About This Show
Welcome to Strange Country, a podcast devoted to bizarre, surreal and extraordinary stories that make America the weird place it is. Co-hosts Kelly and Beth are former newspaper reporters turned school librarians who have always had a soft spot for a good story--the stranger the better. Discover the first woman to survive a barrel ride over Niagara Falls and the man who invented “complex marriage” in one of the most successful utopian experiments. Things get weird pretty quickly around here.
Most Recent Episode
Strange Country Ep. 37: Ota Benga
2 days ago
In September 1906, the Bronx Zoo unveiled its latest exhibit--a Congolese man named Ota Benga. His cage was right next to the orangutans in the monkey house. This was the brain child of the "civilized" people who proclaimed to be great masters of science, but in reality showed the darkest sides of themselves. Listen to Strange Country Episode 37 as it explores this sad, sordid tale. Cite your sources (it makes you look smart): “African Pygmy's Fate Is Still Undecided.” The New York Times, 18 Sept. 1906, pp. 9–9, www.nytimes.com/1906/09/18/archives/african-pygmys-fate-is-still-undecided-director-hornaday-of-the.html. “Bushman Shares a Cage with Bronx Park Apes: Some Laugh Over His Antics, but Many Are Not Pleased. .” The New York Times, 9 Sept. 1906, pp. 17–17, timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1906/09/09/101796670.html?action=click&contentCollection=Archives&module=ArticleEndCTA®ion=ArchiveBody&pgtype=article&pageNumber=17. “The Hidden Holocaust.” The Guardian, 12 May 1999, www.theguardian.com/theguardian/1999/may/13/features11.g22. Keller, Mitch. “The Scandal at the Zoo.” The New York Times, 6 Aug. 2006, www.nytimes.com/2006/08/06/nyregion/thecity/06zoo.html. “King Leopold II of Belgium Takes the Congo | History Channel on Foxtel.” History Channel, 9 June 2017, www.historychannel.com.au/articles/king-leopold-ii-of-belgium-takes-the-congo/. “Man and Monkey Show Disapproved by Clergy.” The New York Times, 10 Sept. 1906, pp. 1–2, www.nytimes.com/1906/09/10/archives/man-and-monkey-show-disapproved-by-clergy-the-rev-dr-macarthur.html. Newkirk, Pamela. “The Man Who Was Caged in Zoo.” The Guardian, 3 June 2015, www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/03/the-man-who-was-caged-in-a-zoo. Newkirk, Pamela. Spectacle: the Astonishing Life of Ota Benga. Amistad, an Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2016. “Ota Benga, Pygmy, Tired of America.” The New York Times, 16 July 1916, p. 12, www.nytimes.com/1916/07/16/archives/ota-benga-pygmy-tired-of-america-the-strange-little-african-finally.html. Parkinson, Justin. “The Significance of Sarah Baartman.” BBC News, 7 Jan. 2016, www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35240987. “Send Him Back to the Woods.” The New York Times, 11 Sept. 1906, www.nytimes.com/1906/09/11/archives/topics-of-the-times.html.
Rated 5 out of
I’m officially addicted! What could be more entertaining than genuinely interesting stories told by two tipsy librarians? Equal parts hilarious and informative. Real and relevant but also irreverent and unapologetically silly. (I have twice snorted my beverage through my nose while listening.) At a time when many in this country are searching for a sense of peace in an unsettling climate, listening to bizarre historical stories about odd people somehow provides a little comfort. Maybe we’ve always been a strange country…
Date published: 2017-10-03
Rated 5 out of
Love this new podcast about bizarre Americana. These reporters turned librarians have a quick wit even while mangling the pronunciation of many words.
Date published: 2017-08-22