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The last thing Lincoln ever saw: the play “Our American Cousin.”

One hundred and forty-nine years ago tonight, April 14, 1865, was the most famous “night out” in American history. On that Friday evening Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, … Continue reading

April 14, 2014 · Leave a comment

Historic photo: Longacre Square, New York City, 1880. Do you know what it’s called now?

Look at the above photo, which was taken in New York City in or around the year 1880. I won’t tell you exactly where this is because it will give … Continue reading

April 8, 2014 · 1 Comment

Ghost railroad: the New York, Ontario & Western Railway.

Up in the forests and brambles of upstate New York, there’s a tangle of bike pathways, nature trails and ecological areas that mask an interesting historical secret. Where suburbanites bike … Continue reading

March 29, 2014 · 4 Comments

Spermatic Imagery in Whitman’s Leaves of Grass

Originally posted on A R T L▼R K:
On the 26th of March 1892, American poet Walt Whitman died in Camden, New Jersey, aged 72. A humanist, whose work…

March 27, 2014 · Leave a comment

Changing one’s mind: the lost art of being persuaded.

I get a little philosophical on Fridays–hey, it’s the Sabbath approaching–and I’ve been thinking a lot lately about something that is not as valued as much in today’s society, at … Continue reading

March 14, 2014 · 2 Comments

“Suffocated While Drunk”: A forgotten Victorian death on the eve of the Great Blizzard of 1888.

One hundred and twenty-six years ago today, on March 11, 1888, one of the largest blizzards ever to hit North America began its icy assault on the eastern seaboard. As … Continue reading

March 11, 2014 · 2 Comments

Not-so-funny bone: the great Calaveras Skull hoax.

Just after the Civil War, on February 25, 1866–148 years ago today–some miners were prospecting in an old mine on Bald Mountain, in Calaveras County, California, when they happened to … Continue reading

February 25, 2014 · 1 Comment

Historic photo, and a mystery: is this Mozart’s wife?

The above photo, a daguerreotype–the earliest kind of photography–was taken in Altötting, in Bavaria, in 1840. The man at center is Max Keller, a German composer of the period. Look … Continue reading

February 23, 2014 · Leave a comment

Richard Shephard’s Fav Five: The First Computer Programmer, The Father of Science Fiction & More

Originally posted on Yesterday Unhinged:
Watercolor portrait of Ada King, Countess of Lovelace (Ada Lovelace). By Alfred Edward Chalon, 1840. This is the fifth part in our weekly Fab Five…

February 20, 2014 · Leave a comment

Fyodor Dostoyevsky and His Epileptic Nirvana

Originally posted on A R T L▼R K:
On the 9th of February 1881, one of the most prolific Russian writers, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, died of complications after a pulmonary…

February 16, 2014 · Leave a comment
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