World’s Strangest

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The Mayflower Gun: The Only Surviving Firearm from the Pilgrims

This .50-caliber wheellock musket, propularly known as the Mayflower Gun, is thought to be the only surviving firearm among those that crossed the Atlantic with the Pilgrims. It has been traced back to John Alden, traditionally the first Pilgrim to step ashore at Plymouth. Preservationists discovered it in 1924: The Alden family dwelling, like the gun, [...]

The Traditional Thanksgiving Eel

Turkey? No, thanks. I want a traditional Thanksgiving–the way the Pilgrims did theirs. Two years ago, James Prosek wrote in The New York Times that the original Thanksgiving feast may have been upon freshwater eels: Indeed, eel was the dinner that Pilgrims were given on the very day after they made peace with Massasoit, the sachem, [...]

The Great New England Vampire Panic

Although European vampire panics died out in the 1700s, America had its share of scares in the 1800s, particularly in New England, and particularly during outbreaks of tuberculosis. Some of the dead were dug up and killed a second time, just to make sure. The particulars of the vampire exhumations, though, vary widely. In many cases, [...]

Enormous Hoop Skirt

Eventually, women pushed back against extreme fashions. But not before the grandmother of Cathy Rozman wore an entire parade float: My grandmother, Mary Svetich Rozman, was 16 years old when she was Queen of the May at the May Day parade in Calumet, Michigan in 1917,” writes Cathy Rozman from Plymouth. “The trick to this float is [...]

The Life and Times of America’s First Murderer

John Billington isn’t a household name today, but when Englishmen started settling in the New World, he became infamous as the colonies’ first convicted killer. In 1620, the Mayflower left England and sailed across the Atlantic to New England. Many of the ship’s passengers were Puritan dissenters who had separated from the  Church of England — [...]

Couple’s Sunken Floor Turned Out to be a Medieval Well

Colin Steer has been wondering for almost 30 years why his sofa dipped at one corner of his living room. After he retired, he decided to tackle the problem as a home improvement project. [...]

Cute Vintage Ice Cream Trucks

“QUANTUM SHOT” #748Link – article by Simon Rose and Avi Abrams “Stop Me & Buy Some!”… “Often licked, never beaten!”… Ah, ice cream trucks. What great memories they represent from so many people’s childhood years! The sound of those distinctive tunes and melodic chimes are still guaranteed to send shivers down the spine even today. (images credit: [...]

23 Bizarre Things Ceremonially Dropped on New Year’s Eve

Don’t live anywhere near New York City, but still desperate to see something – anything – drop during a countdown to 2012 on New Year’s Eve? We can help. (Well, we can help some of you. You might have to go on a road trip.) Check out these places that have put their own twists on [...]

11 Offbeat December Holidays You Still Have Time to Celebrate

You don’t need us to remind you about the major December holidays. But you do need us to tell you that it’s Monkey Day. © ARNE DEDERT/epa/Corbis 1. December 14th: Monkey Day According to the official Monkey Day website, Monkey Day is an “annual celebration of all things simian, a festival of primates, a chance to scream like [...]

How Straight-laced were the Pilgrims?

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website. How straight-laced were the Pilgrims? They tried to be, but you know how it goes. A shoe gets unbuckled, a bonnet becomes unlaced, and suddenly your hormones go into overdrive. The next thing you know, your horn of [...]