Brussels Bonanza

Dear readers, I have good news or bad news, depending on whether you read this blog for entertainment or out of obligation: Second Glance History is going on a semi-hiatus. Life has taken a surprising turn, and I was unexpectedly offered a position abroad. Can you guess where? Jumping through bureaucratic hoops and moving across Read More

Eggnog Eggcess

Ah, the sweet signs of spring: birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and eggnog consumption is soaring. As we learned last year, with this boozy beverage in hand, your Easter celebrations can be just as merry as your Christmas festivities. Sadly, no matter what time of year you indulge, there’s always somebody out there trying Read More

A Boring Page of the Gilded Age

One who reads this book through will have as rough a mental journey as his physical nature would undergo in riding over a corduroy road in an old stage-coach. It makes no pretension to either scholarship or elegant diction. – Ward McAllister, Society as I Have Found It, 1890 No, dear readers, that is not Read More

5 Times Love Didn’t Conquer All

Here at Second Glance History, it’s tradition at this time of year to share stories of love overcoming insurmountable obstacles, again and again. But in the immortal words of Patty Smyth and Don Henley, sometimes, love just ain’t enough. I’m not alone in having learned that the hard way. Patty and Don may not have Read More

How to Break a World Record

With a little help from Second Glance History, anyone can travel, pickpocket, write, eat healthfully, break a lease, pull off a practical joke, be a Good Samaritan and even become a juvenile delinquent. But do you know what takes real talent? Breaking a world record. Happily, I’m here to help you with that as well. Read More

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 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

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

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