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American History

New York’s Poignant Memorial to Lincoln’s Death Is In A Very Odd Place

Abraham Lincoln died 150 years ago today in a Washington DC rowhouse, shot and killed by the actor John Wilkes Booth while the president was attending a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theater the previous evening. The news hit the North as some sort of horrible dream.  Confederate general Robert E Lee had just surrendered […]

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Mysterious Stories

Get Rich Magic: The astral adventures of Madame La Viesta and the Occult School of Science on Lexington Avenue

Above: Famed spiritualists gather in Chicago, 1906. The names weren’t listed, but perhaps Mme. La Viesta is pictured here? (Courtesy Chicago Daily News/Library of Congress)  The Gilded Age brought us human beings of impossibly vast wealth.  It also brought us a mainstream appreciation of spiritualism, an exploration of  magic and the afterlife as a way […]

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Revolutionary History

From prison to post office: The odd fate of a Dutch church

 One need only walk past the old Limelight in the neighborhood of Chelsea to understand the strange flexibility of church architecture. This former Richard Upjohn-designed Episcopal church at West 20th Street and Sixth Avenue was transformed into a rehab center in the 1970s, then a notorious nightclub in the ’80s, then an upscale mall. And […]