Alternative Fourth of July Activities

In many parts of the United States, Fourth of July celebrations will be (or at least, should be) a little different this year: no large crowds gathered together to ooh and ahh over fireworks, no hamburgers and hotdogs grilled at neighborhood barbecues and definitely no regiments marching around in powdered wigs. Fortunately, history is full Read More

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You: The Many Lives of Phoebe Hessel

Some lives were made for the silver screen. Phoebe Hessel (née Smith) is one of them. Spoiler alert: Her adventures as a British soldier in the 18th century took her to the West Indies and battlefields across Europe. However, her story doesn’t end there. After incomprehensible tragedy as a wife and mother, she went from Read More

20th-Century Hot Takes

I can say very confidently that the following words, which you are about to read, are very accurate and hopefully, very interesting. – Bob, 1976 This is not Second Glance History’s mission statement, although perhaps it should be. These words were, in fact, penned in 1976 by my father, Bob, in a biographical essay he Read More

How to Travel for Free

Travel has been around as long as we’ve had legs to walk on, but in the days before budget airlines and AirBnB, what was an impoverished, wannabe globetrotter to do? Glad you asked. If you’ve read Beginner’s Guide to Travel Writing, you’re ready for John Henry Richardson’s master class on maximizing your sightseeing while minimizing Read More

Battle for the Ages

In the early years of the 20th century, an epic conflict was fought on battlefields across the globe. It would ultimately impact millions of lives. I refer, of course, to the clash of morality vs. the tango. Put on your dancing shoes, and get ready to rumble! In this corner, we have the upstanding, waltz-dancing Read More

Letters from the Front Lines

When this you see, remember me, though many miles between us be. – George Deal to Sarah Cole Deal; Memphis, Tennessee; February 1863 It is a truth universally acknowledged. . . that most people’s letters are insufferably boring. Mine included: If rambling on about the weather was an Olympic sport, I’d have several gold medals, Read More

Even More Nuggets from Norfolk

Unless you literally live under a rock, you know there’s nothing remotely funny in the news these days. Fortunately, thanks to the digitization efforts of the fine folks at the Foxearth and District Local History Society, we can laugh at someone else’s. While no era has a monopoly on tragedy, the 18th century gives any Read More

Tweets from Second Glance History

Since most of us are spending a lot more time on our couches these days, it’s the perfect moment to announce Second Glance History’s next foray into the world of social media: Twitter! This is not an April Fools’ Day prank. (Although if you want one, I’ve got you covered.) If your life could use Read More

The Other Pandemic

Sick and tired of worrying about coronavirus making you sick and tired? If you’ve had it with wall-to-wall COVID-19 coverage, Second Glance History is happy to distract you with another horrific disease to fixate on: kyphosis bicyclistarum. You’re welcome. I’m surely not the only one consulting WebMD more frequently of late. However, while we’re bombarded Read More

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