Category: United States

The Ghost Girls

From its discovery in 1898, radium was considered a wonder of science.  It glowed with an unearthly beauty.  It delighted its discoverers, Marie Sklodowska Curie and her husband Pierre, who called it “My beautiful radium”.  It was used in spas and clinics as a cure for everything from cancer to constipation.   It was used in […]

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The New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811

New Madrid, Missouri was at the back end of nowhere.  It was technically a respectably sized town on the Mississippi River between St. Louis and Natchez, but this was not a great achievement.  In 1811, the population was about 1,000 people made up of farmers, fur traders and pioneers supplemented by French Creoles and Native […]

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The Dahlgren Affair

In 1864 the American Civil War was still raging.  The capital of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia, was still tantalizingly close to Union forces, but as of yet out of reach.  There on an island in the James River was Belle Isle, a holding pen for Union prisoners.  Like most Civil War prisons, it was not […]

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Typhoid Mary

There were many ways to die in the overcrowded disease ridden cities of the late 19th century and early 20th century.  Typhoid was one the most terrifying ones simply because of the speed it could spread through a household.   It’s initial symptoms could be anything- fever and some abdominal cramping.  Then the fever got higher […]

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