Author: Hope Thompson

Hope Thompson is the editor and publisher of Unmasked History Magazine. She has been a freelance journalist for seven years and has published articles for popular media websites such as CandidSlice.com. Her focus has been on the hidden history, Native American culture, activism, politics and Appalachian and Southern folklore and traditions.

Flu Masks and Onions: Wacky Cures and Remedies During the 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic

Between 1918 and early 1919, the Spanish influenza became the deadliest plague since the Black Death of the Middle Ages.  The Spanish flu took the lives of healthy young individuals including pregnant women, children and American soldiers during World War I.  The deadly influenza killed more Americans than World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War combined. The furious waves of the flu swept across America killing 675,000 people.

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Folklife: The little wartime pamphlet that sold over 3 million copies in 1943

The best selling book of 1943 was a little pamphlet entitled “Victory Garden” published by the Department of Agriculture. With the recent events of “The Great Pause” of 2020, quarantined families are beginning to get back to gardening and growing their own food. With possible food shortages amid the COVID19 pandemic on the rise, this is nothing new for Americans.

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Richard Petty and North Carolina’s Last NASCAR Dirt Track Race

The State Fairgrounds Speedway, located in Raleigh, North Carolina was a half-mile oval dirt racetrack that sponsored auto races for NASCAR’s top series in 1955, 1969 and 1970.  Now known as “The King” of NASCAR Hall of Famer, Richard Petty won the last Grand National race on the dirt track.  Although the track is no longer used as a motor speedway, the grandstand, now called the Sam G. Rand Grandstand, still remains and is used today for events held at the North Carolina State Fair.

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Johnny Carson and the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 1973

Through a comedy of errors, this mostly forgotten piece of history concerns Johnny Carson, toilet paper and millions of fearful Americans.

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Folklife: The Forgotten Custom of Women Proposing to Men During Leap Year

The custom of women proposing to men during Leap Year is traced back to a legend of St. Patrick. So girls get out your scarlet flannel petticoats and make a date with your local justice of the peace!  No worries fellas! You can blame the Scots for declaring it open season on bachelors.

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Appalachian Legend: The Wild West Stagecoach Bandit Who Couldn’t Ride a Horse

An Appalachian legend in his own right and Kentucky native George Brittain Lyttle aka Dick Fellows aka Richard Perkins, turned out to be the most famous stagecoach bandit of the wild west that couldn’t ride a horse!   

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Photo Stories: Jean Addie Bissett Bostock playing tennis on ice skates!



Jean was an international tennis player and ranked in the world top ten in 1947 and 1948. (1940 – Photo Courtesy of National Archives Britain)

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The Slanderous Tombstone That Changed A North Carolina Law

Many pages of history have been recorded from old epitaphs of tombstones which frequently reveal not only a person’s death but how and whether the end was peaceful.  Some inscriptions often comment on the deceased’s virtues, or lack thereof, of local natives in the community.  When foul play is involved, the victim’s tombstone may name the murderer and calls on the passerby to associate that name with the viciousness that resulted in a person’s death.

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Vintage Christmas: Remembering the Sears Christmas Wish Book

The arrival of the Sears Christmas Wish Book began the start of the holiday season in our household.  As a child, I remember spending hours looking through the pages of the catalog plotting my Christmas wish list.  Having to share it with my four other siblings was another story. 

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