Tracy S. Morris

Quirky Mysteries, Screwball Fantasy and Sassy History

I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 35 Sarah Winchester, The Crazy Cat Lady of Architecture

We all think we know the story of Sarah Winchester.  Folklore states that the heiress of the Winchester fortune was told by a psychic to go west and build a house for the spirits of everyone who had ever been killed by a Winchester rifle.  In truth, Sarah probably had something in common with the […]

Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Not Making This Up: Hope This Diamond Isn’t Cursed.

According to the Smithsonian Museum, one of their most popular exhibits (other than their pair of Ruby Slippers from The Wizard Of Oz) is the Hope Diamond.

The Hope Diamond is a 45 and-slightly-over-a-half-carat phosphorescent blue diamond with a long, sordid history, and (legends say) a curse attached to it.

Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Not Making This Up: When Suffragettes Used Jujitsu

In 1913, women pushing for the right to vote faced vigilante attacks and police brutality.
These women defended themselves and in some cases literally struck back with Jujitsu.

Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Not Making This Up: Weaponized Honey

Honey is not just a sweetener for your tea. It has been used for everything from mummies to medicine. Honey has even been used as a weapon in war.

Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 33 That Time Bunnies Attacked Napoleon

Napoleon is widely regarded as one of the greatest military leaders of all time, up there with Alexander the Great. But one of his most humiliating defeats actually came from a pack of domesticated rabbits.

Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 32 One Way To Spend An Afternoon When Visiting The City in 1848

Imagine you’re an American farmer 170 years ago. Depending on where you live, you may go to a big city once a year, when it’s time to sell off your surplus livestock.

And, after you’ve done that, you might go have one of those fancy daguerreotype light paintings made.

Having a Daguerreotype image made was the 1850’s fad equivalent to taking a selfie at Disneyland while performing in a flash mob in front of Cinderella’s castle. And if you adjust for inflation, the price was about the same.

Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Not Making This Up: Peace On Earth, Even In War

Too often, you hear on the news of spontaneous fighting breaking out in war-torn areas. But during the 1914 Christmas of World War I, spontaneous peace broke out. And to the officers in charge, spontaneous peace was received just as badly as spontaneous warfare would be.

Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 31 When Special Snowflake Wasn’t An Insult

You probably already know that no two snowflakes are alike. Every school child knows that.
But before 1931, no one knew that. The man who changed our perspective on snowflakes was Wilson “snowflake” Bentley.

Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Not Making This Up: That Time The Guy Who Wrote Sleepy Hollow Saved Christmas

Some ideas are simply timely ideas. Which might explain all the competing patents for things like airplanes and radio. Saving Christmas was another timely idea.

Read the rest of this entry »

I Am Not Making This Up: Ep. 30 Catch Me If You Can, Gingerbread Man

Gingerbread men are practically synonymous with Christmas. But, at the risk of sounding click-bait-y, you won’t believe the surprising origins of this cookie.

Spoiler it’s Queen Elizabeth. Maybe.

Read the rest of this entry »