Podcast Overview

More than 154 million treasures fill the Smithsonian’s vaults, but where public view ends, Sidedoor begins. With the help of biologists, artists, historians, archaeologists, zookeepers and astrophysicists, host Tony Cohn sneaks listeners through Smithsonian’s side door to search for stories that can’t be found anywhere else. Check out and follow @SidedoorPod for more info.

Podcast Episodes

Bonus: Ale to the Chief

In this mini-episode, Sidedoor host Tony Cohn interviews Sam Kass, former Obama White House chef and one of the people responsible for the first beer ever known to be brewed at the White House.

Red, White and Brew

How much do you know about the history of American home-brewing? In this episode of Sidedoor you'll meet the Smithsonian's first brewing historian, Theresa McCulla, and learn about the role of women, enslaved people, and immigrants in the country's complex — and often surprising — relationship with beer. You'll also meet a new wave of brewers who are working to craft some flavorful history of their own.

If These Bones Could Talk

Explorer, scholar and 19th Century Smithsonian darling Robert Kennicott seemed destined to lead a full and adventurous life. Then, at the age of 30, on an expedition to Russian Alaska in 1866, Kennicott was mysteriously discovered dead by a riverside. Rumors of all colors circulated about the cause of his death, although, it wasn’t until 135 years later, in 2001, that two Smithsonian forensic scientists cracked the case.

Guess Who's Back

Sidedoor is back-- tell a friend! New season begins on Wednesday, June 21st.

Leave a Message at the Beep

Tony shares a special thanks and an exciting update for our upcoming season. Share your thoughts by emailing or leave a message at 202-633-4120.

Shake It Up

Transforming things we take for granted: An astronomer who has turned the night sky into a symphony; an architecture firm that has radically rethought police stations; and an audiophile who built a successful record company on underappreciated sounds.

You Do You

Identity in a complex world: A look at the many roles each person plays in daily life; a group of lesbian feminists create an entirely new culture, religion and society in the 1970s; and Iraqi archaeologists work to preserve their cultural heritage after years of war.

Gaming the System

Bending the rules: People sending their children through the U.S. Postal Service; a Sikh man in the early 1900s tries to use the Supreme Court's racist rulings to his benefit; and the little-known story behind the iconic folk song "Rock Island Line."

Butting Heads

Squabbles big and small: A dining room turns two besties into lifelong enemies; a researcher embraces the panda craze; and why some dinosaur skulls were built to take a beating.

Mid Season Update

A quick update from Tony about the show.

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