HISTORY This Week

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Star Trek Premieres

Season 3

September 8, 1966. For the first time, the USS Enterprise appears on screen. It is the premiere of a strange new futuristic TV show. Star Trek will introduce the world to a cast of characters that push the boundaries of TV. Why did NBC take a chance on a writer who had already once gotten them in trouble with none other than the US military? And how did Star Trek go where no show had gone before?


Special thanks to our guests, David A. Goodman and Michelle Sauer. Goodman’s latest film, Honor Society, is now streaming on Paramount Plus. Sauer is the author of Gender in Medieval Culture.

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11/28/2022

A Meteorite Hits Ann Hodges

Season 4
November 30, 1954. At about 12:45 in the afternoon, a space rock comes plummeting through the roof of a house in Sylacauga, Alabama. It bounces off a standup radio, ricochets around the living room, and collides with the thigh of Mrs. Ann Hodges, who’s been napping on the couch. Newspapers declare: “experts agreed unanimously that Mrs. Hodges was the first person known to have been struck by a meteorite.” What happened to this space rock after it crashed to Earth and thrust itself into volatile human affairs? And what happened to the human beings whose lives were upended by this rarest of rare events?Thanks to our guests: Dr. Julia Cartwright, planetary scientist at the University of Alabama; Billy Field, professor at the University of Alabama and screenwriter; and Julie Love Templeton, attorney in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.Dr. Cartwright is involved in a number of art/science collaborations to engage and educate the public about meteorites and planetary science. You can find out more on her website, JACartwright.people.ua.edu. Keep an eye out for Billy Field’s latest project, TheStoryAcorn.com, which launches in January 2023. The website will feature history from the Civil Rights movement, told by those who lived it. The website teaches students to gather stories from their own communities and share them with the world. Thanks also to Mary Beth Prondzinski, former collections manager at the Alabama Museum of Natural History, and to the Alabama Museum of Natural History.