PAST EPISODES 16 - 20
Episode 16 - The Bombing of Nagasaki, 1945
Three months after the surrender of Nazi Germany to Allied forces concluded World War II in Europe, fighting was still raging between the Allies and the Japanese Imperial government. Between mid-April and mid-July, 1945, Japanese forces inflicted half as many casualties as those suffered during the three previous years of fighting in the Pacific. With the capture of the Japanese Island of Okinawa, American forces were at the doorstep of the main island. With his military advisors cautioning Harry Truman that a conventional attack would result in over 1 million American casualties, the U.S. President faced one of the most difficult decisions in world history: risk millions of lives in a ground invasion or use the most powerful weapon ever developed against a civilian population.
Episode 17 - The Great Iranian Blizzard, 1972 & The Carolean Death March, 1718
Two giant blizzards on two different continents in two different centuries. The Iranian Blizzard of 1972 killed more than 4,000 people, many who died from exposure or suffocation beneath the snow. In one week the storm dropped as much as 26 feet of snow. In a different century on a different continent, a Swedish army prepares to invade Norway as part of a plan to retore their power and pride. But a campaign that starts in August and was only supposed to last 6 weeks ends up taking just a little longer.Things get really complicated when the King of Sweden dies and this army in the far north must return to the homeland over a range of difficult mountain passes just as the worst winter in years is about to hit.
Episode 18 - The Banqiao Dam Failure, 1975
China is a nation of many rivers and following mass industrialization efforts in the mid-20th century, China also became a nation of dams. One of those important dams was the Banqiao on the River Ru. The Chinese government boasted that the Banqiao Dam was built to withstand a once-in-a-thousand-year rainstorm. There was only one small problem: in August of 1975, eastern China was about to be hit by a once-in-a-two-thousand year rainstorm. The combination of a typhoon colliding with a cold front caused more than 40 inches of rain to fall in one day with 7.5 inches falling in just one hour. During the storm more than 62 dams would fail and more than 200,000 people were reported killed.
Episode 19 - The Irish Potato Famine, 1840
Potato blight was the proximate cause of the Irish Potato Famine of 1845-1849, but there were many contributing causes including the high dependency on this food staple, the harshness of British rule, the passage of laws that prohibited Irish Catholics from owning land, absentee landlords, dire poverty, and the subdivision of holdings that made the raising of any crops other than potatoes nearly impossible. As the famine took its toll, more than 1.5 million people would die of starvation in Ireland and another 1 million would emigrate to other countries
Episode 20 - The Jonestown Massacre, 1978
You’re familiar with the term “Don’t Drink the Kool Aid?” It basically means don’t go along with the dominant way of thinking. It also has become an easy way for people to end an argument when they have run out of ideas. In this episode we will learn about the origin of the term “Don’t Drink the Kool Aid.” It goes back to a small town Indiana preacher named Jim Jones, who idolized charismatic leaders like Stalin, Marx, Mao, Gandhi and Hitler, and dreamed of building a communist utopia. He gathered about him a congregation of poor and repressed people in a place he called, “The Peoples Temple.” When Jones became overly concerned about the scrutiny of the public eye, he moved his temple out of the United States and into Guyana. However, the move didn’t resolve Jones’s worries. In fact, his paranoia grew only deeper.