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Curious Cases: Topics in Chronicling America

Public interest in oddities and strange stories in newspapers has been prevalent since the early 20th century. This guide provides access to material related to "Curious Cases" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"No Need for Rats or Puffs." April 3, 1910. The Los Angeles Herald (Los Angeles, CA), Image 49. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

From time to time, resoundingly peculiar stories sprout up in the newspapers, spanning from a man's heart shifting positions to a woman's inability to get off the subway train. To this day, these anomalies have received no veritable explanation. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


July 11, 1899 Two chickens are born from the same egg.
September 9, 1900 A man's heart changes its position inside his chest.
January 20, 1907 A young woman suffers from an inability to get off the L train at the particular station she desires.
April 3, 1910 The prize winning woman has hair seventy-seven inches long.