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The evil green-skinned witch flying on her magic broomstick may be a Halloween icon—and a well-worn stereotype. But the actual history behind how witches came to be associated with such an everyday household object is anything but dull. It’s not clear exactly when the broom ...read more
Throughout history, people have promoted stories of curses for a variety of reasons. To sports fans, curses can help explain their favorite team’s loss. When a cause of death is misunderstood, curses can provide an explanation. For an imperial nation, curses can betray anxiety ...read more
Velvet cushions and gilt-framed mirrors. Feasts of antelope, trout, berries and Champagne. In 1869, a New York Times reporter experienced the ultimate in luxury—and he did so not in the parlor of a Gilded Age magnate, but on a train headed from Omaha, Nebraska to San Francisco, ...read more