Banning Fun: New Year’s Eve, 1913

In the waning weeks of 1913, Carter Harrison IV, mayor of a city renowned for its vices, was determined to stamp all the merriment out of Chicago’s New Year’s celebrations: Late-night drinking and tango dancing and hat tickling, oh my! I hadn’t heard of a hat tickler, but since it’s forbidden, I’ve never wanted an Read More

A Brooklyn Christmas Carol

As any child knows, stealing—especially if a creepy elf is watching from a shelf—usually lands you on the naughty list. However, in the case of poverty-stricken mother Anna Lobell, Santa Claus might want to check his list twice. Two women were arraigned. . . in Brooklyn yesterday, both charged with shoplifting. One of them was Read More

Revenge of the Turkey

As a staple of the holiday feast, Thanksgiving can be tough on turkeys (vegetarians, too—but that’s another story). However, if any are reading, take heart: History shows that once in a while, turkeys come out on top—and not just the top rack of the oven. Does a turkey gobbler possess the same remarkable mental faculties Read More

Haunting Gone Wrong

These days, the newspapers—er, Twitter feeds—are filled with articles about lost jobs, dying industries and the changing face of the 21st-century economy. But amidst the handwringing over what’s been lost and who’s been left behind, one suffering population has been largely invisible: ghosts. Recent centuries have not been kind to those whose primary job is Read More

Too Much Time on Their Hands

♪ Yeah, I’m sitting by my computer, clicking like a damn fool, Got the 20th-century newspaper blues. And I’ve given up hope for an interesting headline And an amusing story. Is it any wonder I have eye strain? Is it any wonder I have carpal tunnel syndrome? ♪ Well, I’m so tired of reading—I got Read More

How to Become a Juvenile Delinquent in 5 Easy Steps

Frank Abagnale, Jr., whose youthful felonies—er, indiscretions—inspired the book and film “Catch Me If You Can,” may have slipped away from the police twice before his 22nd birthday, but Floyd Merrill could give him a run for his money, literally. In 1911, Floyd was a teenager living with his aunt and uncle in the Ballard Read More

A Sampler of Courage: Part 3

Before reading, fortify yourself with Part 1 and Part 2. Already read them? En garde! After three free samples, if you don’t buy something, I’m going to have to ask you to leave. . . . Just kidding. According to my website stats, you’re the only ones here. Don’t move a muscle unless you’re scrolling Read More

A Sampler of Courage: Part 1

Courage, n. Mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. – The Merriam-Webster Dictionary Courage—and the feats humanity achieves because of it—have been on my mind recently. In the face of fear and oftentimes, commonsense, we slay monsters, we venture into uncharted territory, and we rescue kittens from trees. Don’t Read More

Swiss Misc.

Second Glance History strives to present as much of the truth of any story as possible, and as a service to my vast readership, I’m currently in Switzerland to investigate the veracity of the Swiss Federal Railroads’ audacious claims. Most picturesque playground in the world? Unparalleled scenic beauty? Inexpensive rail service? I’ll report back. While Read More

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