Useless Information Podcast

By Recorded History Network

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Subscribers: 467
Reviews: 2

 Apr 25, 2020

 Mar 27, 2019


Podcasting since 2008! - It really is all true! Quirky, bizarre, and unusual stories from the Flip Side of History.

Episode Date
Retrocast 12 - UI Podcast #177
In this episode: A man who claimed that he had eloped with another man’s wife because she had fed him a delicious piece of cake, a dead woman who sat up in her coffin just as the undertakers began to pour ice over her body, smog changes the color of a California man’s tie, and much more! Tim Harford of Cautionary Tales cohosts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 01, 2022
The Rise & Fall of the Celestial Comet - UI Podcast #176
In 1941, the Plainfield Teachers College football team was unstoppable. That was until a reporter exposed a shocking secret about the team and their storybook season was brought to a grinding halt. Images, links, and transcripts: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 19, 2022
Retrocast #11 - UI Podcast #175
In this episode: A mystery man speaks an unknown language, a boy gets his head stuck in a toilet seat, a woman slips on a bar of soap and flies out the window, and much more! Madison Newton cohosts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 30, 2022
Almost Over the Hump - UI Podcast #174
Just what happens when your airplane crashes high up in the Himalayan mountains and there is no chance that anyone will ever find you? This happened to pilots Joe Rosbert and Ridge Hammell during World War II as they attempted to pilot a cargo plane over “The Hump.” It’s an amazing story of perseverance, survival, and a lot of luck. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 20, 2022
Retrocast #10 - UI Podcast #173
In this episode: The United States once banned the sale of sliced bread, the State of Oregon attempted to ban popcorn in movie theaters, women were using fly swatters to swat away their excess pounds, and much more! Matt Breen of The Explorers Podcast cohosts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 01, 2022
From Car Show!: The Jeep and World War II
We’re shaking things up today and sharing a preview from Car Show!, a new podcast from our friends at Pushkin Industries. Longtime Car and Driver editor Eddie Alterman tells the stories of the vital cars — the ones that have changed how we drive and live, whose significance lies outside the scope of horsepower or miles per gallon. In this episode, Eddie talks about the military background of the Jeep, a vehicle made for the battlefields of World War II, and its lasting popularity in America decades after the war. You can listen to the full episode and more from Car Show! at Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 25, 2022
Henry Ford's Peace Ship - UI Podcast #172
In 1915, American industrialist Henry Ford announced that he was willing to use his entire fortune to bring an end to World War I. So, he chartered a ship to take many of the prominent peace activists of the day to Europe and convene a peace conference to mediate an end to the European War. So, hop aboard the Peace Ship! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 16, 2022
Arbor Day Turns 150! - UI Podcast #171
Arbor Day is 150 years old! Learn the origins of the day, plus how one small upstate New York town continues the annual celebration. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 28, 2022
Retrocast #9 - UI Podcast #170
In this episode: A woman dumps her fiancé at the altar to marry the minister, a jealous husband who used rattlesnakes to keep men away from his wife, the unlikely suspects in a case of truck tire sabotage, and much more! Retrosponsor: Kraft Mayonnaise Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 13, 2022
The Father of Voice Radio - UI Podcast #169
It’s hard to believe, but when the first words were spoken on radio, it was dismissed as a novelty. It seems as if everyone thought that Morse code was the future. Nearly everyone except for Reginald Fessenden. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 31, 2022
The Case of the Hollow Nickel - UI #168
In 1953, paperboy Jimmy Bozart was counting his newspaper subscription money. He dropped the coins and one nickel split open, revealing a piece of microfilm. This led to the arrest of a high-ranking Soviet spy.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 15, 2022
Retrocast #8 - UI Podcast #167
In this episode: A live baby is auctioned off, a carnival knife thrower accidentally hits his human target, a West Virginian dog warden with an unusual approach to keeping thieves out of the pound, and much more! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 28, 2022
The Eddie Cantor Peace Prize - UI #166
In 1936, superstar Eddie Cantor asked his radio listeners to write an essay describing how the United States could avoid war. The prize was a full college scholarship. With no set rules, something was certain to go wrong. And something did go very wrong. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 15, 2022
Retrocast #7 - UI Podcast #165
In this episode: A man falls out of a window and is saved by a flagpole, seven tonsillectomies done in an assembly line fashion, the last cigarette commercial on US network television, a baby born in a well, and much more! Retrosponsor: Dr. Caldwell’s Syrup Pepsin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 31, 2022
The Glass House Girl - UI #164
Edna Kirby spent more than a decade in Hollywood appearing in silent movies for Paramount Studios. While she never became a movie star, Edna drew large crowds in nearly every town that she visited. That’s because Edna Kirby lived in a glass house. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 13, 2022
Bad Apples #3 - Sunset Boulevard - UI #163
In this episode, my wife Mary Jane joins me to review the classic movie "Sunset Boulevard." Directed by Billy Wilder, this movie tells the story of a struggling screenwriter who gets into a dangerous relationship with a faded Hollywood actress who dreams of a big comeback.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 03, 2022
Retrocast #6 - UI Podcast #162
Christmas episode! A reindeer that bit a boy’s finger, a lawsuit over the world’s largest Christmas stocking, an absent-minded Santa Claus, a Santa caught with his pants down, the first Christmas film ever made, and much more! Retrosponsor: Dole Pineapple Juice and Gems Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 15, 2021
Tom McGee's Back on the Chain Gang - UI #161
Tom McGee wanted nothing more for Christmas than to be able to spend time caring for his hogs. The only catch was that he needed to commit a crime and hope that a judge would sentence him to time on one of Georgia’s infamous chain gangs. A true story that took place in Atlanta from 1928 through 1930. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 30, 2021
Retrocast #5 - UI Podcast #160
In this episode: A proud father who kidnapped his newborn daughter, a mother jailed for cooking a woodpecker, Einstein gives a student incorrect math advice, a snake that joined a woman in the bathtub, a filmstrip projector demonstrated for the first time, and much more! Retrosponsor: Log Cabin Syrup. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 16, 2021
The Forgotten Man - UI Podcast #159
A New Jersey man was caught in a Catch-22 situation. As long as he remained on death row, he could live. If he attempted to get off of death row by challenging his sentence in court, he would likely die. Can you guess which option he chose? A true story that began in 1908. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 28, 2021
Retrocast #4 - UI Podcast #158
In this episode: The day corsets were arrested, a lingerie auction at the University of Nebraska, US Customs bans Alice Cooper’s panties, a woman hurt in a freak accident, a fish who milked a cow, woman entertains friends while husband robs their homes, a box of cookies that started a fire, a man who accidentally robbed a bank, & the highest-paid act at Woodstock. Retrosponsor: Sears advertisement for School’s Out by Alice Cooper. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 15, 2021
Don't Mess With Minerva Miller - UI Podcast #157
In 1911, Mrs. Minerva Miller and two friends went to The Paterson Show in Paterson, NJ to watch a movie. A standard ticket cost 5 cents, but Mrs. Miller was told that she would have to pay 25 cents because she was black. Minerva Miller decided to challenge the theater's racist policy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 29, 2021
Retrocast #3 - UI Podcast #156
A 72-year-old woman who married a 20-year-old man, a 16-year-old girl arrested for cursing, a woman who had some run-ins with modern appliances, speaking English deforms the mouth, a husband who refused to buy his wife false teeth, a "Dammed Missouri" book that disappeared in a flood, and more! Retrosponsor: Rinso Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 15, 2021
Lost in the Mountains - UI Podcast #155
In 1941, 5-year-old Pamela Hollingworth disappeared into the dense forest of New Hampshire's White Mountains. In what became the largest search and rescue effort in New England to that date, more than 1,500 men spent more than a week looking for her. Was she murdered, kidnapped, or something else? Find out what really happened to Pamela Hollingworth. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 30, 2021
Retrocast #2 - UI Podcast #154
Retrocast #2: Boy runs away because he can·t master Latin, a mother who loaned her son to a stranger, a man who survived a Nazi firing squad, cows killed by lightning, man's leg broken three times, truth in business inboxes, 200 hog call records stolen, a helicopter melon thief, and more! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 16, 2021
Two Worlds Collide - UI Podcast #153
In 1932, Redondo Beach school superintendent Elliott B. Thomas mysteriously disappeared and his office was ransacked. Was he kidnapped? Could he have been killed? Or was something else going on? Also, learn about a new chemical element called Administratium. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 30, 2021
Retrocast #1 - UI Podcast #152
Retrocast #1 - A 106-year-old woman seeks a husband, 5 phonograph records is admission to a dance, Australia gives the US an albino kangaroo, Johnny Cash promoting the Home Equipment Co., A country could be 49th US state, and more! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 14, 2021
A Blind Eye - UI Podcast #151
In 1933, Helen Vasko was diagnosed with a malignant eye tumor that threatened her life. Her parents would not consent to surgery and the case ended up in court. It was a battle between parental vs. state rights and which side should have the ultimate deciding power. This fascinating story examines both sides of the case and the landmark ruling that was ultimately made. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 29, 2021
A Fortune to the Dogs - UI Podcast #150
When Isabel McHie was pulled off of a train in Battle Creek, Michigan in 1935, she confirmed to the world that she truly was eccentric. It was a reputation that continued long after she died. Also, learn about a 1907 promotion that instructed housewives to wink at their grocer, a will written on a petticoat, another will penned on the rung of a ladder, and a woman of little means who left it all to the "dumb animals" that she cared so much for. Retrosponsor: Kellogg's Sugar Pops cereal. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 31, 2021
Bad Apples #2 - The Hitch-Hiker - UI Podcast #149
In this episode, my wife Mary Jane joins me to review the classic movie "The Hitch-Hiker." Directed by Ida Lupino, this movie was inspired by the crimes of mass murderer Billy Cook, which was told in podcast #148 titled "Badman Billy Cook." Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 19, 2021
Badman Billy Cook - UI Podcast #148
There's a killer on the road. The mostly forgotten true story of the manhunt for mass murderer Billy Cook in 1951. His crime spree was the inspiration for a verse in one of rock's most classic songs. Also learn about a teacher forced to resign because she had married, a doctor that kept his marriage a secret for 12 years, and a couple who secretly married to avoid all of the fuss. Retrosponsor: Tulsa Window and Door Company. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 28, 2021
So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Adieu
In this episode, I make an important announcement about the future of the podcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 01, 2021
The St. Louis Diphtheria Tragedy - UI Podcast #147
The diphtheria vaccine saved many lives until children started dying from it back in 1901. One could say that it was all the fault of a horse named Jim. Also, learn about the invention of spray paint cans, the time that Teddy Roosevelt declared war on banana peels, birth control leases, and a ticking tapioca time bomb. Retrosponsor: Manischewitz Matzos Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 26, 2021
The Price of a Kiss - UI Podcast #146
In 1919, Chicago doctor Justin L. Mitchell forcefully kissed nurse Mathilde Benkhardt without her permission. She challenged him in court and the outcome may have ruined him for the rest of his life. Also, learn about the original title of the song Midnight Train to Georgia, an attempt to double one's money by boiling it, two female clowns that crashed the circus ring, and a joke that involved a long-distance phone call. Retrosponsor: Here Comes Mr. Kitzel Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 26, 2021
Bad Apples #1 - The Best Years of Our Lives - UI Podcast #145
In this episode, my wife Mary Jane joins me to review the classic movie "The Best Years of Our Lives." Released in 1946, the movie won 7 Academy Awards, including Best Movie, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 08, 2021
The Sleep-Walking Murderer - UI Podcast #144
In 1930, Michael Filosa killed his half-brother Salvatore De Hall while he was sleep-walking. He also slashed his mother Anna De Hall and half-sister Catherine. Could he have really done such a thing? Also learn about the name of the famous final Jeopardy tune, Chrysler's Hi-Way Hi-Fi system, Goodyear's colorful translucent tires, and the Wrist-Twist Instant Steering system. Retrosponsor: Hormel Spam Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 25, 2021
A Grateful Mother - UI Podcast #143
The heartwarming true story from the 1950s of a secret Santa and the generous Christmas gifts that he gave to Helen Arnold's family in Akron, Ohio. Also, learn about the real name for a Hanukkah menorah, a guy who received 4-tons of manure for Christmas, a Santa who got stuck in a chimney, and a Santa who was saved from a ticket by children. Retrosponsor: Duz laundry soap. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 21, 2020
The Runaway Miss America - UI Podcast #142
Bette Cooper never dreamed of winning a beauty pageant and was shocked when she won the 1937 Miss America title. Within hours, Bette had disappeared. Where could she have gone? Also learn the history of the Miss America theme song, the youngest Miss America ever, about a beautiful legs contest held in Fort Worth, the World Posture Queen, and the Most Beautiful Ape in the World. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 07, 2020
The Flying Housewife - Part 2 - UI Podcast #141
Part 2 of this story discusses Richarda "Dikki" Morrow-Tait's trip from Alaska back to London in her 1938 effort to become the first woman to pilot an airplane around the world. Would she make it? Also learn about the world's largest building by volume, that it's legal to fly airplanes in Philadelphia on Sunday, a pilotless plane in Australia, and a submarine rodeo. Retrosponsor: TWA Airline. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 16, 2020
The Flying Housewife - Part 1 - UI Podcast #140
In 1938, Richarda "Dikki" Morrow-Tait set off from London in an attempt to become the first woman to pilot an airplane around the world. She encountered setback after setback. Would she make it? Part 1 of this story discusses her trip from London and eastward to Alaska. Also learn about the word circumnavigation record via commercial airlines, a 1912 prediction about the horseless age, an airplane golf match, and a man who stole a railroad in broad daylight. Retrosponsor: Halo Shampoo. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 29, 2020
The Fight for Hildy McCoy - UI Podcast #139
In 1951, Hildy McCoy was born out of wedlock and her mother put her up for adoption. When she later learned that the new parents were Jewish, a six year long legal battle for the custody of Hildy McCoy had begun. Also, learn about the PLU numbers on produce, a supposed dead man who needed to revive his wife, an early long-distance learning failure, and a mother who told her son that an armed robber was the TV repairman. Retrosponsor: Kolynos Toothpaste Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 30, 2020
Titanic's Orphans - UI Podcast #138
After the Titanic sank, two brothers were orphaned after their dad perished. The search for a family member became an front page news worldwide.\\After the Titanic sank, two brothers became orphans after their dad perished. The search for a family member became an front page news worldwide. Also learn about the first non-mammal observed to experience, contagious yawning, Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 29, 2020
Becoming a CPA with Morgan Simmons - UI Bonus Episode #6
In this special edition of the podcast, Chatham High School graduate Morgan Simmons interviews Sue Baer, president of the Baer Tax Group in Ghent, NY. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 12, 2020
The Zambian Space Program - UI Podcast #137
In 1964, the newly established country of Zambia announced that it planned to be the first nation to place a man on the moon. An excellent story about a forgotten chapter in space exploration history. Also, learn about the only US President who spoke English as a second language, a snitch who offered to help locate Denver, Colorado speakeasies, a woman who thought that she had outsmarted a robber, and photocopier thieves who came back for the copy paper. Retrosponsor: Tootsie Roll candy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 28, 2020
The Child Bride - UI Podcast #136
Just how young is too young to marry? This episode takes a look at the 1937 marriage between 9-year-old Eunice Winstead and 22-year-old Charlie Johns. Also, learn about the purpose of glassmaker's soap, a couple married atop the original Ferris wheel, a time when kissing was barred on Bavarian trains, and a man who twice tried to commit suicide by throwing himself under the wheels of moving cars. Retrosponsor: Dr. I. Q. Candy Bar Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 26, 2020
Game Design & Testing with Eddie Tice - UI Bonus Episode #5
In this special edition of the podcast, Chatham High School senior Eddie Tice interviews Senior QA Tester Trevor Farnsworth at Vicarious Visions, a game developer located in Albany, NY. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 15, 2020
Emperor of the Sahara (Part 2) - UI Podcast #135
In Part 2, we learn what happened to Jacques Lebaudy after his brief reign as an emperor came to an end. Let's just say that the story does not have a happy ending. Also, learn which country produces the most wool each year, mummified bones found in a home, a woman who was arrested for lying about her age while registering her automobiles, and two homes that were built on the wrong lots. Retrosponsor: Pine-scented Lysol. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 15, 2020
Emperor of the Sahara (Part 1) - UI Podcast #134
The crazy true story of a man who attempted to build an empire of his own in the Sahara. In Part 1, we look at Jacques Lebaudy's failed plan to create the empire and how the French military came to the rescue of Lebaudy's men. Also learn a bit about the history of Meals on Wheels and three different elixirs claimed to have been cures during the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic. Retrosponsor: Pabst-ett cheese spread. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 27, 2020
A Nose for Fishing - UI Podcast #133
Sometimes a person can accomplish a great deal over the span of his or her lifetime but is forever defined by one thing that took just a brief moment while they were still young. Harry Morse was one of those men. Also learn about the first Beatles song banned by the BBC, someone who woke up beside a dead man, a wife whose first husband was found alive, and the Send-A-Dame chain letter. Retrosponsor: Feen-A-Mint Chewing Gum Laxative Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 31, 2020
In the Blink of an Eye - UI Podcast #132
In 1925, the parents and sisters of 9-year-old Evelyn Castle were killed after their car collided with a train. What came next for Evelyn was totally unexpected. It's a story that is both heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time. Also learn about the origins of the term blockbuster, the theft of 55 right-footed shoes, a woman who refused to be fooled twice, and a New Jersey girl who thought she was about to spend one=week with the Beatles. Retrosponsor: Old Spice Aftershave. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 22, 2020
An Inside Job - UI Podcast #131
The incredible story of how James Rufus Landis stole $160,000 in $20 bills from the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing on New Year's Eve of 1953. Also learn about the first ATM machine, a cork leg that saved a man from suicide, an elephant that went for a ride on a monorail, and a life-size statue of St. Anthony found on a NYC subway platform. Retrosponsor: Ken-L Ration dog food. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 25, 2020
A Christmas Eve Kidnapping - UI Podcast #130
On Christmas Eve of 1937, a man in Centerville, Indiana kidnapped a young boy and his babysitter. Minutes later, the boy's mother and the local grocer were taken prisoner by a second thug. A shootout between the bandit and the boy's father then followed. Find out how it all played out by listening to this great story. Also learn about the first Christmas song broadcast from space, a limit of wine for the Sabbath, a mysterious gift dropped via a parachute, and a family who received a Christmas card from an unknown family annually for seventeen years. Retrosponsor: Campbell's Soup. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 20, 2019
UI #129 - Soul Searching
When miner James Kidd died in 1949, no one could have imagined that it would take more than 21-years to settle his estate. That's because he had made a very unusual request in his will, one that would be nearly impossible to carry out. Also learn about the world's heaviest man, one man's amazing voyage to Mars, a will written on an eggshell, and another man who had distributed small amounts of money to 102 banks all around the world. Retrosponsor: The Spaghetti Store Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 22, 2019
UI #128 - The Prick of Death
In 1933, a young man was walking through a busy train station in India when he was pricked in the arm by a man walking in the opposite direction. He would soon be dead and the shocking truth as to how and who murdered him was revealed. Also, learn when the sale of color televisions exceeded those of black and white, a man who invented a polarizing material, a man sentenced to prison time for writing fiction, and a mysterious body that washed up on a Chicago shore. Retrosponsor: Minit-Rub Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 16, 2019
UI #127 - The Case of the Doctor-Doctor Kidnapping
In 1933, a medical doctor and a chiropractic doctor were found severely injured a short distance from one another. The two had never met before, but their lives had somehow violently crossed on that fateful day. Also, learn about artist Bob Ross' original canvases, a milk bottle shortage, men who were in the frigid water too long, and a bookstore that gave 50,000 books away for free. Retrosponsor: Old Dutch Cleanser Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 13, 2019
UI #126 - The Transcontinental Taxi Ride
An offbeat story from 1966 about a woman requested that a taxicab drive her all the way from Toledo, Ohio to San Francisco, CA. An airplane or train ride would have been both faster and cheaper, yet she insisted on the cab. Also learn how many different shows have been named The Betty White Show, cheap German suits that became available in Great Britain, a man who invented pasties for his wife, and a ban on spike heels in Mobile, Alabama. Retrosponsor: Wheatena Cereal Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 09, 2019
UI #125 - The Snoring War
A fun story from 1964 in which Brooklyn neighbors Sam Gutwirth and Sam Scheir ended up in court due to Scheir's loud snoring. Also learn about the first bike path in the United States, a building filled with popcorn that spontaneously popped, a woman who swallowed a mouse, and two girls who were trapped in a phone booth together. Retrosponsor: Freezone Corn Remover Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 03, 2019
UI #124 - Flying Blind
A fantastic story about a Navy pilot who was blinded during a bombing run over North Korea in 1952 and the attempt by another pilot to land him safely. Would he make it? Listen to find out. Also learn about the first network television show to have an episode broadcast in color, the first to successfully pilot an airplane across the Pacific, a man who accidentally landed his airplane on a moving car, and drivers who drove through a man's backyard as a shortcut to get to work.  Retrosponsor: Dari-Rich Chocolate Flavored Drink Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 04, 2019
UI #123 - The Many, Many Murders of Michael Malloy
Live presentation of one of my favorite stories of all time. Back in 1933, more than thirty attempts were made on the life of a drunk named Michael Malloy. Sounds like fiction, but is totally true. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 19, 2019
UI #122 - 1st Jewish Couple Married on TV (Part 2)
Part 2 of my interview with cartoonist Leigh Rubin during which we discuss how he got into cartooning and went on to become a successful syndicated cartoonist. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 05, 2019
UI #121 - 1st Jewish Couple Married on TV (Part 1)
Natalie and Stan Rubin were the first Jewish couple ever married on national TV, but it almost never happened. Hear clips from the television show and an interview with their son "Rubes" cartoonist Leigh Rubin. Also learn about the first toilet ever flushed on-screen in a mainstream movie. Retrosponsor: Hudson Paper Napkins Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 23, 2019
The Great Podcast Switcheroo!
It's April 1st and the Great Podcast Switcheroo is happening! It's where a number of podcasts have switched hosts for the day. Today we have an episode of the Historical Blindness podcast titled The Camden Wonder, which is one of the most unusual murder cases of all time. Well worth a listen! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 01, 2019
UI Bonus Episode #4 - An Incredible Life of Learning
Chatham High School student Van Oles interviews his grandfather, retired pharmacist Ronald McLean. It's the wonderful story of a man who started his career as a soda jerk in a pharmacy and ultimately made his way to be appointed as the Interim Dean at the Albany College of Pharmacy.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 25, 2019
UI #120 - The Coal Mountain Casanova
Back in 1952, Jesse Garrett had recently divorced and was in search of a new wife. He seemed like a catch and thousands of women contacted him to let them know that they were interested. What seemed like a good idea at the time ended up financially ruining Jesse Garrett. Also learn about the first product name to be ruled generic, a man who failed to show up as scheduled for his wedding, a woman who slept with the wrong man, and a guy who drove  motorscooter from Kentucky to Santiago, Chile to meet up with a girl. Retrosponsor: Coco-Wheats cereal Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 17, 2019
UI Bonus Episode #3 - Interview with John Murphy
Part 2 of my interview with John Murphy. Here we discuss John's involvement with inventor Dean Kamen (of the Segway fame) and their work to establish the FIRST Robotics competition that now involves tens of thousands of students worldwide. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 25, 2019
UI #119 - A Punishment That Went Horribly Wrong
The parents of 21-year-old Linda Marie Ault were in a panic when their daughter didn't return home after attending a Friday night dance. They searched everywhere for her, but were unsuccessful.  When Linda returned home the next morning, her parents were furious with what she had done and came up with a punishment that they thought would teach her a valuable lesson. Everything went horribly wrong. Also, learn about the first 9-1-1 call, a dog that had been choked by a piece of fishing line, a toothless dog accused of biting a man, and a dog that had his own charge account at the local grocery store. Retrosponsor: Noxzema Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 06, 2019
UI Bonus Episode #2 - Salem Trade School Interview
Bonus episode is an interview with John Murphy. His dad was a member of the Salem Trade School, which was the subject of Useless Information Podcast #90 in January 2016. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 13, 2019
UI #118 - Christmas Time in Santa Heim
Fun story from the 1940's about a man named Harry H. Heim who converted a defunct mill town into the ultimate Christmas wonderland. Also, learn about the most performed Christmas song, a girl who became very ill after an older student told her that Santa Claus didn't exist, a person who mailed 50 empty Christmas envelopes, and what happened when Denny;s decided to close their restaurants for the first time ever on Christmas day. Retrosponsor: Coronet Magazine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 21, 2018
UI #117 - The Adventure of a Lifetime
In 1957, three Chicago aluminum awning salesmen decided to quit the jobs and sail to Africa to join in on the lucrative illegal diamond trade. They were in for a wild ride along with a very big surprise waiting for them at the end.  Also learn about Thomas "Tough Tommy" Holden, Three critical reviews of popular musical acts from the 1970's are featured: Carole King, The Carpenters, and an incredibly brutal review of the rock group Heart. Retrosponsor: Fleischmann's Yeast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 02, 2018
UI #116 - The Walking Murphys
Long forgotten headline story about a family who lost everything in the Great Kansas flood of 1951. Yet, all was not as it seemed...  Also learn about what a Lucy Stoner is, a man who used handcuffs to hitchhike, twins who were hitchhiking around the world, and a father and son who were reunited through hitchhiking. Retrosponsor: Mahdeen Shampoo. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 21, 2018
UI #115 - The Monster Crash at Crush
During the late 1800's and early 1900's, people around the United States gathered to watch two trains being smashed together.  As a PR stunt, W.G. Crush organized one of these crashes for the Kay Railroad near West, Texas. More than 20,000 spectators were in the audience when it all went horribly wrong.  Also learn about the first state to adopt Labor Day as an official holiday, a 6-year-old who purchased a lot of candy and toys, a railway clerk who had 70-lb package of ants sitting on his desk, and a fight for a parking spot in Kansas City. Retrosponsor: Chicago Motor Club Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 13, 2018
UI #114 - Baby Moses
Pearl River, Louisiana resident Effie Crawford made the most startling discovery on November 11, 1936. Moving through the brush near her home she spotted a large dog carrying an unusual package in its mouth. She grabbed the bundle and opened it to find that it contained a newborn baby. Also learn the difference between a tree and a shrub, a town that hoarded shiny 1902 pennies, a man kept alive as friends pumped his arms up and down, and someone who took advantage of a motel that offered free TV. Retrosponsor: Gefilte Fish. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 07, 2018
UI #113 - Mile-A-Minute Murphy
The world's fastest bicyclist in the 1890's was Charles Minthorp Murphy and he was certain that there was no locomotive on Earth that could go faster than he could. To prove this, Murphy set a goal to ride one-mile in one-minute, a speed that few locomotives could achieve back then. It was the classic battle of man vs. machine. Also learn about the most popular song ever on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, a woman who gave birth twice in a taxi cab, the controversial first self-service gas stations, and a man who was convinced that he was being followed for miles. Retrosponsor: Mollé Shaving Cream Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 05, 2018
UI #112 - A Journey to the Center of the Earth
John Cleves Symmes was a popular lecturer back in the 1820's. Not only did Symmes believe that Newton got the concept of gravity totally wrong, he proposed that the Earth had a hollow interior and that one could enter this subterranean world via large holes at each of our poles. Symmes attracted a large number of supporters and his planned voyage to the North Pole was, at one point, debated and voted on by Congress. Also learn about the groundbreaking publication that Sir Edmund Halley financed, a scientist who suggested that the two moons of Mars were artificial, the relationship between gout and intelligence, and that the best cure for the hiccups may be sticking a rubber tube up your nose.  Retrosponsor: DuPont. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 30, 2018
UI #111 - Dick the Dog
Pennsylvania resident Jacob Silverman made national headlines back in 1922 for the crime of owning a dog named Dick within the commonwealth.  The law at the time required that Dick be killed simply because he was owned by Jacob. Could something be done to save Dick's life? Also learn about the only movie on the Internet Database website not rated on a scale of 1 to 10, a London woman who fed wild rats, the first cow to fly in an airplane, and a man who had his life saved by a turtle. Retrosponsor: Snickers candy. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 29, 2018
Useless Information Podcast Bonus Episode #1
Bonus episode that includes an interview that I did back in 2014 with Lene Bech Sillesen and a recording of the NBC live news report when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 28, 2018
UI #110 - Wife for Sale
In 1948, Dorothy Lawlor decided to take an ad out in the Newsday newspaper seeking a husband in exchange for $10,000. Within twenty-four hours she became a media sensation. Did she really marry one of these men?  The answer may surprise you.  Includes an interview with her granddaughter.  Also learn the original color of Muppet Oscar the Grouch, a 74-year-old man who advertised for his third wife, a woman who sought a husband to help pay off her debts, and a stenographer who lost her job after placing a personal ad in the newspaper. Retrosponsor: Canada Dry Club Water. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 26, 2018
UI #109 - The Case of the Phantom Vegetable Oil
In the late 1950's and early 1960's, Anthony "Tino" De Angelis ran a global salad oil empire. Find out how Tino grew his business so quickly, his shocking downfall, how JFK’s assassination ties into the story, and the way that one of the world's richest men today made a good chunk of change off of everyone else’s misfortune.  Also learn about the original name for the game Twister, a doctor or strongly discouraged excessive exercisem a glue sniffing fad, and people that consumed lemon-scented dish soap.  Retrosponsor: Title Insurance and Trust Co. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 29, 2018
UI #108 - The Man Who Gave Away His Birthday
When author Robert Louis Stevenson learned that young Vermont native Annie Ide hated her Christmas birthday, he decided to deed his own birthday to her. Listen to this episode to learn how she celebrated her new birthday and what happened after she died.  Also learn about when the first Christmas card was printed, a man who got a living doll for Christmas, a boy who tried to emulate Santa, and a recall by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Retrosponsor: Hallmark Cards Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 29, 2017
UI #107 - The First Transatlantic Airplane Race
 In May of 1929, Old Orchard Beach in Maine was the site for an airplane race that pitted the smaller, more nimble American Green Flash against larger, more powerful French Yellow Bird. Anticipation mounted for weeks as the two planes attempted to get off the ground. Also, learn about the world's first airline, a man who clung to the fuselage of an airplane, a man sucked into a jet engine, and an astronaut impersonator. Retrosponsor: Northwest Orient Airlines  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 24, 2017
UI #106 - Elixir of Death
When the S.E. Massengill Co. introduced its Elixir Sulfanilamide to the market in September 1937, there was no law in the United States requiring pharmaceutical companies to test their medicines for toxicity. In just the short time that this elixir produced, it took the lives of more than 100 people, many of whom were young children. Also learn about the world's most popular medicine, how the next generation of children were predicted to have teeth like Bugs Bunny, a woman who won a TV contest to get her nose fixed, and the relationship between breast size and intelligence.  Retrosponsor: Massengill Medicated Disposable Douche.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 09, 2017
UI #105 - Le Mars Trilogy: Part 3 - Maybelle Trow Knox
During desperate times some people are forced to do desperate things. The trick is to not get caught. Let's just say that Maybelle Trow Knox was not very good at that last part. Also learn the real name of Scooby Doo's best friend Shaggy, how Scooby Doo got his name, a teacher who used an electric chair to punish students, a girl too afraid to show her report card, and a boy who placed his loose tooth in his ear. Retrosponsor: Arrid deodorant. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 31, 2017
UI #104 - Le Mars Trilogy: Part 2 - Farmers in Revolt
The Great Depression was an awful time for farmers in Iowa.  It culminated with the near hanging of a judge in Le Mars. It just happens that the farm involved was owned by the T.M. Zink estate, the same man who left his savings for the establishment of a womanless library.  Also learn about the only planet in our solar system where its day is longer that its year and three unusual stories involving marriage annulment.  Retrosponsor: Spry Vegetable Shortening Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 07, 2017
UI #103 - Le Mars Trilogy: Part 1 - T.M. Zink's Library
The first of a 3-part series on Le Mars, Iowa from the 1930's. Le Mars was thrust into the national spotlight by the actions of just one man: a successful lawyer named T.M. Zink, who left nearly his entire estate for the establishment of a very unusual library. Listen to this podcast to determine whether Zink was truly mad or simply playing a good practical joke on the world.  Also learn about a man who pushed a heavy cart many mile off course, an artist's model fired for his Van Dyke beard, a waiter who poisoned his customers, and the original title of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Retrosponsor: Vicks VapoRub. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 10, 2017
UI #102 - Dr. Mary Edwards Walker
Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was one of the first female doctors in the United States and is the only woman to ever receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, until the government rescinded her award. Also learn about a woman who accidentally served her husband dog food for breakfast, three children found locked in a tool box, who CBS wanted to replace Rod Serling on the Twilight Zone with plus the title that ABC wished to rename the show. Retrosponsor: Ingram's Shaving Cream Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 06, 2017
UI #101 - Where There's a Wilby, There's a Way
Between 1942 and 1943 Ralph Marshall Wilby appeared to pull off what appeared to be the perfect crime. An incredible story that has many elements of an international thriller: deception, false identities, international kidnapping, and the drop dead gorgeous woman who brought his capture.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 27, 2017
UI #100 - A Miracle Birth in Mexico
On March 5, 2000, Ines Ramirez Perez went into labor but was unable to get any medical care to help with the delivery. In a panic, Ines concluded that she had no other option than to deliver the baby herself.  She used an ordinary kitchen knife to perform a cesarean on herself. Find out what happened afterward and stories of other self-cesareans.  Also, learn about a toy made from Zectron, a man who had the ultimate solution for a sore throat, a doctor who removed his own appendix, and another man who washed his intestines under the kitchen faucet. Retrosponsor: Hind's Honey and Almond Cream.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 28, 2017
UI #99 - Millionaire for a Day
Back in 1911, Wilkes-Barre, PA resident John Jay "Butch" McDevitt won the Democratic Primary for county treasurer. The only problem was that the Democratic Committee didn't want McDevitt on the ballot. Listen to this story to find out how the party got rid of him and how he capitalized on this for the rest of his life. Also, learn about three animals involved in politics and the first time that the red & blue electoral map was used on network television. Retrosponsor: Gracie Allen for President.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 26, 2016
UI #98 - The Trick-or-Treat Dentist
The Halloween episode. Learn about a reputable California dentist named William Shyne who supposedly gave the children of his neighborhood lollipops and laxative pills for Halloween. Also, learn about a woman arrested for dressing like a man, a man who was arrested after purchasing Halloween candy for his wife, the day Princess Margaret was caught smoking a cigarette, and the best-selling Halloween candy in the United States. Retrosponsor: Rogers Bros. Plated Silverware Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 17, 2016
UI #97 - Silent Susan
On October 6, 1946 a young woman was arrested in Palisades Park, NJ for refusing to provide a police officer with her name. She had been cooperative in every way but refused to provide that single piece of information. Her story soon became front page news nationwide. Also learn about discontinued Monopoly game tokens, the Hear-See recording system, the introduction of the Radarange, and what was to be called the "Tape Age." Retrosponsor: The American Weekly magazine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 12, 2016
UI #96 - The Ice Cream Wars
The everything ice cream episode! Learn about an ongoing war between ice cream vendors, which included bombings, gunfire, torching of trucks, and threats. Also, learn about a ban on using glue in ice cream, a pharmacy robbery where one of the bandits served ice cream, and a woman who set up a $20,000 ice cream trust fund. Retrosponsor: Sealtest Ice Cream Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 03, 2016
UI #95 - The Yonkers Anti-Shorts Law
Back in 1935, Yonkers, NY made international news for arresting five NYC women who wore shorts and bandana halters. At one point, the Yonkers' aldermen proposed the building of a fence around the entire Tibbetts Brook Park to keep the undesirable people out. Also, learn about one man's attempt to shut down a nudist colony, two men forced to hike nude for many miles, a topless cellist, and the only company still on the Dow Jones Industrial Average that was on the original list. Retrosponsor: Manischewitz Matzo. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 30, 2016
UI #94 - The Brassiere Brigade
In September of 1950, a young woman contacted Miami police to let them know that someone had stolen money from her, money that she had helped to steal from Southern Bell originally. This led to the discovery of a highly unusual theft ring. Also, learn about a boy that was sentenced to three years for stealing a single penny, crooks that stole the wrong box, a man who specialized in stealing cash from pay phones, and which season has the most number of days. Retrosponsor: Remington-Rand Business Machines Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 30, 2016
UI #93 - The Ugliest Thing the President Ever Saw
President Lyndon Johnson was never one to hold back his words, whether they be good or bad. Listen to this episode to learn what he felt was the ugliest thing that he had ever seen. Also, learn about the original 3 Musketeers Candy Bar, a man who turned blue, a woman offended by a new red, white, & blue girdle, and aluminum swimwear. Retrosponsor: MGM Studios/The Wizard of Oz. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 29, 2016
UI #92 - A Dog Day in Court
The drowning of Brockport, NY resident Maxwell Breeze in the Erie Canal back in 1936 was the basis for one of the most unusual death penalty cases ever. Find out who was placed on trial, the decision handed down by the court, and what happened to the accused murderer in the end.  Also, learn which Beatles' song is the second most covered of all time, a headless rooster named Lazarus, how a family went ape over a monkey up a tree in their backyard, and the death leap of over 1,000 sheep. Retrosponsor: Campana Italian Balm Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 31, 2016
UI #91 - Unfit to Teach
In the past, teachers could be fired some of the craziest reasons such as wearing turtleneck sweaters, pantsuits, not going to church, or smoking a cigarette at home. Check out this story to learn about one of the more unusual ways a teacher could be denied a teaching license. Also learn who was the first person on the cover of TV Guide, a teacher fired for being too pretty, others fired for having children, and yet another for refusing to sign a loyalty oath. Retrosponsor: Milk-Bone dog biscuits. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 28, 2016
UI #90 - The Salem Trade School
The Salem Trade School was the worst high school football team in the Boston region back in the 1920's. Any team that played against them was almost guaranteed to win. The Salem Trade team had a big secret and they somehow managed to keep it under wraps for six years. Also learn about the history of peanut butter, the origin of tighty-whiteys, reporters who hated Elvis Presley, reporters who equally hated The Beatles, and a death threat against the Bee Gees. Retrosponsor: Peter Pan Peanut Butter (with Mike Wallace as announcer!) Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 27, 2016
UI #89 - The Singing Mouse
The comical true story of an ordinary house mouse that could sing. Next came a one-year contract with NBC radio and an international contest to find the world's best singing mouse.  Also learn about the man who invented Christmas lights, a boy who received a new leg for Christmas, another boy that traded his prized Christmas gift for a mouse, and woman who saved Christmas for a California family. Retrosponsor: Elgin watches. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 24, 2015
UI #88 - The Last Man on Earth
Did you ever wonder what would happen if you ended up being the last person alive on Earth? Back in 1960, the San Francisco Chronicle decided to send their hunting and fishing columnist Bud Boyd up into the Marble Mountains of California for six weeks to find out if one could really survive. Let's just say that everything did not go as planned... Also learn about Reynold B. Johnson's first big invention, a poison ivy lawsuit, a girl who believed that she caused a boy's death, and a dangerous tricycle driver. Retrosponsor: Delrich E-Z Color Margarine. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 30, 2015
UI #87 - The Rescue of Charles Nalle
When escaped slave Charles Nalle was arrested in Troy, NY on April 27, 1860, no one could have anticipated what happened next. With the help of Harriet Tubman, Nalle is believed to have been the only person in United States history to have been rescued from slavery four times. Also learn about when the first hard disk drive was invented, a woman killed by her lipstick, a guy forced to pay alimony for thirty years to a woman who wouldn't divorce him, and a guy who faked his own death. Retrosponsor: Birdseye Frozen Spinach. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 25, 2015
UI #86 - The Monk and his Hypnotist
Crazy story about an elderly monk and his wife who decided to adopt their 63-year-old doctor.  The doctor was then arrested for supposedly murdering his new mother. Also learn about the first two electric toys inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, a plea from the US government for spyglasses, the discovery of long-forgotten wine cellars, and a man who liked to hear glass tinkle.  Retrosponsor: ExLax. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 19, 2015
UI #85 - Cinderella Girl
Just what happens when you write to the President of the United States to let him know that you have the same birthday as him?  A 13-year-old girl named Anna Sklepovich did just that and the results did not turn out as she had planned.  Also learn about a set of twins that shared a driver's license, a young girl's large inheritance, and thieves that tried to open the wrong safe.  Retrosponsor: Anacin. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 12, 2015
UI #84 - The Honest Man with an Evil Eye
Back in 1935 a man carrying a sandwich-board sign stumbles across the find of a lifetime: A wallet containing the stocks certificates from Philips Petroleum, GE, and DuPont.  Find out what the press said that he did with the certificates, what really happened, and how he killed a man simply by staring at him.  Also, learn about a very long chess match, a baseball-playing porpoise, and the mule that causes three car accidents.  Retrosponsor: Wheatena Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 10, 2015
UI #83 - Michigan's Flying Bandit
Back in 1928, Clarence Frechette made national news for a bizarre attack that he made on the pilot of an airplane that he was aboard, possibly making him the world's first hijacker.  Amazingly, he was back in the news in 1935 for an equally bizarre crime.  Also learn about a guy that cut off his mother-in-law's nose, a woman who sought alimony from the wrong man, and a group of students that never intended to rob a bank.  Retrosponsor: Adler Elevator Shoes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 07, 2015
UI #82 - That's the Ticket
Back in 1955, Evert Stenmark was out hunting alone for ptarmigan when he became buried by an avalanche.  Day after day he remained trapped under the snow.  Learn how he survived and the one thing that he had in his wallet that probably saved his life.  Also hear the story of a man that suffered the bites from three different animals in the same day, a man that gave up his right arm for his daughter's health, and a woman that called off her wedding partly due to a horse named Wedding Expenses. Retrosponsor: Crisco Shortening Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 09, 2015
UI #81 - The Shoeless Hillbilly
When Peter Grainger walked into a US Army recruiting center in San Antonio, Texas back in 1951, he had quite the story to tell.  He had spent nearly his entire life living high in the mountains of New Mexico with virtually no contact with the outside world. But was there more to this story than what he was telling them?  Also learn about a man with the worst luck ever, a man who hopped the wrong train home, and mysterious movement on the moon.  Retrosponsor: Bab-O Cleanser. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 07, 2015
UI #80 - Murder in the Mail
On an October day back in 1941, John Kmetz received a trial supply of herbal pills that would supposedly restore vitality to his 54-year-old body.  Shortly after taking the pills, Kmetz was dead.  Learn about the man suspected of the crime, another bizarre event that occurred prior to the murder, and his ultimate fate.  Also hear about a singer that kissed one too many women, a man who glued pennies to his desk, and car paint colors that lure beetles.  Retrosponsor: Trident gum. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 06, 2015
UI #79 - The Great Venus Swindle
In 1953 Harold Jesse Berney, head of a Washington, DC television antenna manufacturing operation, was chosen by the US government to be its main contact with Uccelles, a prince visiting our planet from Venus.  If that sounds a bit bizarre, listen to this story to learn about one of the most fantastic swindles ever conceived.  Also learn about a man who was shot three times and suffered no injuries, the day the circus never came to town, and a truck that could no longer fit through the same garage by which it had entered.  Retrosponsor:  Eversharp Schick Injector Razors Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 22, 2015
UI #78 - The Bowery's Santa
The Christmas episode.  Learn about a man named Joe Bonavita who returned to the Bowery in New York City every year to celebrate Christmas with those less fortunate. Also hear three shorter true stories about Santa getting into a bit of hot water.  Do you know the first really big hit song to contain Jesus in its lyrics? Listen to find out the answer.  Retrosponsor: Toni Home Permanent Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 19, 2014
UI #77 - The Woman with the X-Ray Camera
One of the most bizarre stories ever presented on this podcast. The nearly unbelievable true story about a woman hired to investigate another woman suspected in a jewel heist.  Also learn about two woman who thought that they were married to the same dying man, the surprising return of a man's coat years after he gave it away, and a woman who knitted a sweater for the troops during World War I.  Retrosponsor: Vitalis Hair Tonic.    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 29, 2014
UI #76 - A Life Forgotten
Did you ever wonder what would happen if you completely lost your memory?  In this true story, a man went nearly twenty years without remembering a single detail about his life.  Also learn why the US Postal Service had been purchasing large quantities of cat food, a bank robbery gone totally wrong, and why ice cream cones were once illegal in Washington, DC.  Retrosponsor: Hopper's White Clay Pack Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 23, 2014
UI #75 - The Citicorp Tower Revisited
When the Citicorp Tower in New York City opened in 1977, no one could have ever imagined that it was a fatally flawed building.  A phone call from a college student in New Jersey to the building's structural engineer may have saved tens of thousands of lives.  This story includes an interview with Lee DeCarolis, the student who made that call.  Also learn about a man that desired a woman that could cook applesauce, a couple that had six sets of twins, and a teacher that dared to go tieless.  Retrosponsor: Drene Shampoo. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 16, 2014
UI #74 - Arrest the Parents
Should parents be held responsible for the crimes that their children commit? Listen to this story from 1947 detailing just what happened when New York City tried to do just that. Also learn about the countries that drink the most coffee, a ring-turning fad, sun lamp parties, and tattooed pantyhose. Retrosponsor: Fram Oil Filters Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 14, 2014
UI #73 - The Canary Funeral
Back in 1920, Newark, NJ was host to one of the most bizarre funerals ever.  An estimated 10,000 people lined the streets to witness the funeral procession of Jimmie the singing canary.  Also learn the name of the dog on Cracker Jack packaging, a snake that milked a cow, a raccoon that saved its owners' lives, and how a pack of dogs interfered with a sheep study.  Retrosponsor: Hartz Mountain Pet Products. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 24, 2014
UI #72 - The Fever Girl
Fun story from 1923.  Newspapers around the United States reported daily on the health of the Fever Girl - a woman with the highest temperature ever recorded to that date.  Would she live or die?  Listen to this episode to find out all of the details.  Also learn about the current high-fever record holder plus three tidbits about teachers. Retrosponsor: Velveeta. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 19, 2014
UI #71 - Baltimore's Buried Treasure
You may have heard about the Californian couple that found five cans of gold coins on their property.  Two Baltimore boys made a similar discovery back in 1934, but this pot of gold proved to be anything but lucky.  Also learn about people that were paid to wake others up before alarm clocks, four daughters that could never marry, a lawsuit against Jackie Robinson, and an incident involving a minibike and a dog.  Retrosponsor: Tums Antacid Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 15, 2014
UI #70 - Busman's Holiday
Have you ever just had enough of your job and wanted to walk away from it?  Bus driver William Cimillo found himself in this position back in 1947 and his unique solution made him an instant celebrity.  Also learn how many men have ever walked on the moon and three different stories related to tsunamis.  Retrosponsor: Rio Grande Cracked Gasoline Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 11, 2014
UI #69 - Tunnel Joe Holmes
Joseph Ellsworth Holmes was a career criminal serving a twenty year sentence for being the "dinner-time burglar".  His great escape in 1951 elevated him to celebrity status overnight.  Also learn about the origin of Pepsodent toothpaste, a man who waited 36 years to be reunited with his wife, a dying Navy officer's wish fulfilled after eighteen years, and a pastor that earned his medical degree after 45 years of part time study.  Retrosponsor: Pepsodent Toothpaste Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 04, 2014
UI #68 - The Blaze Incident
A long-forgotten front page story from January of 1945 that involved the US military, the White House, a Hollywood actress, and one big dog.  Also learn the full name of FDR's famous Scottie Fala, a man who really was sucked out of his boots by a jet engine, a family that opted to do some gold mining in their home, and a woman who survived a half-mile fall without a parachute.  Retrosponsor: Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 01, 2013
UI #67 - Mr. Moneybags
Alexander Ector Orr Munsell was an incredibly wealthy man during the Great Depression.  He seemed to have it all, until he suddenly gave it all away to live among the poor in a flophouse.  Find out why he chose to do so and what happened after that.  Also learn about Pantone colors, and three people who used the wrong ingredients while cooking, resulting in the deaths of their loved ones.  Retrosponsor: Horlick's Malted Milk.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 31, 2013
UI #66 - The Baby is in the Mail
It's absolutely true: When the United States started Parcel Post service in 1913, both babies and small children were mailed. Listen to this story to learn why it was done and how it came to an end.  Also hear about the first unsigned band to appear on Saturday Night Live, a new father that couldn't find the hospital door, a bizarre case of supposed illegal search and seizure, as well as  the mother-in-law that didn't know how to drive.  Retrosponsor: Penn-Daw Motor Hotel. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 22, 2013
UI #65 - The Short Life of Suzy Dewey
The sad story of a little girl that was diagnosed with terminal leukemia who was the victim of a hoax during the last few months of her short life.  Also find out about the first athlete to ever appear on the front of a Wheaties cereal box, two brothers that split the driving responsibilities, a blind man that wanted to know what it was like to drive, and the 128 blind men in Kansas that once held driver's licenses.  Retrosponsor: Wheaties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 19, 2013
UI #64 - Operation Bodysnatch
At the end of World War II, the United States was faced with the task of reburying four bodies of former German nobility.  The three men assigned to the task ran in obstacle after obstacle.  Also learn about Cap'n Crunch's full name, a dentist that would let you extract his tooth, male chest "tapestries", and a ban on padded bras.  Retrosponsor: Faultless Starch Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 16, 2013
UI #63 - Attack of the 50-Foot Garden Hose
Some mysterious force was bringing garden hoses all over the United States to life back in 1955.  Find out what they did and how one owner named George Di Peso put an end to all of the madness.  Also learn the original name of the Wheel of Fortune game show, how elephants helped clearing traffic in Berlin, where some missing hogs were hiding, and how a tortoise lost during World War II was ultimately found.  Retrosponsor: Aero-Wax Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 09, 2013
UI #62 - The Ghost of Guam
True story of a US Navy radioman who was hunted by the Japanese during World War II.  Also learn the name of Wrigley's first chewing gum, how XYZ pays his taxes, a woman that was indirectly shot by a porcupine, and a woman that mowed her lawn in a 2-piece bathing suit.  Retrosponsor: Wrigley's Spearmint Gum. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 27, 2013
UI #61 - The Pleasant Hill School Bus Tragedy
Sad, yet true, story of a 1931 school bus disaster in the Pleasant Hill school district in Colorado.  Also learn about the world's second richest charity, topless male swimming, capturing an island, and the blood-sucking boarder.  Retrosponsor: Ovaltine Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 23, 2013
UI #60 - Ivory Soap Murders
The Easter Sunday 1937 murders of Veronica Gedeon, her mom Mary, and Frank Byrnes in NYC launched an intense nationwide hunt for the killer.  There were few clues to go on, but two bars of soap provided police with the conclusive evidence that they needed.  Also learn about the first product to bear the Duncan Hines name, a phone sicko that scared parents, a death from Smokey the Bear, and women who were tricked into removing their hair.  Retrosponsor: Mother's Best Flour. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 19, 2013
UI #59 - The Sky is Falling
Alvin Rodecker and his wife chose to celebrate his 60th birthday in style.  It was to be an incredible, memorable trip to New York City.  If only he had looked up after upon leaving a ritzy restaurant...  Also learn the name of the first commercially available windshield wipers, the death of Bonzo the chimpanzee, the kidnapping of Itsy the poodle, and another poodle that took a drive in his owner's car.  Retrosponsor: Prell shampoo.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 09, 2013
UI #58 - Dead Ringers
Akron, Ohio citizen Larry Bader and Omaha, Nebraska sportscaster Fritz Johnson were complete opposites of each other.  Yet, they were dead ringers for each other.  Find out what happened when one was thought to be the other.  Also learn about Robert Recorde's contribution to mathematics, a girl shot dead by a military gunner, boys that found gold in the sewer, and the guy who thought his house was stolen.  Retrosponsor: ENNDS Chlorophyll Tablets. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 24, 2012
UI #57 - The Sikorsky Sweater Girls
Back in 1943, 53 women were fired by Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft for wearing sweaters to work.  Listen to this story to find out the details and how it was ultimately resolved.  Also learn about the first native Australian act to have a number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, the man who kissed his wife, the holiday wedding that completed a family circle, and a couple that married twenty years after they were first engaged.  Retrosponsor: Jello Gelatin Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 07, 2012
UI #56 - Apple Annie
Long forgotten story about a poor woman named Helen McCarthy who was able to live a fairytale life for 24 hours.  Sadly, she did not live happily ever after.  Also find out about the first transuranium element created, two brothers that were reunited after seventeen years, the Elvis Presley sideburn ultimatum, and a color-changing baby.  Retrosponsor: Charles Schwartz & Sons.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 21, 2012
UI #55 - Will the Real Dr. Brown Please Stand Up?
Amazing true story of a small town doctor who was loved by all.  When he was arrested for committing a crime that could have endangered fellow community members, they didn't abandon their faith in him.  Also learn about the origin of the famous N-Y logo of the New York Yankees, a 10-year-old girl that sued a 14-year-old boy, the little girl that purchased seven pedigree puppies for her friends, and the boy that had his babysitter arrested.  Retrosponsor: Cashmere Bouquet Talcum Powder Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 10, 2012
UI #54 - The Case of the Misplaced Belly Button
Viginia O'Hare underwent tummy tuck surgery and then sued her doctor for $1.5 million dollars.  Why?  Because her belly button was supposedly 2" off-center.  Also, learn about the first compact disc ever available for sale to the public, the discovery of an Acme bank robbery kit, John Lennon discussing how fame is fleeting, and a man that carved his false teeth from billiard balls and used wood screws for the molars.  Retrosponsor: Alka Setzer Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 27, 2012
UI #53 - The Patron Saint of the Vocally Challenged
Florence Foster Jenkins is considered to be the forerunner of today’s talentless celebrities. Her operatic recordings are considered among the worst of all time. Yet, she managed to do something that even some of the best can’t do – she sold out Carnegie Hall. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 26, 2012
UI #52 - Jack the Stripper
An odd true story about a San Diego robber dubbed "Jack the Stripper" by the press in the early 1960's.  Listen to this episode to learn about his unusual motus operandi.  Also find out about the fine levied on NASA when Skylab fell back to Earth, the guy that forgot his wife at the filling station, an absent-minded barber, and the $40,000 cab ride.  Retrosponsor: U.S. Savings Bonds. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 21, 2012
UI #51 - Tinker the Toad
Tinker the toad was found buried under a 6-inch thick concrete floor.  The slab had been poured nine years earlier.  Find out if and how Tinker survived this long entombment.  Also learn about the best-selling coffee in the United States, a judge named Valentine that divorced the Valentines on Valentine's Day, Hedda Hopper's stinky Valentine's Day gift, and a Valentine that was just a hunk of slate sent through the mail.  Retrosponsor: Maxwell House coffee. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 14, 2012
UI #50 - The Corpse Bride
Incredible true story of Count Karl von Cosel and the girl of his dreams.  It was discovered that they slept together in the same bed every night - nine years after she had died.  Also learn about the first millionaire in the United States, the Thanksgiving soda ash mess, the lollipop fight, and the Boston Tar Party.  Retrosponsor: Signal Gasoline. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 14, 2012
UI #49 - Midnapore's Wolf Children
The story of Amala and Kamala, two girls in India that were claimed to have been raised by wolves. Find out the facts of this unusual story. Also learn the original name of the Hawaii 5-O television series, as well as the details of a singing telegram in a courtroom, a man who had no clue that he had stolen a car, and a husband that wanted to be arrested to get away from his nagging wife. Retrosponsor: Owl Rexall Drugs. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 14, 2011
UI #48 - The Double Life of Clarence King
The first director of the US Geological Survey, Clarence King, was a famed scientist, explorer, and author. This allowed him to move among the elite of American society in the late 19th century. Yet, few people knew that he spent the last thirteen years leading a secret double life. Also learn what Martin Cooper was the first person to ever do, a New Zealand explosion hoax, a man killed by his false teeth, and Thomas Blod's silent concert. Retrosponsor: Fletcher's Castoria. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 02, 2011
UI #47 - The French Nobleman
The death of an elderly man in Chicago in 1941 went initially unnoticed. Then it was learned that he was a French nobleman that gave it all away for the chance to love the woman of his dreams. Find out if he ever got the girl... Also learn about the only man ever to be the governor of two different US states, Adolph Hitler being drafted, a bug juice mystery, and a good use for rubber finger sheaths. Retrosponsor: Sinatra singing for Kennedy.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 05, 2011
UI #46 - Grady the Cow
After giving birth to a stillborn, Grady the Cow just bolted from sight. But there was nowhere for her to go in the small room that she was in. It was then that her owner realized she had somehow gotten her large body through the tiny door to the concrete silo. Tips poured in from all over the world suggesting ways to get her out of there. Find out how they did it. Also learn how many years the oldest cow lived for, a man that advertised for a homely wife, two mineralogists that came up with a unique way to meet women, and a husband that was forced to return his mail-order bride home. Retrosponsor: Anchor Hocking Glass. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 08, 2011
UI #45 - The Fly Paper Murderess
Six men died in a Chicago woman's home over a three-year period.  Further investigation showed that 47-year-old Margaret Summers had been married six times and all were dead.  She had taken out nineteen life insurance policies, all naming her as the sole beneficiary.  She claimed innocence, the police thought otherwise.  Also find out when the first permanent photograph was taken and three different stories of lost cyanide.  Retrosponsor:  Tintex fabric dye. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 16, 2011
UI #44 - The Man Buried Alive
On August 21, 1933, Jack Loreen was dug up after spending the previous 64 days buried in a coffin. That was just the start of a crazy competition to survive the longest at six feet under. Also find out which breakfast cereal is the most popular, where a New Jersey woman found her stolen watch, why Brownie the cow was not producing enough milk, and the unique way a hit-and-run driver was caught. Retrosponsor: Fleischmann's Fresh Yeast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 04, 2011
UI #43 - Lyndon Johnson's Camel Driver
On May 20, 1961, then US Vice President Lyndon Johnson was on a goodwill tour of Asia. While pressing the flesh in Karachi, Pakistan, Johnson had a casual conversation with a camel driver named Bashir Ahmad. The next thing you know, Bashir was on his way to the United States in the feel-good news story of 1961. Also find out what everyday product Hyman Lipman invented, the Florida councilman frightened by a snake, the NY Aquarium's April Fool problem, and Smell-o-vision. Retrosponsor: Squibb Dental Creme. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 14, 2011
UI #42 - Noach Goldberg's Wooden Leg
Frank Laiken skipped town to avoid paying alimony in 1928 and was never to be seen again. His ex-wife Rose learned of a man named Noach (Noah) Goldberg that had died in Vienna. She was certain that Noah was her husband's alias. His wooden leg was all that was needed to make the connection. Also learn about which Crayola crayon color was changed in 1962, a fake mutiny, the drunken elephant rampage, and a sad death by a falling flower pot. Retrosponsor: Hallmark Greeting Cards. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 16, 2011
UI #41 - Conrad Cantzen's Shoes
Conrad Cantzen died in 1945 and is long forgotten, but his shoe fund still lives on. Listen to the story of this bizarre provision in this down-on-his-luck actor's handwritten will. Also learn which celebrity has earned a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame in all five of its categories, the US Postal Service's 1908 Valentine problem, Andrew de Stefano's surprise telegram, and pretty Patsy Puckett's Jaguar mystery. Retrosponsor: Colgate Tooth Powder. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 12, 2011
UI #40 - Coney Island's Baby Incubators
A premature baby born prior to the 1940s had little chance of survival unless the baby was lucky enough to be part of a popular sideshow exhibit at Coney Island. Also, learn how the real Jack Daniel died, a man fined one-cent for shooting a cow, a color-changing necktie, and a flea map of the United Kingdom nearly 60 years in the making. Retrosponsor: Camel Cigarettes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 10, 2011
UI #39 - Samuel Resnick Buys His Own Murder
Albany jeweler Samuel Resnick retired to Phoenix, Arizona, but something went wrong. He ended up paying to have himself murdered. Check out this podcast to find out all the details in this oddball story. Also learn the original purpose of Formica brand plastic laminate, who owns the air above your head, the details of a costly Halloween egg toss, and a boy that had a seed sprout in his eye. Retrosponsor: Philco Radio Tubes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Dec 08, 2010
UI #38 - The Cardiff Giant
The 1869 discovery of this fossilized giant provided the first definitive proof that giants once did inhabit the Earth. Listen to find out the real facts in the story. Also find out which serial killer the Texas House of Representatives honored, a storage building destroyed by popping corn, a Denver woman that swallowed a mouse, and burglars that robbed an anchorman's house. Retrosponsor: Shell Gasoline. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 26, 2010
UI #37 - The 34-Year Nightmare
Stephen Dennison was sent to prison for stealing $5.00 worth of chocolates back in 1926. He never committed another crime, yet he was still there in 1960. Listen to find out why this happened and how Steve ultimately gained his release. Also find out which US President was once a male model, the urban parking problem of 1925, two German women that attempted to mail themselves to their boyfriends in the US, and that Richard Nixon was once the nation's best-dressed man. Retrosponsor: Post Toasties. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 10, 2010
UI #36 - The Greatest Escape
Slavomir Rawich's escape from a Siberian prison camp is among the greatest stories of survival ever. So great that it seems totally unbelievable at times. Also learn which classic TV show began the title of each episode with "The Big", a motorist killed in a freak accident by a horse's hoof, a jet fuel cap that fell from the sky, and the day that the US Secretary of Labor ate his hat. Retrosponsor: The Granite Furniture Company. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 10, 2010
UI #35 - Dumpy the Dog
For a while, it seemed like Dumpy the Dog could survive just about anything, but a puppyhood illness came back to haunt him. Be sure to check out this incredible true story. Also learn about a common kitchen product invented by Thomas Edison, a woman who was knocked unconscious while her hair was chopped off, a bargain marriage deal in Fitzgerald, Georgia, and a woman who taught her class in her birthday suit. Retrosponsor: Aunt Jemima. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 09, 2010
UI #34 - Death by Exploding Playing Cards
William Kogut decided to end his life using a deck of ordinary playing cards. Learn how he managed to do so in this fascinating true story. Also find out which popular hair style was started by a woman named Barbara Terry, a doctor that dropped dead during surgery, the parking meter mystery, and why you should never request the personalized "NO PLATE" license plate. Retrosponsor: Energine Shoe White. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 07, 2010
UI #33 - The Little Widow of Herald Square
Ida Mayfield Wood lived as a recluse in the Herald Square Hotel in NYC for 24 years. When she died, 1,103 people claimed to be the heir to her fortune. Eight years later not a single one of them got a penny. Listen to this great story to find out who did. Also find out where the geographic center of the United States is located, the guy that married his mother-in-law, the 200 bees that brought the post office to a halt, and a lucky goldfish that survived an earthquake. Retrosponsor: Teel Liquid Dentifice.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 05, 2010
UI #32 - The Sterilization of Ann Cooper Hewitt
Wealthy Ann Cooper Hewitt was sterilized at age 20 by her mother and two doctors, yet had no knowledge that the procedure was being done.  Find out how they tricked her into the surgery.  Also find out about the ten letter word that your QWERTY keyboard intentionally spells, the guy that blasted his left cheek... Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 06, 2010
UI #31 - The Phantom Sniper
The Phantom Sniper terrorized women of the Los Angeles area in the early 1950's. He was captured because of one minor mistake that most people would have easily overlooked. Also find out the number of minutes spent playing football in an NFL football game, the fantastic world of Venus, the FBI diaper problem, and J. Paul Getty's pay phone. Retrosponsor: Duz Laundry Soap. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 03, 2010
UI #30 - The Strange Kidnapping of Milly McGill
Long forgotten story about the strange kidnapping of Milly McGill back in 1945. It is what happened after Milly was returned back to her parents that is the oddest part of this true story. Also learn what a Blue Moon really is, how a wooden leg saved a man's life, a boy that could not pronounce the letter F, and a boy who drove to pickup his sweetie in his dad's car. Retrosponsor: Postum Coffee Substitute. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 01, 2010
UI #29 - The 1913 Calumet Christmas Party Disaster
A Christmas Eve celebration for the children of Calumet, Michigan turned into a death trap. Listen to find out the details of this tragic story. Also learn about Mary Anderson's invention, a Christmas watermelon miracle, Chinese Christmas cards, and IBM computer punch card wreaths. Retrosponsor: Ex-Lax. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 24, 2009
UI #28 - The Cranberry Crisis of 1959
Can you imagine Thanksgiving without cranberries? That actually happened in 1959 when cooks across America tossed out all of their cranberry products. Learn about the Interrobang!? punctuation mark, a 7-story elevator plunge, an unlucky winning poker player, and a strange sequence of Friday the 13th events. Retrosponsor: Edsel Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Nov 23, 2009
UI #27 - The Great Elephant Caper
Eleven circus elephants died from arsenic poisoning within a one-week period. The search for the murderer was on... Also learn about 1936's best student essay on peace, the 12-year-old that shot his principal, and the mob that went wild when the police canceled a men's club show. Also, find out where Adolf Hitler was originally from. Retrosponsor: Clipper Craft clothes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 30, 2009
UI #26 - You've Got the Wrong Men
One of the best stories ever covered on this podcast. It's the story of two men placed on trial for murder and were saved from almost certain death by an event that occurred many miles away. Also learn about two boys that were run over by a locomotive, a fortune hidden in a wall, an escaped tiger, and who the fourth Rice Krispies elf was. Retrosponsor: Grape Nuts Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Oct 01, 2009
UI #25 - Escape in a Homemade Submarine
The fascinating true story of three Milwaukee men that started bombing Milwaukee Sears stores in an effort to obtain $100,000 and escape in their homemade submarine. Also learn what first the 1925 movie "The Lost World" accomplished, the parrot that committed suicide, death by seasickness, and a very unusual fishing catch. Retrosponsor: Brylcreem. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 02, 2009
UI #24 - The Kidnapping of Caleb Milne IV
A long-forgotten story about the sensational kidnapping of Caleb Milne IV back in 1935. Also learn the first #1 on Billboard's album chart, fake radio messages from Europe, two men that died during a fake bank robbery, and the $100 front-page publicity stunt. Retrosponsor: Sal Hepatica laxative. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 06, 2009
UI #23 - The Day the US Dropped 4 H-Bombs on Spain
The residents of Palomares in Spain are still dealing with the effects of the four hydrogen bombs accidentally dropped on this small fishing village back in 1966. Also learn about Norman Brinker's important contribution to the restaurant industry, the nude newsboy, a postal clerk lost at sea, and an award that was better late than never by 40 years. Retrosponsor: Klean Soap. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 12, 2009
UI #22 - The Fake Epidemic
The incredible true story of two Polish doctors that used the microbe Proteus OX19 to create a pseudo typhus epidemic, which saved the lives of over 8,000 people. Also learn which US president was first to appear on a circulating coin, the "doctor" who convinced women in NYC to disrobe before robbing them, the ashman that inherited a fortune, and two brothers that tried to teach in the same religious school. Retrosponsor: Milk of Magnesia Facial Cremes.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 11, 2009
UI #21 - The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson is best remembered for being the first African American to play for one of the Major League Baseball teams, but his 1944 court-martial for his refusal to "go to the back of the bus" nearly derailed his career. Also find out about the first UPC barcode, a trained squirrel, the world's longest beard, and twins marrying twins. Listen to the first singing radio commercial - one that saved Wheaties from extinction. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
May 07, 2009
UI #20 - US Army Bicycle Corps
Hard to believe, but the United States Army once had a bicycle corps. Also learn how a Notched wedding ring denotes divorce, a giant whale that made a 3,000-mile journey across the US, plumbers who used an alligator to unplug pipe, and Rhodes scholars. Retrosponsor: Swan Soap Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 30, 2009
UI #19 - The Radium Girls
When the radioactive element radium was discovered, it quickly found its way into many products. One of those was glow-in-the-dark watch and clock faces, which were painted by women who licked their paintbrushes to keep them pointed. This was a deadly mistake. Also learn about the demonstration of 150,000-volt electric chair, Charles Hawker and his high voltage electric chair, the electrifying sermon of George Speake, and the largest chain of retail stores. Retrosponsor: Adam Hats Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 04, 2009
UI #18 - Come Dancing with Henry Ford
Henry Ford is best remembered as the father of the Model T and the assembly line, but his efforts to get the American people dancing is nearly forgotten. Also learn about that small bump that appears around mosquito bites and a woman that bequeathed 24 quadrillion dollars to the poor. Retrosponsored by the 1950 Ford. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Sep 14, 2008
UI #17 - Extracting Gold from Seawater
The true story of the 1897 invention of the "accumulator" that was designed to extract gold from the world's oceans. Also learn about the significance of the death of Lt. Thomas Selfridge on September 17, 1908. Also learn about Campbell McCarthy's death row last meal request, Auguste Mosner's unique robbery technique, and a story from Bloomingburg, NY where Francis Van Winkle sold fathers farm machinery. Retrosponsor: Goodyear Lifeguard Tires Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Aug 31, 2008
UI #16 - The Flubber Fiasco
The unbelievable story of how to deal with the disposal of millions of pieces of the toy Flubber. It's the product that they just couldn't put down! Also, find out about the origin of the name Bluetooth. Also learn that 1/3 of NYC's population is Jewish, a Brooklyn man who stared at women on the subway with binoculars, and how the Florence, KS post office sold $800 in stamps to keep its ranking. Retrosponsor: Ting Pimple Cream Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 20, 2008
UI #15 - The Spirits of St. Louis - NBA's Most Profitable Team
The long-defunct Spirits of St. Louis basketball team may actually be one of the most profitable of all time, earning more annually than most likely any team in the NBA. Listen to this fascinating story to find out why. Learn about Melba 15th's world's record in buttermilk production, why Preston Jenkins was sentenced to 1 minute in jail, a car accident in Middletown, NY, and why is freezing and boiling set at 32º and 212ºF. Also, listen to the first radio commercial ever broadcast. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jul 05, 2008
UI #14 - Disaster of the USS Indianapolis
The sinking of the USS Indianapolis caused the worst at-sea loss of life in the history of the US Navy. Hundreds of lives could have been saved if the US Navy had not forgotten about the ship. Also learn a little more about singer Johnny Mathis, the number of toothbrushes purchased annually, the Walter Johnson/Sydney Smith car/motorcycle accident, and a mattress stuffed with concrete and underwear. Retrosponsor: Merchant Marines of WWII Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jun 15, 2008
UI #13 - Henrietta Swan Leavitt Unlocks the Universe
The largely untold story of human-computer Henrietta Leavitt and how she unlocked the key to the vast universe. Also hear about a woman who hiccupped for 12 weeks, the burglary of William Fricke residence, riding a bike from California to Virginia Beach. and John Cleves Symmes plan to enter the interior of the Earth through the giant hole at the North Pole. Retrosponsor: Camel Cigarettes Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 26, 2008
UI #12 - Antarctica's Red Light District
Yes, it appears that scientists may have finally found what appears to be Earth's southernmost red-light district. This is a story about penguins and what they do in their spare time. This time, however, it is the betrayed husband who is left home crying. Also, learn about the most played song on American radio during the 20th century. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Apr 06, 2008
UI #11 - The Great Toilet Paper Shortage
Learn about one of the most unusual shortages ever in US history - one that was all started by Tonight Show host Johnny Carson. This podcast also features a discussion of the In A Gada Da Vida/Speed of Light conspiracy theory.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 16, 2008
UI #10 - The Hanging of Will Purvis
Will Purvis was hanged for the murder of another man, yet was able to walk away after the hanging was over. Possibly a case of divine intervention, but we will never know for sure. Find out the details of this fascinating twist-of-fate in this completely true story. Also learn if the plural of fish is fish or fishes. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Mar 03, 2008
UI #9 - The Terminal Starring Sir Alfred???
Do you recall the Tom Hanks movie The Terminal? His character was stuck in the airport and was unable to leave. Believe it or not, this was very loosely based on a true story, one that was much more unusual with a sadder ending. Also, learn about the average distance between asteroids in the asteroid belt. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 17, 2008
UI #8 - Fight! - Shiloh Baptist Church Disaster
The true story of the 1902 Shiloh Baptist Church Disaster, which explains why you should never scream the word "Fight!" in a crowded room. Also find out the difference between a meteor, meteorite, and meteoroid.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 09, 2008
UI #7 - The 14-Year-Old Inventor of Television
What were you doing when you were 14 years old? At that very young age, Philo Farnsworth invented something that would change the world forever. There is a very good chance that you are using his invention right now, yet he is largely forgotten today. Also learn why most laundry detergents are blue. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 06, 2008
UI #6 - The U.S. Camel Corps
As the United States expanded into the Southwest, the heat and lack of water prevented long-term use of horses. The federal government found the perfect solution in the acquisition of camels. While the camel experiment was successful, it ended just as quickly as it began. Listen to find out why. Also, learn about the place on Earth that is farthest from its center. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 02, 2008
UI #5 - The Gimli Glider
The true story of a Boeing 767 that ran out of fuel at 41,000 feet and lost total power. With no airport within gliding range, find out how these courageous pilots dealt with this frightening life or death situation. Also, do you know which celebrity Nobel Prize physicist Max Born was the grandfather of? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Feb 01, 2008
UI #4 - Titanic - The Unsinkable Violet Jessop
The incredible true story of the unsinkable Violet Jessop and her survival of the collisions of the three sister ships - Olympic, Titanic, Britannic. The story that the movie should have been based on. Also, can you name the group that had the most #2 songs on the Billboard Pop Chart? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 31, 2008
UI #3 - Bath School Massacre
While most people know about the massacre at Columbine, few realize that the deadliest act of US school violence occurred in Bath, Michigan in 1927. Listen to this fascinating story to find out the who, what, and why... Also, learn about some famous valedictorians. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 29, 2008
UI #2 - Bat Bombs - The Other Secret Weapon
The fascinating true story of the development by the US government of incendiary bombs carried by living bats during World War II. One can't help but wonder if WWII would have ended differently if this weapon had been used. Also learn why a circle has 360 degrees in it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 28, 2008
UI #1 - Useless Information Podcast - Introduction
An introductory podcast that gives a brief overview of who I am, where these stories originated from, and what to expect in the future. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
Jan 27, 2008