Episode #78 -- El Salvador Assassination October 26, 2007.  Twenty years ago today, Herbert Ernesto Anaya Sanabria (pictured at the right) was gunned down in the streets of El Salvador, most likely by right-wing death squads supporting the government in that country's civil war.  I talk about the situation in Central America 20 years ago and how the United States Government decided which side it would support in each of the conflicts.

Today's episode music is from "Muertos," by Gringo Motel.  Our theme music was composed and performed by Marc Rose.

Following the show, you'll hear a promo for the Sonic Society, a broadcast radio show and podcast spotlighting the best in new, original audio drama.

Direct download: 20yearsago_78_102607.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:05am EDT

October 19, 2007.  Twenty years ago today, stock markets around the world suffered big losses.  One of the biggest was in the United States, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its largest one-day point loss to that date.  I share my memories of that "Black Monday," and discuss the probable causes of the big crash.

Today's episode music is from "Ambulance Ride for the Soon to Be Deceased," by Devin Anderson.  Our theme music is composed and performed by Marc Rose.

Direct download: 20yearsago_77_101907.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:04am EDT

Episode #76 -- "Tear Down This Wall!" For June 12, 2007.  Twenty years ago today, President Ronald Reagan made what might have been the most famous speech of his presidency, and what has become one of the most famous speeches of its decade.  I include a brief clip from the speech, and share my thoughts about Reagan as "the great communicator" and the times in which the speech was made.

You can find complete audio, video, and text transcripts of Reagan's Brandenburg Gate address at the American Rhetoric website.

Our episode music is "Movement One," by Ocean Alexander.  Our theme music is composed and performed by Marc Rose.

Direct download: 20yearsago_76_101607_061207.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 2:58am EDT

Episode #75 -- The Untouchables For June 3, 2007.  Twenty years ago today, the movie "The Untouchables" was released in the United States.  I talk a little about the movie, and about its significance in my personal history.

After the show there is a promo for a new podcast, "Dial P for Pulp."  If you're a fan of the pulp fiction genre, go check it out!

Today's episode music is "Open Ended," by Jeff Shields.  Our theme music is composed and performed by Marc Rose.

Direct download: 20yearsago_75_101007_060307.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 9:00pm EDT

This is the most current list of probable future topics for "It Was 20 Years Ago Today."  Listings in strikeout type indicate a show that has been written and recorded, but not yet uploaded.

I make no guarantee that just because a topic is on this list, that I will do a show about it, but this is my best plan at the moment.


June 1987

  • 6/12 - Reagan's "Tear down this wall" speech
  • 6/17 -- Journalist Charles Glass captured in Lebanon; he escapes in August
  • 6/19 -- Edwards v. Aguillard decided by Supreme Court 

July 1987

  • 7/6 – In the Dark released
  • 7/31 – The Living Daylights released

August 1987

  • 8/5 -- FCC kills Fairness Doctrine
  • 8/11 -- Donald Harvey confesses to 33 murders over 17 years
  • 8/17 – Rudolf Hess dies
  • 8/27 -- after one month, FCC drops charges against Allan Weiner and Radio New York International, broadcasting off Long Island
  • 8/29 – minor league catcher Dave Bresnahan fired after "The Great Potato Play? the day before
  • 8/30 -- US Army officers complete their first ever observation of a Soviet Union miliary exercise

September 1987

  • 9/1 – peace activist Brian Willson run over by a train at Concord Naval Weapons Station
  • 9/4 – Richard Marquand dies
  • 9/13 – Tifton City Hall and Myon Complex dedicated in Tifton, GA
  • 9/16 – US signs Montral Protocol, first CFC ban
  • ~9/16 – WNET (Channel 13) begins 24/7 broadcasting; its 25th anniversary
  • 9/18 – Hellraiser released (USA; 9/11/87 UK)
  • 9/30 – Alfred Bester dies

October 1987

  • 10/6 – Works of Marcel Proust enter public domain
  • 10/13 – George H.W. Bush declares candidacy for President
  • 10/17 – Stock market crash
  • 10/23 – Robert Bork rejected as Supreme Court nominee
  • 10/31 – Joseph Campbell dies

November 1987

  • 11/2 – William Sessions sworn in as new FBI director
  • 11/4 – Rhyme Pays released
  • 11/11 – U2 plays free show in San Francisco's Justin Herman Plaza
  • 11/23 – Perestroika reviewed in NYT
  • 11/25 – Harold Washington dies
  • 11/29 – The Tommyknockers  reaches #1 on NYT bestseller list

December 1987

  • 12/7 – PSA 1771 crashes, fmr employee David Burke shot pilots
  • 12/29 – Prozac approved by the FDA
  • 12/31 – Randall Garrett dies

February 1988

  • 2/24 – Decision in Hustler Magazine v. Jerry Falwell

March 1988

  • 3/13 – John Holmes dies

April 1988

  • 4/1 – Beetlejuice released

May 1988

  • 5/14 – Wimbledon beat Liverpool for the FA Cup, one of the biggest upsets in English football history
  • 5/20 – Willow released

June 1988

  • 6/24 – Who Framed Roger Rabbit? released

July 1988

  • Discovery Channel runs its first “Shark Week?
  • 7/15 – A Fish Called Wanda released
  • 7/18 – Akira released in Japan (comes to America a year or two later)

August 1988

  • 8/12 – The Last Temptation of Christ released

September 1988

  • 9/23 – Dead Ringers released
  • 9/29 – Shuttle Discovery launches; STS-26 mission is first since the loss of Challenger in Jan. 1986

October 1988

  • The Queen of the Damned reaches #1 on NYT bestseller list

November 1988

  • 11/8 – George H.W. Bush elected President of United States
  • 11/24 – First episode of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" airs on station KTMA in Minneapolis

March 1989

  • The Satanic Verses reaches #1 on NYT bestseller list

April 1989

  • 4/15 – Hillsborough stadium disaster; 96 people killed in crush

May 1989

  • 5/4 – Magellan spacecraft launched; explores Venus 1990-1994

June 1989

  • 6/15 – NYT publishes article about new computer game, SimCity

July 1989

  • 7/18 – Rebecca Schaeffer murdered by stalker

 October 1989

  • 10/18 – Galileo spacecraft launched; arrives at Jupiter in 1995
  • 10/20 – Loma Prieta earthquake


Category:Upcoming Shows -- posted at: 5:14pm EDT

Episode #74 -- Sir Peter Medawar/Anniversary Show For October 5, 2007.  Twenty years ago this week, Nobel laureate Sir Peter B. Medawar died at the age of 73.  I share a few facts about this man, who contributed a great deal to our understanding of the human immune system, including a quote which says a lot about the purpose of this podcast.  I also discuss, on the occasion of this show's first anniversary, my hopes for the show.

For those of you interested in the idea of how your perspective on the world is shaped by your age, I encourage you to check out the Beloit College Mindset List.  This list, now in its tenth annual edition, paints a picture of the world as it appears to college freshmen.  As it happens, Beloit College is where I spent my freshman year -- and Tom McBride, one of the list's authors, was one of my professors.

Today's episode music is from "Inspiration," by Victor Stellar.  Our theme music is composed and performed by Marc Rose.

Direct download: 20yearsago_74_100907_100507.mp3
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 1:13am EDT






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