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

A Narrow Escape

Despite being a healthy, privileged resident of a highly industrialized nation, I’ve had a few close calls. I nearly strangled myself at birth with the umbilical cord—I’m still sorry about that, Mom. And then there was that time a glass coffee table spontaneously shattered a foot away from me. (It’s a thing.) Plus, who can 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

World’s Worst Gym Teacher

Nobody tell U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt how few pushups I can do: I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere Read More

Diary of a Not-Wimpy Ambassador

If you found a diary left open and unguarded, conveniently transcribed, digitized and text searchable, would you snoop? If you said “no,” you’re a better person than I am.   When it comes to gleaning insights about the days of yesteryear—to say nothing of tantalizing gossip—you can’t beat diaries and letters (along with certain newspapers). Read More

5 Ways to Break Your Lease

Have you just been offered a new job—in a city across the country? Maybe you moved in with your significant other after a few idyllic dates, and three months later, the honeymoon is over—but your lease isn’t. Or perhaps you’re haunted by your new wife’s deceased husband—when he tells you to vacate the premises, you 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

How to Travel for Free

Travel has been around as long as we’ve had legs to walk on, but in the days before budget airlines and AirBnB, what was an impoverished, wannabe globetrotter to do? Glad you asked. If you’ve read Beginner’s Guide to Travel Writing, you’re ready for John Henry Richardson’s master class on maximizing your sightseeing while minimizing Read More

Even More Nuggets from Norfolk

Unless you literally live under a rock, you know there’s nothing remotely funny in the news these days. Fortunately, thanks to the digitization efforts of the fine folks at the Foxearth and District Local History Society, we can laugh at someone else’s. While no era has a monopoly on tragedy, the 18th century gives any Read More

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