On This Day

Dog detectives. Petrified preachers. Horrid husbands. Bashful brides. No, this is not my sad attempt at transitioning from blogging to poetry. Rather, these were the headlines on the April 14ths of years gone by. I don’t know about you, but I could use a break from today’s pandemics and politics. Scroll down to catch up Read More

Easter Eggnog and Passover Potables

New holidays, new opportunities to revive the wholesome traditions of yesteryear. . . or count our lucky stars we’re celebrating on Zoom this year: This is an Easter reminiscence: A downtown family, wishing to celebrate the day by appropriate libations of eggnog, sat about preparing a large bowl of that seductive beverage, from time immemorial Read More

The Hapsburg Anastasia, Part 3

Spoiler alert: Don’t ruin the ending! Read Part 1 and Part 2 first. Read in your best announcer voice: Last time on “The Hapsburg Anastasia,” Alma eloped with 22-year-old Yale University student and coal-and-steel heir Donald Andrews. Buoyed by love and presumably, lots of money, they fled to London to escape his disapproving parents. If Read More

The Hapsburg Anastasia, Part 2

Welcome! If you haven’t yet read Part 1, please don’t spoil the story for yourself—start there!  When we last left our heroine, Alma Vetsera had failed to break her boyfriend out of an asylum, but at least she’d kicked her first husband to the curb. Alma made the most out of her newfound freedom—it helped Read More

The Hapsburg Anastasia, Part 1

Remember Second Glance History’s friend Crown Prince Rudolf, heir apparent to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire? Conspiracy theorists claim that despite what the history books say, the Hapsburg prince didn’t die on January 30, 1889 in a murder-suicide with Baroness Mary Vetsera, his 17-year-old mistress. In fact, they say he left that hunting lodge Read More

5 More Times Love Conquered All

Who doesn’t love a good love story at this time of year? If you couldn’t get enough of last year’s unpronounceable surnames and coffin-themed pickup lines, you’re in luck. As an early Valentine’s Day present, Second Glance History is bringing you a new assortment of chocolates, er, stories with unexpected fillings. Whether you’re googly-eyed over Read More

Beginner’s Guide to Pickpocketing

From breaking your lease and traveling for free to becoming a juvenile delinquent, Second Glance History is all about helping you use history to make good life choices. Today, I’m pleased to present yet another guide to antisocial behavior: Pickpocketing 101. Pencils out—but best keep your wallets hidden away. Wear a fashionable hat. On arriving Read More

Heiress on the Loose

Folks, we have another mystery on our hands: Helen Owen, child of romance and adventure, mysteriously missing. . . – The New York Tribune, May 30, 1921 Is there any other way to go missing? But I digress. Poor Gladys Mason remains at large, but maybe Second Glance History will have better luck finding 17-year-old Read More

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

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