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Fascinating True Stories from the Flip Side of History

Silent Susan

On October 6, 1946, not far from the former site of the Palisades Amusement Park, on US Route 9W of New Jersey’s Palisades Park, a young woman passing through town made the fateful decision to hitch a ride. Fateful because she made the mistake of thumbing a police car… Continue Reading

Thief Becomes Clerk at Drugstore

It was reported that three men robbed Heights Pharmacy on February 22, 1923.  The store was located at St Nicholas Avenue and 145th Street in New York City. Two of the men kept clerk David Neuberger busy while the third snagged druggist Dr. Abraham N. Horowitz as he emerged from the basement of the store after getting some drugs to fill prescriptions. Continue Reading

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The Ice Cream Wars

There is nothing better than tasty, ice-cold ice cream on a hot summer day. Since the early part of the twentieth century, ice cream trucks have roamed the streets of our cities bringing these delectable treats right to your door. What few people know is that behind the scenes, there has been an intense and sometimes violent turf war going on between ice cream vendors. Drivers have been beaten and robbed, trucks smashed, burned, and bombed, and death threats have been made.

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Yonkers Anti-Shorts Law

Perfect story for the first days of summer: it’s about a ban that the city of Yonkers put in place back in 1935 to prevent women from wearing shorts and halter tops. Even more timely: at one point they proposed building a giant fence around Tibbetts Brook Park to keep the offending people from NYC out.

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Brassiere Brigade

Here’s the story of a number of women who worked for Southern Bell in Miami back in 1950. Poorly paid and dreaming of a much better life, they figured out a unique way to smuggle money out of the coin counting room at the company’s headquarters. It was such a profitable operation that they were able to pay their legal fees in quarters.

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Phone Picker Arrested

Between the years of 1981 and 1988, someone was breaking into pay telephones across the United States, costing the Bell System an estimated half-million dollars.  It was believed by investigators to have been the work of just one man, since the phone locks were considered to be unpickable.  And, to show that he had a sense of humor, the crook always checked into cheap motels using the alias “James Bell.”  Continue Reading