The first American folk song written in English is a list of New England's Annoyances as felt by early Puritan colonists. One historian argues that the song was written in 1643 by Edward Johnson, who also founded the MA town of Woburn and authored the first printed history of New England. Another cover to listen to.
Cotton Mather's career is defined by two episodes of mass panic. In 1721 he found himself the target of public anger in Boston when he advocated for small pox inoculation after inoculating his own children on the advice of his West African slave, Onesimus. Three decades earlier, in 1692, he was one of the instigators and defenders of the Salem Witch Trials. For more on the latter, visit the comprehensive Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive (previously).
Each of Historian Barbara Wells Sarudy's six blogs contains a wealth of esoteric treasures: "President John Adams declared, “History is not the Province of the Ladies.” Oh well, I'll give it a try." [more inside]
The Truth about Christmas Carols -- Howard Goodall uncovers the surprising and often secret history of the Christmas carol in this hour-long BBC documentary.