The Good Samaritan

Here at Second Glance History, I’m starting the year off with a celebration of strangers who help those in need—most especially an angelic lady named Ali, who was in the right place at the right time to rescue a certain silly blogger who got in over her head in the Pacific Ocean last month. As Read More

Clip of the Week: December 29, 2021

If you’re still looking for a New Year’s resolution, history has some suggestions for you: Some New Year Don’ts . . . Don’t try to get the better of a man who hasn’t any. Don’t snore in church. It’s mean to keep others awake. . . Don’t get married with the sole idea that misery Read More

Home Alone

‘Tis the season for not only reindeer, grinches and magical snowmen but also fearless children, negligent parents and dumb thieves. “Home Alone” may not be the first Christmas movie that comes to mind, but it turns out there’s a long and storied tradition of children left alone around the holidays matching wits against would-be robbers. Read More

Clip of the Week: December 15, 2021

A meeting of the unemployed was called for Saturday night, but it proved a great fiasco. . . The convener of the meeting unexpectedly asserted that there was plenty of work, then said there was none, and concluded by returning to his first statement and offering to get work for any who said they could Read More

No Fairy Godmother, No Glass Slipper, No Problem

Once upon a time in a not-so-faraway land, there lived a young lady. . . “Pretty Anna” is the name by which everyone knew the beautiful Bohemian Anna Witkower, who for many months was a chambermaid at the Palmer House Hotel, Chicago. . . It’s not the most creative moniker, but it’s better than “Cinderella,” Read More

Clip of the Week: December 1, 2021

Andrew Shampney of Yonkers, N. Y., has appealed to the police to make his wife stop kissing and hugging him so much. – The Day Book, July 9, 1912 Don’t worry, Andrew, something tells me your soon-to-be ex-wife won’t kiss or hug you ever again. But when the judge grants her alimony request, her divorce Read More

Count Your Blessings

After a whirlwind year, we’re fast approaching yet another holiday season that’s not quite normal. But one thing that hasn’t changed? Documents from the 19th and 20th centuries continue to be a cornucopia of 21st-century Thanksgiving blog post fodder. (Most especially those from Chicago’s renowned Newberry Library, to which I’m exceedingly grateful for digitizing, transcribing Read More

Clip of the Week: November 17, 2021

James Morgan (70) was charged (before Alderman R. Corry and Mr J. H. Jotham, C.C.) at the Cardiff Police Court to-day with being drunk on the Hayes on Wednesday evening. Prisoner, who is a grizzled old veteran, expressed his remorse at his little misadventure and instinctively produced an ancient looking parchment bearing a record of Read More

Corney Grain’s Refrains

When you’re born with the name “Richard Corney Grain,” you’re destined for either greatness or ridicule. In the case of the 19th-century British entertainer, he found a bit of both. My unfortunate name is likewise the subject of much controversy. My parents played a very bad practical joke on me when they gave me the Read More

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