BackStory is a weekly public radio show and podcast hosted by Peter Onuf, Ed Ayers, and Brian Balogh. We take a topic and try to find the most interesting stories to help give that topic context through three centuries of American history.

The show is broadcast weekly. Check us out on iTunes, Facebook, or at backstoryradio.org.

Happy Mardi Gras! We love these beautiful Krewe of Proteus float designs - from New Orleans Mardi Gras parades gone by. Shown here are designs from (top to bottom) 1895, 1902, 1904, 1927, 1936, and 1939. Each year’s floats reflected a different theme - 1895, for example, should be a favorite for any “Thor” fans out there, with its depiction of “Asgard and the Gods.”

Images from Tulane University’s "Carnival Collection," part of the Louisiana Research Collection.

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