049 - The Most Dangerous Man In America, Conclusion
I’m trying to figure out who REALLY killed Huey Long.
Don’t worry. Your favorite history podcast hasn’t suddenly turned into a true crime show. Neither has this one.
There are few viable ways to stop a dictator. Julius Caesar and a disturbingly large number of Roman emperors were assassinated in order to end their reigns. Benito Mussolini’s execution and subsequent “corpse dragged through the streets of Milan and hung upside down at a gas station” party was, I suppose, a modern expression of the ancient Roman tradition. Some well-timed deaths, like those of Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Attila the Hun, and Adolf Hitler, put an end to bloody autocrats. Once they have amassed ultimate power, legitimate means of removing them disappear. Even tangential methods, or what I like to call paper traps—tax fraud and other types of accounting or regulatory crimes—didn’t hold out much hope and took way too long to suit anyone.
And so it came to pass in the mid-1930’s in Louisiana, people started to talk openly about killing Huey Long.
Huey was killed by an assassin's bullet. His last words were "God, don't let me die. I have so much to do."
He died on September 10, 1935, but his political machine controlled Louisiana politics until the 1960's. His son served in his father's Senate seat from 1948 to 1987.
His legacy in Louisiana lives on.
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63. 063 - Another Secretary of the Navy!02:21:10If you’re a fan of the Presidencies of the United States podcast, you’re familiar with the special series host Jerry Landry does called Seat At The Table, in which he and a special guest cover the life of a Cabinet secretary. Most of whom you’ve never heard of. Jerry does this because no president accomplishes anything alone. The President of the United States is at the top, but he needs someone to run foreign policy, handle the money, and keep an eye on the army as well as all the ships at sea. This was never more true than in the early days of the American Republic, before presidents figured out how things worked and relied on these early Cabinet secretaries to define the departments of the Executive Branch and figure out how they were supposed to work, and what they were supposed to be doing. All the while dealing with things like economic calamities and wars, both declared and undeclared. We know about some of these early Cabinet secretaries, like Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe, who went on to be President themselves, and Alexander Hamilton, because of a certain Broadway play. But Jerry digs into the lesser-known ones, in many cases those who have never really been studied by historians. Why? Because without them, America would have been in trouble. Jerry seems to like talking about Navy Secretaries with me, despite my penchant for seasickness and me having no idea about how boats work. This is my second time as a guest on Seat at the Table, and it is our second Secretary of the Navy—William Jones, who served during the War of 1812. Jerry also likes to keep the identity of the Cabinet member a secret from his guest, which adds to the suspense, but doesn’t make me look in the least bit knowledgeable. So I have to make things up as I go. This is something you long-time listeners of History’s Trainwrecks may be acquainted with. Take a listen to the story of one of the early Navy Secretaries and why they mattered so much to the early American Republic.Check out the Presidencies of the United States Podcast - https://www.presidenciespodcast.com/And The Valley Forge Project - https://www.valleyforgeproject.org/
62. 062 - In The Shadow Of The Dam40:43Building Hoover Dam was difficult and deadly work. But there was a Great Depression going on and dam work paid real money. If it could be said that there was a choice between your family starving to death or you risking your life on building the engineering marvel of the age, you chose the dam. Author Kelly Stone Gamble’s historical novel Ragtown tells the story of the dam and the desperate people who lived in its shadow. It’s a great story and great history. Ragtown is available for preorder now and releases on September 12, 2023. Check out the links below to get your copy of Ragtown and check out Kelly’s other books. https://www.amazon.com/Ragtown-Kelly-Stone-Gamble-ebook/dp/B0CCF5PV4Yhttps://www.amazon.com/stores/Kelly-Stone-Gamble/author/B00JIPDBMW
61. 061 - I'll Trade You A General, Part II26:10On our last episode of History's Trainwrecks, we left our major characters in serious predicament: oppositionally-defiant crank Charles Lee was in British captivity, although he did have his dogs and thirty shillings a day in expenses. General Richard Prescott was unwisely spending his nights away from his army, and George Washington and the Continental Army were having a bad winter at Valley Forge. Colonel William Barton had a plan to fix everything. Please support our show on the History's Trainwrecks Patreon page - https://www.patreon.com/historystrainwrecks and support our sponsor - The Valley Forge Project, which wants to amend the U.S. Constitution to eliminate corporate money from politics and term-limit Congress to twelve years. Check out https://www.valleyforgeproject.org to see how you can help.
60. 060 - I'll Trade You A General, Part I13:17American Major General Charles Lee had picked a great place to hide.Like big-city mobsters two centuries later, George Washington’s second in command had discovered that New Jersey was a great place to lay low if someone was after you.Charles had a lot of people after him in December 1776. First and foremost was the British Army, commanded in that area by Lord Charles Cornwallis. After a string of British successes against the Continentals in New York, it wasn’t George Washington the English high command was afraid of.It was Charles Lee.So the British send some dragoons to nab the general and take him prisoner. Which they do. Which makes quite a lot of Americans sad. And it inspires one American in particular to find a British officer of high enough rank to trade for General Lee. As luck would have it, he finds one.Support our sponsor - The Valley Forge Project - https://valleyforgeproject.orgHelp keep the trainwrecks on the tracks- https://www.patreon.com/historystrainwrecks
59. 059 - Remember The Ladies36:18There's an awful lot of testosterone on History's Trainwrecks. I tend to think it's because men are far more likely than women to self-sabotage in a big way. But as Abigail Adams told her husband John, we should always "remember the ladies."Samantha Wilcoxson, author of the phenomenal Women of the American Revolution, joins me to talk about her book and see how the stories we've always been told about the women of the founding generation are really just the beginning. In this book, you'll learn things you probably never knew about Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, Eliza Hamilton, and Dolley Madison, as well as some figures you may not have heard of like Ona Judge. You can find Samantha Wilcoxson's books here:https://www.amazon.com/stores/Samantha-Wilcoxson/author/B00IGVWSCIAnd all her other shenanigans:Blog https://samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/Twitter https://twitter.com/carpe_librumInstagram https://www.instagram.com/samantha_wilcoxsonFacebook https://www.facebook.com/PlantagenetEmbers/Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/samanthajwPinterest https://www.pinterest.com/samantha_wilcoxson/
58. 058 - Great Mind In History - George Washington56:31It occurred to me that we’ve been doing quite a lot of talking about George Washington in this series—or more accurately, talking AROUND George, so I thought it would be a good time to stop and focus on the man himself, and delve into what made him so darn indispensable. I didn’t exactly HAVE a George Washington episode, but I knew someone who did. If you’ve been listening for a while, you know that I am a huge fan of the Drinks With Great Minds in History Podcast. The show is not only lots of fun to listen to, but the host, Mr. DGMH, otherwise known as Zach Debacco, has a historical insight that I truly admire. His approach to his great minds in history is unique, and he comes up with brilliant revelations about these historical figures that I had never before considered. It's a great show, and if you aren’t already subscribed to it, you should be. If it helps, I can tell you that Drinks With Great Minds in History is the only history podcast that Mrs. History’s Trainwrecks listens to. With all that that implies. Check out the Drinks With Great Minds in History Podcast . Cheers!
57. 057 - The Men Who Would Be Washington, Part VIII24:57American major general Charles Lee is free of British captivity and gets one more chance to redeem himself at the Battle of Monmouth Court House in summer, 1778. But he doesn't take it. By the time of the second anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Charles is facing a court martial. He never commands troops in the field again. Being Charles, he goes on the attack against Washington and the Congress, which doesn't work out for him. We reach the end of our series on Charles Lee, and talk about what makes him such a historical trainwreck. Thanks for listening, and click here to support the show!
56. 056 - The Men Who Would Be Washington, Part VII17:14Christmas 1776 wasn't such a great time for two American generals. George Washington was wrapping a Christmas present for the Hessian garrison at Trenton, New Jersey. He was going to cross the Delaware and drop it down their metaphorical chimney like some kind of badass Santa Claus.Second in command Charles Lee had checked into a tavern and sent his dogs and his army down the road a ways. With only a few guards and a dirty shirt, he was cooling his heels while waiting to decide to follow Washington's orders to join up with him.In the meantime, British General Cornwallis, who was way more scared of Lee than Washington, sent Charles's old regiment of dragoons to find him and capture him.Which they did. Merry Christmas, Charles...
55. 055 - The Men Who Would Be Washington, Part VI21:20As Christmas, 1776 approached, it sure looked like the cause of American liberty was going to find a lump of coal under the tree.The British had taken New York and had George Washington's army on the run. They had a massive force pointed right at Philadelphia, the American capital. The Continental Congress had placed their hopes in one man to swoop in and save them.And it was NOT George Washington.This gave General Charles Lee the idea that he could be the man of the hour, and then take George Washington's job away from him.As long as he didn't run out of time. Click here to support the History's Trainwrecks Patreon page and thanks for listening!