headshot of Rod PhillipsProfessor Rod Phillips was interviewed for a podcast on the history of divorces in Reno, Nevada, once the ‘divorce capital’ of the United States.  Until the 1970s, divorce was very difficult to obtain in most US states, but Nevada offered easy divorce and a short residency requirement. From the late 1800s to the mid-1900s, people who could afford it flocked to Reno to get divorces they couldn’t in their home states.  They included Hollywood celebrities, the wealthy and powerful (think Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Roosevelts…), and thousands of middle-class men and women.

The podcast is titled “the Six-Week Cure,” after the six-week residency period that was applied in the 1930s.  The “cure,” of course, referred to Reno’s remedy for an unhappy marriage.

You can hear the podcast here: https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/the-six-week-cure/

Rod Phillips is a specialist in the history of divorce. He has published several books on the subject, and he teaches a fourth-year seminar on the history of the family.