Clip of the Week: April 5, 2023

Before there was Beyoncé, there was the original single lady: Old Polly Thompson, of Camberwell Workhouse, is the “oldest lady in the land,” for on Monday she celebrates the 107th anniversary of her birthday, and is still hale and hearty. A photograph of the old woman was taken the other day and forwarded to her Read More

Love in the Time of Ice Cream Sundaes, Part 2

Spoiler alert! Don’t ruin the ending: Read Part 1 first. When we last saw our heroes in October of 1910, Beatrice Sanders and La Vere Tallman were shivering in a cave in the Catskill Mountains and slowly realizing that sometimes love just ain’t enough. Six weeks after the start of their romantic escape into the Read More

Love in the Time of Ice Cream Sundaes, Part 1

Once upon a time, there was a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. He fell in love with a girl whose parents disapproved, and they ran away to be together. . . Sound familiar? I guarantee you haven’t heard this story, which is “as unique a romance as ever a pair of young 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

Life Lessons from a Centenarian

As Abner and Mary Hammond taught us last year, the early 20th century press was obsessed with stories about the elderly doing anything besides sitting in rocking chairs. That press had a field day with Electa Kennedy. Starting in 1905 with an article anticipating her 100th birthday—in four years’ time—newspapers from California and Montana to Read More

A New Page

On January 12, 1912, Abner and Mary Hammond stepped off a ferry in San Francisco and did what courageous people have done since the dawn of time: They left their old lives behind in search of a fresh start. It wasn’t a unique story. What made them notable, according to the newspapers that covered their Read More