I'm not even sure this one belongs here. It's the story of Edward Payson Weston, once America's most famous pedestrian. Pedestrianism, you see, was a public sport in 1890 in much the same way marathons or basketball are today. And that's weird.
It's partly germane here because it demonstrates that societies can change significantly over time, and yet that the same sort of mechanisms are always at work (the fad, or something). This is surely not a groundbreaking insight, but ... well, it goes into the broth.