, we will hear more from Professor Lorraine Bannai about Executive Order 9066, Japanese American resistance, and how they were both important to key Supreme Court Cases.

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Oct 17, 2022
Resilience: The Spirit of Resistance
26:23
On this episode of Resilience: The Wartime Incarceration of Japanese Americans, we are continuing our exploration of camp life. Through it all, many incarcerated found ways to add beauty and joy into their long days and nights. They cultivated the dusty land around them, practiced their crafts, and created a sense of community and belonging. Though they never should have had to, incarcerated Japanese Americans showed strength and resilience from behind fences made of barbed wire. We will hear again from Professor Lorraine Bannai as well as from the book Silver Like Dust by author Kimi Cunningham Grant.

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Oct 14, 2022
Resilience: The Long Days of Camp Life
25:32

Today on Resilience, we continue our exploration of the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans. By the fall of 1942, the military had moved most of the imprisoned Japanese Americans from temporary camps into long-term incarceration barracks; camps in isolated locations where they would spend the next few years behind barbed wire fences and stripped of the lives and homes they worked so hard to create for themselves before the war.


Joining us today is author Kimi Cunningham Grant who reads from Silver Like Dust.



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Oct 12, 2022
Resilience: Only What You Can Carry
22:46

On today’s episode of Resilience: The Wartime Incarceration of Japanese Americans, Sharon talks about the military’s limitations on “enemy aliens” both before and after President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. Japanese Americans were forced to scramble. They didn’t know the specifics of what was coming next, but they knew that everything was changing rapidly. Military police flooded into West Coast cities, curfews were enacted and enforced, businesses were forced to close indefinitely, and families were told to start packing up only what they could carry with them.


Joining us today is Professor Lorraine Bannai and author Kimi Cunningham Grant who reads from Silver Like Dust.



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Oct 10, 2022
Resilience: The Forced Removal of 120 Thousand Japanese Americans
22:49

After President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, General John DeWitt issued over a hundred exclusion orders in quick succession, and demanded that all Japanese Americans–even those with as little as one-sixteenth ancestry–prepare themselves to be sent to incarceration camps. They had under two weeks to pack up–to give up everything they owned, everything they treasured–and prepare for the unknown.


Joining us today is Professor Lorraine Bannai.



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Oct 07, 2022
Resilience: A Country at War
25:55

On today’s episode in our series, Resilience, we talk about what happened immediately following the attack on Pearl Harbor and the death of over 2,400 American servicemen. How did the US government respond and how quickly did they mobilize? What, exactly, became the plan, and how did they carry it out?


Joining us for part of the episode is Professor Lorraine Bannai.



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Oct 05, 2022
Resilience: Japan Attacks Pearl Harbor
22:09
Today on our series, Resilience, we are going to hear more from author Craig Nelson, who shares insights on what exactly happened during the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.

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Oct 03, 2022
Resilience: The Movement of Japan in the East
23:31

On today’s episode in our series, Resilience: The Wartime Incarceration of Japanese Americans, we’re going to take a step back from the American West Coast and talk about some of the events that were happening globally. Events that shaped the relationship between the U.S. and two Asian countries: China and Japan. What led Japan to attack Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941?


Joining us is author and historian Craig Nelson.



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Sep 30, 2022
Resilience: The Patriotic Lives of the Issei and Nisei
24:28

Today we continue our exploration of the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Let’s learn about what life was like for the Japanese immigrants who settled along the West Coast–how they assimilated into American culture, raised their families, and flourished, despite the barriers of restrictive laws and policies and the open hostility from Japanese exclusionists.


Passages read by Kimi Cunningham Grant from her memoir, Silver Like Dust.



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Sep 28, 2022
Resilience: Asian Immigration and the American West Coast
33:03
Welcome to the first episode in our new series, Resilience. For the next few weeks, we are going to explore a part of American history that we tend to learn very little about: the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. So let’s dive into the details–the hows and the whys–and learn more about the resilience shown by the 120 thousand Japanese Americans who were forcibly removed from their homes, their neighborhoods, their jobs, and their schools, and who endured government-enforced wartime imprisonment right here in America. Joining Sharon today is Dr. Ellen Wu, who researches, teaches, and writes about race and immigration in United States history.

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Sep 26, 2022
184. How to Learn Science from a 15-Ton Jello Pool with Mark Rober
33:05
Welcome to Here’s Where It Gets Interesting! To kick off our new show name, Sharon sits down with one of the most interesting people she knows: Mark Rober, a former NASA engineer who has since amassed over 22 million viewers on his YouTube channel. If there was ever an episode of Sharon Says So that will make your kids think you’re cool for listening, it’s this one. Learn about what motivates Mark to create, and how he hopes his platform will motivate others to both have fun while learning new concepts and care a little bit more about the world’s natural resources. (Pssst…Mark also dishes up some insider info on his good friend and Late Night host, Jimmy Kimmel!)

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Sep 23, 2022
183. Find Relief in the Regular Stuff with Nora McInerny
39:41
On this episode of Sharon Says So, author Nora McInerny joins Sharon to talk about vibes: good vibes, bad vibes, and the fact that most vibes are mixed, at best. When we recognize that life is full of regular stuff, it can take the pressure off. It’s okay to have a regular-looking kitchen with a regular, fingerprint-coated toaster! It’s okay to be sad at a funeral instead of feeling compelled to reassure everyone that you’re fine! Feel the stress to perform fade away as you listen to Nora and Sharon laugh together, just don’t slam the cabin door on your way out.

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Sep 21, 2022
182. What Makes a Great Leader Stand Out with Stephen M. R. Covey
35:43
On today’s episode of the Sharon Says So Podcast, Sharon has a conversation with bestselling author Stephen M. R. Covey about effective leadership and high trust culture. The most underrated attribute in great leaders is humility which means that effective and trustworthy leaders are those who seek to understand first and be understood second. The working world has evolved since the start of the Covid pandemic and its leadership needs to reflect new practices built on the principles of “trust and inspire”. But what does good leadership in our communities and in our country look like? How can we apply the same principles about working leadership to leadership within our interpersonal relationships, and as we seek to lead change in our communities?

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Sep 19, 2022
181. The U.S. and the Holocaust with Ken Burns and Sarah Botstein
47:43
On today’s episode of the Sharon Says So Podcast, we are thrilled to sit down with documentary filmmakers Ken Burns and Sarah Botstein. Their new docuseries, The U.S. and the Holocaust, airs on PBS on Friday, September 18th, 2022 and highlights the nuances of America’s response to the Holucaust. Ken and Sarah talk about their work, and about how it can often be the little known, everyday people–citizens and desk-sitting bureaucrats–who can make a lasting impact on history. Heroism does not mean absolute perfection, and many historical leaders struggled with making decisions, sometimes wrongly or too late. But as Americans, we are often at our best when we commit to considering and acting on behalf of our fellow human neighbors.

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Sep 16, 2022
180. How History Can Give Us Hope with Dr. Jemar Tisby
38:13
During this episode of the Sharon Says So Podcast, historian Dr. Jemar Tisby speaks with Sharon about racism and what we can do about it. We may not be guilty for the actions of the past, but we are responsible for the ramifications of racism that are felt today. It takes courage to make change because fear can be a stumbling block. We fear entering conversations that seem complicated or difficult or fear the push back or judgment we may get from our safe communities, but history shows us that choosing to do the right thing can bring us hope and peace.

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Sep 14, 2022
179. The Formidable Change-Makers of Women’s Suffrage with Dr. Elisabeth Griffith
37:50
On today’s episode of Sharon Says So, Sharon talks with Dr. Elisabeth Griffith, who has written a new book called Formidable: American Women and the Fight for Equality: 1920-2020. Many times we think that the passing of the 19th amendment that gave women the right to vote was the finish line of women’s suffrage, but the struggle for equality has been a long road, and has not often been an equal journey for all women. Join the conversation today as Dr. Griffith shares some of the nuances of the history around the Women’s Rights Movement–the courage, the flaws, the race relations, the connections to temperance, Civil Rights, and more.

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Sep 12, 2022
178. Independent State Legislature Theory Explained with Akhil Reed Amar, Part 2
25:25
On this episode of the Sharon Says So Podcast, Sharon continues her conversation with constitutional law professor Akhil Reed Amar. They shift gears a little from the U.S. Constitution to a discussion about the controversy around Independent State Legislature Theory. You may have heard it talked about in connection with the upcoming supreme court case, Moore vs. Harper, but the nuances can be tricky to understand. Amar explains the obscurities of the theory and why state legislatures should not be considered independent from the state constitutions that gave them birth.

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Sep 09, 2022
177. The Enduring Value of the U.S. Constitution with Akhil Reed Amar, Part 1
32:00
On this episode of the Sharon Says So Podcast, Sharon sits down with constitutional law professor Akhil Reed Amar to talk about the importance of treasuring the U.S. Constitution. What we have in common as Americans–Americans who live in different geographical locations, are raised with different experiences and cultures, and even often speak different languages–is our Constitution and the historical events and documents that shaped the nation. Amar shares his journey as a first generation American, from the gift of citizenship at birth, to the evolution of his opinion on the importance of the nation’s constitutional history.

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Sep 07, 2022
176: Life Lessons from The Little Mermaid with Jodi Benson
42:26
On today’s episode, Sharon sits down with the voice of a generation: Jodi Benson, the performer who voiced Disney’s Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Jodi was new to show business when she was cast as the voice of Ariel, and it wasn’t considered a “career maker” job; animated films in the 1980s weren’t wildly popular blockbusters like they are now. The Little Mermaid ushered in a new era of success for Disney, and for Jodi. Join us to hear about her journey, and learn which song was almost cut from the film!

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Sep 02, 2022
175. Daniel Boone: Finding Facts in the Folklore
28:40
So far, we’ve been concentrating on a fairly small geographical area of the United States, and even though much of the political action was happening in the East, Americans were beginning to spread out. They began to move Westward. So let’s talk about one of these early pioneers; a man whose exploration of Kentucky paved the way for new European settlements: His name was Daniel Boone. He just may be one of the most misremembered figures in American history, so together, let’s sort out the tall tales from the true details.

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Aug 31, 2022
174. Elizabeth Monroe’s Journey from Parisian Prison to White House
26:17
Join us on the Sharon Says So Podcast today as we dive into the First Ladyship of Elizabeth Monroe. As the reserved wife of 5th President, James Monroe, Elizabeth added a more formal feel to entertaining in the White House. She was raven-haired and regal, and kept the public at arms length, which wasn’t always a popular decision. She modeled her social engagements after Parisian customs, a city she loved deeply. Stay tuned to learn about her heroic act that once saved the life of a well-known French aristocrat.

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Aug 29, 2022
173. The Violence Project with Dr. Jillian Peterson
39:59
On this episode of Sharon Says So, Sharon is joined by Dr. Jillian Peterson, a leading expert in the research of violence, mental illness, and crime. Today’s conversation may not be suitable to listen to with children in the room, but it is an episode you will want to hear. Sharon and Dr. Peterson discuss the myths and media around violence and mass shootings, and how they compare to the research. They also touch on reframing the idea of the “monster with a gun” and what actions and resources can help diminish gun violence across the country.

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Aug 26, 2022
172. Scandal Sells: The Rise of the American Exposé
25:35
Today on the Sharon Says So Podcast we are going to switch gears a bit. We’ve been talking about first ladies and the many people who were closely acquainted with the founding fathers. But what did the rest of the country know about the events and actions happening in the capital city? Where did they get their news? It should come as no surprise to you that political bias and tabloid sensationalism in American media grew right alongside the new nation. Let’s see how journalists affected the political atmosphere of the new nation.

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Aug 24, 2022
171. Hello, Dolley!: How to Become the Icon of a Nation
29:58
On this episode of the Sharon Says So Podcast we are going to meet the woman who set the gold standard for the role of First Lady. Dolley Madison’s natural effervescence came in handy as she executed countless social events for the well-connected and wealthy inhabitants of Washington DC. She relied on the art of entertaining to successfully play the game of politics, which furthered her husband’s influence and career. But that’s just the beginning. Tune in to find out how Dolley went from First Lady to national hero.

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Aug 22, 2022
170. How to Move Forward: Changing the Two Party System with Andrew Yang
44:51
On this episode of Sharon Says So, Sharon has a conversation with former presidential candidate Andrew Yang. After coming off the campaign trail in 2020, Yang began searching for a solution that could change the two-party system in US politics. He recently founded the Forward Party with the hopes to give the American people more viable options for leaders who aim to represent their constituency over party expectations and financiers. Join us as we talk about both the goals and the trials associated with changing the infrastructure of political campaigning.

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Aug 19, 2022
169. Freedom and the Art of Cookery
21:56
Today, on the Sharon Says So Podcast, we returned to Monticello and the lives that were intertwined with third President Thomas Jefferson. The young Hemings family, enslaved by birth, grew up in Jefferson’s plantation estate, Monticello. But James Hemings traveled extensively with Jefferson, spending five years in Paris where he learned to cook from Parisian masters. James was well-educated and skilled, but he wanted more. He wanted his freedom.

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Aug 17, 2022
168. The Widower Jefferson and the Women He Loved
25:30
On today’s episode of Sharon Says So, we hear about the wife of Thomas Jefferson, Martha, who is listed as an official First Lady, but who passed away nearly twenty years before Jefferson’s presidency. Thomas Jefferson never remarried, but he did rely on two very important women to support him through the years as a widower. Learn about who they were and how their lives were destined to be connected, even before they were born.

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Aug 15, 2022
167. The Economic Cost of Racism with Heather McGhee
41:40
In this episode, Sharon is joined by economic policy expert and author Heather McGhee. McGhee began her career as an economist but when she took a trip across the country and back, she began to ask herself, “Why can’t we have nice things?” We’re not talking about robot maids, but rather, the social stability of programs like affordable healthcare and well-funded public schools. While puzzling out the answer to this question, McGhee realized that racism was a major driver of stagnant economics for ALL Americans, not just for Brown and Black Americans. Listen in to find out why, and how we must rethink our zero sum mindset–my progress over yours–to gain the most amount of prosperity.

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Aug 12, 2022
166. Ben Franklin: Beyond the Squeaky Clean Reputation
27:52
Today, on Sharon Says So, Sharon talks about one of the most famous American historical figures: Benjamin Franklin. The history books are not wrong about the incredible accomplishments Benjamin Franklin made during his lifetime. He was a man with an unparalleled mind and an electric personality. He was a champion of charitable causes and really good at making strategic political connections. But he was also a man who undervalued his family and made some questionable personal life choices. Listen in to find out more.

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Aug 10, 2022
165. From Paris With Love: Abigail Adams Travels Abroad
27:40
Today, on Sharon Says So, we revisit a favorite first lady, Abigail Adams. Follow along as Abigail travels across the Atlantic, adventuring in Paris and France with her husband, John Adams. The power couple ultimately lands back in Boston only to move again into new roles, as President and First Lady of the United States.

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Aug 08, 2022
164. A Tale of Two Theodosias and a Well-Kept Secret
28:04
On today’s episode of Sharon Says So, Sharon takes us deep into the lives of the women who greatly influenced the same man: Aaron Burr. Theirs are stories of great minds, insatiable appetites for knowledge, grief in motherhood, and untimely tragedy. Listen in as Sharon turns over the stones of their lives and hear about a disappearance at sea, a mysteriously scavenged portrait, and a family secret.

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Aug 05, 2022
163. The Hidden Life of Martha Washington
27:18

Over the next several weeks Sharon will be sharing stories about the lives of American first ladies and the different ways in which they have influenced their families, the presidency, and the whole of the nation.


During her lifetime, Martha was never given the title of First Lady as we know it. Instead, she was called “Lady Washington” and was held in high esteem as George’s “worthy partner.” Today, Sharon dives into many of lesser known details of her life like her first marriage, her open home policy, and her views on slavery.



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Aug 03, 2022
162. Momentum: The Ripples Made by Ordinary People, Part 17
25:28

On the last episode in our series, Momentum, Sharon ties up a few loose ends. The 1950s was a decade full of change, but the Civil Rights Movement didn’t end when the calendar flipped to 1960. Most of the people we’ve followed throughout this series continued their crusade for–or against–civil freedoms well into the next several decades.


We hear about Barbara Johns and the next steps in integrated schooling, about Earl Warren and the gains his Supreme Court made in the 60s. We also learn about the reason behind his rift with J. Edgar Hoover, and how the FBI evolved over the years. Finally, Sharon returns to a Civil Rights power player, and we visit her in a new city, and with a new approach to activism.



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Aug 01, 2022
161. Momentum: The Ripples Made by Ordinary People, Part 16
30:21

On our second to last episode in our series, Momentum: Civil Rights in the 1950s, We learn about the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and the commission born of it. For two years, the United States Commission on Civil Rights researched and released a 600+ page report about the state of voting rights in the US.


They found, time after time, accounts of Black Americans who faced roadblocks and threats of violence or economic punishment when they tried to register to vote. Fear played a large role in preventing Black Americans from voting. But the tides are slowly changing, and there are many dedicated people working to make civil rights gains. We return to learning about Thurgood Marshall as his career–and influence–evolves over time.



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Jul 29, 2022
160. Momentum: The Ripples Made by Ordinary People, Part 15
21:15

On today’s episode in our special series, Momentum: Civil Rights in the 1950s, we learn about the women who gave the movement its backbone. Listen in as Sharon speaks about the Queen of the Civil Rights Movement, Septima Poinsette Clark, and another woman, Bernice Robinson, who, together, were effective teachers and leaders in the Civil Rights community.


Septima knew that education was the key to gaining political, economic, and social power and she devoted her activism to improving the education of both Black children and adults. Literacy tests were roadblocks to gaining voting cards, so Septima and Bernice organized citizenship education workshops at the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee. What did they teach in their classes? Were they successful in helping Black Americans pass their literacy tests?



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Jul 27, 2022
159. Momentum: The Ripples Made by Ordinary People, Part 14
26:59

On today’s episode in our special series, Momentum: Civil Rights in the 1950s, Sharon talks about some of the most important components of a successful movement: money and reputation. Movements take a lot of financial support and many of the organizers worked day jobs with humble salaries. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.? He made $8,000 a year in his position as a minister. But organizing rallies and marches and lectures… filing lawsuits and traveling from city to city? It all costs money.


Learn who supported the work of some of the most influential Civil Rights leaders and organizations. Their celebrity status may surprise you!


Sharon also talks about the 1958 and 1959 Youth Marches for Integrated Schools. Hear how organizers planned effective, large-scale demonstrations, how they were received in Washington D.C., and what newly published book threatened the reputation of the marches and potentially had a hand in their outcomes.



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Jul 25, 2022
158. Momentum: The Ripples Made by Ordinary People, Part 13
28:41

On today’s episode in our special series, Momentum: Civil Rights in the 1950s, Sharon tackles the vast topic of religion within the Civil Rights Movement. During the Civil Rights Movement, religion was used as a tool of oppression and an excuse for many white people, especially in the South, to remain firm and justified in their belief of white supremacy.


But religion was also a catalyst for change. Black churches and congregations invigorated communities by encouraging people to gather, to plan, to organize, and to keep the faith for small, incremental wins in the fight for equal access and rights. In fact, the Civil Rights Movement may not have seen the success it did without the empowerment of Black American Christian culture.


Sharon takes a closer look at the role of religion, especially how it was practiced in many Southern states in the 1950s. What led to church-sanctified mob violence? How did the role of the church sermon become a catalyst for a movement of civil liberties and freedom? Stick with us to find out more.



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Jul 22, 2022
157. Momentum: The Ripples Made by Ordinary People, Part 12
33:21

Today in our special series, Momentum: Civil Rights in the 1950s, Sharon rewinds and takes us back to the origin story of a life lost far too soon due to a brutal and racist attack: the murder of Emmett Till in 1955. What began with a young boy who desired to connect with family and learn where his mother came from in Mississippi, ended in horror for the Chicago 14-year-old boy. Though no one will ever know exactly what happened in the grocery store co-owned by Carolyn Bryant leading up to the murder, history will show that what began with a lie from Bryant, resulted in the death of Emmett Till at the hands of Roy Bryant and JW Milam. Three days later, when his body was finally found, it was mutilated and nearly unrecognizable. 


After viewing and personally identifying his body, his mother, Mamie, did something completely unexpected: She chose to have an open casket at his funeral. Photographs of his body circulated around the country, appearing in magazines and newspapers. “Time” later selected one of the photographs, showing Mamie over the mutilated body of her dead son, as one of the 100 most influential images of all time. They said, “For almost a century, African Americans were lynched with regularity and impunity. Now, thanks to a mother's determination to expose the barbarousness of this crime, the public could no longer pretend to ignore what they couldn't see.”

 

The trial was held near where Emmett Till’s body was found. The courtroom was filled to capacity, and the town was overrun with reporters after the story captured national attention. The trial was electrifying. With all of the media attention, what did the all-male, all-white jury find in the verdict after 67 minutes of deliberation, and why? How can someone later admit to murder, yet believe they did nothing wrong? And what happened to Caroline Bryant and the unserved warrant after all this time? We hope you will join us to find out.



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Jul 20, 2022
156. Momentum: The Ripples Made by Ordinary People, Part 11
29:58

Today in our special series, Momentum: Civil Rights in the 1950s, Sharon talks about the rising popularity of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and how, with greater visibility comes greater threat. We follow Dr. King as he and his comrades persevere through bombings, arrests, scathing rumors, wiretaps, and assassination attempts. Who was one of Dr. King’s biggest adversaries? If you’ve been following along since the beginning of the series, it may not surprise you to know it was J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI.


Dubbing him the most dangerous man in the country, they often used underhanded tactics to spy on King, discredit his authority, and sway public opinion. It didn’t work as well as they hoped, and King continued to organize, act, and inspire people to join the fight for Civil Rights. Through it all, King championed the redemptive power of nonviolence, a message that was a stark contrast to the brutality being inflicted upon Black Americans in the South.



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Jul 18, 2022
155. Momentum: The Ripples Made by Ordinary People, Part 10
27:46

Today in our special series, Momentum: Civil Rights in the 1950s, Sharon begins with a woman who is surely familiar to anyone who has received a crash course on the Civil Rights movement in America: Rosa Parks. While Rosa Parks earned her position in history, this story does not begin with a tired woman who simply needed to rest her feet on a bus in Birmingham, Alabama. Before Rosa Parks, there was Lucille Times. And before there was Lucille Times, there was Claudette Colvin. Before Rosa Parks, there was Aurelia Browder, and Susie McDonald, and Mary Louise Smith. The Civil Rights Movement would be nowhere without the extraordinary and prolonged courage and efforts of women. In the words of Rosa Parks, “We must live our lives as a model for others.”


Following the Supreme Court ruling of Brown vs. the Board of Education, some leaders of the Civil Rights Movement believed this was their moment. A boycott of Montgomery, Alabama buses had been discussed for months, but leaders were afraid that the wrong person would stall their efforts if they became the face of the movement. This was one of several reasons why Rosa Parks was chosen for this role. But how did a bus boycott shape Civil Rights? And what does the arrest of another household name – Martin Luther King Jr. – have to do with this? Next time, Sharon will speak more on how M.L.K. Jr. played a prominent role in this surge of momentum.





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Jul 15, 2022
154. Momentum: The Ripples Made by Ordinary People, Part 9
20:34

Today in our special series, Momentum: Civil Rights in the 1950s, Sharon begins by picking up after the Brown vs. Board of Education decision was released. The courts ordered for integration “with all deliberate speed” which meant slowly and over time. This vague order left room for schools to drag their heels or ignore the ruling all together.


A young student activist in Farmville, Virginia, Barbara Johns, organized and led a student strike, peacefully engaging with administrators to provide students with equal facilities, and later, integration. Fearing for her safety from angry community members, Barbara’s parents sent her out of town to finish high school. But Farmville wasn’t the only community that resisted integrated schools, and White Citizens’ Councils sprang up across Southern states. Many whites felt that integration was taking away states’ rights and causing chaos between the races. 


Nevertheless, integration persisted as school districts and states lost cases in courtrooms across the country. Time and again, who do we see being the catalyst for civil rights change? Who pushed for brighter futures for themselves? Children. Next time, Sharon will introduce us to another young girl whose act of defiance and bravery lead to a tidal wave of change.



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Jul 13, 2022
153. Momentum: The Ripples Made by Ordinary People, Part 8
20:44

On today’s episode of Momentum, Sharon talks about America’s push to eradicate communists during the Red Scare and Korean War. Many people working toward the goal of civil rights and liberties shared links to the Communist Party, like William Patterson and Paul Robeson. In 1951, Patterson submitted a 237-page petition to the United Nations, called We Charge Genocide. After Patterson and Robeson presented their petition, the U.S. retaliated by seizing their passports, smearing their public image, and labeling the Civil Rights Commission as a communist-front organization.


Because of the country’s persecution of subversives and communists, the NAACP leaders were interested in assisting J Edgar Hoover in rooting out any “bad players” in the organization in order to protect it. In fact, Thurgood Marshall, who knew he was being spied on by Hoover, often acted as an FBI informant. He knew both the costs and benefits of cooperating. Do you think this was an effective strategy to distance the NAACP from the communist party? What about the organization’s push to rebrand themselves as an American organization? What exactly did Thurgood Marshall and Martin Luther King Jr. disagree about? Sharon reveals the source of their strife next time!





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Jul 11, 2022
152. Momentum: The Ripples Made by Ordinary People, Part 7
21:58

On today’s episode of our special series, Momentum: Civil Rights in the 1950s, Sharon establishes the foundation of another man who played a pivotal role in Brown v. The Board of Education. Today, in 2022, the idea of someone serving as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court with no previous experience working in the Judicial Branch of government, would be unheard of. And it would certainly be unheard of for a gubernatorial candidate to win both the Republican AND Democratic primaries when running for office in California. However, that is exactly what prosecutor, turned Governor, turned Chief Justice did, in what would become a 50-year career of public service for Earl Warren. 


Justice Warren carried his national prominence to the Supreme Court, and was determined to have all 9 Justices agree on the Brown vs. The Board of Education decision. The makeup of the high court proved to be consequential, as the Justices brought a broad diversity of viewpoints, rather than consisting only of professional judges. While Justice Warren was ultimately successful in leading the court to making a unanimous decision, the President who appointed him – President Dwight D. Eisenhower – would come too deeply regret his decision to appoint him. How did Earl Warren and Thurgood Marshall know each other, prior to meeting in the courtroom? And how do wiretaps from the FBI tie into all of this through a secret bureau program?





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Jul 08, 2022
151. Momentum: The Ripples Made by Ordinary People, Part 6
45:04

On today’s episode of our special series, Momentum: Civil Rights in the 1950s, Sharon continues a riveting conversation with pulitzer-prize winning author, Gilbert King. We pick up with the involvement of J.Edgar Hoover and the case of The Groveland Four, including the political dance Thurgood Marshall did with Hoover to strategically move the Civil Rights movement forward. 


Often flying under the radar in history, Florida, for some years, was far worse than higher profile areas in the Cotton Belt when it came to violent acts against Civil Rights advocates and the Black community. Florida had the highest per-capita rate of lynching of any state in the country, but as the land of “surf and sun,” it did not fit the narrative of the broader movement of the Civil Rights era that followed Brown vs. the Board of Education. What does “tranquility of the South” have to do with an investigation that was quashed by a U.S. attorney? How did the momentum of a diligent author lead to the exoneration of The Groveland Four 72 years after their arrests? And how did the work of Harry T. Moore and Harriette T. Moore single handedly change the voting demographics, and sacrificed their lives for?





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Jul 06, 2022
150. Momentum: The Ripples Made by Ordinary People, Part 5
27:49
On today’s episode of our special series, Momentum: Civil Rights in the 1950s, Sharon speaks with pulitzer-prize winning author, Gilbert King. It's Important for people to know that the popular narrative of the 1950s – depicted as a time full of sock hops, poodle skirts, and Rock & Roll – was not the lived experience of many Black Americans. In numerous ways, their experience was often worse than what people commonly think of, particularly in the South, including forms of debt slavery. This leads us to The Groveland Four: A harrowing story of 4 young black men who were targeted, and wrongly accused of the rape of a 17-year old white farm wife in rural Florida. “Mr. Civil Rights” himself, Thurgood Marshall, learned of the capital punishment case and was eventually able to appeal the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, though not in time to save them all. How did he appeal this case to the U.S. Supreme Court? And what happens when the town sheriff takes the law into his own hands?

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Jul 01, 2022
149. Momentum: The Ripples Made by Ordinary People, Part 4
19:04

On today’s episode of our special series, Momentum: Civil Rights in the 1950s, Sharon makes the connection between the desegregation of the United States military to the power or writing a letter. It can be hard to believe sometimes that writing a letter or contacting our representatives can make a difference, but that is exactly what one honorably discharged decorated Veteran did in 1948. The ripples of the letter written by Isaac Woodwards would contribute to a tidal wave in the Civil Rights movement. 


We can’t talk about these waves of momentum, however, without talking about the Korean War. Often a time glossed over in history classes, the Korean war at its core was a conflict about Communism vs. Democracy. This eventually led to more than 50 arrests of black soldiers in Korea who were arrested on trumped-up charges and court martialed. Who later defended them and cleared most of the charges? You guessed it: Thurgood Marshall. The war was directly related to the court case he had recently argued before the Supreme Court. How does this connect to the warrenless wiretaps? And who later received the more than 20,000 pages of information the FBI had on the Supreme Court?





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Jun 29, 2022
148. Momentum: The Ripples Made by Ordinary People, Part 3
20:57

On today’s episode of our special series, Momentum: Civil Rights in the 1950s, Sharon guides us to a lawsuit years in the making, that shaped America. While some of the names tied with the milestone have been all but lost to history, you will hear many of those uncredited names mentioned in this episode, including McKinley Bernet, Vivian Marshall, and Lucinda Todd. The year was 1952 when Brown v. The Board of Education was argued before the Supreme Court by our friend, Thurgood Marshall. But did you know that the case was actually heard by the high court twice? You also might not know that J. Edgar Hoover, mentioned in previous episodes, was spying on the Supreme Court Justices for decades. What would Hoover have to gain from these warrantless wiretaps?





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Jun 27, 2022
147. Momentum: The Ripples Made by Ordinary People, Part 2
20:55
On today’s episode of our special series, Momentum: Civil Rights in the 1950s, Sharon continues the story of young Thurgood Marshall as he travels to rural Tennessee on behalf of the NAACP and finds himself on the wrong side of trumped up charges and an angry mob. We also reconnect with George McLaurin and hear about Ada Fisher, two lifelong students who wanted equal opportunities in education and stood firm until they had a victorious Supreme Court ruling. Sharon also catches listeners up with J. Egar Hoover as he begins to transform the Federal Bureau of Investigation, though not without stirring up controversy over his denial of organized crime. What made Hoover so hesitant to pursue mid-century crime bosses?

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Jun 24, 2022
146. Momentum: The Ripples Made by Ordinary People, Part 1
24:56
Welcome to the first episode of our new special series, Momentum: Civil Rights in the 1950s. Today, Sharon introduces us to a few key people who became the driving force behind early Civil Rights activism. We meet a young man named Thuroughgood–a bit of a troublemaker who put his curiosity and sense of justice to work and sought incremental change through the legal system. Joining him in the fight against the longstanding legality of “separate but equal” was the McLaurin family. Together, they sued the University of Oklahoma, which gave George McLaurin admission to the graduate program alongside white students… but the journey to true equal learning had only just begun. Sharon also introduces us to another important person–arguably America’s most powerful man in the mid-20th century–who was both a help and hindrance to the Civil Rights Movement.

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Jun 22, 2022
145. The Immoral Choices of Rogues with Patrick Radden Keefe
38:13
In this episode, Sharon is joined by writer and author Patrick Radden Keefe, whose new book, Rogues, tells twelve stories of people with big personalities–the grifters, the rebels, the crooks, the crime families, and the people who don’t play by the rules. Patrick talks about how he researches his larger-than-life stories, and gives us a few teasers, like what it was like to interview a woman who is in the Witness Protection Program after testifying against her own brother, and how deeply he dove into the world of wine fraud and revenge. Patrick is fascinated by the choices people make, and what it takes to get inside their minds where they justify their actions, and perhaps even consider themselves the hero of their own stories.

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Jun 20, 2022
144. Legislating at the State Level with Representative Jen Schultz
38:05
In this episode, Sharon talks to Minnesota State Legislator Jen Schultz. Jen is currently running for Congress, and is also an educator who has taught economics at the University of Minnesota Duluth for about twenty years. Rep Schultz talks about the ins and outs of working in state government: how budgets are set as well as how bills are written, introduced, prioritized, and voted on. She touches topics like model legislation, which is when a state reviews bills that have passed in other states and looks at ways to adapt it to their state, how state legislators work together across the aisle, and what they do when the session has wrapped for the season (there’s a lot of door knocking involved). Shifting gears, Sharon and Rep. Schultz talk about her current run for Congress, how she plans to bring her state expertise to the federal level, and the value women bring to political office.

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Jun 17, 2022
143. The Power of Community, Micro Actions, and Boundaries with Jenna Kutcher
38:52
In today’s episode, Jenna Kutcher sits down to talk with Sharon about the release of her first book, How Are You, Really?: Living Your Truth One Answer at a Time and how she wrote the manuscript in secret, doing it on her own terms. Jenna loved the refining process with her book, which saw it evolve from a business and marketing subject into a book that gets more personal, tackling topics like body image, loneliness, community, and personal intuition. Sharon and Jenna also touch on their shared sense of community living in the same Northern Minnesota city, and how to both tackle life’s challenges one small step at a time and say no when you need to.

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Jun 15, 2022
142. Why We Love the Things We Love with Aaron Ahuvia
32:46
In this episode, Sharon spends time speaking with Dr. Aaron Ahuvia, who is an expert on a specific kind of love: our love of things–things like places, objects, brands, and activities. The things we love tend to be part of our own identity: perhaps a part of our childhood, or something we spend a lot of time with. Aaron advocates for using our particular loves–poker, PEZ dispensers, sneakers, water sports–in leading us to others who share our common interests, and can be a catalyst in forging interpersonal relationships. But what makes us really love something? There’s a difference between finding value in an object or activity and really loving it. Ahuvia says one of three things needs to happen for us to feel a connection with a thing: the thing itself is anthropomorphic, or it connects us to another person, or it’s a part of our own identity. This fascinating discussion will have you wondering just why you love the things you love!

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Jun 13, 2022
141. The History of Gerrymandering with Nick Seabrook
44:27
In this episode, Sharon chats with Professor Nick Seabrook, who has written a new book, One Person, One Voice, that details the long history of gerrymandering in the United States. While gerrymandering predates our country, Professor Seabrook argues that it’s a bigger problem today than it has been in the past because we have more sophisticated access to data and technology. This access has flipped the script, and politicians are choosing their voters instead of voters choosing their politicians. Join the conversation as Sharon and Professor Seabrook talk about how we got here--the myths, the history, and what we can do to slow this threat to democracy.

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Jun 10, 2022
140. A Dream Twenty-Three Years in the Making with Tabitha Brown
30:29
In this episode, Sharon sits down with America’s favorite mom, Tabitha Brown. Tabitha talks about how grateful she is that fame and opportunity came at a time in her life when she was ready for it: when she knew what she wanted, and was able to have the patience to do the things that make her feel good, and in turn, make all of us feel good. Together, Sharon and Tabitha talk about Tabitha’s many projects, from her daily TikTok videos, her new restaurant, Kale My Name, her children’s show on YouTube, Tab Time, and even some of her recent collaborations. In everything she does, Tabitha strives to be accessible, make a difference, and give her audience leave to make something their own.

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Jun 08, 2022
139. The Importance of Preserving Democracy with Senator Mitt Romney
38:34
In today’s episode, Sharon talks with one of listeners’ most-requested guests, Senator Mitt Romney. A current Senator of Utah, Romney has a long history of public service, and chats candidly with Sharon about his unique personal history with business and politics, as well as advice his father gave him when he was young. Senator Romney also shares some insight into how Senate members are placed on committees, his interest and work in foreign diplomacy, and what he feels U.S. citizens can do to protect and uphold the democracy of our country.

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Jun 06, 2022
138. Respect is Contagious: Restorative Justice with Judge Victoria Pratt
35:41
In this episode, Sharon has a conversation with Judge Victoria Pratt, who’s new book, The Power of Dignity, looks at the ways in which respect in the justice system needs to go both ways. She shares her belief that we have a moral and professional obligation to look our for our neighbors; the whole community benefits when everyone is living their lives to their best and fullest potential. In the courtroom, when people are treated with dignity and respect, it increases their trust in the justice system and bolsters the authority of the people who uphold it. To increase public trust in our justice system, we must allow people to have a voice in the process, give them time to speak, ensure that the court process is neutral, and, above all, look people in the eye. Respect is contagious: everyone in court is impacted by how they are treated by those in positions of authority.

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Jun 03, 2022
137. How to Ensure the Stories of our Lives Don’t Stink with Donald Miller
29:42
In this episode, Sharon talks with Donald Miller, entrepreneur, podcast host, and bestselling author, about the stories in our lives and how we live them. Our stories stink. When we fill our free time with passive consumption, we’re left with a narrative void that doesn’t enrich our lives. Donald’s new book, Hero On A Mission: A Path to a Meaningful Life, sets up readers to create meaning and nuance in the story of their lives. Sharon and Donald also talk about the two-party system in the U.S. and what it would take to have an alternative system, or add a third party. Spoiler alert: it’s an uphill battle, but perhaps not impossible!

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Jun 01, 2022
136. I Never Thought of It That Way with Mónica Guzmán
42:41
In this episode, Sharon talks with Mónica Guzmán, whose new book, I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times helps us learn how to get more comfortable with the uncomfortable. Monica argues that we need to chase “I never thought of it that way” moments we have in order to grow in curiosity. When we manufacture certainty, we tend to see people and the world around us as one-dimensional. It’s important to understand the views of others because we’re not always happy in our echo chambers; we lose relationships, we feel anxiety about the future, and we pin the blame wherever we can. Once we begin to get curious and shine a light on what we perceive as a threat, that threat feels less insurmountable. It’s through curiosity that we can begin to see people from multiple dimensions–they aren’t monsters, they are people, just like us.

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May 30, 2022
135. The Powerful Value of Melancholy with Susan Cain
35:39
In this episode, Sharon has a conversation with Susan Cain, the best-selling author of the international phenomenon Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Susan’s new book, Bittersweet, is about the undervalued power of a melancholic view of the world. Susan talks about how melancholy and bittersweet emotions are connected to our sensitivity and our sense of transcendence, and this view of the world is often overlooked. Instead, we can be bound by the tyranny of positivity: the cultural expectation that we should present a positive outlook at all times, regardless of what we may be experiencing or feeling. When we’re willing to take in the truth and complexity of human experience–the this and that of emotions–we leave ourselves open to a deeper sense of meaning, more gratitude, and forge more connected relationships.

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May 27, 2022
134. The Lightness of Choosing Peace with Barb Schmidt
37:55
In this episode, Sharon chats with Barb Schmidt, better known to her many social media followers as @peaceful_barb. Barb and Sharon talk about ways we can feel less overwhelmed by the news and negativity and be more confident with being ourselves (the world needs YOU, not a duplicate of someone else!) Barb also shares how she likes to combat repetitive negative thinking. There’s no use in wasting our precious, finite energy on negative things that, ultimately, aren’t going to help us live the lives we want to live. Instead, Barb champions getting to know ourselves well enough that we can make wise decisions and recognize our stressors in the moment so we can know our next step forward. That next step is important, and while it isn’t feasible for most of us to lighten the suffering of many, we can choose to use stressful moments to ease the suffering of someone around us with a smile, a positive thought, or a simple action. Choose to write yourself a good story.

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May 25, 2022
133. Consume Smarter: Recognizing News Media Bias with Vanessa Otero
36:50
In this episode, Sharon speaks with Vanessa Otero, the founder of Ad Fontes Media–the media company that is responsible for the dynamic Media Bias Chart. If you’ve follow Sharon on Instagram at @sharonsaysso, then you’ve seen her link to the Media Bias Chart many times. The conversation today centers around the importance of trust and reliability in the media. Ad Fontes analysts use the acronym RELI as news source benchmarks, which stands for reputation, evidence, likelihood, and incentive. As news consumers, it’s important for us to remember that true news  journalism seeks to answer our questions, not provide analysis or opinion. We are used to thinking about news in a binary: real news vs. fake news, but as Vanessa explains, it’s more of a gradient of reliability, from a top tier of fact-based “who, what, when, where” news reporting down to misleading and inaccurate information. Most of our news media falls in the middle.

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May 23, 2022
132. How to Reboot America with Will Hurd
37:19
In this episode, Sharon talks with Will Hurd, a former CIA officer and member of Congress. Will recently released his book, American Reboot: An Idealist’s Guide to Getting Big Things Done. In it, he details some of the issues he’s seen up close and personal through his careers, and carries with him his mother’s advice: you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. Will talks about what being part of the solution looks like: appealing to the middle, not to the edges, showing up for people, and learning to inspire and not fear-monger. Will and Sharon also talk about the importance of America retaining its democracy, which may seem like a given, but is dependent on how we uphold the principles that support political involvement and freedoms.

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May 20, 2022
131. Embrace Your Almost with Jordan Lee Dooley
31:34
In this episode, Sharon and entrepreneur, author, and podcast host, Jordan Lee Dooley have a discussion about the lessons to learn in the almost spaces of our lives. For many of us, achievement of one goal leads us to feel like the finish line is always moving; we’re always reaching to complete the next goal. Jordan advocates for slowing down and redefining contentment, and to consider it active engagement in our lives no matter where we are in relation to our goals. We can find this active contentment by looking for ways to serve, finding a hobby, getting curious, checking something off our bucket lists, and plugging in to a good community. The “almost” space is also a great place from which to pause and evaluate; sometimes our dreams shift and change, but change does not mean we have failed.

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May 18, 2022
130. The Brain-Tingles of Narrative Non-Fiction with Candice Millard
36:04
In this episode, Sharon speaks with best-selling author Candice Millard about the history she explores in her new book, River of the Gods. Candice is a writer of literary nonfiction, and uses storytelling as a way to connect readers to the narrative of history. Candice shares some brain-tingling facts with Sharon about the subjects of her books–Winston Churchill and Presidents Roosevelt and Garfield–before talking about her newest book that centers around the search for the source of the Nile River. At its heart, it’s a story about human nature, about the expedition’s triumphs, failures, jealousies, perseverance, and erased heroes.

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May 16, 2022
129. An Impactful Career in Cold Cases with Paul Holes
44:33

Content Warning: This episode contains subject matter that is not suitable for children.


In this episode, Sharon has a conversation with retired cold case investigator, Paul Holes, about the mental and emotional impact of working in a field of violent crime. Paul recounts some of his most memorable cases and why he chose to pursue a career in cold cases. We also get to hear about Paul’s friendship with the late Michelle McNamara, author of I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, and the investigation of the Golden State Killer. After 24 years, the killer, Joseph DeAngelo, was brought to justice thanks to Paul’s work with a small team that began to link suspect DNA through genealogy. In his retirement, Paul often does consulting work, and he co-hosts The Murder Squad podcast with journalist Billy Jensen.



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May 13, 2022
128. Influence is Your Superpower with Zoe Chance
41:53
In this episode, Sharon talks with Zoe Chance, author of Influence is Your Superpower and Yale professor (who teaches the most popular course at the university: Mastering Influence and Persuasion). Zoe argues that the goal of mastering the path of influence is personal development and becoming someone people want to say yes to. An effective influencer respects the freedom, autonomy, and humanity of others. The goal of influencing the behavior of others takes a more nuanced approach than simply giving people information; increasing awareness is not enough to change minds. Sharon and Zoe use the example of voting, and the ways in which we can have an effective influence on increasing voter turnout.

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May 11, 2022
127. Connecticut: The Vital Something of Katharine Hepburn with Emily Ley
39:36
In today’s episode, Sharon and Simplified founder, Emily Ley, recount the life and quirks of Hollywood’s infamous Katharine Hepburn. Katharine, a self-described tomboy from the start, carried her strong-willed and independent nature with her to her acting, often imbuing her roles with  a “vital something” that attracted audiences. But she wasn’t without her critics–those who felt she was rude and lacked the more feminine traits of a starlet. Nevertheless, Hepburn was nominated for twelve Academy Awards during her prolific cinema career and has become one of Hollywood’s most beloved leading ladies. Sharon shares tidbits about her life you may not have heard before!

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May 09, 2022
126. The Many Roles of Lady Bird Johnson with Julia Sweig
43:50
In today’s episode, Sharon talks with author Julia Sweig about her newest book, Lady Bird Johnson: Hiding in Plain Sight. The research and writing took Julia over six years, as she meticulously poured over the details of not only Lady Bird’s life, but also the 1960s era and the state of the nation at the time. Lady Bird, a whip-smart Southern woman, met Lindon Johnson in Austin, Texas where he proposed to her at the end of their first date (she said no!). Eventually, the pair married and moved to Washington DC. As LBJ’s political career progressed, Lady Bird’s influence spread; she was a woman who showed up. Listen to learn more about Lady Bird: her real first name, the complexities of her marriage to LBJ, her relationship with the Kennedys, her environmentalism, and her propensity to document her life, from the major moments down to the mundane details.

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May 06, 2022
125. When Fixing the Problem Isn't the Answer with Sarah Stewart Holland and Beth Silvers
37:17
In this episode, Sharon reunites with the hosts of Pantsuit Politics, Sarah and Beth, to talk about their brand new book, Now What? How To Move Forward When We’re Divided (About Basically Everything). While we all want the next step to be solving conflict together, it’s not a realistic approach. Instead, think of asking “Now what?” as a catalyst for connecting with people in a more heartfelt way. The goal isn’t to fix other people, the goal is to strengthen our understanding about the complexities of human relationships. Seeking peaceful solutions looks like honoring other people’s stories, giving them the benefit of the doubt, and authentically showing our own beliefs and joys. The ways in which we live our beliefs is often varied; we show up in different ways during different stages of our lives.

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May 04, 2022
124. Slow Growth Equals Strong Roots with Mary Marantz
36:08
In this episode, author Mary Marantz joins Sharon to talk about Mary’s new book, Slow Growth Equals Strong Roots. Together, Sharon and Mary touch on important topics like perseverance, education, and extending gentleness to each other and our own selves. Our egos want to keep us safe, but when we continuously operate from a place of safety, taking risks can feel too scary. Ultimately, slow growth equals strong roots means that, when a tipping point day comes in our lives, we have worked hard to grow our character and foundation to meet new challenges with strength and success. Growth and hard work doesn’t happen like a movie montage with a good soundtrack, it takes a lifetime.

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May 02, 2022
123. The Many Meat Thermometers of Sharon's Kitchen with Kendra Adachi
33:20
In today’s episode, Sharon has a light-hearted conversation with her friend, Kendra Adachi, the genius behind The Lazy Genius books, podcast, and online collective. Kendra and Sharon first bonded over Kendra’s motto of “be genius about the things that matter and lazy about the things that don’t”, which can be applied to all areas of life–whether you’re in the kitchen or in the comments section of a political post. Kendra talks about the time she visited Sharon’s home with a film crew to help her reorganize parts of her kitchen using five steps: prioritize, essentialize, organize, personalize, and systemize. Copies of Kendra’s new book, The Lazy Genius Kitchen, are available on May 3rd (after surviving the harrowing adventure of  being lost at sea!)

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Apr 29, 2022
122. Arizona: The Navajo Code Talkers with Lindsay Sherbondy
33:16
In today’s episode, Sharon is joined by artist, designer, and mom, Lindsay Sherbondy. Together, they talk about the Navajo Nation’s WWII Code Talkers. This elite group of men created and used a code used for relaying information between military units during World War II. The Navajo code is the only spoken military code never to have been deciphered, and the code talkers were instrumental in the victories of several battles during the war. They returned as unsung heroes because of the classified nature of their mission, living with their wartime secrets for more than 25 years before receiving official recognition by the U.S. government.

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Apr 27, 2022
121. Lessons to Save Your Life with Dr. Edith Eger and Dr. Marianne Engle
39:02
In this episode, Sharon sits down with psychologist and best-selling author, Dr. Edith Eger and her daughter–who is also a psychologist–Dr. Marianne Engle. When Dr. Eger was a young girl, she was a talented gymnast who trained for the Olympic games but was instead imprisoned at Auschwitz. As a survivor, she has written beautiful books full of light and healing. Dr. Eger advocates that we don’t ask “Why me?” but rather, “What now?”, which is a question that promotes action and an openness to change and possibility. Both Dr. Eger and Dr. Engle remind us that you can’t heal what you don’t feel; acknowledging our stories is a step toward freedom.

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Apr 25, 2022
120. Alaska and the Largest Earthquake Ever Recorded with Jeff Dauler
32:17
In today’s episode, Sharon is joined by podcaster Jeff Dauler and the two sit down and talk about Alaska’s 1964 earthquake–the largest earthquake ever recorded. While scientists said that the quake made the earth “ring like a bell” and the shaking and subsequent landslides and tsunamis devastated many Alaskan towns and cities, it also led to modern geological insights about how the earth’s crust is understood. They also talk about the lead scientist–a pioneer in her field–who led the efforts to identify potential future disasters and develop safety protocols.

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Apr 22, 2022
119. A Prolific Public Media Career with Cathy Wurzer
31:38
In this episode, Sharon talks with Emmy-Award winning broadcast journalist Cathy Wurzer about the role of public media in the U.S. To start, Cathy shares how she got into broadcast journalism, and the joy she feels in connecting with her listeners. Cathy believes that the soul of public radio lies in its ability to reach and cater to communities; to be free to be quirky and not beholden to ratings. They also talk about the ways in which covering politics has evolved over the years, why Minnesota has the highest voter turnout rates in the country, and the misconceptions people may have about public media news slants.

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Apr 20, 2022
118. Alabama: The Barrier-Breaking Tuskegee Airmen with Emma Chapman
34:57
In today’s episode, Sharon welcomes guest Emma Chapman, one of the founders of A Beautiful Mess, to hear the story of Alabama’s infamous 99th Pursuit Squadron: the first Black military pilot unit trained at the Tuskegee Airfield in Alabama. The airmen broke racial barriers at home and excelled overseas during World War II, earning the name Red-Tails and becoming some of the most decorated wartime aviators in U.S. history.

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Apr 18, 2022
117. Northern Mariana Islands: A Deep and Vast History with Sharon McMahon
24:29
In today’s episode, Sharon continues her tour of the U.S territories by talking about the history of the Northern Mariana Islands. This island territory is not well-known to mainland Americans–we don’t talk about them very often–so consider this your crash course! The Northern Mariana Islands are a submerged mountain chain in the Pacific Ocean near Guam. Learn the name the explorer Ferdinand Magellan gave to the island chain, and who it was ultimately named after, along with other facts, like the cultures that have influenced the islands, the incredible depths of the Mariana Trench, and which famous Hollywood director made history in the Marianas.

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Apr 15, 2022
116. The Right: The Hundred Year War for American Conservatism with Matthew Continetti, Part 2
40:56
In the second part of a two-part conversation, Sharon continues her talk with journalist and author Matthew Continetti about the evolving history of conservatism over the past one hundred years. They pick up with some of the most important conservative thinkers in the second half of the 20th century, like founder of The National Review, William F. Buckley, the Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek, and American economist Milton Friedman. They also touch on the inner turmoil of the Democratic Party and how it helped usher in a “law and order” Nixon presidency, as well as topics like race, movement conservatism, and abortion.

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Apr 13, 2022
115. The Right: The Hundred Year War for American Conservatism with Matthew Continetti, Part 1
38:41
In this episode, Sharon speaks with journalist and author Matthew Continetti about the evolving history of conservatism over the past one hundred years. Continetti has spent the past few years researching and writing about the American Right. History is the study of change, and Continetti’s book leads readers through the changing landscape of America as it has shaped conservative politics since 1920. Sharon and Matthew talk about Abraham Lincoln, the public embracement of Republican leadership after World War I, immigration, the constitution as an anchor for the Republican Party, and more in this first part of a two-part conversation.

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Apr 11, 2022
114. U.S. Virgin Islands: Pirates, Rum, and a Steep Price Tag with Sharon McMahon
19:58
In today’s solo episode, Sharon continues to talk about the territories of the U.S., this time focusing on the U.S. Virgin Islands. USVI spent many centuries as a colony of Denmark and a hot spot in the European trade routes. What prompted the U.S. to become interested in the acquisition of the islands? Sharon shares the reason… and the high price tag! You’ll also hear some fun facts about the islands, including the history of its famous rum and where you can find some of the best bioluminescent bays in the world.

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Apr 08, 2022
113. I Guess I Haven’t Learned That Yet with Shauna Niequist
38:07
In this episode, Sharon sits down with author Shauna Niequist, who–along with her husband and young sons–moved from their suburban midwestern home to NYC. When her sons expressed discomfort and frustrations with learning a new way of living, Shauna set about softening their mindsets by writing “I guess I haven’t learned that yet” on a sticky note for the whole family to see. The mantra expanded, and Shauna realized that it pertained to both little life skills and larger life goals. When we give ourselves grace to live for a while in the state of uncertainty, we open ourselves up to curiosity, mistakes, possibility, and perseverance. Shauna and Sharon also chat about training ourselves to find delight in our days, what it's like to make writing a full-time job, and the joy of dinner parties.

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Apr 06, 2022
112. Puerto Rico: The U.S. Territory Stuck in Statehood Limbo with Jeena Wilder
34:23
In today’s episode, Jeena Wilder joins Sharon to hear about the history of Puerto Rico. Sharon walks listeners through how the U.S. acquired Puerto Rico through the Treaty of Paris, and how the island’s people are split on the issue of statehood. While many would like to see Puerto Rico become the 51st state of the U.S., others are hoping to see the island become its own independent nation. Sharon and Jeena also talk about Puerto Rico’s blue cobblestone streets, the many iguana species, and the brain-tingling fact that coconuts are not indigenous to the Caribbean island.

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Apr 04, 2022
111. The Evolution of Independent Journalism with Emma Jade
31:14
In today’s episode, Sharon talks with 7-time Emmy Award winning news anchor, Emma Jade, about the evolution of journalism and news in the age of social media. After working hard for a successful career in traditional television journalism, Emma realized that she wanted better balance between her work and family, which led her to explore new ways to communicate the news to others, specifically mothers. She created her own daily newscast from her home, Momcast, and now curates news on her independent social media platforms. Sharon and Emma ponder the future of independent journalism, and what having freedom from corporate rules and interests might mean for how news is shared–the pros and the cons.

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Apr 01, 2022
110. What About Bunny: The Power of Canine Communication with Alexis Devine
32:18
In today’s episode, Sharon speaks with Alexis Devine, human to Bunny, the sheepadoodle whose viral videos showing off her FluentPet communication skills delight viewers all over the world. Outside of memorizing over 100 English language words, Bunny often uses her word buttons to create conversation, putting thoughts together in surprising, delightful, and incredibly intelligent ways. Sharon asks Alexis about her process of working with Bunny (and her new puppy, Otter) to account for different language processing speeds, to create an effective communication vocabulary, and to make new discoveries together.

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Mar 30, 2022
109. Guam: A Strategic War Island, a Twin Shipwreck, and a Pesky Snake with Adrienne Rolon
34:35
In today’s episode, Sharon tells the story of Guam’s history as a U.S. Territory to Adrienne Rolon, the owner of Hearts Content Events & Design. Adrienne’s six year old son, James, is a big fan of history, facts, and Sharon. Learn along with Adrienne and James as Sharon relays the significant history of Guam’s involvement in both the Spanish-American War and World War II. Sharon also shares plenty of brain-tingling facts about Guam’s long and varied history and the indigenous Chamorro people (who really love SPAM).

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Mar 28, 2022
108. How to Seek Truth and Find Freedom in Our Stories with Lisa Sharon Harper
40:11
In today’s episode, Sharon speaks with Lisa Sharon Harper, whose book, Fortune: How Race Broke My Family and the World–and How to Repair It All, is the result of thirty years of family history research. Lisa believes that there is a power in knowing your story and the story of your ancestors. Many African Americans face the challenge of gaps in their family history, origins obscured by enslavement histories. It’s when we know our stories and our truths that we can start to heal and release. Seeking and telling the truth can be like wading into troubled waters, but it’s the only way to find freedom.

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Mar 25, 2022
107. American Samoa: The Southernmost U.S. Territory with Ashley Spivey
30:55
In this episode, Sharon talks with social activist Ashley Spivey about how American Samoa became a U.S. territory. While we all grew up learning facts about states in our history and government classes, U.S. territories are often left out of the conversation. Sharon talks about how American Samoa became of interest to the U.S., and how the South Pacific Ocean archipelago is represented in government. Of course, no Sharon Says So episode would be complete without a few fun facts, and Sharon has plenty to share about this tropical territory!

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Mar 23, 2022
106. The Three Mothers Who Shaped a Nation with Anna Malaika Tubbs
31:36
In today’s episode, Sharon chats with author and scholar Anna Makaika Tubbs about the mothers of three well-known Civil Rights activists, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin. Anna, influenced by the Black women in Hidden Figures, began researching Black mothers, a demographic that often goes unnoticed or even erased. Through their own stories, and through their love for their sons, the mothers of these three men significantly impacted their lives. Sharon and Anna discuss the art of research, and how intricate the work is, especially when writing narrative non-fiction, and how the writer ultimately has a responsibility to relay the truth through the craft of the story.

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Mar 21, 2022
105. Washington DC: The Secret Illnesses of Presidents with Sharon McMahon
26:57
In today’s solo episode, Sharon dives into a topic the American public has long been interested in: the illnesses of past presidents. Sharon gives details about the secretive ways three of our former presidents–Grover Cleveland, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin D. Roosevelt–kept the people in the dark about their surgeries and sicknesses. She talks about how presidential health was often tied to the nation’s health and success, and how that ultimately shifted during the Eisenhower Administration as transparency and medical technology evolved.

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Mar 18, 2022
104. The Art of Insubordination with Todd Kashdan
38:46
In today’s episode, Sharon speaks with psychologist, Dr. Todd Kashdan, about the ways in which insubordination can be an effective and valuable way to make the change you want to see in the world. Effective dissent looks like encouragement and collaboration for the good of many. Change does not always happen as an immediate result from going against the status quo, but it does open up others to the idea that there is more than one way to do something. It is healthy to welcome dissent into our lives and into our homes because it makes us realize that our perspectives are not the only approach to finding effective solutions.

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Mar 16, 2022
102. Why We Deserve a Fair Criminal Justice System with Jason Flom
39:57
In this episode, Sharon hears from Jason Flom, a successful record label executive who followed his passion into working for criminal justice reform. After reading about a young man’s conviction where the crime did not fit the punishment, Flom rolled up his sleeves and began working to help overturn wrongful convictions and change criminal justice policies and practices through the Innocence Project. He is a founding board member and deeply committed to the mission of the project. Jason addresses what we can do to address the issue of how the general public can help keep innocent people out of jail, and his answers may surprise you.

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Mar 11, 2022
101. Wisconsin’s Master Architect with Sharon McMahon
28:15
In today’s episode, Sharon dives beyond the basics to talk about the life and career of a man with whom you may already be familiar: Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright’s legendary career spanned seventy years but his personal life is just as often talked about as his revolutionary building style. Learn a little more about his eccentricities, his love of fancy, expensive things, his scandalous romances, and even a word we use regularly today that didn’t exist before Frank made it up.

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Mar 09, 2022
100. Your On-Ramp to Cryptocurrency with Brit Morin
45:56
In this episode, Sharon gets the scoop on the emerging space of cryptocurrency from well-known entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Brit Morin. Brit is an expert who founded BFF, an open-access community where women and nonbinary people can connect, exchange ideas, and grow their knowledge in crypto. Blockchain, Bitcoin, NFT, web3… if these terms leave you feeling a little uncertain, consider this your easy on-ramp of understanding. This episode is full of amazing 90s analogies which Brit uses to help break down the complicated language of web3. 80-85% of the web3 ecosystem is currently occupied by men, and Brit is working to encourage women to participate and shape the direction of the crypto future–now’s the time!

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Mar 07, 2022
99. West Virginia: Proving that Timing is Everything with Annie F. Downs
37:18
In this episode, Sharon shares the story of how West Virginia broke away from the state of Virginia with author and speaker Annie F. Downs. Unhappy with their representation in state legislature, the Appalachian communities in the Northwestern part of Virginia took advantage of Virginia’s secession during the Civil War to apply for their own statehood. Sharon and Annie talk about what makes West Virginia unique in its geography, culture, and history and why it has been sued multiple times by more than one of its neighboring states.

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Mar 04, 2022
98. Bridging the Divide with Representatives Phillips (D) and Fitzpatrick (R)
49:01
During this episode, you’ll join Sharon as she sits down with two members of the US Congress: Representatives Dean Phillips and Brian Fitzpatrick. Phillips is a Democrat from Minnesota and Fitzpatrick is a Republican from Pennsylvania. Together, they have used their time in congress to work across the aisle, serving on the Problem Solvers Caucus and promoting bipartisan collaboration. Listening to understand, especially when holding a government office, isn’t just a nicety, it can be a matter of national security and the cornerstone to preserving the nation’s democracy.

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Mar 02, 2022
97. Washington in Flight: The Boeing Aerospace Legacy with Carolyn LePine
44:19
In this episode, Sharon’s sister Caroyln joins her to hear a bit about the history of flight and the Boeing family. While German immigrant Wilhelm Boeing made his fortune in natural resources like timber and iron ore, his son, William, is best known for–you guessed it–taking the fledgling field of aviation to new heights. Learn about what prompted William to build his first seaplane, how both World Wars impacted the growth of the Boeing Airplane Company, and why Boeing eventually retired from the biz. Additionally, Sharon shares a small history of flight attendants–their original job descriptions and duties might surprise you!

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Feb 28, 2022
96. Raising Critical Thinkers with Julie Bogart
42:34
In this episode, Sharon chats with Julie Bogart, creator of the award-winning Brave Writer program. Sharon and Julie talk about the benefits of leaving behind our information safety nets–the communities that only reinforce our own opinions–to explore information in new and open ways. Julie emphasizes that the best way to understand and care about each other is to be open to, and become fascinated with, different viewpoints. Being a critical thinker, and raising critical thinkers, does not mean we need to dismiss new technology all-together, but rather, find our “technological optimism.” If we’re going to be critical thinkers, we need to get in the habit of asking questions to understand instead of listening to argue.

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Feb 25, 2022
95. Virginia: The Women Who Did The Next Needed Thing with Sharon McMahon
29:00
In this solo state episode, Sharon returns us to a tumultuous time in US history: Reconstruction. After the Civil War, rebuilding the country was a messy task, but Black Americans knew that creating educational opportunities for their children was highly important. What started in rural Virginia as the success of one teacher–Virginia Randolph–who put love, care, and oftentimes her own salary into her one-room school, grew into an unstoppable educational evolution for Black students. Learn about Randolph’s philosophies, the creation of the Jeanes Foundation, and the teachers who continuously pushed themselves to do the next needed thing for their students and their communities.

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Feb 23, 2022
94. Two Midwesterners Record a Podcast Episode with Charlie Berens
27:46
To kick off the week, Sharon sits down to chat with comedian and fellow Midwesterner, Charlie Berens. Charlie talks about how he doubled down on his Midwestern character after realizing just how different he sounded to people when he traveled outside of the Midwest. He channels his dad and his grandfather in his comedy, turning on that gruff but unfailingly polite Wisconsinite personality. Sharon and Charlie compare their Midwestern upbringings, laughing together about what it really means to say, “I’m fine” in the Midwest, how catchin’ fish is like going grocery shopping on the lake, and the rivalry–and striking similarities–between Minnesota and Wisconsin.

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Feb 21, 2022
93. Vermont’s Spitting Lyon with Chrissy Lawler
36:48
In this episode, Chrissy Lawler of The Peaceful Sleeper, joins Sharon to hear the story of Matthew Lyon, one of Vermont’s most eclectic historical figures. Lyon, a “redemptioner” from Dublin, made a name for himself as a fierce Democratic-Republican when he got into not one–but two–scuffles with a congress member of the opposing party… during an active House session. His story gets more bizarre from there, as he became the only person to be elected to Congress while in jail. Follow along as Sharon tells his larger-than-life tale of public service during some of the U.S.’s earliest years as a new nation.

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Feb 18, 2022
92. Creating Change Through Radical Optimism with Dr. Paul Zeitz
33:00
In this episode, Sharon talks with Dr. Paul Zeitz, author of Waging Optimism, about how to identify our complacency and make a move toward impacting the world around us. Together, the pair discusses how optimism leads to courage, and how courage leads to action. Oftentimes, making change requires experimentation; Plan A doesn’t always work out, so it’s good to have more than one Plan B in place. While it can be easy to feel discouraged that our actions don’t lead to revolutionary change, we can bolster our optimism by remembering that every action ripples outward and carries an impact. Two foundational ways to be a catalyst for change? Always be ready to act and continue to learn new things about how the system works so you can generate ideas on how to improve it.

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Feb 16, 2022
91. Utah: The Magic of the Osmonds with Sharon McMahon
26:38
In this solo state episode, Sharon takes us back to the 1970s to follow the rise of two of the most iconic names in showbiz… Donny and Marie Osmond. Follow along as we learn about the siblings’ long history in entertainment, from five year old Donny’s first appearance on the Andy Williams Show to Marie’s number one country hit at the tender age of thirteen. The brother and sister pair have spent their entire lives in the public eye, but have risen to the challenges of the business with talent and dedication. Think you know all the Donny and Marie trivia there is to know? Sharon shares some little-known facts about the stars!

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Feb 14, 2022
90. The Importance of Hometown Change Makers with Michael Tubbs
24:47
In this episode, Sharon sits down to speak with Michael Tubbs, who was the youngest mayor to serve in an American city at age 26. Tubbs served as the mayor of his hometown of Stockton, CA. On a fast-track from Stanford University to the White House, Tubbs decided instead to return home, walking from door-to-door to campaign for a seat on city council and, ultimately, mayor. Sharon and Michael talk about what learning outside the box looks like, and how local politics is an ideal vehicle for change. Change can often happen faster at the local level, but making strides at the requires an across the aisle collaboration and willingness to innovate. Above all, one must be dedicated to serving the people with the ultimate goal of seeing your neighbors thrive.

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Feb 11, 2022
89. Texas: The Original Goal-Getter with Ashley Rose Reeves
36:51
In this episode, Ashley Rose Reeves joins Sharon to hear the story of one of Texas’s most iconic business owners: Mary Kay Ash. Tired of being passed up for raises and promotions to her male colleagues in the 1960s, Mary Kay drew up her own business plan, armed with enthusiasm, charm, hard work, and five thousand dollars. By the early 90s, Mary Kay Cosmetics made over a billion dollars annually and became the largest direct seller of skin-care products in the United States. Learn about the savvy, smart, pink Cadillac-driving woman who started it all.

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Feb 09, 2022
88. How to Teach Our Children Emotional Resilience with Dr. Becky Kennedy
40:11
In this episode, Sharon talks with Dr. Becky Kennedy, a clinical psychologist who was recently named “The Millennial Parenting Whisperer” by TIME Magazine. Dr. Becky and Sharon have a conversation about communicating the tough topics with our kids; how and when to share current event news so they feel safe. Dr. Becky argues that it’s not always the information that feels scary and off-putting, but the act of having to process it alone. As parents, it's our responsibility to support our children through our loving, supportive presence and guided conversations. Children need to learn distress tolerance in order to accomplish big, meaningful things, and we help by teaching them AVP: acknowledge, validate, and permit. Acknowledge that something is happening inside of you, tell your feelings why they make sense, and give your body permission to feel what it’s feeling.

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Feb 07, 2022
87. Tennessee’s Incorrigible Andrew Jackson with Richard Lim
35:34
In this episode, Sharon is joined by This American President Podcast host Richard Lim. Together they “nerd out” on facts about an under-the-radar president who was more influential than he’s often given credit for: Andrew Jackson. Listen in as they swap their favorite facts about his blasphemous parrot, Poll, his early capture as a prisoner of war, his propensity for dueling, and even how his opposition to the electoral college shaped the future of federal politics. Andrew Jackson was very instrumental in the early growth of Nashville, and the state of Tennessee. It was there that he met and married his wife, Rachel… who was already married to someone else. While in office, he also completely paid down America’s national debt by vetoing many spending bills. He was a president who reflected the people: both their great flaws and their great abilities.

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Feb 04, 2022
86. The Power of Storytelling in Politics with Richard Fowler
35:11
In this episode, Sharon is joined by FOX News and Forbes contributor, Richard Fowler, to talk about storytelling and how it shapes American politics. Richard shares how and why storytelling plays a powerful role in our democracy; people will not always remember the policy, but they will always remember the story attached to it. As well, Sharon and Richard explore how storytelling helps humanize others, enabling us to see them as an individual instead placing them in a collective category of people. Sharon and Richard discuss why polarizing issues do not have to be strictly black or white and why it is important to see the shades of gray. Join Richard and Sharon as they teach us how to empathize through listening to others’ stories and how we can spark change by telling our own.

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Feb 02, 2022
85. Mt. Rushmore: The Good, The Bad, and the Dynamite with Kelli France
33:10
In this episode, Sharon and guest Kelli France talk about the not-so-stellar history of the construction of Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota. A sacred place to the Lakota, Tunkasila Sakpe Paha, or Six Grandfathers Mountain, was transformed in the 1920s and 30s into what we know as Mt. Rushmore. The mountain’s complicated history includes broken treaties, a white supremacist sculptor, 14 years of construction, scads of dynamite, and the 60-foot tall faces of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln. Join Sharon and Kelli to hear facts about the iconic national memorial, and find out what’s in store for its future.

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Jan 31, 2022
84. The Popularity of True Crime with Kate Winkler Dawson
40:03
In today's episode, Sharon sits down with author and podcast host, Kate Winkler Dawson, to discuss the ways in which we talk about and consume true crime. Kate and Sharon ruminate on why the true crime genre is especially appealing to women, and how Kate feels a responsibility to the women in true crime; they are often the victims we leave behind in order to follow the movements of men who make up the majority of the perpetrators and the investigators. Join the conversation to learn more about The Bender Family, Kate’s research process, and what evidence collecting may look like in an all-digital future. Parental discretion advised due to the overall theme of crime and violence.

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Jan 28, 2022
83. South Carolina’s Islands of History, Mystery, and Monkeys with Sharon McMahon
18:59
In today’s solo episode, Sharon dives into some of the unique stories of South Carolina’s beautiful barrier islands. The Sea Islands in South Carolina populate the coastal Lowcountry region and are rich in history, natural beauty and… monkeys. Join in as Sharon takes us on a tour, telling tales of famous authors, big sea battles, a mid-century Coney Island of the South, the culture of the Gullah, and Morgan Island’s colony of four thousand Rhesus monkeys. (No, you’re not allowed to pet them, or even step foot on the shores of their South Carolina island home!)

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Jan 26, 2022
82. How to Have the Messy Conversations with Carlos Whittaker
32:48
In this episode, author and speaker Carlos Whittaker joins Sharon once again to discuss everything from 150 year old log houses to how Gen Z will be the generation to break our serious reliance on life-as-performance on social media. The iconic duo swaps thoughts on chickens, Nirvana album art, and more serious topics like fear of the unknown, critical race theory, and the messiness of history. How do we reconcile our greatest national heroes and achievements with the idea that many people have been harmed along the way?

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Jan 24, 2022
81. Rhode Island: The Bravest Woman in America with Taylor Wolfe
40:41
In this episode, Sharon sits down with Taylor Wolfe, comedian and lover of wigs, to talk about Rhode Island’s most famous lighthouse keeper, Ida Lewis. A strong swimmer and rower, even as a petite woman, Idawalley Zoradia Lewis faithfully kept the lamp lit at Lime Rock Light Station and rescued as many as 36 people from drowning during her lifetime. These feats of heroism catapulted her to nationwide fame in the mid-1800s and even led to a visit from President Ulysses S. Grant. Ida was sixteen when she made her first rescue, and sixty-three when she made her final rescue, earning the title of the bravest woman in America.

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Jan 21, 2022
80. The Power of Fun and How to Have More of It with Catherine Price
45:47
In this episode, Sharon is joined by author Catherine Price, whose new book, The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again explores the concept of fun and why it’s a necessary part of the human experience. Catherine set out to pinpoint the definition of “fun” and she found that universally fun experiences meet three criteria: playfulness, connection, and flow. Catherine explains why play is so much easier when we’re children, and how passive “fun” like scrolling through social media, is not an equal stand-in for active fun. Learn how to create the habit of noticing daily delights and embrace opportunities for fun.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Jan 19, 2022
79. Pennsylvania: The Sweet History of Hershey with Sharon McMahon
22:49
In this solo episode, Sharon sets her sights on the sweet life of Milton S. Hershey and his innovation in the world of chocolate. Today, the Hershey Company produces over a billion pounds of chocolate each year, but its origins are much more humble. Milton Hershey, armed with only four years of elementary education, spent decades learning and honing his chocolate-making craft. His hard work and business acumen led to the company’s rapid success, as well as the growth of an entire town and tourist destination. Hershey is one of the most recognizable and most philanthropic companies in the nation, and it all began on farmland in rural Pennsylvania.

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Jan 17, 2022
78. The Enduring Legacy of JFK with Fredrik Logevall
41:55
In this episode, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Harvard historian Fredrik Logevall joins Sharon to discuss the life and career of the 35th President, John F. Kennedy. Professor Logevall shares expertise and research from his latest book, JFK: Coming of Age in the American Century, which captures the glamor and beauty of the Kennedy family, as well as the moments of hesitation and darkness. Kennedy struggled with health issues for much of his life, but did not let it deter him from pursuing his interests, most notably, international and world affairs. Brush up on your knowledge of one of America’s favorite presidents as Logevall articulates JFK’s trajectory from a slacking schoolboy to a wildly popular world leader.

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Jan 14, 2022
77. The Oregon Trail from Westward Expansion to Computer Game with Sharon McMahon
28:04
In this solo episode, Sharon dives into some of the myths vs. facts about Manifest Destiny and the Oregon Trail. What did it really look like, in the mid-1800s, for a family to travel the trail from Independence, Missouri to the beautiful Willamette Valley region of Oregon? All-in-all, about 400,000 people traveled along the Oregon Trail in the mid-1800s, hoping to move from crowded Eastern communities to work the riches of the land out West. Much of what we know was probably gleaned from playing the computer game, The Oregon Trail. Chances are, it was one of the first games you played in your youth on a computer, but do you know its humble Minnesotan history?

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Jan 12, 2022
76. Kayaking the Amazon from Source to Sea with Darcy Gaechter
39:29
In this episode, Darcy Gaechter joins Sharon to talk about her incredible whitewater kayaking expeditions. Darcy is the first (and only!) woman who has kayaked the Amazon River from its source to the sea. The journey took 148 days and had plenty of misadventures alongside all of the adventure. Darcy lives in Ecuador and runs a kayak tour business, helping others achieve their dreams of whitewater kayaking along the country’s beautiful, winding rivers. Listen in as Darcy shares how her adventures have been successful through skill, perseverance, and learning the balance between planning ahead and improvising on-the-go.

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Jan 10, 2022
75. Oklahoma: The American Frontier and its Legendary Musical with Sharon McMahon
20:33
Sharon returns for a solo episode about the musical that opened the floodgates to the nation’s obsession with Broadway. Oklahoma!, the infamous Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, opened on a Broadway stage in the spring of 1943. It was wildly successful from the get-go, and it ushered in the golden age of musical theater. Listen while Sharon explains why Oklahoma! hit such a nostalgic chord with audiences who longed for the simple joys of homesteading on the American Frontier. You’ll also learn how the musical was reworked from its original play which had been written by a Cherokee man who came of age as Oklahoma was declared the 46th state of the Union. (This episode may also contain some singing!)

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Jan 07, 2022
74. Choosing Hope and Humor with Kristina Kuzmic
41:13
In this episode, Sharon has a conversation with Kristina Kuzmic, whose viral videos you’ve definitely seen in your Facebook feed or YouTube recommendations! Kristina gets candid about her childhood with Sharon, talking about the survivor’s guilt she felt as a teenager who immigrated to the US from war-torn Croatia in the 1990s. When Kristina was at her lowest–a broke, single mom to two young children–she began cooking dinners for friends and strangers, choosing to put her energy into the things she was good at instead of dwelling on the things she couldn’t do. These days, Kristina uses comedy to share the imperfectness of her life and her relatable videos have over a billion views.

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Jan 05, 2022
73. Ohio: The Bellwether State of Presidents with Dr. Lauren Pinkston
33:45
In this episode, Sharon sits down with Dr. Lauren Pinkston, Executive Director for Kindred Exchange, to share some good old-fashioned Ohio facts. Join the duo as they discuss why Ohio has long been dubbed “The Bellwether State” and why that title may be in jeopardy. What exactly is a “bellwether” and why do political pundits claim it has been unrung? Ohio has a fascinating geographical settlement history that has shaped the way the state’s demographics have participated in national politics. Sharon tells Lauren how this is evolving, and why Ohio voted for Trump in 2020 but the nation voted for Biden. Of course, there’s no shortage of presidential facts in this episode, as Ohio has produced eight presidents and six first ladies!

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Jan 03, 2022
72. Investigative Journalism in the Digital Age with Emily Kassie
36:09
In this episode, Sharon is joined by Emily Kassie, an Emmy and Peabody nominated investigative journalist and filmmaker, to discuss the highly contentious U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years. During her career, Emily has covered conflict, abuse, and fracture points in the U.S and internationally for PBS Newshour, the New York Times, Netflix, Frontline, Time, the Guardian, and more. In 2021, she traveled to Afghanistan and smuggled into Taliban territory with fellow PBS NewsHour journalist Jane Ferguson to develop a six-part documentary series called “The Longest War,” detailing the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. Emily answers pressing questions about Taliban peace talks, military equipment left in Afghanistan, targeted killings, the history of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, why Kabul fell so quickly, and what life is like under Taliban rule today.

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Dec 31, 2021
71. North Dakota: The Wunnerful Lawrence Welk with Sharon McMahon
30:19
In this solo episode, Sharon shares the prolific life and career of vintage musical icon Lawrence Welk. Welk, a household name, and host of his own show (that you probably only watched at your grandma’s house), was one of the wealthiest entertainers in the U.S before his death in the early 1990s. He came from humble beginnings, growing up on a farm in North Dakota with his German immigrant parents and several siblings. Over the course of his long musical career, Welk became the sound of an era; his “champagne music” stirring nostalgia in a generation who socialized at public dance halls and waltzed the night away.

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Dec 29, 2021
70. Until I Am Free with Dr. Keisha N. Blain
36:53
In this episode, Dr. Keisha Blain joins Sharon to talk about voting rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer. In her new book, Until I Am Free, Dr. Blain chronicles the life of Fannie Lou Hamer, a change-maker who has been set on the back shelf of history. Fannie Lou gave a powerful speech at the Democratic National Convention in 1964 at a time when Black voter suppression and violence against Black Americans was practiced across the country, especially in the South. Learn about how the Civil Rights Movement isn’t an event we can leave to history, but a significant era that’s still impacting Black American voters today.

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Dec 27, 2021
69. North Carolina: How Quakers Shaped the State with Lee Ann Miller
34:44

In this episode, Lee Ann Miller joins Sharon to hear the connection between Edward R. Murrow, famous American Broadcast Journalist, and a North Carolina Quaker community that organized and ran a large portion of the Underground Railroad. Listen in as Sharon gives details about Quakers and the ways in which they shaped American history dating all the way back to the 1600s. By the 1850s, in Jamestown, North Carolina, Quakers were actively working for the abolition of slavery, which included building a false-bottom wagon to ferry enslaved Americans into free states.




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Dec 22, 2021
68. Changing the Healthy Eating Conversation with Jennifer Anderson
36:04
In this episode, Sharon sits down with Jennifer Anderson, a registered dietitian and the founder of Kids Eat In Color, to talk about public health and nutrition misinformation. Jennifer advocates for moving away from fear-based messaging around food and consumption habits in order to help develop a perspective of curiosity and open-mindedness. She also shares with Sharon her tips on how to know when an information source is using emotional manipulation to promote health products or specific types of eating styles. Join Sharon and Jennifer to brush up on your nutrition information; it may not always be as complicated the media makes it out to be.

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Dec 20, 2021
67. New York: The Schuyler Family Connection with Sharon McMahon
21:07
In this solo episode, Sharon dives into the history of one of New York’s most prominent families during the birth of the nation: the Schuylers. Certainly, Hamilton has made famous the Schuyler sisters, but did you know that Angelica, Eliza, and Peggy were just three of the fifteen children born to Philip and Catherine Schuyler? Follow along as Sharon unfurls the Schuyler family tree and shares stories of a foiled kidnapping and the family's surprising connection to the Statue of Liberty and one of our nation’s most recognized poems.

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Dec 17, 2021
66. Alaska's Active Volcanoes with Dr. Michelle Coombs
31:42
In this episode, Sharon chats with Dr. Michelle Coombs, the Scientist-in-Charge of the U.S. Geological Survey's Alaska Volcano Observatory. Michelle shares volcano facts with Sharon, and talks about the active volcanoes in Alaska and how volcano scientists track them to mitigate fly hazards and keep people safe from ash clouds. Together, they discuss the different types of volcanoes and how scientists and geologists work to piece together the mysteries of the earth around us and its fascinatingly diverse geological formation.

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Dec 15, 2021
65. New Mexico: The Land of Enchantment with Austin Graff
32:24
In this episode, Sharon tells Austin Graff fascinating stories about New Mexico and its 60-year journey in becoming a U.S state. New Mexico - or the land of enchantment, as some call it - is home to ancient cultures and breathtaking landscapes. The region has been continuously inhabited for over 1,000 years and some of the artifacts found in New Mexico date back to the time of the Egyptian pyramids. Unfortunately, due to prejudice against Indigenous and Hispanic people, Congress was hesitant to add New Mexico as a state. Join Sharon and Austin as they uncover how New Mexico became a state and explore the many wonders within its borders.

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Dec 13, 2021
64. How Millennials Can Move the Political Needle with Charlotte Alter
29:09
In this episode, Sharon is joined by TIME correspondent, Charlotte Alter, to discuss millennials in politics. Charlotte shares her thoughts about how the unique political climate of the past 20 years--as millennials hit young adulthood--has affected the way they view government, politics, and social issues. Together, Sharon and Charlotte tackle the reasons why it’s been difficult for millennials to carve out their own political paths, and share ways in which they can turn over political power to a more diverse and younger generation of change makers.

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Dec 10, 2021
63. New Jersey’s Dinosaur: The Hadrosaurus foulkii
20:30
In this episode, Sharon shares the fascinating story behind New Jersey’s Hadrosaurus foulkii, the first full dinosaur skeleton to be discovered anywhere in the world. The skeleton was unearthed in 1858 when naturalist William Parker Foulke was vacationing in Haddonfield, New Jersey. At the time, very few people had heard the term “dinosaur” but Foulke and his comrade, paleontologist Joseph Leidy, spent the next few years uncovering, researching, and sharing the two-story tall “Bulky Lizard” with museum crowds of visitors who were in awe of the prehistoric creature. And here we are, still fascinated with dinosaurs today!

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Dec 08, 2021
62. Turning $24 into a Multi-Million Dollar Business with Nicole Walters
36:13
In this episode, Sharon sits down with Nicole Walters to talk about Nicole’s incredible journey of becoming a successful entrepreneur and television star. Nicole shares how she built a mulit-million dollar business after having only $24 in her bank account. As well, Sharon and Nicole talk about the importance of humility, learning new things and expressing empathy when hearing others’ perspectives. In this lively episode, join Sharon and Nicole as they chat like old friends while also sharing some wisdom and hilarious stories.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Dec 06, 2021
61. New Hampshire: From School Room to Space Shuttle with Dani Coke
39:15
In this episode, Sharon sits down with return guest Danielle Coke to learn about the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster of 1986. This history lesson is cast from the perspective of one of America’s most cherished ordinary heroes, Sharon Christa McAuliffe, a school teacher from New Hampshire who was selected by NASA to become the first teacher in space. In 1984 President Ronal Reagan announced the Teacher in Space Project designed to inspire students, honor teachers, and spur interest in mathematics, science, and space exploration by sending a teacher on a voyage to space with NASA. The infamous program ended fatally, however, when after just 73 seconds into its flight on January 28, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, killing Christa and all six other crew members aboard.

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Dec 03, 2021
60. Sharon Answers Your Questions #3
31:04
Back by popular demand: Sharon Answers Your Questions! This episode will feature Sharon answering listeners' questions with the facts. The topics of this episode include electoral votes and why Washington DC has three, State Pledges in school, the Antiquities Act, plus the story behind the ratification of the 27th Amendment. These episodes are fueled by YOU. What are you curious about? Drop a voice memo here, and Sharon might answer your question on the next episode of Sharon Answers Your Questions!

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Dec 01, 2021
59. Your Mind is an Amazing Place with Dr. Mark Solms
49:54
In this episode, Sharon is joined by neuropsychologist, Dr. Mark Solms, to discuss some seriously brain-tingling facts. Dr. Solms has been studying human consciousness for decades, and in his newest book “The Hidden Spring,” he explains that human consciousness is defined by feelings, not intelligence. Sharon and Dr. Solms discuss why we may (or may not) hear a little voice in our heads as well as the importance of dreams and what they tell us about human consciousness. Ever wonder what is going on in your head? Join Sharon and Mark as they explore the fascinating world of the human mind.

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Nov 29, 2021
58. Nevada: The Wild Rise of Sin City with Sharon McMahon
24:41
In this episode, Sharon walks through the last two centuries of history in Las Vegas to uncover the making of America’s “Sin City.” The Las Vegas strip has not always been glitz and glamour and its history is marked by brushes with Spanish settlers, the mafia, wall street millionaires, the Mormon Church, and most of all, the U.S. government. Tracing back to the 1820s, Sharon explores how Las Vegas developed from illegal speakeasies during prohibition to modern mega-resorts that attract over 42 million visitors annually. Listen to learn how the Hoover Dam, the 18th amendment, and atomic bombs turned Las Vegas into the entertainment mecca we know and love today.

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Nov 24, 2021
57. Making Room for Women in National Security with Lindsay Rodman
44:39
In this episode, Sharon sits down with Lindsay Rodman, Executive Director of The Leadership Council for Women in National Security, to discuss her diplomatic career in military service and national security. Lindsay Rodman is a Harvard Law School graduate and a United States Marine Corps veteran whose career in national security is distinguished by service in the military, White House, Pentagon, and more. Lindsay and Sharon discuss misconceptions of national security, cyber threats faced by the United States, life as a woman in the military, fostering inclusion in democracy, and breaking stigmas about veterans. Listen to learn what you can do to support American veterans, understand how national security contributes to your everyday comfort, and what effective national leadership looks like.

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Nov 22, 2021
56. Nebraska: The World Needs More of Mildred Brown with Brittany Ratelle
31:44
In this episode, Sharon is joined by Brittany Ratelle to talk about the life and legacy of Mildred Brown. Though Mildred is not in most history books, she should be! Mildred was a savvy businesswoman and the owner of an Omaha newspaper in the 1930s. As a Black woman in the 1930s, this was impressive on its own. However, Mildred used her power of the press to positively reinforce good business practices in Omaha, and she highlighted the good works of the people in her community. Mildred received 150 community service awards and was appointed as a Goodwill ambassador by U.S President Lyndon B. Johnson. Join Sharon and Brittany as they talk about this uplifting story and explain why there needs to be a Mildred Brown t-shirt!

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Nov 19, 2021
55. From White House to War Zone with NYT Correspondent Peter Baker
43:50
In this episode, Sharon is joined by Chief White House Correspondent of the New York Times, Peter Baker. From the White House to Afghanistan to Moscow, Peter has travelled the world to cover the world’s most pressing issues. Sharon and Peter dive into what it’s like to report on U.S. Presidents, and Peter shares his experiences as the first newspaper reporter to enter Afghanistan immediately following the 9/11 attacks. Peter and Sharon also discuss Peter’s latest book, The Man Who Ran Washington, and uncover the life and legacy of James A. Baker, a man who ran five presidential campaigns. You do not want to miss this fascinating episode!

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Nov 17, 2021
54. Montana: The Unlikely Fort Shaw Basketball Champions with Sharon McMahon
23:49
Sharon shares a story only the buffest of history buffs will know about Montana in this solo episode. In the early 1900s, Indigenous children were taken from their families to attend residential schools where they were assimilated into European culture - cutting their hair, learning new languages, and wearing European clothes. However, they wanted the women to get just enough physical activity at the Fort Shaw school, so they started a basketball program. The program exploded and became wildly popular, drawing crowds of hundreds of people per game. In this episode, Sharon will tell the story of how these women went from playing in a small gym to being named World Champions at the 1904 World’s Fair, to playing an exhibition game at the Olympics.

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Nov 15, 2021
53. When Failure Opens New Doors with Jasmine Star
36:39
In this episode, Sharon is joined by business strategist, Jasmine Star, to discuss how we can succeed even if we feel unqualified. Sharon and Jasmine share ways to achieve your dreams and accomplish your goals - and it has nothing to do with being the smartest, richest or most qualified in the room. Jasmine explains that sometimes the key to success is failure, and that always being the smartest in the room isn’t very wise. Join Sharon and Jasmine as they encourage you to let go of fear and step into success.

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Nov 12, 2021
52. Missouri: The Little House Like You’ve Never Heard with Natalie Franke
40:29
In this episode, Sharon is joined by Natalie Franke, founder of the Rising Tide Society and author of the new book Built to Belong, to learn about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House children's book series. Chronicling the life of a pioneer family living on the prairies in the Midwest during the great westward expansion, the Little House series is a children’s book collection that was later adapted into a popular television series and was first published in 1932. It is estimated that the Little House franchise is worth over $100 million today. Listen to learn more about which family member was Laura Ingalls Wilder’s ghostwriter for the series, the little-known adult life of Laura Ingalls Wilder, how the Wilder family was connected to the rise of libertarianism in the United States, and who owns the copyright to the Little House series in 2021.

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Nov 10, 2021
51. The DNA of America with David Rubenstein
39:12
In this episode, Sharon is joined by David Rubenstein, successful businessman, philanthropist and lover of American history. Sharon and David discuss the core beliefs that make up America’s DNA as mentioned in David’s most recent book “The American Experiment.” David shares tips for becoming a better leader and reminds us of the importance of giving back to our communities. As well, David explains how he acquired multiple original copies of some of the most famous historical documents in the world (Oh hello, Declaration of Independence). Join David and Sharon as they unpack everything that makes America, America and provide a look ahead into a brighter American Dream.

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Nov 08, 2021
50. Mississippi: Medgar Evers and the Civil Rights Movement
25:53
In this solo episode, Sharon tells the courageous story of Mississippi native Medgar Evers. Medgar was a well-known and well-liked man who was involved in many organizations throughout his time in college, and following this, he became involved in the NAACP and the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s. He never wanted to be in the public eye, but he saw a job that needed to be done. He was gaining momentum in the movement when he was tragically assassinated by a man who did not want the change that he was fighting for. In this story, you will learn more about Medgar’s Civil Rights efforts, in addition to the justice that was served to the man who ended them.

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Nov 05, 2021
49. No Cure for Being Human with Kate Bowler
28:27
In this episode, Sharon is joined by bestselling author, Kate Bowler. At the age of 35, Kate was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. Tired of relentlessly positive mantras and advice on how to live her “best life now,” Kate questioned how to grapple with her grim diagnosis in a culture that believes everything is fixable. Kate explains the idea of toxic positivity and why so many Americans practice it. As well, she shares the key to living a courageous life... and it has nothing to do with overcoming fear. In an episode that is sure to make you laugh and cry, join Sharon and Kate as they walk through the beauty, magic, heartbreak and hilariousness of the human experience. 

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Nov 03, 2021
48. Minnesota: The Exclave with Raphi Nussbaum
47:14
In this episode, Sharon speaks with Raphi Nussbaum about Angle Inlet, Minnesota, a tiny community in North America’s Lake of the Woods. Angle Inlet is an exclave of American Territory that is entirely surrounded by water, Ontario, and Manitoba. Nestled in the Lake of the Woods, Angle Inlet is home to approximately 120 residents among 35 households. The exclave houses the last operating one-room schoolhouse in America, a post office, a customs office, and a humble cafe. Listen to learn more about how residents and tourists access this remote peninsula that shares no border with the contiguous United States.

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Nov 01, 2021
47. The Woman They Could Not Silence with Kate Moore
34:36
In this episode, Sharon interviews author Kate Moore about her latest book, The Woman They Could Not Silence. Kate and Sharon uncover the shocking details of the life of Elizabeth Packard who was admitted to an insane asylum by her husband for simply disagreeing with him. Elizabeth not only witnessed many horrors in the asylum, but she also realized many other women were admitted by their husbands without any evidence of insanity. The craziest part? In 19th-century Illinois, this was completely legal! Elizabeth knew something had to be done, and with courage and resilience, she refused to be silent. Join Kate and Sharon as they unpack the remarkable work of Elizabeth Packard and how she used her voice to fight for Women’s Rights.

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Oct 29, 2021
46. Michigan: Exploring the Magic of Michigan with Sharon McMahon
36:12

In this episode, Sharon explores the rich ecosystem of the state of Michigan. Known as the “Great Lakes State” Michigan is comprised of two peninsulas that are separated by the Straits of Mackinac, called the Lower Peninsula, and the Upper Peninsula (UP). Known for its fresh water and natural beauty, the state of Michigan is home to many of the nation’s most beautiful parks, animals, coastlines, and lakes. Join Sharon to learn more about how Moose and Wolves cohabitate in Northern Michigan, why the UP belongs to Michigan despite sharing no border, how many ships have sunk in Lake Superior, and more.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Oct 27, 2021
45. Building Connection Through Creativity with Morgan Harper Nichols
40:44

In this episode, Sharon sits down with Morgan Harper Nichols, the ultimate creator. Known for her art, words, and music, Sharon describes Morgan as a must-follow on Instagram for inspiration. Morgan grew up in a very creative family and started creating when she was young and loved sharing her work with others. Growing up in the internet age, Morgan was in front of social media from the beginning and discusses the importance of sharing positivity, factually correct information, and taking a moment to breathe and take a break when needed. In the episode, the two cover the importance of finding your true self and finding a connection with others in a way that works for you.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Oct 25, 2021
44. Massachusetts: 1,100 Strongly-Worded Letters with Kaben Kramer
45:27

In this episode, Sharon tells Kaben Kramer about the best letter-writer of all time, Abigail Adams. Born and raised in the great state of Massachusetts, Abigail wrote over 1,100 letters to her husband, President John Adams, throughout his political career. Her words packed a punch, and her letters frequently persuaded her husband to advocate for women’s rights and condemn slavery on the floors of our new nation’s Congress. Abigail was a trusted wife, loving mother, charitable educator, smallpox inculcator, ammunition maker, and at times, she was referred to as “Mrs. President.” Join Sharon and Kaben as they discuss the incredible life and legacy of Abigail Adams.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Oct 22, 2021
43. Taking Paris & Writing Bestsellers with Martin Dugard
43:58

In this episode, Sharon is joined by Martin Dugard, a fellow history buff and the bestselling author of “Taking Paris” and “Killing Lincoln.” Martin and Sharon discuss why history is anything but boring and talk about Martin’s latest book “Taking Paris.” Martin shares mind-blowing facts and never-before-heard information about the 1940 Nazi invasion of Paris; you are sure to have some brain-tingling moments! As well, Sharon and Martin discuss their love of history and learning, and Martin explains how he ended up in a Zambian prison while conducting research for one of his books.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Oct 20, 2021
42. Maryland: The Man Who Gave America its Anthem with Sharon McMahon
30:28

In this episode, Sharon talks about a 19th century American Lawyer, Francis Scott Key, whose best-known contribution to American history was writing the US National Anthem, the Star-Spangled Banner. We all know the words “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave,” but what do we know about the man who penned them? Listen to learn the true legacy of Francis Scott Key, a man with drastically incongruent convictions about matters of national security, including war and slavery. Francis Scott Key will challenge you to question how we interpret and fulfill historic articles of our nation’s history from the Star Spangled Banner to the Constitution and beyond in the modern-day United States.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Oct 18, 2021
41. Embracing the High 5 Habit with Mel Robbins
52:51

In this episode, Sharon is joined by bestselling author and world-renowned speaker, Mel Robbins, who talks about her latest book, The High 5 Habit. After experiencing the lowest point in her life, Mel did something life-changing: She gave herself a high-five in the mirror. Mel uncovers the magic and science behind giving yourself a high-five and explains how we can make self-encouragement a habit. Mel calls us back to ourselves and provides practical tools to feeling grounded, comfortable and confident. With wit, humor and unblinking honesty, Mel urges us to be kind to ourselves - because who knows what could happen if we were?

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Oct 15, 2021
40. Maine: Staying for the Finish with Elsie Larson
28:35

In this episode, Sharon is joined by Elsie Larson, creator of A Beautiful Mess, to share the story of Senator Margaret Chase Smith, a Maine woman who refused to take no for an answer. Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman in U.S history to hold a seat in both houses of Congress. With nearly 40 years in office, Senator Smith's career is marked with incredible achievements, such as being responsible for the U.S moon landing and being the first woman to run for U.S president. Known for her political courage, honesty and integrity, she is a hero of democracy. Join Sharon and Elsie as they uncover the remarkable story of Margaret Chase Smith and why she gave Maine - as well as the rest of America - so many reasons to be proud.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Oct 13, 2021
39. Sharon Answers Your Questions #2
24:10

In this episode, Sharon sits down to answer your burning questions about the American government. From state secession and immigration to the Library of Congress artifacts and city council, Sharon fields questions that are piquing the interest of the Governerd community. Have a question for Sharon? Visit sharonmcmahon.com/podcast to record a voice memo with your question for consideration in the next Sharon Q&A episode.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Oct 11, 2021
38. On an Arctic Island with Cecilia Blomdahl
37:15

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live in the North Pole? In this episode, Sharon gets the inside scoop on Arctic living from photographer and TikTok sensation Cecilia Blomdahl. Cecilia lives in the northernmost town in the world on the Arctic island of Svalbard. Though not exactly the North Pole, Cecilia sees her fair share of polar bears and reindeer. As well, she spends two months of the winter in complete darkness and two months of the summer in 24-hours of sunlight. From living in a cabin with no running water to whale watching from her front porch, Cecilia’s life is anything but ordinary. Join Sharon and Cecilia as they talk about Cecilia’s grand adventures in Svalbard.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Oct 08, 2021
37. Louisiana: The Notorious Pirate Who Saved America
23:28

In this solo episode, Sharon shares the story of Jean Lafitte. Jean was a Louisiana blacksmith, and when the United States passed the Embargo Act in the early 1800s, Jean and his brother turned to smuggling goods to make a living. The smuggling escalated to full-on piracy and the brothers were instrumental in getting goods to U.S. citizens and helping the US Navy. Sharon goes into detail about Jean’s role in the War of 1812 and the importance of the Louisiana Purchase.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Oct 06, 2021
36. Civility and Civic Duty with the American Moms
36:14

In this episode, Sharon is joined by American Moms, Andrea and Brittany. After serving as a press secretary on Capitol Hill and a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, Andrea and Brittany took their knowledge about the inner-workings of the federal government and started a viral Instagram account that takes the overwhelm out of politics. They share funny stories from their jobs and speak on the importance of promoting civility in politics. Sharon and the American Moms also give advice to listeners about how to teach their children the basics of American government and involve them in respectful political conversations.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Oct 04, 2021
35. Kentucky: The Rosemary Clooney Legacy with Lauren Kachinske
37:33

In this episode, Sharon sits down with her friend Lauren Kachinske to discuss the legacy of Rosemary Clooney. Rosemary was an American singer and actress best known for her song "Come On-a My House" and the movie “White Christmas.” Born and raised in Kentucky, Rosemary was abandoned by both of her parents as a teenager. After moving to New York City in her 20s with a dream to make it as a singer, Rosemary was invited to sing on one of Frank Sinatra’s records. Rosemary faced many obstacles during her long life but served as an example of how we are all one choice away from a completely different life.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Oct 01, 2021
34. Surviving the 9/11 Terrorist Attack with Shumi Brody
34:08

In this episode, Sharon is joined by Shumi Brody, a survivor of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers. Shumi was working in the North Tower when the plane struck the building. As she was escaping down the stairwell, a brief encounter with a firefighter changed her life forever. He told her to keep moving and stay calm. Shumi recounts the horrific sights and utter confusion she experienced that day, while also detailing the acts of love and selflessness she witnessed as people put themselves at risk to save others’ lives. She hopes to tell the story of 9/11 for those who cannot and honor the firefighter who comforted her in a moment of tragedy. As well, Sharon and Shumi discuss how to teach your children about the events of 9/11.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Sep 29, 2021
33. Kansas: An Accidental Election with Sharon McMahon
19:55

In this solo episode, Sharon tells the story of Susanna Madora Salter, who accidentally became the first female mayor ever elected. What started as a ploy to throw off the mayoral election by a group of men in her small Kansas town quickly turned into a historical moment. At this time, candidates could create their own ballots and campaign for votes, so Susanna had no idea that she was even on the ballot during the election. In this episode, Sharon shares facts about voting during the latter half of the 1800s and how the first female mayor came to be, even though it was meant to be a joke.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Sep 27, 2021
32. Stay Curious & Keep Exploring with Emily Calandrelli
36:35

Sit down with Sharon as she interviews the one and only @TheSpaceGal, Emily Calandrelli. Most people are fascinated by space and the myths surrounding space. In this episode, Sharon gets Emily’s thoughts on aliens, life outside of Earth, how the space industry has changed and expanded, and what is next in space development. In addition, Sharon dives into STEM education and Emily’s career and how she made a name for herself and forged her own path in helping people stay curious and keep learning.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Sep 24, 2021
31. Iowa: Musical Chairs with Mary Marantz
41:05

In this episode, Sharon sits down with Mary Marantz, best-selling author, podcast host, and renowned photographer, to break down the system of the Iowa caucus. Iowa caucuses are electoral events that take place every presidential election among Iowa voters. Compared to the traditional secret ballot most American voters are accustomed to, Iowa has maintained the voting system used by our nation’s founders over 200 years ago. The caucus is a universally confusing concept to voters in states without the practice. Listen to walk away with a better understanding of the Iowa caucus system and how it affects the outcome of our presidential election seasons.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Sep 22, 2021
30. I Pledge Allegiance to the Facts with Mosheh Oinounou
40:28

In this episode, Sharon and seasoned journalist and news producer, Mosheh Oinounou, dive into the world of the media and the complexities of the world around us. Sharon and Mosheh discuss who and what to trust in the media as well as how to create a game plan for consuming factual and verified information. When it comes to national and international events, there is always more than meets the eye. Join Sharon and Mosheh as they uncover how listeners can see through media nuances to the bigger picture of today’s most pressing issues. This episode is powered by an allegiance to facts!

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast

 



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Sep 20, 2021
29. Indiana: President Of The Month with Sharon McMahon
30:39

 In this episode, Sharon shares the story of the shortest American presidency in our nation’s history. William Henry Harrison was an American military officer and politician who served as the ninth president of the United States, elected during the 1840 election. Harrison became the first president to die in office just one month after taking the Oath of Office. Harrison was the last U.S. president born under British rule and became a pioneer of the American Whig Party during his presidential campaign. Not only was William Henry Harrison’s untimely death caused a riff controversy in the capital about the role of the vice president upon the death of the president, and the decisions that resulted ultimately set a precedent we still uphold in our democracy today.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Sep 17, 2021
28. Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man
35:16

 In this episode, Sharon sits down for an uncomfortable conversation with bestselling author and Emmy-nominated host, Emmanuel Acho. Known for his viral web series and book, “Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,” Emmanuel is no stranger to navigating difficult conversations surrounding race in the United States. Emmanuel and Sharon dive head first into topics such as white privilege, teaching our children about race and the key messages of the social justice movement. Taught with grace, wisdom and unshakeable determination, Emmanuel provides tactical ways to combat ignorance, administer justice and treat others with empathy.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Sep 15, 2021
27. Illinois: The White City with Ashley Lemieux
36:44

In this episode, Sharon takes Ashley LeMieux on a tour of the world’s most spectacular fair, the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. The World’s Columbian Exposition was a fair like none other. Located in Chicago on a 690-acre fairground, the exposition attracted over 27 million people. The fair dazzled visitors with 200 extravagant buildings and palaces, impressive spectacles of electric lights, the world’s first ferris wheel and exact replicas of the Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria (Columbus’ ships). Fair visitors never went hungry and were introduced to foods such as Cracker Jacks, hot dogs, brownies, Quaker Oats and cream of wheat. The World’s Columbian Exposition changed U.S history, architecture and culture in a profound way. Join Sharon and Ashley as they uncover the mind-boggling story of Chicago’s World Fair and the lasting impact it had on the world. 

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Sep 13, 2021
26. Idaho: The Iron Cage of the Law with Sharon McMahon
22:52

In this episode, Sharon tells listeners about an incredible woman that is often left out of  the history books: Rebecca Brown Mitchell of Idaho. Rebecca was known to have a “fire in her bones” that fueled her deep passion for education and justice. Rebecca’s story begins on the dirt-floor of an abandoned saloon in Idaho Falls. There, she taught the town’s children how to read and write, and she hosted weekly Sunday School. Flashing forward a few years, Rebecca established the town’s first school and church, became deeply involved in the Idaho State legislature and led a women’s rights movement within the state. Here is the story of how Rebecca Brown did it all and eventually gained Idaho women the right to vote nearly twenty years earlier than the rest of American women were granted the same right.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Aug 30, 2021
25. Hawaii: The Olympic Swim Coach Who Couldn't Swim with Kristina Kuzmic
30:32

In this episode, Sharon tells Kristina Kuzmic the story of Soichi Sakamoto, a man from Hawaii who became an Olympic swim coach when he didn’t even know how to swim himself. After teaching his boy scout troop to swim, Soichi set out on a new life’s mission: to coach Olympic swimmers. He started the Three Year Swim Club, promising his students that they would be world-class swimmers within three years. His swim club was made up of impoverished children, many of whom did not have bathing suits or enough food to sustain them through practice. As well, because he didn’t have access to a pool, Soichi resorted to teaching his first students in the water-filled ditches of Hawaiian sugar plantations. Despite the many challenges, Soichi did whatever it took to raise up Olympic athletes - from feeding them his own meals to inventing new ways to train his swimmers. This is the story of Coach Soichi Sakamoto and his journey to the 1948 Olympics.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Aug 30, 2021
24. Changing Ideologies with Jen Hatmaker
36:54

In this episode, Sharon sits down with author and speaker Jen Hatmaker to address the challenges of confronting firmly held beliefs, how to grow and adapt without abandoning your identity, and giving yourself the permission to explore. If you are trying to reconcile new and old ideas amid growth and change, dive into this riveting and humorous discussion between Jen and Sharon.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Aug 30, 2021
23. Flying with Presidents with Wanda Joell
31:03

In this episode, Sharon is joined by Senior Master Sergeant Wanda Joell, the first African-American woman to serve as a flight attendant on Air Force One. Wanda gives an insider’s look into the most exclusive plane in the world - describing what the inside of Air Force One looks like and sharing stories about the various U.S presidents she served.  Throughout her 24 years of service, Wanda welcomed four presidents - George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama - aboard Air Force One. Wanda explains her unique responsibilities as a flight attendant, such as cooking the presidents’ favorite meals from scratch, and describes what it was like to be in close quarters with presidents during important moments in history.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Aug 30, 2021
22. The Power of Words with Faith Cade
33:48

In this episode, Sharon and therapist Faith Cade dive into the world of mental health and self-care. While a conversation about bubble baths and spa trips would be fun, Faith shares something so much better - how to implement practical self-love into your life. Faith explains what self-care really is and how self-affirmation can replace the negative voice inside our head with a voice that is hopeful and empowering. As well, Sharon and Faith speak on the immense responsibility we all carry: the responsibility of our personal mental health. This episode covers how we can address the anxiety and overwhelm we may be feeling from the past year by setting boundaries, protecting our emotions and practicing joyful and meaningful rest everyday.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Aug 23, 2021
21. How Journalism Gets it Wrong (and Right!) with Belinda Luscombe
38:23

Sharon sits down with Belinda Luscbome, TIME Magazine Editor and author of “Marriageology,” to examine the inner workings of modern journalism in America. As a veteran journalist with over 30 years under her belt at TIME Magazine, Belinda provides a wise perspective on the fate of journalism in the digital world, the importance of fact checking, how to identify credible news sources and the impact money really plays in the editorial process. Coming off the heels of one of the most controversial elections in American history, Sharon and Belinda also participate in a discussion about the value of journalism in a capitalist society.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Aug 23, 2021
20. Humanizing Politics with Sarah and Beth from Pantsuit Politics
23:15

Having a civil conversation about politics in our polarized society seems to be a near-impossible task these days. But why? In this episode, Sharon and hosts of Pantsuit Politics Beth and Sarah talk about how we can have kind, thoughtful and compassionate political discussions on and offline. Beth and Sarah talk about the political polarization we face today and why people get so up-in-arms about politics. Their answer: We care so much because we care about each other.  When we realize this, we are able to diffuse arguments and have political discussions with friends and family members that are centered around connection and relationship. Sharon, Beth and Sarah teach us how to have fruitful political conversations with our friends and family - even if they hold opposite views. Political conversations can be enriching, relationship-building and thought-provoking. There is so much to learn in this episode - let’s dive in!

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Aug 23, 2021
19. Georgia: A Grand Mansion of Sound with Sharon McMahon
23:15

In this solo episode, Sharon shares the story and career of opera sensation Jessye Norman from Augusta, Georgia. By the end of this episode, you will love and adore the voice of this woman, who was a pioneer in so much more than opera. Jessye was born in the 1940’s South, where Jim Crow Laws were in place - schools, businesses, and her town were still segregated. Her mother was a school teacher and taught all her children to read and play the piano - and that is where her family discovered her ability to sing. Her parents taught her that she is no different than anyone else and deserves to live her dreams. Sharon walks listeners through stories from Jessye's career and how she helped change the opera.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Aug 23, 2021
18. Florida: Florida Forever with Dani Coke
33:11

For this episode, Sharon and her guest Danielle Coke take a look into the Happiest Place on Earth - Disney World, and the man who created it. The two take their love for Walt Disney and dive deep into his past, including his unconventional approach to be involved in the US Army during World War I and his first big feature film Snow White. In this episode, you’ll learn how Walt Disney built his empire from humble beginnings and helped put Florida on the map as a massive tourist location with the opening of Disney World. As a bonus, Danielle is a former Disney employee and can confirm that these stories are not your typical Disney stories.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Aug 16, 2021
17. Sharon Answers Your Questions #1
25:02

Introducing Sharon Answers Your Questions! This marks the first episode of Sharon randomly selecting five questions from her listeners and answering them with wit, heart, and as always -- stone-cold facts. The topics of this episode include: executive orders and Second Amendment sanctuary states. Are executive orders constitutional, and what is a Second Amendment sanctuary? As well, Sharon will explain how to weigh a historical figure’s positive contributions against their problematic beliefs and behaviors. Should past presidents be role models? Sharon will also address how to respond compassionately to people that are unintentionally spreading disinformation online and explain ways that we are currently more united as a country than in the past… These episodes are fueled by YOU. What are you curious about? Drop a voice memo here, and Sharon might answer your question on the next episode of Sharon Answers Your Questions!

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Aug 16, 2021
16. Thank you for Voting with Erin Geiger Smith
44:44

In this episode, Sharon interviews Erin Geiger Smith who is a lawyer-turned-journalist and the author of Thank You for Voting. If you’ve been paying attention to headlines in the past few months, you know the conversation around voting laws is now more heated than ever. But why? To give us a better look into why we are here now, Erin walks us through the history of voting in the U.S., covering everything from voter suppression tactics to why some women refused to eat until they were given the right to vote. As well, Erin debunks commonly believed myths about voting and provides us with practical and fun tips on how we can increase voter turnout in our communities. Lastly, Sharon and Erin discuss the ways the media reports on voting issues and why voting laws should not be partisanized.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Aug 16, 2021
15. Delaware: Census Taker of the Sky with Quigley Goode
22:17

Sharon is joined by Quigley and Alex Goode, professional content creators and founders of Soulcial Media, to learn about a legend in astronomy, Annie Jump Cannon. Born on the eve of the women’s suffrage movement, Annie Jump Cannon was an American astronomer and pioneer of star classification who acquired a college education and made a career for herself in a society that discouraged both of which. Known as the “Census Taker of the Sky,” Annie is most well-known for developing a star cataloging and classification system that astronomers still use today, known as the Harvard spectral classification system. Born and raised in Delaware, today Annie is considered Delaware’s contribution to American innovation, she has been inducted into the Royal Astronomical Society, and the asteroid 1120 Cannonia is named in her honor. Annie Jump Cannon is an example of what can happen when your gifts and passions align.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Aug 16, 2021
14. How Setting Boundaries Can Create Peace with Nedra Tawwab
25:32

In this episode, seasoned relationship therapist and bestselling author Nedra Tawwab graces us with her wisdom and teaches us how to set boundaries and navigate relationships. Nedra explains how we can reclaim ourselves by breaking our people-pleasing tendencies and learning to honor our personal needs, safety and mental wellbeing. Nedra offers a wealth of advice, ranging from specific language we can use when setting and maintaining boundaries to ways we can diffuse heated political arguments with a friend or family member. As well, she discusses how we can reconcile difficult relationships and exit unhealthy ones, all while learning how to be more accepting of others. There’s a whole lot to learn in this episode - let’s dive into the world of setting boundaries!

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Aug 09, 2021
13. Why Texas Can’t Secede with Sharon McMahon
12:20

In this solo episode of Sharon Says So, Sharon breaks down one of her most asked questions - what’s the deal with Texas, and can they really secede? Rooted in the United States Constitution, Sharon will explain the fundamental law of the land and how Texas is bound to these laws through its own state Constitution. A few myths are debunked throughout the episode - going back to the origin of the state in 1845 and the creation of its own state constitution. She shares the four reasons why this cannot happen, and why Texas doesn’t really want to secede anyway - Texas will always be The Lone Star State, no matter what.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Aug 09, 2021
12. Waging Peace with Diana Oestreich
29:31

In this episode, Sharon is joined by bestselling author, former combat medic and fellow-Minnesotan Diana Oestreich. After being deployed to Iraq immediately following the 9/11 attacks, Diana faced the horrors of war and some of the most difficult moral decisions anyone could possibly imagine. However, after she was shown a heartwarming act of kindness and trust by an Iraqi woman, Diana’s life was changed forever. Her new mission: to bring humanity to an inhumane war. Upon returning home, Diana continued her mission of unconditional love and self-sacrifice in her own community. Diana and Sharon discuss the importance of loving and showing up for all people in-need regardless of their lifestyle, religion, political standing or race. In this moving and heartfelt episode, Sharon and Diana uncover exactly how we can grow into fiercely kind and unshakably good humans.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Aug 09, 2021
11. Connecticut: The Father of Education with Kevin and Layla Palmer
28:16

In this episode, Sharon sits down with her good friends, Kevin and Layla Palmer. Sharon and the Palmers explore the ambitious life of Noah Webster, an American lexicographer, author, editor, and textbook pioneer. At the height of the Gilded Age, Noah Webster revolutionized the American education system and his influence in the classroom has remained present since the 19th century. Webster authored the first American textbook after British rule called the “Blue-Backed Speller” which sold over 100 million copies and taught five generations of American students, he was an English-language spelling reformer who invented a contest to promote literacy known as the Spelling Bee, he published the first American dictionary “Webster's Dictionary” and invented the American federal copyright. As an advocate for American Exceptionalism in a post-revolution society, Webster’s efforts shaped the system of American education and language as we knew it today and his legacy lives on as the “Father of American Scholarship and Education.”

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Aug 09, 2021
10. How to be a Good News Consumer with Jessica Yellin
32:57

In this episode, Sharon sits down with long-time journalist, author, and former CNN Chief White House Correspondent, Jessica Yellin to tackle the topic of the media and news. In an era of the 24-hour news cycle, we are constantly bombarded with new information, analysis and opinions. Luckily, Sharon and Jessica are here to teach listeners how to cut through the noise and discern what is actually news. Jessica gives an insider’s look into the faults she sees in today’s media, while also reminding listeners the essential role the media plays in our society. Sharon and Jessica believe the media has the ability to inform and empower the American public. Listen to find out how they believe this is possible. Spoiler alert: it starts with you! 

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Aug 02, 2021
9. Colorado - Angel of the Rockies with Jessica Malaty Rivera
27:52

 In this episode, Sharon tells the heartfelt story of Clara Brown, the “Angel of the Rockies” to Jessica Malaty Rivera.  Jessica is a friend and brilliant epidemiologist who may or may not have cried when she heard the touching details of Clara’s story. Sharon takes listeners back to the year 1800 when Clara Brown was born into slavery in Kentucky. When she was 56, Clara was granted her freedom, but her husband and children were abruptly sold off as slaves. With nowhere else to go, Clara set West for Colorado, travelling 700 miles on foot. In Colorado, Clara became a successful entrepreneur and gave away nearly all of her wealth to her community. This is the story of determination and success as well as compassion, family reunion and ultimate generosity. Listen to find out exactly why Clara is named the “Angel of the Rockies” and why Sharon and Jessica shed a few tears while recording this episode.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



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Aug 02, 2021
8. How to Be a Good Internet Citizen with Glo Atanmo
38:38

In this episode with Glo Atanmo, Sharon sits down to talk about how we consume social media and the person behind the posts. Glo has many titles, roles, and passions but is best described as a creative educator. She has traveled to over 80 countries, and with every post, she approaches them with an educational lens, because she loves to learn and share experiences with others. In this conversation, the two open up about having public platforms and the pressures that come along with this. There is no blueprint for following your passion and throughout the discussion, Sharon and Glo discuss their personal experience with being in the public eye and how they got to where they are today.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Aug 02, 2021
7. California - Father of National Parks with Kendra Adachi
23:51

In this episode, Sharon is joined by Kendra Adachi, affectionately known on the internet as the Lazy Genius, who is also the host of The Lazy Genius Podcast and author of The Lazy Genius Way. Sharon and Kendra discuss the passionate nature of John Muir, an environmental philosopher, mountaineer, botanist, glaciologist, and preservation advocate who is considered to be the Father of the National Parks. During the westward expansion of the late 1800s, John Muir dedicated his life to the preservation of America’s most pristine geography and played a prolific role in the establishment of Yosemite National Park. Americans will forever reap the benefits of John Muir’s passion for nature, and today, there are parks, glaciers, trails, asteroids, and mountains named after his legacy, a testament to the impact one person can have on an entire society.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Aug 02, 2021
6. Arkansas: The Lost Year with Bethanie Garcia
27:45
In this episode, Sharon tells the story of the Little Rock Nine to her friend and successful blogger and podcast host, Bethanie Garcia. At the end of the 1950s, following the Brown v. Board of Education decision to integrate schools, the town of Little Rock was nothing short of tumultuous, when nine black students integrated the public high school. Sharon details the complex and outrageous occurrences that happened in Little Rock during those years, including the arrival of the National Guard to block the Little Rock Nine from entering, followed by the governor’s order to close all Little Rock schools rather than integrate. Sharon takes Bethanie along a wild, heartbreaking and frustrating ride through what is now known as “the lost year” in civil rights history.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Jul 26, 2021
5. How to Stop Being Wrong with Adam Grant
48:48
In this episode, Sharon is joined by organizational psychologist and top-rated Wharton professor Adam Grant. Adam is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of five books, most recently Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know. Sharon and Adam talk about human behavior, the differences between principles and policies, how to humanize those with whom you disagree, why you shouldn’t agree to disagree...and they do, of course, solve all the world’s problems.

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Jul 26, 2021
4. Arizona: The Confession with Jami Nato
38:44

In this episode, Sharon is joined by friend and successful entrepreneur, Jami Nato, to discuss the story behind Miranda v Arizona. We’ve all heard the line “You have the right to remain silent” but most don’t know the fascinating tale of Ernesto “Ernie” Miranda and how his smalltown trial led to one of the most iconic Supreme Court cases in American history. Sharon and Jami share their thoughts about why the trial of an undoubtedly guilty man was appealed by the Court and how it reflects the Court's emphasis on upholding constitutional rights. Sharon explains why sometimes the Supreme Court doesn’t necessarily focus on “putting the bad guys away” but instead strives to uphold and reestablish constitutional principles.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast



Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Jul 26, 2021
3. The Man Who Named a Bluebird After Me with Carlos Whittaker
36:18
In this episode, Sharon meets with her dear friend and bestselling author Carlos Whittaker to discuss how to let go of fear and change the world in a positive way. In an era of social media and ‘cancel culture,’ it seems more daunting than ever to pursue a cause or passion. Whether it's fear of public backlash or the intimidation that comes with comparison to other world-changers on social media, Carlos and Sharon explore how to take a risk in order to rescue the world. Carlos offers listeners practical advice on how to identify, expel and replace the lies we believe about ourselves with truth. Heartfelt, entertaining and authentic, this episode is for everyone - because we are all responsible for changing the world.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Jul 19, 2021
2. Alaska - The Sled Dogs Who Saved a Village with Dr. Shanté Cofield
36:56

In this episode, Sharon sits down with Dr. Shanté Cofield, a business coach helping movement and health professionals succeed in the online space. The two connect to discuss the story behind the little-known 1925 Serum Run, which took place in the brutal Alaskan wilderness. During a health crisis, town doctor Curtis Welch was faced with diagnosing and treating an unknown illness, all before it infected the whole town of 1,400 people. Left with limited resources and a short deadline, the Alaskan people sprang into action to set up a sled dog relay to deliver the medicine. Sharon takes Shanté through the twists of the story, providing wit and history at every turn.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast 



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Jul 19, 2021
1. Alabama - The Man Who Almost Wasn't Vice President with Abi Ayres
27:58

In this episode, Sharon is joined by Abigail Ayres, an average person, in her own words, bringing love, life, laughter, and joy to Instagram. Sharon and Abigail discuss the life and legacy of William Rufus King, the 13th vice president of the United States, who served a term of a few weeks before his untimely death. William Rufus King’s lifelong political career was a far cry from those who are expected to follow the ethical, democratic process we uphold today, and Sharon shares how King’s social status, wealth, race, and outdated electoral systems influenced his pursuit of the “American Dream.” As a proponent of slavery and founding member of Selma, Alabama, Sharon and Abi examine the irony of the civil rights marches led by Martin Luther King Jr. on the soil of King’s former plantation one century later and discuss how we can extract the contributions of historical figures in America while also condemning their immorality.

For more information on this episode including all resources and links discussed go to https://www.sharonmcmahon.com/podcast 



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Jul 19, 2021
Introducing the Sharon Says So Podcast with Sharon McMahon
1:18
Welcome to the Sharon Say So podcast with Sharon McMahon. You may know Sharon from her viral Instagram, SharonSaysSo, or you might have seen her feature on “Good Morning America.” Maybe you’re brand new! However you found this podcast - glad you could make it! It’s time to have some fun. As a former government and law teacher, Sharon created Sharon Says So with the goal of providing fascinating information about US politics and history in the most entertaining way possible. With dazzling true stories you simply can’t find in the history books and a plethora of guests sharing their unique expertise and experiences, Sharon Says So will leave listeners wanting more. Luckily, Sharon will drop multiple episodes one day a week, making this podcast extremely binge-worthy. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive in and learn something new!

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Jul 12, 2021