New Christmas Traditions

From alternative Fourth of July plans to innovative uses for your Thanksgiving leftovers, Second Glance History has made a habit of looking backwards for holiday inspiration. As this very strange year comes to an end—not a moment too soon—my gift to you is suggestions for celebrating Christmas, too. Whether you want to try out some Read More

5 Alternative Uses for Your Thanksgiving Turkey

Sure, turkey tastes delicious when it’s sitting on your Thanksgiving plate or Zoom screen, doused in cranberry sauce—or cantaloupe, if you’re 10-year-old me. (I know, I was a weird child.) However, this holiday staple is good for so much more than a food coma and a week of leftovers.  If 2020 hasn’t been strange enough Read More

“What Was Your Most Memorable Halloween?”

More than a century ago, an unnamed journalist was tasked with running around Washington, D.C. and asking notable politicians the burning questions of the day. No, not those about national politics, the burgeoning movement for women’s suffrage or even the war on the tango: Instead, this no-doubt future Pulitzer Prize winner asked U.S. cabinet secretaries Read More

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

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

Behind Enemy Lines

No matter how Andrew Valentine Farley and his three companions maneuver their boat, they’re fighting the tide, and the Confederates are gaining on them. When they initially spotted the other boat on their way back to the U.S.S. Ottawa, they assumed it was a fellow Union boat coming from Jacksonville, just north on the St. 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

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