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

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

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

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

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

Battle for the Ages

In the early years of the 20th century, an epic conflict was fought on battlefields across the globe. It would ultimately impact millions of lives. I refer, of course, to the clash of morality vs. the tango. Put on your dancing shoes, and get ready to rumble! In this corner, we have the upstanding, waltz-dancing Read More

Letters from the Front Lines

When this you see, remember me, though many miles between us be. – George Deal to Sarah Cole Deal; Memphis, Tennessee; February 1863 It is a truth universally acknowledged. . . that most people’s letters are insufferably boring. Mine included: If rambling on about the weather was an Olympic sport, I’d have several gold medals, Read More

The Other Pandemic

Sick and tired of worrying about coronavirus making you sick and tired? If you’ve had it with wall-to-wall COVID-19 coverage, Second Glance History is happy to distract you with another horrific disease to fixate on: kyphosis bicyclistarum. You’re welcome. I’m surely not the only one consulting WebMD more frequently of late. However, while we’re bombarded Read More

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