The Shakespeare Riots: one of the most bizarre events in New York history

What do Shakespeare, the Bowery gangs, and the train have in common?


From Atlas Obscura





The Forgotten Entrance to Clinton Hall
Hidden in one of New York’s oldest subway stations is the final remnant of the site of the bizarre Shakespeare Riots.


“This blocked up doorway on a subway station holds a secret that is still felt on the streets of New York today.


The Astor Place subway station on the IRT Lexington Avenue line is home to some of the most distinctive tile work on the New York metropolitan subway system. One of the original 28 subway stations, the walls are decorated with plaques depicting beavers, in honour of the pelt trade in which John Jacob Astor made his fortune.


But often overlooked on the south bound entrance is a bricked up doorway which recalls the tale of one of the most unusual events in New York history. Above the blocked off door is a lintel inscribed “Clinton Hall.” At one point this led directly into the old New York Mercantile Library in the former Astor Place Opera House. The library, known as Clinton Hall, at 21 Astor Place, was created for the growing number of clerks in the city. With a membership of 12,000, the library held over 120,000 volumes, one of the largest periodical subscriptions in the city, cabinets of curiosities, and held lectures by such luminaries as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Frederick Douglass, and Mark Twain.


But the address, named after America’s once-richest man, was the site of one of the most bizarre events in New York history…”


For the rest, click here.



A Fake Epidemic Saved a Polish City From the Nazis

A case of truth being greater than fiction…




How a Fake Typhus Epidemic Saved a Polish City From the Nazis
by Matt Soniak


“During World War II, a man went to the doctor in Rozwadów, Poland with a unique complaint. He was one of thousands of Poles forced by the Nazi occupiers to work in German labor camps. The man had been granted a 14-day leave to visit his family, and his time was almost up.


He was desperate to escape the camp, but knew that if he did not return, he would be hunted down and he and his family would be arrested and sent to a concentration camp–a death sentence in many cases. He had considered suicide, but also knew that a serious disease, verified by a physician, would spare him from returning to the camp.


The two doctors who saw the man decided to help him in his quest for a diagnosis, and offered to give him an injection. He accepted. The doctors then drew a blood sample and sent it to a German lab. Soon, they received a telegram that read: “Weil-Felix positive.” Their patient had tested positive for typhus. The telegram was given to the local German authorities as proof that the patient had an infectious disease, and the man was subsequently released from his duties at the camp. He was also excluded from future detention, as were any family members he had come in contact with…”


For the rest, click here.


The Disappearing Celtic Tree Alphabet

If there is an ancient faerie language, this must be it…




From Ancient Origins,


The Celtic Ogham: An Ancient Tree Alphabet that May Disappear Before Showing its Roots
by Kerry Sullivan


“In secluded fields, on the walls of churches, and beneath construction sites, stones have been found with intricate markings that rise from the lower left up to the center and then down to the lower right. This is the ancient Celtic Tree Alphabet known as Ogham (pronounced owam). Archaeological linguists have managed to translate the symbols, yet no one knows for certain how or why this language came into existence. Efforts are being made to preserve the relics, however, the stones are weathering and crumbling at an alarming rate.


There are roughly 400 stones known to contain Ogham markings, 360 of which are in Ireland. The rest have been discovered scattered across Wales, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. The oldest relic is believed to date back to the 4th century AD, but one must assume that earlier examples existed on perishable mediums, such as wood, possibly as far back as the 1st century AD…”


For the rest, click here.


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