Eddie is the brains behind the very popular Instagram account History Unlimited.
He also runs accounts on Facebook and TikTok, and is a military historian and firefighter with degrees in both History and Fire Science. A fellow Navy veteran Eddie is also a current Navy parent…and as of recording, Eddie had around 140,000 followers on Instagram.
We talk about some of the best History movies of all time, how his interest in Napoleon began, and how history is restricted in various social media platforms.
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Find our Guest here: https://www.instagram.com/historyunlimited/
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Ep55: History Unlimited
Eddie: When I was in the second grade, the teacher I had, her name was Ms. Rico. We had to do a book report. So it, it was not social studies. So as she said, I want you to go to the library. Everybody go to the library, nice size library in a grammar school I went to mm-hmm. and pick out a book and write a poker report about it.
Sure. So I went in there. Okay. Already armed with a knowledge where I wanted to find something about history because I loved these Story of America cards. And I just happened to pull out David Chandler’s campaigns in Napoleon. It’s about a 1200 page. Oh my goodness. And I remember seeing a book and reading it and learning about this guy, Napoleon, and in the preface I’m like, wow, he seems pretty cool.
This guy won a lot of battles. So I brought it to my teacher and she thought it was a joke, , she’s you went to the teacher’s section, the faculty section. I’m like I, I’m like, I really want it. So she goes, okay. So I make a long story short, I wrote a book report on the book after I read it, and I’ve read it about four or five times.
You know, but that’s my first experience with history and school , what that,
Scott: that’s so different. I really appreciate you sharing that with us. That’s such a neat
Eddie: story. No problem.
Scott: Welcome to Top of History. I’m your host Scott here with my wife and historian Jen. On this podcast, we give you insights to our history inspired World Travels YouTube channel journey, and examine history through deeper conversations with the curious, the explorers, and the history lovers out there. Now today we have a guest.
We haven’t had anybody in a little while, so today we are joined by Eddie, the host of History Unlimited account on Instagram and other places. Welcome.
Eddie: Thank you Scott and Jen. I really appreciate the invite tonight and look forward to our discussion. Yeah,
Scott: thank you. Thank you so much. Now before we get into, into chatting with Eddie, I wanna ask any of our listeners or or watchers on YouTube.
Before we get into the main topic, I wanna ask for some reviews on Apple Podcast or Spotify. We are trying to grow the podcast and these reviews really do help us get discovered. And remember, we still have our goal of defeating the history channel. As the top destination for all things history.
I’m coming for you. History
Eddie: channel . It doesn’t, everybody, I’m, I’m, I’m coming
Scott: for you. Bring history
[00:02:23] History Unlimited
Scott: So today we are joined by Eddie, who many of you may know as the brains behind the very popular Instagram account, history Unlimit. Eddie also runs an account on Facebook and TikTok, and is a military historian and firefighter with degrees in both history and fire science.
A fellow Navy veteran Ella Eddie is also a current Navy parent. Thank you for joining us tonight, Eddie. And Eddie. Right now, as. Recording. You’ve got about 140,000 followers on Instagram, but it sounds like you may have tried a few things before you got there. So can you tell us a little bit about the, the evolution of the various accounts that you’ve, you’ve done, you’ve tried out, maybe there’s some there sitting in the graveyard that you just haven’t touched in a while , which, which we all are familiar with.
But can you tell us a little bit about the a little bit about yourself and then how you came to some of the accounts you’re running now? Okay. Yeah.
Eddie: I’m just about to hit 150,000 . Oh, right on. So I’m, I’m looking, I’m looking forward to that. And I have about maybe a couple hundred more.
And I, I love every one of my followers and appreciate every one of them. I started on a site called WordPress. I’m sure you’re familiar with that. That’s where I run our, and I, yeah, I, I started writing you know, this day in history articles and taking content from papers I did while in college.
and putting ’em all together in a format where I can deliver different insights on historical topics that, you know, are popular and some unpopular mm-hmm. . Yep. So I started there. and I gradually worked my way at the Facebook and I started the history writer was my original account on Facebook.
And I did the same thing there. I just a larger audience. Sure. A larger format. Mm-hmm. . And after a while I started to get involved in TikTok. It was very funny how I got involved in TikTok, my daughter who turns 18 in two days. Oh wow. What Happy birthday. She had a musically. and musically was the purchaser to TikTok, obviously owned by the same company, bike dance.
So I wanted to try it out and say, you know what? She wasn’t using the account anymore. She made a new one. So let me take this account and you know, go on and take a look at the video. As I heard, TikTok is pretty cool. Mm-hmm. and I happened to go on around the anniversary of September 11th in 2019.
Ok. I went on a a video that showed the South Tower collapsing. Yeah. Okay. And I just happened to mention on there that I am a firefighter and was a first responder to the World Trade Center. Yes. Cause you would during and aftermath 11, you
Jenn: searched, you searched for survivors after Oh wow.
Eddie: Yeah. Yes. Mm-hmm. . Yes, I did. I did it for four days and five nights, I think it was. Yeah. Five nights. So I was there in Rescue of Recovery in the days after nine 11. Mm-hmm. and. Made a comment on one of the videos and the comment immediately, you know, like comments at all videos at her viral went viral itself.
Wow. And all of a sudden I started getting followers on this page. Mm-hmm. . And I had people coming on my page saying that, that’s not you. That’s your daughter. You know, she looks like 12. I’m like that’s my daughter. Yeah. And so I started to have, I, I had to start making content on my own. Sure. Being a new creator, I, I really didn’t know how to do it very well.
But I started making, you know, content very slowly. Some little videos here and. My first video, I believe, was about the assassination of our Duke Franz Ferdinand. Okay. Okay. In 1914. Yep. Where were, and it was a short video and I took off from there. Mm-hmm. . And then I started making more and got a little better.
The history writer got to around 50,000 follow. And unfortunately that’s when TikTok started to impose its stricter guidelines. Mm. Into historical content. Oh. And being a military historian, you know, they started to crack down on combat footage and anything to talk, you couldn’t talk about World War ii.
You couldn’t talk about the third. You couldn’t talk about Wow. Any history at a period without being heavily scrutinized. Yeah. So my, my account there got shadow. Sure. You know, a shadow band. Yep. Yep. I started a another. and that was the, you know, page that History Unlimited. Okay. And that account got to around 130,000 followers until, guess what?
That page two was taken down. Oh, and I lost that account entirely. It was banned. Oh my gosh. I had a Vietnam war page that I specifically ran on TikTok dedicated the Vietnam War era itself, that got to around 70,000 followers. And guess what they did with that page? They banned that one as well.
That’s wild . . I just turned around one day and said, you know what? What’s a really good TikTok alternative? Because this TikTok thing isn’t working out very well. Sure, sure. And I wasn’t really into YouTube very much. Mm-hmm. , you know, I love YouTube, don’t get me wrong. Sure. But as a creator, it wasn’t, it wasn’t really for me.
Mm-hmm. . So I decided to, you know, expand upon. The history unlimited page that I had begun a couple years ago, but never posted anything on it. And I started creating videos and soon I realized the more videos I created, I was taking a risk on posting, you know, combat footage. And I posted a video about the assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler.
Yeah. With Stauffenberg. Yeah. Yep. Mm-hmm. . And it actually did very well. But what I was surprised about was that Instagram allowed the content to. Yeah. And after that I realized, you know what? Instagram isn’t as strict as TikTok is. Maybe I could do some more. Mm-hmm. , and it just snowballed. I just started creating more content.
I share a lot of combat footage. If you’ve seen my page, you didn’t know that you share a lot of combat footage, but. You know what, what makes my page a little different than my colleagues and I have a lot of people who I collab with. I try to help their account and vice versa. Yeah, I you’re familiar too.
We just couldn’t figure out how to do it. Figure out how to do it. I tried, but thank you. Yeah. Yeah, you’re welcome. It’s actually how I’m growing my Vietnam War account. Yeah. I, I have almost 10,000 followers on that account, so I’m trying to, you know, collabo with that one where Vietnam War content, so I have a collaborator for each period in history because of my, what makes my account unique is that I cover all periods of history.
I don’t focus on one specific area. Yeah, that’s us two. You might have somebody. Yeah. Exactly. You said that’s why, you know, we’re very similar Yeah. In our, our content production, like you had mentioned mm-hmm. and you’re absolutely correct. And I try to focus on what my followers enjoy to see the most.
Sure. And that really centers on the second World War. Vietnam. Mm-hmm. the first World War to a degree, to Korean War. Yeah. Civil War is really popular also. But when you start going back further in history and you wanna start covering subjects that you like in particular the most, it’s not as popular.
Mm-hmm. , because when you go back past the 19th century, All the way down to the poll wars right then and there, the poll era and the Asian revolutions is where the majority of people’s interests stop. And there’s huge gap there. Yeah. It’s ancient history to the pre modern era. Mm-hmm. and in between is hard to post because there’s not a large audience out there for that.
Sure. And you gotta please your followers, otherwise you’ll, you’ll lose them. . Oh, you don’t wanna do that. and you wanna satisfy your, your, your viewership. Mm-hmm. , and I do that to satisfy my viewership. Lately I’ve been posting more about the war in Ukraine. Yeah. Yeah. And there’s you know, a lot of accounts out there that specifically cover a war in Ukraine.
So what I’ll do is I’ll, I’ll take some content that I see that’s shared either off YouTube or other platforms, and I’ll convert them into a nine by 16 video format. Yep. And, you know, share it on Instagram and it does really well on reel. . If it’s a long video, I put a, I put it as a post. Mm-hmm. or story.
Mm-hmm. . And they get a really good response for it. And the one thing I’ve been running into problems with, Is that, of course when you post about the Ukraine war, you’re, you, you’re, you’re either one side or the other. Yeah. In the community. Mm-hmm. . Okay. You know, you try to be fair and I’m very unbiased when it comes to that.
Yes. I’m obviously a, a Ukraine supporter. Okay. But there’s two sides of every story, and I have. Followers from both sides. So I try to post as much content from both as I can, but people still seem to understand that there’s more content from the Ukrainian side than there is from the Russian side.
Sure. Cause of the censorship and the Russian. Yeah, absolutely. So there’s very little coming out of there. Mm-hmm. . So I, I’ve had to deal with that lately. Oh, you’re biased because you’re posting about the Russians and. Then I post about the Ukrainians and they’re saying the same thing to me. I’m like, no, I’m just trying to post the truth.
you, I’m posting history. I’ve
Jenn: been accused of being right wing and left wing for the same video , so Oh, sure. I was like, okay,
Eddie: Yeah. It happens all the time and, and you know, you’ll notice from, from Engag. In your dis engagement on post is very important for the followers to know who you are personally. Mm-hmm. . Yeah, and I try to do that as much as possible. I try to answer as many comments as I can, when you have. , a bunch of dms coming in and when you have tens of thousands of people trying to contact you, you can’t always get to everyone and you feel bad about it.
Sure. The one thing I noticed with creators that are larger than mine and council, the larger than mine, they’ll follow a lot of people and sometimes they don’t engage with anybody. So I try to not make that same. To try to get a better reputation, not try to emulate what they do in making that mistake.
And the way I become a creator was take all of the, the you know, Methods that I learned from other creators on every platform or put them together into this account, and I deliver it in different formats. Sometimes I’ll post just a, a regular war video combat footage mm-hmm. , other times I’ll post to this thing in history where I, I talk mm-hmm.
and there’s other times where I might show up on the screen. You never know what I’m gonna do. And you know, I’m, I’m less likely to show up on screen nowadays because my philosophy is, That people are going on and watch a video. They’d rather watch pictures or videos and my face and . I’m just being honest about it.
Sure. So I, I try to show Yeah. Give everybody a good decent, you know, viewership into what the content is about. Sure. . Sure. But that’s that’s how I started out in a nutshell. And it’s, it’s been going good.
Scott: I, so it’s, it’s always fun to get a, a good little snapshot of our, of our guests.
But one of the things that I like to do on the podcast, it’s fun, is a lot of times we do a word association
[00:12:56] History fill in the blank
Scott: game. It’s what I call a history word association game. Yep. Now, for, for yours, I was trying to figure out something to do. So I’m doing something a little bit different, and this is, this is more of a history fill in the blank.
So the first one Sure. Is going to be the blank locker. What would you fill in for that?
Eddie: Oh, the Hurt Locker .
Scott: There you go. Okay, so the Hurt Locker. So now the next one will be all blank on the blank front.
Eddie: All quiet in the Western front.
Scott: All right. I think you’re, you’re probably sensing the, sensing the theme here.
This one is the blank blank line,
Eddie: the thin red line. All right.
Scott: Next one is blank
Eddie: now. Oh, I love this one. Apocalypse now. There we go.
Scott: Yeah. We’ll, we’ll get to chat about some of these . .
Eddie: I got two more
Scott: here. All right. This one should be, this one’s a little trickier. The blank on the blank. Yeah. This one is trickier.
Yeah, this one’s, this one’s a little harder. This is where Jen got hung up. I admit. I did not get this one. Yeah.
Eddie: Wow. This one’s tough.
Scott: This one, this one, this, this one’s a little bit harder usually cuz people don’t, people don’t usually say the, at the beginning of this. Yeah.
Jenn: And I was bummed cause I, I, I know
Eddie: this movie, this one is gonna get me.
I’m sure it will. .
Scott: So I’ll, I’ll, I’ll get, I’ll find this one. I’ll give you the hints on this one. And J again, Jen didn’t get this one either. This one’s the bridge on the river Kauai.
Eddie: Oh yeah. Okay. There you go. I know, I, I did
Scott: the same thing. Yeah. And people don’t usually say it like the, the, at the beginning.
Mm-hmm. . And the last one is Blank blank Ryan, which is I think probably the, saving private, saving private riots. So I did all those just to do something fun, something a little bit different, but what I, what I wanted to, to use that was mm-hmm. , it’s like those are some of the, I was looking around at kind of lists of what people consider some of the top history military history movies of all time.
And a lot of those ones are kind of ones that I saw on different websites. So what are some of your kind of favorite, you mentioned Apocalypse Now what are, what are some of your kind of favorite. Military history, movies that, that you can just watch
Eddie: over and over. First and foremost, glory. Oh yeah, that’s, that’s a popular one.
Glory. And the reason for it is it’s an outstanding movie and I was in the movie as an extra. Okay. Oh, cool. I do, yeah. I’ve been an American Civil War worrying actor for 35 years. Okay. Give or. . So I’ve been able to play as an extra in glory in Gettysburg, in Gods in Generals. Oh. I wouldn’t recommend GSN Generals.
Gettysburg is a great movie also. Yes. It’s it’s a marathon movie. Mm-hmm. . So any, do
Jenn: you have the union uniform or the Confederate uniform? What uniform have you put
Eddie: together? I portray a union officer. I’m a union lieutenant, first Lieutenant. That’s expensive. Oh yeah. It cost my wow from when I first started at 16 years.
Until a few years ago when I stopped buying pieces to my kit, I would probably say between myself and my parents, we’ve spent at least $30,000 over the years. Wow. Yeah. And just the uniform and accoutrements and the weapons and everything else. Sure. You know, you put a lot of money into it because you wanna look as authentic as possible.
Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And you know, your, your portrayal of your character is determined by how you look. Mm-hmm. , you know, you look the part, you’re gonna play a part better. That’s the glory is definitely on my top of my. Very cool. The Cross of Iron is another movie, which I absolutely love. Okay. And the do lists about the Napoleonic Wars, the two do lists.
Oh, cool. Okay. Patton, of course, on everybody’s list. I would imagine that’s a good one. Yeah, that was,
Scott: that was one of the other ones I saw, like top 15, top 20 on some of those pages. Yeah. .
Eddie: Oh yeah. Mm-hmm. . Absolutely. And let’s see. God, there’s so many of them. I’ve, I’ve mentioned perhaps, you know, so many I’ve seen, but there’s hunt for red October.
There’s SCRs tied. They’re military tight movies. They’re not really history, but yeah, you know, the, the. Hunt red. October is based on a true story. Mm-hmm. from what took place in the 1970s. Yep. So really it is a history story like that, that that’s exaggerated a bit. Those are the movies that I enjoy. Of course I, I’ve seen basically everything at least once.
Sure. Me your name and I probably seen it. Yeah, I, I
Scott: mean, what would you, what would you say yours are, Jen? Like some of your top
Jenn: favorites? I always think everyone needs to watch the first 10 minutes of saving Private Ryan. I think it needs to be shown in every high school. Yeah, I, I the story is, you know, it definitely gets, and I, I appreciate that story too.
For the highs and lows and the humanity of the people choices that they’re making. Yeah. During that, and I, I liked, but it is, but it is a story. But the beginning is so well shot, I think that everyone it is, needs to see that,
Eddie: When they, when they first , you screen that movie. Veterans of D-Day were actually crying in the movie theater because it was so realistic Yeah.
In their experience. Yeah. And you know, it, it’s unbelievable. And that, that movie was very popular for a long time when it first came out and it, it in, it inspired band of Brothers to be produced. Yes. And it ex it, you know, And also the Pacific, which is the band of brothers counterpart for the Yes.
You know, Pacific Theater. Absolutely. So all those, they’re very well produced series and they all. are very similar to Saving Private Ryan the way they’re produced. Mm-hmm. the cinematography and the special effects. They’re all the same and they have the same feel like you’re actually on a battlefield right there.
Yes. You know, it, it’s, it’s, it’s very intense and, you know, I love movies like that. Yeah. They’re awesome. And
Jenn: I will say that new 1917 really pulled me in.
Eddie: That, that
Jenn: oh yeah, that one was really good. That was well done, and I got pulled into that story, the realism of all of that. Mm-hmm. , I really, I I enjoyed that one as well too.
Scott: think that, that one for me, you know, I, Eddie, I, I joke on this podcast all the time, that I am often at a severe disadvantage on this podcast cuz I, I am not the history nerd, whatever. I am interviewing someone who’s a, who’s a huge history buff like yourself, you know, degrees. And then, you know, my wife, the historian, and so it actually brings a different perspective from my side because I haven’t seen a lot of these movies.
Mm-hmm. . Right. I’ve seen some of them, but some of the ones, I, I actually was, was happy to see Hurt Locker a little bit higher cuz it’s a newer movie. 2008 timeframe I think. Yes. Yeah, around then. It was, it was right around then. But, but I appreciated that one. There was another one I actually did see at the time.
I saw Jar Heads. Did you ever see Jarheads? ? I did see Jarheads, yes. So Jarhead was actually, was actually really good. It was Jake Gillen Hall. Jake Gillen Hall. Yeah. But he, he, he shows what he was a sniper. Mm-hmm. . And the whole movie is about this. One chance he had to actually, to actually he has shoot someone, and then it doesn’t, it basically doesn’t happen.
And he deals with that he wanted to he wanted to do the one thing that he was trained to do and all the stuff like post-war and mm-hmm. . So I, I. A lot of the movies that I actually have seen, which are, tend to be the much more popular ones, so like the Saving Private Ryans and things like that do a great job of showing the kind of the aftermath, the whether, you know, back in the day they called it Shell Shock and now we know it’s PTs d mm-hmm
And I mean we were even, we started watching, we, we tried out that show on Netflix called Peaky Blinders and Peaky Blinders. Oh yeah, yeah. So in one of the characters in there, it’s just after World War I. And one of the characters in there, they is has what we would know now of like severe ptsd.
Mm-hmm. is one. I think he’s one. Ends up being one of the Peaky Blinders, but yeah,
Jenn: somebody’s very interesting. Just said Black Hawk down. I I actually love Black Hawk down too, Jake. I’m a, I’m, oh yeah. I’m a Blackhawk. Pilot. So when I, there’s things that I watch it, I know, and I’m like, you know, it’s, it hits me hard.
I usually have to be working out when I watch it. But
Scott: I do Blackhawks a lot. Yeah. So those, those are the ones that I, that I tend to appreciate. And really all the good movies, I think. And, and you could, you would probably agree with this show, what, what war does, to the soldier, to the sailor to, to the members during and after.
It’s just, it’s just so intense.
Jenn: Yeah. But I, I enjoy that they’re becoming more they’re hitting. , the bigger audiences. Yeah. And they’re hitting, because, you know, some movies did do that, but I, I don’t know. I enjoy that they’re starting to zero in on more women or different types of people. Yeah.
On different sides. And they’re trying to show more of the humanity of war and that really the both sides of it. But I, I can also watch like a movie that’s pretty Hollywood. I can watch the Patriot over and over.
Eddie: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Oh boy. The Patriot. I could talk about an hour and a half for that one
And that’s okay, just there, there’s, there’s some just from a, yeah, that’s really over the top. It’s you know, A, a gross exaggeration of history. And from a reenacting standpoint, it was a train wreck. Yeah. No pun intended. Yeah, yeah, yeah
One of the movie I wanted to mention that it’s one of my personal favorites, Waterloo, so 1970. Oh, okay. I’m a big. Napoleon fan, you’re a big Napoleon. Napoleon is my personal idol. ? Yes. I love Napoleon. Napoleonic Wars of Napoleonic era, and I’m really looking forward to the new Napoleon movie coming out.
Oh, okay. With Jackline Phoenix playing as Napoleon. Oh my gosh. It’ll give people, yeah, it’s a big production and they’re coming out with a series on top of the film. He’ll be great. And I think it’s important because Napoleon is such an important figure in history that is really. More books have been written about in Napoleon than any other person in history, with the exception of Jesus Christ in the Bible.
Wow. Wow. And I’m not really a religious person, but I’ll recognize that it, that’s the most popular book ever written and published. Napoleon comes a second, . That’s pretty remarkable. And that’s all really due to the British propaganda engine after the poll wars. But they tried to make him look smaller, literally than he really was.
Mm-hmm. . Because he was larger than life at the time. Yeah. He really, you know, and he tried to minimize his accomplishments because of the stain they had for him. But this should be a good movie and it should give, you know, young people a good understanding of a subject that really isn’t very touched upon in mainstream education right now.
Yeah. You know, you really don’t talk about that. And that’s true. It had a serious impact on the current war we live in. Oh yeah. I. You know, real quick not to, not to get into an Napoleonic subject, but one of my, my thesis in, in college was to, you know, the origins of World War I mm-hmm. , and a lot of people like to point to the Franco Prussian war.
Mm-hmm. and the arms race and acronym the main you know, sure. I pointed to the Congress of Vienna in 1814, which redrew the map of Europe and established the alliance systems that 100 years later would. Enacted. So that would propel Europe into wars filing outta control. Sure. So there, there is a connection between the two and I think it’s really understudied, you know, and it’s very
That’s very interesting. I, I would like to read your thesis. I, Napoleon has a huge impact on America. Especially when you think of Absolutely on America, but the French and with Haiti, yes. And then with you know, the Louisiana purchase, the it, it’s just a huge impact on, on every, on our history as well.
So I can definitely see that. I, I’m looking forward to seeing that movie too. Do you know, are they, it is gonna be like his whole life or just one part of his just Waterloo.
Eddie: No, it’s, I think it’s going to be just his when he became first console of France. Okay. Okay. In 1800 and then. All the way until 1815.
But I could be wrong. You know, the series itself, I believe is supposed to predate 1800, so it’s probably gonna start as pure route in 1792. Okay. And then work its way up to the French Revolutionary Wars. Sure. And then it’ll probably. Stop at where the movie takes over. So they’re doing it in reverse, but Sure.
It, it should be interesting to see how they present it. Yeah. But since you mentioned Napoleon and American History, , you know, the two are, are very much intertwined. Mm-hmm. and the United States was Napoleon’s only international ally during the coalition boards and one of. Least known facts about the war of 1812.
Okay. Is that the war of 1812 and Napoleon’s campaign of 1812 in Russia? Mm-hmm. were linked because president Madison. Mm-hmm. and also Napoleon had a secret cabal where they communicated to schedule the timetable of the Declaration of War against Great Britain and a Declaration of War against Russia.
And it all happened in. and they were very close to getting it within the day, which is remarkable. Wow. For a communications for the time period. Absolutely. But they only discovered this in. Yeah. They only discovered this in the early 20th century. Wow. And they were secret letters that were, that were sent between the two.
And it’s really not in history books. And they’re only starting to come out right now when there’s a book written about the war. 1812. Don’t mention it like in a chapter or whatever. Sure. But it’s, it’s very much understood. You know, , that’s
Jenn: a forgotten war. You know, we cover the war of 18, 12, 11 cuz we lived in Erie, Pennsylvania and Oliver has Perry and the war, you know, Battle Lake Erie was such a huge part of where we lived.
So you have to know about the war of 1812. Sure. But that’s a forgotten war. You know, people don’t know much about that war and the battles around that war. People will, when you talk about the burning of DC they’ll be like, oh, yeah, yeah, I remember that. Or if you talk about, you know, yeah. Star Spangled Banner, they’ll be like, oh, okay.
Yeah. I, I remember. But yeah, really talking about the war and the battles and the naval history and stuff. That’s, that’s a, that’s one that does need more attention.
Eddie: Yeah. That whole time period. Mm-hmm. , you know, the establishment of the Young Republic with George Washington as the first president.
Mm-hmm. , no time in, in our history. Has our nation been in such peril than his two preside, his two terms? Mm-hmm. , the French Revolution, that was a major event in the world at the time. Yeah. And it could have drawn the United States into conflict with either side. Sure. Crippled the Republic. It’s amazing what, what he was able to accomplish.
But yeah, I mean there’s, you know, you said you lived in Pennsylvania? I I live in New Jersey, . Okay. So it, we’re right across, they, they call New Jersey the cross Roads of the American Revolution for a reason. Yeah, now it’s all around you. Yes. It’s everywhere. Absolutely. When you, when you’re living among history, when you’re living among history, you, you tend to enjoy it a whole lot more.
I totally agree with you. Yeah.
Scott: That’s, that’s interesting. And I, I think this is a good segue into one of the next questions that I like to ask our guests. I, I often tend to ask, , you know, what’s the first historical event that you remember? But since we’re talking about Napoleon, something that we may or may not learn in school, I’ll, I’ll broaden that into, you know, what’s one of the first things you may remember learning about history in school or, you know, a, a historical event.
So what’s something like that from earlier in your childhood that, that. Just sticks out in your mind, you know, from your youth when it comes to history?
Eddie: The very first thing I remember when I was able to watch TV at, at the age of five years old was the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.
Wow. I remember the videos of the helicopters on the, the roof of the US Embassy and the people evacuating mm-hmm. . I was able to, you know, have those memories. But my first experience actually is pretty funny. , there’s two experiences I had. First is my my parents bought me what was called a Story of America Cards for the Bicentennial celebration in 1976.
Okay. And I’m not know if you’re very familiar with these. You probably could find ’em on eBay if you take a look, but they’re, they’re history cards and, and you know, we didn’t have internet back then, obviously. Sure. Okay. So in order, get your history. You had to read, you know, you actually had to go to the library.
Yeah. Imagine that. Which was cool. Yeah. It was like, it was like a, an abbreviated encyclopedia in card format. And I started reading and I’m like, I don’t know what I’m reading, but it sounds pretty cool. You know? The American Evolution, George Washington, you know, Alexander Hamilton what’s a Civil War thing?
I was like, wow. You know, I had to ask my dad mm-hmm. , and when I was in the second grade, The teacher I had, her name was Ms. Rico. We had to do a book report. And it was not social studies, so as she said, I want you to go to the library. Everybody go to the library. Nice size library in a grammar school I went to mm-hmm.
and pick out a book and write a book report about it. Sure. So I went in there. Okay. Already armed with a knowledge where I wanted to find something about history because I love these Story of America cards and I just happened to pull out David Chandler’s campaigns in Napole. It’s about a 1200 page book.
Oh my goodness. And I remember seeing a book and reading it and learning about this guy, Napoleon, in the preface. I’m like, wow, he seems pretty cool. This guy won a lot of battles. So I brought it to my teacher and she thought it was a joke, . She’s you went to the teacher’s section, the faculty section.
I’m like I, I’m like, I really want it. So she goes, okay. So I make a long story short, I wrote a book report on the book after I read it, and I’ve read it about four or five times. You know, but that’s my first experience with history and school , what that,
Scott: that’s so different. I really appreciate you sharing that with us.
That’s such a neat story. No problem. That, I, I
Jenn: kind, I know and you love Napoleon even today. Which is very cool. Yeah.
Scott: Yeah. And, and, and for me just to be silly about it, hits me right in the fields because it’s you’re, you’re, you’re getting a book from the library, which, which for us, I think for, for our generation, right?
Me being the younger one on this, this, this conversation here, . But you know, be being born in 1982, myself, right? So I’ll, I’ll turn, I’ll turn 41. This coming year. That’s okay. . But again, for, for me, that I spent a ton of time in my youth cuz where I, where I grew up in Central California, I didn’t get free television.
My parents didn’t pay for cable or anything like that. And so I just read a ton and so I appreciate that. Oh yeah. And, and it’s so interesting that. Hey, you know, instead of reading, you know, the Hardy Boys like I did when I was a kid, you were reading about Napoleon. I, I just think that’s, that’s so neat.
Yes. And I think that’s, that’s, that’s really cool. That’s such a cool way to be like, thank you. That’s the thing. That’s where I plan on my flag and that’s, and that’s where my, my love of history started. That’s, that’s really, really cool. I appreciate that. Yep.
Jenn: where, who, thank you. Who do you think has portrayed Napoleon the best than in a movie so far?
Eddie: It’s a toss up between two and Rod Steiger. In Waterloo in 1970, he portrayed an excellent Napoleon. And also Armand. Desante. That’s the one I was thinking of in 19. Yeah.
Jenn: Napoleon and Julie named Josephine. Mm-hmm. . Yes. I love, I watched that whole great series,
Eddie: new series. Yeah. Okay. Mm-hmm. . It really is awesome.
And he, he, his demeanor is very much how like Napoleon was, and he even looked like him. Mm-hmm. now Rod Steiger. During the Battle of Waterloo anyway, when it, when it took place in 1815. Rod Steger looks more like Napoleon in 1815. Okay. So the two of them compliment each other very well because Napoleon and Josephine, most of the story took place when they were younger.
Sure. With Waterloo, it’s when Napoleon was already as late forties. It’s, those are two great actors and I. Jacqueline Phoenix is gonna be like a great Napoleon because he looks like him. It’s, it’s, he’s just, he’s
Scott: an amazing actor. He can embody anybody. Yeah. He really is. He’s so versatile, and
Jenn: I think he’s gonna be an
Scott: excellent Napoleon.
Eddie: That, that’ll be really good. Oh, yeah. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. I’m really looking forward to really am. It’s supposed to come out, I think, next year. Okay. But when you have Steve and Spielberg working on it, and a whole bunch of other great producers, that’s, that’s gonna be, you know, you, you’ve, you’ve.
Yeah. You’ve got a great. Great storyline here. Mm-hmm. , you have perhaps the most popular historical figure ever. Mm-hmm. . And you’re gonna make a, the best producers are gonna make a movie about. Yeah. That’s, that’s a win.
Scott: I’m just pleased as punch at your, your story. And I, I’m gonna, I’m gonna have to clip that and share that.
I just absolutely love that. So moving on from, from that,
[00:32:57] New Jersey regional history
Scott: you mentioned you’re from New Jersey, right? Not too far from Yes. We lived in Erie, which is a little bit further away on the other side of the state. Yeah. We have family in Jersey though. We, we’ve got family in Jersey. Mm-hmm. . So we’re, we’re familiar with the, the New Jersey area.
Jenn: So if we were coming to visit you and we’re like, we’re gonna do a walk with history, Eddie and Gweneth, we wanna stay local, where would you take us?
What’s your local history there? That
Scott: Yeah. Everyone knows about something the locals know. Everybody else may or may
Eddie: not. I would take you to fort. Okay. Which is the actual fort itself. Mm-hmm. It’s not just a town, it’s an actual fort. Oh, right on. Fort Lee, I take you to the Palisades where the British had ascended the Palisades, Lord Cole Wallace, Florida’s army mm-hmm.
up the 300 foot Palisades. . I would bring you to Hackensack, which is right next door to me. I live right next door to Hackensack. Okay. You got a lot of old cemeteries there? Yeah. Oh yeah. That’d be cool. I live in Buron County. Is is chock full of colonial history and American Revolutionary War history.
Mm-hmm. . So we have several battlefield. We actually have one of my town here of Hasbrook Kites. It’s a small one. We also have a lot of battlefields in, in southern New Jersey. We have Monmouth Battlefield. Oh yeah. My cousin tomorrow. And of course we have New York City. . Yeah. We have New York City and a lot of people don’t realize New York City, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and part of Queens Long Island.
They’re on, they’re, they’re actually standing on a largest battlefield in the American Revolutionary War. Yes. And there really isn’t much in the way of statues and plaques to commemorate that event. Mm-hmm. , but it was the largest battle by numbers. And it’s, it’s really forgotten here because of the industry and the commercialization and everything.
Sure. Whereas Boston does a great job of their history. Yeah. New York City really doesn’t. I, I
Jenn: took my cousins to what it was it Francine Tavern, the one where George Washington had his place. Prince Tavern? Yes. Yeah. The one right by the church. By ground zero, as you would know. Yes. And oh yeah, that still exists.
Okay. , you didn’t go? Yes,
Eddie: went to dinner. There was gonna go to dinner Air a few weeks ago. Mm-hmm. . We had dinner reservations, but something personal came up. We couldn’t go. But it’s a very nice place to go. It’s, it’s very affordable. It’s a very nice atmosphere, and once you step inside, you’re like, wow.
you know, general Washington was right here. Yeah. You know what I’m saying? Yeah. He was right here. His officers were right here. That’s really cool. Mm-hmm. , you know, so Yeah. You get all giddy about it like we do . I do, I do.
Jenn: I totally do. That’s, that’s me. That’s right up my alley. . Yeah. And
Scott: I, I, I just I follow, I follow along and, and wr wrangle our kids.
And, and it’s fun to, you know, and that’s one of the things we’ve enjoyed, like we’re in Norfolk, Virginia. Mm-hmm. . One of the fun things about living where we are now and probably about where you are, is a, as you know, fans of history and living right smack in the middle of where all this history happened.
Yeah. Mm-hmm. , it’s, I you’re just like, oh yeah. A kid in, kid in a candy store. Mm-hmm. . We’ve got a friend, a friend of ours. Yeah. I think you just talked to me the other day that Lisa from Historical usa, she’s in Washington DC now, and she says she’s just out all the time just walking around DC and how could you not, you know, Live.
Live in places like that and be like, okay, I’ve got plenty of stuff to do on my to-do list. On my list is full for the weekend, for the next couple
Eddie: years. Yeah. Down in Virginia. And you’ll notice down in Virginia you got the American Civil War. . You got the America Revolution. Yeah. You have everything right there.
Yeah. You have, we have
Jenn: Colonial, you know, some, yeah. We have the what do they call the historic triangle. So we have Williamsburg Jamestown in Yorktown, right? Yeah. So the Historic Triangle
Eddie: is here. Yeah. Yeah. They’re all great places to visit. I’ve been there at least once. It’s so
Jenn: great. We have, we have yearlong passes to Williamsburg.
Yeah. Like we’re, we we’re down there all the time. I’m like a kid in a candy store when we go there. It’s really a good
Eddie: time. I got a cool. I got a cool Williamsburg story. If you got a few seconds here, Absolut absolutely. . I, I went to Williamsburg the first time I went to Williamsburg when I was really, I was like, I think 1982.
Mm-hmm. , matter of fact, the same year you were aboard , and that was my first time. And when I went back the second time in 1990, . Mm-hmm. , uh, when I was a teenager, I remember walking through the Williamsburg Cemetery. Yeah. And you talking about older grades. Okay. There was this one above ground crypt. The woman had died, I believe, in the 1760s, and she had died.
while giving giving birth. Mm-hmm. , which was very common in the 18th century, as you know. And inside the, the, the crypt itself. On the inscription it said, I forgot the lady’s name unfortunately, but it said mother and baby. So the two of them were actually in there and there was a crack. In the crypt itself, the above ground crypt, and you could actually see inside.
Wow. Now you couldn’t see a box because over the course of time wood decayed. Sure. But you did see something in there and I was pretty. Spooked out by it, but also thought it was pretty cool. Yeah. I’m like, wow. Cause I love going to cemeteries at night. Mm-hmm. and I’m all floor dad, you know, I’m into the ghost hunting and everything like that.
And I love looking at the gravestones. . I drop my fiance crazy because we go to all different grave sites. Yeah. Oh yeah. And she plays Pokemon Go and I play grave sites. Perfect. That works out. But yeah, that’s one of my Williamsburg stories. , that’s, that’s a cool one.
Jenn: So you would love the Williamsburg Ghost tour then?
Have you ever done
[00:38:09] Most haunted road in America
Eddie: On Halloween, I, I wanted to on Halloween I wanted to do a live on Clinton Road. I’m sure you’ve heard of Clinton Road before. I don’t know. It’s considered to be the most haunted road in America. Oh, really? And it’s in West Millford, New Jersey right down the street from where my fiance lives.
It’s rumored to be haunted by Native American Spirits, by soldiers of the American Revolution. Escaped slaves from the Underground Railroad. So there’s a lot of history there and it’s really spooky. You go through there, I’m not scared off by things like that very easily, but when you go down there and you drive through those whitey roads at night, it’s pretty cool.
And for a live session, I really wanna do it this year. I didn’t get a chance to do it last year, but. It should be pretty cool when I do. Ah, that’d be neat. .
Jenn: That would be neat. My friend was gonna come on this, but I, I don’t, I don’t see her on here. She has a great ghost story from Gettysburg and they saw two, they thought they were reenactors coming the other way.
Scott: was over by, yeah,
Jenn: it was over by Devil’s Dead. It was over by Devil’s Den. Yeah. and it was, and they waved at ’em and they didn’t really wave back. They Oh, they didn’t, they didn’t wave back at all. They just looked at ’em and they were all like dirty. And they were like, wow, they’re real.
They’re going for it with the reenacting. Like they’re really into it, you know, they’re really into it. And then that night they took a ghost tour and they went by there and the guy said one of the two. Biggest Spectre was that people see the most are on this road and it’s these two it. And her and her dad looked at each other.
Eddie: what? . Wow. I know,
Jenn: right? I was, I’ve done a ghost tour in Gettysburg. Those are cool too. I like the Gettysburg ones because I, again, they’re, I learned a ton of things. They
Eddie: are, I, my, I’ve been to Gettysburg, no kidding. I at least 70 or 80 times. Wow. You know, from reenactments. Sure. You know, but I, I.
My, my favorite Gettysburg Ghost story real quick is the Ghost story where I was actually the Ghost and we were, yeah, we were down there for the filming Okay. Of the movie Gettysburg. And, you know, reenacters we’re funny people. We like to dress up on our uniforms, even though we’re not reenacting
We go out to dinner and everything, go bars and all that. I just happened to go out into the national cemetery out there and was walking around and there was this newlywed couple that was at the hotel we were staying at, and my parents are outside and I come walking out of the cemetery. And I’m in my full union uniform, my sword, my ashes, plumed hat and everything like that.
And cool. All of a sudden the married couple turns around and freaks out . And they ran to the manager and said that I, they saw a ghost coming outta the cemetery. So the manager comes back and I had gone into the, the room thinking that I didn’t know what was going on, right? So I come out with the. and they look like they have literally seen the ghosts.
They’re all p My parents are like, oh, that’s just my son. Mm-hmm. , you know? Oh my God. We’re gonna leave, you know, .
Scott: Eddie, I, I, I feel like we could probably keep talking about Napoleon military movies, funny or ghosts for the, for the next Hour, hour and change, but what’s the best place for people to find you?
Is it still the Instagram account or do you have other spots? What’s the best place
Eddie: for folks? It’s definitely Instagram. It’s definitely Instagram. That’s my principal social media platform. It’s history Unlimited. Yep. And also the Vietnam War 3.0. Those are my two accounts on Instagram that I personally run.
Yeah. All right. .
Scott: Right on. Thank you so much for joining us and for, for anybody listening or watching. Thank you. Thank anybody listening or watching it. If you enjoyed this episode of Talk With History, then you’ll probably enjoy some of our past episodes where we interview other well-known history.
Like Eddie tonight we’ve interviewed hosts like JD of the History Underground, Matt of the Mr. Beat History Channel, or Chris from WIT Docs, YouTube Cemetery Tours. They all have some great stories to tell as we talked about tonight. Thank you for listening to the Talk with History podcast, and please reach out to us at our website, talk with history.com.
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