Season 3 Episode 5: Cassie Chadwick (a.k.a. Elizabeth Bigley)

In this episode, Katie is bewitched by Cassie Chadwick.  In 2021, everyone learned the name “Anna Delvey,” fake heiress and SoHo grifter extraordinaire. But over a century before Anna partied with pharma bros and Fyre Fest scammers, Cassie Chadwick was laying the foundation for all female con artists; setting a bar so high for fraudContinue reading “Season 3 Episode 5: Cassie Chadwick (a.k.a. Elizabeth Bigley)”

Season 3 Episode 3: Key West, Florida

On this episode of The Reference Desk, Katie is bewitched by Key West.  As the southernmost point in the continental U.S., Key West, Florida, takes some work to get to. But you’ll find this place of weirdness, inclusivity, and strange history well worth the voyage. From its beginnings as a shipwreck paradise to its currentContinue reading “Season 3 Episode 3: Key West, Florida”

Season 3 Episode 2 – Woodstock 1969

In this episode, Hailee is bewitched by the Woodstock Music and Art Fair of 1969.  The Woodstock Music and Art Fair was a music festival that happened from August 15-17 in 1969 on a dairy farm in Bethel, NY. It was billed as an Aquarian Exposition providing three days of music and peace. Thirty-two actsContinue reading “Season 3 Episode 2 – Woodstock 1969”

Episode 3.1: Lobotomies

In this episode, Katie is bewitched by lobotomies.  The U.S. has a long and tragic history of barbaric and inhumane treatment of people living with mental illnesses. From overcrowded institutions to painful experimental treatments, patients were subjected to the unthinkable. Admittance to a state hospital was tantamount to a death sentence served in inhumane conditions.Continue reading “Episode 3.1: Lobotomies”

Halloween Spooktacular 2022

Happy Halloween! The Reference Desk is back with a spooky, special Halloween episode! Turn off the lights, grab some Halloween candy and settle in as Hailee tells you one of Virginia’s creepiest urban legends and Katie enthralls you with a haunted house story that is anything but typical. Plus, get some spooky reading recommendations forContinue reading “Halloween Spooktacular 2022”

Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger Disaster, Part 2

Join us as we finish the story of Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger Disaster.  In part 2, Hailee tells us how Christa won the Teacher in Space position out of thousands of applicants, how she trained for weeks and gives brief bios for the rest of the Challenger crew. We will also learn how thisContinue reading “Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger Disaster, Part 2”

Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger Disaster, Part 1

This week, Hailee tells us about Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger disaster in this two-part episode!  In part 1, Hailee gives us a (brief, layman’s version) history of the beginnings of the space age and the space race between the Soviet Union and the United States. You will also learn about Astronaut Group 8, theContinue reading “Christa McAuliffe and the Challenger Disaster, Part 1”

Banned and Challenged Books

In this FIRST-EVER in-person episode of The Reference Desk, Katie and Hailee talk about banned books.  In recent months, the number of challenged books has skyrocketed. Politicians and parents across the country have called for the removal of books that feature LGBTQIA+ references and material that may make white students feel uncomfy. Katie and HaileeContinue reading “Banned and Challenged Books”

Mary Seacole

Many people know and recognize the name Florence Nightingale and recognize her as the founder of modern nursing. And, while she did some amazing things for the field of nursing there was another woman who many argue was actually the first nurse practitioner, largely forgotten by history.  This week, Hailee is bewitched with Mary Seacole,Continue reading “Mary Seacole”