Season 2

Join Ed Ayers — award-winning historian and co-host of the hit podcast BackStory — as he travels to places that define the most misunderstood parts of America’s past. Visit sites Americans struggle to discuss — and learn from National Park Service interpreters, museum educators, and cutting-edge guides how they engage a diverse public with the fullness of our nation’s history.

Video thumbnail: The Future of America's Past School Interrupted

The Future of America's Past

School Interrupted

Young people staged a strike in 1951 to protest segregated public schools.

School Interrupted

Video thumbnail: The Future of America's Past Transcontinental

The Future of America's Past

Transcontinental

In 1869, a golden spike marked the completion of the first transcontinental railroad.

Transcontinental

Video thumbnail: The Future of America's Past Red Chicago

The Future of America's Past

Red Chicago

Long-simmering tensions between white and black residents in Chicago erupted in violence.

Red Chicago

Video thumbnail: The Future of America's Past The Revolutions

The Future of America's Past

The Revolutions

What did “freedom” mean during the American Revolution?

The Revolutions