“A native of the United States clings to this world’s goods as if he were certain never to die; and he is so hasty in grasping at all within his reach that one would suppose he was constantly afraid of not living long enough to enjoy them. He clutches everything, he holds nothing fast, but soon loosens his grasp to pursue fresh gratifications.”

— Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America (1840)




Image of the New York post office used as cigar box art, 1876, from the digital collection of the New York Public Library.

Holy Bolt


“Lightning in church. During a violent storm at Uggiano, near Lecce, lightning pierced the cupola of a temple in which numerous of the faithful were attending an event. The thunderbolt brought death and terror; two women were charred [carbonized], and three burned; five others were injured and many fainted.”

— From the always edifying La Domenica del Corriere, November 17, 1946, art by Walter Molino (1915-1997).