Leon Trotsky Goes To Mexico City (And Is Assassinated)

For the final episode of our second season, we go to Mexico City — where, in 1940, Leon Trotsky was assassinated by an agent of his political rival, Joseph Stalin. This is a story of travel, intrigue, spying, love affairs, and the international power of an idea. In other words, a great topic to windContinue reading “Leon Trotsky Goes To Mexico City (And Is Assassinated)”

The Transcontinental Railroad

In this very special episode of Yesterday in Travel, we discuss the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The railroad connected the East Coast and the West Coast in the United States, completely transforming travel. We were also thrilled to talk to Dr. Sean Fraga, a transcontinental railroad expert, about how thisContinue reading “The Transcontinental Railroad”

Sputnik Orbits Earth

For this episode, we’re going all the way to space. On October 4, 1957, Sputnik — a Soviet satellite — took the skies. The tiny satellite emboldened the Soviets, terrified the Americans, and marked the official beginning of the “Space Race.” Space might be the next frontier of travel. We get into how it allContinue reading “Sputnik Orbits Earth”

Fidel Castro Goes to Harlem

In this episode, we explore a travel story from our own backyard: New York City. In September 1960, the Cuban leader Fidel Castro arrived in town for a UN Meeting — and caused significant waves in the process. His move from midtown to Harlem tells us a lot about racial politics in the US, theContinue reading “Fidel Castro Goes to Harlem”

Medellin MetroCable

Jump back with us to 2004—when the city of Medellin in Colombia opened its MetroCable. These “urban gondolas” ferry residents from the high, historically poor slopes of the city to its center, giving residents access to better jobs and a stronger sense of community. Travel is often a big picture word. Medellin provides a goodContinue reading “Medellin MetroCable”

Frederick Douglass Goes to Ireland

In the first episode of our second season, we discuss Frederick Douglass’s 1845 trip to Ireland. Douglass goes to Ireland to escape the fervor which followed the publication of his autobiography—and because his new fame meant that his former “owner” might track him down. Douglass’s trip to Ireland would be an inflection point in hisContinue reading “Frederick Douglass Goes to Ireland”

“Only Nixon Could Go to China”

In July 1971, U.S. President Richard Nixon made a stunning announcement. He planned to go to China in 1972, ending decades of animosity between the two countries. Many of his fellow Republicans were horrified. The press was cautiously optimistic. Nixon himself believed the trip would play an important role in his strategy of Cold WarContinue reading ““Only Nixon Could Go to China””

Spain’s “Economic Miracle”

Today, we’re going to Spain. Specifically, to a moment in the late 1950s when Spain revolutionized its economy—and how it viewed tourism. After years of stagnation and war, years in which Spain had closed itself off to the world, the country began to slowly open again. As a result, tourists flocked to Spain’s beaches andContinue reading “Spain’s “Economic Miracle””

The 1964 Tokyo Olympics

For this episode, we’re going back in time to Tokyo—specifically, to the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Why talk about the Olympics on a show about travel? The 1964 Olympics completely revolutionized the world’s image of Japan. Tokyo reinvented itself as a dazzling, forward-thinking metropolis and lay the groundwork for much of its futuristic reputation today. ListenContinue reading “The 1964 Tokyo Olympics”

“The Great Migration”: Puerto Ricans in NYC

In this episode, we discuss a phenomenon that occurred in the 1950s—the great influx of Puerto Ricans moving to New York. Why did they come? How? We get into it! Plus, enjoy a brief history lesson about the relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico. Spoiler alert: it’s complicated. Maybe that will change inContinue reading ““The Great Migration”: Puerto Ricans in NYC”