Busting Historical Myths with Professor Buzzkill

November 6, 2015 | Special Report, Unknown Friday

We are excited to announce that Lifetime Member Dennis McMahon (TGIB #320), was recently the interview subject of “Professor Buzzkill”. Professor Buzzkill is a blog and podcast that explores history myths in an illuminating, entertaining, and humorous way. The show has debunked everything from Sherman’s march to the sea and Abner Doubleday inventing baseball to the Cuban Missile Crisis and Rosa Parks. After stumbling across the podcast on Twitter and enjoying a few episodes, we sent the Professor an idea to debunk the infamous Tomb Guard email forward. And the rest is, as they say… history.

Joseph Coohill, aka "Professor Buzzkill"

Joseph Coohill, aka “Professor Buzzkill”

As the professor would say, the podcasts:

“…seek to ‘debunk’ historical myths. A history myth is a story about the past which isn’t true, nevertheless, gets lots of attention. Many people believe what they hear without thinking critically about it, or checking to see whether it’s true. That’s how urban legends start — you know, the ones like Mikey from the Life Cereal commercials died while eating PopRocks and at the same time as drinking Coke. A history myth is just an urban myth about days gone by.

Serious historians, however, are careful about saying categorically that something is ‘true’ or ‘not true.’ In fact, rather than saying something ‘happened’ or ‘is true,’ most historians prefer to say, ‘there is good evidence for that.’ And rather than saying something ‘didn’t happen,’ they prefer to say ‘there is no good evidence for that.’”

Professor Buzzkill sometimes goes by the alias Joseph Coohill, and is a historian of modern Britain and Ireland. He has a doctorate in modern history from Oxford and an MA in history from the University of Melbourne and a BA from Humboldt State University in California. He is the author of Ideas of the Liberal Party and Ireland: a Short History (4 editions), as well as many articles and internet pieces on history.

This podcast will be released on November 10th, to coincide with Veterans Day. You can visit http://professorbuzzkill.com/ or find the podcast on iTunes here. We hope that you enjoy the podcast and have a great Veterans Day reflecting on the World War I Unknown interment 94 years ago.