The Calumet Christmas Catastrophe


A reading from America’s historical newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism

Panic at the Italian Hall

This episode comes from the request of a listener in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan who wanted to know more about the panic disaster that took place at the Calumet Italian Hall in 1913.

I actually went through Calumet a couple of years ago on vacation when we wanted to see what the upper peninsula of the upper peninsula of Michigan was like.

We found a lot of good microbreweries and wandered about some of the old copper mines, but we missed the monument dedicated to the victims of this horrible tragedy.

Now that I know about it, the next time I’m in Calumet, I will definitely pay my respects. It’s a sad story, folks, but I think it’s an important one to remember because it’s all about what happens when we lose our civility.

Theme music by Dave Sams

Some incidental music via Creative Commons license


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Strangled in a Strange City


A special edition of Yesterday’s News exploring one of history’s great mysteries.

The Curious Murder of Mary Ekhart

In this episode, we look at newspaper accounts of the murder of Mary Ekhart, a young woman from Dayton, Ohio, who separated from her husband and went to live in Cincinnati, where she had a lead on a job in a candy factory. A few days later, her body was found dead in a rooming house, and police tracked down every lead trying to find the mysterious stranger seen lurking in front of the house on the morning of the day of her murder.


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The Chinatown Trunk Murder


Exploring one of history’s most baffling murder mysteries.

The Awful Death of Miss Elsie Sigel

In this episode, we’ll take a look at the newspaper accounts in the case of Elsie Sigel, a pretty young girl from a prominent New York family who went to work as a missionary in Manhattan’s Chinatown. In the summer of 1909, police found Elsie’s body packed in a trunk in an apartment above a chop suey joint.

Music by Chuck Wiggins


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