Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Wilde Accusations

Feb
21

oscar-wilde

“Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.” –Oscar Wilde

On February 18, 1895, Lord John Douglas the Marquis of Queensbury left his business card at the Albemarle Club for Oscar Wilde, who was his son’s lover. A note …

How to Be Bad

Jan
31

Jack_Black

Where can you go for immoral instruction? You can find plenty of pontification about Victorian morals, but the street-smart facts about amorality rarely come through book learning. Fortunately, we have The Right Way to Do Wrong, “Yellow Kid” Weil:

Victorian Vs.

Jan
03

victoria

As the temporally displaced masses cry, “Burn the calendars! Anachrony now!” they need to know a few things about history before they can alter history. Where has an impact on when, so it’s time for a review of Victorian vs. …

You’re a Bad Man, Stagger Lee

Dec
04

stagger-lee

On Christmas Day, 1895, Billy Lyons took St. Louis pimp Lee Shelton’s Stetson hat. In return, Shelton shot Lyons, took his hat back and walked away. The event was commemorated in a popular murder ballad that took Shelton’s nickname, “Stagger …

The Day of Two Noons

Nov
22

high-noon-big-ben-london-uk-26607287

Our conception of time altered radically on the Day of Two Noons. On November 18, 1883, the Unites States railway system clocks adopted Standard Time. Clocks across the country were reset at noon for a double dose of lunchtime. Or …

Madman Murders Mayor

Oct
25

prendergast-article-photo

On October 28, 1893, lone gunman Patrick Eugene Joseph Prendergast shot and killed Chicago Mayor Carter Harrison, Sr. The delusional, obsessively postcard-writing Prendergast believed that the mayor owed him a political office. His strangely premeditated crime served to be …

Dear Midnight of Love

Oct
11

dearmidnightoflove

Beneath the corrupt exterior of alderman “Bathhouse John” Coughlin beat the heart of a poet. On October 8, 1900, his sentimental ballad Dear Midnight of Love debuted at the Chicago Opera House, sung by thirteen-year-old May “The Silver-Tongued Nightingale” de …

The Facts in the Case of Edgar Allan Poe

Oct
04

poepoe2

Of course I shall not pretend to consider it any matter of wonder, that the extraordinary case of Edgar Allan Poe has excited discussion. It would have been a miracle had it not—especially under the circumstances. Though the desire of …

Heads of State

Aug
23

PULL

The throne and the British throne have been linked for centuries. From John Harington’s associations with Queen Elizabeth and flush toilets to Thomas Crapper’s lavatory attendance to Edward VII, muckety-mucks mingled with muck.

John Harington raised Queen Elizabeth’s hackles. She …

Steampunk Graveyard Stroll

Aug
18

eternal silence

The Smiths sang, “A dreaded sunny day, so let’s go where we’re wanted and I meet you at the cemetery gates.” Steampunks, let’s meet at Graceland Cemetery and go strolling. We will meet up on Sunday August 21, 2016, at …