You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It Too… The Jewish Sabbath…

March 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 
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While one of our Rare & Early Newspapers staff was researching a client request she noticed an interesting Judaic-themed article on the front page of a National Intelligencer dated June 14, 1842 which proves saying: “You can’t have your cake and eat it too”. I wonder if the ruling by this mid-1800’s judge has an implications for today. The same issue also had Dorr Rebellion content which led us to brush up on our mid-1800’s history. Such is the pleasure of the rare newspapers collectible. Please enjoy.

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The Traveler… digging up skeletons…

March 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 
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blog-3-20-2017-black-assizeI journeyed today to Gloucester, England, through The Glocester Journal dated March 23, 1767. I found an interesting article “Last week the skeleton of a man in setters, with one jaw and some of the large bones perfect, was dug up in removing some ground in our Castle Green, eastward of the ruins of the old County Hall, memorable as the place wherein was held the fatal black assize, in the year 1577… upwards of 500 other persons were infected by a gaol disease, and died between the sixth of July and the tenth of August. This skeleton is by some conjectured to be the remains of one Rowland Jenkes, the person condemned at the assize for for sedition, and who was at the bar when the dreadful catastrophe befel the court…”. This was pertaining to the “Black Assize”.

As per wikipedia: The Black Assize is a name given to multiple deaths in the city of Oxford in England between July 6 and August 12, 1577. At least 300 people, including the chief baron and sheriff, are thought to have died as a result of this event. It received its name because it was believed to have been associated with a trial at the Assize Court at Oxford Castle.  A 19th-century account is more sure of the cause: ‘The assize held at Oxford in the year 1577, called the “Black Assize,” was a dreadful instance of the deadly effects of the jail fever. The judges, jury, witnesses, nay, in fact every person, except the prisoners, women and children, in court were killed by a foul air, which at first was thought to have arisen out of the bowels of the earth; but that great philosopher, Lord Bacon, proved it to have come from the prisoners taken out of a noisome jail and brought into court to take their trials; and they alone, inhaling foul air, were not injured by it.’

~The Traveler

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Separation of Church and State conflict, or good advice?

March 16, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 
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While the last few decades have bestowed upon us considerable discussion in regards to the intended meaning of the separation of Church and State, one cannot deny the abundance of religious references which have peppered the language of Presidents, regardless of their personal faith (or lack thereof), from the onset of the Union through the present. One such example is found in the June 15, 1845 issue of The New York Times, which prints the text (see below) of the letter President Ulysses S. Grant wrote to the children and youth of America at the request of the editor of The Sunday School Times for insertion into their Centennial Edition. The letter emphasizes the importance of the Bible in regards to life and liberty: “My advice to Sunday Schools, no matter what their denomination, is: Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet-anchor of your liberties; write its precepts in your heart, and PRACTICE THEM IN YOUR LIVES. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide in the future. ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.’ Yours respectfully, U. S. Grant”.

Mere religious blather, or good advice rooted in truth? Thoughts?

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*Error headlines make interesting collectibles…

March 14, 2017 by · 2 Comments 
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Headlines of events that never happened offer a fascinating focus in the world of newspaper collecting. Unlike radio or television broadcasts where errors can be corrected in minutes, and without any “physical evidence” of the mistake, once ink is on the paper it cannot be retracted.

Certainly the most notable and desirable would be the famous Chicago Tribune mistake of November 3, 1948 which proclaimed in its early edition: “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN” with issues in nice condition now extending well beyond the $1000 mark. Even in a later edition they continued the error but softening the headline by proclaiming: “G.O.P. WINS WHITE HOUSE!“, which I believe to be more rare than the more famous earlier edition.

One error newspaper which recently surfaced from our inventory comes with an interesting story, growing from the hysteria created by the surprise attack upon Pearl Harbor by Japan, which helped to usher in the U.S. involvement in World War II.

The Los Angeles Examiner “War Extra” of Feb. 25, 1942 proclaimed in large letters across its front page: “AIR BATTLE RAGES OVER LOS ANGELES“. Puzzled by the headline, as I wasn’t aware of any WWII battles reaching the shores of the United States, I did a bit of investigating.

The short answer is there was no air battle over Los Angeles. Just some hysteria run amuck. During the night of February 24/25, 1942, unidentified objects caused a succession of alerts in southern California. On the 24th, a warning issued by naval intelligence indicated that an attack could be expected within the next ten hours. Probably much of the confusion came from the fact that anti-aircraft shell bursts, caught by the searchlights, were themselves mistaken for enemy planes. In any case, the next three hours produced some of the most imaginative reporting of the war: “swarms” of planes (or, sometimes, balloons) of all possible sizes, numbering from one to several hundred, traveling at altitudes which ranged from a few thousand feet to more than 20,000 and flying at speeds which were said to have varied from “very slow” to over 200 miles per hour, were observed to parade across the skies. These mysterious forces dropped no bombs and, despite the fact that 1,440 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition were directed against them, suffered no losses. There were reports that four enemy planes had been shot down, and one was supposed to have landed in flames at a Hollywood intersection. Residents in a forty mile arc along the coast watched from hills or rooftops as the play of guns and searchlights provided the first real drama of the war for citizens of the mainland. The dawn, which ended the shooting and the fantasy, also proved that the only damage which resulted to the city was such as had been caused by the excitement (there was at least one death from heart failure), by traffic accidents in the blacked-out streets, or by shell fragments from the artillery barrage. Go here to read the full text of this fascinating “battle” as provided by the “Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco”.

Do you have any interesting error headlines in your collection? Feel free to share with others.

*Note: This post was originally posted on 11/11/2008.

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A March, 2017 stroll back thru time – 50, 100, 150, 200, & 250 years ago…

March 9, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 
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What news was reported in the month of March – 50, 100, 150, 200, and 250 years ago (1967, 1917, 1867, 1817, 1767)? Such a walk back through time via the eyes of those who read the daily and weekly newspapers of the period can be quite revealing. This is why we often say, “History is never more fascinating than when it’s read from the day it was first reported.” The following links will take you back in time to show the available newspapers from the Rare & Early newspapers website. There’s no need to buy a thing. Simply enjoy the stroll.
March:
1967 – 50 years ago
1917 – 100 years ago
1867 – 150 years ago
1817 – 200 years ago
1767 – 250 years ago
Wanting for more? Why not take a year-long gander at 1667, 1717, 1767, 1817, 1867, 1917, and/or 1967?

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The Traveler… the President takes office, again…

March 6, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 
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blog-3-6-2017-woodrow-wilsonToday’s travels took me to Springfield, Massachusetts, by the means of the Springfield Republican dated March 6, 1917, where the headlines announce “President Wilson Takes Oath”, “Firm Stand for Armed Neutrality – Nation Poised on Verge of War”. “Woodrow Wilson, with the major part of the world at war and America poised on its verge, consecrated his second inauguration as president of the United States at Washington yesterday with a last message of hope for peace… the president renewed his 1916-election-mapoath of allegiance to the constitution, praying to God that he might be given wisdom and prudence to do his duty in the true spirit of the American people…” Just in case anyone thinks the United States is more politically divided by geographic region today than it was 100 years ago…

~The Traveler

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Announcing: Catalog #256 (for March, 2017) is now available…

March 2, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 
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Rare Newspapers’ monthly offering of collectible newspapers, Catalog 256, is now available. This latest collection of authentic newspapers is comprised of more than 350 new items. Some of the noteworthy content includes: a 1643 newsbook, the sale of Coca Cola in 1919 (in an Atlanta newspaper), a “Royal Gazette” from Charleston (1782), Lee surrenders to Grant at Appomattox, the British plan for conquering America, a rare Confederate newspaper (Jackson, Mississippi), and more. Key items which include the remaining items from the above may be viewed at: Noteworthy Catalog 256

Whereas the entire catalog is shown at Catalog 256, the following links are intended to aid in quickly finding items from the catalog based on era:

1500-1799 (full view OR quick-scan/compact view)
1800-1899 (full view OR quick-scan/compact” view)
1900-2015 (full view OR quick-scan/compact” view)

To view items from both the current and the previous catalog, go to: Combined Catalog

Note: The links shown above will expire in approximately 30 days.

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The slippery slope of deteriorating morality… a reminder from 1929…

February 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 
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Through much of time certain behaviors have been universally accepted as immoral – the exploitation of women (in particular) through pornography being among them. However, perhaps it’s my age showing, but when did “Since legislating morality rarely changes behavior, let’s eliminate such legislation” become the modus operandi? As a former teacher I knew some of my students would likely cheat, but I still had rules and consequences regarding cheating. As a parent I understood my children might decide that hitting one another was a good way of handling disputes, but I still taught proper means of dealing with conflict and used my parental platform to legislate against hostile behavior. The recent (albeit well intended?) legalization of child prostitution in California in order to “protect” them from the consequences of being caught just doesn’t seem to make sense, and continues our slide down the slippery slope of immorality. I could be a bit off, but my gut tells me something is horribly wrong.

It is with these thoughts in mind I was struck by the front page of The Reform Bulletin from March 1, 1929 (see below), which focused on an effort in the State of New York to pull back on the decade old legalization of “obscene literature.” What’s “obscene literature”? Should morality be legislated, and if so, who makes the call as to which behaviors are moral and which are not? Should government take a role in the personal affairs of its citizens? Has the government overreached in this area in the past? While the answers to these questions and similar are quite complex, I think most would agree we’re not headed in the right direction – and the consequences are guaranteed to be non-partisan.

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A political cartoon from 1776 themed on the Revolutionary War…

February 23, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 
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Political cartoons are ever-present in our world today. It would be difficult to find a daily or weekly publication today without at least one. And they have been around for a long time–perhaps longer than you might think.

There was the occasional political cartoon in 18th century magazines, only a few of which are American-themed, and fewer still can be found as most have been removed years ago. Although we have had a few in years past, we recently purchased not only a very nice one, but one from a title difficult to find in today’s world of collecting.

The November, 1776 issue of “The London Magazine: Or, Gentleman’s Monthly Intelligencer”, not to be confused with the more common “Gentleman’s Magazine”. A full page plate in the issue has a very political cartoon themed on the Revolutionary War, captioned: “News From America, or the Patriots in the Dumps.” and shows Lord North standing on a platform holding a letter announcing successful campaigns by the British troops in America. A distraught woman, ‘America’, holding a liberty cap, sits at the base of the platform. Others present react to the news. There are several websites concerning this political cartoon, one of which can be seen here.

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The Traveler… Election tension – should Indiana’s votes be counted?

February 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 
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blog-2-20-2017-indianaToday’s journey took me to New York City by the means of the New-York Spectator, February 22, 1817. Under the heading of “Congress”, I found the “Votes for President & Vice President” report: “The votes of all of the states having been aloud, with the exception of those of the state of Indiana… One motion of Mr. Jackson, a message was sent to the Senate, informing them that the House of Representatives were ready to proceed, agreeably to the mutual resolution of yesterday, to open and count the votes for President and Vice President of the United States…The reading of the votes was then concluded and the tellers handed a statement thereof to the Present of the Senate… The president of the Senate then declared JAMES MONROE, of Virginia, to be duly elected President of the United States , and DANIEL D. TOMPKINS, of New York, duly elected Vice-President…”. A fair question to ask would certainly be: “Why were Indiana’s votes not included in the oral record?” An appropriate follow-up might be: “Were they eventually included?” If you know the answers off the top of your head, please respond. It sure is a good thing the election wasn’t close enough for Indiana’s votes to make a difference in the final result. However, the decision as to whether or not to include the votes was still an important one in regards to establishing precedent.

~The Traveler

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