E25: Martin Luther King Jr.

A Baptist Minister and political activist, Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged nonviolent civil disobedience to stand up for equality. King’s incredible skills as an orator made him a beloved leader in the Civil Rights Movement. This earned him a Nobel Peace Prize when he was only thirty-five years old. Shockingly, King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 at the age of thirty-nine.

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E24: Janis Joplin

A major blues vocalist in the 1960's, Joplin gained fame as the beloved lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company, leading to a solo career. Famed for her raw and uninhibited singing style, Janis' powerful voice made her a highlight of Woodstock. Joplin's platinum records include Cheap Thrills and Pearl, and she's known for hits such as "Ball 'n' Chain", "Cry Baby" and "Piece of My Heart". In 1970, Janis' lifelong struggle with drug abuse culminated in a heartbreaking overdose.

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E23: Edward Teach “Blackbeard”

Edward Teach or Edward Thatch, better known as Blackbeard, was a legendary pirate whose fearsome image has been romanticized since his death. Most likely born in Bristol, England, he plundered ships traveling to and from the American colonies as well as ships in the Caribbean. Although his reign of terror only lasted two years, he has become the inspiration for countless movies and books.

E22: Socrates

Socrates was a Greek philosopher who is credited as one of the founders of Western Philosophy. He was born circa 470 BC in Athens, Greece. We know of his life through the writings of his students, including Plato and Xenophon. His "Socratic method," laid the groundwork for Western systems of logic and philosophy. Socrates was sentenced to death by hemlock poisoning in 399 BC.

We are taking a short holiday break and will be back every Wednesday starting January 4th when we examine the life and death of Edward Teach (Blackbeard). Happy Holidays from everyone at Parcast. We are so thankful to have you as our listener. Have a happy, healthy and safe New Year!

E21: John Lennon

Maybe the most influential musician ever to live, famed singer-songwriter John Lennon founded the Beatles, a band that impacted the popular music scene like no other. Born in Liverpool, England on October 9th, 1940, Lennon gained worldwide fame for not only being a member of the Beatles, but for his subsequent solo career, his political activism and pacifism. On December 8th, 1980, he was shot and killed by a crazed fan in New York City.

E20: Crazy Horse

Crazy Horse was a legendary Native American warrior and leader. Celebrated for his battle skills, he took up arms against the United States Federal Government to preserve Native American traditions and way of life. Some of his war heroics include acting as a decoy in the Fetterman Massacre and being an instrumental leader in the defeat of George Armstrong Custer’s army at the Battle of Little Bighorn. He was killed in 1877 after having a scuffle with soldiers.

E19: John F. Kennedy

John Fitzgerald Kennedy, commonly referred to as JFK, was the 35th president of The United States. Born May 29, 1917, JFK served in World War II and in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. During his presidency, Kennedy faced a number of foreign crises’ including the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, and the building of the Berlin Wall. On November 22, 1963, Kennedy was assassinated while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas.

E18: Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853, in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands. He was a Post-Impressionist painter who went on to be one of the most influential figures in the history of 20th century art. In just over a decade he created over 2000 artworks, including 860 oil paintings. Amazingly, he only sold one painting in his lifetime. He lived in poverty and was virtually unknown throughout his short life. Following many years of struggling with mental illness, Van Gogh took his own life at the age of 37.

E16: Ernest Hemingway

Born in Illinois on July 21, 1899, Ernest Hemingway was an American novelist, short story writer, and journalist. He served as an ambulance driver in World War I and worked in journalism before publishing his story collection In Our Time. He went on to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. His most famous novels include The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and The Old Man and the Sea, which won the 1953 Pulitzer. In 1954, Hemingway won the Nobel Prize. He later committed suicide on July 2, 1961, in Ketchum, Idaho.

E15: Princess Diana

Born Diana Spencer on July 1, 1961, Princess Diana was Princess of Wales while married to Prince Charles. Diana was born into a family of British nobility with royal ancestry as the Honourable Diana Spencer. She was a polarizing figure that was subjected to worldwide media scrutiny during her marriage, yet in the public’s opinion she remained one of the most adored members of the British royal family until her unexpected death in 1997.

E13: Harvey Milk

Harvey Bernard Milk was an American politician who made history when he became one of the first openly gay officials in the United States in 1977, when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Born in New York, politics and gay activism was not part of his early interests; he did not participate in civic matters until later in life after his experience in the counterculture of the 1960’s. He was assassinated in 1978.

E12: Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand's assassination on June 28, 1914, at the hand of a Serbian terrorist group, the "Black Hand," is an event that is widely acknowledged to have sparked the outbreak of World War I. Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand was born on December 18, 1863, in Graz, Austria. While in power, he attempted to restore Austro-Russian relations while maintaining an alliance with Germany.

E11: Marilyn Monroe

Arguably the biggest popular culture icon to ever live, actress Marilyn Monroe was born as Norma Jeane Mortenson on June 1, 1926. She overcame a difficult childhood to become one of the world’s most well-known celebrities and sex symbols of her time. Monroe died of a drug overdose on August 5, 1962, at age 36. Her films grossed over $200 million in her lifetime. Marilyn Monroe’s legendary status and mysticism will remain with film history forever.

E10: Jimi Hendrix

Born Johnny Allen Hendrix, guitarist, singer and songwriter, Jimi Hendrix entertained audiences during the 1960's. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as “arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of Rock music”.

E09: Caligula

A Roman emperor, Gaius Caesar, known as Caligula, succeeded the cruel Emperor and tyrant Tiberius. Born in 12 A.D. he served as the emperor of Rome from 37 to 41 A.D. Records depict him as a cruel and unpredictable leader. He restored treason trials, put people to death for his own pleasure and declared he was a living God. In an ironic twist of fate, he was murdered in 41 A.D. the same way as his grandfather, Julius Caesar, when a group of assassins led by Cassius Chaerea stabbed him to death.

E07: James Dean

Too fast to live, too young to die, he was a rebel without a cause. James Byron Dean was an American actor in the 1950’s and is a cultural icon. He is the symbol of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement. Dean was the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and remains the only actor to have had two posthumous acting nominations. His remarkable life and tragic death transformed him into a timeless legend.

E06: Mahatma Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, more commonly known as ‘Mahatma’, was the preeminent leader of India’s independence movement in British-ruled India. Gandhi organized boycotts against British institutions, led India to independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. His teachings are used today and have inspired the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.