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Fascinating True Stories from the Flip Side of History

Category Archives: Podcast

A Miracle Birth in Mexico

On March 5, 2000, Ines Ramirez Perez went into labor but was unable to get any medical care to help with the delivery. In a panic, Ines concluded that she had no other option than to deliver the baby herself. She used an ordinary kitchen knife to perform a cesarean on herself. Find out what happened afterward and stories of other self-cesareans. Continue Reading

Millionaire for a Day

Back in 1911, Wilkes-Barre, PA resident John Jay “Butch” McDevitt won the Democratic Primary for county treasurer. The only problem was that the Democratic Committee didn’t want McDevitt on the ballot. Find out how the party got rid of him and how he capitalized on this for the rest of his life.

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The Trick-or-Treat Dentist

A couple of months ago my wife and I went for a walk up our road. Along the way, we stopped at our neighbor Harriet’s house.  Harriet and her late husband purchased that house in the 1940’s and at nearly 103 years of age, she is still able to live on her own. Harriet’s daughter just happened to be in town and mentioned to us that the previous owner of our house, William “Bill” Shyne, had recently passed away.  Naturally curious, I turned to the Internet to find out more.

And just like there is more than one Steve Silverman in this world, it turns out that there is also more than one William Shyne. It is one of those William Shynes – in this case dentist William Vincent Shyne – who is the subject of today’s story.

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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

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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The Ugliest Thing the President Ever Saw

An official portrait has been commissioned by every single person who has served as President of the United States. They serve to remind generation after generation of those that have been elected to that office. Some are great, some are so-so, and others are just downright awful. My personal vote for the worst presidential portrait is that of Andrew Jackson, but you are welcome to disagree.

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Unfit to Teach

In the past, teachers could be fired some of the craziest reasons such as wearing turtleneck sweaters, pantsuits, not going to church, or smoking a cigarette at home. Check out this story to learn about one of the more unusual ways a teacher could be denied a teaching license.

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The Salem Trade School

The Salem Trade School had the worst high school football team in the Boston region back in the 1920’s. Any team that played against them was almost guaranteed to win. The Salem Trade team had a big secret and they somehow managed to keep it under wraps for six years.

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The Last Man on Earth

Did you ever wonder what would happen if you ended up being the last person alive on Earth? Back in 1960, the San Francisco Chronicle decided to send their hunting and fishing columnist Bud Boyd up into the Marble Mountains of California for six weeks to find out if one could really survive. Let’s just say that everything did not go as planned…

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Cinderella Girl

Just what happens when you write to the President of the United States to let him know that you have the same birthday as him?  A 13-year-old girl named Anna Sklepovich did just that and the results did not turn out as she had planned.

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The Honest Man with an Evil Eye

Back in 1935 a man carrying a sandwich-board sign stumbles across the find of a lifetime: A wallet containing the stocks certificates from Philips Petroleum, GE, and DuPont.  Find out what the press said that he did with the certificates, what really happened, and how he killed a man simply by staring at him.

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