Welcome to Past Peculiar, hosted by Alpha History.
Human history is jam packed with offbeat characters, quirky stories, strange theories and bizarre ideas. At Past Peculiar we draw on primary sources to tease out some of these historical oddities. These stories are not only great fun, they also show how far our ideas, knowledge and understanding have progressed. For example, did you know that an elephant in a Tennessee town was once hanged for murder? That 19th century doctors advised women not to study while pregnant, in case their child was born with an enormous head? That women were told not to read novels because it would affect their “health and morals”? That standing on one foot was thought to cause masturbation, insanity and death? That playing the piano was considered was “deadly” for young girls? That a man named Stephen King once frightened himself to death? That giving women the vote was likely to turn them into “barbarians”? That Americans judges believed beating your wife was quite legal, provided you didn’t kill her?
Past Peculiar contains hundreds of these stories, all drawn from primary sources. To browse our posts, click on the ‘Categories’ link in our top menu or sidebar, select a topic and begin reading. Please note: Past Peculiar contains stories you won’t find in History class. Some posts may not be appropriate for readers under 16 years of age, so reader discretion is advised.